3.5

The Generals – To Hell Review

The Generals – To Hell Review

The Generals are a Swedish quartet from Åmål, releasing two full-lengths and a split since their 2002 formation. 2009 debut Stand Up Straight and 2013’s Blood for Blood were both solid slabs of Wolverine Blues mimicry that, despite their simplicity, had no need to fix what wasn’t broken. To Hell, the first effort since 2013, continues and capitalizes upon its “death metal-cigarette with a rock ‘n’ roll filter” aesthetic with chunky riffs, blazing solos, pissed-off barks, and a Swedeath buzzsaw tone that commands respect.” Hell ain’t a bad place.

Magoth – Invictus Review

Magoth – Invictus Review

“Thankfully, all the other writers have me around to do write-ups of actual good music. At first, this review was a TYMHM piece. But, ‘thanks’ to Covid, Magoth‘s November 2020 release is now a February 2021 release. Which, in my opinion, is even better. It’s now a chance for Invictus to have a proper release and a proper review. This is fitting, being that this German quartet, who bleeds Naglfar and Watain, might have released their best album to date.” Magoth infestation.

Mastord – To Whom Bow Even the Trees Review

Mastord – To Whom Bow Even the Trees Review

“One of the best things about seeing the “progressive metal” sign rotting beside some long-forgotten deposit in the Promo Pit is how little that actually tells you about what’s going on with the album. As much as I have been frustrated with prog recently, I adore the genre for its boundless potential and ability to truly amaze, even when all other metal feels stagnant.” He who grabs the prog from the pit.

Ephemerald – Between the Glimpses of Hope Review

Ephemerald – Between the Glimpses of Hope Review

“Today, we welcome Finnish symphonic death metal troupe Ephemerald, sporting a name that rolls of the tongue nicely while still eliciting a cringe from those who utter it. This unfortunate portmanteau combining ‘ephemeral’ with ’emerald’ makes very little sense on the surface. Diving deeper, however, I conjure a number of entertaining scenarios in which it could be apt. For example, if we assume Ephemerald‘s mission statement to be to smash emeralds into oblivion with the sheer magnitude of their steel—and if we then assume that they are successful in such endeavors—perhaps the presumed short-lived existence of said emeralds would justify the band’s name. But of course, that entire machination is as nonsensical as the name itself, is it not?” Stoned.

Gravesend – Methods of Human Disposal Review

Gravesend – Methods of Human Disposal Review

“We are touring Gravesend’s vision of (I assume) New York, in which we fall into graves and pits of human waste, where your body will be eaten by pests (the title track), discover satanic, knife-wielding meth heads dismembering nuns (“End of the Line”), and face the maddened and diseased residents of a tuberculosis sanatorium (“Unclaimed Remains”). And that’s just for starters. Now imagine these depraved tales set to the manic, explosive fury of Wormrot and Noise for Music’s Sake-era Napalm Death.” Rotten apples.

Coronary – Sinbad Review

Coronary – Sinbad Review

“I first heard of Coronary when they did a split release with local heroes (and overall excellent band) Traveler a few years ago. While the cuts of the  Traveler trio were more raw and old-school, the Coronary selection was more like the offspring of Accept and Judas Priest — and equally invigorating.” Strongbad.

Lake of Tears – Ominous Review

Lake of Tears – Ominous Review

“Sweden’s Lake of Tears may be one of the most chameleon-like bands in metal history. Over their 27 year career they’ve morphed from Gothic doom to prog, stoner space rock, and onto dark prog with blackened edges. Somehow they always did justice to the disparate styles they tinkered with, and like those many flavored jelly beans in Harry Potter, you never knew what you would get from album to album. It’s been almost ten years since 2011s Illwill and I’d started to think of Lake of Tears in the past tense. Then along came ninth album Ominous.” Buying tears in bulk.

Alkerdeel – Slonk Review

Alkerdeel – Slonk Review

“As you’re reading this, I’m sure you’re thinking, “Alkerdeel. Why does that sound so familiar?” You ask yourself if it’s a similarity to the British Akercocke – maybe? Well, perhaps a similarity to the illustrious Akerblogger, and you question if in fact the good lad was named thusly – nah, that’s not it either. You give a brief overview of their discography, noting that 2012 album Morinde features a somewhat abstract but violent portrayal of, what, a wolf beating a rabbit to death? That seems excessive for a predator with, y’know, teeth. Oh look, they were involved with Hypertension Records’ The Abyss Stares Back split series that’s fucking impossible to find.” Rabbit don’t come sleazy.

Narakah – Blast Haven Review

Narakah – Blast Haven Review

“My deal is that, unless it hooks, grooves, and absolutely obliterates with both heft and speed, it’s not gonna do a damn thing for me. Maybe it’s because I was spoiled at a relatively young age by the likes of Napalm DeathNasumBrutal Truth, and the like, but it’s not often that I’m floored by grind these days. But a change of pace can do wonders, and it just so happens that Pittsburgh’s Narakah dropped their second EP, Blast Haven, on us. Nine songs at twelve minutes. Sure, it’s cheating to grab an EP when it’s not EP Season, but if it’s good enough, I can shine some light on it.” Blast heaven.

Everdawn – Cleopatra Review

Everdawn – Cleopatra Review

4.0ldeneye gets all the attention around these parts when it comes to the topic of overrating. I try to be more reasonable with the scores I dish out than my fellow Pacific Northwestern coworker, but I admit I feel I have slipped under the radar with the multitude of high scores I have handed out, particularly to bands hovering in the symphonic metal sphere. My point is, I’ve dished out my fair share of very good and above scores, and this review of Everdawn‘s Cleopatra is yet another example.” A plague of overrating?