3.0

Burning Point – Arsonist of the Soul Review

Burning Point – Arsonist of the Soul Review

Burning Point have a very inconsistent track record in the Euro-power rat race. Early releases Salvation by Fire and Feeding the Flames were decent but a bit too generic to leave a lasting impression. Some subsequent albums just seemed phoned in, further consigning them to second or third-tier status in the Euro-power sweepstakes. It wasn’t until 2012s The Ignitor that they delivered an album that really grabbed my attention and shook it. Full of heavy, aggressive riffs and powerful vocals, it was a punchy, angry dose of power leaning into Mystic Prophecy and Brainstorm territory with good results. Just as things seemed to be heading in the right direction, vocalist Pete Ahonen pulled a Kai Hansen, opting to hand off vocal duties and focus solely on guitar.” Burning bridges and lineups.

Order – The Gospel Review

Order – The Gospel Review

“It’s no secret that I like Mayhem. Since Slayer disbanded, they’re my favorite active metal band. Each of their “eras” has offered something unique, special, memorable, and great. I’ve been listening to the legendary Deathcrush a lot lately, and I’ve never found anything quite like it. Imagine my surprise, then, when I learned that Norway’s Order existed and featured Manheim (drums on Deathcrush) and Messiah (some vocals on Deathcrush).” Crushing.

Extreme Cold Winter – World Exit Review

Extreme Cold Winter – World Exit Review

“The Dutch are often quite proud of their English capacities. We frequently top the list of most proficient non-native speakers, and expats often find it more difficult to learn Dutch because anyone who hears them struggling just switches to English instead, both to accommodate them and to show off. Which is why the moniker above is rather baffling to me. Shouldn’t it be Extremely Cold Winter? Or Extreme Winter Cold? Is the winter both extreme and cold? If so, in what other capacity is it extreme?” How about this weather?

Skeletoon – The 1.21 Gigawatts Club Review

Skeletoon – The 1.21 Gigawatts Club Review

“I’d like to start this review with an apology to Eldritch Elitist. I violated his rights by covering Skeletoon‘s 2020 album, Nemesis. In Steel Druhm‘s excitement to assign me a goofy album from a goofy band with a goofy name, and in my excitement to receive such an honor, we both failed to realize that Eldritch had covered Skeletoon‘s Goonies-themed album They Never Say Die in 2019, giving him the right of prima promo. The gracious Mr. Elitist gently broke the news to me shortly after that review published, and even went so far as to allow me to cover this, Skeletoon‘s fifth album in six years. The Nerd Metal Superheroes are headed back into classic film territory, this time tackling the Back to the Future trilogy.” Yucks Capacitor.

Craneium – Unknown Heights Review

Craneium – Unknown Heights Review

“Finland’s Craneium managed to accrue some low-level buzz on the strength of two albums of entertainingly fuzzy, buzzy pysch/stoner rock mixed with minor sludge and alt-rock influences. While their sound is sure to remind you of other bigger acts like Monster Magnet and Sahg, they’ve managed to do their own thing and create some interesting material with a unique spin. Now comes third album Unknown Heights, which after nearly three years of effort the band thinks is their best product thus far.” Trip to the brain stone.

Crystal Coffin – The Starway Eternal Review

Crystal Coffin – The Starway Eternal Review

“I’ve often stated that more than any other form of contemporary music, black metal is good at conveying abstract emotion rather than concrete narratives. It’s why, for many of us, the fact that we don’t understand a single word being sung isn’t a problem: the lyrics don’t matter (and are sometimes best left undisturbed, to be frank). This abstraction thrives on allowing personal interpretations of an aesthetic, but can flounder when conveying meaning through traditional story-telling. To put it another way: telling a complex story, when you’ve hobbled yourself by relying upon unintelligible shrieks and howls—and operating in the limited emotional bandwidth of fury and contempt—is like cooking a complex dish without basic ingredients.” When the medium is not the message.

Atræ Bilis – Apexapien Review

Atræ Bilis – Apexapien Review

Atræ Bilis unlocked a whole other level of riff when they dropped Divinihility last year. The Canadian death troupe demolished kingdoms as far as the eye could see, razing the ground with razor-sharp riffs and songwriting tighter than the leather pants of your average hair metal frontman. That EP rocked my entire world for months on end, and I repeatedly return to it more than a year later. Today, I have in my hands the debut full-length by these chaps, entitled Apexapien.” Is MOAR always MOAR?

Kite – Currents Review

Kite – Currents Review

“Let’s conduct a thought experiment: picture a noise band selling their souls to play better noise. The devil appears in a cloud of sulfur at a crossroads. He does this a lot, so he doesn’t stop to notice this particular intersection is the crux of sludge and post-hardcore. He offers the assembled musicians incomparable guitar skills in exchange for their eternal essence. “You mean like a more abrasive guitar tone?” they ask, which kind of throws him. He conjures visions of the fame and carnal pleasures awaiting if they accept his offer. They point out that they screen print their own t-shirts in the bassist’s garage and they doubt they could fill orders over 100.” Hard bargains.

Paydretz – Chroniques de l’Insurrection Review

Paydretz – Chroniques de l’Insurrection Review

“If there’s something that black metal bands have been flocking to lately, besides corpse paint and hooded sweatshirts, it’s war. Over the last decade, the genre’s been scouring both World Wars to the point of picking at scraps. Scant few, if any, even bothered to turn their eyes to battles of centuries past, especially when it comes to the French Revolution or, more specifically, the War in the Vendée. A counter-revolution that lasted approximately three years and resulted in the slaughter of countless men, women, and children, the War in the Vendée remains an oft-overlooked bloodbath, save for the occasional historical film or two. Today, French supergroup Paydretz brings this historic tale to light on their debut, Chroniques de l’Insurrection.” Obscure French military history and metal.