Things You Might Have Missed 2013

Things You Might Have Missed 2013: Theocracy – Theocracy (Re-recorded)

Things You Might Have Missed 2013: Theocracy – Theocracy (Re-recorded)

“Once upon a time, Christian metal was completely devoid of bands talented enough to make a name for themselves outside their very small niche [Except for Trouble, of course. — Steel Druhm]. 10 years ago, Theocracy changed all that, and today the budding Christian metal scene boasts supremely talented artists numbering… well, it’s pretty much still just them. Sure, the scene has cracked out a few good releases here and there, but by and large, there’s not a wealth of quality. Despite the relative lack of bands to follow in their righteous wake, Theocracy has still been a pretty significant force in power metal over the last two years, with their highly acclaimed Mirror of Souls and As the World Bleeds albums.” Christian metal gets a bum rap, so in the spirit of the Holiday and love for all Mankind, we make sure you didn’t miss the re-recording of Theocracy‘s debut! God rest ye merry metalheads.

Things You Might Have Missed 2013: Fates Warning – Darkness In A Different Light

Things You Might Have Missed 2013: Fates Warning – Darkness In A Different Light

Darkness In A Different Light is the first album in nearly a decade from prog legends Fates Warning. Arriving on the heels of 2011’s Arch/Matheos project (a Fates Warning album in all but name), Darkness features most of the same lineup except with longtime vocalist Ray Alder back at the mic. Guitarist Frank Aresti makes his first appearance on a Fates record since the early ’90s, and the rhythm section now includes Joey Vera on bass (Armored Saint) and journeyman drummer Bobby Jarzombek. Of course, founding guitarist/songwriter/main guy Jim Matheos is present as well.” How the hell did we miss this one, you ask? Because Steel Druhm was overworked, had to make strategic decisions and mistakes were made. Luckily, Mr. Fisting is here to right some wrongs and save the day.

Things You Might Have Missed 2013: The Schoenberg Automaton – Vela

Things You Might Have Missed 2013: The Schoenberg Automaton – Vela

The Schoenberg Automaton first caught my eye with their self-titled 2010 EP, which I probably found while browsing Bandcamp in a Meshuggah-induced stupor, keeping an eye out for anything promising that my penniless ass could download. The three-track tour de force immediately turned me on to the Brisbane based tech-death group and their jittering, atonal, and surprisingly refreshing style. Since that excellent EP, the Aussies have had three years to muster all of the necessary insanity for a full-length release that matches the intensity and freshness of those three songs which first put them on my radar. Vela had better damn well deliver.” Our man Kronos tells you about an Australian death crew you might have missed and probably shouldn’t have!

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: Ulver – Messe I.X–VI.X

Things You Might Have Missed 2013: Ulver – Messe I.X–VI.X

The good people reading this blog will certainly not be offended if I start this review with a personal note. The problem is that, sometimes, I feel that in order to be able to express an individual judgement on an album, you have to try and see things from a different perspective. The world is full of people in bad faith and scribes with no taste in music, but problems arise when the two categories merge and ignorant self-assuredness is given a blank page and a word processor. With this in mind, the point of view on the opposite side of the spectrum is undoubtedly the most interesting and challenging one, so for this reason, and for this reason only, Messe I.X–VI.X is an incredibly arrogant and presumptuously conceited piece of contemporary music.

Things You Might Have Missed 2013: Cóndor – Nadia

Things You Might Have Missed 2013: Cóndor – Nadia

“At first glance, this band’s name looks like that of a typical thrash metal band. This definitely has to do with my learning of a fairly unknown Norwegian thrash metal band with a nearly identical name a few months ago. But even then, just look at the form of the word “Cóndor” – two syllables, starts with ‘C’ and ends with ‘r’, and a mere six alphabets in total. This word simply has great potential to be crafted into a pointy, symmetrical logo with polish effect in the style of, say, Havok’s logo. Stereotypes, however, aren’t always accurate.” Happy Metal Guy is easily confused by band names and stereotypes, but he overcomes these disabilities to clue you in on some good doom/death you may have missed.

Things You May Have Missed 2013:  Patrons of the Rotting Gate – The Rose Coil

Things You May Have Missed 2013: Patrons of the Rotting Gate – The Rose Coil

“My summer vacations weren’t very… productive. Here’s a quick laundry list of my early Grymmness: blowing on Nintendo cartridges to get that damn pink screen to stop flashing, trying (and failing) to learn how to skateboard, playing guitar in a proto-metalcore band that would make early Converge shake their heads in embarrassment, swimming in a ice-cold pool in New Hampshire, etc. Needless to say, my summers were for lounging and goofing off. So when I ask how was your summer and you say, “Oh, it was okay, I just spent the entire summer writing, recording, screaming, playing, programming drums, producing, mastering, and even doing the artwork for the debut album of my one-band progressive black metal band. Nothing major!“, you are either: a) gleefully full of shit, or b) multi-talented Irish lad Andrew “Manshrew” Millar, sole proprietor of Patrons of the Rotting Gate, and mastermind behind their impressive self-released debut, The Rose Coil.” Grymm sets his review phaser on fanboyish glee and blasts way about something you might have missed.

Things You Might Have Missed 2013: Vyrion’s Soundcloud Releases

Things You Might Have Missed 2013: Vyrion’s Soundcloud Releases

“AMG loyalists may recall my review of Vyrion‘s debut way back in late 2011 and how impressed I was by this unheralded upstart act from Australia. If you missed that review or drank away the memories thereof, Vyrion plays a fairly progressive style of black metal with post-rock, melo-death and traditional metal influences. The material on their eponymous debut effectively blended these disparate styles into some really impactful and memorable moments and left me wanting more.” Steel Druhm is once again singing the praises of largely unsung Aussie black metallers, Vyrion. He’s also demanding you all cease and desist from missing their new material. You have been warned….

Things You Might Have Missed 2013: Masters of Disguise – Back With a Vengeance

Things You Might Have Missed 2013: Masters of Disguise – Back With a Vengeance

“As a wise man named Mr. Fisting Himself once observed, the latest trend in metal is finding the most obscure acts from the past and repackaging them as underground, cult and cool, or to quote the man Himself, embarking on “the slow journey up it’s own ass.” Taking part in this mining mission to Uranus, Masters of Disguise is a band wholly created to pay homage to the extremely under known mid 80s speed metal act Savage Grace. Whom, you ask? Exactly.” Talk about wallowing in obscurity! These guys are so far up metal’s ass they may never be seen again, but I thought the same thing about their progenitor 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?