Alkaloid

Obsidious – Iconic Review

Obsidious – Iconic Review

“There’s been an incredible amount of hype roiling behind international supergroup Obsidious’s upcoming debut record Iconic. Having lived under a rock for the past two years, I missed literally all of that hype, only first becoming aware of Obsidious late this past summer. Nevertheless, once I heard all of the numerous advance singles, I was convinced that this would be my Album o’ the Year by the time I got to hear the whole thing. Technical death metal meets post-apocalyptic space opera meets musical theater? It’s quite possibly the most me thing to fall into my lap during my entire four-year tenure at AMG to date. Needless to say, I generated plenty of my own hype. The question remains, did Obsidious live up to it?” Hype and reality.

WAIT – The End of Noise Review

WAIT – The End of Noise Review

“Time WAITs for no sponge. This apparently holds true for my unfortunate green friend to my left, the sands of time quite literally gushing out of his be-hourglassed noggin. The oddly disturbing artwork depicting this surreal injury translates to the weird and wacky, grungy prog-death stylings of Baltimore’s WAIT (short for We are in Transit). A supergroup of sorts, the trio pulls from the pool of live performers who jammed for acts ranging from Cynic to Defeated Sanity to Obscura, so it comes as no surprise to me that debut album The End of Noise promises to be a twisted and technical affair.” Difficult commute.

Record(s) o’ the Month – November 2021

Record(s) o’ the Month – November 2021

“October and November can, without a doubt, be said to have saved 2021 for me. After last month’s pile of elite records, it was hard to imagine that November could be better. But two big things happened in November: 1) I successfully defended my PhD thesis, thus finally making me Dr. Angry Metal Guy; and 2) the rest of the big releases for 2021 dropped hard, fast, and heavy.” How to choose from this bumper crop?

Redemptor – Agonia Review

Redemptor – Agonia Review

“End of year chaos is upon us to conclude another turbulent 365, as we stave off rushing deadlines, responsibilities and festive madness. As we all know, it is also time for the AMG crew to sharpen their blades and make the tough choices to consolidate the annual list fest of fine tastes. But we must not forgo our reviewing responsibilities completely in the historically lackluster schedule for December. A small pile of quality albums can unexpectedly drop and throw a spanner in the works. Following a long break between drinks, unsung Polish juggernaut Redemptor make their welcome return.” Late year redemption.

Hannes Grossmann – To Where the Light Retreats Review

Hannes Grossmann – To Where the Light Retreats Review

“I have a confession to make. I have a pathological aversion to bands named after people. Unless your name is Ozzy or Dio, I’m probably not going to listen to your album. Ok, I guess I love the solo stuff from Warrel Dane and Michael Romeo, but that’s it! I honestly can’t explain why, but I’ve just always thought that metal is a band’s genre. Anyways, I’ve said all that to immediately contradict myself.” What’s in a name?

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.