2022

A-Z – A-Z Review

A-Z – A-Z Review

“The last Fates Warning album, 2020’s tepid Long Day Good Night may have marked the end of the band (pure speculation, frens), but the fellas have not been resting on their laurels. Look at this summer alone: bassist Joey Vera has been touring for Mercyful Fate, and Ray Alder and ex-drummer Mark Zonder are dropping their straight-ahead metal album, A-Z, this week. Next month Jim Matheos does the same with his new band, Kings of Mercia. If you’re a long-time fan like me, this is exciting stuff!” ABCs of Fate.

Seventh Storm – Maledictus Review

Seventh Storm – Maledictus Review

“When a musician has a protracted affiliation with a certain band and then gets the freedom to do his/her own thing, sometimes you end up with a funky batch of seabiscuits. Take for instance Seventh Storm, the new project by long-time Moonspell drummer Mike Gaspar. With 20-plus years manning the kit for the Portuguese black/folk/goth/prog titans, I’m not sure what folks were expecting from his solo phase, but I feel safe saying Maledictus isn’t it.” Strange waves.

Hell Fire – Reckoning Review

Hell Fire – Reckoning Review

“I vividly remember writing the review for Hell Fire’s 2019 release Mania. I was sitting in a folding chair in my empty, about-to-be-sold house, passing the time while an HVAC person repaired my apparently damaged furnace. I sat there typing with my headphones on, letting the San Francisco band’s beautiful guitar harmonies and journeyman heavy/speed/thrash metal soothe my heart, a heart still aching from an unanticipated $2000 bill. I remember at the time thinking that I might be underrating Mania, wondering if the stress of moving wasn’t affecting my ability to be objective.” Hell bills coming due.

Early Moods – Early Moods Review

Early Moods – Early Moods Review

“With a name like Early Moods, this promo looked very out of place bobbing about in the AMG promo muck. It sounds like something a 60s jazz artist would dub his debut album, and it doesn’t so much as hint at its doom on roids character. That’s a marketing shame, as the band offers a unique and interesting take on the style pioneered by the likes of Black Sabbath, Pentagram, Witchfinder General, and Trouble. Formed by musicians from various thrash and death metal projects, Early Moods came together to attempt a marriage of classic doom with traditional heavy metal ideas and melodies.” Heavy dudes, doomy moods.

AMG’s Unsigned Band Rodeö: Ogu Malu – Nulla Rimane

AMG’s Unsigned Band Rodeö: Ogu Malu – Nulla Rimane

“Back in the primordial days of this here blog, we attempted something called “AMG’s Unsigned Band Rodeo.” The basic idea was to select a bunch of unsigned bands and give them the collective review treatment to find the most worthy buried gems. It was our humble effort to remind folks that the metal underground is still an important part of the world of metal.” Sludge is the new grey.

Hautajaisyö – Ei hauta kysy lupaa Review

Hautajaisyö – Ei hauta kysy lupaa Review

“It’s always nice to get what you expect. Lately it’s been slim pickings in promo land—my vulture-esque colleagues have snatched up what little was there to begin with for the month of August, leaving me with naught but death metal and grindcore to choose from. Despite not having a ton of experience with the style—and yes, that is a disclaimer—I went with death metal. Finland’s Hautajaisyö, now releasing their fourth full-length album Ei hauta kysy lupaa, are promoted as death metal, used that cover over there for their album, and apparently believe “in raw and brutal music and dark themes.”” Haut in the city.

Grigorien – Magtens Evangelium Review

Grigorien – Magtens Evangelium Review

“They play black metal, olde and colde and so very full of molde. There’s not a synth or twinkly chime to be found, nor are there any solos, clean vocals, or leads. This is wall-to-wall riffs filled to the brim with a trademark disdain for organized Christianity and humans in general. As you would extrapolate from that information, you may or may not also find a macro-boner or two for Satan. Not that you would be able to guess that based on the lyrics, as the vocals are as unintelligible as black metal vocals have ever been, just as they should be.” Maximum Satan.

Fleshrot – Unburied Corpse Review

Fleshrot – Unburied Corpse Review

“Another day, another death metal album. This must have been how reviewers back in the time of my younger youth felt when rethrash brought us swaths of sweaty song-named bands who littered the 4th to 5th spots on the local concert circuit. For every Blood Incantation or Astral Tomb that pops along—bands who play recognizably death metal but with a sense of ambition or divergence—there are at least a dozen other Dead and Dripping or Molder style bands that leak out of the collective pool of putrid palm-muted chugs. From this same OSDM ooze Fleshrot has seeped into our sudoriferous sump leaving enough of an odor for me to take a second look in the perennial quest to find the most 1991 of what 2022 has to offer.” Slowly we Fleshrot.