2.5

Crypt Monarch – The Necronaut Review

Crypt Monarch – The Necronaut Review

“Sometimes, you need something a little bit different. Other times, you need something a lot a bit different. In times other than those, you need a lot of somethings a lot a bit different. This is one of those times for me; for whatever reason, I’m not finding that 2021 is a good year for new music – at all. So I have increasingly been opening my arms and ears far and wide in an attempt to find something different, something new to excite me and rekindle the spark. This path has today led me to Crypt Monarch, a stoner doom band from Costa Rica, and The Necronaut, their debut full-length release.” Lost in Necropolis.

Hexenklad – Heathenheart Review

Hexenklad – Heathenheart Review

“Canada’s Hexenklad is a semi-supergroup of sorts, boasting members of SIG:AR:TYR, Eclipse Eternal and Pagan Ritual. On their second full-length Heathenheart they dish out a wide-ranging variety of pagan black/folk tunes bearing marks ranging from Moonsorrow, Ensiferum and Windir. They’ve also taken the opportunity to pose for some excellently over-the-top LARP Guild photos and videos. Talent is abundant, as is the ambition.” Heathen hearts, big eyes.

Planet of the Dead – Pilgrims Review

Planet of the Dead – Pilgrims Review

“A doom/stoner album with songs about classic horror and sci-fi books and movies? Sounds right up my alley. New Zealand’s Planet of the Dead take on all sorts of material, from Dune to Alien to Slaughterhouse 5, and do so with a sludgy simplicity here on their second album, Pilgrims. Their debut album, Fear of a Dead Planet, came out just last year, so this is a pretty quick turnaround by today’s standards. Channeling the usual suspects such as Black Sabbath and Kyuss, and coming off a bit Bull Elephant-adjacent, this quartet hits the sweet spot in album length, with eight songs spread out over less than forty minutes, making for an release that’s easy to get into from start to finish. Do they hit the mark on all eight tracks?” Space sludge.

Yngwie Malmsteen – Parabellum Review

Yngwie Malmsteen – Parabellum Review

“At the ripe age of old, Yngwie Malmsteen is back with his 873rd full-length release. But, unlike some of his more recent outings, the man explores his neoclassical roots. This means it took him 3.5 more days than usual to write the album. He also put to death 19 guitars during rehearsal and 74 in the making of Parabellum. All deaths were the result of friction from his finger-play, setting them on fire. But even though the man has been releasing albums before the invention of the calendar, no one has reviewed any of his albums at AMG. So be it, I said.” Wanko tango.

Cavern Deep – Cavern Deep Review

Cavern Deep – Cavern Deep Review

“Fuck mushrooms, man. Sure, that sounds pretty extreme, considering their healing properties and whatnot, but everyone’s favorite vegan meat substitute/hallucinogen/pizza topping contains some serious nightmare fuel. Take what they do to insects, for instance. “Dude, they’re ants,” you might scoff. Have you ever played The Last of Us? Also, Mario. Plumber extraordinaire. Eats one mushroom, gets “tall”, and kicks poor, defenseless turtles into each other while headbutting blocks for pocket change, glowing flowers made of fire, edible stars, and MORE MUSHROOMS. Shit ain’t normal, folks. So when Swedish trio Cavern Deep decided to pen a story about 50 archaeologists who discover a subterranean world loaded with luminescent fungi, you best believe that fuckery is afoot.” Shroom for growth.

Bottomless – Bottomless Review

Bottomless – Bottomless Review

“One of the most anticipated releases on my radar this month was a debut from brand new Italian doom metal act Bottomless. Most of said anticipation came from the fact it featured Messa‘s outstanding vocalist Sara Bianchin on bass rather than vocals. That seemed such an odd twist that it made me curious what the Bottomless sound would consist of. As it turns out the band travels in the same circles as vintage Pentagram and Saint Vitus but with a slightly more stoner-esque edge than either of those classic acts possessed.” Love letters to the Doom Lords.

Vomit Ritual – Callous Review

Vomit Ritual – Callous Review

“When I first read the name Vomit Ritual, three thoughts occurred to me. The first was that our tenured professor in all things vomit, Doktor Mark Z, should probably be reviewing this. The second was that Vomit Ritual is a rather funny band name in metal’s typical macabre and absurd sense of humor. What type of ritual involves vomit? Is the vomit procured beforehand, or do the participants need to vomit during the ritual? Who knows? Who cares? The third was reading Vomit Ritual in the phrasing of Death’s “Zombie Ritual,” which is rather amusing. Try it at home, the review will be here when you get back.” Ralph roundtables.

Fell Harvest – Pale Light in a Dying World Review

Fell Harvest – Pale Light in a Dying World Review

“There was once a time when doom metal was one of my preferred sub-genres of metal. My favorite bands entranced me with big riffs, meaty production and despondent power. But I’ve fallen out of love; vast swathes of the scene is content with mediocrity, with backwards-looking blandness. It’s not as ear-screechingly terrible as the worst of black metal, nor as laughably amateurish as power or folk metal can be. It’s just mostly boring and I found it hard to connect with new bands. It’s been a few years and I recognized within myself that it was high-time I dipped my toes back in. Why not do so with a debut, self-released album called Pale Light in a Dying World by Wyoming’s Fell Harvest.” Bummer crop.

Domination Campaign – Onward to Glory Review

Domination Campaign – Onward to Glory Review

“From the ashes of Australia’s Psycroptic rises a new band to take its place in the sun: Domination Campaign. Except that’s not a great metaphor for the situation, because Psycroptic is fine and still doing its usual musician thing, but I wanted to write a dramatic intro to pique your interest. You see, Domination Campaign and their debut full-length, Onward to Glory was originally a solo project by Jason Peppiatt, who is the lead vocalist in Psycroptic.” Death, taxes, and yellow journalism.

Nocturnal Hollow – Triumphantly Evil Review

Nocturnal Hollow – Triumphantly Evil Review

“The classic Swedeath sound, as pioneered by Entombed and Dismember, has drawn way more flies than honey with its buzzing, hacksaw style over the last 30-plus years. In that time the genre has been well and fully beaten into the very core of the Earth, with countless bands trying their hand at the greasy till. For all the oversaturation this niche has endured, it still remains a highly engaging style when done well, as recent releases by LIK and Helslave can attest. Venezuela’s Nocturnal Hollow have been in this game since 2011 and Triumphantly Evil is their sixth full-length of unabashed Swedeath worship, though I concede I’d never heard of them until we got this promo.” Evil and proud.