Candlelight Records

Absu – Abzu Review

Absu – Abzu Review

Recently here on Angry Metal Guy, Steel Druhm took black metal as a genre to task for, frankly, sucking. The whole shit has long been, in my opinion, a conservative and copycat genre which has generated little new or of note since at least the early 2000s, with its glory years being firmly rooted in the mid-to-late 90s. Of course, one shouldn’t draw such broad generalizations, because then you’ll end up posting a review that disproves the whole thesis of said generalization (this is not to say that he’s wrong, by the way, he was oh-so-right. But Absu defies gravity.). Case in point? The heavily thrash-influenced Absu just put out another new record, and not only do they defy the black metal genre as a whole, they’re actively working to redefine it in a way that is much more palatable to my Angry Metal Taste Buds.

The Living Fields – Running Out of Daylight Review

The Living Fields – Running Out of Daylight Review

Now this was a tough album to review. I had a devil of a time trying to get through the music and honestly couldn’t even figure out what genre, sub-genre or sub-sub-genre these Chicago progressive metallers belonged in. You see, The Living Fields are so all over the place with their sound on their sophomore release Running Out of Daylight, they utterly defy conventional pigeonholing. At various times during the album’s playtime, they touch on ambient, darkwave, post rock, black metal, death metal, doom metal, folk and power metal. Yes, they cover their bases fully. In some ways these chaps could be called a more linear and rational version of Therion. They have all the same orchestration, pomp and variety and sport multiple vocalists of varying styles. However, they lack Therion’s lunatic charm, off the rails approach and overall entertainment factor. Although far more restrained in their songwriting, their compositions have a cold feeling and lack of cohesion that made it very difficult to get into. While I can’t dispute their creativity and musical ability, this is a strangely distant album that has resisted all my efforts to enjoy it in a meaningful way. It’s also a very challenging album to describe so stick with Steel Druhm and he will do his bestest.

Anaal Nathrakh – Passion Review

Anaal Nathrakh – Passion Review

So this is one of those bands that I really know nothing about. Back when I started reviewing I got the record Constellation of the Black Widow and I remember thinking it was pretty good, but it was a few months old at that time and so I never did a review of it. But in a world full of shitty black metal that bores me to tears by being repetitive and uninteresting, Anaal Nathrakh definitely appeared to be ahead of the game by, actually, not boring me to tears. I was reasonably interested to get around to reviewing Passion when I got it a while ago, but what with my busy schedule and everything I’d hardly even gotten around to listening to it until lately. And let me say, I’m impressed.

Havok – Time is Up Review

Havok – Time is Up Review

A new year is here but the retro-thrash train keeps on rolling like it’s eternally 1988. Apparently it’s as unkillable as cockroaches and metalcore (same difference). At this point in the game, even a vintage, old school thrash enthusiast like myself is feeling the novelty wearing off and that’s saying something folks. Despite my increasing weariness with the second great wave of 80s thrash, I was unable to resist, deny or dislike the second album by Denver retro-heads Havok. Time is Up is an unapologetic ode to all things Bay Area style thrash and draws major influences from the legends of that scene like Exodus, Death Angel, Slayer and Testament. There’s no surprises and no innovation (you can’t innovate much when you’re trying to sound like your shit came out in 1988) but these youngins sound energetic, angry and full of piss, vinegar and cheap beer. Add to that the fact they can really play and this ends up being a pleasant surprise and shows massive improvement from their debut album Burn (which AMG actually liked way more than I did, go figure).

Yaotl Mictlan – Dentro del Manto Gris de Chaac Review

Yaotl Mictlan – Dentro del Manto Gris de Chaac Review

One little-known, but easily knowable, fact about Angry Metal Guy is that he (I, I guess we’re going in third person today) is a big history buff. In other reviews I (OK, back to first person now) have frequently referred to the history of whatever it is that said band is writing about and I truly enjoy it when bands look backwards to their own cultural history for influence. Why form a band and copy the Norwegians and Swedes who did the same? Look at your own world, look at your own culture and build up from there! The band Yaotl Mictlan has probably not read this blog to get this idea, but they have the same idea that I do. Drawing on hundreds of years of history and hundreds more of oppression, Yaotl Mictlan is writing black metal with folk undertones that is strongly influenced by the history of the Mayans, the pre-Hispanic-conquest people of Mexico, who have never really disappeared, even if their ancient empire collapsed.

Abigail Williams –  In the Absence of Light Review

Abigail Williams – In the Absence of Light Review

Symphonic black metal, a genre fraught with many a trap, snare and pitfall awaiting the unwary band that wants to go down this grim and icy road. Overproduction, bloating, too much keyboard, not enough keyboard, all can bring the metallic symphony to a halt faster than a black metal miser can frown. Even if one avoids all these dangers, the music must be interesting and compelling at its core or trouble ensues. It’s that last nagging little issue that drags down In the Absence of Light, the sophomore album by New York’s own Abigail Williams.

Demonic Resurrection – The Return to Darkness Review

Demonic Resurrection – The Return to Darkness Review

As world metal takes the stage, something that is happening more and more frequently these days, we’re going to be seeing more of these bands coming from places where metal just hasn’t ever shown its face earlier. Demonic Resurrection, as those of you familiar with Sam Dunn’s documentary Global Metal already know, are a band from India who play symphonic black metal. The third record in a trilogy The Return to Darkness is being released (as I understand it) as the band’s first international release via Candlelight Records. That Sam Dunn is a rockstar creating machine, it turns out. Though, when it comes to Demonic Resurrection, their music speaks for itself and if you give that music a stage that myriads of metalheads have access to, it’s not hard to see how they managed to break beyond their borders.

Circle of Dead Children – Psalms of the Grand Destroyer Review

Circle of Dead Children – Psalms of the Grand Destroyer Review

Here at Angry Metal Guy Industries ©®, staff is small [by which he means “little people” – Ed.], deadlines are many and mercy is neither asked for nor granted. Therefore, we of the reviewer caste don’t always get to cherry pick bands or genres we love. Because of this ugly truth, sometimes a review must be done for something outside our musical wheelhouse. That is the very dilemma facing yours truly with a review of Psalms of the Grand Destroyer by Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania’s own Circle of Dead Children. Album number four by these purveyors of inhuman deathgrind is sick, twisted, chaotic and brutal for brutality’s sake, but is it good? That is a mighty tricky question.