Dissection

Whoredom Rife – Winds of Wrath Review

Whoredom Rife – Winds of Wrath Review

“Let me start off on the right foot with some honesty: I had, for the longest time, no idea what to say about the latest Whoredom Rife record. If it was a boring record, I’d call it Boredom Rife and be proud of that pun, but I can’t in any honesty do that. Winds of Wrath isn’t a boring record. It isn’t a great one either.” Rife in the middle.

Unanimated – Victory in Blood Review

Unanimated – Victory in Blood Review

Unanimated is a historical oddity of sorts. Emerging from the Swedish death metal scene in the late 80s, they were one of the first bands to play what we now think of melodeath. Their 1993 In the Forest of the Dreaming Dead debut hit the same year as Dark Tranquillity‘s debut and At the Gates sophomore platter, but Unanimated‘s music was darker and creepier with a strong black metal element winding through its twisted core. Though the debut has gone on to become a minor cult classic, the band was quickly left behind as their contemporaries garnered all the fame and attention. There was a gap of some 14 years between their second and third release, and now after 12 years, we get their fourth outing, Victory in Blood.” Transcending obscurity.

Netherbird – Arete Review

Netherbird – Arete Review

“If you look up the phrase “almost great” online, you’re likely to see a picture of Swedish band, Netherbird. These guys having been kicking around since 2004, and have released several quality albums without ever quite reaching the level of “Oh yeah, I know those guys!” in the metal world. If Netherbird were a person, they’d be that fun dude at the party you enjoy hanging out with, but don’t really remember until the next time you see him again. And then you have to ask the host to remind you of his name.” Birds of a nether.

Crescent – Carving the Fires of Akhet Review

Crescent – Carving the Fires of Akhet Review

“I’ve said it before and, Ra be damned, I’ll say it again. I love eastern themes in metal. As a result, my interest is naturally piqued by any band utilizing those progressions or from that part of the world. I discussed this at length in my review of Crescent‘s 2018 album The Order of Amenti. These Egyptians definitely know how to implement dynamic scales amidst stone-cracking riffs. Now, ignited with a little new blood, Carving the Fires of Akhet prepares to descend on the masses in a flurry of smoke and ash.” Axe, wax or wane?

Elderblood – Achrony Review

Elderblood – Achrony Review

“Blasphemy and the rejection of religion is not a new thing to black metal at all, but geography does play a part. As Diabolus in Muzaka mentioned in his review for Elderblood‘s Messiah, there’s something distinctly Polish about these Ukrainians. Christianity, especially the heavily ritualized flavor of Eastern Orthodox, runs deep in Slavic heritage – especially considering the virtual elimination of traditional Slavic religion at the hands of Christian tyrants. Nergal’s continuing rejection of Polish theocratic movements, Batushka‘s use of Russian Orthodoxy, and Elderblood‘s latest album cover have all shown the region’s unflinching hate. With these Ukrainians, you can expect vitriol and blasphemy in the fullest measure.” Burning faith.

Winter Eternal – Land of Darkness

Winter Eternal – Land of Darkness

“Greek black metal is a well-established scene in one of metal’s most extreme subgenres, and for me personally, none more so than Winter Eternal. Although they may have relocated from Attica to Scotland, I’m still happy to bundle 2019’s Realm of the Bleeding Shadows with that enclave given its excellence. It was a low-key release which now sits in my top 5 melodic black metal records of the 2010s. Its key qualities include its crisp tone, strong melodies and brevity which it wrapped into a compelling package which almost seems over before it’s begun. Clearly the band was unhappy with just realms, so they’re now branching out into a Land of Darkness. Is this a land you should visit?” Dark tourism.

Ninkharsag – The Dread March of Solemn Gods Review

Ninkharsag – The Dread March of Solemn Gods Review

“Do you like second-wave black metal? Yes? How much are we talking here? On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being Emperor, and 1 being Viscount Deathspasm’s underground project, Endless Decembres ov Joyless Apathy, where would you say your enjoyment falls? Go on, close your eyes and come up with a number. I’ll wait. Ok, got it? If it’s between 8 and 10, read on! This sophomore album by the UK’s Ninkharsag is gonna be right up your frigid alley. Between 6 and 7? This might be your thing depending on the strength of the second-wave itch that needs to be scratched. Proceed with caution. 6 or below? Probably not your vibe, I’m afraid.” Dread marches and pedestrian ambitions.

Sarkrista – Sworn to Profound Heresy Review

Sarkrista – Sworn to Profound Heresy Review

“No one likes to be misled. Money is tight, we have bills to pay, so we all wanna know what we’re spending our precious cash on. When you see an album entitled “Sworn to Profound Heresy,” with a cover featuring malevolent-looking priests surrounding a burning church, you probably think you know what’s in store. When those clouds of billowing smoke feature an image of the dark lord, and the band is named after a church sexton, you might think that this was some satanic, second wave-worshipping black metal, probably from a bunch of European veterans. Well… you’d be absolutely right!” Maximum Satan.

Miasmata – Unlight: Songs of Earth and Atrophy Review

Miasmata – Unlight: Songs of Earth and Atrophy Review

“The epic and atmospheric, fantasy-inspired black metal stylings of Sojourner continue to go from strength to strength, with 2018’s very good outing, The Shadowed Road, matched by last year’s Premonitions, which – if not actually better – was, as Eldritch Elitist said in his List, “a far more consistent effort” than its predecessor. But, wherever Sojourner’s travels take them next, they will be going there without New Zealand bassist, Mike Wilson, who has set off into the back metal wilderness for a sojourn of his own, with his new solo project Miasmata.” Participation atrophy.

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.