English Metal

Epoch of Chirality – Nucleosynthesis

Epoch of Chirality – Nucleosynthesis

“2021 has seen it’s share of terrible band names. Epoch of Chirality does very little to up the ante in this regard. The name is bulky and awkward, and even trying to imagine it with an English accent—seeing as how the one-man instrumental project is based in England—doesn’t improve its sonic aesthetics. But as we’ve also seen quite a few times this year, a bad name a bad album does not make. With an open mind, I dove into this synth heavy dose of instrumental metal.” Is chirlaity dead?

Qrixkuor – Poison Palinopsia

Qrixkuor – Poison Palinopsia

“I didn’t choose this. This album I had no intent to cover. But, thanks to a contract I signed under duress, swearing myself to temporary servitude under one green, be-grilled Kermit impersonator, I am here reviewing a random record of his choosing. Lo, here I be, with UK trio Qrixkuor (pronounced “Trix-are-for-kids,” I believe) and their debut opus Poison Palinopsia. Two tracks. Forty-eight minutes and change. This is going to be one weird, wild ride.” Death writ large.

Sectlinefor – Kissing Strangers During an Outbreak

Sectlinefor – Kissing Strangers During an Outbreak

“I’ve always appreciated metal bands willing to include a hefty dose of comedy in their work. In a genre known for taking itself too seriously at times, wedding irreverence with heaviness can be an artistic gamble, and I appreciate that commitment. Melted BodiesEnjoy Yourself was a favorite of 2020, Slugdge‘s amazingly ridiculous Slug God mythos has had me sold ever since The Cosmic Cornucopia, and who can forget modern thrash’s obsession with hard-partying zombies? The fact that such bands employ comedic imagery, satirical lyrics or non-traditional instrumentation while addressing real issues (whether personal or public) make their output all the more impressive. It’s why I was quick to jump at the chance to review Kissing Strangers During an Outbreak, the latest from Sectlinefor, a deranged duo who perform, in their own words, “freshly squeezed cinematic rock music you didn’t order, sir.”” Plague tongue.

Grave Miasma – Abyss of Wrathful Deities Review

Grave Miasma – Abyss of Wrathful Deities Review

“It scares me to say this but it’s been 5 entire years since the last Grave Miasma release. Almost everything in my life has changed since that point and I would like to think (perhaps naively) that I’m better now than I was then. I respected and enjoyed 2016’s Endless Pilgrimage which offered 30 minutes of brutal but atmospheric music across a mini-LP, but with only one prior full-length and a handful of EPs across nearly 20 years, does Abyss of Wrathful Deities find Grave Miasma able to make the same comment about themselves?” Malaise in the grave.

Osiah – Loss Review

Osiah – Loss Review

“Another day, another album called Loss. While some crews take up this tragic mantle with sobriety and melody, Osiah‘s content pummeling you with big “djunz” time and I guess the “loss” is, like, a loss of goddamn peace and quiet. This is a band I inherited from the Spongey One who simply didn’t have the time to devote to deathcore. Shocker, I know.” Identity loss.

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.

Ghosts of Atlantis – 3.6.2.4 Review

Ghosts of Atlantis – 3.6.2.4 Review

“The best way to get my attention is with an awesome album cover. More than genre tags, credits, stylistic themes, or lyrical themes – more than nearly anything else – an awesome album cover is what I go by when I explore the wonderful world of metal. That’s how the English band known as Ghosts of Atlantis got my attention, although the rest did line up very nicely: they credit themselves as something of a supergroup, boasting experienced musicians from bands across various well-known labels trying out something different, tagged in my promo package as “symphonic progressive extreme metal.”” Ghost in the calculator.

And Now the Owls are Smiling – Dirges Review

And Now the Owls are Smiling – Dirges Review

“While padding lightly through the damp forests of local Seattle trails, I’ve encountered foreboding signage cautioning passerby of barred owl swoopings. In broad daylight, owls have been known to swoop down with virtually no sound and claw at the back of people’s heads with their sharp talons, oftentimes drawing blood. Thankfully, I have not yet experienced such a spooky and downright horrifying encounter myself, but I do know of multiple runner friends who have found themselves in one of these harrowing situations. I have little reason to believe And Now the Owls are Smiling‘s band name was inspired by the vengeful owls of the Pacific Northwest seeing as the one-man band hails from Norfolk, England.” Hoot force.