Aug18

Opus of a Machine – Stray Fire Review

Opus of a Machine – Stray Fire Review

“A new record from an unsigned band touring with Caligula’s Horse should be enough for most reviewers to perk up their ears and attempt to claim it from the promo bin. Somehow, though, Opus of a Machine’s new album Stray Fire had its cloaking device firmly in place, and none of us grabbed it until the AMG Overlords forced it upon me.” Forced Opus is the best Opus.

Cemetery Urn – Barbaric Retribution Review

Cemetery Urn – Barbaric Retribution Review

“When it comes to pretension, quoting yourself is one of its masturbatory peaks. Allow me to indulge in a scratch that lingers slightly too long and paraphrase what I said about Australia’s Cemetery Urn in the distant year of 2017. The band’s self-titled release showed a great deal of promise with its punishing yet coherent death metal, making them a band worth paying close attention to. While I had been anticipating a new release, this quick of a turnaround is worrying. Can Barbaric Retribution be the result of a productive fit of inspiration or a public jettisoning of leftovers deemed unworthy of records past?” Respect isn’t given. It’s Urned.

Halcyon Way – Bloody But Unbowed Review

Halcyon Way – Bloody But Unbowed Review

“Just because you wore yourself down to the stubs doesn’t mean you produced anything worth a damn. It’s about what you achieve, not how much of it. Halcyon Way would seem to disagree. Having built their reputation on grit and gumption, they stand proud of their latest album, Bloody But Unbowed, a declaration to dogged persistence if there ever was one. But, does effort guarantee success?” Prog-thrash is a dangerous game.

Haunt – Burst into Flame Review

Haunt – Burst into Flame Review

“A couple years ago, I put Spellcaster’s Night Hides the World on my top ten list. But, now that they appear to have folded, I’m in search of a replacement with the same amount of pizzazz. In walks Haunt and their debut record Burst into Flame. A record with plenty of Spellcaster-meets-Angel Witch vibe. But is it what Grier‘s been waiting for?” Calling Doctor Olde. Doctor Olde, please report to the past.

Ravens Creed – Get Killed or Try Dying Review

Ravens Creed – Get Killed or Try Dying Review

“Among the uninitiated, metal has a reputation for being “that angry sort of music.” Of course, we know better than that. Many progressive and power metal bands wax about life-affirming statements in flowery language, and even many heavy metal bands aim more for fun and camaraderie than anger and skull-bashery. With more extreme forms of metal, it’s easier to see where the ignorant come from, but even black metal commonly puts subjects like evil and subversion ahead of sheer violence. Ravens Creed, however, have no problem giving in to the stereotypes.” Violence begets other violence.

The Eternal – Waiting for the Endless Dawn Review

The Eternal – Waiting for the Endless Dawn Review

“Long time readers of Angry Metal Guy Blogworks and Important Opinion Emporium, Ltd., know I have a soft spot for sadboy melancholic doom. This led me to heap praise on Swallow the Sun’s mammothly meandering, overblown triple album suite, Songs of the North back in 2013. In the fullness of time, I downgraded the original score on my Contrite Metal Guy confessional, and hard lessons were learned: Some albums are simply too long-winded to work as well as they should. Now comes Australian act, The Eternal and their sixth album, Waiting for the Endless Dawn.” Why the long album?

Pyreficativm – संसार का पथ Review

Pyreficativm – संसार का पथ Review

“When it comes to our promo bin, the old adage holds true: the early bird gets the worm, the late bird gets the obscure Chilean black metal album with the unpronounceable name. Seriously, what the fuck is all that squiggly shit? Google tells me it’s Hindu for ‘world path,’ which makes sense given that Pyreficativm’s sole member Melek R. N. accompanied this album with a lengthy promo blurb containing several references to Eastern mysticism (amidst a torrent of other philosophical gibberish). After seeing he also referred to this debut as a ‘vehicle and ritualistic vessel,’ my pretense sensors went off the charts. Suddenly I feel like I’ve stumbled upon a South American version of Vardan that Enjoys ov Deep Soma.” I am become daft.

Aethereus – Absentia Review

Aethereus – Absentia Review

“Since the label’s inception, The Artisan Era has been edging into Unique Leader’s territory like it’s the South China Sea. With InferiAugury, and a slew of up-and-coming tech-death acts under its thumb, the label has established an ear for quality in an overindulgent niche. And as much as The Artisan Era’s output tends towards the frilly, keyboards-and-synth-orchestra side of the genre, I’m still keen to hear from their bands, and Washington’s Aethereus have my attention.” Absentia makes the heart grow brutal.

Monster Skull – The Face of the Great Green Devil Review

Monster Skull – The Face of the Great Green Devil Review

“I have many memories of hours of game-play with Priest and Maiden blaring in the background. D&D and metal go hand-in-hand, and that’s something that Monster Skull take seriously. So seriously, in fact, that they created this band solely for the purpose of recording a concept album based on the classic TSR dungeon crawl known as S1: Tomb of Horrors.” Djinn or Djinn’t?

Mr. Plow – Maintain Radio Silence Review

Mr. Plow – Maintain Radio Silence Review

“There could be a multitude of reasons why it happen, but very rarely is it a good sign when an artistic piece gets delayed. Whether it’s a movie you’ve been wanting to see for ages or a game that you’ve had reserved for nearly three years, when you anticipate something and it gets pushed back time and again, you go from being anxious about it to worrying. But sometimes the exact opposite happens. Case in point: Maintain Radio Silence, the first album in 12 years from Houston rockers Mr. Plow.” Mr. Plow, that’s their name.