2022

Burned in Effigy – Rex Mortem Review

Burned in Effigy – Rex Mortem Review

“Melodic death metal is a strange beast for me. It’s one of those genres that almost always sounds good on first listen, but once the novelty wears off, I rarely find myself enamored enough to hang around. I recently joked that Amon Amarth is the only melodeath band I actually like, and while that may not actually be true, the sentiment illustrates what I need in order to like an album of this particular genre. No thanks to sad-boi, contemplative versions of the style; I need riffs and aggression in my melodeath platters.” Burning in elegance.

Ectoplasma — Inferna Kabbalah Review

Ectoplasma — Inferna Kabbalah Review

“Reader, we have before us a scabby and indelicate piece of business. It’s been a busy few shifts at the filth factory for Ectoplasma; Inferna Kabbalah marks the fourth time in recent years that they’ve dropped a compost heap filled with dung and rotting offal on our doorsteps. And a ghastly pile it is!” Nasty plasma.

Oshiego – Jaljalut Review

Oshiego – Jaljalut Review

Oshiego play a very familiar style of death metal, with plenty of old school charm and technical flair. According to the promo material accompanying the album, their sound is described as a “relentless assault” and “crushing,” featuring an “uncompromising old school approach.” I wouldn’t disagree with these accolades outright, because for the most part, Jaljalut proves itself to be quite the “relentless” beast, maintaining a consistent, if overwhelmingly repetitive speed and tone throughout.” Relenting is for losers.

Descent – Order of Chaos Review

Descent – Order of Chaos Review

“If Australia is trying to kill you, then Descent is the club with which it bludgeons its victims. The Brisbane five-piece burst onto the scene in 2018 with Towers of Grandiosity, which worshipped at the altar of the most primitive old-school death metal. But Towers rested too heavily on its Neanderthal influences, failing to make a mark amidst stiff competition from down-under brethren like Faceless Burial, The Plague, and Earth Rot. Descent’s latest attack, Order of Chaos aims to outshine the OSDM riffraff by incorporating weapons from neighboring genres into the band’s arsenal, in defiant response to our review (I assume).” Murder Land.

Ashes of Ares – Emperors and Fools Review

Ashes of Ares – Emperors and Fools Review

“Barlow’s time as the classic Iced Earth vocalist solidified him as one of these legendary figures in my personal mythology, and that legend was only strengthened when I learned that he’d left the band to pursue a career as a police officer after the events of 9/11. His return to the mic with Pyramaze was a pleasant surprise, and I really enjoyed the 2013 self-titled debut from Ashes of Ares, the project he formed with former Iced Earth bassist Freddy Vidales. For whatever reason, I missed Ashes of Ares’ 2018 sophomore platter Well of Souls, but when I saw follow-up Emperors and Fools had found its way into the January promo bin, I threatened violence against any reviewer who might try to take it from me.” War arts!

Oar – The Blood You Crave Review

Oar – The Blood You Crave Review

“In the multiform sea of interpretations permitted by the tag ‘post-black metal,’ Oar direct their course towards singularly grimy, doom-laden waters. The band borrows from the likes of Amenra and Vous Autres in sinister and savage feeling, though eschewing smooth, reverb-laden tones in favor of a more suffocating vibe.” The real question is whether we can make it through a post-black metal review without a reference to Deafheaven.

Lastera – From the Ashes Review

Lastera – From the Ashes Review

“If there’s one musical style I could argue “let me down” last year, it was power metal. Nothing really grabbed me, nothing impressed me, nothing stuck. That’s disappointing, mind you, because I generally love power metal in all its cheesy, crazy glory. So when I came upon From the Ashes, the debut full-length from Danish newcomers Lastera, I didn’t need much convincing to check it out.” Ash power.

Druid Lord – Relics of the Dead Review

Druid Lord – Relics of the Dead Review

“Some 12 years after coalescing around ex members of Acheron, Orlando, Florida’s Druid Lord is back with just their third full-length. A hefty eight years passed between debut, Hymns for the Wicked, and its 2018 follow-up, Grotesque Offerings, on which the death-doom quartet “came up short,” according to our own Grymm.” Speaking ill of the dead.

Abyssus – Death Revival Review

Abyssus – Death Revival Review

“Steps to ensure Steel Druhm throws his dirty ape cash at your old school death metal album: 1) Make it sound like it came from between 1987 and 1992, 2) Be as riffy and aggressive as possible, 3) Tie together nods to Obituary, Asphyx, and Death circa Leprosy / Spiritual Healing, 4) Cram some Possessed influence into all the cracks like so much snot grout. Greek death metal act Abyssus do all these things on sophomore platter Death Revival, and what’s more, they make it fun and mindlessly enjoyable to boot.” Abyssus for all of us.

Worm Shepherd – Ritual Hymns Review

Worm Shepherd – Ritual Hymns Review

“In my very limited experience with the deathcore genre, Shadow of Intent is the master, chief. I’ve never before been arsed with Lorna Shore or any of the rank-and-file, nor do I care that Worm Shepherd have made a lot of waves in a relatively short period. Their debut In the Wake ov Sol dropped a touch over a year ago, and already they’re on Unique Leader and working with what I’m told are some big names. I wouldn’t spank Grier‘s ass over any of this. All I want is some good fucking music. Given their name, I’d say Worm Shepherd are obligated to pied piper my ass to the promised land with Ritual Hymns.” Worm wrangling.