Anathema

Celestial Season – The Secret Teachings Review

Celestial Season – The Secret Teachings Review

“Talk about unexpectedly bumping into a long lost friend! Back in the 90s when the doom death movement was new and being driven by the “Peaceville Three,” there was a lesser known Dutch group called Celestial Season trying to horn in on the grimly emo fun. I first encountered them when I bought their 1995 sophomore album Solar Lovers and ended up quite taken with their gloomy yet accessible style. There were some great moments and I even loved their rendition of Ultravox‘s classic 80s hit “Vienna.” After that I never heard from Celestial Season again.” Surprise homework assignment!

Crippled Black Phoenix – Ellengæst Review

Crippled Black Phoenix – Ellengæst Review

“I’ll open this review with the sentence I used to close my last Crippled Black Phoenix review: Crippled Black Phoenix are a band I want to like more, but the material continues to fall short of their potential. And with that thought the band’s latest album, Ellengæst, was bestowed upon me, giving me several weeks to think about how I’d be going in with high expectations and coming out feeling like I’d only eaten half a meal. A quick scan of the promo material did raise an eyebrow: the size of the band has been cut in half (CBP have always been immersed in drama), and there are a number of interesting guest vocalists as a result.” Crippled but dangerous.

Invernoir – The Void and the Unbearable Loss Review

Invernoir – The Void and the Unbearable Loss Review

“We all have styles of metal so squarely in our wheelhouse it’s hard to tell where the wheel ends and the house begins. Weird phrasing? OK, I’ll try again: we all have styles that fit so well, they’re like slipping into a second skin made from stitched-together skins of bands that make the styles we—nope. How about we’re all like a bed-bound shut-in with sores down one side because we never shift position, and each of us has a style of metal that’s the corresponding depression in the mattress and rotting bed linens that perfectly mirrors our moribund—know what? Let’s forget similes. We all have styles that are our jam. Now, rising from Rome, Italy, comes Invernoir and their Cherd-bait debut The Void and the Unbearable Loss with the explicit “…desire to resurrect the sound of doom music from the 90s.”” Void rage.

Núll – Entity Review

Núll – Entity Review

“Off the top of my balding head, I can’t think of a genre that’s more difficult to pull off convincingly than depressive suicidal black metal. It takes quite a talented hand to navigate that particular battleship down those choppy seas. Go too hard, and you run the risk of being unlistenable, borderline or not. Go too soft, and you’re tossed into the tar pits and forever labeled a “try-hard edgelord” by those who should know better than to go that route. So I can empathize with any band trying to crack into that difficult niche market, and it doesn’t hurt that in this case, we have a band comprised of members of Carpe Noctem and Misþyrming.” Balancing despair.

Horn – Mohngang Review

Horn – Mohngang Review

“It’s neat seeing a progression of an artist across a project’s discography. From Anathema‘s death/doom to prog-rock stylings, Ahab‘s crushing funeral doom to, like, pretty funeral doom, to the deathcore to symphonic black metal to straight-up black metal of Abigail Williams, it shows true growth and maturity to acknowledge the past while stepping into the future. Today’s is German act Horn, comprised of sole member Nerrath, a prolific pagan black metal act with two demos, eight full-lengths, and an EP since 2002.” Change is in the air.

Officium Triste – The Death of Gaia Review

Officium Triste – The Death of Gaia Review

“25 years is a damn long time for a band to exist, though not so much if you’re a doom metal act. Officium Triste celebrates that milestone this year, but somehow The Death of Gaia, sixth full-length overall and first with Transcending Obscurity Records, is the first time I’ve heard this veteran Dutch act.” Unearthing the doom.

Yer Metal Is Olde: Morgion – Solinari

Yer Metal Is Olde: Morgion – Solinari

“Let’s face it, peeps; 1999 sucked for metal as a collective whole. Nü-metal sank its black-nail-polished talons into our favorite genre, with heroes trading speed and heft for JNCOs and wildly-colored dreadlocks while jumpingdafuckup over a DJ and 7-string guitars. And doom? Well, Anathema started their shift from doom metal darlings to prog rock just a year prior with Alternative 4Paradise Lost dabbled with da Mode with One Second but went Full Gahan on Host. And My Dying Bride were roughly 34.788% themselves before righting the ship with The Light at the End of the World.” Wow, what the hell happened?

Desecravity – Anathema Review

Desecravity – Anathema Review

“Japan probably isn’t top of the list of countries responsible for propagating the most volatile of technical death metal. Desecravity clearly don’t care for the geographical rank and file, however, as their hyper-proficient assault takes absolutely no prisoners. Anathema is the band’s third foray into profuse precision and exhibits a startling standard of musicianship. But, as with all overtly technical genres, there lingers an elephant in the room… What good is inimitable skill without commensurate song writing? I’ve lost count of the amount of bands I’ve heard over the years who exist, seemingly solely, as an extreme guitar clinic. No attention to structure, no time spent on foundation. Fortunately, Desecravity seem to be aware of this to some degree, but they aren’t entirely out of the woods yet…” Killed by tech.