1349

Memory Garden – 1349 Review

Memory Garden – 1349 Review

“Well, this is a yuletide surprise. A new Memory Garden album was not on my bingo card for Covid-ravaged 2021. To set the stage, Memory Garden emerged out of the 90s Swedish power/doom scene that birthed such acts as Tad MoroseMorgana Lefay and Sorcerer. Like these somewhat better-known brethren, their sound was regal, polished, classy, and bedecked in the finery of both doom and heavy power metal. Since their last release was way back in 2013, I’d assumed they were in the garden themselves.” A pox on 2021.

Svarttjern – Shame Is Just a Word Review

Svarttjern – Shame Is Just a Word Review

“The moon is full, the candles in my bedroom are flickering, and the neighborhood feels like it’s burning to the ground. The sirens scream up and down the street, the homeless behind the dumpster are cursing at each other, and the drug dealers in next door’s complex are firing warning shots into the air. My bartending friends say the place is overcome by angry, aggressive creeps. And my colleagues at the psychiatric ward say the patients are howling at the moon. It’s like a re-imagining of Carrie, minus everyone’s favorite whipping boygirl. Yet, it’s a perfect night for the chaos that pours from my speakers.” Blackness in the night.

Mayhem – Daemon Review

Mayhem – Daemon Review

“A new Mayhem release is the most exciting thing to happen in metal this year. Unlike most other bands who offer refinements and (ideally) improvements on their established sound with each release, Mayhem exhausts a sound on each full-length by exhausting a theme; as the sound’s purpose is to express the theme, the sound’s purpose is fulfilled once the theme is expressed. This means the lazy reviewer can’t merely compare the new Mayhem record to prior ones and base his analysis on that without completely missing the point of the record at hand — Mayhem’s career is an anthology, not an arc.” Mayhem‘s Hell awaits.

Rimfrost – Expedition: Darkness Review

Rimfrost – Expedition: Darkness Review

“Though every one of the band’s records is a pleasure to listen to, Rimfrost is the result of years of honing one’s sound to achieve near-perfection. It is, without a doubt, the high-water mark of the band’s career. It’s I, it’s Bathory, and it’s Immortal at their best. It’s big, it’s full, and it’s goddamn epic. There’re incredible riffs, blazing solos, melodic passages, and so many memorable moments. Which spells doom for Expedition: Darkness. How can one ever top their pinnacle release? The answer is: most can’t. But Rimfrost did.” Here be the gushing.

1349 – The Infernal Pathway Review

1349 – The Infernal Pathway Review

“Though 2014’s Massive Cauldron of Chaos backed off the nightmare of Demonoir and Revelations of the Black Flame to have a little more fun, this Norwegian quartet still has Demonoir on its mind. Already seven levels deep into ‘The Tunnel of Set,’ how much deeper will The Infernal Pathway go?” The road to Hell is paved with stuff.

Infernal Execrator – Obsolete Ordinance Review

Infernal Execrator – Obsolete Ordinance Review

“Infernal Execrator is a band that enjoys beating its listeners into tenderized meat, then massages the broken flesh with salt and vinegar. Their 2014 debut, Ad Infinitum Satanic Adherent, was a nonstop bloodletter that didn’t leave much to the imagination. But this year’s Obsolete Ordinance appears to have the flavors of a midsummer stew. How rich are these flavors?” Stewing in evil juices.

Horizon Ablaze – The Weight of a Thousand Suns Review

Horizon Ablaze – The Weight of a Thousand Suns Review

“Records that pair abstract, artsy gore with a thematically rich title are the telltale wrappings of albums that may as well be the metal world’s equivalent of Oscar bait; you don’t have to listen to Horizon Ablaze to know that they deal in a progressive, forward-thinking strain of black/death metal. And yeah, most of those records are good, but The Weight of a Thousand Suns is especially fucking good.” There goes the tease.

Watain – Trident Wolf Eclipse Review

Watain – Trident Wolf Eclipse Review

“From Rabid Death’s Curse to Lawless Darkness, Sweden’s Satanic three-piece, Watain, have enjoyed one of the best careers the black metal community has ever seen. With each release, the band explored more and expanded farther than the record before. The result is that 2007’s Sworn to the Dark and 2010’s Lawless Darkness are a couple of my favorite albums of all black metal. But, then, a peculiar thing happened. That thing was 2013’s The Wild Hunt.” Hunting season is over.