English Metal

Kull – Exile Review

Kull – Exile Review

“In my three years with this blog, I have never had as much difficulty penning an introduction as with Kull‘s debut record, Exile. This is not due to any conflicting feelings about the subject at hand; rather, I’m petrified of underselling just how monumentally special Kull is to me. Their existence is borne from the ashes of Bal-Sagoth, an English band that is a permanent staple of my listening rotation, and whose output fizzled out just before I stumbled upon them in 2008. Mind you, my ongoing affection for them does not stem from sentimentality or nostalgia.” Big Balls(agoth).

Pythia – The Solace of Ancient Earth Review

Pythia – The Solace of Ancient Earth Review

“Ah, yes. Symphonic power metal fronted by an operatic leading lady. This is the stuff that got me into metal in the first place, and my love for it remains unflagging still. But great albums from this specific formulation of the genre made themselves scarce in recent years, with only ElvellonDelain (shut up, entire AMG staff!), and Epica (shut up, entire AMG staff!) releasing albums I enjoy on a consistent basis. So when I saw a promo that featured name drops from two of those three bands and Nightwish, I knew what I needed to do.” Metal cred is overrated.

Body Harvest – Parasitic Slavery Review

Body Harvest – Parasitic Slavery Review

“Our very own Eldritch Elitist recently posited that death metal is at its peak when following either one of two separate paths: an unapologetic flogging or creative innovation. He’s not wrong. But there is also a third route worthy of consideration. The one unashamedly paved with the gilded bones of the genre’s revered forefathers. How do we quantify those bands who patch their material together from piecemeal legacy? It’s an easy approach to snub, but there is plenty of evidence to suggest the potential for success.” Ripping off the oldies.

Hecate Enthroned – Embrace of the Godless Aeon Review

Hecate Enthroned – Embrace of the Godless Aeon Review

“January has been… slow for quality metal releases. Can Hecate Enthroned buck the trend and save us all? Embrace of the Godless Aeon is the sixth album from these Brits as they push past the twentieth year in their recording career. Coming off a five year release gap and sporting a new vocalist, is there any hellfire left in their demonic well of blackened death metal?” Embrace the orchestration.

Wytch Hazel – II: Sojourn [Things You Might Have Missed 2018]

Wytch Hazel – II: Sojourn [Things You Might Have Missed 2018]

“2018 was the year Steel Druhm paid way more attention to what was going on with Bandcamp. I monitored what writers and readers were buying and recommending and found a few gems along the way. My favorite was II: Sojourn, the sophomore outing by U.K. retro rockers, Wytch Hazel.” Rub it on.

Old Man Lizard – True Misery Review

Old Man Lizard – True Misery Review

“If you’ve been following the Chronicles of N00b, you may remember that the last time I was let out of confinement, it was for a forced march through a symphonic winter wonderland. This, after specific requests to review my preferred genre of doom, nearly broke me (no doubt the point). But for my fifth review, I’ve been thrown a bone. Not only do England’s Old Man Lizard play doom, they play the stoner strain: ur-doom that can trace its origin to the moment Sir Lord Baltimore and Black Sabbath crawled out of the primordial ooze after the mantle cooled on Planet Caravan Metal.” Feel the scales.

Haken – Vector Review

Haken – Vector Review

“My introduction to the band was on The Mountain, which found the band dropping incredible songs with deeply creative compositions and amazing performances. But The Mountain‘s follow-up—Affinity—has never really established itself in my listening rotation. Unfortunately, while Affinity was full of ideas I loved and things I appreciated intellectually, it was like the girl who’s “perfect” for you but that you can’t get into. So I’ll admit mild consternation when Vector arrived. I wondered if Vector would continue in Affinity‘s footsteps or if Haken had stayed on the move.” Moving and remaking.

Age of Taurus – The Colony Slain Review

Age of Taurus – The Colony Slain Review

“One of the most difficult tasks for an established band is following-up a successful debut. The task at hand has resulted in many a failure, as artists choke under pressure and fail to capitalize on their promising foundations, buckling under the increased expectation from the record label and swelling fan-base. A follow-up of any sort didn’t seem a certain prospect for UK’s doomers, Age of Taurus. The band’s 2013 LP Desperate Souls of Tortured Times, was a captivating debut, built on a slightly modernized, traditional doom foundation of robust, ironclad riffage and generous hooks.” Doom call it a comeback.

Winterfylleth – The Hallowing of Heirdom Review

Winterfylleth – The Hallowing of Heirdom Review

“The first time I sat down with The Hallowing of Heirdom, I was in denial. With every song, I expected the sky to crack open and a dark sheet of black rain to pour from blood-red clouds. It never happened. And, as a result, I’m going to try to rate, compare, and measure The Hallowing of Heirdom against Winterfylleth‘s decade of atmospheric black metal records. For how much I hate the phrase, this is like comparing apples to oranges.” Strum and drag.