Reviews

Record reviews

Iotunn – Access All Worlds Review

Iotunn – Access All Worlds Review

“If any of you are fellow Dungeons & Dragons nerds, which of course you are because you listen to metal, you should be familiar with the concept of a natural 20. Well, lately I’ve been experimenting with literally randomizing what promos to pick, using a single line of code to spit out a number corresponding with a place in a list. This time, the code landed on an unassuming sounding debut by a band called Iotunn, marked as space rock. Imagine my surprise when fellow prog lover Huck N Roll informed me that instead I’d landed on a very promising chunk of Metal Blade backed cosmic progressive death metal with none other than Jón Aldará (Barren Earth, Hamferð) on vocals.” Significant access.

Moonspell – Hermitage Review

Moonspell – Hermitage Review

“In these times of isolation, the band has come to the realization that their time is coming to an end. A statement that saddens me to read. But Moonspell feels they still have a little more juice left in them. This retrospection has resulted in a new focus—a focus to buckle down and use their remaining time as a band to pump out the best songs possible. Along with that, they”ve cut the fat off Hermitage. The keys, the sad vocals, the gothic melodicness still intact, it’s the orchestrations that are gone. Like the band’s good ole days. But, stripped to barebones, is the band even capable of recreating their greatest moments?” Waning crescent.

Plague Weaver – Ascendant Blasphemy Review

Plague Weaver – Ascendant Blasphemy Review

“♫Ohhh, Plague Weaver, I don’t believe he will make it through the night.♫ Had to be done, I have no regrats. Anywho, Canada’s Plague Weaver is the work of a dynamic duo of miserable misers and on their full-length debut Ascendant Blasphemy they seek to blend the nastiest bits of raw black metal, doom, and death into an unpleasant concoction best served with a heavy antibiotic regime. They bill the end product as black metal with doom death influences and that’s an entirely fair description, though what you get is a bit more slimy and ugly than you might expect.” Right out of the plague book.

Innersphere – Omfalos Review

Innersphere – Omfalos Review

“So there I am, reading a book of poetry in the filth and muck of the Angry Metal Guy Promo Pit — totally minding my own business — when I overhear some kind of commotio. Raised voices, overblown guitar solos, agonized screaming, the whole nine yards. “Ah,” I think to myself. “Holdeneye did the 4.0 thing again.” I move to refocus on my book when I see something out of the corner of my eye: Innersphere. Omfalos. “Melodic death doom metal.” Pause for effect. Melodic… death… doom… metal. I try to wrap my head around the concept, and decide, with no chance remaining that I’m going to have the peaceful afternoon I’d planned for, to snatch up the album and leave, because, frankly, I need to know what exactly this thing is and how it works, because I’m telling you right now, there’s no way that’s a thing.” Face the thing that could just be.

Significant Point – Into the Storm Review

Significant Point – Into the Storm Review

Significant Point. This band name has caused some amount of controversy around the AMG beer cooler for its apparent strangeness. Alternative band names such as Topic Sentence and Eminent Predicate were tossed around with mirth and glee, and the sniggering appeared to drown out the thunder in the east, but I still heard the distant rumblings. Significant Point exists to make a significant point potent statement: heavy metal never dies.” Point taken.

Forhist – Forhist Review

Forhist – Forhist Review

“Sometimes, we all gotta get back to basics. When you’re Vindsval from the influential band, Blut Aus Nord, that means returning to your atmospheric black metal roots. Blut Aus Nord has always been an interesting proposition, veering wildly between the avant-garde (The Work Which Transforms God, 777 trilogy) and the traditional (The Memoria Vetusta trilogy, Hallucinogen). While I admire the boundary-pushing stuff, I have a mighty soft spot for those Memoria Vestusta albums, which I think comfortably inhabit the apex of melodic black metal. Forhist is Vindsval’s solo project, and Forhist the debut under this moniker.” Blut Aus More.

Evergrey – Escape of the Phoenix Review

Evergrey – Escape of the Phoenix Review

“2021 will see the release of a wealth of albums written and recorded during the COVID pandemic. This phenomenon will likely impact records in a myriad of ways. Some will directly reflect the times in concept, lyrics or atmosphere. Others may benefit from bands having additional time stuck in lockdown together to hone their compositions. In the case of Evergrey‘s 12th album Escape of the Phoenix, the latter appears to be the case.” Firebirds, energy weapons.

The Generals – To Hell Review

The Generals – To Hell Review

The Generals are a Swedish quartet from Åmål, releasing two full-lengths and a split since their 2002 formation. 2009 debut Stand Up Straight and 2013’s Blood for Blood were both solid slabs of Wolverine Blues mimicry that, despite their simplicity, had no need to fix what wasn’t broken. To Hell, the first effort since 2013, continues and capitalizes upon its “death metal-cigarette with a rock ‘n’ roll filter” aesthetic with chunky riffs, blazing solos, pissed-off barks, and a Swedeath buzzsaw tone that commands respect.” Hell ain’t a bad place.