3.5

Charlie Griffiths – Tiktaalika Review

Charlie Griffiths – Tiktaalika Review

“The Side Project Era is a common part of the evolution of many successful bands. They’ve been around for a while, they’re doing pretty well, and they know what they sound like. But naturally different members have different musical preferences and want to try different things. They could leave the band, but that’s pretty drastic. Enter the Side Project. Today’s example stars Charlie Griffiths, one of Haken‘s guitarists, taking an opportunity to write for six-string guitar after years of playing eight-string with his main band.” Side pieces.

Khold – Svartsyn Review

Khold – Svartsyn Review

Khold combines Carpathian Forest-esque black ‘n’ roll, Satyricon accessibility, and Darkthrone-like sinisterness that molded Grier‘s tiny heart into a lump of coal for nearly a decade. Then, 2014 saw the end of the band. During this time, the crew resurrected their thrashy black metal counterpart, Tulus. Which felt like a somewhat natural progression following Khold‘s odd 2014 swansong, Til ended. Also, the band’s founder/drummer found success with Darkthrone‘s Nocturno Culto, releasing album after Sarke album. Fast forward to 2022, and the boys are back.” Ice Khold.

Saor – Origins Review

Saor – Origins Review

“We’re now a decade into Andy Marshall’s uniquely Scottish take on metal, blending furious black metal with majestic melodies and Scottish folk instrumentation. Saor is an experiment which has demonstrated great results, with the likes of Aura and Guardians being some of the strongest folk/black metal albums of the 2010s. 2019’s Forgotten Paths was solid but easily my least favorite release, but with a new decade comes a new record called Origins. Is it a return to Saor’s roots, or does it represent a new beginning?” Roots, icy roots.

Ianai – Sunir Review

Ianai – Sunir Review

Ianai is a “single-entity” project shrouded in mystery. Its secretive mastermind Trevenial offers twelve tracks influenced by folk music across the globe, equally evocative and primitive. With ties to England (mastered by Orgone Studios’ owner Jaime Gomez Arellano) and Finland (produced by Jaani Peuhu), and featuring a classical orchestra and world music artists, as well as a vast array of guests, from notable acts like HIM, Sisters of Mercy, Swallow the Sun, and The Rasmus, Sunir is a debut loaded with potential and questions in equal measure.” It takes a global village.

Seven Kingdoms – Zenith Review

Seven Kingdoms – Zenith Review

“I first stumbled upon Seven Kingdoms with their third album, 2012s The Fire is Mine. It happened at a point where my tolerance for power metal was at a low ebb and I had mostly moved on to other styles. So good was the album that after one spin my appreciation for power was reignited and the fire was mine once again. There was so much energy and vibrancy to their sound and so many slick hooks, that it became a favorite platter I still return to. The sky seemed the limit for the band with such a mammoth release fresh on the shelves. Then they gave us a free clinic on how not to succeed by failing to follow up the album for five long years.” Of Kingdoms forsaken.

DeathFuckingCunt – Decadent Perversity Review

DeathFuckingCunt – Decadent Perversity Review

“With a name like DeathFuckingCunt, you’d be forgiven for thinking that a well-done platter of slam was heading to your table. Surprisingly, the band is more subtle and nuanced (by death metal standards) than that. Decadent Perversity combines brutal death with technical death to form brutal-technical death metal. The difference between these guys and many contemporaries is that a delightful layer of grime lingers over their work.” Banned in the U.S.A.

Sijjeel – Salvation Within Insanity Review

Sijjeel – Salvation Within Insanity Review

“Full disclosure: I’m not a huge death metal connoisseur but I did grow up during the golden era of bands like Obituary, Morbid Angel, and Entombed. Occasionally, I like to see what’s new in the genre, but few things ever stick. While looking for something interesting to cut my teeth on for my first official AMG review, I came across Sijjeel and was intrigued by their Saudi Arabian origins. After listening to the opening seconds of Salvation Within Insanity, I was hooked.” Glad for the madness.

Grave Infestation – Persecution of the Living Review

Grave Infestation – Persecution of the Living Review

“There’s a very particular set of sounds one expects to hear when spinning an album by a band called Grave Infestation. You certainly don’t go in looking for polish or subtle compositional finesse. With all that fully known, I was still surprised by just how raw, nasty, and grisly the music was that hit me upon diving into Persecution of the Living. As the band’s debut offering, it’s quite the ferocious death statement, stitching together the rotting carcasses of Autopsy, Obituary, Consuming Impulse-era Pestilence, and Hellhammer. Upon this wretched rock they build their evil church, layering eerie atmospheres and coating it all in noxious, scabby murk, and the result is sub-basement tier old school death loathsome enough to curdle fresh moonshine.” Grave yourself.