American Metal

Reeking Aura – Blood and Bonemeal Review

Reeking Aura – Blood and Bonemeal Review

As a hippie vegan with a houseplant obsession, I know all too much about blood and bone meal. If you’ve ever bought organic fertilizer, it likely contained these horrifying but nutrient-rich byproducts of slaughterhouses. While much less objectionable, Reeking Aura’s debut Blood and Bonemeal is no less vile than its namesake. Boasting band members from Grey Skies Fallen, Artificial Brain, and Buckshot Facelift, Blood and Bonemeal harks back to the halcyon days of Autopsy and Asphyx, dishing out grimy death metal riffs across the tempo spectrum.” What’s that smell?

Chat Pile – God’s Country Review

Chat Pile – God’s Country Review

“Hopelessness is both a universal and local phenomenon. It’s always the same handful of pressures that cause it; resource inaccessibility, environmental/health factors, power held by the unscrupulous, etc, but every place has its own particular aesthetic of hopelessness. Despondency in, say, Guangzhou, China will look, sound and feel different than it does in the American Midwest. Sludge/Noise band Chat Pile call their debut album God’s Country “Oklahoma’s specific brand of misery,” and indeed their name itself comes from the piles of toxic waste, left over from an unregulated lead and zinc extraction industry, poisoning towns in the Sooner State.” American nightmares.

Lathe – Tongue of Silver Review

Lathe – Tongue of Silver Review

Tongue of Silver represents two landscapes. It beats down upon the dead soil of the barren American West, empty and lonely winds plastering sun-bleached hills. But it pulses with the beating heart of its folklore, as legendary as it is flesh and blood. It’s a tall tale of the mundane, paying homage to not only Americana, but to the crushing weight of drone metal. The story it tells is not of speedy gunslingers or soul-searching troubadours but found in the negative spaces “somewhere between sand and rust:” a living, breathing, and uniquely American commentary on expansion and decay.” American threads.

Into the Obscure: Epoch of Unlight – The Continuum Hypothesis

Into the Obscure: Epoch of Unlight – The Continuum Hypothesis

“We all have our dirty metal secrets that we selfishly keep to ourselves, only sharing with a select few close to us. Or alternatively, we incessantly talk up underground gems and spread the gospel to anyone that will listen, as we cherish our slice of underground cred. Into the Obscure aims to right the wrongs and unearth the artists/albums that for whatever unjust reason didn’t get the exposure or credit they sorely deserved the first time round.” Unlight up our lives.

Graveshadow – The Uncertain Hour Review

Graveshadow – The Uncertain Hour Review

The Uncertain Hour, over the course of fifty minutes or so, launches the listener through a galloping field of riffs, leads, and triumphant melodies in one of the better samples of symphonic power metal I’ve heard lately. Upbeat, catchy, and well-written, it has all of the makings of a grower, and talent to match.” Death is certain, good reviews are not.

Castrator – Defiled in Oblivion Review

Castrator – Defiled in Oblivion Review

“It’s been a slow rollout for the sharp knives behind New York-based death metal act Castrator. The rare all-female death crew, they’ve been lurking since 2014, honing their cutting techniques. 2022 finally sees them drop a full-length platter of testicularly challenging material, and Defiled in Oblivion certainly demonstrates the chops you look for in a fledgling death upstart. Trafficking in the OSDM style of Cannibal Corpse and Morbid Angel, Castrator aren’t looking to rewrite the book of death or take things to strange new places. Instead, they’re content to play with establish sounds and put their own grisly stamp on well-traveled styles.” Throw a pair.

Imperial Triumphant – Spirit of Ecstasy Review

Imperial Triumphant – Spirit of Ecstasy Review

“We already know what’s going to happen here: I review Imperial Triumphant‘s fifth album, Spirit of Ecstasy, and the comments section here will explode with remarks from the peanut gallery, explaining how much they can’t stand this type of music and how it’s “hipster drivel” of the highest magnitude. Ah, yes… the most divisive band we’ve ever reviewed that’s not named Impure WilhelminaFellowship, or Wilderun, New York’s guttural black-death-jazz miscreants have no less stirred up the masses here in such a tizzy that you’d half-expect them to have somehow personally violated your dog. But no, all they did was make music.” Opulence amid the decadence.

Hissing – Hypervirulence Architecture Review

Hissing – Hypervirulence Architecture Review

“To non-metal listeners, all metal sounds hostile. Stray far to the edges of the dissonant and avant-garde in the genre, and you’ll find a breed that even experienced acolytes can struggle with. One’s first Portal experience is a conceptual case in point. From out of this dark corner of disturbing and unfriendly sounds, Hissing has emerged.” Crawling dread and slithering heads.

Oceans of Slumber – Starlight and Ash Review

Oceans of Slumber – Starlight and Ash Review

“Anyone who follows Oceans of Slumber on social media is aware of the stylistic evolution the band has been undertaking. The band, notably leaders Cammie Gilbert and Dobber Beverly, have been hammering on the fact that this new album will not be another progressive doom metal outing. Starlight and Ash is the band’s fifth album; fourth with Gilbert at the helm, and second in a row with the current lineup. The fact that they have all stuck around through the turmoil of the last couple of years and have also all bought into the stylistic shift is a positive thing.” Different tides.

Forsaken Eternity – A Kingdom of Ice Review

Forsaken Eternity – A Kingdom of Ice Review

“I like it when black metal is fun. And I know, I know, that’s not “the point” of the genre, except we’re way past the ‘90s and black metal is a whole lot cooler than it used to be. And if you don’t believe me, why not take a gander at that cover art and wilt under the crushing weight of your own doubts? Forsaken Eternity is a symphonic black metal act from the United States, and, despite having been around since 2015, A Kingdom of Ice is their debut full-length album. Here, we see a comparatively young band who plays it fast, plays it cool, and plays it pretty fun.” Forsaken frowny faces.