Be’lakor

Be’lakor – Coherence Review

Be’lakor – Coherence Review

“In a stunning display of journalistic talent, I actually still agree with the 3.5 I awarded to Be’lakor for their last record all the way back in 2016. Vessels was a solid successor to what distinguished gentlemen regard as one of the best one-two punches of melodic death metal: Stone’s Reach and Of Breath and Bone. It was an accomplished musical development from these records, though not a real development in quality. The 5-year gap since this is an especially long time in a world of 3-year album cycles, so does this indicate another assured step? A return to form?” Form and emptiness.

In Mourning – Garden of Storms Review

In Mourning – Garden of Storms Review

“I’ve heard it said many a time that In Mourning carry the torch that Opeth “abandoned” with the release of Heritage. I don’t happen to agree with that statement. Sure, superficially the Swedish prog-melo-death-doom quintet share something in common with Blackwater Park-era Opeth, but it was clear to me from the first minute of the indelible Monolith that In Mourning were an entirely different collective, a point that each subsequent release reinforced.” Mourning frost on the Great Pumpkin.

Amanita Virosa – Original Plague Review

Amanita Virosa – Original Plague Review

“Today, our case involves a patient who came in contact with Amanita Virosa — a deadly, basiodiomycete fungus. No, Dr. X, it’s not the same thing we isolated from Dr. Druhm’s paw the other day. And it’s not contagious. No, Dr. Holdeneye, I would not feed it to your daughter, no matter how much it resembles those portobello mushrooms she so clearly likes. Its nickname is ‘The Destroying Angel’ and this baby is full of amatoxins and phallotoxins… Stop sniggering, Dr. Wvrm. We’re supposed to be professionals here.” Do mo harm.

Eternal Storm – Come the Tide Review and Album Premiere

Eternal Storm – Come the Tide Review and Album Premiere

“Surround myself as I might with dissonant blasts and angular minimalism, all it takes is the first few notes of a melodic lead by Insomnium or mid-era ,b>Amon Amarth and all of my weirdo-cred moves to the back burner. There’s something about that mix of primal aggression and soaring emotion that scratches an itch no other genre can reach, so whenever I happen upon a new melodeath record of exceptional quality, it’s almost a religious experience. Come the Tide, the incredible debut album from Spain’s Eternal Storm, is just such a record.” Seize the tidal.

Lahmia – Resilience Review

Lahmia – Resilience Review

“Melodeath that does literally anything different will always catch my eye, so Lahmia‘s progressive, occasionally gothic, always interesting take on the genre was very welcome. But seven long years later, the Italians only now submit a second entry for consideration. The layoff brings changes, including a revamped sound that plays with fire given the exceptional strengths of their previous output. But if there’s justice in the world, Resilience will pull enough the tricks out of their sleeve to wow you.” Rise or fall?

Aetherian – The Untamed Wilderness Review

Aetherian – The Untamed Wilderness Review

“I love Insomnium. Big shock, I know. Of the eight reviews with Insomnium namedrops this year, I own more than half of them. Imagine my dismay when, upon returning from re-education vacation, I stumbled across a lonely slab of Insomnium-core from November, unreviewed and unloved. From Greece, to boot! Aetherian laid their pearly adoration for melodeath’s upper crust before swine and I’m going to give them their due.” Melodeath before nuclear hogs.

Record(s) o’ the Month – June 2016

Record(s) o’ the Month – June 2016

“It’s a blast from the past! That’s right, the Record(s) o’ the Month for June are finally here. And boy howdy, I gotta say that it was tough to get to these. There was plenty of infighting, accusations of me being a distant and cold tyrant. A psychoanalyst was called in. Then the police. Turns out that Steel Druhm may have lots of daddy issues, but he also hates talking about them and has a massive gun collection. We managed to get through this whole thing only slightly injured and now that I’m out of the hospital I’m posting this. So here you have it, Ye Olde Recordes o’ the Monthe for June.”