4.5

Spider God – Black Renditions Review

Spider God – Black Renditions Review

“Every once in a blue moon, an album comes along that speaks to me so deeply that I break the rules to cover it. This year, that honor belongs to what is perhaps the most thoroughly unexpected album to ever grace these spongy orifices: UK one-man-band Spider God‘s Black Renditions. I say mad science experiment because Spider God offers no new material whatsoever on Black Renditions—this, my friends, is a covers album. A pop covers album. I’m talking about Britney SpearsThe Pointer Sisters, Backstreet Boys, among others.” Spider infections and burnt credibility.

Clouds – Despărțire Review

Clouds – Despărțire Review

“You could hardly find a more autumnally appropriate band than Clouds. Their name not only describes the most prevalent meteorological phenomenon of the season, their past catalog, and a band roster filled with members from legendary Funeral, Saturnus, and Shape of Despair has established them as a master of atmospheric doom.” Sure, it’s winter. And yes, this record dropped in October. Did you miss it?

Diablo Swing Orchestra – Swagger & Stroll Down the Rabbit Hole Review

Diablo Swing Orchestra – Swagger & Stroll Down the Rabbit Hole Review

“This album is probably my most anticipated release of this year. To me, Diablo Swing Orchestra don’t simply play avant-garde metal—they are avant-garde metal, owing to the fact that they were my gateway into the genre with the incredible Pandora’s Piñata. And yet, Pacifisticuffs never really drew me in. I blamed the production at the time; something about the sound of the album kept me at arm’s length. But that doesn’t change the fact that the Diablo Swing Orchestra octet is a machine of creativity, talent, and ambition. However I may have felt about their previous release, a new album by them is a special occasion.” Rabbit revenge.

Black Sites – Untrue Review

Black Sites – Untrue Review

Black Sites has taken his entire collection of musical influences and presented it to you. What makes it unique is how he absorbs his love for bands like Van Halen, Judas Priest, Trouble, Black Sabbath, and Bay-area thrash (to name a few) and puts himself into them. We love Mark in these parts, but that doesn’t shadow the truth that he’s one of the best songwriters in metal today.”

1914 – Where Fear and Weapons Meet Review

1914 – Where Fear and Weapons Meet Review

“If I said that a new 1914 album is a big deal for me, it would be a huge understatement. The band’s 2018 opus The Blind Leading the Blind was one of the first records I covered for this site—and my first 4.0. I was still a probationary writer at the time, and as a brand new music journalist, watching the metalverse collectively lose its mind over what 1914 accomplished on that record was a surreal and humbling experience. 1914 have already demonstrated that they are consummate pros with a clear strategic objective, and I would have been shocked if 2021 follow-up Where Fear and Weapons Meet was anything less than great.” War 4 sale.

Portal – Avow Review

Portal – Avow Review

“Before Ion, we thought we had Portal figured out. The kings of murk would release another album of slogging dissonance, just like Swarth or Vexovoid. However, taking the path of least resistance or going with ol’ reliable has never been the esoteric Australian collective’s way, and we were greeted with Ion, a big obscure middle finger to the masses in their abruptly clearest and most pristine listen. In spite of the almost complete abandonment of murk, Ion adhered to their signature impenetrability, creating one of the most challenging listens in recent memory and showcasing that they weren’t just some disso-death one-trick pony. Avow reminds us that Portal is still king.” There will be cake.

Dordeduh – Har Review

Dordeduh – Har Review

“Until a few months ago I was only peripherally aware of Dordeduh. I had heard their debut album, 2012’s Dar de duh, and thought it was “good” but not really worth revisiting. Similarly, I was aware of the apparent amazingness of Om, Negură Bunget’s 2006 opus, in which Edmond “Huppogrammos” Karban and Cristian “Sol Faur” Popescu played a pivotal role. While that album was stunning in scope, the black metal production values turned me off. Potential, yes: essential, no. Fast forward to 2021, and on a whim I clicked on the first track released from Har, entitled “Descânt.” It was then that I knew I had to not only hear this album, but bring it forth to the Angry Metal Guy faithful.” From Romania with love.