Austrian Metal

Theotoxin – Fragment: Erhabenheit Review

Theotoxin – Fragment: Erhabenheit Review

“There’s no question that the latest Cytotoxin absolutely destroys. Its powerful and vicious approach touches me right in my technical sweet spot, and as the year goes on, Nuklearth‘s bleak, post-apocalyptic world begins to seem more and more familiar as the coronavirus continues its assault upon our very cells. It’s getting easier everyday to believe Freddy’s old maxim, “God is dead.” But what has led to our having to walk alone down the open road of this godless endeavor? The answer escaped me until, during one of my daily swims through the promo sump, I happened upon an empty prescription bottle. “Theotoxin 5mg” the label read, and the patient’s name upon it? “God.” Prescription proscription.

Deathstorm – For Dread Shall Reign Review

Deathstorm – For Dread Shall Reign Review

“I’m not sure how many times I’ve referenced Death in my reviews this year — and I’m too lazy to go back and check — but I feel like it’s been more often than would usually be expected. It seems like more and more bands are embracing the unique musical and vocal stylings that Chuck unleashed upon the world during his tragically short life, and I see this growing tribute movement as a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it shows that Schuldiner’s legacy is alive and well, his genius living on as intellectual stardust in the body of work created by his imitators. On the other, it’s hard not to be disappointed when you listen to something that sounds like Death and have it not actually be fucking Death.” Death be not gone.

Karg – Traktat Review

Karg – Traktat Review

“When last a Kargian headline graced this Hall, it was attributed to a TYMHM for their 2018 release, Dornenvögel. Young, full of hope and utterly devoid ov wisdom was the unseasoned Muppet, and ’twas naught but praise that he had for Dornenvögel. Fast forward to the mysterious future of 2020, and the Muppet – nay, the world – has changed entirely.” Change is hard.

Sortout – Conquer From Within Review

Sortout – Conquer From Within Review

“Gather ‘round, friends, I’ve got a new group for everyone to check out, they’re called Sortout. They’re Austrian. They’re metal. They’ve got shouts. They’re angry about something. They have a band motto. And now, take a quick look at that cover art and confirm what you already knew to be true: today, I bring you metalcore.” Gut conqueror!

Ryte – Ryte Review

Ryte – Ryte Review

“New year! New you! Oh, how I hate that creed. At midnight on New Year’s Eve, I was sound asleep and alone, joyously flaunting my disregard for this most nonsensical of global traditions. I made no resolutions for the new year either. Yes, this edgiest of numbers started the year in unbearably cool style, so much so that the Master of Muppets itself will be admitting to knowing me any day now. I entered the Field of Desolate Promos with confidence… and somehow, I left with Ryte, the self-titled debut of Ryte, a doom-inspired psych rock/metal project from Austria.” New year, bad attitude.

Vinsta – Drei Deita Review

Vinsta – Drei Deita Review

“Sometimes metal is addictive in its brutality. Sometimes it is so technically impressive that we come back to it time and time again. Other times, it’s catchy, burrowing its hooks into our helpless brains and infecting us from within. But, in my own opinion, the best metal is simply compelling; it has an abstract quality about it that draws you in and becomes increasingly rewarding with every subsequent listen. So it was with Drei Deita (Three Foreboders), the second full-length release from Vinsta, a solo project from Austria’s Christian Höll.” Resurgence intensifies.

Hagzissa – They Ride Along Review

Hagzissa – They Ride Along Review

“I guarantee that you are looking at the album cover to the left (or above, if you’re cellphone-advantageous) and are probably guessing the review score without even scrolling down. Believe me when I say that I took one look at that garishly drawn, purple-as-fuck monstrosity and noped the daylights out of it myself. In my fuzzy cat-brain, without even hearing a note of They Ride Along by Austrian newcomers Hagzissa. But I’m always willing to give everyone a fair shot, and we all know how the old adage goes about books and covers.” Purple is the new black.

The Negative Bias – Narcissus Rising Review

The Negative Bias – Narcissus Rising Review

“When last this great Hall ov ours was graced by The Negative Bias, I was pretty pissed off; how dare these Austrians arrive outta left field with such a straight-up banger like Lamentations of the Chaos Omega so close to list season? Their follow-up might be more considerately scheduled this time around, but I found myself just as angry when news of Narcissus Rising reached my ears. Hierarchically speaking, I would have to cover it — all two tracks and forty-two fvcking minutes ov it.” Go big.

Ellende – Lebensnehmer Review

Ellende – Lebensnehmer Review

“I love it when cover art tells you all you need to know about an album’s themes. Look at that skeleton — he’s clearly in the middle of a battle. So this will be a furious riposte to the notion of the glory of war, right? A blast of anger like Marduk or 1914, perhaps? But peer closer: he’s settled mournfully next to a fallen comrade, arm placed tenderly on his chest, a look of weariness and loss etched on his skeletal visage. Head up, he stares forlornly at the horrors that lie ahead. The theme of Ellende’s Lebensnehmer (“Life-Taker”), then, is less the fury and horror of war, and more the melancholy, pain, and loss that accompanies it.” Survivor’s remorse.