Reviews

Record reviews

Possessed Steel – Aedris Review

Possessed Steel – Aedris Review

“Looks like 2020 isn’t done throwing swords just yet! In the wake cut by Megaton Sword and Eternal Champion comes the battle hungry debut by Canadian trve metallers Possessed Steel. This means war chanting, armor plating and blade worship is back on the menu as this youthful troop regales us with MOAR tales of dungeons, draGONES, demons and distemper.” Sword problems.

Azarath – Saint Desecration Review

Azarath – Saint Desecration Review

“I want to do my best to respect the awe-inspiring Grymm. I inherited Azarath as he was too busy with other things to tackle it. I want to do him justice, to approach the Polish blackened death metal collective with the respect and professionalism due. I would mention that the act began as a side-project of Behemoth drummer Inferno and Armagedon guitarist Bart, currently featuring Embrional vocalist Skullripper and former Lost Soul guitarist Peter on bass. So, given the formidability of the members and the solid catalog ,b>Azarath has amassed, I want to treat 2020’s Saint Desecration with the privilege and honor it is owed.” Honor and desecration.

Gama Bomb – Sea Savage Review

Gama Bomb – Sea Savage Review

“Another year, another Gama Bomb release. Why do we even review these? We know exactly what we’ll get: a fun, fast, professional thrash album loaded with riffs and silly humor. Well, there is a slight lineup change here on Sea Savage, the band’s seventh album, as long-time drummer Paul Caffrey is replaced by James Stewart, also of Vader, Sermon, and Decapitated.” Speed boating.

Stormkeep – Galdrum Review

Stormkeep – Galdrum Review

“The potential of a debut release is a magical thing. This year, I’ve been blown away by first-ever offerings, left dismayed and discouraged by initial encounters, and experienced decided mediocrity with hope for something better next time. Suffice it to say, I like writing reviews with no prior experience for a sound; the temptation to compare an act to what they once were is, to me, less exciting than the comparison to what they could be. And so, from the dark corners of the United States, I present to you Galdrum, the debut full-length from Stormkeep, who play symphonic black metal and have an awesome album cover.” Dark impressions.

Panychida – Gabreta Aeterna Review

Panychida – Gabreta Aeterna Review

Panychida began as a fairly meat-and-‘taters black metal project in 2004, but has gradually been expanding its sound to include a greater emphasis on the classic heavy and thrash bands of yore. Gabreta Aeterna is the band’s most expansive and diverse effort yet, going all-in on the thrash, complete with righteous solos and rock-with-your-cock out passages.” Blackness in a hard place.

Varde – Fedraminne Review

Varde – Fedraminne Review

“It’s not another one of Vardan‘s countless releases, nor is it one of Varathron‘s hit-or-miss endeavors – it’s Varde. Of all the V’s of the metal world (and there are many besides: vampires, villainy, vim & vigor, valor, vomit, vogininth, etc.), Varde may be one I am most unfamiliar. But as luck would have it, these lads are devoted to another “v:” Vikings. Well, sort of.” V is for…things.

Mongrel’s Cross – Arcana, Scrying and Revelation Review

Mongrel’s Cross – Arcana, Scrying and Revelation Review

“I was but a mere Angry Metal Applicant when Mongrel’s Cross released their sophomore full-length Psalter of the Royal Dragon Court during the summer of 2018, and I can still remember sitting down to read Mark Z.‘s review. I was still in the diaper stage of exploring black metal, and having already enjoyed the output of their Australian countrymates Deströyer 666, I happily indulged in Mongrel’s Cross‘ epic, thrashened version of the style.” Read the bones.

Sorceress of Sin – Mirrored Revenge Review

Sorceress of Sin – Mirrored Revenge Review

“I decided to go for something epic to wrap up the year. It’s been a while since I reviewed any power metal or even just vanilla heavy metal, so I figured, what the hell? I’ll pick up UK’s Sorceress of Sin. Now, I’m not the biggest trad-heavy or trad-power fan, and 99% of the time the thing that kills my mood with the genre are vocals. Regardless of the skill exhibited, there are too many greats who adopt a tone and style that just does not appeal to me. Can Sorceress of Sin break the curse with their debut album Mirrored Revenge?” Mirrors of wengeance.

Contrarian – Only Time Will Tell Review

Contrarian – Only Time Will Tell Review

“My first exposure to American progressive death outfit Contrarian was on their third LP, 2019’s Their Worm Never Dies. Despite impressing with their technical skills and old school soul, the material never quite hit loftier heights, resulting in an enjoyable, talent-laden album of the solid variety. Only Time Will Tell is a relatively speedy turnaround and comes with some line-up changes in tow.” Prog after Death.