Dawn of Solace

Record(s) o’ the Month – January 2020

Record(s) o’ the Month – January 2020

“December brings extended downtime to the overworked, never paid AMG staff as the pace of review slowly drops off. It’s the time of year when we’re left alone to perfect our year-end lists before fleeing the hustle and bustle of the Skull Pit and promo spa for a much needed mental vacation. January however means a dutiful return to the writing cells with clear minds, full hearts and musical palates ready for new abuses. The shackles are then reapplied and the whipping resumes in earnest.” We’re back and still hacks.

Dawn of Solace – Waves Review

Dawn of Solace – Waves Review

“As a big fan of Tuomas Saukkonen’s Before the Dawn and Black Sun Aeon projects (R.I.P. to both), I was the natural demographic for his melancholy melodeath vehicle, Dawn of Solace as well. 2006s The Darkness was a beautiful and haunting dose of Finnish gloom that made an impression, and I always wondered why he never released another album under that name. Now in 2020 he finally delivers the followup outing titled Waves.” Surfing blues.

Cerekloth – In the Midst of Life We are in Death Review

Cerekloth – In the Midst of Life We are in Death Review

“Edvard Munch’s series of paintings, The Scream, has long held a fascination for me, from Munch’s depiction of the blood red sky to the raw emotion and suffering in the screamers eyes, as images they’re almost stifling to look at. Cerekloth have taken The Scream a step further. They’ve intensified the colors, honed in on the screamer, they’ve given you a passage into where this torture is coming from and they’ve added a bone chilling soundtrack – life meets art? Bursting onto the scene back in 2008 after putting blackened death outfit Church Bizarre temporarily on ice, the release of the debut EP Pandemonium Prayers saw Cerekloth added to Hells Headbangers for the release of a demo and an additional EP Halo of Syringes. And now a full 5 years later, Denmark based Cerekloth return with the Reaper in toe driving it home that death is a part of life, putting death and darkness back into death metal with In the Midst of Life We are in Death. Color me embarrassed for letting this devastating collaboration of aggression and chilling sensations slip through the cracks and go unnoticed!” Madam X gets extra dark and scary as she examines the painful and tortured death metal of Cerekloth. You wouldn’t like her when she’s super scary!

Black Sun Aeon – Blacklight Deliverance Review

Black Sun Aeon – Blacklight Deliverance Review

Tuomas Saukkonen is clearly a man concerned with the dangers of idle hands. To stave them off, he’s forever toiling in various musical projects (Before the Dawn, Dawn of Solace, RoutaSielu) and his highly underrated Black Sun Aeon project. While primarily known for his work in the excellent Before the Dawn, Tuomas has always used this project to explore more morose, gothic-tinged doomscapes while taking cues from fellow countrymen Insomnium and especially Rapture. As with the previous two Black Sun Aeon releases, Blacklight Deliverance is a compelling mix of death, doom and goth, with hauntingly beautiful melodies, ample heaviness and razor-sharp songwriting. It doesn’t break any new ground and at times veers very close to the aforementioned influences, but its a highly enjoyable journey nonetheless and has a few moments of absolute brilliance. It’s also a much more tightly focused work than 2010’s double album Routa and as a result, feels more immediate and accessible.

Things You May Have Missed: Cain’s Offering – Gather the Faithful

Things You May Have Missed: Cain’s Offering – Gather the Faithful

You may, actually, have missed that Jani Liimatainen (ex-Sonata Arctica) actually has a new band! For those of us who are long time fans of Sonata Arctica, this was great news! However, the bad news was quickly assessed when I realized that Tim Kotipelto had, in fact, done the vocals on this record. So, good news and bad news. Well, I gotta say that Cain’s Offering didn’t end up being a bust, but I gotta be honest with you, I still fucking hate Timo Kotipelto’s vocals more than almost anything in the world. He just can’t quit sounding thin, irritating, annoying, whiny and.. generally crappy ALL THE TIME. His lyrics aren’t very hot either, honestly, nor is his understanding of English (though honestly it’s hard to blame him for fucking up prepositions and prepositional phrases given that Finnish has no prepositions at all and English is his second language…).