Amon Amarth

Demonical – Mass Destroyer Review

Demonical – Mass Destroyer Review

“Swedeath. I keep ending up with Swedeath. There are worse problems to have to be sure, but there is ultimately a limit to how much of that very specific sound I need in my life in any given year not falling between 1990 and 1995. I reviewed Sweden’s Demonical way back in 2011 on their Death Infernal outing, finding it a mostly enjoyable blend of Entombed and Amon Amarth influences performed by members of Grave, Centinex, and Julie Laughs Nomore. I didn’t review their last few releases, but we gave them solid marks for covering the very same ground as they did back in 2011. Now we come to 7th album Mass Destroyer and not a lot has changed.” Demons in the details.

Svartsot – Kumbl Review

Svartsot – Kumbl Review

“What should be said of the workhorses? The acts that caught your ear once and never let go? Not the kings of the mountain, no, but perennially at least at base camp. Like your dad used to say, the world needs 2.75-rated records too. Svartsot surmounted the folk metal summit but once with their 2007 debut Ravnenes Saga; their three shots at the top since have fallen well shy of that peak. Still, their thick-axed folkery scratches a certain itch, and given the Danes’ obligation to their sound, there’s little chance their fifth album, Kumbl, will be a disaster. There’s also little chance it’ll be a hit.” Ready to Kumbl.

Pillaging Villagers – Pillaging Villagers Review

Pillaging Villagers – Pillaging Villagers Review

“The metal scene has, for the last decade or so, been relatively stagnant in its progression. Though the genre thrives, large scale innovation has stalled. Deafheaven‘s Sunbather and the rise of djent and argent metal have made a sizable impact, but otherwise the genre looks much the same now as it did a decade ago. But evolution doesn’t need to result in revolution; it can be a small scale experiment that thrives on novelty, executed with a bold, focused vision. Something like, I dunno, the death-y and melodic thrash metal of Necropanther mashed up with the drunken joy of Dropkick Murphys. And that’s exactly what Pillaging Villagers is.” It takes a pillage…

Ereb Altor – Vargtimman Review

Ereb Altor – Vargtimman Review

Bathory was a touchstone act for multiple metal genres, and though Quorthon has been gone since 2004, his influence still looms large in black and Viking metal. No more proof of this is needed than the 12-year career of Sweden’s Ereb Altor. Their entire output is heavily referential to classic Bathory albums like Hammerheart and Twilight of the Gods and the spirit of mighty Quorthon is never far from their writing. Vargtimman is their eighth platter of classic Bathorycore, and very little is left to chance.” Oversized swords, blackened hordes.

1914 – Where Fear and Weapons Meet Review

1914 – Where Fear and Weapons Meet Review

“If I said that a new 1914 album is a big deal for me, it would be a huge understatement. The band’s 2018 opus The Blind Leading the Blind was one of the first records I covered for this site—and my first 4.0. I was still a probationary writer at the time, and as a brand new music journalist, watching the metalverse collectively lose its mind over what 1914 accomplished on that record was a surreal and humbling experience. 1914 have already demonstrated that they are consummate pros with a clear strategic objective, and I would have been shocked if 2021 follow-up Where Fear and Weapons Meet was anything less than great.” War 4 sale.

Crescent – Carving the Fires of Akhet Review

Crescent – Carving the Fires of Akhet Review

“I’ve said it before and, Ra be damned, I’ll say it again. I love eastern themes in metal. As a result, my interest is naturally piqued by any band utilizing those progressions or from that part of the world. I discussed this at length in my review of Crescent‘s 2018 album The Order of Amenti. These Egyptians definitely know how to implement dynamic scales amidst stone-cracking riffs. Now, ignited with a little new blood, Carving the Fires of Akhet prepares to descend on the masses in a flurry of smoke and ash.” Axe, wax or wane?

Tragedy and Triumph – Where Mountains Rise and Hearts Fall Review

Tragedy and Triumph – Where Mountains Rise and Hearts Fall Review

“When one thinks of Viking metal, two bands should come immediately to mind, one the genre’s progenitor, the other its standard bearer. I’m inclined not to name them, as it seems insulting to our readership, but rest assured Tragedy and Triumph cite both as touchstones. With that in mind, Where Mountains Rise and Hearts Fall is 54 minutes of relatively straightforward death metal with a melodic bent and a follow-the-bouncing-ball harsh vocal delivery.” All the world’s a raid.

Son of Sam – And the Monster Awoke… Review

Son of Sam – And the Monster Awoke… Review

“When Rimfrost disbanded after their magnificent Expedition: Darkness, I thought I’d never get to review something from them again. What’s this gotta do with Rimfrost? You’re about to find out. After Rimfrost parted ways, drummer Throllv and bassist Khratos joined forces to create new music under the moniker Son of Sam. But what is Son of Sam? Is it the next phase of Rimfrost‘s sound? Will they dig deeper than ever to top Expedition: Darkness? Or, is this something else?” The monster next door.

Evil Drive – Demons Within Review

Evil Drive – Demons Within Review

“Well, the female-front beast that is Evil Drive is back. Like I’ve stated in previous reviews, Arch Enemy probably comes to mind the most. That said, the band has tried to incorporate more than meets the ears. I’m not gonna say this Finnish Five-some has solved the problem and released something special. Not quite, but at least there’s a little more variety on this new release. Or, maybe it’s that it seems like the band has finally started taking their music seriously.” By demons be driven.