Ensiferum

Harmonize – Warrior in the Night Review

Harmonize – Warrior in the Night Review

“There is a fine line between cringe and cheese. The latter is a savory substance that has embalmed many a God of Metal throughout the ages, and while the former can be bewitching in some of its shapes, it’s all the same loathed by most of us. Cheese is a crucial ingredient to all metal that I love, and of late I find that my desire for that silky, golden mass has become more and more difficult to satiate. Just as my craving was reaching peak levels and I hurried to spin Manowar’s “Sons of Odin” for the 666th time, the rattle of the promo bin beg I pay heed.” Sing for your steel!

Ensiferum – Thalassic Review

Ensiferum – Thalassic Review

“Try as they might though, Ensiferum‘s glory days seemingly sailed on without them after From Afar. 2017’s Two Paths aptly laid out the options before the band: death or glory. Without righting the ship fast, the hallowed melofolk act would scuttle all hope of escaping brand and exile. So they did the one thing guaranteed to sell nowadays: write some pirate metal.” Used YARR dealership.

Atavistia – The Winter Way Review

Atavistia – The Winter Way Review

“Do you miss Wintersun? Are you hoping Jari Mäenpää gets his groove back soon? Have an epic melodeath itch that no amount of black metal shenanigans can scratch? Well, Atavistia is here to take your mind off Jari’s attempts to convince you to build a recording studio for him to finish Time II.” Low winter sunblind.

Sometimes We Make Music – Trail of The Fallen Review

Sometimes We Make Music – Trail of The Fallen Review

“Apparently, these Norwegian musicians all live some 400 kilometers away from one another, and only make music sometimes. Lucky for us, this is one of those times. Trail of The Fallen is their debut full-length, a welcome offering of symphonic metal offering complete with a creepy skeleton on the cover. Between those two aspects and the band name, things are already looking good.” Long distance relations.

Crepuscle – Heavenly Skies Review

Crepuscle – Heavenly Skies Review

“With scant few acts from the golden era of Finnish melodic death metal living up to their former glitter and gusto, the torch has been unwittingly passed across state lines. From Æther Realm to Aephanemer, the kids who grew up worshiping at the altars of Ensiferum, Children of Bodom, and scores of others are now handily matching the quality of their influences. California’s Crepuscle is no exception.” The American way.

Aephanemer – Prokopton Review

Aephanemer – Prokopton Review

“The vaunted sophomore album. The dreaded sophomore album. It’s a metal rite of passage nowadays, fully reflective of our hyper-streamlined society, for the raw and promising to go from who-the-fucks to our favorite bands in an insanely compressed period of time. This tends to be especially true for AMG favorites—see Wilderun, Æther Realm, Khemmis, Cân Bardd, Altars of Grief, Hamferð, etc., etc. Since the opening bars of their 2016 debut Momento Mori, I prayed that someday Aephanemer would assume their rightful place in that most hallowed legion.” One giant step.

Týr – Hel Review

Týr – Hel Review

“At the stony, windswept crossroads of Viking, folk, power and traditional metal sits Týr on a cottonwood throne bedecked with fishing nets and boat hooks. Hailing from the tiny Faroe Islands that sit between Iceland and Norway, these mysterious descendants of Vikings have impressed with their distinctive brand of genre hopping since their sophomore album Eric the Red came ashore in 2003. They’ve been uncomfortably quiet since 2013s outstanding Valkyrja, making Hel among my most anticipated releases of 2019.” Hel-o, is it me you’re looking for?

The EP, Demo, and Oddity Post [Things You Might Have Missed 2018]

The EP, Demo, and Oddity Post [Things You Might Have Missed 2018]

“As a younger man I had no concept of the “EP,” nor the “demo,” nor the “split.” When was the last time Iron Maiden had to curb their excesses by squashing ideas into half an hour? When were Judas Priest not able to afford a professional recording studio and production job? And when’s that Metallica/Megadeth split due again? Such formats are reserved for the underdogs of the metal world, those bubbling beneath the surface of popularity who write music for the sheer creative expression and who will never see monetary reward for their time and effort.” Short is sweet.