Edge of Sanity

Dystopia A.D. – Rise of the Merciless Review

Dystopia A.D. – Rise of the Merciless Review

“Preconceptions are fun, aren’t they? When I tell you Dystopia A.D. is a 2-man unsigned band from Jersey, or Joisey as it’s colloquially known, you’re already forming a picture in your head. If you’re like me, you’re probably expecting some sort of politically charged thrash, possibly of a crossover or core-related variety. Dystopia is, after all, a word that inherently defines a result of particular forms of governance, and Jersey is known primarily for blue collar thrash, Overkill of course its flag carrier. Combine that with the unsigned 2-man band and the picture seems complete. Except it’s utterly, utterly wrong.” Garden state fake.

Pile of Priests – Pile of Priests Review

Pile of Priests – Pile of Priests Review

“The manic death metal binge continues unabated at the stately House ov Steel. Today’s subject is the second album by Denver’s death metal adventurers, Pile of Priests. Having explored a fairly conventional old school death metal approach on their 2015 Void of Enlightenment debut, the band decided to go in a more proggy direction for their eponymous sophomore outing. Apparently a concept album, it’s replete with dramatic narration, a plethora of moods, a great deal of technical finesse and a large amount of hooks.” Padre packing.

On Thorns I Lay – Threnos Review

On Thorns I Lay – Threnos Review

On Thorns I Lay have had an unusual career arc, evolving from doom death into goth rock and eventually alt-rock weirdness. After a 12 year period of inactivity, these Greeks reinvented themselves as a doomy melodeath act and 2018s Aegean Sorrow mixed elements of Insominium and the early Peaceville titans adroitly for an impressive platter of sadboi death. Threnos sees them sprinkling a wee bit more of their old doom style into their melodeath sound.” Thorn birds.

Mavorim – Axis Mundi Review

Mavorim – Axis Mundi Review

“One-man bands make me both impressed and apprehensive. I’m impressed because having a musical vision is special to begin with and being able to execute it solo takes real talent. I’m apprehensive because there’s no give-and-take or real collaboration for the visionary, and most creators of any stripe lack the will to kill their darlings.” One man with a bully pulpit.

Rogga Johansson – Entrance to the Otherwhere Review

Rogga Johansson – Entrance to the Otherwhere Review

“Whatever happened to melodic death metal? No, I don’t mean power metal with harsh vocals, as the term’s modern connotation entails. I’m talking about classic, knuckle-dragging death metal riffage, paired with somber, melodic atmosphere; the sort explored by Edge of Sanity, Tales from the Thousand Lakes-era Amorphis, and others during the 90’s. It’s a specific concoction that fell out of popularity as the genre pushed ever onward down increasingly brutal and complex avenues. And yet, Rogga remembers.”Rogga! Rogga!

Mettadone – Rotten Flattery Review

Mettadone – Rotten Flattery Review

“Back in 2015, Ukranian act Mettadone emerged from wherever they’d been previously to unleash their debut, Invisible Disease, upon the world. The album was an intriguing offering of gothic-tinged doom/death and had good potential behind it. In 2017, while touring, the band’s singer apparently left the band right before a show. What’s a band to do? I should think that would be obvious: the drummer sang the show, discovered he enjoyed the role, and so the band subsequently went full death metal.” Should you ever go full death metal?

Contrarian – Their Worm Never Dies Review

Contrarian – Their Worm Never Dies Review

“Dear readers, what are your favorite ’90s progressive or technical death metal albums? Perhaps it’s Cynic‘s legendary Focus, Death‘s Human, Edge of Sanity‘s Crimson, or is it Pestilence and their classic Consuming Impulse opus? Or maybe Atheist‘s brilliant Unquestionable Presence album floats your boat. Or digging deeper, a more left-field choice: Martyr‘s underrated Hopeless Hopes. New York’s Contrarian pay omage to the classic ’90s progressive and technical death scene through their retro and impressively authentic throwback style of spazzed out prog death on their third LP, Their Worm Never Dies.” Undying worms and olde death.

Onirophagus – Endarkenment (Illumination Though Putrefaction) Review

Onirophagus – Endarkenment (Illumination Though Putrefaction) Review

“Think of an album as a multi-course meal; many of them give bite-sized but satisfying nutrient-packed portions that not only leave you satisfied, but definitely give you a craving for more. However, a scant few offer just meager tastes of what’s to come, oftentimes leaving the listener malnourished and starving, begging for just another bite. Finally, some bands give you monstrous servings, packed with calories, nutrients, and sometimes things you don’t want to ingest under any circumstances whatsoever, stuffing you full as you’re screaming, “No, please stop… I can’t eat anymore… I’m gonna explode…” and then they keep feeding you well past the point of explosion.” It’s waffer thin!

Exit…Hall Left: The Weenie Metal Round-Up [Things You Might Have Missed 2018]

Exit…Hall Left: The Weenie Metal Round-Up [Things You Might Have Missed 2018]

“Not everyone can be BRUTAL ENOUGH!!! Some of us are hobbits; diminutive, folksy, averse to Camo™ and Camo™-derived accouterments. Maybe you just want to smell the flowers, despite your allergies. That’s ok. We’re here for you.” Hello, weenies.

Sunless Dawn – Timeweaver Review

Sunless Dawn – Timeweaver Review

“While I dislike music competitions as much as anyone, there’s something to be said for the worldwide Metal Battle program, involving 27 countries and hundreds of fledgling bands. Organized by Wacken, you can at least trust there will be no significant genre bias, unlike general music competitions. And while winners may be to your taste or not, they can always be deemed competent at the very least. Sunless Dawn won the 2016 Denmark Metal Battle, but it took them until now to release their debut, the hour-long progressive behemoth that is Timeweaver.” Greater Danes.