Cemetary

Revel In Flesh – Emissary of All Plagues Review

Revel In Flesh – Emissary of All Plagues Review

“”Listen to them, the children of Entombed. What sweet music they make!” Or something like that. There can be no denying just how ubiquitous the genre has become, but I harbor a serious love of all things Swedish death. Clearly so do Revel In Flesh, a band who have been successfully churning out body-blow Scandinavian flavored death metal for the last 5 years.” Left Hand wrath.

Megascavenger – At the Plateaus of Leng Review

Megascavenger – At the Plateaus of Leng Review

“The idea of a death metal version of Tobias Sammet’s ambitious and overblown Avantasia vanity project is sure to inspire curiosity and I suspect, a fair amount of bemused doubt and sniggers. After all, that vehicle famously attempted to cram every notable metal vocalist into diverse styles of music ranging from Euro-power to hard rock and even poppy hair metal. Leaving aside the success ratio of that project (which was surprisingly high), dragging that template into the crusty world of death metal could easily lead to a train wreck on the scale of Six Feet Under covering Yes and Jethro Tull.” Is this a disaster or a delight? Steel Druhm gives you the straight skinny.

Ereb Altor – Fire Meets Ice Review

Ereb Altor – Fire Meets Ice Review

“With little or no fanfare, the trolls of Viking/doom/folk/black metal known as Ereb Altor storm back from the frozen wastes with their hybrid sound and more tales from Norse mythology. Though they began life as an epic-sized, Viking metal act with a strong doom influence (check out By Honour because it’s badass!), they added more and more black metal over time, culminating with 2012s Gastrike opus. As before, they worship the sound and mood of Bathory‘s Hammerheart opus (and to a lesser extent Twilight of the Gods) while also incorporating early Darkthrone influences and doom stylings similar to While Heaven Wept.” A fusion of Viking, black and doom metal pretty much sells itself, but Steel Druhm still showed up to grab a paycheck and examine the heady brew that Ereb Altor cooked up. Tastes like…wictory.

Eternal Tears of Sorrow – Saivon Lapsi Review

Eternal Tears of Sorrow – Saivon Lapsi Review

Eternal Tears of Sorrow is an exceptionally fruity band name. The mere mention of it conjures images of a self-serious, black-garbed goth band (see photos) with a sultry, pouty femme fatale as front woman. If the name was keeping you away, you missed out on a quality band that blended black metal with melodic death, goth rock and symphonic power metal with good to great results. While I enjoyed all their albums, their crowning achievement was 2009’s Children of the Dark Water, which hit on the perfect combination of bombast, dark atmosphere, extremity, beauty and song writing that was shockingly good from stem to stern. At times it sounded like Cradle of Filth at their most symphonic mixed with early Cemetery, with traces of Kalmah, Insomnium and Amorphis added for good measure. After waiting over three years for a follow-up, we finally get Saivon Lapsi and with the long wait after such a great album, expectations were unavoidably high.” So… does this live up to those great expectations, or is it more of a bleak house? Get it? [YOU’RE FIRED!AMG]

Lake of Tears – Illwill Review

Lake of Tears – Illwill Review

In the Whack-A-Mole game that is genre pigeonholing, Lake of Tears pop up all over the board, defying you to anticipate their next move. These Swedes have been around a very long time and have always defied easy answers as to what style they actually play. Generally described as gothic metal, they’ve wandered between psychedelic doom, goth-rock, quasi-thrash and pseudo-death over the years. Each album had its own unique flavor and approach while always keeping the distinctive LoT sound. Here on Illwill, their eighth album, they keep the guessing game alive and deliver a strange mix of styles but it all hangs together somehow and works well. With parallels to Paradise Lost, Cemetary, Charon and Type O Negative to name a few, they run all over the place but its always dark in tone and plenty melodic.

Sarke – Oldarhian Review

Sarke – Oldarhian Review

This is an odd one indeed. Basically, Sarke is a side project for Thomas Berglie (Old Man’s Child, Khold) and he handles all the instruments here. He recruited Nocturno Culto (Darkthrone) to do the vocals and together they released Vorunah in 2009 and now they’re back with Oldarhian. Although both men come from black metal backgrounds, Sarke is not a black metal band. Instead they play a mix of traditional heavy metal, Cemetary, Tiamat and new Darkthrone with some extra punk tossed in for good measure. The music is very stripped down, simplistic and not exceptionally heavy. At least for Nocturno, this material isn’t a big departure since it’s similar to Darkthrone albums like Circle the Wagons and F.O.A.D. Keeping their sound fairly consistent with the Vorunah album, Oldarhian offers more of their basic metal-punk fusion and while it has some enjoyable, rocking songs, it doesn’t completely work for me as a whole.

Nightfall – Astron Black and the Thirty Tyrants Review

Nightfall – Astron Black and the Thirty Tyrants Review

Now here’s a bird of a different color and what an odd duck it is! Astron Black and the Thirty Tyrants (a grand title) is the eighth platter from long running Greek black/death/doom/gothic/kitchensink act Nightfall. Along with their better known contemporaries Rotting Christ and Septic Flesh, these Spartans have evolved, devolved and transmogrified into different animals over their long existence and their current incarnation is very interesting indeed. Although they defy easy categorization, the focus lies somewhere between black and gothic metal but with traces of everything else tossed in with reckless abandon. The end product is at times confusing, pretty damn cool and not really like anything else out there right now.