Death

Cryptosis – Bionic Swarm Review

Cryptosis – Bionic Swarm Review

“Wow. Thrash is kind of having a year, folks. There are large swaths of the metal community who feel that the fires that heated the furnace in which all great thrash was forged went out decades ago, while others feel that those flames still sputter and cough and produce a great record every now and again. Well, something about a worldwide shutdown secondary to a pandemic seems to have stoked whatever embers remained within that furnace into a raging inferno, because the first quarter of 2021 is basically littered with quality thrash releases of a variety of styles. Therefore, I didn’t hesitate to pick up Bionic Swarm, the debut record from Dutch thrashers Cryptosis, a band who’d like to throw their hat into the progressive cyber-thrash ring with Paranorm.” 4 Swarm to wengeance.

Malice Divine – Malice Divine Review

Malice Divine – Malice Divine Review

Malice Divine is the brainchild of classically-trained Toronto musician Ric Galvez. The self-titled record finds Galvez handling the entire creative process and all of the performances with the exception of the drums. Known primarily as a lead guitarist in the Toronto scene, Galvez was excited about the opportunity to indulge in a solo project. But old habits die hard, and Malice Divine glistens like a guitar fan’s wet dream. Galvez combines the melodic blackened death sounds of Necrophobic and Dissection with the emotive soloing and progressive song structures of Death and the technical majesty of Wintersun.” Malice in Meloblackland.

Paranorm – Empyrean Review

Paranorm – Empyrean Review

“This may be their debut full-length, but Uppsala’s Paranorm are no spring chickens in the thrash game. According to legend — and the band’s social media accounts — Paranorm was formed by three high school friends on a hot summer night in 2007 to the sound of Megadeth‘s Rust in Peace blasting from the stereo. After an initial run of a demo and a couple EPs, the band has been quiet for the last seven years. What could they possibly have been doing during such a long break from writing? If Empyrean is any indication, they spent the time searching for, discovering, and studying some powerful relic that confers ancient, arcane knowledge of the five magics of metal mastery, because this record is a progressive thrash metal monster.” Paranormal ratings.

Necrot – Mortal [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

Necrot – Mortal [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

“People are never satisfied. They are saturated with options, and with choice comes entitlement. Corpulent technicality and aimless dissonance have somehow convinced people that songwriting isn’t necessary. Fucking die. Whatever happened to the basics? But not just the basics, the fucking basics. Evolution is key, but nothing can replace those original elements that, when correctly combined, elicit such a chemical crush. Oakland’s Necrot have been descanting the insalubrious since 2012 and boast members of Mortuous, Vastum and Acephalix“. Death be simple.

Plague – Portraits of Mind [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

Plague – Portraits of Mind [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

“I suppose there’s a certain dark irony to the fact that death metal had one of its best years during a global pandemic. It’s a double irony that in a year fraught with so much outstanding death metal, it’s Plague‘s unsung debut Portraits of Mind that keeps drawing me back as the days (and plague) drag on.” Portraits of 2020.

Scolopendra – Those of the Catacombs [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

Scolopendra – Those of the Catacombs [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

“If you frequent these parts, you may have been aware that 2020 has been death metal’s year. What you may not have been aware of is that some of the year’s best come from Italy. While you may think of ancient empires, Renaissance classicism or pizza when Italy comes to mind, Padua’s Scolopendra adopts a rather different approach on their debut called Those of the Catacombs.” Death in Venice.

Contrarian – Only Time Will Tell Review

Contrarian – Only Time Will Tell Review

“My first exposure to American progressive death outfit Contrarian was on their third LP, 2019’s Their Worm Never Dies. Despite impressing with their technical skills and old school soul, the material never quite hit loftier heights, resulting in an enjoyable, talent-laden album of the solid variety. Only Time Will Tell is a relatively speedy turnaround and comes with some line-up changes in tow.” Prog after Death.

AMG Goes Ranking – Death

AMG Goes Ranking – Death

“The life of the unpaid, overworked metal reviewer is not an easy one. The reviewing collective at AMG lurches from one new release to the next, errors and n00bs strewn in our wake. But what if, once in a while, the collective paused to take stock and consider the discography of one of those bands that shaped many a taste? What if three aspects of the AMG collective personality shared with the slathering masses their personal rankings of that discography and what if the rest of the personality used a Google sheet some kind of dark magic to produce an official and all-round definitive aggregated ranking of that band’s entire discography? Well, if that happened, we imagine it would like something like this …” Death to all!

Madrost – Charring the Rotting Earth Review

Madrost – Charring the Rotting Earth Review

“California’s Madrost have cultivated a solid track record of high octane thrash, spiced with deathly impulses and technical flair. The band’s last couple of efforts have made for solidly entertaining platters, packed with energy, riffs and lofty ambition. Kicking round the traps for some time now, Madrost is an underrated and confident band, continuing to improve.” Prog-rot.