Dimmu Borgir

Carrion Vael – Abhorrent Obsessions Review

Carrion Vael – Abhorrent Obsessions Review

“What I like about their sound is the mix of The Black Dahlia Murder burliness with the relentless speed and riff changes of Mors Principium Est. Both albums run a similar course, but the sophomore release, God Killer, started dabbling with more technicality and subtle At the Gates vibes. You’ll even find some clean vocals rearing their ugly head on ‘Psalm of Lies.’ With an obvious desire to explore and expand their sound, one can only guess where this year’s Abhorrent Obsessions will take them. And, believe you me, it was not what you’d expect.” Carrion my wayward sons.

Witchery – Nightside Review

Witchery – Nightside Review

“With each new vocalist, the band evolved to capture their distinct voices—from the uniqueness of Toxine to the catatonic Legion to current pavement-cracker Angus Norder. And each time, the band traverses a new era. For these newer eras, the band has increased its heaviness to better partner with the vicious vocal contributions. And it’s served them well—until 2017’s run-of-the-mill outlier, I Am Legion. While it was a solid enough album, it was a letdown compared to back-to-back masterpieces, WitchKrieg and In His Infernal Majesty’s Service. Five years later, one wonders where Nightside will lie in the band’s extensive catalog.” We own the Nightside.

Pestilent Hex – The Ashen Abhorrence Review

Pestilent Hex – The Ashen Abhorrence Review

“Smear on your corpse paint and sharpen up your spiked wristband, we’re setting the Way-Black Machine to 1990’s Oslo. Pestilent Hex is a two-man Finnish passion project that pays serious homage to the second wave of Norwegian black metal. The band remarkably wraps their sound in a cloak of black lace and gothic misery. They clearly love the bands of this era and pay homage to their heroes with detailed fervor. Pestilent Hex spent nearly five years writing and recording The Ashen Abhorrence.” Black and olde.

Katharos – Of Lineages Long Forgotten Review

Katharos – Of Lineages Long Forgotten Review

Of Lineages Long Forgotten seems a slightly ironic title for an album whose lineage is so clear to hear. Writ large across its near 50-minute run are the influence of Dimmu Borgir, particularly circa Death Cult Armageddon and In Sorte Diaboli, and Prometheus-era Emperor. This is no bad thing, however.” Of a long line of blackened kin.

The Devils of Loudun – Escaping Eternity Review

The Devils of Loudun – Escaping Eternity Review

“Hailing from Seattle, and featuring members of Aethereus—who themselves released a stellar album just a few weeks back—The Devils of Loudun specialize in death metal of the melodic and symphonic variety. The band’s debut full-length Escaping Eternity finds neoclassical guitar leads and keys soaring over a foundation of thick, grooving riffs, while the powerful vocals of Aethereus‘ Vance Bratcher dial the heaviness quotient up to critical levels.” Devil be Loud(un).

Mystic Circle – Mystic Circle Review

Mystic Circle – Mystic Circle Review

“In the 2010 Will Ferrell/Mark Wahlburg movie, The Other Guys, we get a glimpse of what it’s like to be the unglamorous backup to the main act. Ferrell and Wahlburg play second fiddle to Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson’s badass, heroic cops; the hard-working foil to the flashy heroes, who get far less respect and attention than they deserve. I imagine, when not getting up to the usual metal shenanigans, that the creators of Mystic Circle can relate to The Other Guys. Formed way back in 1992, Mystic Circle has, in various iterations, released seven respected, if not adored, studio albums before calling it a day in 2007, having never reached the heights of some of their contemporaries.” Satan in the circle.

Opera Diabolicus – Death on a Pale Horse Review

Opera Diabolicus – Death on a Pale Horse Review

“Along with Shaw and Levén, the band adds some stellar vocals from Madeleine Liljestam (Eleine) and Angelina DelCarmen (Charetta), and guitar solos from King Diamond legends Andy LaRocque and Michael Denner. But the backbone of the album is all the other guests. These lesser-known individuals supply the keys, strings, pianos, and organs that make up the record’s core. It’s an unbelievable lineup with a lot of moving parts. But, somehow, the band keeps this chaotic metal opera about ‘witchcraft, the black death and revenge!’ together.” Panic in the opera horse.

The Breathing Process – Labyrinthian Review

The Breathing Process – Labyrinthian Review

“A phenomenon risen in the last decade is the concept of “blackened deathcore.” While Winds of Plague‘s cheesy keyboard licks copied and pasted atop chug-happy deathcore is business as usual, it wasn’t until bands like Make Them Suffer and Abigail Williams cranked up the moody -core brutality with black metal tropes in songwriting, drumming, and keys. More recently represented by bands like Lorna Shore or Mental Cruelty, blackened deathcore (if you accept it as a style) has become one of those quasi-sub-genres that fuses the oft-maligned “scene-core” and those of the “trve” style – a trve clvsterfvkk if you will. Quietly riding the wave is collective The Breathing Process, whose string of releases have contributed in small ways to this weird-ass style.” I see a mall kid and I want to paint him black.

Seven Spires – Gods of Debauchery Review

Seven Spires – Gods of Debauchery Review

Seven Spires released their second full-length album Emerald Seas, the prequel to their debut album Solveig, in February 2020. In tragic fashion, the four Berklee College of Music graduates scrapped their tour because of the global pandemic. Instead of wallowing in sorrow, the band wrote nearly 80 minutes of glorious new music, a true testament to their fervent love for the crafts of songwriting and musicianship. I raved about Emerald Seas in TYMHM last year, and let’s just say that my expectations were high for Gods of Debauchery.” Gluttony of goods.