2013

Things You May Have Missed 2013:  Patrons of the Rotting Gate – The Rose Coil

Things You May Have Missed 2013: Patrons of the Rotting Gate – The Rose Coil

“My summer vacations weren’t very… productive. Here’s a quick laundry list of my early Grymmness: blowing on Nintendo cartridges to get that damn pink screen to stop flashing, trying (and failing) to learn how to skateboard, playing guitar in a proto-metalcore band that would make early Converge shake their heads in embarrassment, swimming in a ice-cold pool in New Hampshire, etc. Needless to say, my summers were for lounging and goofing off. So when I ask how was your summer and you say, “Oh, it was okay, I just spent the entire summer writing, recording, screaming, playing, programming drums, producing, mastering, and even doing the artwork for the debut album of my one-band progressive black metal band. Nothing major!“, you are either: a) gleefully full of shit, or b) multi-talented Irish lad Andrew “Manshrew” Millar, sole proprietor of Patrons of the Rotting Gate, and mastermind behind their impressive self-released debut, The Rose Coil.” Grymm sets his review phaser on fanboyish glee and blasts way about something you might have missed.

Record(s) o’ the Month – November 2013

Record(s) o’ the Month – November 2013

“Since you’ve already been gifted with end of 2013 lists from the AMG staff and know exactly where we stand on the year in music, hopefully you’ll all be too pacified and complacent to notice how late this post is. Though the back end of 2013 was awash with quality releases, November saw that flow reduced to a trickle as the record industry began to wind things down for the year. That said, there were some bright spots that deserved attention and recognition, and in the interest of being complete and meeting the expectations of our ever demanding readers, we present the Records o’ the Month for November.”

Things You Might Have Missed 2013: Vyrion’s Soundcloud Releases

Things You Might Have Missed 2013: Vyrion’s Soundcloud Releases

“AMG loyalists may recall my review of Vyrion‘s debut way back in late 2011 and how impressed I was by this unheralded upstart act from Australia. If you missed that review or drank away the memories thereof, Vyrion plays a fairly progressive style of black metal with post-rock, melo-death and traditional metal influences. The material on their eponymous debut effectively blended these disparate styles into some really impactful and memorable moments and left me wanting more.” Steel Druhm is once again singing the praises of largely unsung Aussie black metallers, Vyrion. He’s also demanding you all cease and desist from missing their new material. You have been warned….

Things You Might Have Missed 2013: Masters of Disguise – Back With a Vengeance

Things You Might Have Missed 2013: Masters of Disguise – Back With a Vengeance

“As a wise man named Mr. Fisting Himself once observed, the latest trend in metal is finding the most obscure acts from the past and repackaging them as underground, cult and cool, or to quote the man Himself, embarking on “the slow journey up it’s own ass.” Taking part in this mining mission to Uranus, Masters of Disguise is a band wholly created to pay homage to the extremely under known mid 80s speed metal act Savage Grace. Whom, you ask? Exactly.” Talk about wallowing in obscurity! These guys are so far up metal’s ass they may never be seen again, but I thought the same thing about their progenitor too.

Thrall – Aokigahara Jukai Review

Thrall – Aokigahara Jukai Review

“Aussie black metal is unchartered territory for me, but if not, why not, right! From my early judgments, it doesn’t appear that black metal dominates or has the Aussie metal scene on its knees cowering in fear of the Dark Lord’s return, but certainly a few names lit a fire and I suppose you could say, spiked my interest. Ruin‘s Place Of No Pity kicked off my grim journey of discovery, delivering mighty appealing song structures and evolvingly doomy interludes. Gospel Of The Horns followed suit with ex members of Bestial Warlust making up their dank mix and finally, Deströyer 666‘s Phoenix Rising hit all kinds of home. Their brand of blackened death-thrash can only be described as packed to to the hilt with truly bestial riffing and it set the bar and my expectations sky high for Thrall.” Join Madam X as she throws another blackened band on the barbie in her analysis of Australia’s own Thrall.

