2023

Lumen Ad Mortem – Upon the Edge of Darkness Review

Lumen Ad Mortem – Upon the Edge of Darkness Review

“Australian black metal is strong, and hoping to add their names to the list of Strayan luminaries is Lumen Ad Mortem (The Dying Light). Formed in 2019, Upon the Edge of Darkness is their debut, and promises grim melodies from the “floor of the Australian forest.” The question of whether Australia has forests or not crossed my mind, but over-analysis is rarely a good idea with metal.” Under the Down Under moon.

Anachronism – Meanders Review

Anachronism – Meanders Review

“The word ‘meanders’ itself describes more than just the state of lesser dissonance heavy or atmospheric acts who clash songs out of existence with contrapuntal Tetris. Rather, Anachronism with their latest leans on the artistic concept of the meanders as they might appear in a mosaic, ornamental patterns of winding or interlocking lines.” Musical blocks in sonic temples.

Trastorned – Into the Void Review

Trastorned – Into the Void Review

“Wheat dies fast; chaff lives on forever. What that means for thrash, I don’t know, because that genre will relive the good ole days until the barn burns down. I also don’t know what that means for Trastorned. The Chilean quartet have spent 15 years working out the perfect homage to the genre with their debut, Into the Void. It’s mean. It’s fast. It sounds exactly how you want it to sound. But those three points mean little these days, and it will take so much more for these thrashers to survive the thresher.” Harvest tunes.

Mask of Prospero – Hiraeth Review

Mask of Prospero – Hiraeth Review

According to the promo, “Hiraeth” is a Welsh description of pain: “…a mixture of longing, referring to the sense of homesickness tinged with grief and sorrow over the loss. A yearning for that which has passed.” Mask of Prospero channel this grief into their sophomore effort Hiraeth, crisp metalcore weaponized with progressive metal to a complex and atmospheric degree.” The misery shows.

Iron Void – IV Review

Iron Void – IV Review

“U.K. old school doomers, Iron Void have been kicking around in one form or another since 1998. Their style is a no-nonsense mash-up of classic 70s and 80s doom sounds and trends with all the expected names referenced. There’s a core of Black Sabbath worship with nods to Pentagram and Saint Vitus accounted for. There’s also a mix of biker and epic doom influences dotting the landscape for extra punch. On their smartly-titled fourth album, this well-traveled three-piece demonstrate that they posses the knowledge and ability to deliver the doom thrills when their songwriting holds up.” Doom troopers in the lost void.

Rigor Sardonicous – Praeparet Bellum Review

Rigor Sardonicous – Praeparet Bellum Review

“What have the Romans ever done for us? Apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, a fresh water system, and public health? According to Rigor Sardonicous, a language to use as an idiosyncratic gimmick. Their name, and the majority of their song and album titles are in Latin, Praeparet Bellum—roughly, Prepare for War—being no exception. It marks their return after an eleven-year hiatus but seems to more or less pick up from where Ego Diligio Vos left off. Low-fi, grimy death-doom so low it’s barely within the range of human hearing, and so gritty and slow it feels like drowning in a vast quantity of sand.” Rigor mortis.

The Privateer – Kingdom of Exiles Review

The Privateer – Kingdom of Exiles Review

“I am generally a defender of themed metal. If Viking metal is considered a valid genre, then so should pirate metal. It’s just a shame that the latter is spearheaded by a band (which shall remain unnamed) that has gone from a mixture of comedy and epic to full meme-lord. It has cost the entire genre in legitimacy, and it now seems as if pirates can be nothing but silly cartoons. The Privateer stages a mutiny on that school of thought, however, aiming for a return to the adventurous and dramatic seafaring tales of yore.” Booty raiding.

Wothrosch – Odium Review

Wothrosch – Odium Review

“Greece. The Hellenic Republic. Land of gods and titans. Home of turquoise seas, moussaka, ouzo, and … a surprising number of death metal bands. New kid on the block, Wothrosch is looking to tap into that scene on its debut album. The three-piece out of Athens dropped two singles in 2022, both of which now appear on Odium, the band’s full-length debut.” Death in the isles.

Dismal – Via Entis Review

Dismal – Via Entis Review

“Gothic and symphonic metal, as with all metal, are sub-genres beset with mediocrity. Nowhere more so than Italy, a country known for  painfully-earnest musical excess and silliness. A few years ago, Italy’s Dismal unveiled a record which was, kindly, shit. Quinta Essentia tried to pull together classical and metal sounds into a moody gothic atmosphere but it roundly failed to do so, principally due to jarring songwriting and half-baked production. Now in 2023 Via Entis is their next effort.” Truth in advertising.

Faithxtractor – Contempt for a Failed Dimension Review

Faithxtractor – Contempt for a Failed Dimension Review

“Death metal was my first love. It began with a steamy night with Morbid Angel’s Domination during my freshman year of high school. Lust blossomed into torrid love, as I violently consumed everything the first decade of death metal had to offer. In recent years, something changed. The fire of my passion flickered as I watched the wrinkles form on old-school death metal’s face.” Death and rebirth of the fanboy.