Apr19

Record(s) o’ the Month – April 2019

Record(s) o’ the Month – April 2019

We’d have to ask Sentynel, but I’m pretty sure this is a historically late Record(s) o’ the Month. You’ll forgive me, things have been a bit hectic around the office. Some of that is good and some of it is bad, but the end result is the same: extraordinarily delayed Record(s) o’ the Month. But this month was pretty easy, I didn’t even get much push-back about this—which is a shame, because I like repressing the plebeians. So without further ado, your Record(s) o’ the Month for April of 2019.

Qantice – The Anastoria Review

Qantice – The Anastoria Review

“Somewhere in my timeline of metal fandom, the term “symphonic metal” ceased to act as a flame for my moth-like tendencies. It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly when this occurred, but the source is not. Over time, artists began to implement symphonic elements as less of an enhancer and more of a blatant crutch. Bands utilizing full orchestrations have proven so successful under the Nuclear Blast banner that the ensuing deluge of Nightwish and Dimmu Borgir knock-offs still taints the AMG promo sump to this day. And that’s part of what makes Qantice so dadgum charming: they play highly ambitious symphonic power metal on their own terms.” Symphony for the Devil.

Helheim – Rignir Review

Helheim – Rignir Review

“As I sit here with Helheim‘s newest album, Rignir, two things occur to me.  First, Helheim is the most-consistent band I know. Not only are all their albums good or great but they’ve been releasing a new one every 2-3 years since 1995. Second, I’ve been at AMG far longer than I realized. Having first reviewed this black/Viking metal band back in 2015, Rignir is now the third time I’ve penned some words on their music.” The olde and the reliable.

Whiskey Ritual – Black Metal Ultras Review

Whiskey Ritual – Black Metal Ultras Review

“Duality is a part of life. Man and God. Heaven and Hell. Filet mignon and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. There’s a time and a place for putting on your best suit and giving a polished presentation to your boss, and there’s a time and a place for slamming Michelob Ultras in your underwear while listening to Impaled Nazarene‘s discography in reverse order. Since this is a band called Whiskey Ritual, I’m sure you’ve already figured out which side of the spectrum they fall on. Here’s a hint: my pants are already off.” Pants off, dance is also off.

Chevalier – Destiny Calls Review

Chevalier – Destiny Calls Review

“Speed metal is something of an oddity in the vast expanse of metal subgenres. Where most styles have endured through the decades, speed metal was more of a stepping stone to the birth of thrash than anything else, its caffeinated take on heavy metal giving way to something crunchier and more easily classifiable. Perhaps this was for the best, as I can’t think of a single instance where speed metal ever matched the best that either trad or thrash metal has to offer. This hasn’t stopped what I’ve decided to dub the Sneaky Scandinavian Speed Metal Revival, however.” No one expects the SSSMR!

Árstíðir lífsins – Saga á tveim tungum I: Vápn ok viðr Review

Árstíðir lífsins – Saga á tveim tungum I: Vápn ok viðr Review

“Norse mythology is an expansive, rich, and very metal topic. It’s no surprise that folks from all walks of the metal world have adapted its themes and stories as a part of their artistic visions. I would argue that black metal adopt this style best, especially when the band itself hails from the North. Enter Árstíðir lífsins. Since 2008, these Icelanders have been creating black metal that tell the historic and mythical tales of their homeland in their native language. Their latest output, Saga á tveim tungum I: Vápn ok viðr is part one of a story about the rise and reign of King Óláfr Helgi Haraldsson, who ruled Norway in the eleventh century.” Ice tales.

Tanagra – Meridiem Review

Tanagra – Meridiem Review

“”Bloat.” It’s a nasty word, and it’s hard to come up with situations in which bloating occurs in an enjoyable way. I’ve experienced severe abdominal bloating, the kind where you’d gladly trade your kingdom for a pressure-relieving fart. My mighty tire and hammer have been in storage since we moved several weeks back, so I’ve been dealing with the gradual bloating of my waistline and the subsequent struggles to squeeze my fat ass into pants that used to fit. I can even attest to the unpleasantness of having to move a bloated human corpse after it has baked in a sealed apartment for over a week in the summer heat. Yep, bloating seems to universally suck, but I’ll try to keep an open mind as my ears travel a couple of hours down Interstate 5 to review the bloated hour-plus sophomore album Meridiem from Portland, Oregon’s Tanagra.” If the pants fit….

Varaha – A Passage for Lost Years Review

Varaha – A Passage for Lost Years Review

“Those of us at not familiar with Vektor shot some great shit around the AMG office bilge warmer when we first heard that Terminal Redux was going to be 73 minutes long. A thrash album coming in at over an hour long? Don’t these wankers know that I could listen to Reign in Blood two-and-a-half times instead of their shitty album? We all know how that went down. Suffice it to say that the Reign in Blood rule can at times be violated. Yet it still surprised me when Varaha took their 47-minute-long atmospheric-goth-doom-etc. album and, in stuffing another 21 minutes of orchestral interlude tracks in, somehow improved the record.” Binge without guilt.

De Lirium’s Order – Singularity Review

De Lirium’s Order – Singularity Review

“I fucking love tech-death. When the style is done well it’s an exhilarating ride, spiking the adrenaline and creating an intoxicating blend of technical wizardry, memorability and brutality. Yet sadly, more often than not the style is inundated with bands content to cram their technical skills down your throat, tossing any semblance of songwriting skills out the window in a flood of over-the-top, soulless wankery. After toiling in the underground for many years, Finland’s De Lirium’s Order return to unleash their fourth LP, and first since 2012, in the shape of Singularity. So with equal parts optimism and trepidation I dive into the swirling sci-fi abyss of the De Lirium’s Order experience, hoping to get that giddy rush of the elite class of tech-death heroes.” Wanky cranky.