Aug18

Mongrel’s Cross – Psalter of the Royal Dragon Court Review

Mongrel’s Cross – Psalter of the Royal Dragon Court Review

“We’ve all been there. We’ve all strived to transcend weakness, to beat back the forces of oppression, to rip the fucking heart from the proverbial lion. Deströyer 666 use the motif of a wolf to convey this sense of power; fellow Australians Mongrel’s Cross use a dragon. Their 2012 debut The Sins of Aquarius was rife with such smoldering imagery, taking the Australian black thrash tapestry and soaking it in the grandiose swagger of Bathory’s Blood Fire Death. The result was both a personal favorite and one of the style’s most potent albums in recent years.” Dragons, Bathory and battles, oh my!

Stormland – Songs of Future Wars Review

Stormland – Songs of Future Wars Review

“The Grymm Grab Bag… Dungeons & Dragons-esque item of mystery and deception. The bag has blessed me with many musical gifts and bitten my sorry ass in equal measure over the years. Like the sorry cat-guy that I am, I should know better than to stick my grubby, unwashed paw into its gaping maw. This week, I have pulled out Songs of Future Wars, the debut album by one-man death metal act Stormland.” Gundam style.

Vardan – Unholy Lightless Summer Review

Vardan – Unholy Lightless Summer Review

“It’s lunchtime time and you know what that means: AMG time. You open your phone and you see this review at the top of the page. “Fucking Vardan?” you say. “Doesn’t AMG have an embargo on this guy?” you ask. Your mood has changed. Your day has flip-turned upside down. You can’t do this right now. You consider not reading the review. But you know that would be a mistake. You’re dying to know what lifted the embargo. You know you want an Unholy Lightless Summer.” Ograbme!

Sacrificed Alliance – Withdrawn Review

Sacrificed Alliance – Withdrawn Review

“Look past the front pages, beyond the newest Kalmah or Omnium Gatherum, but to the fringes. What do you see? Melodeath, by inch and by foot, grows longer by the year. This lengthwise legacy has nascent foundations as far back as Crimson before acts like Insomnium and Be’lakor (for better) and Wintersun (or worse) exposed that phenomenon to the masses. The most impressive returns rely not on track listings overstuffed with a dozen taut melobangers but long-form songs pushing the boundaries of melodeath’s expectation. Sacrificed Alliance assume this mantle.” Melodeath and the universe are ever expanding.

Beggars – The Day I Lost My Head Review

Beggars – The Day I Lost My Head Review

“Stoner rock is just about the most simplistic style out there, and oftentimes it’s at its best when stripped down even further to its core elements – riffs, vocal hooks and fuck you attitude. This is the rudimentary recipe Greek power trio Beggars bring to their stoner attack on their fifth album, The Day I Lost My Head.” Greek heads are gonna roll.

Imperial Domain – The Deluge Review

Imperial Domain – The Deluge Review

“When Gothenburg’s Big Three uncorked their defining early 90s works followed quickly by Finnish death misers, Sentenced releasing their groundbreaking Amok opus, the world saw that death vocals could be successfully integrated with classic metal in the vein of Iron Maiden and Mercyful Fate. Thus was melodic death metal created and in the preceding years, one billion copycat bands spewed out in a torrid frenzy of imitation and mimicry. Sweden’s Imperial Domain was one of the faceless horde of bastard offspring to drop from that overly fertile womb, releasing their debut in 1998.” A cry from the 90s.

Manticora – To Kill to Live to Kill Review

Manticora – To Kill to Live to Kill Review

“Of all the hundreds of underground power metal acts that you will never, ever hear of, Manticora is one of only a handful deserving of widespread recognition. For twenty years and over the course of seven records, these good Danish boys have gradually shed their former obsession with Blind Guardian and Iced Earth, growing proggier and thrashier with each passing release to become one of the genre’s most stylistically distinct acts. Even with their evolutionary tendencies in mind, though, I could not have predicted the forward leap that To Kill to Live to Kill represents.” Nature or suture.