Dark Tranquillity

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.

Grand Cadaver – Into the Maw of Death Review

Grand Cadaver – Into the Maw of Death Review

“Sometimes I forget why I seized a particular promo, as weeks and even months can pass between wading into the primordial muck to retrieve it and finally sitting down to marinate in the righteously poached product. When it came time to get cuddely with Grand Cadaver‘s debut full-length, I had no real sense of why I took it beyond the cool name and the vague “death metal” tag emblazoned on its filthy outer shell. As the music washed over me I was greeted with the oh-so-familiar buzzing of classic Swedeath, but as the vocals assailed my ear sockets, I felt an immediate pang of recognition.” Old corpse, new maggots.

Karpenter – Sleepless Review

Karpenter – Sleepless Review

Karpenter plays an Americanized version of the Swedish sound which was foundational to bands like As I Lay Dying, along with the Swedish take on that Americanized Swedish sound which was done by Soilwork and In Flames on Stabbing the Drama, Sworn to a Great Divide, A Sense of Purpose, and Come Clarity. The newest of the above is thirteen years old, the oldest sixteen – Karpenter is an unintentionally hard-hitting commentary on the passage of time.” Sleeping in the past.

GardensTale’s Top Ten(ish) Album Art of 2020

GardensTale’s Top Ten(ish) Album Art of 2020

“We spend every single day of the year on this blog talking about music. The highs, the lows, the marshes of the meh. Occasionally, we give a nod to an especially beautiful cover (or an especially heinous one) to buff our word count for the article, but it’s barely a condiment on the edge of the buffet plate, stacked with pretentious slop, that we throw casually in front of the voracious readership. But this one time a year, I don’t have to talk about the music at all.” Gardens variety galleries.

Dark Tranquillity – Moment Review

Dark Tranquillity – Moment Review

“I’ve always thought Dark Tranquillity was the band that best represented the Gothenburg sound that took hold of metaldom in the early 90s. It’s indisputable that they’re the act that’s aged the most gracefully in the quarter century since the style took hold, as fellow countrymen In Flames and Arch Enemy wandered off into career oblivion. That’s not to say there haven’t been ups and downs in the Dark Tranquillity catalog. That brings us to Moment, their 12th platter of moody melodeath.” Dark moments.

Strydegor – Isolacracy Review

Strydegor – Isolacracy Review

“As 2020 drags itself towards the finish line, dry-heaving and wheezing like the miserable fuck of a year it was, there are going to be bands trying to shine some light onto what’s been a horrific time in everyone’s lives. Few genres can inject much needed life into a shambling corpse quite like melodic death metal, and today, we’ve got the fourth full-length from German quartet, Strydegor.” Isolation nation.

Mitochondrial Sun – Sju Pulsarer Review

Mitochondrial Sun – Sju Pulsarer Review

“It has been a scant nine months since I reviewed Mitochondrial Sun‘s debut. Under normal circumstances, I’d be wondering whether nine months is enough to generate a new album’s worth of material. However, 2020 has finally banished any remaining illusions I may have had about the linear flow of time, and calendars are now meaningless.” The genuine pulsar.

Mors Principium Est – Seven Review

Mors Principium Est – Seven Review

“Some of why I feel this way is because few bands can pack as many riffs into a single album as MPE do. When I listen to their entire discog in an afternoon, it feels like it’s taken ten years off my life. There’re so many riffs—you wonder if there are any left. Twenty years in existence, a dozen members now funneled down to two, and six albums turn Seven. Will Seven be their lucky number?” Number of a beast.

Spirit Adrift – Enlightened in Eternity Review

Spirit Adrift – Enlightened in Eternity Review

“Look up “prolific” in the dictionary, and there’s a good chance you’ll see Nate Garrett’s name somewhere in there. Besides spending time in doom/death merchants Gatecreeper, Garrett’s also tirelessly spent energy and time with his main project, Spirit Adrift, having released three acclaimed albums in the span of four years. However, with 2020 being the year that it is, Garrett felt the need to do some massive soul-searching, choosing to focus on the more positive aspects in ourselves, and decided a massive upheaval was necessary in order to survive, let alone succeed. In doing so, he’s stepped down from the ‘creeper and put all of his energy back into his main gig. With renewed focus and a change of attitude, Enlightened in Eternity, the fourth album in five years, is upon us.” Enlighten the dark.

Anaal Nathrakh – Endarkenment Review

Anaal Nathrakh – Endarkenment Review

“Normally, an introductory paragraph would see a reviewer (me, in this case) make a witty or deep observation that somehow, someway pertains to the album in question. That’s not happening today for two reasons. One, trying to come up with something witty or playful during such a shit time in everyone’s lives, week in and week out, becomes draining when I possess about as much joy to throw at you as the creative team at WWE possesses the ability to write captivating, enthralling television. And two, today’s subject isn’t about joy. Or happiness. Or humor. Rather, Anaal Nathrakh‘s eleventh album, Endarkenment encapsulates in roughly 41 minutes just what an absolute clusterfuck this year has been to everyone and everything.” Here’s pig cock in your eye.