Aug20

Bull Elephant – Created From Death Review

Bull Elephant – Created From Death Review

“London-based anonymous prog-doom-death collective Bull Elephant are back with Created From Death, the follow-up to last year’s self-titled (and thoroughly enjoyed) debut. That debut introduced us to the story of the Bull Elephant, an undead Nazi-killing beast led by a shaman witch. It was gloriously over the top, musically, vocally, and thematically, and I wasn’t expecting this fast of a turnaround on episode 2. Yet here we go!” Like a bull in a Nazi shop.

Black Crown Initiate – Violent Portraits of Doomed Escape Review

Black Crown Initiate – Violent Portraits of Doomed Escape Review

Black Crown Initiate began their career with such promise and explosiveness with the one-two punch of their Song of the Crippled Bull EP and The Wreckage of Stars LP, that the more experimental and progressive 2016 album, Selves We Cannot Forgive, was a minor disappointment. Although a solid album with scattered high points, a lack of cohesion and mixed experimentation found the album falling short of expectations. Nevertheless, Black Crown Initiate remain a talented entity in the modern progressive death landscape. Following a four year period since their sophomore release, the band return with the anticipated Violent Portraits of Doomed Escape.” Progress and devolve.

Terra Atlantica – Age of Steam Review

Terra Atlantica – Age of Steam Review

“Steampunk is such a cool aesthetic. Victorian-era styling fused with futuristic tech in a fictional timeline where steam power reigns dominant as the primary energy source. The idea practically sells itself! While I’m not especially knowledgeable on the lore that creators fashioned within the steampunk universe, almost anything bearing the tag garners my attention. My enthusiasm for the genre attracted me to Terra Atlantica‘s sophomore full-length, Age of Steam. Will it be the lean, mean, steam-powered machine I so desire?” Steamed hams.

Rope Sect – The Great Flood Review

Rope Sect – The Great Flood Review

Idle Hands took the metal scene by storm last year. Their debut Mana had an unexpectedly widespread appeal and proved conclusively that the love for gothic rock among us was not as dead as many thought. The comparison to Idle Hands is easily made when looking at Rope Sect’s The Great Flood, another band seeking to revive old school gothic rock, and perhaps that may contribute to the quickly amassing buzz around the fledgling band, but two quality EP’s and a guest spot for Grave Pleasures and Hexvessel frontman Matthew McNerney a.k.a. Kvohst will do nothing to quell the surging tide of hype.” Rope, buzz, cults and hype.

Ravened – From the Depths Review

Ravened – From the Depths Review

“Rather curiously, the promo material spends quite of bit of time telling me not about Ravened, but about bands that various bandmembers’ relatives — two fathers and an uncle — were in. Since I don’t understand the relevance of that (my failing, I’m sure), I’m going to focus instead on the record and hope that Ravened can step out of the shadow both of their older male relatives and of the various influences they cite.” Blood deep.

Selenseas – The Outer Limits Review

Selenseas – The Outer Limits Review

“Seeing the almighty “power metal” banner waving boldly above a Pile of Intrigue in the Promo Pit is a fascinating experience, because it never fails to bring out my optimism and cynicism in roughly equal amounts. On the one hand, I love power metal. On the other hand, it’s such a straightforward genre that even established acts occasionally have trouble with a potentially generic sound. As per usual, optimism won out, so today I will tell you about my experience with Selenseas, a Russian group dabbling in symphonic power metal.” Power outage.

Misery Signals – Ultraviolet Review

Misery Signals – Ultraviolet Review

Misery Signals have been signalling misery by hybridising their metalcore vehicle with flashy touches of thrash, post-rock and progressive metal. Although elements of these other genres make appearances, Misery Signal‘s engine is pure metalcore. Since forming in Wisconsin in 2002, Misery Signals have released four full-lengths. Their last record – Absent Light – was released in 2013. Seven years is a long time. A lot has changed.” Time, tide, and trend.

Vassafor – To the Death Review

Vassafor – To the Death Review

“The band sport a Mitochondrion or Adversarial styled take on death/black metal with a thrashy assault-heavy relentlessness combined with eldritch melodies and passages of doomy ominousness. These New Zealanders laid it on thick with 2012’s double LP The Obsidian Codex, expertly balancing relentless blackened death with ritualistic atmosphere and dense doom to create an experience that felt far shorter than its immense hour-and-thirty-five-minute runtime suggested. Enter 2017’s Malediction, which wasn’t… that. While offering a “shorter” listen at fifty-four minutes, it never managed to truly escape the doomy drudgery and wallowed in uneventfulness for nearly an hour. Enter 2020’s To the Death.” Death be not quick.