Alestorm – Curse of the Crystal Coconut Review

Alestorm – Curse of the Crystal Coconut Review

“Figuring out what a band sounds like is akin to writing a biography: look first to the influences. Alestorm’s biography would need chapters devoted to a beloved and trve band named Bal-Sagoth. Early Alestorm material is based around the idea that it would be fun if Bal-Sagoth were Scottish, got drunk, played sea shanties, and kept the keyboard heroics.” Who ordered the Ale with Bals?

Eyeless in Gaza – Act I: The Protagonist Review

Eyeless in Gaza – Act I: The Protagonist Review

“Band names are important. They can often tell you a lot about a band or artist. Of course, the music matters most but I will frequently, while plumbing the murkier depths of Bandcamp, stick on a track purely on the strength of a band’s name. That is how I came to find Chained to the Bottom of the Ocean, for example. Conversely, a poor name can be a big negative, although, as Gazpacho demonstrate, a stellar band can rise above a terrible moniker. Every now and again though, I stumble across something I want to like simply because of the name. And that is how I feel about Eyeless in Gaza.” What’s in a name?

Atavistia – The Winter Way Review

Atavistia – The Winter Way Review

“Do you miss Wintersun? Are you hoping Jari Mäenpää gets his groove back soon? Have an epic melodeath itch that no amount of black metal shenanigans can scratch? Well, Atavistia is here to take your mind off Jari’s attempts to convince you to build a recording studio for him to finish Time II.” Low winter sunblind.

Sorcerer – Lamenting of the Innocent Review

Sorcerer – Lamenting of the Innocent Review

“Sweden’s Sorcerer has had a bouncy ride through the ages. They released a series of demos I really enjoyed back in the early 90s and then completely vanished from the metal scene for some 20-plus years. They reappeared in 2015 with a comeback album I slept on, then knocked me flat, silly and senseless with 2017s stupendous The Crowning of the Fire King. That album’s expertly crafted blend of traditional and doom metal was impossible to resist and Fire King seized my Record o’ the Year glory easily. Naturally I was quite stoked to receive the followup, Lamenting of the Innocent. With a concept based around the Inquisition and witch trials, all signs and omens pointed to another big dose of classy metal with hooks by the boatload.” No one expects the Swedish Inquisition!

Solar Flare – Solar Flare Review

Solar Flare – Solar Flare Review

Solar Flare, a five-man crew, has been a part of the Ohio metal scene for six years now, playing a blend of one part 80’s power metal and one part NWoBHM. Frontman Ethan Jackson, a classically trained vocalist, demonstrates impressive vocal range in the higher registers from the get-go.” Flare ups.

Sodomisery – The Great Demise Review

Sodomisery – The Great Demise Review

“Sweden’s Sodomisery began as a project that included live members from the monstrous Diabolical, as well as Katatonia‘s Niklas Sandin on bass and Netherbird‘s Johan Fridell on vox. At the completion of their 2017 self-titled EP, Fridell and Sandin left and a new lineup formed. Borrowing from their experiences with Diabolical, Sodomisery unleashes a crushing mix of black, death, Swedeath, thrash, and melodeath for their debut, The Great Demise. I know what you’re thinking: that’s a lot to digest. Well, at least the record title sounds uplifting?” Big death, big prizes!

Sinister – Deformation of the Holy Realm Review

Sinister – Deformation of the Holy Realm Review

“I’m always happy to see old school death metal bands that are still around and putting out new music, especially when that music is as good as Sinister‘s. Though they formed in 1988, this Dutch group’s 2017 album Syncretism was my first exposure to the band and my neck has never been the same.” Deform the neck bones.