Black Lodge Records

Defecto – Duality Review

Defecto – Duality Review

“I’ve seen the question time and time again on any review below a 2.5. “Why even review this?” Well, there’s a bunch of reasons. An important one is, as soon as we pick a promo, we’re honor bound to review it regardless of quality. Oftentimes we don’t even know what we’re getting into, signing the contract over only the band name, album title and genre. A writer may start up a promising promo and have his head in his hands before the first minute is out, knowing he’s on the hook. That wasn’t the case with Defecto; I’ve reviewed the Danes before, to unspectacular result, and fully intended not to subject myself this time. But the band was brought up during our monthly meeting and the Emperor commanded me to pick up where I left off. Drat.” Double broken.

Pandemonium – Monuments of Tragedy Review

Pandemonium – Monuments of Tragedy Review

“My recent hankering for a melodeath fix came via a healthy binge of Edge of Sanity. And for what it may have lacked in innovation, Rogga Johansson‘s latest solo venture also hit the nostalgic sweet spot of the heftier qualities of vintage melodic death. Throw in the impressive debut LP from Eternal Storm and my sometimes dormant hunger for melodeath has been reinvigorated. Enter Sweden’s Pandemonium, a long running yet unfamiliar act returning with their fourth full-length album and first since way back in 2008. A veteran outfit returning to the game after a decade long hiatus creates an interesting proposition.” Long absences and tragic works.

Wormwood – Nattarvet Review

Wormwood – Nattarvet Review

“In March 2017 Wormwood‘s debut release Ghostlands: Wounds from a Bleeding Earth received a very positive review. I found it graceful and powerful, its montage of melodic sounds moving with a “ghostly smoothness that ebbs, flows, rises and falls with a mixture of beauty and malice that only impresses.” There were more than a few standout set-piece moments on that record which impress me still. However, the idea of the montage sullied my listens over the two years between records: Ghostlands, on reflection, felt too diametric in tone.” Contrition and evolution.

Netherbird – The Grander Voyage Review

Netherbird – The Grander Voyage Review

“With roots reaching as far back as Bathory, acoustic guitars have long subverted the conventions of traditional black metal, adding vibrancy to a scene born of minimalism. The last fifteen years have seen acoustic-laden acts like Agalloch and Panopticon transcend the genre with atmospheric forestscapes that owe a great deal to the Grandpa’s guitar. This evolution lit a new path through the early darkness of winter and allowed Netherbird to find fresh inspiration later in their career.” Evolve or die.

Bullet – Highway Pirates Review

Bullet – Highway Pirates Review

Highway Pirates? Well, that album title blows more than the Last Airbender! If I didn’t already know the music of Sweden’s Bullet, I would likely skip over this release based on severe title failure alone. I mean, c’mon, Highway Pirates? Pair that with the painfully cheesy 80s style album cover and these guys are not doing themselves any favors from a strictly promotional standpoint. Thankfully though, I do know Bullet and what they deliver, which is 110% throwback retro metal/hard rock that sounds like a fusion of old AC/DC and old Accept. I was pretty taken with the goofy but infectiously rockin’ charm of their 2008 album Bite the Bullet and little has changed here as far as sound, style or intent. This is simple, neanderthal metal/rock without any attempts to be thoughtful or important in any way. Beer drinking music, drunken weekend music, call it what you will but this is fun and catchy stuff without pretense. Is it original? No. Is it modern? No. Is it good? Yes, yes it is.