American Metal

Unto Others – Strength Review

Unto Others – Strength Review

Unto Other’s Mana was the critical darling of 2019. It was number three on the List to End All Lists here at AMG.com and it was widely considered brilliant. So, how’s a band supposed to live up to unexpected success? Do they have the Strength to avoid the sophomore slump.

Signs of the Swarm – Absolvere Review

Signs of the Swarm – Absolvere Review

“If any band has cursed history, it’s Signs of the Swarm. Seemingly the hub of the most garbage human beings in the history of deathcore, more allegations plague these Pittsburgh natives than breakdowns. Sexual assault allegations beleaguer former vocalist CJ McCreery and former bassist Jacob Toy, while physical abuse accusations mar former guitarist Cory Smarsh. Smartly, the group has distanced itself from these individuals, showing integrity in spite of its streak of scumbags. Continuing as a trio, Absolvere is no step down in brutality, energy, or most importantly, quality.” Away from the maddening swarms.

Seven Spires – Gods of Debauchery Review

Seven Spires – Gods of Debauchery Review

Seven Spires released their second full-length album Emerald Seas, the prequel to their debut album Solveig, in February 2020. In tragic fashion, the four Berklee College of Music graduates scrapped their tour because of the global pandemic. Instead of wallowing in sorrow, the band wrote nearly 80 minutes of glorious new music, a true testament to their fervent love for the crafts of songwriting and musicianship. I raved about Emerald Seas in TYMHM last year, and let’s just say that my expectations were high for Gods of Debauchery.” Gluttony of goods.

Mehenet – Ng’ambu Review

Mehenet – Ng’ambu Review

“When one thinks of New Orleans and music, there are many touchstones, but black metal ain’t one of them. Dixieland jazz pours from every crevice of the city, from bars to funeral processions, while zydeco and Delta blues echo through the French Quarter. When it comes to metal, NOLA is renowned for the sludge that slithered from the swamps surrounding Lake Pontchartrain. But black metal? In this heat and humidity? Mehenet, a five-piece active since 2014, is happy to be the black fly in the jazzy New Orleans ointment.” Godless gumbo.

Ancient Empire – Priest of Stygia Review

Ancient Empire – Priest of Stygia Review

Ancient Empire have been banging out classic, trve heavy metal albums since 2014, yet they’ve landed scandalously little exposure from AMG. I intended to cover their 2016 Other World outing but time got the best of me. We gave a TYMHM to 2017s The Tower, but whiffed on their 2019 follow-up. I will not let this string of injustices continue! This week sees the release of their sixth album Priest of Stygia, and the state of the Empire is strong. Rocking a vintage US power metal sound that can be described as Judicator meets Diviner and Visigoth, these old school warriors deliver ballsy, slightly epical traditional metal with a no-nonsense approach that’s refreshing and direct.” Snake Whacking Day.

Black Mass – Feast at the Forbidden Tree Review

Black Mass – Feast at the Forbidden Tree Review

“Is it just me, or is Redefining Darkness Records on somewhat of a tear lately? We’ve covered thirteen of the label’s releases since late 2018, and all thirteen have received a score of 3.0 or better. I’ve handled three of those reviews in 2021, and I’ve found them to be good, very good, and fucking awesome. So when the promo for Redefining Darkness act Black Mass came along with its epically sinuous artwork, I threw my head back, cursed the sky, and feasted upon its forbidden fruit.” Rise of the Tree Eaters.