Reviews

Record reviews

Atomwinter – Sakrileg Review

Atomwinter – Sakrileg Review

“Walking the line between old school death metal and blackened speed-thrash, Atomwinter are barely fucking around. I say ‘barely’, rather than ‘not’, because there is the obligatory one-minute instrumental opener to skip on Sakrileg. The album would’ve opened far stronger had the band just ripped straight into “Ov Blood and Flesh,” which tells us immediately that these guys have listened to a lot of early Incantation and taken that as their creative starting point.” Up and Atom.

Soulmass – Let Us Pray Review

Soulmass – Let Us Pray Review

“In my humble estimation, Soulmass exemplify the death-doom style. Weighty, but not plodding; methodical but not overwrought. I’ve been following these Floridians for a long time and I’ve only grown more impressed with their development. Their third full-length finds my expectations too damn high, especially after the act took a massive step forward on 2019’s The Weakness of Virtue. Can Soulmass live up to the hype? Let Us Pray so.” Mass effects.

Frozen Dawn – The Decline of the Enlightened Gods Review

Frozen Dawn – The Decline of the Enlightened Gods Review

“As someone allergic to major keys, I find a natural home with metal, which tends to focus on the minor, or indeed, dissonance. We’ve all heard non-metal-listeners in our lives pontificate about how angry metal sounds. We all also know that it can bring happiness no matter how nasty it seems on the surface. Allow me to introduce you to some extreme metal out to prove this with a vengeance. Spain’s Frozen Dawn make their Transcending Obscurity debut with LP number four, a slice of melodic black metal fizzing with rambunctious energy. Polished and fresh, yet still retaining an air of the dark, occult past.” Stay frosty.

Soothsayer Orchestra – The Last Black Flower Review

Soothsayer Orchestra – The Last Black Flower Review

“I have a great admiration for the solo creator. Thanks to my attention deficiency disorder, the two tasks I struggle most with are staying motivated and staying organized. The kind of dedication it takes to perform every part of what is ordinarily a team effort seems Herculean to me. Pieter Hendriks (Black Bottle Riot, Born From Pain) has that kind of dedication, though, as The Last Black Flower is his second album as Soothsayer Orchestra, a mere 2 years after the self-titled debut. But does dedication equal quality?” One man, three projects.

Mithridatum – Harrowing Review

Mithridatum – Harrowing Review

“Here is a sheer cliff face of an album; if you’re hardy enough to attempt the climb, please sign this waiver absolving AMG Industries of responsibility for injury or death. Mithridatum debuts with Harrowing, five tracks of dissonant death metal that dare the listener to keep pace as the trio scrambles ever upward. If any album demands artwork from the late, great Lewandowski, it is Harrowing.” Disso-dares.

Seum – Double Double Review

Seum – Double Double Review

“They say you should never judge a book by its cover, so I didn’t. Even though the cover of Seum’s sophomore Double Double set off alarm bells in my head concerning the quality and style of the music contained therein. But garish as the art is, it might be the best thing about the album. Seum’s brand of stoner-sludge here is (almost literally) one-note.” Double over.

Elderseer – Drown in the Shallowness Review

Elderseer – Drown in the Shallowness Review

“There seems to be a wellspring of gothic doom in the promo hopper in early 2023, and I’m okay with that. Coming off a heated love affair with Tribunal, I eagerly scooped up the debut by U.K. doomsters, Elderseer and hoped for a similar love connection. Their full-length debut adopts a style in the vein of My Dying Bride, Celestial Season,  and early Paradise Lost, with long, winding songs telling tales of great misery and woe. And at a mammoth 68-minute runtime, Drown in the Shallowness delivers more than your fair share of sadcakes and grief biscuits.” Seer me MMXXIII.