Reviews

Record reviews

Mournful Congregation – The Exuviae of Gods – Part I Review

Mournful Congregation – The Exuviae of Gods – Part I Review

“Every now and then, while minding my little ol’ business as I knock shit off my dresser like a good cat, the random thought of “Hey, whatever happened to such-and-such band” will pop into my furry cranium and, like clockwork, that band will release something new almost immediately afterward. In this case, said band is Australian funeral powerhouse Mournful Congregation, a band that doesn’t always drop new things at a constant rate, but when they do drop those new things, they’re always heavy, reflective, and… well, mournful.” Short mourning.

Darkened – The Black Winter Review

Darkened – The Black Winter Review

“Everybody misses Bolt Thrower. Ask any death metal fan what band they’d want to resurrect for one last platter of greatness, and I bet the British bruisers would be near the top of the list, alongside Death itself. There’s just something about Bolt Thrower‘s trance-inducing grooves that speaks to the violent beast hidden within each and every one of us, and the band name’s is still sprayed across death metal reviews like so much machine-gun fire whenever a burly tremolo rears its head—and this is nearly two decades after their last album saw the light of day. No one has been able to completely fill the void left in Bolt Thrower‘s absence.” Tanks for the memories.

Anvil – Impact Is Imminent Review

Anvil – Impact Is Imminent Review

“O’ Canada, guess who’s back? Good ol’ Anvil, with their ninety-eighth full-length album. And look at this: another writer penning an Anvil review. Once you’ve reviewed Anvil, you can’t get yourself to do it again. It’s only been two years since their last release (which is about the same as all their albums), and there’s no sign of stopping this Canadian threesome—even if you want them to stop. But, no, they keep coming with a sound they helped to cement 40 years ago. But, while you all might think their sound is irrelevant, Anvil sure as hell doesn’t care.” Danger: Falling Anvil.

Texas Murder Crew – Wrapped in Their Blood Review

Texas Murder Crew – Wrapped in Their Blood Review

“While I proudly fly the OSDM flag, I’ve been much slower to hop on the brutal death and slam bandwagon (the slamwagon, if you will). While I’ve enjoyed a Dying Fetus tune or three, I’ve rarely enjoyed the many go-to bands that have come to define these sub-sub genres. All my preconceived notions were blasted to bits, though, when TheKenWord violently introduced me to Cytotoxin back in 2020. My world was changed, my mind expanded, and my ear cartilage was suitably pulverized. That fond yet painful memory is what led me to scoop Wrapped in Their Blood, the first full-length from Texas Murder Crew, a (wait for it) Texas-based group who slam, smash, churn and gurgle their way through ten gleefully murderous tracks.” Glazed slam.

Serpentent – Mother of Light Review

Serpentent – Mother of Light Review

“If all you want is raw riffs, skull-crushing rhythms, or dissonant aggression, you’ve come to the wrong place. Serpentent’s debut full-length Mother of Light flirts casually with distorted guitars and heavier percussion, but there’s no metal to be found here. The brainchild of Seattle multi-instrumentalist Anne K. O’Neill, Serpentent plays minimalist dark folk music built around O’Neill’s emotive vocals and acoustic guitars. Spring 2022 has set a high bar for folky non-metal around these parts, with Urferd releasing an intricate slab of Nordic folk and Darkher continuing to set the standard for introspective doom. Mother of Light doesn’t quite reach those lofty heights, but it’s a pleasant surprise in a crowded genre.” Snake charming.

Lament Cityscape – A Darker Discharge Review

Lament Cityscape – A Darker Discharge Review

“Wyoming, famously, hosts some of the United States’ most beautiful nature preserves—also famously it lacks urban comforts and is one of the two rectangular states. This expansive, rural landscape shapes an existence and mindset that’s decidedly different from the metropolitan portrait of tap-to-pay cafes, melting pot crowds, and city-speed sprawl. For better or worse, Mike McClatchey has called Buffalo, Wyoming temporarily home—a home that has fueled his boiled-over frustrations into this more solo edition of Lament Cityscape, A Darker Discharge.” Rural rabies.

Come to Grief – When the World Dies Review

Come to Grief – When the World Dies Review

“Back in the early 90s, Louisiana wasn’t the only locale with conditions ripe for the development of sludge metal. Congealing in 1991, Boston, Massachusetts’ Grief were similarly influential in forging a template for how sludge, especially sludge doom, would develop in the subsequent decades. original Grief members Chuck Conlon (drums) and Terry Savastano (guitar) kept a candle burning for their former band until 2017 saw them resurrect the project, this time as Come to Grief. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect considering world events since then, and 2022 sees the full-length debut of their current iteration, the aptly named When the World Dies.” Come to silver, come to sludge.

Volturian – Red Dragon Review

Volturian – Red Dragon Review

“It blows my mind that only two years passed since the last Volturian album, which I gave a positive review. I stand by that rating, too. Crimson stands firm as a pleasant and fun, poppy and sweet, goth-tinged experience. Big choruses, a fair share of decent riffs, and crunchy downtuned tones which I’ve always loved in this format formed a dance-able volume that is extremely difficult to put down, even today. The pandemic, which hit just before Crimson dropped, stretched time to the point that now, it feels like I wrote that review all the way back in 2018 rather than 2020. Nonetheless, it’s 2022, and sophomore album Red Dragon prepares to swoop down and incinerate my credibility as a metal critic of taste once again.” DraGONES!

Assumption – Hadean Tides Review

Assumption – Hadean Tides Review

“A band’s name can make or break them. Regardless if you’re a blues band reaching for ominously foreboding atmospheres, or a power metal band named after a cute, furry rodent who loves clay baths, whatever you name yourself lends as much, if not more, importance as your music. So when I happened across Hadean Tides, the second full-length from Italy’s Assumption, I assumed from their “death/doom” labeling and their band name that this was going to be some early My Dying Bride worship of the highest caliber, complete with weepy violins and flowers withering. But you know what your parents said about why you should never assume…” Speculation and doomination.