English Metal

The River – Vessels into White Tides Review

The River – Vessels into White Tides Review

“December is usually not the best time to go for a dip in the promo sump. Historically this is the month where we get deluged with re-releases and more low-fi basement black metal than a barrel full of Vardans could churn out in a fortnight. It takes a steady hand to reach into the brackish murk and pull out something promising, and fortunately, nothing is as steady as the iron hand ov Steel. That brings us to the new release by UK experimental Goth/doom act The River.” Follow The River.

Reign of Fury – Exorcise Reality [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

Reign of Fury – Exorcise Reality [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

“I can’t believe it’s been four years since I first listened to Reign of Fury. For those of you that don’t remember, or weren’t alive during that time, Reign of Fury‘s 2015 release, Death Be Thy Shepherd, was so good it landed atop my year-end list. As I read over the words I wrote long ago, three things are clear. First, I’m still a shitty writer. Second, boy, a lot has changed in what seemed like a perfect life for ole Grier. Third, Exorcise Reality is no Death Be Thy Shepherd, Part Deux.” Reality bites.

Aggressive Perfector – Havoc at the Midnight Hour Review

Aggressive Perfector – Havoc at the Midnight Hour Review

“It’s clearly throwback week in the House ov Steel. No sooner do I crash land after high speed sledding through the 80s with Warsenal than I find myself prematurely buried in the creepy graveyard of 80s metal curated by England’s Aggressive Perfector. With a sound stuck in the mire between Mercyful Fate and Venom, and at times digging in the same graves that Deceased made a career out of defiling, their debut drags the unsuspecting listener through a horror revival of all the charmingly slimy metal hits of the 80s.” Havoc panic.

Angel Witch – Angel of Light Review

Angel Witch – Angel of Light Review

Angel Witch is a name most of you have heard before even if you never actually heard their music. They were one of the earliest of NWoBHM acts, and along with Iron Maiden, Saxon, Diamond Head and others, they helped create a new style of music, launching heavy metal’s popularity to new heights and paving the way for the glorious 80s metal renaissance. Their debut was a quasi-classic in the genre and a fine example of the NWoBHM style, sounding like a a cross between early Def Leppard and Witchfinder General. Followups were more stripped down and rock ready, but the band was quickly overshadowed by several of their contemporaries, and though their output was solid, by 1986 it was all but over for the English rockers.” Old wave in the new age.

Dawn Ray’d – Behold Sedition Plainsong Review

Dawn Ray’d – Behold Sedition Plainsong Review

“Pyres become beacons as flames rise with a dangerously bright burn, lick the sky, and drape the green banks of the Sava river in a majestic red glow. It’s a transporting and defiant occasion: the roaring fires ignite our inner blaze and unite us in remembrance of Partisans like my grandfather that on May 8th, 1945 freed Croatia’s capital, Zagreb, from occupying Nazi (and collaborationist) forces. These memories of the Trnje bonfires flicker in my mind while I listen to Behold Sedition Plainsong, the second full-length of Liverpool black metal trio Dawn Ray’d. Because this is a music of awakening that sweeps away the waters of Lethe meant to make us forget what the liberation from occupation and similar historic moments stood for then and today.” Music with a cause.

Ark Ascent – Downfall Review

Ark Ascent – Downfall Review

Debut releases are weird; you never can know what you’re going to get. Sometimes debut means one-man black metal who just discovered GarageBand. Debut can mean hidden talent of Lethbridge, Alberta unmasking themselves for a world unprepared. Or it can mean a group of already-established musicians getting together and deciding to try something new. So […]

Dream Tröll – “I Will Not Die Today” Video Premiere and Second to None Review

Dream Tröll – “I Will Not Die Today” Video Premiere and Second to None Review

Dream Tröll. It’s a weird-ass pairing of words even in the realm of metal bands, yet one that glides off the tongue, despite every synapse in my brain screaming “That’s not right!” Sonically speaking, Dream Tröll is beholden to convention, but their splicing of genres is handled so ingeniously as to make such an unclassifiable name somehow fitting. It’s easy to draw correlations between traditional metal, power metal, and good ol’ fashioned rock ‘n roll, yet Dream Tröll plays with these tropes in delightfully unexpected ways, resulting in a distinct sound displaced from any defined era of metal music.” Trölling with the oldies.

Savage Messiah – Demons Review

Savage Messiah – Demons Review

“During high school, I loved our local hard rock station, Funky Monkey, and it was integral in the development of my bad musical taste. The best feature was the tough guy voice that gave you the name of the band and the song title after each track had played, allowing me to quickly categorize which bands I did and didn’t like. But when I got my first iPod, all of that changed. Sure, I had a giant book of CDs that I had kept hidden in my car for when the radio wasn’t cutting it, but being able to load a tiny device with tons of songs was a game changer. Before long, I’d left most mainstream rock and metal behind and was listening to all things cheesy and trve.” The more things change….