Mörk Gryning – Hinsides Vrede Review

Mörk Gryning – Hinsides Vrede Review

“Ah, youth. A time Steel and Huck no longer remember. When all beer is good, all kisses sweet, and anything is possible. For Goth Gorgon and Draakh Kimera, two teenagers in Sweden, this meant donning corpse paint, forming a band, and releasing an album before they were old enough to legally buy the champagne to celebrate. That album, Tusen År har Gått, was a fun combination of old-school, second wave black metal, with a definite slant towards the melodic. Think early Sacramentum, or, more recently, Wormwood. Tusen År har Gått would go on to be extremely well-regarded in metal circles, spawning a few, less interesting follow-ups.” Gryning pains.

Slow Fall – Beneath the Endless Rains Review

Slow Fall – Beneath the Endless Rains Review

Slow Fall are the newest kids on the Finnish melodeath playground. They’d been skirting the chain link fence, peering in since 2016. Now, finally satisfied with their chosen lineup, the band is coming out swinging, seemingly out of nowhere, with their very first full-length album. On their first try, Slow Fall nail an impressive formula for melodeath.” It’s the slow knife that cuts the deepest.

Pallbearer – Forgotten Days Review

Pallbearer – Forgotten Days Review

“Spear-heading the surge of American doom metal in the 2010s, Arkansas’s Pallbearer were the saddest and slowest of the cohort which also includes the likes of Khemmis and Spirit Adrift. With a simmering melancholy and towering doom-laden riffs, they were simultaneously the most traditional but most fresh of these acts. 2017’s Heartless saw them leaning into progressive territory (and copping them the ‘Progbearer’ nickname) as it strove for expansive soundscapes and used dynamic song-writing. 2020 has been an especially sad year which would seemingly provide plenty of days to be forgotten; how fares Forgotten Days in this context?” Pall of shame.

Undeath – Lesions of a Different Kind Review

Undeath – Lesions of a Different Kind Review

“Man, I was stoked to cover this record until this very moment. 2020 has been a tremendous year for death metal (if little else), and Undeath‘s Lesions of a Different Kind is one of my most anticipated records in the genre. And much to my surprise, it took only a minimal amount of pleas and poisoning to secure reviewing rights from the established death metal experts on staff. But… now what? How does one even sell a record like this, which so brashly speaks for itself? Not to mention one which has enough hype surrounding it that almost anyone with a reasonable interest in death metal has long since had their eyes on it.” Unbuzz.

Wobbler – Dwellers of the Deep Review

Wobbler – Dwellers of the Deep Review

“Those of you who insist we review nothing but the purest and most extreme metal, step away from the computer. The next five paragraphs will upset and irritate you, causing you to lob hit pieces at the Huckster down in the comment section. For there is nothing remotely metal about today’s band of choice, Wobbler. This is music to prance to, not music to bang one’s head to. In fact, one has to be an El Cuervo-like old soul to truly want to dive into this band’s immaculate take on 70’s progressive rock.” Hit pieces go wobbly.

Celestial Season – The Secret Teachings Review

Celestial Season – The Secret Teachings Review

“Talk about unexpectedly bumping into a long lost friend! Back in the 90s when the doom death movement was new and being driven by the “Peaceville Three,” there was a lesser known Dutch group called Celestial Season trying to horn in on the grimly emo fun. I first encountered them when I bought their 1995 sophomore album Solar Lovers and ended up quite taken with their gloomy yet accessible style. There were some great moments and I even loved their rendition of Ultravox‘s classic 80s hit “Vienna.” After that I never heard from Celestial Season again.” Surprise homework assignment!

Infera Bruo – Rites of the Nameless Review

Infera Bruo – Rites of the Nameless Review

“In 2018 I opened my review of Infera Bruo‘s Cerement by hailing its cover art as a perfect encapsulation of the record’s sound. Examining the artwork for its follow-up, Rites of the Nameless, I feel compelled to establish this practice as a tradition when reviewing Infera Bruo‘s albums. The depiction of roots coiled around a skull is striking; not so much because of the image itself, but rather that Rites of the Nameless feels like a conscious effort to connect more deeply with black metal’s roots.” Roots, nameless roots.

Invincible Force – Decomposed Sacramentum Review

Invincible Force – Decomposed Sacramentum Review

“What happens when an invincible force meets a purely lethal object? I’m not sure, but sit down, and I’ll tell you what happens when an Invincible Force meets a big, cuddly, soft-hearted metal reviewer who wouldn’t hurt a fly. Chile’s Invincible Force formed in 2007, and it should come as no surprise that, as a band that took their name from a Destruction track, they initially modeled their sound after the slightly blackened teutonic thrash sound of their heroes. After releasing a host of demos and splits, 2015’s debut full-length saw the band’s sound taking on a more violent approach that verged on death/thrash. Five years later, the promo materials for sophomore effort Decomposed Sacramentum reveal that the band is “leaving behind their early, more scholarly aspirations in favor of something far more sinister.” Force multiplier.