4.0

Suldusk – Anthesis Review

Suldusk – Anthesis Review

“Way back in early 2020, Suldusk played the last show I attended before fun was canceled. I was introduced by the non-suspiciously departed Emya‘s excellent TYMHM piece on one-woman debut Lunar Falls. This sort of black metal-inflected atmospheric folk is incredibly My Thing, as you can tell from where Helga landed on my list last year. So Suldusk were a pretty important fixture for me, particularly in the tough early pandemic months. The whole thing has that slight air of unreality you get with memories from around then. Now they’re back—finally—with a full band and signed to Napalm, so the stakes are high for Anthesis.” Dusk throne.

Stygian Crown – Funeral for a King Review

Stygian Crown – Funeral for a King Review

“The clamor of zhangu, taiko, ahuli, tabor—even the timpani in a modern orchestral context—the steady hammering of the battlefield finds a comfort, an attachment to the mallet metronome of such simple instruments. In memory of sorrow, the rhythm of death metal through one of its most bass-rumbling pioneers, Bolt Thrower, finds that war-like march not just in pounding kicks but also weighted guitar harmonies and bass-throttled grooves that stir the warrior’s heart. Stygian Crown in their idiosyncratic expression of the metal arts embodies in part that low-end fueled, sword-rattling thunder. But as the title Funeral for a King may imply, and as the Steel One himself has explored before, Stygian Crown doesn’t just riff, they doom. Oh, do they doom!” Crown Thrower.

Borknagar – Fall Review

Borknagar – Fall Review

“No matter who fills in on vocals, guitars, and drums, the Borknagar continues releasing one fantastic album after another. After 2019’s fun and accessible True North, this year’s Fall reaches farther into the past to reset the needle, delivering some blackish attacks and headbangable energy. Worry not, they forever will retain that classic epicness, melody, and beauty.” Trust Fall.

Counting Hours – The Wishing Tomb Review

Counting Hours – The Wishing Tomb Review

“Tears freezing in the cutting winter winds. Life’s blood staining the freshly fallen snow. These are the things that bring Steel to the graveyard. Naturally, I love my sadboi doom as well, and the long-defunct Finnish act Rapture in particular. Their style of highly melancholic melodoom resonated deeply in my cold dead chest cavity, and though they’ve been gone since 2005 I still go back to those albums regularly. When the two guitarists of Rapture reunited to form Counting Hours and dropped the excellent debut The Will back in 2019, I was ecstatic. It was as close to getting new Rapture material as we were ever going to get and they hit all the same grim feelz as they fused the early days of Katatonia with Dawn of Solace into a cold grave of an album. Now a few years later we get the eagerly anticipated follow-up.” Counting hours and tears.

Ihsahn – Ihsahn (Studio version) Review

Ihsahn – Ihsahn (Studio version) Review

“Introductions to Emperor’s creative mastermind Ihsahn, as he drops his eighth (and ninth) solo LPs, seem unnecessary. However, a small note is needed for this review because there are two, entirely separate but inextricably related, versions of Ihsahn and I am reviewing only one of them. Ihsahn’s solo work has always involved a significant symphonic component, as did his writing for Emperor albeit to a lesser degree, but he has gone all-out orchestral for his selt-titled offering.” Symphonies of the night.

Necrowretch – Swords of Dajjal Review

Necrowretch – Swords of Dajjal Review

“It’s almost four years since I reviewed French blackened death outfit Necrowretch’s fourth record, The Ones from Hell, a record I enjoyed quite a bit. Harsh, claustrophobic death metal with a nasty blackened edge, it was almost sludgy in its sound at times. I had a few minor quibbles about the songwriting and pacing of the record, and a bigger gripe with the production, but it remained a very good record. The band regrouped and began working on the follow-up, Swords of Dajjal, which was three years in the making. Having swept up a new drummer and bassist along the way, was it time well spent?” Burning swords of religion and rage.

Mega Colossus – Showdown Review

Mega Colossus – Showdown Review

Mega Colossus has more fun than your favorite band. Not that it’s much of a contest given the typically joyless answers most metal fans give in response to the “favorite band” question in the name of cred preservation, but it’s true all the same. Nevermind that these North Carolina dudes can’t help but give the widest of grins in their promo shots; though ostensibly traditional metal, undiluted joy permeates their music on a level most power metal bands could not fathom. Unbridled exuberance seeps from every riff, lick, lyric, and vocal hook.” Mega fun, mega metal.

Madder Mortem – Old Eyes, New Heart Review

Madder Mortem – Old Eyes, New Heart Review

“Angry Metal Guy might be the only place on the internet where Madder Mortem won’t need an introduction for a significant amount of its readers. The Norwegian band first made waves here with Red in Tooth and Claw, and those waves got much bigger with Marrow earning a well-deserved 4.5 and topping several lists. It’s also the only band with a movie review on the site. When there is no news on the band I still can’t stop name-dropping them, even when it’s not relevant to the music I’m reviewing. So when I contacted the band to send them the movie review and they told me they were in the middle of recording a new album, my inner hype machine went into overdrive.” Heart of a fanboy.

Vitriol – Suffer & Become Review

Vitriol – Suffer & Become Review

“When our resident death metal professor, Ferrous Beuller, covered To Bathe from the Throat of Cowardice, the debut full-length from Portland’s Vitriol, he was struck by the sheer heaviness that dominated the record. And while he noted the enormous potential displayed by the band, he bemoaned the lack of balancing contrast, a lack that prevented the monstrous material from making the intended impact.” Impact is imminent.