Century Media

BAEST – Venenum Review

BAEST – Venenum Review

“It is easy to underestimate Denmark’s contribution to death metal, especially in the face of America and Sweden. But from early days of infancy, through trembling years of youth, long murky middle-age and final hours long in the tooth. Denmark is the hundred names of terror, creature you love the least. Now picture its name before you and exorcise the BAEST.” Get in its belly!

Entombed A.D. – Bowels of Earth Review

Entombed A.D. – Bowels of Earth Review

“Anyone who’s read metal reviews for a while knows the two major intro paragraph fallbacks for popular and/or established metal bands. The first is to call them “the AC/DC of [subgenre]” and conveniently using a tautology to describe the sound, i.e. Cannibal Corpse sounds like Cannibal Corpse. The second is invoking the shadow of the band’s crowning achievement and asking rhetorically if the new record will beat it. Entombed A.D. isn’t established enough to be an AC/DC band, and Entombed simpliciter changed their sound more than once.” Bowel movements.

Firespawn – Abominate Review

Firespawn – Abominate Review

“I won’t go so far as to say album promo sheets are useless, but only because they’re often an indicator of how badly a band (or their PR people) misjudge their own sound. We’ve all had the never-been-heard-before braggadocio of a Bathory/Venom mash-up, the new heights promises of the perennial 2.5 bands, or that metalcore act that thinks they’re prog metal. Not one of us would bat an eye that Firespawn, the most meat and potatoes death metal act this side of modern Bloodbath, claim their third album Abominate ‘explores new ground that not many death metal bands have before.'” Lies, untruths and death metal.

Belzebubs – Pantheon of the Nightside Gods Review

Belzebubs – Pantheon of the Nightside Gods Review

“The concept of the virtual band is hardly a novel one anymore. The first was arguably Alvin and the Chipmunks all the way back in 1958, though it was Gorillaz who popularized the concept. Metal has dipped their toes in the idea a few times as well, most notably with Dethklok from Adult Swim’s Metalocalypse cartoon. Yet something just feels different about Belzebubs, a new virtual band formed around the webcomic of the same name by Finnish author JP Ahonen. The comic is high quality in and of itself, mixing black metal tropes, an Adams Family theme of a dark and weird yet loving family, and a Calvin & Hobbes sense of adorable bubbly slapstick. But comics and music are extremely different media. How serious can we take an actual album by the bumbling ink-drawn band?” Anime to the Nightside Eclipse.

Hexvessel – All Tree Review

Hexvessel – All Tree Review

“One of the big things I look for in music is a sense of being taken elsewhere, of stepping aside from the real. I work a stressful tech job, and the next best thing to ditching my desk and marching off into the woods is music that makes me feel like I’m adrift in an ancient forest. This means I’m a big fan of ethereal, folksy influences in my music. Esben and the Witch‘s Older Terrors established itself as one of my favorite records ever, and I enjoyed Hexvessel‘s first few releases for similar reasons.” Let treedom ring.

Deserted Fear – Drowned by Humanity Review

Deserted Fear – Drowned by Humanity Review

“When I think “German death metal,” I usually think of names like Muhammed Suiçmez, Lille Gruber, and Christian Münzner. Innovators in technicality and brutality, all three of them have left their mark on metal despite the drowsy German death metal scene. Every so often though, the sleeping snore, and the cause of the rumble today is a different trio with a different take on death metal. Deserted Fear pay homage to their boreal neighbors via a chunky synthesis of Björriffs and Viking simplicity, and even if their fourth album, Drowned by Humanity¸ won’t awaken Teutonic death metal, it stirs the body enough to delay a death pronouncement.” Oh, the Humanity.

Malevolent Creation – The 13th Beast Review

Malevolent Creation – The 13th Beast Review

“When I was a boy, busy putting my beleaguered vertebrae through a heavy metal crash course in brain surgery, there were a few records that would stay with me forever. On the death metal spectrum, my friends and I loved nothing more than realigning the atoms of our necks to the dulcet tones of Consuming Impulse or Realm of Chaos. Malevolent Creation‘s first two albums, The Ten Commandments and Retribution, were also prime influences in our quest for spinal reconfiguration. I even rather enjoy the much-maligned Stillborn, despite its horrendous production. But, of course, this isn’t a retrospective of death metal’s classic era, it’s a review of Malevolent Creation‘s newest offering and the first since the untimely passing of frontman Brett Hoffmann.” Altered beasts.

Hank Von Hell – Egomania Review

Hank Von Hell – Egomania Review

“November: the time of year when Madam X rules the roost with her iron fist. Meaning, this month I’m taking my orders from her, and the first order of business is this Hank Von Hell record. Name ring a bell? It does if you were (or for some reason still are) a Turbonegro fan. Von Hell, then known as Hank Von Helvete, sang for those punky fellows for seventeen years and six records, then stepped away for a variety of reasons both sordid and domestic. His short-lived band, Doctor Midnight & the Mercy Cult, put out an album in 2011, and then he faded away again until now, where we are presented with Egomania.” Turbo ego.