American Metal

Stormkeep – Galdrum Review

Stormkeep – Galdrum Review

“The potential of a debut release is a magical thing. This year, I’ve been blown away by first-ever offerings, left dismayed and discouraged by initial encounters, and experienced decided mediocrity with hope for something better next time. Suffice it to say, I like writing reviews with no prior experience for a sound; the temptation to compare an act to what they once were is, to me, less exciting than the comparison to what they could be. And so, from the dark corners of the United States, I present to you Galdrum, the debut full-length from Stormkeep, who play symphonic black metal and have an awesome album cover.” Dark impressions.

Contrarian – Only Time Will Tell Review

Contrarian – Only Time Will Tell Review

“My first exposure to American progressive death outfit Contrarian was on their third LP, 2019’s Their Worm Never Dies. Despite impressing with their technical skills and old school soul, the material never quite hit loftier heights, resulting in an enjoyable, talent-laden album of the solid variety. Only Time Will Tell is a relatively speedy turnaround and comes with some line-up changes in tow.” Prog after Death.

Dark Psychosis – The Edge of Nowhere Review

Dark Psychosis – The Edge of Nowhere Review

“In my year-end haze of short days, lockdown and work-related torpor, I peered nervously into the promo pool for something which may re-energize my sedentary life. An intriguing “experimental black metal” tag caught my eye and it was with this that I embarked on a review of the new album by Michigan’s Dark Psychosis. The Edge of Nowhere represents only their third full-length release since forming in 1999, and it’s a far cry from those black/thrash early days.” Nowhere fast?

White Magician – Dealers of Divinity Review

White Magician – Dealers of Divinity Review

“In the unhallowed halls of Angry Metal Guy World Headquarters, some of the thralls writers wax on about what a great year it has been for death metal. I would put forward that it’s also been pretty decent for traditional/epic/classic metal – or whatever you want to call it. Enter White Magician, a quartet of like-minded classic metal aficionados from Detroit, and their debut release, Dealers of Divinity. These guys hope to take their brand of classic rock and metal all the way to the top. Professing to be a blend of Mercyful Fate and Blue Öyster Cult, could the odds be stacked in their favor?” Mages wild.

Mizmor & Andrew Black – Dialetheia Review

Mizmor & Andrew Black – Dialetheia Review

“Gaze upon that stark, haunting, monochrome cover photo – shot by Emma Ruth Rundle by the way – and ask yourself, how likely is it that this is going to be like the Lewandowski-adorned CairnMizmor‘s last outing? How much difference is it going to make pairing Mizmor mainman A.L.N. with experimental ambient specialist Andrew Black? Will Black soften a few of Mizmor‘s crushing edges, provide a few ambient interludes or should we expect a complete change of direction from this collaboration? These were my thoughts approaching Dialetheia.” Evolution or mutation?

Tombs – Under Sullen Skies Review

Tombs – Under Sullen Skies Review

“In the early 2010s, powered by bands such as Deafheaven and Liturgy, “hipster metal” became the favorite pejorative for acts that thumbed traditional metal conventions. Embraced by the mainstream, many of these groups, unfortunately, just weren’t very good, which led to metal purists rejecting them. This resulted in said mainstream accusing said purists of being snobby gatekeepers. Cue lots of sulking, posturing and finger wagging. In among the noise, however, were some real gems that were unfairly tainted by the “hipster metal” label. Although less overtly “subversive” (read: “pretentious”) than their  Brooklyn counterparts, Liturgy, Tombs weirdly found themselves in this boat with their excellent debut, 2011’s Paths of Totality.” Trend Tombs.

Eternal Champion – Ravening Iron Review

Eternal Champion – Ravening Iron Review

“There are more swords hanging over our heads than usual lately in the Skull Pit of Unsafe Hanging Cutlery. With Megaton Sword fresh in our collective mindsheaths, here comes the might and majesty of Austin, Texas natives Eternal Champion. Ravening Iron is the band’s sophomore opus and it’s an improvement over 2016s entertainingly olde school The Armor of Ire.” Sword hoarders.

Death Dealer – Conquered Lands Review

Death Dealer – Conquered Lands Review

“Formed in 2012 by Ross the Boss (ex-Manowar, Ross the Boss), Sean Peck (Cage), and Stu Marshall (Empires of Eden, ex-Dungeon), America’s Death Dealer is a bonafide heavy/power metal supergroup. Over the years, they’ve released two albums and picked up former Into Eternity drummer Steve Bolognese and Symphony X bassist Mike LePond, making the lineup for 2020’s Conquered Lands simply mouthwatering.” Iron sharpens steel.

Of Feather and Bone – Sulfuric Disintegration Review

Of Feather and Bone – Sulfuric Disintegration Review

“I don’t know about the rest of you, but I am extremely ticklish. Even the void where my bloodpump is supposed to be can be tickled with the right stimulus. Death metal is usually the best option to that end, especially when it writhes like a thrashing pit of jacked snakes. After hearing tell of the badassery of Denver’s Of Feather and Bone, I knew that they would deliver that which tickles my most demanding fancy. With their third full-length, Sulfuric Disintegration, these nasty motherfuckers show no mercy. Believe me when I say I lose molecular cohesion every time I play it.” Funny bones.

Mr Bungle – The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny Demo Review

Mr Bungle – The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny Demo Review

“In a year of surprises, mostly of the nasty variety, a new album from Californian experimental legends Mr Bungle seemed an unlikely scenario. Yet here we are, but not as many would have expected. As has been well publicized, rather than pen an album of fresh tunes, the band has continued their streak for delivering the unexpected, revisiting their earliest teenage musical roots, and 1986 cult demo, The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny.” Bunny or die.