2.5

Metal Church – Congregation of Annihilation Review

Metal Church – Congregation of Annihilation Review

Metal Church have walked uphill most of their decades-spanning career. Launching in the heat of the 80s thrash explosion, they were never fast enough for the speed merchants and didn’t quite fit in with the traditional metal genre either. Despite very good early releases, they never got the traction or notoriety of acts like Metallica or Anthrax.” Church of missed opportunities.

Sporae Autem Yuggoth – …However It Still Moves

Sporae Autem Yuggoth – …However It Still Moves

“The somewhat ominously titled…However, It Still Moves is the debut of Chilean death-doomsters Sporae Autem Yuggoth. Without being able to parse the Latin, but being informed by the promo material that theirs is a “Lovecraftian moniker,” all this adds up to quite a foreboding piece. This portent proves pretty accurate upon pressing play. What unfolds is an hour of spooky, synth-accented, gritty death metal that’s essentially funeral doom with a grimy low-fi production.” No sudden movements.

Servers – The Vertical Plane Review

Servers – The Vertical Plane Review

“It’s been quite a while since I last reviewed anyone hailing from even close to my neck of the woods but, this week, I present for your perusal Servers. Hailing from Barnsley in South Yorkshire, UK,  the band—the label blurb tells me they’re a quintet and then proceeds to name only three members—return with their fourth album, the follow-up to 2019’s Ad Nauseam. Servers take the title of The Vertical Plane from a book of the same name about the (apparently) infamous Dodleston mysteries in 1985.” To serve mankind prog.

Sunbeam Overdrive – Diama Review

Sunbeam Overdrive – Diama Review

Sunbeam Overdrive as a name conjures the gaudy—a would-be leisure suit-wearing hotshot cruising down the coastal highway, top-down, sunglasses on, radio cranked. But the 90’s California kid in me hears this modern style of progressive metal that borrows more from aged successful radio-friendly acts like A Perfect Circle and Sevendust than anyone who plays in the more expected noodling and tricky rhythm definitions of the genre.” Sun’s out, prog’s out.

Savage Grace – Sign of the Cross Review

Savage Grace – Sign of the Cross Review

Savage Grace are a band now relegated pretty deeply into the dustbin of history, with only a small cadre of elder metal aficionados remembering their brief but entertaining forays into speed/traditional/NWoBHM from 1983 to 1987. They appeared on Metal Massacre II in 1982, but unlike other acts on that compilation like Warlord, Armored Saint, and Overkill, they never got to that next stage of their career, though they should be famous for some of the worst album art in metal history.” Grace in your face.

Tarchon Fist – The Flame Still Burns Review

Tarchon Fist – The Flame Still Burns Review

“It feels like ages since I last reviewed Tarchon Fist. Nearly four years ago, Apocalypse provided a fun but deeply flawed heavy metal experience, despite the wonder that is “Proud to be Dinosaurs.” Now it’s 2023 and these Italian steel addicts forge ahead with The Flame Still Burns, their fifth full-length, filled with new stories of war, wengeance, wictory, and, of course, 9/11—more on that later. With great excitement, and perhaps a small scoop of trepidation, I enter the Tarchon arena.” If at Fist you don’t succeed…

Runemagick – Beyond the Cenotaph of Mankind Review

Runemagick – Beyond the Cenotaph of Mankind Review

“Sweden’s Runemagick have been banging away at the extreme metal world since the late 90s. With a sound traveling from basic nuts n’ bolts death metal into doom-death, these magick wielders have put in over 3 decades of sweat equity with 12 albums to show for their efforts. That makes it all the weirder that I’ve never heard them until grabbing the promo for album number thirteen, Beyond the Cenotaph of Mankind. Making my decades-long oversight all the more glaring, Katatonia drummer, Daniel Moilanen has manned the kit for Runemagick since 2002. Oh, the shame! With a poser check on Steel frantically underway at AMG HR, I ran back through their voluminous back catalog to sample their wares.” Spells of concealment.

Mezzrow – Summon Thy Demons Review

Mezzrow – Summon Thy Demons Review

“Another rando and another band I should already know but don’t. Mezzrow has been around since the late ’80s, trying to bring America’s brand of thrash to the halls o’ Sweden. For various reasons—issues with their label and losing band member after band member—all that came out of their struggles was 1990’s Then Came the Killing. A ’91 demo later, and Mezzrow was no more. Fast forward sixteen years, and the band reforms for a live performance. Their small but passionate fanbase was excite. Would Mezzrow record a new album?” Not Merzbow.