1.5

Slob – Deepwoods Shack of Sodomy Review

Slob – Deepwoods Shack of Sodomy Review

“These here boys ain’t right in the head. UK duo Slob graces the world with a debut that dares to ask the question: “What if the hayseed rapists from Deliverance started a brutal death metal band and wrote a whole bunch of songs about sodomy?” It would be tempting to nickname these gentlemen “Gay Panic: The Band,” except Slob isn’t just interested in the kind of sodomy practiced belowdecks in the Royal Navy. Instead, they present us with an expansive and all-inclusive vision of the act.” Sodomy, sodomyou.

Depleted Uranium – Origins Review

Depleted Uranium – Origins Review

Depleted Uranium scrape together the contrasting textures of the Dillinger Escape Plan and cut them with nastier shots of powerviolence. Pivoting between tense builds and haywire blasts of aggression, they try to make the best of Origins’ sixteen minutes and change, never dropping the pace for too long.” Half live.

The Risen Dread – Night Hag Review

The Risen Dread – Night Hag Review

“I appreciate a good concept album. Sometimes an album concept merely offers a quirky angle to music which is already enjoyable. Sometimes it is central to the album’s enjoyment itself. In the case of Ireland’s The Risen Dread and their debut record entitled Night Hag, there is a theme worthy of greater exploration and artistic endeavor: mental illness. Important though this subject no doubt is, concept albums that fail forget that substance trumps style, and similarly music trumps message.” Hag time.

Avskräde – Det stora tunga sjuka Review

Avskräde – Det stora tunga sjuka Review

“It’s perhaps not without reason that romanticizing so-called “trve black metal” has become a meme. Avskräde seem to take seriously the idea that the more blistering, raw, and crusty-sounding music is, the more worthy it is of the black metal moniker, all else be damned. This mysterious Swedish duo presents their debut as an uncompromising slice of the past, containing “nothing but traditional BLACK METAL exclusively.”” Cult is for closers.

Dead Space Chamber Music – The Black Hours Review

Dead Space Chamber Music – The Black Hours Review

“A doom band emerges from the hills of Southwest England. So does a dark neoclassical outfit, along with a group of ambient specialists dedicated to building sound collages… oh, and a neofolk collective is there, too. They’re not going to do battle, as metal as that might be—they can’t, because they’re all the same unit. Dead Space Chamber Music channels their restless muse into The Black Hours, an ambitious fusion of techniques that spends much of its run time reinterpreting material from the medieval and Renaissance periods.” Chamber of horrors.

Lynx – Watcher of Skies Review

Lynx – Watcher of Skies Review

“Boy have we gotten lucky with some sweet traditional metal fare this month. Recent releases from both Black Soul Horde and Tower are sure to worm their way onto a few year-end lists—at least for the olde at heart. Upstart band Lynx aim to join this exalted group with their debut, Watcher of Skies.” Cat scratch fever?

Hex A.D. – Funeral Tango for Gods & Men Review

Hex A.D. – Funeral Tango for Gods & Men Review

“Much like a first love, a first review will always hold a special place in your heart. I popped my AMG cherry on Hex A.D.’s cheeky 2018 offering, Netherworld Triumphant. While dad-metal isn’t usually my thing, the confident and eclectic blend of influences the band served up, ranging from Cathedral to Sabbath, may not have been original, but it sure was a lot of fun. 2020’s follow-up, Astrotongue in the Electric Garden, dialed up the sex references even further, doubled down on the psychedelia, and signposted a band on the cusp of something great. When Funeral Tango for Gods and Men dropped, I took one look at the zany cover and figured this was it: these Norwegians were ready to ascend.” Funerary fuzz.

Siren’s Rain – Rise Forth Review

Siren’s Rain – Rise Forth Review

“Sometimes, the cover of an album is meaningless, you know, just a cliched picture of a skull or zombie or something to adorn the record sleeve. Sometimes, however, the artwork can tell you a lot, both about what to expect from a record and about the band behind it, which presumably signed off—or in a few cases even designed—the artwork in question. In the case of Tacoma, Washington’s Siren’s Rain and their self-released debut album, Rise Forth, the artwork triggered an all too familiar sinking feeling.” Graphic displays.

Cosmic Burial – …to the Past Review

Cosmic Burial – …to the Past Review

“Atmospheric black metal is the gift which keeps on giving. It will not stop giving, even if you beg it to. Since the mid-90s it has grown out of its blackened roots, adopting folksy strings, shimmering guitars and cosmic synths as it has developed and stratified. There are now literally thousands of bands doing very similar things, all attempting to stand out through the delicate fusion of black metal with emotive atmospheres. Germany’s Cosmic Burial is one such group – or rather, one such individual given that this is (not unusually) a one-man affair.” Too much past, not enough present.

Trance of the Undead – Chalice of Disease Review

Trance of the Undead – Chalice of Disease Review

“Sometimes you just need an audio beating, to crank that funky brutal music to 11 and let your ears bleed. The issue with a lot of beatdown music is that there’s simply too much of it and not enough contrast, which is why bands like Isis or Opeth were applauded in their heyday, while Tetragammacide and Deiphago are chastised like a class clown. Having your skull beaten in is fine and dandy, but you need some sophistication. A baseball bat made of maple instead of ash, perhaps, or a titanium crowbar instead of iron. Maybe a fist with some pretty rings or maybe even a bedazzled tire iron? Brazil’s Trance of the Undead utilizes predictable beatdown techniques in its blackened death attack.” Discount diseases.