Dimmu Borgir

Borknagar – True North Review

Borknagar – True North Review

“Calling me a fanboy of Borknagar is an understatement. Because of this, the review of this year’s True North has been one of the toughest yet for ole Grier. That’s why it’s always difficult to trust the opinion of fanboys, starfuckers, or anyone getting financial ‘encouragement’ from a band or label. Wait a second, Grier, did you back yourself into a corner and admit that no one should trust this review? Hell no, plebs. I’m no n00b.” Trve North, trve journalisming.

Pandemonium – Monuments of Tragedy Review

Pandemonium – Monuments of Tragedy Review

“My recent hankering for a melodeath fix came via a healthy binge of Edge of Sanity. And for what it may have lacked in innovation, Rogga Johansson‘s latest solo venture also hit the nostalgic sweet spot of the heftier qualities of vintage melodic death. Throw in the impressive debut LP from Eternal Storm and my sometimes dormant hunger for melodeath has been reinvigorated. Enter Sweden’s Pandemonium, a long running yet unfamiliar act returning with their fourth full-length album and first since way back in 2008. A veteran outfit returning to the game after a decade long hiatus creates an interesting proposition.” Long absences and tragic works.

Total Hate – Throne Behind a Black Veil Review

Total Hate – Throne Behind a Black Veil Review

“Metal, punk, alcohol, sex, & Satan. These are the band Interests listed by German metallers Total Hate on their Facebook page. Three of these are featured in the music put out by this Nuremburg five-piece, the other two may, or may not, have been instrumental in its creation. I make no promises.” Essential ingredients.

Sabaton – The Great War Review

Sabaton – The Great War Review

Sabaton has made singing about war nearly as lucrative a proposition as Motley Crüe made singing about their dicks. And unlike their cock rocking elder’s chosen idiom, nation on nation violence translates far better into the metal ethos. Tales of bravery, battle and death are the bloody blocks upon which metal was originally built, and it drinks deeply of that Bathoryian tub to this day.” Draft day.

Video Premiere and Interviews with Stevie Boiser and Trevor Portz of Ashen Horde

Video Premiere and Interviews with Stevie Boiser and Trevor Portz of Ashen Horde

“Back in March, I reviewed Ashen Horde‘s latest opus of black metal fury, Fallen Cathedrals. I heaped an unhealthy amount of praise its way back then, and I’m still spinning it a ton now. In fact, I would be very surprised if it were to fall outside of my top 5 albums come year’s end. My review may have been riddled with factual errors, but founder, songwriter, instrumentalist, and clean vocalist Trevor Portz showed up in the comments and revealed himself to be a gracious and enormously cool guy. So, when the opportunity to do an interview presented itself, I couldn’t resist.” We’re already off to a better start than last time.

Holy Tide – Aquila Review

Holy Tide – Aquila Review

“Musically, Holy Tide sounds a lot like Pyramaze, specifically Immortal and Disciples of the Sun. Vocalist Fabio Caldeira reminds much more of Disciples’s Terje Haroy than the inimitable Matt Barlow, largely due to the lack of Barlow’s gruff edge. The main reason for the Pyramaze comparison, though, is the keyboards. Both Pyramaze and Holy Tide make heavy use of that once-maligned instrument, smartly toning down the guitars when the keyboard takes the lead and vice-versa.” Big stuff is big.

Sinnrs – Profound Review

Sinnrs – Profound Review

“I still remember the first time that I heard King by Fleshgod Apocalypse. The mixture of over-the-top symphonic arrangements with death metal hit me hard, and it remains one of my favorite albums of the last five years (or more). I had heard the style before, but King was the first album that showed me what can truly be accomplished when a band nails the perfect ratio of these ingredients. I eagerly await the follow-up to that great album with hype and trembling, but I thought I’d distract myself by picking up Profound, the debut from Danish duo Sinnrs, in the meantime.” Fleshgod for filthy sinnrs.

Belzebubs – Pantheon of the Nightside Gods Review

Belzebubs – Pantheon of the Nightside Gods Review

“The concept of the virtual band is hardly a novel one anymore. The first was arguably Alvin and the Chipmunks all the way back in 1958, though it was Gorillaz who popularized the concept. Metal has dipped their toes in the idea a few times as well, most notably with Dethklok from Adult Swim’s Metalocalypse cartoon. Yet something just feels different about Belzebubs, a new virtual band formed around the webcomic of the same name by Finnish author JP Ahonen. The comic is high quality in and of itself, mixing black metal tropes, an Adams Family theme of a dark and weird yet loving family, and a Calvin & Hobbes sense of adorable bubbly slapstick. But comics and music are extremely different media. How serious can we take an actual album by the bumbling ink-drawn band?” Anime to the Nightside Eclipse.

Istapp – The Insidious Star Review

Istapp – The Insidious Star Review

“‘You guys remember Istapp?’ asked the Head Honcho Himself, as he shared the news of an upcoming release. Not to mention “I väntan på den absoluta nollpunkten,” from debut record Blekinge. A song from a record as novel as any the black/folk/Viking metal world has ever known. So much so that you’d guess these Swedes have been around since the beginning of time. Perhaps as a black metal outfit that morphed into a melodic, folky one? Or a group that invented the subgenre, releasing their first album before the almighty Bathory and his Viking trilogy? But, it turns out, the untouchable Blekinge is shy of only nine years of age.” Star power.