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Alizarin – The Last Semblance Review

Alizarin – The Last Semblance Review

The Last Semblance is the second Alizarin album, and the first that is not instrumental. That’s an important note, because Alizarin is the passion project of a one Josh Kay, who wrote the songs, played the guitar parts, made the album art for, and mixed The Last Semblance.” One man army.

U.D.O. / Musikkorps der Bundeswehr – We Are One Review

U.D.O. / Musikkorps der Bundeswehr – We Are One Review

“If you made a short list of metal luminaries who you’d want to record a massive concept album with a 60 piece orchestra, I have a sneaking suspicion Udo Dirkschneider wouldn’t make the cut. To be blunt, I doubt the raspy-voiced Teutonic terror would make the long list either, yet here we are. You see, the man who once fronted Accept has somehow impressed the Concert Band for the German Armed Forces (Musikkorps der Bundeswehr) into service for a collaboration titled We Are One.” Hot Tuba.

Blood Stronghold – Spectres of Bloodshed Review

Blood Stronghold – Spectres of Bloodshed Review

“Collaborations in music (and metal) have been around since you were a tyke on your grandpappy’s arthritic knee. When they work, differing artists can bring out the best in each other, highlighting each other’s strengths, and masking their weaknesses. Blood Stronghold follows in this grand tradition: an international amalgamation of Australia’s Nightwolf (from Runespell) and veteran Polish drummer Krew (from numerous projects I honestly haven’t of).” Blood is thicker than…forts.

AthanaTheos – Prophetic Era (Or How Yahveh Became the One) Review

AthanaTheos – Prophetic Era (Or How Yahveh Became the One) Review

““French philosophy” is, in some circles, a punchline. It evokes the image of an edgy atheist, fedora on head, sipping his black espresso (symbolic, of course, of the darkness of his existence – the horror of reflecting on Sartre in a café surely cripples the best of men) and smoking a strange, thin cigarette in perpetuity – pretension personified. AthanaTheos, a French black doom atmospheric dissonant epic death metal band has tried their hand not just at an album but an epos – an epic poem set to music.” Profits of doom.

Dawn of a Dark Age – La Tavola Osca Review

Dawn of a Dark Age – La Tavola Osca Review

Dawn of a Dark Age is an Italian black metal duo formed in 2014, brainchild of multi-instrumentalist Vittorio Sabelli (aka Eurynomos, also of Suici.De.Pression), currently featuring vocalist Emanuele Prandoni (aka Anamnesi of Progenie Terrestre Pura and Grind Zero). Sabelli has released five full-lengths since the project’s inception: volumes 1-5 of The Six Elements series (in order: Earth, Water, Fire, Air, Spirit / Mystères). This presumably culminates in sixth full-length La Tavola Osca, even if I’m unsure what it has to do with the elements.” Bend them all.

Meridian Dawn – The Fever Syndrome Review

Meridian Dawn – The Fever Syndrome Review

“In the late 90s and early 00s, yours truly bombarded himself with an unhealthy amount of melodic death metal. Basically, anything and everything that came from Gothenburg, Sweden was feverishly devoured at an alarming rate. All blame goes to At The Gates, of course, but quite a few great albums came from there. Sadly, so did some absolute dreck. But there’s no denying that the groundwork that they, Dark Tranquillity, and In Flames laid for bands to come, because no matter what, it just keeps coming, much to our joy and/or dismay.” Fever and syndrome.

Poltergeist – Feather of Truth

Poltergeist – Feather of Truth

“Switzerland’s Poltergeist are a better-established band than I had initially realized. Sitting pretty with 4 previous albums spreading back to 1989, they benefit from a degree of metal legitimacy, having produced music in the same decade in which thrash metal came into existence. Following a 23-year hiatus, their 2016 comeback suitably impressed the prior AMG reviewer with their tasteful references to many of their better-known 80s contemporaries. 2020 sees their fifth full-length unveiled and it’s called Feather of Truth. Ghost ticklers.

Dismalimerence – Tome: I Review

Dismalimerence – Tome: I Review

“Naming a debut Tome: I is a ballsy move. Not only does it hew awfully close to a famously divisive metal work (Wintersun‘s Time I), but it’s a sign that a band considers this a “serious album,”TM requiring both patience and effort to understand and appreciate. Chicago’s Dismalimerence is nothing if not serious. Its name is an awkward portmanteau of “dismal” and “limerence,” indicating an ugly or depressing infatuation. It doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, and repeating it in quick succession after a few drinks is challenging.” Wherever I may Tome.

Virtual Symmetry – Exoverse Review

Virtual Symmetry – Exoverse Review

“My personal favorite of the AMG banners has always been that most legendary of Yngwie Malmsteen quotes – “How can less be more? That’s impossible!” It’s a perfectly true statement as long as you’re willing to completely miss the point of the original cliché, which, frankly, makes for a great worldview. In that vein, I bring you progressive metal, in the form of the sophomore full-length from Swiss-Italian Virtual Symmetry; that output, Exoverse is the very definition of an album that believes, with everything that it’s got, that less is not more, that that would be impossible.” More is MOOAR.

Fellwarden – Wreathed in Mourncloud Review

Fellwarden – Wreathed in Mourncloud Review

Fellwarden is an atmospheric black metal project created by Fen frontman, the Watcher and joined by fellow Fen drummer, Havenless. Much like many black metal projects we know (think Agalloch or Panopticon), Fellwarden‘s music is inspired by the nature that surrounds them. For the Watcher and Havenless, the nature that surrounds them means the rearing landscapes and quiet, understated majesty of the fells of North-Western England.” Mournclouds in your coffee.