2.5

Obsolete – Animate//Isolate Review

Obsolete – Animate//Isolate Review

“I’ve spent much of this year listening to Obituary and Mortician. Both are death metal, but death metal is a wide field and you can’t mistake either band’s sound for the other’s. To address this, we put bands into subgenres within a subgenre – Floridian death metal, for instance. This is nice because I don’t want to sift through a bunch of Entombed clones to find something like Monstrosity. What about when our subgenres within subgenres cease to be useful to describe a sound? Then we get stuff like slam, which is brutal death metal played a specific way –  a subgenre of a subgenre within a subgenre. If you’re thinking that Obsolete‘s debut Animate//Isolate will lead me down a sub-sub-sub-genre rabbit hole, go ahead and give yourself an executive producer credit.” Old tech.

Betrayal – Disorder Remains Review

Betrayal – Disorder Remains Review

“You might not necessarily think it based on how often I laud cheese-wielding power metal enthusiasts, but every once in a while, I enjoy diving into the catalogue of bands whose primary function seems to be inducing catastrophic rage into the listener, taking them down an inescapable path of unfathomable destruction. It was in hope of this particular catharsis that I began listening to Disorder Remains, the sophomore release from German death metal band Betrayal. Betray the remains.

Endseeker – Mount Carcass Review

Endseeker – Mount Carcass Review

“When I pluck a festering slab of death metal from the fetid pit that is our promo sump – a rare enough occurrence for me – the last thing I expect to be presented with is a political message. No doubt those more learned in the ways of death, will point me in the direction of many a OSDM band that deals in heavy politics but my brain does not connect the genre with current affairs. Hamburg, Germany’s Endseeker, however, do just that on their third record, Mount Carcass.” Death in the news.

Bushido Code – The Ronin Review

Bushido Code – The Ronin Review

“I’m a sucker for odd combos. Purple and yellow for an action movie poster instead of the boring and overused red-blue scheme? Sign me the fuck up. A crossover that’s actually also a convertible? I think that’s fucking stupid but sign me the fuck up anyway. So when I saw that Pennsylvania/North Carolina quintet Bushido Code‘s debut The Ronin came with the thrash metal tag, artwork that looks like a cross between Overwatch concept art and West Coast style graffiti, and stitched together with Japanese samurai themes which may or may not extend somewhat beyond pure aesthetics, I felt compelled to cover it.” Lone Wolf and club.

Soothsayer – Echoes of the Earth Review

Soothsayer – Echoes of the Earth Review

“When thinking of how to describe Soothsayer‘s primitive sound, I thought if the band were a people, they’d be advanced enough to build a pretty mean henge, but they’d definitely still be eating their enemies to steal their battle ability, and if a farmer brought their shaman a vegetable that grew weird, they’d probably worship it.” Protoculture.

Motorjesus – Hellbreaker Review

Motorjesus – Hellbreaker Review

“Windshield time also gives me the chance to re-explore my favorite albums. I rarely listen to new promos on the road. This time is dedicated to albums from the Road Gods. Give me something bluesy, something rocking, something upbeat, something I can blare with windows down and my foot inching closer to the floor. Give me something I can scream at the top of my lungs and shift gears to. The simpler, the better. The groovier, the sweeter.” Jesus repossessed your hot rod.

Wolfchant – Omega : Bestia Review

Wolfchant – Omega : Bestia Review

“I love when the genre is accidentally and maliciously mislabeled by an album’s promo package. It always leads to delightfully gruesome surprises and oh so satisfying pleas and groveling by shocked and dismayed reviewers once the true nature of the promo revels itself. It’s especially amusing since the sadistic AMG management rarely lets reviewers back out once a promo is drawn from the murk and claimed. Karma is a bitch though, and what goes around comes around, and this time it was your friendly neighborhood Steel who got hoisted by his own petard ov judgment when selecting Wolfchant.” Beastly besties.

Nad Sylvan – Spiritus Mundi Review

Nad Sylvan – Spiritus Mundi Review

“To be frank, my expectations were not high going into listening to Spiritus Mundi. As a Nad Sylvan noob, a quick glance at Sylvan‘s promo shots and the choice of album cover had me performing the dreadful sin of judging an album by its cover. The deeper I made it into Spiritus Mundi, however, the less I questioned the numerous times El Cuervo has sung praises of Sylvan‘s progressive rock in each of the ‘Vampire Trilogy’ albums. I unabashedly admit that Nad Sylvan knows how to write a charming album.” Nad spirits.

Les Chants du Hasard – Livre Troisième Review

Les Chants du Hasard – Livre Troisième Review

“Sometimes, you have to try something different. Stagnating into a limited pool of metal quickly leads to burnout, and if there’s one thing I can’t stand… well, it probably wouldn’t be burnout explicitly, but that’s up there for sure. To stave off that awful feeling for as long as possible, I’ve made a conscious effort to be reasonably variable in what kinds of music I review for this site. I tell you this so you’ll understand why it was that when I first scanned through the promotional material for Livre Troisième, the third full-length release from French act Les Chants du Hasard, and saw the line “is it still metal? The question is now irrelevant,” my response was to dive right in, sight unseen.” Les Pretentious.

Arion – Vultures Die Alone Review

Arion – Vultures Die Alone Review

“I don’t put much stock in award shows or competitions. Really, who amongst us does? Ever since the first Metal Grammy went to Jethro Tull metal fans around the world have viewed these sorts of things with more than a little trepidation. So when a band comes my way that came to fame in a competition, it’s more a curse than a blessing. Power metal act Arion (the Finnish act, not the Greek) is such a band. As teens these guys were finalists in UMK, the Finnish qualification program for Eurovision, eight years ago.” Beauty pageant meets the metal world.