Barren Earth

Iotunn – Access All Worlds Review

Iotunn – Access All Worlds Review

“If any of you are fellow Dungeons & Dragons nerds, which of course you are because you listen to metal, you should be familiar with the concept of a natural 20. Well, lately I’ve been experimenting with literally randomizing what promos to pick, using a single line of code to spit out a number corresponding with a place in a list. This time, the code landed on an unassuming sounding debut by a band called Iotunn, marked as space rock. Imagine my surprise when fellow prog lover Huck N Roll informed me that instead I’d landed on a very promising chunk of Metal Blade backed cosmic progressive death metal with none other than Jón Aldará (Barren Earth, Hamferð) on vocals.” Significant access.

Völur – Death Cult [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

Völur – Death Cult [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

Völur is a thing that I too nearly missed this year. The Canadian folk/doom trio received a strong recommendation from Akerblogger some years ago, and returned this year to unleash their third full-length, Death Cult, upon the Angry Metal Masses this past November. Unfortunately, life got in the way, and the album was never picked up for review. Now I’m here to rectify the issue, because as far as doom metal goes, Death Cult is one of the best albums I’ve heard in some time.” Drinking the Kool-Aid.

Disillusion – The Liberation Review

Disillusion – The Liberation Review

“I’ve gushed about the astonishing debut album from Germany’s Disillusion before, and consider 2004’s Back to Times of Splendor to be one of melodic death metal’s finest post millennium offerings. Following-up their phenomenal masterwork was always going to be difficult, so rather than repeat themselves Disillusion took a significant and questionable stylistic detour on 2006’s ambitious but underwhelming Gloria. Now, following a Tool-length break from the studio, Disillusion make their long-awaited and highly anticipated return via their third LP, entitled The Liberation.” Under no illusions.

Amorphis – Queen of Time Review

Amorphis – Queen of Time Review

Angry Metal Guy‘s Law of Diminishing Recordings™ will rear its head eventually. Nearly every revered band in the metal scene has seen a glorious upsurge followed by a progressive diminishing over time. It’s been literally thirty years since my favorite album of all time was released, which is the same year that Metallica released …and Justice for All. Neither band fully recovered. In fact, all of my favorite bands from when I was 25 have grown increasingly uninspiring. Except Amorphis.” Fight the law!

Barren Earth – A Complex of Cages Review

Barren Earth – A Complex of Cages Review

A Complex of Cages doesn’t break open Barren Earth’s sound to be something dashingly new. Rather, it shows these Faroe-Finns rocking out mid-paced death riffs, offsetting it with cleaner parts and littering the heaviest sections with borderline orchestral black metal. All of this is built on the sturdy base of Amorphis riffs that permeate nearly every song on the album.” Elegy to the earth.

Hamferð – Támsins likam Review

Hamferð – Támsins likam Review

Hamferð plays a style of doom that is thankfully impervious to serious trendiness. Truly excellent funeral doom is pretty rare, and I have developed a bit of an aversion to the doom genre because my promo inbox is populated by a glut of stoned, raw-water-drinking hipsters trying to play Black Sabbath riffs as though they were interesting and/or novel nearly 50 years after they were first written. But when done well, doom metal can be an intense, beautiful, and crushing genre. And Hamferð does it well.” Welcome the end.