2021

Tribulation – Where the Gloom Becomes Sound Review

Tribulation – Where the Gloom Becomes Sound Review

“I’ve loved Tribulation backwards. After Dr. Fisting‘s review introduced me to Down Below, I paid it forward to my fiancée, whose reaction was initially lukewarm. But after we witnessed the band play at the Dynamo Metalfest festival, she became an even bigger fan than I was, and she started spinning their material relentlessly. This obsession exposed me to much of the band’s back catalog, from the recent gothic-oriented material to the early Entombed-style death metal, and even branching off to guitarist Jonathan Hultén’s excellent dark folk solo album Chants From Another Place last year.” Gloom for rent.

Endezzma – The Archer, Fjord and the Thunder Review

Endezzma – The Archer, Fjord and the Thunder Review

“It’s a silent and foggy evening on the banks of your fjord. You’ve finally got a moment to yourself, away from the chaos of the clan. You press play on your Windir tape as you sit back to watch the fog unfurl over the water. Then a light. Then an arrow. All of a sudden a buff trio of mythological malevolent creatures arrive to upset your reverie and rain fire upon your name. Endezzma has arrived with a slow, evil intent that rapidly turns to chaos and hellfire.” Fjord world problems.

And Now the Owls are Smiling – Dirges Review

And Now the Owls are Smiling – Dirges Review

“While padding lightly through the damp forests of local Seattle trails, I’ve encountered foreboding signage cautioning passerby of barred owl swoopings. In broad daylight, owls have been known to swoop down with virtually no sound and claw at the back of people’s heads with their sharp talons, oftentimes drawing blood. Thankfully, I have not yet experienced such a spooky and downright horrifying encounter myself, but I do know of multiple runner friends who have found themselves in one of these harrowing situations. I have little reason to believe And Now the Owls are Smiling‘s band name was inspired by the vengeful owls of the Pacific Northwest seeing as the one-man band hails from Norfolk, England.” Hoot force.

Zeahorse – Let’s Not (and Say We Did) Review

Zeahorse – Let’s Not (and Say We Did) Review

“I’m three reviews in and, having begun with an unexpected but wholly welcome 3.5, I then slid through a decent 3.0 to a rather disappointing 2.5. Is Australia’s Zeahorse the band to halt the slide with their third full-length outing, Let’s Not (and Say We Did)?” Zea the pattern?

Yoth Iria – As The Flame Withers Review

Yoth Iria – As The Flame Withers Review

“The debut of a band formed by seasoned veterans is, in a way, the best of both worlds. You get the fresh perspective of a new artist, eager to try something different, without the inexperience that may lead to errors in performances or songwriting. You also get all the good of a collection of artists who know what they’re doing, without the expectations that come with extensive back catalogs, hard-earned fan bases and established styles. Yoth Iria is one such acts, and As The Flame Withers is such a debut.” New black is the new black.

Grima – Rotten Garden Review

Grima – Rotten Garden Review

“Atmospheric black metal. We all like to pretend we’ve had our fill. I fully expect to scroll down on this review to comments bemoaning lupine throne room infestations and the Snowy Forest Industrial Complex. I get it. Few things have worn out their welcome in the new millennium more than atmoblack and Bernie Sanders memes. But the fact remains that the sharp harshness of black metal and the soothing beauty of ambient passages go together like chocolate and peanut butter, and there are still plenty of artists treading the well worn wooded paths of this sound. Siberian Federal District denizens Grima play it better than most.” Morbid gardeners.

Dreamslain – Tales of Knights and Distant Worlds Review

Dreamslain – Tales of Knights and Distant Worlds Review

“It involved a lot of bushwhacking, riding across three passes, through streams, losing our way, carrying our bikes up the backside of two mountains, and being eaten alive by black flies. We made it, though, and because we are stupid we did it again a month later. When we found a review of the trail, several years old by this time, the summary read, ‘I can only recommend this ride to the most foolhardy of idiots.’ Where am I going with this? Read on, dear friend, read on.” A dream to some… a nightmare to others!

Accept – Too Mean to Die Review

Accept – Too Mean to Die Review

“The AC/DC of Germanic metal is back! Even lineup changes and a global pandemic couldn’t keep the metal hearts in Accept from beating their 16th album of classic 80s-style metal into life. With a new bassist and a third guitarist in tow, Too Mean to Die finds these ageless vets sitting in a pretty good place with an album’s worth of tried-and-true Teutonic tuneage.” Play nice with the mean, olde men.