At the Gates

Tomb of Finland – Across the Barren Fields Review

Tomb of Finland – Across the Barren Fields Review

“As I inch closer to hitting a full decade of writing for Angry Metal Guy Industries, Ltd., I like going back and revisiting bands I reviewed before, normally in hopeful anticipation of new material. Not only is it because of morbid curiosity in seeing any progress, but this is kinda-sorta like watching a child grow older before your eyes. You want what’s best for them. In 2015, I reviewed Below the Green, the debut album from Tom of… TOMB. TOMB of Finland. Sorry. That “b” is important, kiddos.” Look at this photograph!

Carrion Vael – Abhorrent Obsessions Review

Carrion Vael – Abhorrent Obsessions Review

“What I like about their sound is the mix of The Black Dahlia Murder burliness with the relentless speed and riff changes of Mors Principium Est. Both albums run a similar course, but the sophomore release, God Killer, started dabbling with more technicality and subtle At the Gates vibes. You’ll even find some clean vocals rearing their ugly head on ‘Psalm of Lies.’ With an obvious desire to explore and expand their sound, one can only guess where this year’s Abhorrent Obsessions will take them. And, believe you me, it was not what you’d expect.” Carrion my wayward sons.

Darkane – Inhuman Spirits Review

Darkane – Inhuman Spirits Review

“I like Darkane. The veteran Swedish outfit has always struck a particular chord with me, especially on their more consistently ripping offerings, such as underrated debut Rusted Angel, and gems like 2002’s Expanding Senses, and 2005’s Layers of Lies. Despite falling into the shadows of their more recognized contemporaries, Darkane‘s gnarly, melodic and hooky blend of thrash and melodeath, amply bolstered by chunky modern metal grooves and symphonic touches, offers a damn good time when the band is in the zone.” Rusted angels of darkness.

Demiricous – Chaotic Lethal Review

Demiricous – Chaotic Lethal Review

“When you listen to Demiricous‘ first two records, they clearly didn’t know what sound, style, or production they wanted. One is more At the Gatesy and relatively dynamic in the mix. The other is a Hatesphere punishment that makes your ears scream in pain. Back in the saddle, Demiricous has brought all their death/thrash influences together on Chaotic Lethal.” Chaotic good or chaotic bad?

The Devils of Loudun – Escaping Eternity Review

The Devils of Loudun – Escaping Eternity Review

“Hailing from Seattle, and featuring members of Aethereus—who themselves released a stellar album just a few weeks back—The Devils of Loudun specialize in death metal of the melodic and symphonic variety. The band’s debut full-length Escaping Eternity finds neoclassical guitar leads and keys soaring over a foundation of thick, grooving riffs, while the powerful vocals of Aethereus‘ Vance Bratcher dial the heaviness quotient up to critical levels.” Devil be Loud(un).

Venom Prison – Erebos Review

Venom Prison – Erebos Review

“In the three years since their sophomore release Samsara, Venom Prison has experienced a meteoric rise to fame. Samsara captured the hearts of both underground metal aficionados and non-sociopaths, by infusing high-energy brutal death metal with a healthy dose of slamming hardcore. Venom Prison’s unrelenting sound earned them a deal with Century Media, and Erebos brings the band to a crossroads as their major label debut.” Prisoner of expectations.

Burned in Effigy – Rex Mortem Review

Burned in Effigy – Rex Mortem Review

“Melodic death metal is a strange beast for me. It’s one of those genres that almost always sounds good on first listen, but once the novelty wears off, I rarely find myself enamored enough to hang around. I recently joked that Amon Amarth is the only melodeath band I actually like, and while that may not actually be true, the sentiment illustrates what I need in order to like an album of this particular genre. No thanks to sad-boi, contemplative versions of the style; I need riffs and aggression in my melodeath platters.” Burning in elegance.

Unanimated – Victory in Blood Review

Unanimated – Victory in Blood Review

Unanimated is a historical oddity of sorts. Emerging from the Swedish death metal scene in the late 80s, they were one of the first bands to play what we now think of melodeath. Their 1993 In the Forest of the Dreaming Dead debut hit the same year as Dark Tranquillity‘s debut and At the Gates sophomore platter, but Unanimated‘s music was darker and creepier with a strong black metal element winding through its twisted core. Though the debut has gone on to become a minor cult classic, the band was quickly left behind as their contemporaries garnered all the fame and attention. There was a gap of some 14 years between their second and third release, and now after 12 years, we get their fourth outing, Victory in Blood.” Transcending obscurity.

Lock Up – The Dregs of Hades Review

Lock Up – The Dregs of Hades Review

Lock Up is a cool band. The long-running supergroup collective, featuring a shuffling cast of characters, have been kicking out the filthy deathgrind jams since their barnstorming 1999 debut Pleasure Paves Sewers. Sophomore album Hate Breeds Suffering ruled as well. Despite a more haphazard and sporadic output in the years since those two gritty, unvarnished gems dropped, Lock Up continued to maintain relevance while adhering to their classic deathgrind template, warts and all.” Lock up the nuance.