All That Remains

Moonlight Haze – Lunaris Review

Moonlight Haze – Lunaris Review

“Angry Metal Guy’s latest n00b interrupts your regularly scheduled black metal to bring the ultimate question: is power metal metal? “It has the word metal in it, so of course it is, you babbling bumbling baboon,” you say. I get it, and it’s been proven again and again, but while various facets of the metalverse have to justify why they’re not rock, power metal is one of the only styles that must justify why it’s not pop.” Justify our love.

Burden of Grief – Eye of the Storm Review

Burden of Grief – Eye of the Storm Review

“Oh, Metalcore, I mourn for those who never knew you. Glorious was the heyday of such then-gigantic core ‘core acts as Killswitch Engage, All That Remains, Shadows Fall, etc. The alchemy of fusing melodeath-inspired riffage and radio-friendly songwriting yielded far more quality results than one might expect or willingly concede, yet the saturation and over recycling of this formula ultimately failed to maintain the staying power of its trve idols. Nonetheless, it’s still a thing, so people are still doing it. In Germany, Burden of Grief are hard at work being that collective guy.” Burden of core.

Threat Signal – Disconnect Review

Threat Signal – Disconnect Review

“Five years ago, another metal blog referred to As I Lay Dying’s Awakened as “the world’s first retro-metalcore album.” While that same not-to-be-named blog was also recently guilty of authoring one of the most idiotic self-serving shitposts I’ve ever read, in the case of Awakened they were actually right. With its melodic Gothenburg riffs, gang vocals, soaring clean choruses, and pummeling breakdowns, the record hearkened back to mid-00s metalcore at a time when the rest of the scene was too busy being balls deep in whatever Periphery was doing.” Old core, new core. At this point, what does it matter?

Shark Infested Daughters – These Tides, Our Tombs Review

Shark Infested Daughters – These Tides, Our Tombs Review

“It seems misogynistic violence is on trend in metalcore. Feed Her to the Sharks led the aquatic way with Zombies Ate My Girlfriend chomping in its wake, both exacting satisfying chugs and saccharine melodies unto the metal public in a reasonable throwback to the All That Remains– or Bullet For My Valentine-dominated scene from the mid-’00s. Now Shark Infested Daughters steps up to invoke unpleasant images of ravaged women with their debut, These Tides, Our Tombs.” Please don’t feed the freakin’ sharks!

Rise of Avernus – Dramatis Personæ EP Review

Rise of Avernus – Dramatis Personæ EP Review

Dramatis Personæ is the sound of a band trying to relocate the European orchestral metal canon into their snakey and spidery Southern-Hemispherical home. Australia’s Rise of Avernus would love to have Fleshgod Apocalypse‘s authentic Italian heritage of classical music and opera informing their extremity – it’s this quality which made Oracles so ground-breaking.” They can’t all be Italian….

Mercenary – Metamorphosis Review

Mercenary – Metamorphosis Review

Well, we can’t be expected to love everything that comes out this year, although it seems at times like we have been. Although I really enjoyed the earlier releases by Denmark’s Mercenary (especially 11 Dreams and The Hours That Remain) and was looking forward to this release, the massive upheaval that led half the band to flee after 2009’s Architect of Lies has clearly taken its toll. After losing their drummer, keyboardist and singer, they were forced to retool and regroup and I’m sad to report that the 2011 incarnation of Mercenary is only a shadow of what it once was. While their sound always had elements of the dreaded metalcore style, it was merged with many other influences and thereby rendered tolerable. On Metamorphosis, they’ve emerged from their cocoon as a full blown metalcore-melo-death butterfly, just like the eight million others out there (I know the cover shows a phoenix but this is way closer to butterfly, trust me). Gone is the intriguing blend of death, power, thrash and progressive metal that graced their earlier material. Gone is that special something that made their songs so impactful and addictive. Now it’s generic metalcore with poppy, radio friendly choruses all day, all night. While fleeting moments of the old sound can be heard here and there, overall this is a very different entity and to these ears, a much lesser one. In fact, this is inferior to their previous work in every possible way.

Death Angel – Relentless Retribution Review

Death Angel – Relentless Retribution Review

When California sons Death Angel came from nowhere and dropped their classic debut The Ultra-Violence on the metal world in 1987, yours truly was blown away in a pretty major way. That album, along with a handful of others, defined my metal youth and I still listen to it regularly to this day. Sadly, the minds behind that classic release could never record its equal and the albums that followed were always somewhat of a mixed bag. Nowhere has this trend been more evident than on release number six, Relentless Retribution.