Doom Metal

Völur – Death Cult [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

Völur – Death Cult [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

Völur is a thing that I too nearly missed this year. The Canadian folk/doom trio received a strong recommendation from Akerblogger some years ago, and returned this year to unleash their third full-length, Death Cult, upon the Angry Metal Masses this past November. Unfortunately, life got in the way, and the album was never picked up for review. Now I’m here to rectify the issue, because as far as doom metal goes, Death Cult is one of the best albums I’ve heard in some time.” Drinking the Kool-Aid.

Here Lies Man – Ritual Divination Review

Here Lies Man – Ritual Divination Review

“Like many of you, I’ve spent significant time over the years wandering musical paths far from our beloved metallic bae. In some cases, this has made me something of an amateur expert, as in the rangy field of Americana. In others, I’ve invested enough time as not to be a tourist, but not enough to be considered a deep diver. This is the case with Afrobeat. I’ve passed many hours with the father of the genre, Fela Kuti—easy enough given his song lengths—and with compilations like the incredible Nigeria 70 box set. I’ve also enjoyed the work of revivalists such as Brooklyn, New York’s Antibalas, so when I stumbled across Here Lies Man in the promo pit, a side project of Antibalas members infusing Afrobeat with Sabbathian riffs, I snapped it up greedily.” Don’t be grabby.

Dread Sovereign – Alchemical Warfare Review

Dread Sovereign – Alchemical Warfare Review

“I enter this review with a certain amount of trepidation. Two writers whom I thought would be interested in Alchemical Warfare, Dread Sovereign’s third album, were not. Akerblogger reviewed their last effort, and when I offered this to him he said, ‘all yours.’ When I mentioned this new album to Grymm, who like myself is a big fan of Primordial, he said ‘they don’t do anything at all for me.’ Well, not exactly ringing endorsements, but I was still willing to take a chance and hope for the best.” Dread or gold?

Nicarus – Coal People Coal Puppets Review

Nicarus – Coal People Coal Puppets Review

“Well, well, well. Looks like I found myself a unicorn. No, not the band picture, I’m speaking metaphorically. You see, whereas there are plenty of one-man bands, there are not a great deal of one-woman bands. On top of that, Tali Green, the mind behind Nicarus, hails from Israel; hardly a hotbed for metal. So it goes without saying that the underdog factor for Coal People Coal Puppets is sky high. If this were a Hollywood movie, she’d be de facto winner of 2021 already. But is this the real life, or is it a fantasy?” Coal for all.

Neptunian Maximalism – Éons [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

Neptunian Maximalism – Éons [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

“Consisting of core members Guillaume Cazalet, Jean Jacques Duerinckx, Sebastien Schmidt, and Pierre Arese, alongside a massive entourage of musicians, Neptunian Maximalism (or NNMM) utilize a range of influences, genres, and instruments both traditional and contemporary, to create their second full-length and crowning achievement Éons. While it’s unclear if it is indeed metal, that matters little. It’s an immensely sprawling release, a two-hour-plus release over three discs, and its content is just as challenging.” MOAR to score.

Heretical Sect – Rapturous Flesh Consumed Review

Heretical Sect – Rapturous Flesh Consumed Review

“As I close out the year with reviews, what better way than to go back to my roots? Is that vague? Maybe. Mysterious? Definitely. What on earth would I have in common with Heretical Sect? Am I a skeleton with a snake in my skull? Maybe. I’ll bring that up with the doctor later. I suppose you could ask: what do chile, Breaking Bad, Ancestral Puebloans, hot air balloons, and the worst pedestrian safety rating in the US have in common? Secting crew.

Counting Hours – The Will [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

Counting Hours – The Will [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

“Longtime members of the AMG metal intelligentsia are likely aware I enjoy me some melancholy melodeath and downbeat mope-core. Said intelligentsia may also have noticed I tend to namedrop long-defunct Finnish melodeath act Rapture rather frequently. That’s because I really loved their sound and truly miss them since they called it a day after releasing the excellently bleak Silent Stage way back in 2005. Over the years various bands helped fill the hole left in my wretched soul, but no one could truly replace Rapture. Finland’s Counting Hours may have come as close as inhumanly possibly though with their debut The Will.” Inherit the sadness.

Death. Void. Terror. – To the Great Monolith II [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

Death. Void. Terror. – To the Great Monolith II [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

“One of my main motivations regarding black metal is finding albums like this. Offerings from Ancient Moon, Dolorian, or Amnutseba have come close, hinting at a devastatingly empty atmosphere and pitch-black density through aural executions of dread that invoke the feeling of drifting in the eternal void. Attempts have never really hit the sweet spot, until Death. Void. Terror.’s 2018 debut To the Great Monolith.” Monoliths R Us.