4.0

Esoctrilihum – Consecration of the Spiritüs Flesh Review

Esoctrilihum – Consecration of the Spiritüs Flesh Review

“I’m not convinced that Asthâghul—the mysterious figure behind avant-garde black/death project Esoctrilihum—is even human. This latest LP marks their seventh in only five years, following a slew of offerings each more complex and demented than the last. Whatever demons of inspiration are clamoring to channel themselves through these weird soundscapes, they show no signs of slowing down. It’s a cycle of such maddening inexorability, that former overseer of this prolific act, Cherd, has this time relinquished responsibility. It now falls to me to attempt to chronicle and demystify this year’s eccentric tale.” Hard work and insane thoughts.

Alex Nunziati – Il Mangiatore di Peccati Review

Alex Nunziati – Il Mangiatore di Peccati Review

“After forming and performing with Italy’s Theatres des Vampires for many years, Nunziati left to pursue other avenues. The most famous of these was his gothic, symphonic black metal spin-off, Lord Vampyr. With a gnarly rasp that brings to mind the mighty Cadaveria from her stint with Opera IX, Nunziati carved a name for himself alongside compatriots of his defunct Shadowsreign. But Nunziati hasn’t stopped there—preferring to keep himself busy with other creations and contributions, like Cain, Hermeticum, Iamthemonster, and Malamorte. And now, as if Nunziati can’t help but continue creating new ventures to quench his creative thirst, he brings us a debut record under his own name.” Circus of freakshows.

Circle of Silence – Walk Through Hell Review

Circle of Silence – Walk Through Hell Review

“Fate and happenstance have conspired against Germany’s Circle of Silence lo these many years. I was scheduled to review both their 2013 outing The Rise of Resistance and 2018s effort The Crimson Throne. In both cases, I was forced to drop them to cover bigger albums and Circle of Silence was silenced. When I saw the promo for fourth album, Walk Through Hell bobbing in the noxious filth of the promo sump, I made a blood oath that no force on Earth or beyond would prevent me from reviewing it. I owed it to them.” Hell, oaths, wictory and wengeance.

Luminous Vault – Animate the Emptiness Review

Luminous Vault – Animate the Emptiness Review

“Electronic elements and black metal is often met with disdain. Atonal EDM beats over blackened shenanigans make acts like Psyclon Nine and Mora Prokaza questionable, while the guitar-less synth overload of Golden Ashes and Wreche are often met with mixed reception. Perhaps more successfully, acts like Blut aus Nord and Dkharmakhaoz incorporate cold industrial flourishes to the raw guitar tone, creating an uncompromisingly obsidian sound. Electronic is divisive, but Luminous Vault does it right.” Electro-violence.

Moon Tooth – Phototroph Review

Moon Tooth – Phototroph Review

“I wrote a gushing review of New York rockers Moon Tooth‘s supercharged 2019 sophomore album Crux, copping some flak amongst the readership in the process. Moon Tooth scratch the modern hard rock meets prog metal itch nicely, and third LP, Phototroph, comes with plenty of anticipation. The heavier rock stylings of their earlier material is smoothed over, squarely placing Moon Tooth in metal adjacent hard rock territory. And listeners not enamored with their previous work, especially Crux, will find nothing here to change their minds. I imagine the Moon Tooth fanbase will continue to swell and their profile rise, however, this will be a divisive effort amongst the AMG community.” Moon bite.

Vital Spirit – Still As the Night, Cold As the Wind Review

Vital Spirit – Still As the Night, Cold As the Wind Review

“Back in 2020, around the time Wayfarer were turning heads with their black metal of the Old West on A Romance With Violence, I discovered an EP seemingly out of nowhere by a Canadian two piece who, in my humble opinion, one-upped that admittedly good album. From the Navajo sand painting cover art to the Ennio Morricone spaghetti western passages to the lyrical focus on pre-colonial Americas, Vital Spirit threw their hat into that incredibly small ring with their Coloradan brethren with In The Faith That Looks Through Death. Consisting of Kyle Tavares and Israel Langlais, both of crusty meloblack band and AMG darlings Wormwitch, Vital Spirit continue their self described “saccharine black metal of the West” on their debut full-length Still as the Night, Cold as the Wind.” Black is the new spaghetti.

Wachenfeldt – Faustian Reawakening Review

Wachenfeldt – Faustian Reawakening Review

“Just over three years ago, I lost my damn mind over Wachenfeldt‘s debut album The Interpreter. I gushed so mightily over its symphonic, thrashened, blackened death metal that hazardous material mitigation crews are still working around the clock to clean up the contamination. That record executed its dark mission so well that it eventually became my Album ‘o the Year for 2019, so if I said that its successor was my most anticipated album of 2022, it would be a gargantuan understatement.” Fanboys awaken.

Undeath – It’s Time… to Rise from the Grave Review

Undeath – It’s Time… to Rise from the Grave Review

“I want to make one thing immediately clear: It’s Time… to Rise from the Grave fucking rocks. For several spins, however, it left me severely confused. I realized that Undeath was certain to evolve. While a retread of Lesions of a Different Kind would have been completely enjoyable, the band’s knack for effortlessly folding together countless influences of classic death metal, while also crafting an unmistakably distinct sound, meant that a retread would be disappointing by default. Indeed, Undeath’s slick, slimy grime continues to coat every riff and permeate the band’s compositional bedrock.” Slaves to the grave.

Urferd – Resan Review

Urferd – Resan Review

“Promotional material is magical. Often it’s a poorly written, exaggerated exercise in alternate realities. That’s par for the course when you’re talking about marketing, and everyone who reads it knows what they’re getting into, but it’s funny how sometimes it works anyway. In the case of Resan, the debut full-length from the Swedish Urferd, it almost worked too well. By suggesting that Resan is “a journey through dark and olden Nordic forests” suitable for fans of Heilung, Myrkur, and Forndom, sole band member Daniel Beckman (Twilight ForceAges) certainly caught my attention, but he also set the bar sky-high. And then… well, then he took me on a journey through dark and olden Nordic forests.” Nice forest package!