AOP Records

Waldgeflüster – Dahoam Review

Waldgeflüster – Dahoam Review

“Sometimes, an album seems to come along at just the right time, as if the capricious gods of the promo bin have taken a break and their serendipitous cousins, briefly, have the run of the joint. I recently went back to my homeland for a visit after a Covid-induced absence of nearly two years. When you return home after being away for so long, the earth feels more earthy, the sky deeper, the sea icier and fresher. It’s a sensation that’s hard to describe to anyone who has never left. But German band Waldgeflüster know. Their sixth album, Dahoam (“At Home”) is all about rediscovering the beauty of the familiar through wiser, more traveled eyes.” Homely.

Groza – The Redemptive End Review

Groza – The Redemptive End Review

“I was tentative about taking this album. I was familiar with Groza‘s debut Unified in Void from 2018, granting it a casual listen and making that “not bad” Obama Rage Comic face from 2012. If one peruses the Metallum profile of these Germans, you’ll be graced with the shocking sight of a whopping 0% average review score from three reviews. Why, you ask? Probably because — and maybe this is obvious given the act’s name and a certain Polish full-length debut — Groza sounds a hell of a lot like Mgła. That’s unfair, awarding no merit to an album simply because it imitates another. I mean, if fans cancelled every act that sounded like Transilvanian Hunger, we’d have no black metal left.” The end of influence?

Agrypnie – Metamorphosis Review

Agrypnie – Metamorphosis Review

Agrypnie is a German black metal band from Hesse, and no newcomer to the scene, having released five full-lengths, a split, an EP, and a compilation since 2005. Perhaps “avant garde” is a tag given to bands that are just difficult to pinpoint, as these guys employ a kitchen sink of influences and guest vocalists in their aural assault in sixth full-length Metamorphosis.” Kafkanated.

Ellende – Triebe Review

Ellende – Triebe Review

“Can art be updated? Once released, is a piece of art fixed forever, like chiseled stone? Or fluid, like the hobo wine in the AMG office dispenser? If an artist or musician takes an existing work, and makes changes, have they created an entirely separate piece, or merely created their preferred version? Austrian black metal band, Ellende, raises these questions with its latest (shhhhh) EP, Triebe.” Disastrous moments in filtration.

Tomorrow’s Rain – Hollow Review

Tomorrow’s Rain – Hollow Review

“With all the tech-death, funeral doom, and post-whateverthefuck being hurled our way over the last couple of years, it’s paradoxically refreshing when certain sounds of yesteryear make an unexpected, yet somewhat welcome, return. In today’s case, it’s in the form of mid-90s-flavored gothic metal that would have Century Media doing a violent double-take as to what decade it is.” Blame it on the rain.

Karg – Traktat Review

Karg – Traktat Review

“When last a Kargian headline graced this Hall, it was attributed to a TYMHM for their 2018 release, Dornenvögel. Young, full of hope and utterly devoid ov wisdom was the unseasoned Muppet, and ’twas naught but praise that he had for Dornenvögel. Fast forward to the mysterious future of 2020, and the Muppet – nay, the world – has changed entirely.” Change is hard.

Ellende – Lebensnehmer Review

Ellende – Lebensnehmer Review

“I love it when cover art tells you all you need to know about an album’s themes. Look at that skeleton — he’s clearly in the middle of a battle. So this will be a furious riposte to the notion of the glory of war, right? A blast of anger like Marduk or 1914, perhaps? But peer closer: he’s settled mournfully next to a fallen comrade, arm placed tenderly on his chest, a look of weariness and loss etched on his skeletal visage. Head up, he stares forlornly at the horrors that lie ahead. The theme of Ellende’s Lebensnehmer (“Life-Taker”), then, is less the fury and horror of war, and more the melancholy, pain, and loss that accompanies it.” Survivor’s remorse.