Swiss Metal

Poltergeist – Back to Haunt Review

Poltergeist – Back to Haunt Review

“In a dimly lit basement sits an easel covered by a dust-kissed veil. Beneath it reveals a portrait illustrating denim-clad, leonine-tousled men. Their faces are sunken and scored, their skin sallow and mottled. Whilst the painting’s subjects may be cruelled by time, the actual bands portrayed here are instead brimming with life, churning out quality music that belies their age.” The olde can still be bold(e).

Yer Metal is Olde: Samael – Passage

Yer Metal is Olde: Samael – Passage

“1996 was a weird time for metal. That year many bands decided to abruptly switch logos on us, and whenever that happens, usually the music gets a lot more “creative” (i.e. tame) and a whole lot less metal. I remember seeing an ad for Samael‘s Passage in an issue of Metal Maniacs and immediately got worried. Gone was the pentagram-infused logo and the Eric Vuille painting of Jesus with his crown of nails coming out of his head, and in their place was a logo that was fresh off of Microsoft Word and a picture of what appears to be the moon.” A bad moon was arising.

Darkspace – Dark Space III I Review

Darkspace – Dark Space III I Review

“The concept of outer space presented in the confines of black metal is nothing new. Samael‘s 1996 classic, Passage, delivered the final frontier via programmed drum beats and symphonic grandeur, making the concept dark yet accessible. Yet, for as great as Passage was, it lacked a certain coldness and aura that goes hand-in-hand with black metal. Leave it to fellow Swiss aliens Darkspace to take the concept of outer space, with its unknown and potentially evil discoveries, and travel at warp speed with it over the course of three minimalist albums and one EP.” Creepy outer space black metal is creepy.

Bölzer – Soma Review

Bölzer – Soma Review

Bölzer know that time is precious and quality cheap in today’s oversaturated music climate. Armed with three songs clocking in at about 23 minutes, the Swiss duo more than charmed the metal community and earned themselves a slot right at the forefront of extreme metal hopefuls dwelling in the underground with their 2013 EP, Aura. Bölzer is back and JF Williams is back with them.

Triptykon – Melana Chasmata Review

Triptykon – Melana Chasmata Review

“Tom G. Warrior has had a lot to prove since his blunders in the early 90’s. But it seems metalheads can finally put to rest any doubt that Tom knows what he’s doing, more than anyone, when it comes to punishing and dark recordings. The most startling thing is that even over 30 years into his career, he’s still getting better at it; his hybrid of black, doom, death and thrash metal never more convincing than in his latest effort, Melana Chasmata.” Noctus dons his Tom G. Warrior scarf and t-shirt for a hugely fanboyish salute to the man, the myth, the creator of Triptykon.

Yer Metal is Olde:  Samael – Ceremony of Opposites

Yer Metal is Olde: Samael – Ceremony of Opposites

We at AMG have a sense of history and like to think we’re in touch with metal’s ancient lore (kindly refrain from jokes about Steel Druhm’s age). With that in mind, we thought it might be fun to highlight notable albums released between twenty and thirty years ago in a new feature we call…YER METAL IS OLDE! First on the geriatric block is Samael‘s evil classic Ceremony of Opposites, released way back in the halcyon days of 1994.

Things You Might Have Missed 2013: Paysage d’Hiver – Das Tor

Things You Might Have Missed 2013: Paysage d’Hiver – Das Tor

“Christmas sure came early this year! Swiss ambient black metal enigma Wintherr is back in black (and white and gray) with his 10th (!) full-length demo release Das Tor under the Paysage d’Hiver moniker, and it greets you like a hug from an old friend. For those already familiar with Wintherr’s aesthetic approach of making frigid black metal that was likely recorded with an 8-track in the middle of a blizzard, you can stop reading here and fire up the cassette deck, because Das Tor makes no changes to the sound Wintherr has perfected over the last 15 years. All you need to know, dear reader, is that it slays and deserves all 80 minutes of your attention.” We haven’t highlighted much low-fi, primitive black metal lately, but JF Williams thinks this is worth the press. The cover is pretty damn cool too.

Things You Might Have Missed 2013: Bolzer – Aura

Things You Might Have Missed 2013: Bolzer – Aura

“This year produced a great deal of excellent EP releases, but the Swiss duo Bölzer’s mini-LP Aura managed not only to be the best of the bunch, but also beat out most full-lengths with three tracks and 23 minutes of some truly next-level occult black/death metal. The record features perhaps one of the best riffs of 2013 in “Entranced by the Wolfshook,” which marries a Blut Aus Nord-ian guitar tone with pseudo-Wagnerian orchestral synths and an absolutely bangin’ main riff that you can’t help but meet with a shit-eating grin and grimace. Seriously – it’s the kind of metal-as-all-hell lick that an appreciation of which should serve as a litmus test to expose the false amongst our ranks.” JF Williams draws your attention to an EP you might have missed which may or may not feature the Riff of the Year! I like riffs. Do you?

Mumakil – Flies Will Starve Review

Mumakil – Flies Will Starve Review

“Swiss grindcore legion Mumakil take their name from the gigantic, elephant-like creatures that appear in the Lord of the Rings novels. Also known as Oliphaunts (as the Hobbits of middle-earth refer to them) these 6-tusked monstrosities come from the jungles of Far Harad and are often ridden into battle, covered in armour and even more spikes, by the Haradrim. They are just as magical, and just as terrible, as dragons. It is from these beasts that Mumakil draw their name, and from their lineage hope to extract a sense of heaviness, ferocity, and steer trampling power. Their third full-length, Flies Will Starve, certainly plays like a stampede. At just over thirty-five minutes, this record is composed of twenty-four tracks that do their absolutely best to crush and grind the listener underfoot.” AMG has never been accussed of reviewing too much grindcore, so here’s Natalie with some grindcore, from Switzerland no less!