Black Metal

Estuarine – Nyarlathotep Review

Estuarine – Nyarlathotep Review

“I’m not sure why we have a general rule against EP’s, but I imagine that it has something to do with the brevity of the content. We don’t get a good representation of the artist if we’re only given a few songs to work with, while full-lengths are intended as cohesive works and can showcase the effectiveness of an artist to create them. Grind, however, throws a big ol’ middle finger at this in favor of beatdown explosions that sneer in the face of subtlety with the dumbest grin possible. A grind full-length can be anywhere between fifteen and thirty minutes, and even then, Estuarine‘s ten minutes is challenging brevity.” One-man grind to kick some behind.

Fuath – II Review

Fuath – II Review

“Representing a darker, meaner interpretation of black metal, Andy Marshall, better known for Saor, unleashed his Fuath (Gaelic for hatred) project around now over 5 years ago (fuck me, my life’s getting away from me). I excelled in black atmosphere and understated but sticky melodies and remains one of the decade’s better examples of atmospheric black metal, in a sub-genre full to the brim with mediocrity. It was intended to be a one-off but the inspirationally-entitled II is now primed for release.” Atmo-II: Electric Boogaloo.

Kankar – Dunkle Millennia Review

Kankar – Dunkle Millennia Review

““Nuclear hot riffs.” A commenter recently wrote beneath another review that the way black metal in 2021 is shaping up, to even begin to stand out, bands need to bring some serious, “nuclear hot,” riffage to the table. They weren’t wrong. We can ramble on all day about clever technical flourishes, dissonant chords, and foreboding atmospheres, but when all is said and done, we metalheads respect the almighty riff. The riff is the period that concludes a sentence, the punch to the jaw at the end of a fight, the incontrovertible law that even Steel bows down before. So what if I told you that a German duo had managed to jam more riffs into its debut release than many other bands in their entire careers?”” Fooked with a Kankar.

Demiser – Through the Gate Eternal Review

Demiser – Through the Gate Eternal Review

“It’s spring in Minnesota. Given the harshness of our winters, these longer daylight hours and warmer temperatures always feel transformative, but after these past 12 months of hell, and with vaccination rates climbing and new Covid cases dropping, one can almost imagine normal life emerging from the pandemic like the landscape emerges as the snow disappears. In physical terms, this means the compulsion to go outside is strong. Absorb some sunlight, smell the mild air, watch things grow. In metal terms, it’s time to put down the doom and dsbm and reach for something fun, fast and filthy. South Carolina’s blackened thrash band Demiser have spent pandemic isolation crafting their debut full-length, Through the Gate Eternal.” Reports of Demiser are not greatly exaggerated.

Miasmata – Unlight: Songs of Earth and Atrophy Review

Miasmata – Unlight: Songs of Earth and Atrophy Review

“The epic and atmospheric, fantasy-inspired black metal stylings of Sojourner continue to go from strength to strength, with 2018’s very good outing, The Shadowed Road, matched by last year’s Premonitions, which – if not actually better – was, as Eldritch Elitist said in his List, “a far more consistent effort” than its predecessor. But, wherever Sojourner’s travels take them next, they will be going there without New Zealand bassist, Mike Wilson, who has set off into the back metal wilderness for a sojourn of his own, with his new solo project Miasmata.” Participation atrophy.

Reaper – The Atonality of Flesh Review

Reaper – The Atonality of Flesh Review

“It was just over one year ago that I wrote about mysterious Swedish duo Reaper and their debut record Unholy Nordic Noise. A viciously irreverent mixture of first-wave black metal, speed metal, and crusty HM-2-laden punk, the record saw the band going boldly where many bands had gone before and successfully delivering a short and sweet platter of simple, yet satisfying blasphemy. The disgustingly croaked vocals combined with the musical style to give me the impression of Abbath taking a bath with Bathory‘s Bathory, and the resulting sound was as cathartic as it was entertaining. Well, these guys seem to believe that more is more, so they wasted no time in following the debut up with The Atonality of Flesh.” Tone up that flesh for summer.

Utbyrd – Varskrik Review

Utbyrd – Varskrik Review

“Here at AMG.com we have instituted a firm “no re-release policy” which precludes new reviews of old albums. The typical use case is a physical release by a label of an album previously self-released digitally by a small band. We do this a) for consistency, b) to narrow the almost-unlimited range of music we could review, and c) so that our reviews remain relevant to what’s buzzing in the scene. It’s important we take this step. So anyway, here’s a review of a 2017 re-release.” Protocol havoc.

Snaer – Frozen Alchemy Review

Snaer – Frozen Alchemy Review

“From Pittsfield, Maine, Snaer is a quartet founded in 2015, having released a 2019 EP entitled Do It Yourself, a title that conveys their aesthetic and work ethic. Featuring a thrash- and doom-infused style that feels icy and brutal in equal measure, debut full-length Frozen Alchemy effectively balances mystical and punishing. Raw spiraling riffs conveyed through Viking metal-esque chord progressions, blackened rasps, complex percussion, and a nice progressive edge all greet the ears with frigid bite.” Lead to gold or lead to goat?

Autarkh – Form in Motion Review

Autarkh – Form in Motion Review

“My taste in metal rapidly expanded after Autarkh‘s mastermind Michel Nienhuis obliterated my understanding of the universe with his atom-blasting Dodecahedron project. Crushing dissonance met twisted melody and horrific atmosphere in a package that was challenging but morbidly inviting not once, but twice. Autarkh falls far from that tree, not at all a continuation of Michel’s past efforts. This I respect and encourage.” Form before function.