American Metal

Suffering Hour – The Cyclic Reckoning Review

Suffering Hour – The Cyclic Reckoning Review

“The dreaded sophomore slump is always a concern after a band bursts out of the blocks with a stellar debut. Expectation and pressure mounts, at least from a fan perspective. In the case of the mysterious Suffering Hour, 2017’s debut LP, In Passing Ascension, created a deserved underground buzz and well and truly placed Suffering Hour on the map as a band to keep a close eye on. With just the intervening Dwell EP in 2019, Suffering Hour took their time in fine tuning and honing their signature sound in preparation of unleashing The Cyclic Reckoning.” Vicious cyclic.

Gravesend – Methods of Human Disposal Review

Gravesend – Methods of Human Disposal Review

“We are touring Gravesend’s vision of (I assume) New York, in which we fall into graves and pits of human waste, where your body will be eaten by pests (the title track), discover satanic, knife-wielding meth heads dismembering nuns (“End of the Line”), and face the maddened and diseased residents of a tuberculosis sanatorium (“Unclaimed Remains”). And that’s just for starters. Now imagine these depraved tales set to the manic, explosive fury of Wormrot and Noise for Music’s Sake-era Napalm Death.” Rotten apples.

Immortal Guardian – Psychosomatic Review

Immortal Guardian – Psychosomatic Review

“Feats of sheer sonic escapism have defined much of my listening habits in the Covid era. The stronger an artist can nail a “larger than life” aesthetic in sound and concept, the better. My polyamorous affair with Bal-Sagoth and Galneryus has never burned brighter, while new favorites like Finsterforst have dominated my playlists. Immortal Guardian‘s debut Age of Revolution fits comfortably into a similarly overblown mold.” Topic blunder.

Swampbeast – Seven Evils Spawned of Seven Heads Review

Swampbeast – Seven Evils Spawned of Seven Heads Review

“Tranquility is having one’s swamp to one’s self. Nothing beats the sultry shimmer of swamp silence. But silence is fleeting. Evil lurks in the hazy depths of the swamp. Upward through ancient mud rises Swampbeast, a mangled, tangled death metal creature. The beast is here to stay. Seven Evils Spawned of Seven Heads, Swampbeast’s debut full-length, drags a listener through a 36-minute mire of grinding putridity.” Running bog wild.

Narakah – Blast Haven Review

Narakah – Blast Haven Review

“My deal is that, unless it hooks, grooves, and absolutely obliterates with both heft and speed, it’s not gonna do a damn thing for me. Maybe it’s because I was spoiled at a relatively young age by the likes of Napalm DeathNasumBrutal Truth, and the like, but it’s not often that I’m floored by grind these days. But a change of pace can do wonders, and it just so happens that Pittsburgh’s Narakah dropped their second EP, Blast Haven, on us. Nine songs at twelve minutes. Sure, it’s cheating to grab an EP when it’s not EP Season, but if it’s good enough, I can shine some light on it.” Blast heaven.

DayGlo Mourning – Dead Star Review

DayGlo Mourning – Dead Star Review

“I remember a comment in a discussion about stoner, of which a paraphrase would come down to ‘stoner doesn’t have anything left to strive for because Kyuss created and perfected the genre with the same album.’ But still, there’re exceptions. Elder and Boss Keloid are two prime examples of putting a different twist on stoner, Clutch has been an offbeat banner-carrier for years and even lesser-known acts like Realms of Vision get to tweak the formula a little. Does DayGlo Mourning’s Dead Star take break new ground, or is it the same old song?” Dead stars and glo-sticks.

Everdawn – Cleopatra Review

Everdawn – Cleopatra Review

4.0ldeneye gets all the attention around these parts when it comes to the topic of overrating. I try to be more reasonable with the scores I dish out than my fellow Pacific Northwestern coworker, but I admit I feel I have slipped under the radar with the multitude of high scores I have handed out, particularly to bands hovering in the symphonic metal sphere. My point is, I’ve dished out my fair share of very good and above scores, and this review of Everdawn‘s Cleopatra is yet another example.” A plague of overrating?

Colossus – Degenesis Review

Colossus – Degenesis Review

“The year is in full swing and the flood of metal releases continues to overflow in the AMG promo portal. Of course there’s always an element of risk in blindly plucking albums from the portal. Unless I am feeling in a particularly risky or adventurous mood, I scout for releases that fall into my genre wheelhouse, and death metal tends to attract me like moth to flame. Especially after such a splendid year for the genre in 2020, the hope is for at least a handful of review assignments will throw up something special in 2021. The trio of musicians comprising freshly minted death metal outfit Colossus are equipped with background experience in the metal underground, via acts such as Lividity, Cryptic Fog, and Cereviscera. Despite being a new entity, basically the members are seasoned in the game, unleashing a debut album of brutal, technically proficient death.” The Colossus of Woes.

These Colors Fade – Contemporary Tragedy Review

These Colors Fade – Contemporary Tragedy Review

“Hello there! Hope you are enjoying the sunny weather in scenic California, and thank you for submitting Contemporary Tragedy, the second full-length (and third release) from your one-man post-hardcore outfit, These Colors Fade. Going from the supplied materials that accompanied your submission, Contemporary Tragedy took over 800 hours to write, perform, produce, and mix. That’s an impressive feat! More and more, we’re seeing talented one-person bands crop up out of the woodwork, going toe-to-toe with the heavyweights in contemporary metal music. With the costs of production and promotion starting to drop considerably, there’s never been an easier time to record, mix, and promote your music.” The color of tragedy.