Candlemass

Bell Witch/Aerial Ruin – Stygian Bough Volume I Review

Bell Witch/Aerial Ruin – Stygian Bough Volume I Review

“Dylan Desmond and Jesse Shreibman’s decision to make official their partnership with Erik Moggridge, the man in Aerial Ruin‘s one-man dark folk band, made sense. Moggridge’s guest vocals on Mirror Reaper conveyed grief and loss on a frequency that Bell Witch couldn’t have reached alone. Stygian Bough Volume I pries those mournful dimensions wide in a symbiotic give-and-take quite unlike anything either act has produced before.” Witch in flight.

Stygian Crown – Stygian Crown Review

Stygian Crown – Stygian Crown Review

“I love me some traditional doom and have since I was a wee metal laddie. I’m also a major fan of Bolt Thrower. Naturally then, when an unknown act described their style as “Candlethrower” and promised a union of Candlemass and Bolt Thrower, the brass knuckles and electro-whip came out and the Steel One made damn sure that promo ended up in his hairy clutches.” Back waxed.

Curse the Son – Excruciation Review

Curse the Son – Excruciation Review

“Character, they say, is forged in adversity. Or at least that’s what management tells me every time I see myself rostered for yet another shift in the AMG Skull Pit™. Curse the Son know all about adversity, having had a constantly rotating line-up since the band formed in 2008. In addition, bassist Brendan O’Keefe suffered extensive injuries after a motorcycle accident in November 2018, necessitating a long road back to recovery. Basically, a lot of shit has happened to the band since the release of 2017’s Isolator, and Curse the Son is ready to tell you all about it.” Tough truckin’.

Sorcerer – Lamenting of the Innocent Review

Sorcerer – Lamenting of the Innocent Review

“Sweden’s Sorcerer has had a bouncy ride through the ages. They released a series of demos I really enjoyed back in the early 90s and then completely vanished from the metal scene for some 20-plus years. They reappeared in 2015 with a comeback album I slept on, then knocked me flat, silly and senseless with 2017s stupendous The Crowning of the Fire King. That album’s expertly crafted blend of traditional and doom metal was impossible to resist and Fire King seized my Record o’ the Year glory easily. Naturally I was quite stoked to receive the followup, Lamenting of the Innocent. With a concept based around the Inquisition and witch trials, all signs and omens pointed to another big dose of classy metal with hooks by the boatload.” No one expects the Swedish Inquisition!

Tyrant – Hereafter Review

Tyrant – Hereafter Review

“Aside from the enigmatic Brocas Helm, Tyrant may be one of the least prolific American metal bands ever. Starting out in 1978, the band dropped their Legions of the Dead debut in 85, followed by their best known, most respected work, 87s Too Late to Pray. After Too Late they went radio silent and I forgot about them in the fullness of time. Apparently they released a comeback album in 96 which I only just found out about because they’re attempting a brand new comeback, the result of which was just hauled out of the promo sump like a waterlogged carcass.” Once and future Tyrant.

Lord Vigo – Danse De Noir Review

Lord Vigo – Danse De Noir Review

“I went for a walk on a beautiful day – fifteen degrees Celsius or so – and gave Danse de Noir, the fourth record from German metallers Lord Vigo, its maiden voyage through my ears and mind. Within five minutes, I was reminded why I love this outstanding little genre called metal. Lord Vigo plays trad metal in the vein of Ram but stirs some Candlemass and Angel Witch into the mix for good measure.” Metal appreciation.

Suum – Cryptomass Review

Suum – Cryptomass Review

“It’s a new year and I’m already anxious to uncover 2020s version of Fvneral Fvkk. By that I mean a doom album that comes out of nowhere and hits me like a runaway logging truck, leaving me bloodied, battered but impressed. In search of the next unheralded monolith of massiveness, I took a flyer on unsung Italian doom act Suum. Cryptomass is their second album, and you just have to love that witty title.” Suum of all fears.

Anvil – Legal at Last Review

Anvil – Legal at Last Review

“Not to say Anvil has no semi-classic records to their names, but those were over a dozen albums ago. By now they’ve recorded more than AC/DC, in a shorter time span, yet their sound also shows as much growth as their Australian counterparts. Is the new pro-weed romp another carbon copy or have the fumes brought some inspiration to the geezers?” Anvil is Anvil.

Dominia – The Withering of the Rose Review

Dominia – The Withering of the Rose Review

The Withering is the follow-up to 2017’s Stabat Mater, which represented another slab of heavy gothic metal in Dominia’s catalog, as violins and keys did battle with harsh vocals and doomy riffs. Does the latest offering from Dominia see further growth or, well, a withering on the vine?” Roses are dead.

Capilla Ardiente – The Siege [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

Capilla Ardiente – The Siege [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

“Keep your stoner doom and your funeral doom, and give me Solitude Aeturnus, While Heaven Wept, and Crypt Sermon‘s debut any day. 2019 saw the masters themselves release an album with mixed results, and while I enjoyed much of this year’s Crypt Sermon and found Atlantean Kodex and Fvneral Fvkk to be powerful platters of doom, Isole‘s latest came closest to giving me that classic hopeless lovin’ feeling. But nothing could quite fill that cross-impaled horny horned skull shaped hole in my heart. Until I heard Capilla Ardiente‘s The Siege, that is.” Doom is its own reward.