Black n’ Roll

Celestial Grave – Vitriolic Atonement Review

Celestial Grave – Vitriolic Atonement Review

“Three years ago, I covered Finnish black metal mourners Celestial Grave’s debut record, Secular Flesh. At that time, the album was released under a label which today gives me pause. That label isn’t a friendly place, for several reasons upon which I won’t elaborate here. However, Celestial Grave is now releasing their sophomore album, Vitriolic Atonement, under the much smaller and less problematic (for now, anyway) The Sinister Flame. And thus, I picked it up to give it the full treatment. I’m glad I did, too.” Welcome is a grave.

Mantar – Pain is Forever and This is the End Review

Mantar – Pain is Forever and This is the End Review

“After smashing out three albums and gathering loads of momentum over a five-year period, Mantar have remained quiet on the recording front, aside from a collection of cover songs. Pleasingly, Mantar return with their anticipated fourth offering, boasting a cool album title and minimalistic cover art. Can Erinc (drums) and Hanno (guitars, vocals) muster the creative energy and belly fire to deliver a knockout punch?” Moretar!

Wormwitch – Wolf Hex Review

Wormwitch – Wolf Hex Review

“Way back in the golden, halcyon days of 2019, Wormwitch’s The Heaven That Dwells Within, with its wonderful mix of melody and brutality, became a consistent go-to album for a much younger, much less masked Felagund. Just two hellish years later, this Canadian quartet is back with Wolf Hex, their third full-length and another slab of melodic black metal. But does their latest measure up to my unfair expectations?” Of worm and wolf.

The Vice – White Teeth Rebellion Review

The Vice – White Teeth Rebellion Review

“Genres create expectations. That’s largely their purpose. You categorize music into recognizable sounds and that way you know roughly what sort of sound to expect when a band’s genre or combination thereof is explained to you. Black n’ roll, the combination of black metal’s dark intensity and hard rock’s catchiness and swagger, has a broad range of expectations to operate in, from the icy cold of Satyricon to the incomprehensible party anthems of Kvelertak.” Molar express.

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.