English Metal

Ianai – Sunir Review

Ianai – Sunir Review

Ianai is a “single-entity” project shrouded in mystery. Its secretive mastermind Trevenial offers twelve tracks influenced by folk music across the globe, equally evocative and primitive. With ties to England (mastered by Orgone Studios’ owner Jaime Gomez Arellano) and Finland (produced by Jaani Peuhu), and featuring a classical orchestra and world music artists, as well as a vast array of guests, from notable acts like HIM, Sisters of Mercy, Swallow the Sun, and The Rasmus, Sunir is a debut loaded with potential and questions in equal measure.” It takes a global village.

Alunah – Strange Machine Review

Alunah – Strange Machine Review

“Birmingham-based Alunah returns with their fourth album—Strange Machine—and second since the departure of founding members Sophie and David Day. As originally formulated, Alunah played straightforward—albeit folk-tinged—doom metal. Perhaps the biggest difference from doom in the vein of Saint Vitus is Alunah’s penchant for the bounce and swing of early Black Sabbath’s heavy blues.” Rage against the Strange Machine.

Satan – Earth Infernal Review

Satan – Earth Infernal Review

Satan is the original Benjamin Button band. By this I mean the older they get, the better and more youthful sounding their output becomes. Part of the original NWoBHM phenomenon, their 1983 debut Court in the Act made the rounds at Casa Druhm back in the days of denim and high tops, but I was never especially taken with their sound, which felt like a less catchy version of Diamond Head or Angel Witch. I didn’t bother with their 1987 follow-up, Suspended Sentence, and I all but forgot about them as I got deeper into thrash and more extreme styles. Fast-forward 26 years to 2013 and they made a comeback with Life Sentence, and virtually nothing about them sounded the same.” Satan is real.

As the World Dies – Agonist Review

As the World Dies – Agonist Review

“Hailing from the UK, As the World Dies come with solid pedigree attached, featuring members of Memoriam and Pemphigoid. Eager to blast their own path of dominance, the band enlisted the services of several notable guest vocalists to add some beef and retro death metal charm to the bludgeoning proceedings.” The agonist and ecstasy of death.

Cryptworm – Spewing Mephitic Putridity Review

Cryptworm – Spewing Mephitic Putridity Review

Cryptworm is a spectacular name for a death metal band. It was why I grabbed this promo on a whim when I felt the need for something heavy and nasty, and I certainly found both. A deathly duo from the UK like the recently reviewed Slob, this pair of twisted fellows focus less on anal abuse and more on classic death topics like bloody chunks of meat, dismemberment, and all things clinical/medical/awful.” Room with a spew.

Absolva – Fire in the Sky Review

Absolva – Fire in the Sky Review

“Meat n’ taters. It doesn’t get more basic, humble, and satisfying than that. The Manchester-based Brits in Absolva are the musical equivalent of that essential cuisine staple. Having the distinction of being the backing band for Blaze Bayley, the material they create on their own is very much in the Blaze school of classic British heavy metal – familiar, comforting, and satisfying. Fire in the Sky is their sixth album and finds Absolva playing to their strengths while sitting dead center in their comfort zone.” Back to basics.

Venom Prison – Erebos Review

Venom Prison – Erebos Review

“In the three years since their sophomore release Samsara, Venom Prison has experienced a meteoric rise to fame. Samsara captured the hearts of both underground metal aficionados and non-sociopaths, by infusing high-energy brutal death metal with a healthy dose of slamming hardcore. Venom Prison’s unrelenting sound earned them a deal with Century Media, and Erebos brings the band to a crossroads as their major label debut.” Prisoner of expectations.

Saxon – Carpe Diem Review

Saxon – Carpe Diem Review

Saxon was there with Elrond 3000 years ago when Sauron fell. Saxon has more albums than some of you have years on Earth. Saxon will still be releasing albums long after you are dust crumbs. These are truisms metal fans must accept before moving on and living a happy and productive existence. Now Saxon‘s 23rd fucking album is here, and it’s titled, Carpe Diem. And what can you expect to find when you follow instructions and seize the day?” Elder Godz and day hoarding.

Dead Space Chamber Music – The Black Hours Review

Dead Space Chamber Music – The Black Hours Review

“A doom band emerges from the hills of Southwest England. So does a dark neoclassical outfit, along with a group of ambient specialists dedicated to building sound collages… oh, and a neofolk collective is there, too. They’re not going to do battle, as metal as that might be—they can’t, because they’re all the same unit. Dead Space Chamber Music channels their restless muse into The Black Hours, an ambitious fusion of techniques that spends much of its run time reinterpreting material from the medieval and Renaissance periods.” Chamber of horrors.

Lock Up – The Dregs of Hades Review

Lock Up – The Dregs of Hades Review

Lock Up is a cool band. The long-running supergroup collective, featuring a shuffling cast of characters, have been kicking out the filthy deathgrind jams since their barnstorming 1999 debut Pleasure Paves Sewers. Sophomore album Hate Breeds Suffering ruled as well. Despite a more haphazard and sporadic output in the years since those two gritty, unvarnished gems dropped, Lock Up continued to maintain relevance while adhering to their classic deathgrind template, warts and all.” Lock up the nuance.