Depeche Mode

Ulver – Flowers of Evil Review

Ulver – Flowers of Evil Review

“Off the back of 2017’s The Assassination of Julius Caesar and the Ulver Primer which we ran a few weeks ago, 2020 has bequeathed unto us a new full-length title from Norway’s Ulver. Flowers of Evil sits in an unusual place as successor to the most poppy Ulver release, an album which I underrated at the time but have come to love. Rarely simple and never expected, Ulver has built a career out of subverting expectations and always pushing into new territories. How does such a band follow the most accessible album of their story?” Just look at the flowers.

GosT – Valediction Review

GosT – Valediction Review

“Unusual genre crossovers are a tricky thing to get right. Done well, by bands like Diablo Swing Orchestra, they can produce brilliant music that sounds like nothing else. Done poorly, they certainly sound like nothing else. When we last saw 80s horror-themed black metal/synthwave crossover act GosT on their previous album Possessor, Eldritch Elitist noted the combination was sometimes awkward, but great when it worked.” GosTed.

Sonata Arctica – Talviyö Review

Sonata Arctica – Talviyö Review

Sonata Arctica‘s Talviyö marks the 20-year anniversary of the release of Ecliptica. For many fans, the band’s first four albums are the real highlight of their career. But one thing that Tony Kakko and his lovable band of Finns could never do was to sit still. Instead, in 2007, they released Unia, which saw them deviating from the formula they had perfected as an upstart Europower band. Since then, they haven’t stood still.” Stillness of winter.

Ascend the Hollow – Echoes of Existence Review

Ascend the Hollow – Echoes of Existence Review

“I am ashamed. Why? Because I almost let this badass record slip through my greedy clutches. You see, my good friend (who we know as Septic ’round these parts) randomly pops in now and again to apprise me on some of his choice metallic discoveries. He introduced Irish/German/Dutch quartet Ascend the Hollow to me and I was instantly hooked. Like, so fast my head spun. I needed to share my excitement for Echoes of Existence with as many people as possible, but how? It would’ve been grand if we received promo, I thought. Then, all of a sudden I received a virtual sucker punch while rooting around the bin—the thing’s been sitting there since the end of April! How in the actual heck did I miss that??? And lo I experienced great embarrassment. I nearly neglected one of the coolest new bands to materialize out of absolute nowhere this year.” Finder of nearly lost things.

The Exploding Boy – Alarms! [Things You Might Have Missed 2018]

The Exploding Boy – Alarms! [Things You Might Have Missed 2018]

“As we approach the Days of Lists, you can expect to hear writers complain and/or praise the year in metal for what it gave us. I lean toward the camp that thinks 2018 wasn’t a banner year for the genre, and as partial proof of that, I spent more time spinning a non-metal album than almost anything else I came across. That album is Alarms! by the Swedish post-punk, Goth-rock act, The Exploding Boy.” Sound the Alarms!

Priest – New Flesh Review

Priest – New Flesh Review

“I rate low and hate high, I’m always unpleased and unsatisfied, and I have the tendency to review shit that no one wants. You know, like Fozzy and Wintersun. And you know the worst part about it? No matter how bad or ugly it gets, I hate to admit I kinda enjoy it. But, who in their right mind would grab the debut record from Priest—a band consisting of ex-Ghosts and as far back in leftfield as one can get? But, like that other Swedish band, they’re about as retro ’80s as it gets. It’s just that they play… ummm… synth-pop…” Somebody got your Ghost?

Paradise Lost – Medusa Review

Paradise Lost – Medusa Review

“If there was ever a band that has truly come full-circle with their music, Paradise Lost would be it. From atonal death/doom metal to Gothic metal to the full plunge into Depeche Mode-esque electronica before returning in sequential order, the British doom band proved to capably transform with each release, and yet still sound unmistakably like Paradise Lost.” Head of snakes, feet of lead.

Yer Indefensible 90’s Weirdness is Olde: Paradise Lost – One Second

Yer Indefensible 90’s Weirdness is Olde: Paradise Lost – One Second

“Once upon a time, England’s doom/death saints Paradise Lost were poised to become their country’s (and even their continent’s) answer to the mighty Metallica. Going from the atonal death/doom of their humble beginnings to their more streamlined sound, the West Yorkshire quintet were on the cusp of breaking big after the impact of 1993’s Icon and 1995’s powerful Yer Metal is Olde-inductee, Draconian Times. Seeing their star on the rise, Paradise Lost did what any self-respecting metal band would do: they got haircuts, abandoned the doom metal they were most known for and loved, and jumped on the Depeche Mode wagon.” Walking on glumshine.

The Foreshadowing – Seven Heads Ten Horns Review

The Foreshadowing – Seven Heads Ten Horns Review

“Imagine, if you will, a world torn asunder by racial and cultural intolerance. Entire countries are erased, and many religions are shunned, their followers persecuted or worse. Now picture, if you can, a united Europe acting as a new Babylon, a holy ground for those seeking shelter from the bitter storms of prejudice and hate, and bustling with diversity, all while impending doom is just looming over the amber horizon. Such a lofty world is given life on Seven Heads Ten Horns, the fourth album by Italian gothic doom sextet, The Foreshadowing.” A concept album about the 2016 American election cycle? That was fast!

Grumbling Fur – Glynnaestra Review

Grumbling Fur – Glynnaestra Review

‘“Why did you start making music?” I asked, while pretending to sip the amazingly cheap red wine in my half-broken glass, scouting for what was left of my dignity while lying on the cold floor. I don’t think he ever gave me an answer, but there are times when Daniel O’Sullivan does not even bother formulating a reply. He breathed out another puff, I turned my head and gave an intoxicated nod to the ceiling while looking nowhere ahead of me. Grumbling Fur’s music is exactly like that whiff. It is not an answer because nobody has ever posed the right question.” If we ever needed someone to decipher that whiff of smoke, you know we’d call Alex to do so. He speaks smoke and obscurity, after all.