Dec17

Hard Action – Hot Wired Beat Review

Hard Action – Hot Wired Beat Review

“Ah, December. Also known as the reviewer’s doldrums. Hardly anything good is ever released in December: it’s the time of year when our aggregate review scores take a bit of a tumble. In poring over the December releases, I found four albums that seemed marginally appealing. Hot Wired Beat, the sophomore effort from Finnish rockers Hard Action, wasn’t one of them. Nevertheless, I’m game for taking one more kick at the retro metal cat.” What did that retro cat ever do to you?

The Atomic Bitchwax – Force Field Review

The Atomic Bitchwax – Force Field Review

“Winter is coming, and not just in Westeros. As the days grow shorter and the coats grow thicker, a somber feeling draws across us all, blanketing anticipatory holiday cheer. Seasonal Affective Disorder (with its hilarious acronym SAD) strikes its yearly blow, and the call of morose doom metal like Hallatar and Loss is stronger than ever. But frankly, in this melancholic time of the year, it’s nice to have a band around who don’t give a flying iota about the dark short days ahead. The Atomic Bitchwax is that band in body, mind and spirit.” Screw your winter!

Deinonychus – Ode to Acts of Murder, Dystopia, and Suicide Review

Deinonychus – Ode to Acts of Murder, Dystopia, and Suicide Review

“I’ve been meaning to check out Deinonychus for one simple reason: I fucking love dinosaurs. Fellow dino nerds will know that Deinonychus was a fearsome predator of the early Cretaceous period, closely related to the infamous Velociraptor and with a name that means ‘terrible claw.’ It’s a badass band name, and though this Dutch trio doesn’t sing about slicing open unsuspecting sauropods, their music is no less compelling.” Music to go extinct to.

The 3rd Attempt – Egocidal Path Review

The 3rd Attempt – Egocidal Path Review

“While another release from The 3rd Attempt wouldn’t get so much as a shrug from most metalheads, I’ve been fucking waiting all year for Egocidal Path. As anyone might be able to tell from reading 2015’s Born in Thorns review, I love anything Tchort gets his hands on. Be it Carpathian Forest, Green Carnation, or Blood Red Throne, I’m there. And being that the debut was a solid release of Nattefrost and Carpathian Forest-inspired black ‘n’ roll, I can’t help but get excited about the follow-up.”

Warrior Soul – Back on the Lash Review

Warrior Soul – Back on the Lash Review

“Back in the early ’90s, Warrior Soul were among the many groups who rode in on the tail end of 1980s-style hair metal, only to have their careers washed away by the incoming dominance of grunge/alternative rock. Led by frontman Kory Clarke, the band’s slightly artsy take on the genre led to some noteworthy albums during that brief window in time (my friends in high school seemed to really like Drugs, God and the New Republic), before crashing and burning in 1995. However, the band has resurfaced in various incarnations over the years, usually with Clarke as the sole original member. Back On The Lash is their first studio album in five years.” Old Soul.

Nupraptor – The Heresiarch Review

Nupraptor – The Heresiarch Review

“One-man bands, once the exclusive domain of basement dwelling, meatloaf-consuming black metal denizens, are now becoming a trend in doom as well. Spirit Adrift impressed the AMG staff earlier this year and Via Vengeance is making a name for themselves (himself?) as well. Now make room for Nupraptor, the project of one Matt St. Our.” Doom is the loneliest number.

Jess and the Ancient Ones – The Horse and Other Weird Tales Review

Jess and the Ancient Ones – The Horse and Other Weird Tales Review

Avatarium went from retro doom to 60s rock in the span of 3 albums, and over their own 3 album run, Jess and the Ancient Ones voyaged from occult 70s rock/metal to what they’ve become on The Horse and Other Weird Tales – tripped out 60s hippie rock with nary a metal influence to be found.” Find your inner hippie.