4.5

Godthrymm – Distortions Review

Godthrymm – Distortions Review

“Back in 2020, before things would go pear-shaped in literally everyone’s lives, I reviewed Reflections, the debut album from Godthrym, the new band featuring former My Dying Bridesmen Hamish Glencross (guitars/vocals) and Shaun Taylor-Steels (drums). I was enamored by how heavy, dirge-y, and Paradise Lost-y the entire album was. However, once the pandemic went into full swing, Reflections only gained in momentum and solace as everything around us quickly turned to shit on a planetary scale, bringing with it a sense of comfort and catharsis and landing itself on my Top Ten of a year we all would love to forget (but can’t). Now, in a happier(?) time and with a fuller line-up, Godthrymm are back with their highly-anticipated follow-up, Distortions.” Doom for End Times.

Serpent of Old – Ensemble Under the Dark Sun Review

Serpent of Old – Ensemble Under the Dark Sun Review

“There’s something about atmospheric death metal that just gets me. Something about the deep urgency of the guitar tones, the echoing, sinister riffing, the cavernous vocals, the restless dance of the drums, and the metallic chime of the cymbals. It elevates an already hostile and confrontational musical style to a kind of arresting profundity, when done well. Seeing Ulcerate, Gorguts, and Devenial Verdict—among others—name-dropped in the promo material for Ensemble Under the Dark Sun had me yanking it out of the bin faster than you can say “disso-death.” This was no clickbait. Turkey’s Serpent of Old play the kind of dark, ferocious haunting blackened death emblematic of these bands, and their shared conceptual genre, at their most intense.” Snakes in the pain.

Chained to the Bottom of the Ocean – Obsession Destruction Review

Chained to the Bottom of the Ocean – Obsession Destruction Review

“Massachusetts quartet Chained to the Bottom of the Ocean (who, I assume, take their name from the 2007 song “Fucking Chained to the Bottom of the Ocean” by Louisiana sludge legends, Thou) have made a bit of a name for themselves on the sludge scene, despite having only one (short) LP to their name, 2017’s Decay and Other Hopes Against Progress.” Chained by an anchor?

Dødheimsgard – Black Medium Current Review

Dødheimsgard – Black Medium Current Review

“If you were to ask me how to do avant-garde black metal, I would point straight away to Dødsheimgard. The trajectory of their sound from raw second-wave fury to electronic, industrial, jazzy, experimental black has been nothing short of thrilling to witness. 2015’s A Umbra Omega—my personal entry point—set a new standard in the avant-garde metal scene, demonstrating the weird, wonderful depths DHG could conjure, fully realized.” Odd fellows unrest.

Sermon – Of Golden Verse Review

Sermon – Of Golden Verse Review

“UK’s mysterious Sermon burst from out of nowhere on phenomenal 2019 debut album, Birth of the Marvellous. The debut was an incredibly accomplished, polished jewel of intense and emotive progressive metal, boasting excellent production and top-shelf writing and performances from the duo. Sermon bided their time crafting the follow-up to an unexpected underground hit, with combined efforts and careful craftmanship resulting in another triumphant release.” Preaching to the choir.

Night Demon – Outsider Review

Night Demon – Outsider Review

“Ventura, California power trio, Night Demon have been producing quality, workman-like metal for over a decade. Always dependable, they quickly honed their NWoBHM-infused trad metal into bite-sized, three-minute horror-themed nuggets and swaddled them in denim and leather. Their last full album, 2017’s Darkness Remains was a power-packed olde school homage that my brother-in-sump, Eldritch said, “delivers pretty much everything you could want from a traditional heavy record.” After four years, the band return to haunt your dreams once more, but this time with a much more ambitious offering.” A night at the demon.

To the Grave – Director’s Cuts Review

To the Grave – Director’s Cuts Review

“Ok, stereotypes out of the way: I’m vegan. I bring this up because disparaging the violence—and apathy about such violence—of humankind towards our non-human brethren is To the Grave’s Director’s Cuts’ central theme. And I can sympathize. In the band’s words: “[w]e are all the writers and directors of an unending horror film, its actors unwilling and the scenes taking place in every circus, zoo, lab, farm, and slaughterhouse that stain our green globe”. Misanthropy, specifically from the perspective of humanity’s treatment of animals and the earth has been their ethos from day one. In a sense, they are a deathcore analog to Cattle Decapitation.” Arm the animals.

High Command – Eclipse of the Dual Moons Review

High Command – Eclipse of the Dual Moons Review

“For me, 2022 has been chock-full of highly anticipated albums from returning favorites, so it’s only fitting that my last review of the year should be more of the same. Three years ago, I told you not to miss Beyond the Wall of Desolation, the debut full-length from Massachusetts band High Command and late addition to my year-end list. When I first heard that record, I immediately fell in love with the band’s epic, fantasy-themed crossover thrash and was impressed by the way they were able to take a bunch of old-school, typically aggro styles and mash them together into something oozing with grandeur.” Command to highly overrate.

The Offering – Seeing the Elephant Review

The Offering – Seeing the Elephant Review

“Three years ago, I covered Home, the debut full-length from Boston-based multi-genre masters The Offering. I loved Home at the time, but the intervening period has seen the record’s shadow grow even larger over me; it’s simply one of the most unique and mind-blowing albums I’ve ever heard. The album made my Top 5 of 2019 (and probably would move up at least one spot were I making that list today), so its follow-up comes with the highest of expectations.” You can’t go Home again.