Reviews

Record reviews

Without God – Siberian Tunes: Purple Clouds Review

Without God – Siberian Tunes: Purple Clouds Review

“Hailing from Russia, Without God formed back in 2008 and have released a pair of full-lengths, the last coming out in 2014. Reemerging in 2021, the band have already released a nice little EP entitled Siberian Tunes: The Green Light and have made the interesting choice to immediately follow it with related LP Siberian Tunes: Purple Clouds. Without God play a big, burly style of doom metal that manages to include a pretty large range of influences.” From Russian with RIFFS!

Carcass – Torn Arteries Review

Carcass – Torn Arteries Review

“When English extreme metal legends and multi-genre pioneers Carcass dropped monumental comeback album Surgical Steel in 2013, it hit like a ton of bricks. Perhaps it partly boiled down to the sheer surprise factor of an unlikely return, combined with the unexpected level of quality after a 17-year gap since signing off with the often maligned Swansong in 1996. Recently in the AMG backrooms, a number of staff weighed in on their stance regarding Surgical Steel some eight or so years after the fact. I was a little surprised by the indifference shared by some.” Hardening of the legacy.

Aeons – Consequences Review

Aeons – Consequences Review

Aeons play a form of progressive metal which, like most progressive bands, sounds an awful lot like what has come before, with melodies and deathcore vocals fighting it out. Don’t get too excited at this never-before-heard sound, however. This is Born of Osiris by way of Thy Art is Murder with a massive detour through Veil of Maya. If Aeons could be said to have an “angle,” it’s that it embraces its influences while incorporating an even broader palette.” Consequences and repercussions.

Blazon Stone – Damnation Review

Blazon Stone – Damnation Review

“There are plenty of well-documented examples of a younger band blatantly ripping off the sound, style, and mystique of an older, more established act. Agalloch brutally stole Ulver‘s schtick. Primal Fear looted the Judas Priest playbook lock, stock, barrel, and leather chaps. None of these however were as flagrant as the wholesale thievery perpetrated by Blazon Stone upon the unsuspecting buccaneers in Running Wild. You see, Blazon Stone stole not only Running Wild‘s entire sound and pirate concept, but named themselves after one of their records, and the title of their debut album Return to Port Royal directly references Running Wild‘s Port Royal platter. In a nutshell, they raided Running Wild‘s booty hard enough to cause generational shame and trauma.” Seven seas and five sticky fingers.

Criminal – Sacrificio Review

Criminal – Sacrificio Review

“What do you do when you’re determined to review a death metal album but the only one floating in the festering AMG promo pile is from an established band with eight prior albums? Why, you throw caution to the wind of course. You make a boastful promise to no one in particular that you’ll listen to each previous release before taking the latest for a spin. At least, that’s the road less traveled that I chose when I encountered Sacrificio, the upcoming LP from Chilean thrash/death group Criminal.” Criminal punishment.

Brainstorm – Wall of Skulls Review

Brainstorm – Wall of Skulls Review

“Ever since I stumbled upon Brainstorm by way of Symphorce by way of Ivanhoe, I’ve found these German heavy metal masters to be one of the most reliably ass-kicking acts running. And what a run they’ve been on of late. Every album since 2014s Firesoul has been extra-inspired and brimming with fist-pumping, blood-angering metal classics. 2018s Midnight Ghost was the best in a long line of very good to great outings and it gave me everything I crave from a traditional metal album. Led by powerhouse vocalist Andy B. Franck, Brainstorm have long shown a knack for crafting tunes loaded with hook after hook, infused with beefy, muscular riffage in the Nevermore / Iced Earth vein, and few bands can match their ability to craft a monster chorus. On thirteenth opus Wall of Skulls, absolutely nothing has changed.” Trophy metal.

Claymorean – Eulogy for the Gods Review

Claymorean – Eulogy for the Gods Review

“Serbia isn’t a big hitter for metal. Controversial movies perhaps. A geographically-unlikely affinity for basketball. Even war crimes in the early 90s. Yet despite a lack of internationally recognized metal acts, it clearly has a love for the trvest, classic metal of the 80s. Claymorean’s fifth full-length album entitled Eulogy for the Gods was written as an homage to Mark ‘The Shark’ Shelton of Manilla Road, to Virgin Steele and to the 80s generally.” Hail, hail to 80s.

Whyzdom – Of Wonders and Wars Review

Whyzdom – Of Wonders and Wars Review

“The time has come for this young(ish) sponge to return to his roots—bombastic, cheesy symphonic metal helmed by a classically trained soprano. This genre of metal used to be my absolute favorite for many of the same reasons people lambast it today, up to and including the extreme lactose concentration, countless layers of orchestration, and the wall of sound production that so easily overwhelms the neurally frail. I craved the feeling of my entire brain lighting up, desperate to keep up with the immense amount of stimuli bombarding it at once. Now on their fifth full-length album entitled Of Wonders and Wars, France’s Whyzdom attempt to recreate that same firework exhibit inside my nervous system.” Wonder wail.