Apr16

Uada – Devoid of Light Review

Uada – Devoid of Light Review

“The first thing that struck me about Uada is that although they are categorically black metal, drawing influence from numerous sources, they’re so bright and energetic. There’s a vibrancy here which is missed entirely by so many of their blackened peers. The musicianship is enthusiastic, agile and infectious as neat ideas are incorporated throughout – I’m not supposed to be feel happy when listening to black metal but I invariably am with Devoid of Light.” We laughed, now we must applaud.

Svarttjern – Dødsskrik Review

Svarttjern – Dødsskrik Review

“I’m a sucker for HansFyrste’s ghastly vocal style, he could probably read from the phone directory and I’d be very okay with it. The bug in my ear took effect around Ragnarok‘s Malediction and it only got worse when I discovered Svarttjern‘s and later release Ultimatum Necrophilia. Thankfully it’s a solid 2-years beyond the release of Ultimatum, which means we get another shot of Svarttjern, decked out in all their bullet belt and corpse paint finery.” Phone directory grimness would be very kvlt.

Record(s) o’ the Month – April 2016

Record(s) o’ the Month – April 2016

It’s not often that the Record(s) o’ the Month are decided before a month has already begun, but April got pretty close to being just that. In fact, I feel a little guilty about it, because the month that has been is surprisingly packed with music that I—and the other writers here—love. There wasn’t much of a fight about it, what with all the ruling with an Iron Fist of Steel™ and all, but I would like to apologize to all the contributors who reviewed awesome stuff this month which is getting ignored on this list. I’m sure your complaints will be aired aggressively in the comment section. I’m glad I’ve given you something to get your blood pumping. I’ve heard that sitting around reading metal blogs all day is bad for your health.

Haken – Affinity Review

Haken – Affinity Review

Haken have rapidly become one of my favorite bands in the world. Since my introduction with 2013’s The Mountain I’ve retraced their steps back through Visions and Aquarius – both slightly uneven stylistically and in terms of quality but with truly exemplary moments – and eagerly devoured their revised versions of older tracks on their 2014 EP, Restoration. I’ve seen them live twice and would be seeing them again in a month but for some pesky exams which will impact my future. It was therefore with great enthusiasm that I sat down with their fourth album Affinity.” Warning: fanboys may drool uncontrollably.

Abnormality – Mechanisms of Omniscience Review

Abnormality – Mechanisms of Omniscience Review

“When it came time to hand out songwriting chops, Satan smiled on Abnormality. The Massachusetts quintet’s debut, Contaminating the Hive Mind, was a throat-crushing extravaganza of pure death metal that capitalized on the group’s seven years together previous to its release. Contaminating is an exemplar death metal record, fusing tight and energetic performance with succinct writing and an ear for brutality that few bands can match. It’s the undead embodiment of kickassery, and expectations are high for Mechanisms of Omniscience, especially after a four-year wait.” Fours years of anticipation makes Kronos an edgy guy.

Darkestrah – Turan Review

Darkestrah – Turan Review

“It’s always fun to pick up a promo from a band that you’ve never heard before. Especially one hailing from a country you know diddly shit about. Perhaps the most enjoyable part of researching bands like this is reading about the rich heritage that surrounds the music. And on today’s exotic expedition into the unknown, we will explore Darkestrah, a black-metal outfit from Kyrgyzstan.” Turan the money!

Darkend – The Canticle of Shadows Review

Darkend – The Canticle of Shadows Review

“Until recently, I believe Italy’s Darkend promoted the kind of symphonic black metal that chased the coattails of bands like Cradle of Filth. With their fourth release, The Canticle of Shadows, I was unsure of whether to expect more of the same or something entirely new. I succeeded in missing their earlier releases like Damned Woman and a Carcass, Assassine and Grand Guignol, despite them receiving mostly positive reviews.” What the hell is a canticle?

Abhomine – Larve Offal Swine Review

Abhomine – Larve Offal Swine Review

“Pete Helmkamp’s varied projects over the years have one special unifying quality: there is something unsettling about them all that transcends music and hits the core of your being, reminding you that the world is an immaculately fucked up place and our tenure on it is tentative at best. Larvae Offal Swine, the debut album under the moniker Abhomine, is Helmkamp’s first true solo effort in which he wrote and performed all of the music with the exception of the drums. How does this nigh legendary extreme metal front man stand when on his own?” Offal before swine?