2.5

Amon Amarth – The Great Heathen Army Review

Amon Amarth – The Great Heathen Army Review

Amon Amarth have been raiding and pillaging so long, even Mighty Odin thinks their minds are gone. The Great Heathen Army is their 12th foray into the great unknown, and their “Vikings on the prowl” schtick is as firmly in place as ever (despite a video displaying a dystopian future with MMA and guns). By this point in their long and storied career, we pretty much know what to expect from a new platter, and as with 2019s Berserker, the wheels of the Norse battering ram go round and round.” Rhymin’ and heathen.

Teethgrinder – Dystopia Review

Teethgrinder – Dystopia Review

“Whether in the presence of a low or high grind tide, the quest for more persists. It’s no secret that quite a few of us in the office are sickos looking for a cheap, direct-to-vein thrill. Why just the other day our own El Cuervo was at the water cooler pining for the muddy-muzzled lashing of Ass to Mouth. And who could blame him? Their 2014 outing had a unique charm of blended political samples and rough-tongued tirades against the traditional pummel and pierce of high ethanol grind. Teethgrinder understands this hunger.” Molarity ensued.

Katakomba – Katakomba Review

Katakomba – Katakomba Review

“Swedeath is one of the most stylistically stagnant and overfull genre sumps in metal, with countless bands trying to distinguish themselves by playing olde Entombed or Dismember riffs faster or meaner than their HM-2 wielding brethren. It’s hard to reach for the stars when your feet are so firmly planted in genre foundations, but every year a cadre of new acts test their might. Sweden’s own Katokomba are one of the latest to throw their hat into the everflowing stream that runs alongside the left hand path.” Kombaya.

Odyrmos – Odyrmos Review

Odyrmos – Odyrmos Review

“”Blackened ambient dungeon synth”—thus read the descriptor for this promo. “Sounds fun,” I thought, even if it meant enjoying it ironically. Odyrmos are quite serious, however. Their name means “heavy lament,” and their chosen medium with which to express this is, oddly, a combination of melodic black metal and medieval dungeon synth.” Dungeon drapes and oceanscapes.

Mirage – The Sequel Review

Mirage – The Sequel Review

“A couple of weeks ago I lamented the fact that the band I was reviewing was releasing albums too fast. Thankfully Mirage are here to average things out. The Sequel is the Danish band’s second album, hot on the heels of their 1985 debut, …And the Earth Shall Crumble. Now that’s an album cycle I can get behind! With eight songs spanning forty-two minutes, that’s an average of 1:08 of songwriting per year. A pretty relaxing schedule to be sure.” Suprise reprise.

Pestilent Hex – The Ashen Abhorrence Review

Pestilent Hex – The Ashen Abhorrence Review

“Smear on your corpse paint and sharpen up your spiked wristband, we’re setting the Way-Black Machine to 1990’s Oslo. Pestilent Hex is a two-man Finnish passion project that pays serious homage to the second wave of Norwegian black metal. The band remarkably wraps their sound in a cloak of black lace and gothic misery. They clearly love the bands of this era and pay homage to their heroes with detailed fervor. Pestilent Hex spent nearly five years writing and recording The Ashen Abhorrence.” Black and olde.

HolyRoller – Swimming Witches Review

HolyRoller – Swimming Witches Review

“The stoner rock / stoner metal scene is one littered, perhaps more than many sub genres, with tepid mediocrity. One where the utterly forgettable bands seem to massively outnumber both the outstanding and the awe-inspiringly awful acts. While the likes of Clutch, Monster Magnet and Red Fang stand head and shoulders above most in the genre, I have begun to wonder whether there is something intrinsic in the style that leads to so much tediousness. Can North Carolina quartet HolyRoller buck this trend and avoid the apparent pitfalls that trap so many of their baked brethren to deliver something truly interesting with debut Swimming Witches?” Don’t witches just sink?

Inhuman Condition – Fearsick Review

Inhuman Condition – Fearsick Review

“Formed by members of Death, Massacre and Wombbath, Inhuman Condition hit the streets with a wet, disgusting thud via their 2021 Rat°God debut. It was a painfully retro throwback to late 80s death metal and no new stones were turned, but it was a ton of dumb, beefbrained fun packed with enough nostalgia to bring all the Steels to the boneyard. Now scarcely a year later Inhuman Condition is back with a whole new album. Talk about inhuman working conditions!” Condition critical.

Molder – Engrossed in Decay Review

Molder – Engrossed in Decay Review

“I cannot understate the futility of attempting to introduce this record more accurately than its album art does. For the learned among us, it leaves not a single note in question. But for those of us impaired in the fields of vision or death metal knowledge, I’m compelled to at least give it a shot. Engrossed in Decay, the debut record from Joliet, Illinois’ Molder, is a triumph of slime. Coughing up spores from mycetozoic muck, Molder exhume ten tracks from very recent, very shallow burials in a graveyard that’s been filled to the brim for thirty years.” Mold strategy.