2009

Cormorant – Dwellings Review

Cormorant – Dwellings Review

Cormorant is a band that I probably would have never found on my own. Instead, I just randomly got an e-mail from their promoter a couple years back, where she hooked me up with the band’s 2009 release Metazoa. I was duly impressed by what these coasties had to offer, so when I saw that these guys had a new record coming out, I definitely reached out to get a promo of it. And I’m happy that I did, though I think that Dwellings is a different beast from Metazoa. Bad? Definitely not. But did the band grow and get a lot better? It seems like the maintained a pretty even keel during the two years away.

Fejd – Eifur Review

Fejd – Eifur Review

Last year I received Swedish folk-metallers Fejd’s Napalm Records debut with great excitement. I had been listening to the band for a long time and was really impressed with their material in general. Their earlier demos I en tid som var and Huldran had both been constantly on my playlist since I downloaded them (and with good reason). But while I was not disappointed with Storm, the material didn’t blow me away as much as the earlier demos had. Maybe this was a “slump” or something, but it didn’t quite live up to those standards.

Drudkh – Handful of Stars Review

Drudkh – Handful of Stars Review

Not to be snatchy or anything, but I have to say that Drudkh is probably one of the most hyped underground black metal bands of all time (to the point of not really counting as underground anymore, I think). After Microcosmos made a big splash in 2009, I wasn’t sure that they were going to be pulling out a new record in 2010, but the band is back with a record that is proving to be a major disappointment for a lot of fans. It’s not a surprise, however. How do you follow up a record that was hailed as the greatest thing since Varg Vikerness first took a shit on a microphone and called it art?

Arise – The Reckoning Review

Arise – The Reckoning Review

Arise was a little late on the uptake on the first go around of the Gothenburg sound, forming in 1996, but really getting their first demo out there in 1998 and getting signed about the time that all the death metal elitists I knew were already writing off the sound as “done”. However, unlike most of the bands from that era, they are still alive and kicking and putting out music of the style that was popular at the time. There’s some confusion about this record, which according to some sources came out last year, but it’s being promoted right now by Regain with a release date of the 22nd of March (which means it’s out now). It has, indeed, been a few years since Arise put out their last album, but even with the departure of two members, they don’t seem to have lost any steam.

Oskoreien – Illusions Review

Oskoreien – Illusions Review

Oskoreien is another one of those DIY projects that I was directed to which delighted me to check out. There was a time when you, as a metal guy, probably got friended by Oskoreien on MySpace, when the creator was in full-on promo mode. The tracks that I remembered hearing were very much in the Ensiferum / Wintersun kind of vein. Lots of sweep picking and sort of melodic death influences. So when I got my hands on the Illusions EP I wasn’t sure what to expect.

Things You May Have Missed: Kalisia – Cybion

Things You May Have Missed: Kalisia – Cybion

One of the most surprising records of this year for me and one that I’d sort of forgotten about until recently was Kalisia‘s epic concept album Cybion. Sold online as a single track for very cheap, this is one long-ass amazing progressive soundscape that probably shouldn’t be missed. These guys come from France which puts […]

Be’lakor – Stone’s Reach Review

Be’lakor – Stone’s Reach Review

Be’lakor is an Australian melodic death metal band that has been getting some serious attention in the underground despite the fact that much melodic death metal has pretty much been declared by the scene to be dead on arrival. I’d been reading about them for some time so I just wrote them a message on MySpace and the guys were cool enough to send me a copy to review. And I can see why they’re so eager to get their music out to the masses, it’s a bit like ear heroin.