Reviews

Record reviews

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.

Paranorm – Empyrean Review

Paranorm – Empyrean Review

“This may be their debut full-length, but Uppsala’s Paranorm are no spring chickens in the thrash game. According to legend — and the band’s social media accounts — Paranorm was formed by three high school friends on a hot summer night in 2007 to the sound of Megadeth‘s Rust in Peace blasting from the stereo. After an initial run of a demo and a couple EPs, the band has been quiet for the last seven years. What could they possibly have been doing during such a long break from writing? If Empyrean is any indication, they spent the time searching for, discovering, and studying some powerful relic that confers ancient, arcane knowledge of the five magics of metal mastery, because this record is a progressive thrash metal monster.” Paranormal ratings.

In Tormentata Quiete – Krononota Review

In Tormentata Quiete – Krononota Review

“What a profoundly odd band In Tormentata Quiete is. Plenty of Italian bands are grand, pompous, cheesy, and theatrical, but few do it like this one, sporting three vocalists in a range of styles but remaining light on orchestral elements. Their first foray into the halls of AMG was shot down with a 1.0 from Grymm for being unstructured and containing baffling, out-of-place elements like rap breakdowns in the middle of their semi-symphonic avant-garde drama metal. Their second, Finestatico, earned them a 3.5 from yours truly, seemingly fixing everything its predecessor did wrong. Krononota sees another change of the guard in the vocal department, but can they maintain the high standard of before?” Pomp in a weird place.

Suffering Hour – The Cyclic Reckoning Review

Suffering Hour – The Cyclic Reckoning Review

“The dreaded sophomore slump is always a concern after a band bursts out of the blocks with a stellar debut. Expectation and pressure mounts, at least from a fan perspective. In the case of the mysterious Suffering Hour, 2017’s debut LP, In Passing Ascension, created a deserved underground buzz and well and truly placed Suffering Hour on the map as a band to keep a close eye on. With just the intervening Dwell EP in 2019, Suffering Hour took their time in fine tuning and honing their signature sound in preparation of unleashing The Cyclic Reckoning.” Vicious cyclic.