Reviews

Record reviews

Terra Atlantica – Age of Steam Review

Terra Atlantica – Age of Steam Review

“Steampunk is such a cool aesthetic. Victorian-era styling fused with futuristic tech in a fictional timeline where steam power reigns dominant as the primary energy source. The idea practically sells itself! While I’m not especially knowledgeable on the lore that creators fashioned within the steampunk universe, almost anything bearing the tag garners my attention. My enthusiasm for the genre attracted me to Terra Atlantica‘s sophomore full-length, Age of Steam. Will it be the lean, mean, steam-powered machine I so desire?” Steamed hams.

Rope Sect – The Great Flood Review

Rope Sect – The Great Flood Review

Idle Hands took the metal scene by storm last year. Their debut Mana had an unexpectedly widespread appeal and proved conclusively that the love for gothic rock among us was not as dead as many thought. The comparison to Idle Hands is easily made when looking at Rope Sect’s The Great Flood, another band seeking to revive old school gothic rock, and perhaps that may contribute to the quickly amassing buzz around the fledgling band, but two quality EP’s and a guest spot for Grave Pleasures and Hexvessel frontman Matthew McNerney a.k.a. Kvohst will do nothing to quell the surging tide of hype.” Rope, buzz, cults and hype.

Ravened – From the Depths Review

Ravened – From the Depths Review

“Rather curiously, the promo material spends quite of bit of time telling me not about Ravened, but about bands that various bandmembers’ relatives — two fathers and an uncle — were in. Since I don’t understand the relevance of that (my failing, I’m sure), I’m going to focus instead on the record and hope that Ravened can step out of the shadow both of their older male relatives and of the various influences they cite.” Blood deep.

Howling Giant / Sergeant Thunderhoof – Turned to Stone Chapter 2: Masamune & Muramasa Review

Howling Giant / Sergeant Thunderhoof – Turned to Stone Chapter 2: Masamune & Muramasa Review

“Last year, I had the privilege of contributing a TYMHM review of Nashville stoner trio Howling Giant, with their album The Space Between Worlds. Jampacked with Torche worship and other catchy, fuzz-revering stoner metal greats, it distinguished itself with how it balanced impressive songwriting and performances with a fantastic sense of levity. While it’s hard to take stoner genres seriously in general, Howling Giant just sounds like three dudes at a jam session having the time of their lives, and that energy is infectious. Less than a year later, and we’re graced with a split!” Stones and swords may break your bones, but riffs are where it’s at.

Lantern – Dimensions Review

Lantern – Dimensions Review

“This review is obscenely late. Mostly because I’m trying to complete a PhD and not contract terminal stupidity from my Government. I’ve also been increasingly distracted by death metal’s performance this year. Without doubt, the genre’s legion of revenant revengers have clawed through the rot of 2020 and thrust a flayed face to the light. Lantern, who shone so pallid and putrid in 2017, are of particular note.” Late to the early grave.

Texas Murder Crew – Everyone’s Last Breath Review

Texas Murder Crew – Everyone’s Last Breath Review

“Earlier this year, the “Pirate Metal Drinking Crew” cleaned up in ratings and accolades on this blog. Now we’ve got another crew in town – well, state – in the form of Texas Murder Crew. The big draw of this band for those unaware is guitarist Kevin Clark, who played on Devourment’s legendary Molesting the Decapitated. It’s amusing to me that, should I have been tasked with writing about Devourment as a promo guy, describing them as a “Texas Murder Crew” is the best description I would have never thought of.” Everything is deadlier in Texas.

Judicator – Let There Be Nothing Review

Judicator – Let There Be Nothing Review

“Thanks entirely to Eldritch Elitist‘s coverage of Judicator‘s last album, The Last Emperor, I discovered one of my favorite new-to-me bands in recent memory. After an initial good impression, The Last Emperor eventually completely won me over, and it landed in my top 10 of 2018. There’s something so pure and magical about the way Judicator combines the influences of Blind Guardian and Iced Earth into a prog/power beast that stands its own. It reminds me of what Demons & Wizards might sound like if their music was actually good.” Nothing is more.

Selenseas – The Outer Limits Review

Selenseas – The Outer Limits Review

“Seeing the almighty “power metal” banner waving boldly above a Pile of Intrigue in the Promo Pit is a fascinating experience, because it never fails to bring out my optimism and cynicism in roughly equal amounts. On the one hand, I love power metal. On the other hand, it’s such a straightforward genre that even established acts occasionally have trouble with a potentially generic sound. As per usual, optimism won out, so today I will tell you about my experience with Selenseas, a Russian group dabbling in symphonic power metal.” Power outage.

Misery Signals – Ultraviolet Review

Misery Signals – Ultraviolet Review

Misery Signals have been signalling misery by hybridising their metalcore vehicle with flashy touches of thrash, post-rock and progressive metal. Although elements of these other genres make appearances, Misery Signal‘s engine is pure metalcore. Since forming in Wisconsin in 2002, Misery Signals have released four full-lengths. Their last record – Absent Light – was released in 2013. Seven years is a long time. A lot has changed.” Time, tide, and trend.

Vassafor – To the Death Review

Vassafor – To the Death Review

“The band sport a Mitochondrion or Adversarial styled take on death/black metal with a thrashy assault-heavy relentlessness combined with eldritch melodies and passages of doomy ominousness. These New Zealanders laid it on thick with 2012’s double LP The Obsidian Codex, expertly balancing relentless blackened death with ritualistic atmosphere and dense doom to create an experience that felt far shorter than its immense hour-and-thirty-five-minute runtime suggested. Enter 2017’s Malediction, which wasn’t… that. While offering a “shorter” listen at fifty-four minutes, it never managed to truly escape the doomy drudgery and wallowed in uneventfulness for nearly an hour. Enter 2020’s To the Death.” Death be not quick.