At the Gates

Angry Metal Days 2020: Update 01

Angry Metal Days 2020: Update 01

“Hello everyone! As I cannot pay the rent in the skulls of newbies, I work during the daytime for a traveling company. As such, I know that right after Christmas, people booking holidays surges. Now before you spend money on some dumbass idyllic location like the Canary Islands or Iceland, why not sweat it up with a bunch of strangers in black for a week on a field of grass in Slovenia? That’s right, bitches, it’s time for the first Angry Metal Days update!” Metal Avengers Assemble!

Kaoteon – Kaoteon Review

Kaoteon – Kaoteon Review

“With a one-sheet that closed with “FFO: Behemoth, MardukWatain, and My Dying Bride,” I expected competently played blackened death metal… with weepy violins, morose lyrics, or whatever else that could possibly be associated with My Dying Bride that would potentially throw a huge monkey wrench into the classic blackened death metal formula.” If you can dodge a wrench….

Dawn of Disease – Procession of Ghosts [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

Dawn of Disease – Procession of Ghosts [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

“My first “real” metal band was Iron Maiden. The second was Children of Bodom, and through them, I found other melodic death metal bands like Norther and Kalmah. These last three bands were all listed on Metal Archives as “power metal with harsh vocals,” as a kind of elitist bid to disassociate melodic death metal that was too melodic from the “death” part of the label. While it was kind of a ridiculous strategy, it is true that there’s a major subsection of melodic death metal that has little in common with death metal aside from growls or screams.” Death’s revenge.

Grim Reaper – At the Gates Review

Grim Reaper – At the Gates Review

“It’s been 36 years since an upstart British band called Grim Reaper released See You in Hell. It wasn’t the greatest album, but there was a certain charm about the band that made that album, and the follow-up Fear no Evil, stick in many playlists back in the day. That charm was due in no small part to singer Steve Grimmett. Steve’s been through hell and back over the last couple of years, first losing part of his leg a couple years ago and then having his brother pass away. But he’s back now, with Steve Grimmett’s Grim Reaper.” Reapers gonna reap.

Shade of Hatred – Reflection on Ruin Review

Shade of Hatred – Reflection on Ruin Review

“In my mind, there are two strains of melodic death metal. There is the kind that focuses on beauty (like the recent Eternal Storm) and the kind that focuses on raw energy (I would argue Brymir fit in this category). Both strive to infect the masses with sing-along-worthy tunes, but they take different approaches to the goal. Shade of Hatred, a melodic death quintet from the Netherlands, aim for the latter category on their debut full-length Reflection on Ruin.” The melodeath resistance grows.

Bastard Grave – Diorama of Human Suffering Review

Bastard Grave – Diorama of Human Suffering Review

“For one, Bastard Grave hails from Sweden, which is the home of some of my favorite death metal releases. Classics like Entombed‘s Left Hand Path and Dismember‘s Like an Everflowing Stream, as well as Grave‘s entire catalog, warm my sad, little heart. The riffs, the vocals, and the pace—which feels like treading through knee-deep mud—grip me like quicksand. Second, Bastard Grave have a female bassist. Hmmm… like Bolt Thrower, you ask? Are Bastard Grave a Swedish Bolt Thrower?! Because that would be sick.” Grave reviews.

Psychotool – Rotten Paradise Review

Psychotool – Rotten Paradise Review

“Coming off a short hiatus from this fetid cesspit exalted hall, I find myself digging through the promo bin for something familiar, something to kickstart the ol’ critical faculties. Black metal? Nah, wrong weather. Doom? Certainly rainy enough to fit, but nah. Melodeath it is then!” Something is rotten in…paradise??

Destrage – The Chosen One Review

Destrage – The Chosen One Review

“A man walks into a bar after a long day at work. A mushroom sits beside him, a real fun guy. The man orders a Stella Artois from the bartender and asks for it in a two-ounce glass. Perplexed, the bartender knocks eighty percent off the price and does what he is asked. “Bottoms up” says the man to the mushroom, who toasts to feces and personal growth in return. The man sets down the empty glass roughly, which gets the bartender’s attention. “That,” the man says to the bartender, “was some terrible whiskey.” This is how most metalcore reviews read by writers who never could stand the genre to begin with. They want it to be something it’s not, and when it inevitably fails, it faces the wrath of the mighty pen.” Pull up a toadstool.

Countless Goodbyes – Cycles Review

Countless Goodbyes – Cycles Review

“It’s been pretty interesting to watch metalcore’s evolution over the years. I’m talking specifically about the strain of metalcore that cropped up in the early 2000s, the good cop/bad cop style played by the Killswitch Engages and As I Lay Dyings of the world, the type that infused At the Gates riffs with choruses cribbed from the latest alt-rock band. I ate that shit up in high school and stayed for the party when the style started adopting faster and more technical playing (see: August Burns Red and Texas in July). When djent had its heyminute in the early 2010s, bands realized chugs weren’t too different from breakdowns and thus began to add some djentiness to the proceedings (see: This or the Apocalypse‘s Dead Years and Hollow).” The core cycle.