At the Gates

Dungeon Serpent – World of Sorrows Review

Dungeon Serpent – World of Sorrows Review

“When you read “melodic death metal,” what do you think of? If your answer is “thrashy power metal with more chugging and harsh vocals” you’re not alone. I frequently avoid bands with the melo-death tag because that niche of the subgenre has a shallow well of inspiration and grows old quickly. Too often do I forget that Kataklysm is a melo-death band, and Sorcery is a melo-death record, likewise with At the GatesWith Fear I Kiss the Burning Darkness. Both of these are the furthest thing from the cheesy version of melo-death. Thanks to The Nightmare of Being I’ve been on somewhat of a melo-death kick lately, which prompted me to take a chance on Canadian one-man band Dungeon Serpent and their debut record World of Sorrows.” Snakes in the Sorcery room.

At The Gates – The Nightmare of Being Review

At The Gates – The Nightmare of Being Review

“Swedish death metal and I have a bloody history. The Stockholm sound has always been my preferred space, while I’ve often butted heads with the Gothenburg bands. At The Gates are the only true exception. Their ability to mix melody without compromising creative riffing has ensured their reputation doesn’t go down in flames. However, when they reformed for 2014’s At War With Reality, I was unimpressed.” Gatekeeping.

The Absence – Coffinized Review

The Absence – Coffinized Review

“Everyone likes an underdog, and I am no exception. Garnering a solid profile over the years, Florida’s The Absence remain underappreciated purveyors of Scandinavian inspired melodic death, with a twist of Americanized thrash aggression mixed into the equation. Early albums, From the Grave and Riders of the Plague set a high standard, before a lengthy recording hiatus occurred between 2011’s Enemy Unbound and 2018’s comeback opus A Gift for the Obsessed, marking a solid return. Never ones to push the envelope, The Absence have managed to insert enough of their own character into a well worn style to escape stylistic limitations.” We all get Coffinized eventually, kid.

Son of Sam – And the Monster Awoke… Review

Son of Sam – And the Monster Awoke… Review

“When Rimfrost disbanded after their magnificent Expedition: Darkness, I thought I’d never get to review something from them again. What’s this gotta do with Rimfrost? You’re about to find out. After Rimfrost parted ways, drummer Throllv and bassist Khratos joined forces to create new music under the moniker Son of Sam. But what is Son of Sam? Is it the next phase of Rimfrost‘s sound? Will they dig deeper than ever to top Expedition: Darkness? Or, is this something else?” The monster next door.

Bloodspot – The Cannibal Instinct Review

Bloodspot – The Cannibal Instinct Review

Bloodspot would also like you to know that they aren’t afraid to cross genres. That said, they ain’t no atmospheric, avant-garde black metal group. Instead, this German quintet attempts to cross doom with groove and death with thrash. In the end, though, the band’s sound is closest to that of Swede-thrash outfits like At the Gates and The Haunted. But, there’s more to Bloodspot and their new outing, The Cannibal Instinct, than meets the eye. The question is, is it worth exploring?” Food chaining.

Age of Woe – Envenom Review

Age of Woe – Envenom Review

“Five years ago, Swedish doom peddlers Age of Woe threw down their second album, An Ill Wind Blowing, and I will always associate that album with another ill wind that blew through my home: Hurricane Matthew. Just like the latter ill wind battered and bludgeoned its way through the Bahamas, Haiti, and most of Florida, the former Ill Wind battered and bludgeoned my eardrums with some pretty hefty and sludgy doom goodness. Now with Rotten Sound‘s Keijo Niinimaa replacing longtime guitarist Gonzo Incognito, they’ve come back to batter and bludgeon me once more with Envenom.” Woe hammer.

Ablaze My Sorrow – Among Ashes and Monoliths Review

Ablaze My Sorrow – Among Ashes and Monoliths Review

“Melodeath is a tough sub-genre to review because it exists in a constant state of tension. It’s pulled in three directions constantly: death metal at one point, traditional heavy metal at another, and power metal at the third. The ebb and flow between these is what makes it enjoyable, but it’s also what divides fans. Err too much to one end and the music sounds “death metal-lite.” Err towards another and it resembles strained power-metal without any heft. The best melodeath is able to resolve these tensions, creating a palatable middle-ground. The Swedish melodeath scene of the 90s mastered this, and was pivotal to the movement’s popularity. A minor, but not inconsequential, contributor was Falkenberg’s awkwardly titled Ablaze My Sorrow.” Pain in the ash.

Into the Obscure: Soulless – Forever Defiant

Into the Obscure: Soulless – Forever Defiant

“We all have our dirty metal secrets that we selfishly keep to ourselves, only sharing with a select few close to us. Or alternatively, we incessantly talk up underground gems and spread the gospel to anyone that will listen, as we cherish our slice of underground cred. Into the Obscure aims to right the wrongs and unearth the artists/albums that for whatever unjust reason didn’t get the exposure, appreciation or credit they sorely deserved the first time round.” Be Defiant.

Draconis – Anthems for an Eternal Battle Review

Draconis – Anthems for an Eternal Battle Review

“There’s something special about South American death metal. I don’t know what it is, but the continent seems to have no shortage of bands that pair a raw, uncompromising, and wholly sincere approach with a strange and otherworldly mystique. Peru’s Mortem and Chile’s Atomic Aggressor, for instance, both excel at infusing the sound of old Morbid Angel with a sense of ancient and mysterious horror, while Chile’s Death Yell use less discernible influences to craft equally dark and aggressive material. Thus, I was quite excited when AMG Himself recommended I cover Draconis, an Argentinian death metal band who I’ve never heard of before.” Eternal muddle.