Black Royal

Mass Worship – Portal Tombs Review

Mass Worship – Portal Tombs Review

“Not being an especially spiritual bloke, I only took a flyer on Mass Worship‘s sophomore platter Portal Tombs because they were tagged “death metal” in our greasy promo sump. Well, the promo sump sits on a greasy throne of greasy lies! These Swedish sadists are NOT death metal, and it’s actually a challenge to explain what they are. I can tell you Portal Tombs is a ridiculously heavy slab of extreme metal designed to smother and obliterate all light and joy from this cursed world. Their style rumbles through death, black, sludge, doom and grind genres like a nuclear-powered killdozer, and the band is more than happy to beat you with any and all tools they come across during their bloody rampage.” Portals and tombs but no cake at all.

Oshiego – Jaljalut Review

Oshiego – Jaljalut Review

Oshiego play a very familiar style of death metal, with plenty of old school charm and technical flair. According to the promo material accompanying the album, their sound is described as a “relentless assault” and “crushing,” featuring an “uncompromising old school approach.” I wouldn’t disagree with these accolades outright, because for the most part, Jaljalut proves itself to be quite the “relentless” beast, maintaining a consistent, if overwhelmingly repetitive speed and tone throughout.” Relenting is for losers.

Horndal – Lake Drinker Review

Horndal – Lake Drinker Review

“Art always has a theme, even if that theme is not having a theme. Consciously or unconsciously, the theme informs the art, and never the twain shall be separated. But sometimes the thematic elements of a piece of art transcend their medium, taking on a life all their own and looming so large that it can be difficult for a critic to properly evaluate the piece. I’ve found this to be the case with Swedish band Horndal. Named for the small industrial town where some of its members were born and raised, Horndal is the sound of a town lamenting its own demise. Their debut album Remains told the story of the closing of the local steel mill and of the devastating and dehumanizing aftermath for the citizens of Horndal, and sophomore record Lake Drinker tackles the struggles created when tech monstrosity Google purchased huge tracts of land near the town in order to build massive server facilities.” Home is where the hurt is.

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.