Crematory

Kuolemanlaakso – Kuusumu Review

Kuolemanlaakso – Kuusumu Review

Kuolemanlaakso have been a tricky beast to track over their 10-year existence. Featuring Swallow the Sun‘s Mikko Kotamäki on vocals and several members of Chaoweaver, they started out as a straightforward doom-death act. They evolved into something stranger and more expansive by their sophomore opus Tulijoutsen, blending several genres together into an intriguing and unique sound. Two years later they befuddled everyone by releasing M. Laakso – Vol I: The Gothic Tapes, which had nothing to do with their prior sound, replacing it with a rocked-out, cheesy goth metal. It was such a startling departure that I wrote the band off entirely. Five years of silence followed, and now they return with Kuusumu and yet another shift in sound and style.” Beast of unknown origin.

Arogya – Genesis Review

Arogya – Genesis Review

“Sometimes you see something so oddball in the promo sump, all you can do is roll the dice of fate and grab it. When I saw that Indian act Arogya billed themselves as 80s-centric “synth-rock” with metal influences, I simply couldn’t pass up what was sure to be a steaming dumpster fire of colliding genres and styles. Add to this the band’s image, which sits someplace between Crimson Glory and Slipknot and you have quite the promotional package waiting to hit the world like a frozen bratwurst.” You can’t spell Arogya without AOR.

Dark the Suns – Suru raivosi sydämeni pimeydessä Review

Dark the Suns – Suru raivosi sydämeni pimeydessä Review

“Anyone remember these guys? No? Dark the Suns were part of the gothic melodeath wave that came along in the wake of Theatre of Tragedy in the late 90s and early aughts. You’d be forgiven for missing these Finns though, as their output was never all that compelling or memorable. They did manage three full-length releases however, with the last hitting in 2010. After that they faded into the Goth ether. Because they never seemed to gain any real traction in their “heyday,” I was rather surprised to see their name appear in the promo sump. So surprised in fact that I was compelled to find out what could have brought the band back after 10 long years in the grave.” Prodigal suns.

Angelcrypt – Dawn of the Emperor Review

Angelcrypt – Dawn of the Emperor Review

“We don’t get much metal from the tiny island nation of Malta. It has a smaller population than my home town in New York and the AMG archives reveal coverage of only 3 other acts hailing from that neck of the Mediterranean. Now melodic death metal crew Angelcrypt is lucky number 4 to make the leap with their second album, Dawn of the Emperor.” Malt-metal.

Erdling – Yggdrasil Review

Erdling – Yggdrasil Review

“The promo sump is deep, dark, and at times, tricksey and false. When you see an album titled Yggdrasil with cover art adorned with the original Norse prime plant, you’d be justified in expecting a chest-thumping, shield-shattering dose of Viking metal. When the promo material bills this German band as pagan metal and you’re aware that our resident Muppet Boy had it slated for review before dropping it due to time constraints, expectations are heavily reinforced. Then you press play and get…” Ugly sticks.

Stass – The Darkside Review

Stass – The Darkside Review

“Eating, or looking for things to eat. Boning down, or looking for people to bone down with. Shitting, or looking for music to shit on. The angry metal life devotes countless hours to these simple activities. How Rogga Johansson makes time for even one of these is a mystery. Metal Archives lists The Darkside, the debut of Stass, his project of the month with Crematory‘s Felix Stass, as his 11th release of 2017.” No rest for the Rogga.

Pain – Coming Home Review

Pain – Coming Home Review

“I’ve never quite got my head around open-plan office space and those waist-height cubicles. Yes, your hive of corporate activity looks wonderful photographed from seven different angles; prominently displayed on your enterprises website. Oh and let’s not forget about the collaboration! But what’s the cost? Stress-induced irritability, hostility towards creativity and productivity, anxiety and ongoing health issues. Oh wait, collaboration just flew out the window… Where am I going with this? Music. More specifically, metal. Pain have proved themselves inconsistent over the years and as with most things in life, with the good comes the bad.” Good pain, bad pain, you know we’ve had our share….

Heavenwood – The Tarot of the Bohemians – Part I Review

Heavenwood – The Tarot of the Bohemians – Part I Review

Heavenwood charted a strange course over their 20 year career. Coming out of the Portuguese metal scene at the same time as Moonspell, the two bands shared a love of dark gothic rock mixed with elements of black and death metal. Their Diva debut played like Wolfheart filtered through Crematory and The Cure and though less heavy than Moonspell, they were almost as interesting. Then came a ten year hiatus and a radical shift of direction toward the kind of hybrid symphonic goth/black/death style as Septicflesh, Nightfall and to a lesser extent, Rotting Christ.” Pick a card (and a genre).

Crematory – Monument Review

Crematory – Monument Review

“The reigning kings of techno/industrial/party death are back once again to pump up the volume and rock your boots n’ pants, boots n’ pants. On their 13th full length, Monument, Crematory sees some major line up changes but the kraut rockers pick right up where 2014s Antiserum left off. That means more poppy techno-death tailor-made for metallized strip clubs and sketchy back alley discos.” Boots n’ pants and boots n’ pants….