Belgian Metal

Fragmentum – Masters of Perplexity Review

Fragmentum – Masters of Perplexity Review

Fragmentum want to be famous so bad. By the beard of Johan Hegg, they want to be famous so bad. On top of their own homepage with the hip and cool .zone domain, the promo package includes a list of no less than 9 social media and related pages, including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Bandcamp, Bandsintown, Spotify, Soundcloud and Apple freaking Music. The package also has the very stylish modern (and generic) band logo in 4 different formats and no less than 11 pictures of the 3 man band (5 of the band, 2 of each band member individually. The promo text, which is so masturbatory it may as well have been handwritten in man-brine, speaks of “a well known Belgian diverging metal band,” trying to squeeze the formation into the genesis of a new subgenre, whatever the hell ‘diverging metal’ is supposed to be. So the trio has everything it needs for its break into metal stardom, right?” Vexed and perplexed.

Wolvennest – Temple Review

Wolvennest – Temple Review

“Belgium is a weird place. Maybe it’s the chocolate or waffles, but any country that offers groups like Neptunian Maximalism, Emptiness, or Amenra & Co. needs to have its cholesterol checked. Spewing out bizarre organic atmosphere with haunting repetition, artists like these have strangely minimalist tendencies that end up feeling bigger than the individual parts suggest. While spanning a broad range of metallic subgenres, it comes across as otherworldly, surreal, and fiercely dark. To add their two cents to these Belgian shenanigans is Wolvennest.” Temple of Weird.

Alkerdeel – Slonk Review

Alkerdeel – Slonk Review

“As you’re reading this, I’m sure you’re thinking, “Alkerdeel. Why does that sound so familiar?” You ask yourself if it’s a similarity to the British Akercocke – maybe? Well, perhaps a similarity to the illustrious Akerblogger, and you question if in fact the good lad was named thusly – nah, that’s not it either. You give a brief overview of their discography, noting that 2012 album Morinde features a somewhat abstract but violent portrayal of, what, a wolf beating a rabbit to death? That seems excessive for a predator with, y’know, teeth. Oh look, they were involved with Hypertension Records’ The Abyss Stares Back split series that’s fucking impossible to find.” Rabbit don’t come sleazy.

Iron Mask – Master of Masters Review

Iron Mask – Master of Masters Review

“Twenty-twenty has been the year of ore. Iron ore, that is. We’ve seen it extracted from the earth, thrown into the blasting furnace, and molded into steel. From that steel, we’ve seen so many swords forged, that it’s practically raining the motherfuckers. There’s Ironsword and Megatron Sword, Possessed Steel and Blood Hails Steel – Steel Hails Fire, to name a few. And it won’t fucking end as long as Steel is fanning the furnace.” Mask ore die.

Carnation – Where Death Lies Review

Carnation – Where Death Lies Review

“This Belgian troupe make nothing original. They make nothing challenging. They make nothing to push their chosen genre to the next stage of evolution. Yet, they are an inspiring testimonial to the effectiveness of a tried-and-true formula perfected. The formula for Carnation comes from old school death metal, with the same vitriol and verve first put forth by early EntombedCannibal Corpse, and to some extent, the less progressive half of Death.” Instant deathfest.

Thurisaz – Re-Incentive Review

Thurisaz – Re-Incentive Review

Thurisaz is a Belgian band blending together an atmospheric concoction of black, doom, and death metal. Their latest album is heavy on the atmosphere and lighter on the death and doom. Despite being a part of the metal scene for over two decades now, Thurisaz‘s sound on Re-Incentive is beautiful and unassuming.” Dark incentives.

Akolyth – Akolyth Review

Akolyth – Akolyth Review

“I can tell you right now: Akolyth’s self-titled debut is not the standard Muppet order. Blacker than a collapsed sun’s anus, and twice as heavy and half as clean, Akolyth is pvre obsidian carnage of the kvltest order, a raw black nightmare as far removed from my gaze-y gaze as possible.” Black Friday.

Bear – Propaganda Review

Bear – Propaganda Review

“How much good groove metal have we even heard in the last decade? Unto the Locust was, in my opinion, Machine Head’s last good album, and that’s about where it ends for me. Groove-influenced bands like The Haunted have worked much better than bands that use it as its core. Belgian quartet Bear seek to subvert that formula by stapling several genres to its creamy groove center.” Grizzly grooves.