Black n’ Roll

Devil with No Name – Devil with No Name Review

Devil with No Name – Devil with No Name Review

“A newly formed trio from the US, these guys are fans of spaghetti Westerns. Such fans, in fact, that the band name is fashioned after Clint Eastwood’s character—“The Man with No Name”—from Sergio Leone’s “Dollars Trilogy.” The music is inspired by the “harsh and exhausting” desert summers of the wild, wild west.” High plains swifter.

Horned Almighty – To Fathom the Master’s Grand Design Review

Horned Almighty – To Fathom the Master’s Grand Design Review

“If you mopped up all the Darkthrone albums and wrung the juice out into a bucket, the grey slop collected would have the same general properties as To Fathom the Master’s Grand Design. Horned Almighty deliver their simplified black/death metal in a punky but neat package: ‘t’s crossed, ‘i’s dotted, Satans hailed.” Cleanup in aisle trve.

Drottnar – Monolith Review

Drottnar – Monolith Review

“No matter one’s perspective on Christianity, it is hard to ignore the fact that its central theme of life emerging from death is built into the very fabric of our universe. Cells, plants, animals, worlds, stars, galaxies all die, their remains either fueling or becoming an integral part of something else. You don’t have to believe any specifics of the faith to see the beauty in accepting this death/life paradox and finding meaning in the metaphor. Norwegian band Drottnar seem to have a firm grip on this paradox of constant change and renewal as their 20-plus-year existence has been one of continual metamorphosis, starting as a standard death metal band and mutating into a hard-to-describe whirlwind of blackened complexity that explores Christian themes on their two previous full-lengths.” Rebuild to renew.

Cloak – To Venomous Depths Review

Cloak – To Venomous Depths Review

“I like myself a good homage, but Atlanta, Georgia upstarts Cloak are a bit of a weird one. Admittedly, I’m being presumptuous by calling them an homage act but, man, does their debut album ever recall memories of Tribulation’s two-years-young The Children of the Night, and the fact that the band’s first demo dropped six months after that album’s release doesn’t help my suspicions.” Trials and Tribulations.

The Meads of Asphodel/Tjolgtjar – Taste the Divine Wrath Review

The Meads of Asphodel/Tjolgtjar – Taste the Divine Wrath Review

“Split albums are hard to do well. It’s rare that the contributing bands are equally matched, and even rarer that the musical styles are complementary. The Meads of Asphodel are no stranger to the dodgy split.” Begs the question, is Tjolgtjar the yin to the Meads raging yang?

Atara / Miserable Failure – Hang Them Review

Atara / Miserable Failure – Hang Them Review

“French grind with hardcore and black metal influence that screams of being “the noose that’ll suffocate your dry throat in an auto-erotic maelstrom of hatesphyxiation” – well now, don’t mind if I do!” Madam X can never say no to a nice noose. That’s why she works remotely and not at AMG headquarters.

Vreid – Welcome Farewell Review

Vreid – Welcome Farewell Review

“After the tragic, but remarkably metal, death of their vocalist, Windir was laid to rest in 2004. From its ashes came Vreid (“wrath” in Norwegian), which barreled onto the scene, knocking ten tons of shit out of listeners with machine gun riffage, under the command of ex-Windir bassist Hváll. Vreid have a black metal flavor that bears more than a few striking similarities to the misanthropic, war and history flavored style of Windir. Outside of that, Vreid have riff-heavy, black ‘n roll similarities to the likes of Carpathian Forest, some of the attitude and energy of Borknagar’s Universal album and a blend of the rocking grooviness of Sepultura and the more traditional and melodic elements of Taake, Koldbrann, Ragnarok, and middle earth’s own Carach Angren.” With a list of comparisons like that, you’d think it wouldn’t be possible for Madam X to get angry about this…

Koldbrann – Vertigo Review

Koldbrann – Vertigo Review

“I’ve noticed that the face of Norwegian black metal is a changing, it’s becoming more adventurous, more rock infused, more progressive and God forbid, more accessible [well, it can’t get LESS accessibleSteel Druhm]. I can confirm however, that while they’re not just all about the evil any longer, they definitely haven’t lost sight or forgotten about the mighty Dark Lord Satan! Breath people, all is still right in the world.” How does Koldbrann fit in to this new movement? Follow Madam X on her trend analysis.

Heathens – Oh, Mock the Heavens and Let the Heathens Sing Review

Heathens – Oh, Mock the Heavens and Let the Heathens Sing Review

The bread and butter of a heavy metal is the unsigned band. If you are patient enough to dig through piles and piles and piles and piles and piles and piles and piles and piles of shit, you will find the prototypes of up and coming bands. Bands in their infancy, but who are producing something that is heretofore unheard of. Or maybe they’ll just be doing something old remarkably well. Or maybe it’s a blending of the two, successfully putting together a sound that few have heard and being super kick ass at the derivative stuff. In any case, what I’m trying to say here is this; you’re bound to find a band that stands out after enough time reviewing underground stuff. However, knowing where to look is a bitch. So when I was directed to the South African black metal band Heathens by Lord Doom, I wasn’t sure whether I was going to like the material or not. Fortunately, Lord Doom is a man of impeccable taste.