Things You Might Have Missed 2013: Bolzer – Aura

Things You Might Have Missed 2013: Bolzer – Aura

“This year produced a great deal of excellent EP releases, but the Swiss duo Bölzer’s mini-LP Aura managed not only to be the best of the bunch, but also beat out most full-lengths with three tracks and 23 minutes of some truly next-level occult black/death metal. The record features perhaps one of the best riffs of 2013 in “Entranced by the Wolfshook,” which marries a Blut Aus Nord-ian guitar tone with pseudo-Wagnerian orchestral synths and an absolutely bangin’ main riff that you can’t help but meet with a shit-eating grin and grimace. Seriously – it’s the kind of metal-as-all-hell lick that an appreciation of which should serve as a litmus test to expose the false amongst our ranks.” JF Williams draws your attention to an EP you might have missed which may or may not feature the Riff of the Year! I like riffs. Do you?

Things You Might have Missed 2013: Kuolemanlaakso – Musta Aurinko Nousee

Things You Might have Missed 2013: Kuolemanlaakso – Musta Aurinko Nousee

“Since all my “Things You Might Have Missed” this year came from the doom genre, I thought I’d shake things up with… some doom/death! Yes I know, not a very big shake up, but worthwhile metal is worthwhile. Anywho, Kuolemanlaakso is a Finnish doom/death act with an insanely complicated name, composed of members from Swallow the Sun and Chaosweaver and they rock a rather simple, but very effective style of death/doom that somehow remains accessible.” This is a release Steel Druhm was supposed to review last month, but he was too overworked (he’s essentially an indentured servant with an iPod and a keyboard). Since he liked this quite a bit, he wanted to be sure you didn’t miss it and feel remorse later. You can thank him with beer.

Cynic Drops “The Lion’s Roar” Lyric Vid

Cynic Drops “The Lion’s Roar” Lyric Vid

I don’t know about you, but Cynic‘s 2008 record Traced in Air is one of my favorite records of the decade. I love Focus and think it’s one of the best records in the history of technical and progressive metal. However, I have previously expressed some skepticism as to the motives of this band. While the Re-Traced EP was an experimental take on the Traced in Air tracks and worked really, really well, I was less enthused with the band’s Carbon Based Lifeforms EP. During that one, I expressed some sentiments that have been floating around the underground in terms of quoting an acquaintance of mine:

Things You Might Have Missed 2013: Procession – To Reap Heavens Apart

Things You Might Have Missed 2013: Procession – To Reap Heavens Apart

“Following along with Avatarium, little know Chilean act Procession released a high quality slab of doom in 2013 that you may have missed. In fact, I probably would have missed it were it not for a tip from a loyal reader. Their sophomore opus To Reap Heavens Apart is right in line with early Candlemass (think debut and Nightfall), While Heaven Wept and Solstice and as such, it’s weighted down with weighty, glum and downtrodden riffs and despairing, yet epic vocals that call to mind the styling of Messiah Marcolin, albeit a more restrained version.” Steel Druhm missed his share of good doom this year and it has him rather perplexed an confuzzled.

Things You Might Have Missed 2013: Trials – In the Shadow of Swords

Things You Might Have Missed 2013: Trials – In the Shadow of Swords

Thrash ain’t doin’ well in 2013. I mean, if you’re really into retro-thrash, there are a bevy of bands that have been producing records that will make your tight pants and oversized shoes excited, but that’s getting pretty stale For the most part, modern thrash metal has basically gone the way of the dodo—serious attempts at thrashing our socks off with groove and cranky screams have fallen deep underground. I blame metalcore. One of the things that’s started happening is that every time someone hears a thrash band that has a slightly screamy vocalist, they say “wow, that’s pretty corey,” which leads to bands that probably don’t deserve it getting called core, especially if there are clean vocals. There are major examples of this (God Forbid) and minor ones, too. Some might be fair, but many are not.