Anaal Nathrakh

Unru – Die Wiederkehr des Verdrängten Review

Unru – Die Wiederkehr des Verdrängten Review

“There’s something about abstractness in music that rides a fine line between tantalizing and off-putting. While anything tagged “avant-garde” is immediately greeted by a chorus of hissing and boos, there are ways to create effectively challenging tunes using relatively standard methods. Some metallic styles are born out of this aesthetic, as post-metal’s emphasis on landscapes or drone’s focus on overwhelming density spring to mind, but black metal has always maintained a bit more straightforward nostalgia in the unholy trinity: tremolo, blastbeats, and shrieks. Unru seeks to challenge such things.” Dare to be difficult.

Hath – All that Was Promised Review

Hath – All that Was Promised Review

Hath are a cool band. They fill that Slugdge-shaped hole in my thirsty sponge body quite snugly without being a carbon copy, and you can clearly hear how much the group’s sound and skill grew between debut EP Hive and debut LP Of Rot and Ruin. The same measure of growth in songwriting and style applies between Of Rot and Ruin and their latest opus, All that Was Promised.” Hell Hath more fury.

Bloody Cumshot – Nymphomania [Things You Might Have Missed 2021]

Bloody Cumshot – Nymphomania [Things You Might Have Missed 2021]

“In a year of awful band names, Bloody Cumshot —a project by Junya of Zemeth— may be the only one that has moved several AMG staff members to boycott the band on principle. And who can blame them? It is stupidly, ridiculously over the top. I’d assume anyone with such a band name to be edgelords among edgelords, and the song titles don’t help. But you can safely ignore all of that. Here’s bloodshot in your eye.

Contrite Metal Guy – Mistakes Were Made [N00b Cautionary Tales and Warnings Edition]

Contrite Metal Guy – Mistakes Were Made [N00b Cautionary Tales and Warnings Edition]

“The life of the unpaid, overworked metal reviewer is not an easy one. Cascading promos, unreasonable deadlines, draconian editors, and the unwashed metal mobs – it makes for a swirling maelstrom of music and madness. In all that tumult, errors are bound to happen and sometimes our initial impression of an album may not be completely accurate. With time and distance comes wisdom, and so we’ve decided to pull back the confessional curtain and reveal our biggest blunders, missteps, oversights and ratings face-plants. Consider this our sincere AMGea culpa. Redemption is retroactive, forgiveness is mandatory.” The foolishness of youth.

Headshrinker – Callous Indifference Review

Headshrinker – Callous Indifference Review

“Every now and then an unheralded act comes out of left field to whack you in the melon with a baseball bat forged of creativity and intensity. Colorado-based progressive death metal act Headshrinker just did that to me with their Callous Indifference debut. Combining rancid old school death with doom, suicidal-depressive black metal, and prog elements, this talented crew featuring members of Polyptych along with Havok‘s Pete Webber on drums, created a deep dive into the complex and painful issue of mental illness and the soul-killing isolation and anguish it inflicts on those suffering from it. Feel good music this is not as the listener is plunged into a musical simulation of mental affliction with all its disorientation and unease.” Insanity and genius.

Cognitive – Malevolent Thoughts of a Hastened Extinction Review

Cognitive – Malevolent Thoughts of a Hastened Extinction Review

“People around here know me as not being too into the more extreme quarters of the metal gallery. Hell, when I started writing, I’d barely prodded beyond the confines of Swedish death metal like Bloodbath and Vicious Art. Anaal Nathrakh was the exception to the rule, but even there I was more drawn to the melodic elements of their work, such as those showcased on Hell Is Empty… and deathcore never even appeared on my radar until I was trampled by Xenobiotic. Since crawling into an empty cubicle at AMG offices (while ignoring all the blood) some of the more unseemly viscera have begun to seep into the hollows of my skull. It’s a slow and sporadic process, and though my experience with tech death and deathcore remains scant, it’s enough to lash together a somewhat cohesive frame against which to place techdeathcore ensemble Cognitive.” Evil thoughts, fair reviews.

Estuarine – Nyarlathotep Review

Estuarine – Nyarlathotep Review

“I’m not sure why we have a general rule against EP’s, but I imagine that it has something to do with the brevity of the content. We don’t get a good representation of the artist if we’re only given a few songs to work with, while full-lengths are intended as cohesive works and can showcase the effectiveness of an artist to create them. Grind, however, throws a big ol’ middle finger at this in favor of beatdown explosions that sneer in the face of subtlety with the dumbest grin possible. A grind full-length can be anywhere between fifteen and thirty minutes, and even then, Estuarine‘s ten minutes is challenging brevity.” One-man grind to kick some behind.

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.