Archspire

Cult of Lilith – Mara

Cult of Lilith – Mara

Cult of Lilith is one of those bands that are in the middle of what journalists and label blurb writers might call a ‘meteoric rise.’ Hailing from Iceland, the quintet has only one EP and no demos to their name since their inception in 2015. Yet Mara, their debut full-length, is already coming out through Metal Blade, one of the biggest labels in the business. On top of that, none other than semi-classical master painter and annual album art top 10 contestant Eliran Kantor delivered the ever excellent cover, and producer Dave Otero has such names as Cattle Decapitation, Archspire and Cephalic Carnage on his resume.” Big buzz, big expectations.

Ahtme – Mephitic Review

Ahtme – Mephitic Review

“It’s hard to believe considering my current taste, but back in the mid 00s I consumed all the tech death I could. I devoured Arsis, Deeds of Flesh, Origin, and all the other bands who were just coming into their own in the midst of MySpace and metalcore. My tastes have changed since then, but it doesn’t take much to make me give a genre another try. And by “doesn’t take much,” I mean a Monday night death metal show two years ago that just happened to be taking place at my favorite bar in town.” Easy Z.

Witches – The Fates Review

Witches – The Fates Review

“It never ceases to amaze me how many metal bands can continue to release high quality material so late in their careers. This year alone has seen terrific releases from both Vulcano and Sinister, for instance, and I’ll now be adding Witches to this list as well. Admittedly, I’d never even heard of this group until AMG Himself recommended I give them a try, a decision I’ve become quite happy with over the past week.” Run for covens.

Symbolik – Emergence Review

Symbolik – Emergence Review

“I’ve always preferred melodic death metal to plain death metal. While I appreciate the skill involved in well-crafted brutality, I generally insist on having some kind of melody to follow along with or atmosphere to get lost in. I remember when Archspire hit the Angry Metal world through Relentless Mutation, and I could not understand the appeal. One day, not too long ago, it just… clicked. The technical skill, the expert neoclassical weavings, the sheer unmatched power of the thing — I’ve loved the album ever since. And ever since, I’ve been hungry for more. Symbolik are the next tech-death group to take a shot at winning my heart with Emergence, their debut full-length.” Heart clicks.

The Drowning – The Radiant Dark Review and Album Premiere

The Drowning – The Radiant Dark Review and Album Premiere

“Since we got ourselves into the whole album premiere business not too long ago, I wondered what kind of album it would take to warrant a premiere of my own. Shockingly, I didn’t have to wait very long. Thanks to a certain Muppety influence, I acquired was deemed just barely worthy of access to a monumental death-doom album that very quickly rose to the top of my year-end contenders list. Imagine my sadistic ecstasy as I rushed to resuscitate The Drowning from the promo pool, only to discover that one sparkly sponge absorbed the Assign To bubble weeks beforehand. Joy Accordia! I’ll not be forgiven for this, not for an eternity.” Drinking deeply of despair.

Video Premiere and Interviews with Stevie Boiser and Trevor Portz of Ashen Horde

Video Premiere and Interviews with Stevie Boiser and Trevor Portz of Ashen Horde

“Back in March, I reviewed Ashen Horde‘s latest opus of black metal fury, Fallen Cathedrals. I heaped an unhealthy amount of praise its way back then, and I’m still spinning it a ton now. In fact, I would be very surprised if it were to fall outside of my top 5 albums come year’s end. My review may have been riddled with factual errors, but founder, songwriter, instrumentalist, and clean vocalist Trevor Portz showed up in the comments and revealed himself to be a gracious and enormously cool guy. So, when the opportunity to do an interview presented itself, I couldn’t resist.” We’re already off to a better start than last time.

Flub – Flub Review

Flub – Flub Review

Flub is something of a supergroup, with current and ex-members of Rivers of Nihil, Alterbeast and Vale of Pnath, though their sound is markedly different than the sum of their parts. Lyrically this is standard fare for the genre—subcategory fantasy—with the tale of a hero who is possessed at the end of his life by an entity bent on destroying Mother Nature herself, but musically Flub is a bit more colorful and damn near uplifting when compared to the members’ other bands. Make no mistake, there is still brutal death metal baked into this evil fruit pie.” Little Jack Horner stays tech.

Sinners Bleed – Absolution Review

Sinners Bleed – Absolution Review

“Everyone loves a good comeback. Overcoming the odds to return triumphant is a theme that has resonated through the ages. Sinners Bleed know all about comebacks. Their first album From Womb to Tomb was released to a reasonable critical reception… 16 years ago. This gap almost rivals the legendary 17 years between Sabbath‘s Forbidden and 13. Personal issues, changes to the line-up, and various setbacks along the way made it seem like a follow-up would never see the light of day. Which would have been sad because these Germans showed with their debut that they had some serious chops. But despite the travails and setbacks, here we are with Absolution.” Blood and time.