Atlantean Kodex

Dark Forest – Oak, Ash & Thorn Review

Dark Forest – Oak, Ash & Thorn Review

“U.K.’s Dark Forest has been cranking out high quality music since 2009, with a very interesting blend of Euro-power, traditional heavy metal and just enough folk elements to give them a slightly unique sound. Albums like The Awakening and 2016s Beyond the Veil were very good, teetering on the cusp of greatness, borrowing from NWoBHM legends like Iron Maiden while also dipping into the slick songcraft of Avantasia and prime Sonata Arctica. Their compositional and storytelling acumen improved with each release and I just knew they had a truly big release in them dying to burst free.” Really good wood.

Terminus – A Single Point of Light Review

Terminus – A Single Point of Light Review

“I haven’t gotten my hands on much trve metal of late beyond the massive overdose administered by Atlantean Kodex in September. That was enough to keep me sacking and pillaging like a berserk Vandal for months, but a booster shot of trveness is never a bad thing. Northern Ireland’s epic heavy metal act Terminus is set to deliver such an inoculation this week with their sophomore release A Single Point of Light.” Light the torches.

Atlantean Kodex – The Course of Empire Review

Atlantean Kodex – The Course of Empire Review

“After impressing the metalverse with 2013s The White Goddess, the band took their sweet time crafting a followup, and the long-awaited The Course of Empire definitely dials up the Bathory-esque epic Viking side of Atlantean Kodex‘s mammoth heavy metal sound. Along with the band’s usual While Heaven Wept meets Manowar on Manilla Road take on oversized throwback metal, there’s a powerful Hammeheart influence under-girding the already titanic, soaring compositions, making for a heavier, darker sound.” Atlantean Empire rising.

Lunar Shadow – The Smokeless Fires Review

Lunar Shadow – The Smokeless Fires Review

“Trying to cobble multiple metal genres together into a unified and effective sound is no easy feat. Especially when one sets their sights on epic traditional metal interwoven with black metal and melodeath influences. Too much of any one ingredient and it all starts to go off the rails. Thus finding that elusive sweet spot is an alchemic challenge few bands are the equal to. Lunar Shadow almost pulled it off on their 2017 debut Far From Light, but a few issues conspired to undermine some of their otherwise good works. Still, it was an interesting album with some compelling moments and it oozed with potential and what ifs. Now they’re back with a new frontman and a more evolved, mature approach to genre crocheting on The Smokeless Fires.” Smoke on Mt. Doom.

Altar of Oblivion – The Seven Spirits Review

Altar of Oblivion – The Seven Spirits Review

“At the turn of the year between 2016 and 2017, I was going through a rather rough patch. Even music, one of the steady forces in my life, was largely ringing hollow and failing to elevate my mood. But those releases which broke through my personal quagmire have endured for me all the more and one of those was Altar of Oblivion‘s EP called Barren Grounds. Though it only ran for 4 tracks through 19 minutes, its singular, dusty, atmospheric approach to doom metal captured my imagination and has stayed with me. I was therefore excited to note a 2019 full-length, their first in seven years, appropriately entitled The Seven Spirits. Excitement all too often ultimately reaches disappointment but I had faith in these Danish doom-mongers.” Strong spirits,

Ty Morn – Istor Review

Ty Morn – Istor Review

“Another day, another record palmed off generously donated to me by Steel. In this case, I was convinced to give it a shot by the gorgeous cover art. Take a moment to admire it. It’s certainly not particularly brvtal, but it is very pretty. Despite the Viking art, though, the music doesn’t particularly draw on the tropes of Viking metal. This is classic power metal in the vein of Hammerfall, Dream Evil, and the like. Yet, sole permanent band member Aron Biale describes it as an homage to golden age metal.” Ear raid.

Hands of Orlac / The Wandering Midget Split Review

Hands of Orlac / The Wandering Midget Split Review

“Splits are great ways to expand your musical repertoire when familiar with one of the bands collaborating. A level of mutual respect is presumed between the two: surely a favored artist will have good tastes themselves? And surely the twinned groups will offer something similar but sufficiently distanced for a neatly conjoined listening experience? Such conclusions seem logical.” Slashed by Occam’s razor.

Sons of Crom – The Black Tower Review

Sons of Crom – The Black Tower Review

“The AMG promo sump is a murky, fetid cesspool, and you don’t always find exactly what you expected when delving into its brackish, primordial ooze. Swedish two-man band Sons of Crom were clearly labelled as “epic heavy metal” by some AMG toadie, which to my mind conjures images of Atlantean Kodex and triggers my involuntary salivation reflex. The band’s second full-length, The Black Tower is many things, with epic being one of them, but they’re quite far afield from what I was expecting.” From sump to summit.