Swiss Metal

Serpens Luminis – Bright Euphoria Review

Serpens Luminis – Bright Euphoria Review

“Random grabs and promo scarcity are fickle and cruel, that’s how. This time fate handed me Serpens Luminis’ debut Bright Euphoria, which is miles removed from my nearest musical comfort zones. Indeed, its very goal seems to be discomfort. The Swiss band mixes post-metal flow of consciousness with the pummeling blasts of death metal and the icy desperation of dissonant black metal, and filter it through the ramblings of a raving madman. If this description reminds you of Deathspell Omega, you’d be right on the money.” Snakes and deathspells.

Bölzer – Lese Majesty Review

Bölzer – Lese Majesty Review

“I kept the faith that Bölzer were able to deliver a knockout blow leading up to their 2016 debut LP, Hero. Unfortunately, the album left me feeling indifferent and frustrated due to inconsistent writing and questionable vocal choices, leaving scattered traces of brilliance hidden amidst the wreckage. Finally, Bölzer return on their own label and ready to unleash their sophomore LP, Lese Majesty. With increasingly diminishing returns defining their career thus far, can the dynamic duo reclaim the glory and shoot for the stars this time around?” More or Lese?

Schammasch – Hearts of No Light Review

Schammasch – Hearts of No Light Review

“There are two kinds of metal albums that tickle my fancy. The first kind takes a band’s trademark sound, alters it just enough to keep things fresh, but also retains everything that makes that artist or band unique, enjoyable, and otherwise impossible to do without. The other has mere glimpses of what made that band who they are, but throws so many curveballs, surprise left hooks, and a kitchen sink or twelve your way, and demands that you catch it all. Swiss avant garde spiritualists Schammasch most certainly fit into the latter with relative ease. Even after releasing a three-disc, exactly-100-minute monstrosity in the form of Triangle back in 2016, it still didn’t fully prepare me for what Hearts of No Light had in store for me.” That’s a big Schammasch!

Algebra – Pulse? Review

Algebra – Pulse? Review

“On their third full-length, Pulse?, Swiss thrashers Algebra explore some science not-so-fiction topics like artificial intelligence and robots through a groovy yet technically proficient thrash lens. Chaos Edy handles lead guitar and vocal duties. His grunts are reminiscent of those of Max Cavalera, and when combined with the bouncing and aggressive riff style of Phil Void and the lyrics warning of future societal calamities, you can’t help but feel that the spirit of classic Sepultura is being conjured.” Math kills.

Voice of Ruin – Acheron Review

Voice of Ruin – Acheron Review

Voice of Ruin know what they like to do and are continuing to do it. And “that” is melodic death-tinged thrash. Where Purge and Purify felt like out and out Lamb of God worship⁠—and there’s nothing inherently wrong with that⁠—Acheron sees Voice of Ruin expanding their sound a bit more.” Define “a bit.”

Arkhaaik – *dʰg̑ʰm̥tós Review

Arkhaaik – *dʰg̑ʰm̥tós Review

Arkhaaik have, for reasons best known to them, decided to write and perform this in proto-Indo-European (PIE). The PIE tongue, last spoken several thousand years BC, remains only partially reconstructed. And this, according to my extensive Wikipedia research, at least explains the asterisks, which are used to mark reconstructed words. What’s that? Enough linguistic history? Well, there’s more but, if you’re sure.” Dead tongues and other creepy things.

Emerald – Restless Souls Review

Emerald – Restless Souls Review

“Emerald is a time capsule. The two years since our last meeting grayed the shit out of me, but their Swiss cheese popped out just as chipper and evergreen as I remember. I suppose I should appreciate knowing what to expect. 24 years on and 8 albums in, Emerald found their niche and niched the hell out of it. They’re the anti-power power band, the least dense of the heavy metals, sitting too squarely in the center of the palate to love or loathe. Vim without vigor, vinegar without piss, a good script but a poor adaptation. You know the drill—or do you?” Broken gems.

Eluveitie – Ategnatos Review

Eluveitie – Ategnatos Review

“Taking in Eluveitie‘s closing performance on 70K Tons with sentynel, I recognized something: Eluveitie is popular. Not like entry-level popular, not poser popular (well, maybe), but actually popular. The boat’s Mosh Pit Residentia showed up in spades for that set, but with the floor so choked with the trve and weeb alike, group activities like conga lines and dance parties sprung up instead. Everyone knew the songs—hell, I knew the songs. The nonet put on too great a show to discount, far better than other bias-confirming trainwrecks I witnessed that weekend. Maybe, just maybe, I’ve written Eluveitie and Ategnatos off too soon.” Then again…

Down to the Bunker – Misery Review

Down to the Bunker – Misery Review

“There are a few genres that tend to be whipping boys in reviewer circles, hard as we might try to weed out such partisanship. Alt-metal in particular tends to be somewhat divisive, with kvlt types eschewing it as mainstream hackery, and more refined types likewise eschewing it as lowbrow idiocy. Yet others like myself, due to the diffuse nature of the subgenre and its near-universal tendency to approach metal from outside rather than from preexisting archetypes, find it difficult to frame both aesthetically and critically; it also doesn’t help that like with its distant cousins, nu metal and post-grunge, the quality control is often poor at best.” Misery seeks company.