Danish Metal

Franklin Zoo – The Dandelion Child Review

Franklin Zoo – The Dandelion Child Review

“I know we’ve been harping about shitty band names a lot this year, but come on. Franklin Zoo? Why? Is your music about 6-year-olds getting their first biology lesson because two bonobos decided to get exhibitionistic? Do you have a tearful ballad saluting Harambe? Apparently not, since The Dandelion Child addresses the philosophic studies of Soren Kierkegaard.” Animal farming.

Tardus Mortem – Armageddon Review

Tardus Mortem – Armageddon Review

“When the mighty ape (He who reigns forever, Amen) says “I’d like to see a review of Tardus Mortem,” after a few well-deserved tantrums I raced to stuff my earholes with as much of Armageddon as I could. My feet are stamping, but is it because of the tantrum it causes or the groove that it evokes?” Dane death demons.

Billy Boy in Poison – Umbra Review

Billy Boy in Poison – Umbra Review

“Over the years, I find it difficult to look into the promo bin and not find myself becoming jaded with the biographical fluffery that accompanies each and every album that we review. For every one (and usually just one) album that nonchalantly flips the entire genre we all love on its head, there are literally thousands of bands that lay claim to boundaries being pushed, subgenres being blended, and new ideas being brought forth in a storm of creative energy when, in reality, it’s just the same damn thing we’ve been fed over and over again. So, when Danish quintet Billy Boy in Poison proclaims that they’ve created “a unique take on death metal with a modern, razor-sharp sound and even some metalcore vibes,” my eyebrows furrow.” Poison, hype, and delusion.

Black Swamp Water – Awakening Review

Black Swamp Water – Awakening Review

“I grabbed this promo from the rattlesnake and scorpion-infested bin at AMG‘s Southwest office because I thought it was thrash. See, I’ve been on a thrash kick lately and I had no qualms grabbing another thrash release to review. The band name didn’t exactly strike me as a band that played thrash. But, who am I to judge? Maybe they’re swampy thrashers from the South, like Pantera and Exhorder. But, this is no thrash band. Everything I know about life is a lie.” Swamp romps.

Killing – Face the Madness Review

Killing – Face the Madness Review

“Sometimes you simply have to judge a book by its cover. That cover in this case? Brightly colored, hand-drawn depictions of violence. If, like me, you immediately thought that Face the Madness by Killing was an 80s or 90s extreme metal album then you would be absolutely correct. And with the one sheet’s proud boast that it is “probably the best Danish thrash metal record since Excursion Demise by Invocator and By Inheritance from Artillery,” these Danes certainly don’t lack confidence.” Killing with confidence.

Rot Away – Nothing is Good Review

Rot Away – Nothing is Good Review

“It’s not controversial to say I miss shows. And while it seems there was a brief window where venues were opening back up, it looks like the next opportunity to catch an honest-to-god show won’t be until 2036, when each ticket comes with a complimentary hazmat suit. One thing that has increased my yearning for concerts over the past year and a half isn’t just the pandemic-induced down-tuned drought; it’s also reviewing bands that I know would be an absolute blast to catch live. Even if the score wasn’t particularly high, I can concede just how fun it would be to see that same band tear things up in person. Such is the case with Nothing is Good, the first album from Denmark-based metallic hardcore heathens Rot Away.” Aggressively rotting in a sick world.

Nothing Noble – Modern Dismay Review

Nothing Noble – Modern Dismay Review

“I’m not sure how everyone got their start with metal, but there had to be a bit of a transition to the more extreme stuff, unless you eat nails for breakfast while listening to Cryptopsy’s None So Vile. Unlike you sausage or oatmeal or vegemite shippers who are descended from the yesteryears of heavy, thrash, or doom, I enjoy my eggs with my bacon: my origins of Christian metalcore a la Demon Hunter, Haste the Day, and Oh Sleeper stick with me. While metalcore has not been the kindest to me thus far in 2021, I’m always rooting for any that may wander across my lap like a feral kitten. Is Nothing Noble available for adoption?” Dismay Day.

VOLA – Witness Review

VOLA – Witness Review

“Three high quality releases is the threshold. The point at which a band stops being an exciting upstart and starts being a respected part of their community. I previously enjoyed 2015’s Inmazes and loved 2018’s Applause of a Distant Crowd. VOLA’s unique brand of poppy, electronic, progressive metal put them at the forefront of the modern prog scene and now 2021 is seeing the release of their third album called Witness. It firmly establishes them as one of the most inventive and enjoyable bands in the scene and I’m delighted to publish a positive report on their progress.” Witness more applause.

Artillery – X Review

Artillery – X Review

“Denmark’s Artillery weren’t the first thrash band to cross my stereo in the 80s, as they were beaten to the punch by most of the “Big Four” and two-thirds of the big names in Germanic thrash. Still, their Fear of Tomorrow debut hit like a thunderbolt from Thor himself when it arrived in 1985. It was heavy and fast, but also had major hooks and choruses that drilled deep into your skull. The band had a very good run with follow ups Terror Squad and By Inheritance and then inexplicably called it a day in 1990. They resurfaced briefly in 1999, then promptly returned to limbo until 2009. Since then they’ve managed to be productive, releasing an album every two or three years, maintaining enough of their classic sound to keep folks like me interested. Sadly, guitarist Morten Stützer, who along with his brother Michael founded the band and created its distinctive riffing style, passed away in 2019 at the young age of 57. Artillery soldiered on in the aftermath, recruiting a new guitarist and returning with their tenth full-length, X.” The cannons will not be silenced.