Spanish Metal

Eternal Storm – Come the Tide Review and Album Premiere

Eternal Storm – Come the Tide Review and Album Premiere

“Surround myself as I might with dissonant blasts and angular minimalism, all it takes is the first few notes of a melodic lead by Insomnium or mid-era ,b>Amon Amarth and all of my weirdo-cred moves to the back burner. There’s something about that mix of primal aggression and soaring emotion that scratches an itch no other genre can reach, so whenever I happen upon a new melodeath record of exceptional quality, it’s almost a religious experience. Come the Tide, the incredible debut album from Spain’s Eternal Storm, is just such a record.” Seize the tidal.

Strappado – Exigit Sincerae Devotionia Affectus Review

Strappado – Exigit Sincerae Devotionia Affectus Review

“Torture. As essential to death metal lyrics as it is to oppressive regimes the world over, the simple desire to exact pain has spawned countless obscene and horrific technologies. Strappado take their name from one in which the hands are tied behind the back and the victim is then suspended by them. There’s a lineage of bands out there named after torture devices that – as far as I know – starts with Iron Maiden, but Strappado are pretty far down the line from these forebears musically, instead acting as a sibling to the departed but influential Brodequin.” Welcome to the rack.

Hex – God Has No Name Review

Hex – God Has No Name Review

“When I look at the cover art for the sophomore full-length, God Has No Name, by Spain’s Hex, I see a hyperbolic metal label distribution PR blurb made pictorial. ‘Riffs so heavy, so scorching, they splinter the Earth’s crust into black obsidian shard,’ it declares. Straight-faced, it adds ‘A sound so singularly malignant, it tears a hole in the very heavens above. As it rends the firmament, fire erupts from blah blah blah,’ you get the point.” Sounds of an apocalypse fading.

Calyx – Vientos Arcaicos Review

Calyx – Vientos Arcaicos Review

“Maybe an album haunts you with its recollective ghosts, maybe a certain genre only dances with you in the frozen dark of a winters night, maybe that song left a scar that only bleeds when you hear the words. The marks and meanings, the songs and sounds… These things vary uniquely from person to person, but we all experience this phenomenon in some way or other. Spain’s Calyx have added yet another piece to my own perpetually expanding puzzle of music mandated mindsets. To wit, their debut Vientos Arcaicos (“Archaic Winds”) makes me want to turn the lights off, smoke my brains out, and play Skyrim til the Nordic cows come home.” Nordic cows will kill you and everyone you love.

Totengott – The Abyss Review

Totengott – The Abyss Review

“This Spanish trio’s 2017 debut took great pains to emulate the sound of Monotheist and Triptykon, to the point where I wouldn’t be surprised if Tom G. Warrior applied for a restraining order after its release. Nonetheless, the album was still enjoyable, in part because it had one of the best production jobs of anything I’ve ever reviewed on this site. Given that Totengott began life as a Frost cover band in 2013, it’s unsurprising that second album The Abyss largely continues to worship Warrior like he’s a god in human flesh.” Are you still morbid?

Onirophagus – Endarkenment (Illumination Though Putrefaction) Review

Onirophagus – Endarkenment (Illumination Though Putrefaction) Review

“Think of an album as a multi-course meal; many of them give bite-sized but satisfying nutrient-packed portions that not only leave you satisfied, but definitely give you a craving for more. However, a scant few offer just meager tastes of what’s to come, oftentimes leaving the listener malnourished and starving, begging for just another bite. Finally, some bands give you monstrous servings, packed with calories, nutrients, and sometimes things you don’t want to ingest under any circumstances whatsoever, stuffing you full as you’re screaming, “No, please stop… I can’t eat anymore… I’m gonna explode…” and then they keep feeding you well past the point of explosion.” It’s waffer thin!

Altarage – The Approaching Roar Review

Altarage – The Approaching Roar Review

“In their first two albums, Altarage began a career—and a successful one at that—by walking just a few steps behind Portal. Sure, Portal’s most avant-garde ideas never made it into Nihl or Endinghent, but the Australians’ influence on Altarage has always been as clear as either band’s music was murky.” Now THIS is Portal racing!

Inferno – Basado en Hechos Reales Review

Inferno – Basado en Hechos Reales Review

“Let me congratulate you. If you’re reading this, it means you’ve managed to survive “The Great Thrash Drought of 2018.” Thrash is one of my favorite genres in both its single malt and blended-with-other-genre forms, so it was rough having only one album of that style amongst my favorites of last year. There’s just something about the combination of riffs and attitude that makes well-performed thrash untouchable in my book. I’ve been tempted to give in to a sense of hopelessness when it comes to modern day thrash, but rather than relent to this urge, I’ve decided to opt for immersion therapy.” No speed kills.