Archspire

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.

Concert Review: Obscura, Beyond Creation, Archspire & Inferi at Oakland Metro – September 13th, 2018

Concert Review: Obscura, Beyond Creation, Archspire & Inferi at Oakland Metro – September 13th, 2018

“I’m surprised so many people are there early enough to see Exist, especially given that the show started at seven. Presumably, I also missed Anisoptera before them, since I will later find one of their shirts in the pit during Obscura‘s set. That doesn’t matter so much to me; I’m here for the first show of what is likely the best tech death tour that the US will see for a decade, hand picked by the big shots in ObscuraBeyond CreationInferi, and tucked into the middle, Archspire. What a time to be alive.” Death in Oakland.

Aborted – TerrorVision Review

Aborted – TerrorVision Review

“Everyone loves a good horror movie, and for years Aborted have given us the musical equivalent. Since vocalist and Belgian native Sven de Caluwé began the project in 1995, he’s taken everything from goregrind to Carcassy death metal to melodic groove experimentation and bludgeoned it into his grotesque sonic mold. If you want to know what Aborted sounds like, shove your fist into a jar of old mayonnaise while watching the grossest horror film you know.” Special sauce and TerrorVision.

Piqaia – Artifact Review

Piqaia – Artifact Review

“Over the past few years, Copenhagen’s most gruesome residents have established one of the world’s most fetid death metal breeding grounds, with acts like PhrenelithUndergang, and Taphos garnering global attention. But with one look at the album art — say nothing of the band photo — you’ll recognize that we’re not going to hear from that ilk today. Instead, Piqia forces us to consider the lighter side of the city’s metal scene.” Pastels and prog.