Alkaloid

Dark Fortress – Spectres from the Old World Review

Dark Fortress – Spectres from the Old World Review

“Back in 2014, Madam X covered the release of Venereal Dawn by Bavarian brutalists Dark Fortress. Our Marchioness de Machiavelli didn’t particularly care for the album’s progressive expansion of melodic black metal. I, on the other hand, adored it. Since Morean joined forces with V. Santura, their sonic shade has substantially deepened. The duo’s combined involvement in projects as diverse as Alkaloid, Triptykon, Noneuclid and Hannes Grossmann has wrought one my favorite writing partnerships in extreme metal. Six years on, and Dark Fortress are poised to drop eighth album Spectres from the Old World.” Old world, new blackness.

Howling Sycamore – Seven Pathways to Annihilation Review

Howling Sycamore – Seven Pathways to Annihilation Review

“Last year’s self-titled debut from prog “supergroup” Howling Sycamore was one of my more positive surprises. On paper it shouldn’t have really worked: extreme drumming married to down-tuned guitars, then mashed in with over the top old-school vocals and the occasional crazed baritone sax. Yet the whole thing gelled in some weird, freakish way, and I was left hoping it wasn’t a one-off project. Well, here we are less than a year and a half later, with Seven Pathways to Annihilation, the band’s follow-up.” Screaming trees.

Warforged – I, Voice Review

Warforged – I, Voice Review

“The Artisan Era has been on a decent roll lately, releasing good to great albums left and right for just over a year. Warforged seemed like a bit of an odd duck for the label though. The Chicagoan five-piece of progressive blackened death metal don’t really fit the tech-death-heavy mold The Artisan Era have curated for themselves. It was this fact that initially drew me to I, Voice.” War by another name.

Obscura – Diluvium Review

Obscura – Diluvium Review

Obscura‘s 2009 release, Cosmogensis, dropped right when I was getting back into metal in a big way. I, like most people who heard it at the time, hailed it as the spiritual successor to Necrophagist and crowned the band the Kings o’ Noodly Death Metal. They have, in my estimation, never lived up to these expectations. Both Omnivium and Arkóasis fell flat, and both suffered from similar weaknesses; ballooning song and album-lengths, often at the cost of compositional focus and coherence.” If that’s not a cliff-hanger that makes you need to click, nothing is!

Record(s) o’ the Month – May 2018

Record(s) o’ the Month – May 2018

“It is often predicted that whatever records I review in a month will be the Record o’ the Month. This makes sense, as I have repeatedly referred to this as “Angry Metal Guy‘s Record(s) o’ the Month.” But what’s little known about this process is that we do actually vote. The votes don’t always move the needle on what I choose in the grand scheme of things. However, the writers frequently point me, as The Decider (that means that I decide), toward what the various writers and fans are enjoying. This is quite helpful for everyone involved. So yes, as usual, we are looking at my Record(s) o’ the Month. But this time around, there was also a pretty strong consensus behind closed doors which albums should be the Record(s) o’ the Month. And it gets better: it’s even on time! Is it a coincidence? Or did someone threaten to rip out my fingernails behind the scenes if the Record(s) o’ the Month weren’t on time for May? The world may never know. But the world is going to enjoy the hell out of this wallpaper for the next six months…”

Alkaloid – Liquid Anatomy Review

Alkaloid – Liquid Anatomy Review

The Malkuth Grimoire marked an exciting beginning for the star-studded line-up of Alkaloid. Escaping the imposing shadows of the band members other projects in unique and often unconventional ways, the album was very well received by myself and the metal community at large. Despite the chinks in its futuristic armory, such as the excessive bloat and ambitious but not always successful experimentation, Alkaloid emphatically proved they weren’t content to coast by with another typical tech death project. Now Hannes Grossman, Christian Münzner and co return with Liquid Anatomy.” Fluid dynamics.

Divine Element – Thaurachs of Borsu Review

Divine Element – Thaurachs of Borsu Review

“Based on my review stats thus far into my AMG career, I’ve got a 66 percent chance of snagging a record featuring Spectral Lore guitarist Ayloss whenever I pull an I, Voidhanger release from the promo bin. It’s easy to see why the label is so eager to back his work; he’s one of the few black metal guitarists I can recall who possesses a unique playing style, slapping an unmistakable stamp onto pretty much every product he touches. But before he staked his claim to black metal fame with Spectral Lore, he cut his teeth on Divine Element.” Sharp teeth, sharp riffs.