1.5

Inhuman Architects – Paradoxus Review

Inhuman Architects – Paradoxus Review

“You know when you’re struggling to write a meaningful introduction? When you can’t generate anything amusing out of a band’s name (Inhuman Architects) or anything insightful from their album title (Paradoxus), or anything significant from their home country which features a few bands of note but isn’t noted for its metal pedigree (Portugal)? When the artwork is the generic pink/purple/blue collage of death metal’s derivative genres? Or even comment on the fact that such album is their debut release, save for a solitary single? And you don’t even feel excited enough to tease (whether misleadingly or… leadingly?) that there’s something unique or exciting to describe? Yeah. I hate when that happens.” Brutalists.

Tommy Concrete – Hexenzirkel Review

Tommy Concrete – Hexenzirkel Review

“My first thought as my eyes fell upon Hexenzirkel in the promo bin was ‘the year of dumb band names has yet another contender. But Tommy Concrete is not just an ill-conceived band name, it’s the artist name for Tomas Pattinson, whose diverse portfolio includes about a dozen and a half different bands, including a year-long stint in The Exploited. Some years ago his eye turned towards epic prog, because under this moniker he’s churned out at least an album a year since 2016 with music that’s drawn comparisons to Devin Townsend, according to the promo sheet.” Hevy lifting.

Nadja – Luminous Rot Review

Nadja – Luminous Rot Review

“I was surprised how unknown Nadja is around AMG Headquarters. I was parading around the new promo like a goddamn peacock, like “WAOW NADJA‘S GOT A NEW ONE GUISE” and was met by a chorus of “uh, who?” The Canucks’ offerings like debut Touched, Radiance of Shadows, and The Bungled & The Botched made regular appearances on my playlist before I lost touch with 2013’s dolphin-themed Flipper. Since, the duo has released five albums, culminating in 2021’s Luminous Rot, which attempts to bring “post-punk, cold-wave, shoegaze, and industrial” influences into the limelight alongside their trademark “dreamsludge” approach.” Dreamsludge on a sunny day.

Crawling Manifest – Radical Absolution Review

Crawling Manifest – Radical Absolution Review

“I hate to admit it, but I laughed when I first saw the name Crawling Manifest. I immediately had images of babies presenting documentation of the dangerous cargo held within their diapers as they crawl from one location to another pop into my head, and once I saw those images, they were impossible to unsee. My apologies to the band for this, but the strange mind does what the strange mind will do. Radical Absolution is the sophomore record from these Maryland thrashers, coming by way of self-release.” The Manifest is destiny.

Kosmodemonic – Liminal Light Review

Kosmodemonic – Liminal Light Review

“Sometimes around this place, you pick up a promo and just have a good feeling about. You look at the cover and read the promo blurb and, without even hearing a note, you start to mentally prepare yourself for the tongue lashing Steel Druhm will dish out, as you submit an absurdly high score. In the case of Brooklyn’s Kosmodemonic I was making just these preparations.” Grate expectations.

Plasmodium – Towers of Silence Review

Plasmodium – Towers of Silence Review

Plasmodium is described by Metal Archives as “psychedelic black/death metal,” and that is definitely appropriate. Formed in 2016, the Melbourne, Australia, sextet features veteran blood, particularly drummer Matt “Skitz” Sanders of Damaged fame, and Aretstikapha of Mazikeen. Releasing Entheognosis in 2016 to underground interest, it introduced this highly atmospheric breed that doesn’t quite land in death metal or black metal, but somehow fills the dead air between. Featuring blackened vocals and drumming, sophomore effort Towers of Silence features some of the strangest soundscapes of 2021 thanks to its deranged string attack and cosmic ambiance.” Enjoy for silence.

Non Serviam – Le Coeur Bat Review

Non Serviam – Le Coeur Bat Review

“It’s not uncommon for fans of metal to lovingly describe an album as a “tough listen.” There are releases and sometimes entire discographies that can only be appreciated once a specific taste has been acquired. Given enough time and the right mindset though, what once may have been a shock to the system can become as comfortable as slipping into a warm bath or taking off a virus-splattered mask at the end of a long day. Don’t take my word for it; you don’t have to look far to spot avant-garde, genre-fluid bands like Imperial Triumphant gaining attention and garnering praise. This line of thought kept recurring again and again as I listened to Non Serviam’s latest release Le Coeur Bat.” Spiteful sounds.

Pathfinders – Ares Vallis Review

Pathfinders – Ares Vallis Review

Pathfinders’ sound is a robotic casing of groove metal which houses a metalcore rover that it uses to explore expansive concepts of the infinite. The metalcore tag can be a poisonous one in these parts, so let’s be clear straight off the bat: Pathfinders is more Killswitch Engage and less Zao. More djent and less prog. This is your high-school chewing-gum metalcore, back when Linkin Park seemed edgy. This will be deal-breaker for some, and if you are one of those folks who can’t stand the sound, I bid you farewell and Godspeed as you take the escape pod on your journey to the next review.” Explore-core.

Alexander – I Review

Alexander – I Review

“Every now and again, even I stumble across an album that I struggle to overwrite and, in this case, that is because a terrible mistake was made. I picked up I, the debt by Canadian-German duo Alexander after spotting it, alone and unattended in the promo sump, sporting a funeral doom tag. Only it didn’t say funeral doom, it said funeral drone, something I realized only after the No Takesie Backsie policy had kicked in.” Strong policies, harsh consequences.

Ghostly Aerie Coven – Bird of Prey Review

Ghostly Aerie Coven – Bird of Prey Review

“You can get an idea of an album based on its cover. And, uh, wow. Three-eyed literally-horned Forlesen owl (who has fallen on hard times) feeding the head of Christ with a chalice of nails? A whole lotta fuckery to unpack here. Why does Jesus need nails? Of all people, I would assume his iron intake is higher than others. Before I go off the rails with more edgy unfunny comedy, the most important question is: what the hell kinda music is this? Well, if you honed in on the bizarre blasphemy and guessed black metal, ding ding ding!” Owl at the moon.