Austrian Metal

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.

Dying Embers – Where Shadeless Dwell Frozen Review

Dying Embers – Where Shadeless Dwell Frozen Review

“In the mid-00’s, I was just starting to dip my toes into the realms of metal. Maybe it was just the entry point I had with Children of Bodom, but there were a slew of bands that were called melodic death metal, but like a Scooby Doo villain, turned out to be power metal with some harsh vocals, some of them adding some cues from Gothic metal to seem a little darker. Bands like Eternal Tears of Sorrow or Before the Dawn went over well with pubescent me, with their straightforward, Maidenesque guitar harmonies and gloomy veneer. Dying Embers fall in this category as well, being tagged melodic death metal, and instead molding bits of Gothic and growls onto a mid-paced power metal album with the unwieldy title Where Shadeless Dwell Frozen. Time to feel like a teenager again.” Drama Club metal.

Joyless Euphoria – Dreaming in Ultraviolet Review

Joyless Euphoria – Dreaming in Ultraviolet Review

“Even before Sunbather set off a scene-cred melee best likened in both intensity and contrivance to the Hedley Lamarr goons/Rock Ridge citizens brawl in Blazing Saddles, post-black metal was no spring chicken. James Kelley of Altar of Plagues suggested that the band’s change of direction on Teethed Glory and Injury was at least in part due to boredom with a stagnant scene and despite the downright bacterial rate at which post-black metal bands spawn, I can think of very few remarkable records in the style that have come out in recent years.” Blue light special.

Our Survival Depends on Us – Melting the Ice in the Hearts of Men Review

Our Survival Depends on Us – Melting the Ice in the Hearts of Men Review

“I really don’t like to throw around the word “pretentious” in my reviews. Underground music, particularly of the avant-garde persuasion, is a field where I believe that perceived false pretenses are merely the result of a disconnect between the artist and consumer. After all, properly recording an album is an expensive undertaking; with little chance for financial gain, why would a given band have any reason not to wear its heart on its sleeve? While I’ve covered many albums where I’ve felt this sense of disconnect, Melting the Ice in the Hearts of Men is not one of them.” Hot island songs.

Rauhnåcht – Unterm Gipfelthron Review

Rauhnåcht – Unterm Gipfelthron Review

“Shit, there’re still albums coming out in 2018? Good ones, too? Yet, with my top ten already complete, it’s easy to write off December. But Madam X‘s watchful eye doesn’t sleep. And thank your lucky stars for that. Because we would have walked right past Rauhnåcht‘s newest release, Unterm Gipfelthron.” Nearly missed.

Karg – Dornenvögel [Things You Might Have Missed 2018]

Karg – Dornenvögel [Things You Might Have Missed 2018]

“If you’re like me in more socially acceptable ways, you fvcking love Harakiri for the Sky. Something about those cloying tremolo-picked melodies coupled with J.J.’s soulfelt screams just fucking does it for me in a way that I can’t get enough of, so checking out homeboy’s one-man blackened adventure, Karg, was a no-brainer for me while I waited out February’s Arson. Thank Jørn I did, as it gave me the opportunity to properly anticipate the project’s then-pending 6th full-length release, Dornenvögel, and likewise be that much more satisfied by its utter fucking greatness.” Karg the Exterminator.