Century Media Records

Imperial Triumphant – Spirit of Ecstasy Review

Imperial Triumphant – Spirit of Ecstasy Review

“We already know what’s going to happen here: I review Imperial Triumphant‘s fifth album, Spirit of Ecstasy, and the comments section here will explode with remarks from the peanut gallery, explaining how much they can’t stand this type of music and how it’s “hipster drivel” of the highest magnitude. Ah, yes… the most divisive band we’ve ever reviewed that’s not named Impure WilhelminaFellowship, or Wilderun, New York’s guttural black-death-jazz miscreants have no less stirred up the masses here in such a tizzy that you’d half-expect them to have somehow personally violated your dog. But no, all they did was make music.” Opulence amid the decadence.

Witchery – Nightside Review

Witchery – Nightside Review

“With each new vocalist, the band evolved to capture their distinct voices—from the uniqueness of Toxine to the catatonic Legion to current pavement-cracker Angus Norder. And each time, the band traverses a new era. For these newer eras, the band has increased its heaviness to better partner with the vicious vocal contributions. And it’s served them well—until 2017’s run-of-the-mill outlier, I Am Legion. While it was a solid enough album, it was a letdown compared to back-to-back masterpieces, WitchKrieg and In His Infernal Majesty’s Service. Five years later, one wonders where Nightside will lie in the band’s extensive catalog.” We own the Nightside.

Misery Index – Complete Control Review

Misery Index – Complete Control Review

“A no-frills, hardworking deathgrind unit, Misery Index remain a dependably vicious and gritty act some twenty-plus years into a stellar, yet arguably underappreciated career. While well known within extreme metal circles, Misery Index often escape the limelight, and despite forays into modern death metal territory, the uncompromising outfit continue embracing their punk, hardcore and grindy roots to powerful effect. Now some three years since they dropped the solid Rituals of Power, Misery Index unleash their seventh LP, entitled Complete Control.” Control issues.

Wolf – Shadowlands Review

Wolf – Shadowlands Review

Wolf have been a reliably entertaining throwback metal act since they first hit the scene back in 1999. Led by vocalist/guitarist Niklas Stålvind, the band successfully integrated NWoBHM basics with elements of Euro-power, giving them a wealth of excitable elements to throw at the wall and make stick. And albums like Evil StarThe Black Flame, and Legions of Bastards found them getting very sticky indeed, making those platters especially fun to rock out with. That said, 2020s Feeding the Machine saw them attempt a style shift that didn’t completely work, resulting in my least favorite outing from them. It seems the band didn’t love the results either, as ninth album Shadowlands is a shift back to what’s always worked for them.” Good doggy!

Blood Incantation – Timewave Zero Review

Blood Incantation – Timewave Zero Review

“After releasing a pair of highly acclaimed albums, coupling quality old school death with progressive and psychedelic embellishments and spacey themes, Denver’s Blood Incantation rapidly ascended into a respected, high profile ‘it’ band in the modern death metal scene. As such, any new material is eagerly awaited upon. Hidden History of the Human Race dropped in 2019, rolling the momentum onwards and upwards from their Starspawn debut, again showcasing Blood Incantation‘s innovative and experimental approach to death metal. Well-publicized prior to its impending release, third LP, Timewave Zero, marks a drastic experimental detour, featuring a pair of lengthy compositions of ambient, cosmic atmosphere.” Empty space in your face.

Venom Prison – Erebos Review

Venom Prison – Erebos Review

“In the three years since their sophomore release Samsara, Venom Prison has experienced a meteoric rise to fame. Samsara captured the hearts of both underground metal aficionados and non-sociopaths, by infusing high-energy brutal death metal with a healthy dose of slamming hardcore. Venom Prison’s unrelenting sound earned them a deal with Century Media, and Erebos brings the band to a crossroads as their major label debut.” Prisoner of expectations.

Voivod – Synchro Anarchy Review

Voivod – Synchro Anarchy Review

“The most frightening album I ever bought was in 1984, a cassette called War and Pain, issued by the weirdly-named Voivod. Up here in Canada it came out on Banzai Records, a strange little upstart that licensed metal albums not otherwise available. Anyhow, back in the 80s my pals and I snapped up everything on that label, even when we had no clue who the band was. We were pretty lucky – Metallica, Exciter, Slayer, Venom, all sorts of great up-and-comers. And then this one. Pressing play on the tape deck resulted in some of the scariest, heaviest thrash-death-punk shit we’d ever heard. That was our introduction to Voivod.” War, pain, anarchy, progress.

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.

Unanimated – Victory in Blood Review

Unanimated – Victory in Blood Review

Unanimated is a historical oddity of sorts. Emerging from the Swedish death metal scene in the late 80s, they were one of the first bands to play what we now think of melodeath. Their 1993 In the Forest of the Dreaming Dead debut hit the same year as Dark Tranquillity‘s debut and At the Gates sophomore platter, but Unanimated‘s music was darker and creepier with a strong black metal element winding through its twisted core. Though the debut has gone on to become a minor cult classic, the band was quickly left behind as their contemporaries garnered all the fame and attention. There was a gap of some 14 years between their second and third release, and now after 12 years, we get their fourth outing, Victory in Blood.” Transcending obscurity.

Omnium Gatherum – Origin Review

Omnium Gatherum – Origin Review

Omnium Gatherum have been at the forefront of the Finnish melodeath movement since 2003, conspiring with countrymates Insomnium and Amorphis to slather the globe in heavy, melancholic tuneage. They’ve shown themselves to be gifted at merging sadboi introspection with hooky melodeath moments on killer albums like New World Shadows and Beyond, and 2018s The Burning Cold was another quality platter, improving on 2016s somewhat somnambulant Grey Heavens. Since The Burning Cold however, nearly half the band’s lineup has changed over, with them losing a guitarist, bassist, and drummer. Armed with new members they’ve also shifted towards a new approach.” Ominous gatherings.