Behemoth

Raven Woods – Enfeebling the Throne Review

Raven Woods – Enfeebling the Throne Review

Middle-eastern tinged metal has become a slight trend. Since Nile really took off with the sound and influences, slowly but surely the metal scene has followed with. Behemoth played the Nile card and won big with it and Melechesh has grown to great popularity, releasing great records left and right. However, that bands from the middle-eastern or north African region are actually put out records influenced by their own culture, that’s pretty new. Sure, Orphaned Land has been around a long time, but they didn’t really catch the popular metal imagination until 2006. Myrath still hasn’t caught on and now we have Raven Woods of Turkish extraction.

Hate – Erebos Review

Hate – Erebos Review

In the early days Hate was a death metal band. A pretty solid one, sort of in the same vein as Vader, pretty blasty and not super melodic. As they developed with time, they actually got arguably better and started putting out some pretty good stuff, groovy, a little bit more black metal influenced but still solid death metal. This development pretty much peaked in 2005 with Anaclasis – A Haunting Gospel of Malice and Hatred, which is widely considered their best record. While 2009’s Morphosis was a pretty good follow-up it didn’t live up to Anaclasis for many fans. However, Erebos offers some new life for the band, but also some unfortunate and appropriate comparisons to Poland’s biggest heavy metal phenomenon.

Svart Crown – Witnessing the Fall Review

Svart Crown – Witnessing the Fall Review

Well, I clearly didn’t see this one coming. Never heard of these guys, expected nothing, popped it in and HOLY SHIT! Insane, claustrophobia inducing, vicious, ugly, hateful blackened death of very high quality blasts you into assdust. Apparently, Witnessing the Fall is the second album by this brutal French unit (it seems weird to say brutal and French in the same sentence). Although I know nothing of their first release, I know this one should be labeled “Break in Case of Apocalypse” because that’s exactly what this reminds me of. Although they inhabit the same stylistic space as black/death acts like Behemoth and Belphegor, Svart Crown generate a gripping, uneasy vibe that the others lack and there’s a real aura of fear and dread generated on certain tracks that takes this to a darker, more disturbed place. One thing is for sure, this thing thing will rip and tear at your brainial areas if you let it (and you should).

The Bridal Procession – Astronomical Dimensions Review

The Bridal Procession – Astronomical Dimensions Review

The Bridal Procession are a death metal band with orchestral stylings from Paris, France. If you go to their Last.fm page, the first thing you see on there is someone writing “Behemoth 2.0.” What’s funny about this was exactly my response when I heard the introduction of this album, which has an Egyptian sounding orchestral introduction followed up with a vocal introduction that was ripped straight off from “Slaves Shall Serve” (a track from Behemoth’s Demigod, if you’re not familiar). This did not raise my expectations very high, to be totally honest. And, because of that I never had time to get disappointed by the mediocrity, and more frankly, unoriginality that followed.

Belphegor – Blood Magick Necromance Review

Belphegor – Blood Magick Necromance Review

I’m pretty sure loads of people were waiting for this one with baited black breath. Well, the wait is over and Austrian black/death mongers Belphegor have exceeded expectations to unleash a truly monstrous opus of blasting and burning to blight and ravage all the lands. Prepare thyself for one of the more intense, epic and fucking GREAT blackened death metal albums to come around in a while. Taking the best of both the black and death metal genres and stitching them together into a tentacled, writhing mass of gelatinous evil, Belphegor has created one mercilessly heavy yet strangely melodic beast with Blood Magick and Necromance and in the process, eclipsed the entirety of their past works (no easy feat since their previous releases were very good indeed [note: very good (3.5) is indeed the rating I gave Walpurgis Rites: Hexenwahn – AMG). In case it didn’t come across, I love this album!

Sanity of Impiety – In Life We Despise Review

Sanity of Impiety – In Life We Despise Review

I know it’s not a popular standpoint, but I’ve actually been pretty critical of Sweden’s underground. It is true that Sweden has produced some of the best metal in the world, I still have a bit of a feeling of “What have you done for me lately?” While there are some great bands out there that we all know, the underground here since after that first wave in the early 90s just hasn’t been the same. However, in the last few years a new generation of Swedish death metal and black metal has started coming to the forefront. Sometimes these are older bands, but there are also a number of younger bands carrying on the banner of their proud Swedish heavy metal heritage and doing it well. Sanity of Impiety, from up north in UmeÃ¥ (the same city which spawned Meshuggah, Naglfar, Cult of Luna and others) is certainly one of these bands.

Winterhorde – Underwatermoon Review

Winterhorde – Underwatermoon Review

It isn’t often these days that I review something that I found on my own. In fact, given that the amount of time that we here at Angry Metal Guy for reviews has gone down immensely compared to the huge numbers of promos we receive, it’s probably irresponsible for me to do so. But this Angry Metal Guy is always worried that we’re still not getting every CD of golden worth and highest quality. Once again this fear has been vindicated, but fortunately for you guys, I still love metal enough that I actually go looking for shit that we haven’t received here. And because of that, I stumbled upon Winterhorde a melodic or orchestral black metal band from… Israel? Yeah, turns out, even Israel which lacks for snowy winters has black metal guys who think that snow is the ultimate eviiiil. But don’t let the silly name fool you, because Winterhorde is not just your average melodic black metal band and Underwatermoon, while excitingly ESL in name, is anything but lackluster.

Gloria Morti – Anthems of Annihilation Review

Gloria Morti – Anthems of Annihilation Review

One of the best parts about being a reviewer, honestly, is getting a hold of records that you’d’ve never thought to buy on your own and really enjoying them. 2010 hasn’t actually had a lot of those for me. The year has gone pretty much as expected (and a little worse for certain bands, unfortunately). But one of the big disappointments has been the number of bands that I’ve gotten who I’d never heard of that just never pan out to anything. Because obviously it’s newer bands that keep things going and some of my favorite records of the last few years have been from bands that I didn’t even know existed until I got the record to review (Istapp for example, or In Mourning). Gloria Morti is one of those bands that I’d sorta gotten wind of, but never really heard before. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I received Anthems of Annihilation but I was pleasantly surprised.

Necronomicon – The Return of the Witch Review

Necronomicon – The Return of the Witch Review

There was a time where I loved all death metal and I mean all of it! When the death metal explosion started up in the mid to late 80s, I couldn’t get enough of the stuff whether good, bad or really awful. I just loved those Cookie Monster vocals. Over time however, as more and more bands glommed onto the style, my tastes refined and I steered toward those bands that were trying something different or unique within the genre. Canada’s little known death metal three piece Necronomicon (not to be confused with German thrashers of the same name) was always a band that did things a little differently and always earned my respect. In fact, Necronomicon helped jump start the whole “Egyptian themed death metal” style alongside Nile with their debut album Pharaoh of the Gods in 1999. Happily, their efforts to create unique death metal continue on their third album The Return of the Witch.

Aeternam – Disciples of the Unseen Review

Aeternam – Disciples of the Unseen Review

Egyptian metal is apparently a genre now! I didn’t have any clue! I just thought it was kind of a thing that Nile did. And then it was Nile and Behemoth. And then it was Nile, Behemoth and SepticFlesh. And now it’s Nile, Behemoth, SepticFlesh and Aeternam! I think that counts as a genre! So, that’s pretty cool in and of itself. Oh, and it turns out that Aeternam is pretty cool themselves, leading to a generally all around happy feeling for a few fleeting moments before the general irritants that keep me so angry all the time come crashing back in.