2.5

Alien Force – We Meet Again Review

Alien Force – We Meet Again Review

“Take a moment, if you will, and try to recall what you were doing thirty-five years ago. I can’t do that myself, because I’m Twelve, but you should try anyway, if only to appreciate the fact that Alien Force last released a full-length album about that long ago. There have been a few reasons for this, but I bring it up mainly to share my respect for the determination and longevity of these four musicians. The Danes of Alien Force play traditional heavy metal, and their third full-length release, We Meet Again, carries within it many of the same inspirations that can be heard on their debut and sophomore records from the 1980s.” Ancient aliens.

Hypocrisy – Worship Review

Hypocrisy – Worship Review

“Like Angry Metal Guy said in his review for Hypocrisy‘s A Taste of Extreme Divinity, there aren’t enough people who know of Hypocrisy. I’ll add to that by saying if you don’t know the brainchild of Peter Tägtgren, you’re an idiot, your mom hates you, and all your friends think you’re ridiculous. Look in the mirror and repeat after me: ‘I’m a nobody.'” Tough love and flagrant Hyprcrisy.

Khemmis – Deceiver Review

Khemmis – Deceiver Review

Khemmis, along with Pallbearer, Crypt Sermon, and Spirit Adrift, were once at the vanguard of an exciting new wave of American doom metal. Between 2012 and 2016 these acts burst onto what appeared to be a promising and burgeoning scene, each offering an exciting mixture of old and new sounds. 2021 finds most of these once-promising acts on a bit of a downward trend.” Deceive or reprieve?

Fornhem – Stämman från Berget Review

Fornhem – Stämman från Berget Review

“What a month and a bit it’s been, huh? The notoriously stingy site that is AMG has suddenly begun handing out 4.0s and 4.5s like candy on Halloween. We’ve been awash with blazingly fast tech-death, weird disso-death, avant-garde black metal, stoner, and prog. Know what we haven’t had much of? Good ole fashioned black metal. You know what I’m talking about: the classic stuff. The records you put on when someone says they like “all genres of music.” The collections that scare your non-metal friends. Well, Fornhem is here to try to join the party with a refreshingly unpretentious platter of Nordic black metal.” No bergrets.

Holy Death – Separate Mind From Flesh Review

Holy Death – Separate Mind From Flesh Review

“There’s a Goldilocks Zone for musical complexity. If it’s too complicated, say, skronky dissodeath with lots of time changes, a certain segment of metal fans will feel like listening to it is work. They’ll deride it for being pretentious. Some will question, jokingly or not, if they’re smart enough to understand it. On the other side of the spectrum, certain folks will equate that with boring if it’s too simple. They may consider it too easy; low effort. Oddly, no one seems to wonder if they’re smart enough to understand what makes minimal music good.” Clever brutality.

Omnium Gatherum – Origin Review

Omnium Gatherum – Origin Review

Omnium Gatherum have been at the forefront of the Finnish melodeath movement since 2003, conspiring with countrymates Insomnium and Amorphis to slather the globe in heavy, melancholic tuneage. They’ve shown themselves to be gifted at merging sadboi introspection with hooky melodeath moments on killer albums like New World Shadows and Beyond, and 2018s The Burning Cold was another quality platter, improving on 2016s somewhat somnambulant Grey Heavens. Since The Burning Cold however, nearly half the band’s lineup has changed over, with them losing a guitarist, bassist, and drummer. Armed with new members they’ve also shifted towards a new approach.” Ominous gatherings.

Be’lakor – Coherence Review

Be’lakor – Coherence Review

“In a stunning display of journalistic talent, I actually still agree with the 3.5 I awarded to Be’lakor for their last record all the way back in 2016. Vessels was a solid successor to what distinguished gentlemen regard as one of the best one-two punches of melodic death metal: Stone’s Reach and Of Breath and Bone. It was an accomplished musical development from these records, though not a real development in quality. The 5-year gap since this is an especially long time in a world of 3-year album cycles, so does this indicate another assured step? A return to form?” Form and emptiness.

Cognos – Cognos Review

Cognos – Cognos Review

“Music that sounds like it is all-important and all-encompassing just strikes a chord with me, transporting me beyond the mundane and into a cosmic realm of endless possibilities. Cognos’ self-titled debut taps into such omnipresence, which is why it caught my eye, but are the aforementioned chords struck or is there naught but dissonance ahead?” Cognos ov the cosmos.

Deviant Process – Nurture Review

Deviant Process – Nurture Review

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: technical death metal can be a fickle mistress. For a genre so overflowing with talent, much of the actual music can come across as rather soulless, and despite all the intricacies, a lot of releases appear surprisingly formulaic. In short, I’ve been burned before. But then I look to recent releases from bands like Alustrium, Symbolik, and Allegaeon; releases that serve as a potent reminder that not all is lost, and that when the tech-death hits, it hits hard. It was with this sunny outlook that I plucked Nurture, the latest release from Deviant Process, from the promo pit.” High hopes and technical problems.