3.0

Lucifer’s Hammer – Be and Exist Review

Lucifer’s Hammer – Be and Exist Review

“The reason why the NWoBHM sound has remained so enduring and viable is its relative simplicity and accessibility. The style is based in hard rock with punk overtones and it was always intended to be catchy and easy to enjoy. Bands like Iron Maiden, Angel Witch, and Diamond Head were pros at crafting infectious tunes you could remember after one exposure. To this day a massive amount of metal acts incorporate elements of the sound or rip it off lock, stock and barrel to try to emulate their heroes. Chile’s Lucifer’s Hammer definitely fall into the latter category, releasing album after album of music carefully curated to sound like it came out of the U.K. circa 1981.” Hammer of the Elders.

Locusts and Honey – Teach Me to Live That I Dread the Grave As Little As My Bed Review

Locusts and Honey – Teach Me to Live That I Dread the Grave As Little As My Bed Review

“Although professing the inclusion of funeral doom, black metal, and dark ambient, Teach Me to Live That I Dread the Grave As Little As My Bed is a gentle album. Locusts and Honey gently ebbs and flows along well-defined lines of expectations set by patiently unwinding epics like Bell Witch’s Mirror Reaper and Black Boned Angel’s The End in devastating, torturously slow and mammoth riffs, colossal percussion, and vocals from Hell. However, like these albums, there is a core of light, a glimmer of humanity that shines through the vicious and viscous.” Light, locusts, lifestyles.

Evergrey – Theories of Emptiness Review

Evergrey – Theories of Emptiness Review

“While many metalheads consider Evergrey’s tried and true sound to be going stale as of late, A Heartless Portrait (The Orphean Testament) had some surprising new tidbits to their songwriting style. It includes gigantic orchestrations and harsh vocals (“Midwinter Calls”), fan-led chantings (“Save Me”), and a true album epic (“Heartless”) that does more than it should for its mere five-minute runtime. But, will the band continue to climb these heights of new inspiration, or revert to the standard fare that made up albums like Monday Morning Apocalypse and Glorious Collision?” How long is Ever and how Grey is today?

Rope Sect – Estrangement Review

Rope Sect – Estrangement Review

“The road of metal is wide and its shoulders are nebulous. Whenever we stray the AMG vehicle off this road for a gander at the related and adjacent, it’s always with good reason, be it previous tenures of band members, genres closely tied to metal, or a suspected appeal to the same market. The stats page shows that non-metal things score quite consistently above average, so you can be assured that when we tred on our own rulebook, you won’t be disappointed. Which brings us to Rope Sect, an anonymous band that plays despondent goth rock in the vein of Bauhaus, yet got itself signed to a label known primarily for death and black metal.” Rope, friends, and a sad time.

Vale of Pnath – Between the Worlds of Life and Death Review

Vale of Pnath – Between the Worlds of Life and Death Review

“When a band leaves a long time between releases, the questions of whether, how much, and in which direction their sound will have evolved hang portentously. Between the Worlds of Life and Death, Vale of Pnath’s third LP, comes almost eight full years after sophomore II, and five years after their last EP, Accursed. That latter release provided at least a clue to the direction the originally bonafide tech-death crew were set to go in, and Between the Worlds of Life and Death stays true to this promise.” Lift the Vale.

Tzompantli – Beating the Drums of Ancestral Force Review

Tzompantli – Beating the Drums of Ancestral Force Review

“Art is culture. Culture needs representation. These two things often align with metal in ways we don’t realize, whether it’s the new death metal band that wants to play old-school death metal to continue to push for the representation of simpler times in death metal, or the cinephile who longs to see their niche amongst the swarms of various niche interest metal bands out there. Everyone wants to be seen and accepted for who they are, and the majesty of this metal realm we inhabit is such that artists can do just that. In the case of Tzompantli and their sophomore release Beating the Drums of Ancestral Force, this collective of California-based musicians—a pool of eleven performers from bands of all extremities, including Xibalba, Teeth, Civerous—wishes to express their reverence for the brutal nature worship of the Aztec/Mexica people and history.” Don’t worry until the drums stop…

Mortal Wound – The Anus of the World Review

Mortal Wound – The Anus of the World Review

“The Vietnam War era was a grim chapter in United States history. The wildly unpopular conflict was fought with questionable ideological justifications in a half-hearted manner, dictated by murky political considerations instead of a desire to achieve real victory. In the end, nothing good came from it and the horrors of the war’s excesses left a stain on the nation. This bleak, bloody conflagration has become potent fodder for nihilistic films and literature, and it makes sense that it serves as the backdrop for the full-length debut by Los Angeles death metal mob Mortal Wound.” Terminate with extreme prejudice.

Cutterred Flesh – Love at First Bite Review

Cutterred Flesh – Love at First Bite Review

“Czech brutal tech hash-slinging slashers Cutterred Flesh ought to hold a seminar on pairing cheeky artwork with equally cheeky album names. Three years ago, the five-banger released the whimsically titled Sharing is Caring and paired it with imagery befitting its title and the brutality it contained. Today, Cutterred Flesh prepare their sixth assault, entitled Love at First Bite, and with it another gruesome but tongue-in-cheek slab of paint. Needless to say, just like before, this combo instantly makes this artwork one of my favorites of the year so far. The question remains, then, whether the album’s content can enamor me the same way as does its cover.” We always bite the ones we love.