Children of Bodom

Serenity in Murder – The Eclipse [Things You Might Have Missed 2017]

Serenity in Murder – The Eclipse [Things You Might Have Missed 2017]

“There’s a special little subcategory of my year-end list this year that I’m tentatively dubbing “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Finnish!” With much of that country’s melodeath old guard either disbanded, commercialized, or in an ongoing slump, it makes sense that other countries are picking up the slack. And one of the finest examples of the faux-Finn sound you’ll hear this year comes straight from Japan.” Japan to the rescue.

Æther Realm – Tarot [Things You Might Have Missed 2017]

Æther Realm – Tarot [Things You Might Have Missed 2017]

“Why do I do this? I am not paid to write here; I wouldn’t mind but I never set out to cash in on my inconsistent drivel at 700 words a pop. Love of the gig, the craft, the community all register and indeed carry me when nothing flows and everything comes out like shit, but that did not impel me to sign up. Having something to say reads more like a line on a CV than a raison d’etre, but maybe. Tarot make me think so. I can count on one hand the number of records that so immediately and viscerally impacted me as Æther Realm‘s second effort. Rectifying its absence here might just be why Jørn put me on this planet.” Jorn to review.

No Return – The Curse Within Review

No Return – The Curse Within Review

“My first plunge on that trip occurred somewhere late 2003, almost half a lifetime ago. It was the release of Dance of Death by Iron Maiden, though I had been primed by popular bands such as Rammstein and System of a Down, and my father’s extensive classic rock collection before that. Soon I found myself rocking out to the unprecedented brutality of Children of Bodom and Norther, diving headfirst into the world of melodic death metal. Listening to No Return, I am transported back to those halcyon days, despite never hearing the French band before picking The Curse Within from the promo bin.” History-core for dummies.

Syn Ze Șase Tri – Zăul moș Review

Syn Ze Șase Tri – Zăul moș Review

“I have to admit, I’d never heard of Syn Ze Șase Tri before I grabbed their 2017 release Zăul moș. For six years these Romanian black metallers have been roaming the earth without my knowledge—dropping their unique brand of symphonic black/death on the planet. Though these Transylvanians hail from the same hometown as Negură Bunget, things are done differently. Both bands have their folky songwriting and both have their native mythologies and concepts, but Syn Ze Șase Tri focuses on bigness.” Transylvania? Symphonic black metal? Big? Just in time for Halloween.

Mors Principium Est – Embers of a Dying World Review

Mors Principium Est – Embers of a Dying World Review

“Our readers seem to know our tastes better than we do. So, it’s probably not surprising to anyone that I’m reviewing (and loving) the new Mors Principium Est record. Especially when you compare it to my top picks of 2016. This is my bread ‘n’ butter and MPE‘s crushing melodeath (from Inhumanity to their new record, Embers of a Dying World) is as much a part of me as my gray hair.” Thrash that olde gray head, he said.

Deathless Legacy – Dance with Devils Review

Deathless Legacy – Dance with Devils Review

“Despite trying to sound like Death SS via their humble beginnings as a tribute to those guys, Deathless Legacy comes across more as a soporific Halloween-themed Nightwish, but with worse vocals. There are plenty of keyboards, and the tempos don’t generally get too lively. Sadly, ‘Monster Mash’ may actually make for an apt comparison.” So much for the Transylvanian Twist.

Undrask – Battle Through Time Review

Undrask – Battle Through Time Review

“With a basic internet connection offering an up-to-the-minute cornucopia of quality metal releases, snap judgments have become an unfortunate way of life. On my first listen, Undrask came off as middling melodeath in the vain of acts emulating ClaymanIn Flames and peak Children of Bodom. Packaged in a blue-and-orange visage that could leave Michael Bay weak in the knees, debut Battle Through Time initially left me stifling a yawn. Sorry, better luck next time. NEXT!” A funny thing happened on the way to the review.

Whispered – Metsutan: Songs of the Void Review

Whispered – Metsutan: Songs of the Void Review

“Remember when Tom Cruise got cast as The Last Samurai in 2003? Some people on the Internet really do, and take time out of what must be a rich and fulfilling life to vomit up prose so salty it gives Dutch licorice a run for its money. Naturally it’s made into a sociopolitical issue, but I’m going to leave that alone because I’m not a fifth-rate hack who feels compelled to use the metal blog I write for as a soapbox to spew typo-laden opinions on contemporary politics and the like. Anyway, Mr. Cruise remained The Last Samurai for about a year, because in 2004 Finnish Samurai metal band Whispered came into existence.” Eat it, Tommy!

Battlecross – Rise to Power [Things You Might Have Missed 2015]

Battlecross – Rise to Power [Things You Might Have Missed 2015]

“It comes of no surprise to those of you restlessly commenting on EVERY FUCKING review, YMIO, and TYMHM article that I got truly thrashed this year. Being a product of the Bay-Area heyday, I haven’t had much fun with any of the modern thrash output storming the iTunes racks in the last decade or so. But 2015 gave me a few monsters I will love for eons to come.” The Doctor is a thrashard.