Feb19

Wheel – Moving Backwards Review

Wheel – Moving Backwards Review

“The astute reader may have noticed this review is, as the youngsters say, hella late. But to err is human, and even the lords who guard the jail cells above the skull pit are of our own kind, they may begrudgingly admit. So when I saw the spectacular Wheel open for Soen and immediately sought an explanation for why we hadn’t reviewed them, the voice through the trapdoor thundered in its brazen might: ‘Whoops.'” Mistakes were made.

Grafvitnir – Venenum Scorpionis Review

Grafvitnir – Venenum Scorpionis Review

“As if on cue, a momentary silence in my headphones is broken as a highly melodic yet terrifying tremolo fades in, only to cut out to allow a wolf to howl far, then near. I’m overcome with primal energy, and I seriously consider shedding my clothes and running into the woods to live out my days as the basis for further Sasquatch sightings. Realizing that I have neither the temperament nor the survival skills for such an endeavor, I resolve to keep scrubbing and simply enjoy the sweet sounds of “Wolf of the Eclipse,” the opening track from Grafvitnir‘s sixth Swedish black metal opus Venenum Scorpionis.” Of wolf and apeman.

Werian – Animist Review

Werian – Animist Review

“‘Werian‘ comes from an old Germanic word for the transformation of man into wolf. A fitting moniker, as the album’s themes detail some of the world’s most deeply rooted supernatural and religious perspectives. To this end, the collective eschews stringent genre tropes in favor of a combination of doom and a subtle element of black metal that serves to catalyze this shamanic sojourn. The quality is evident, but there remains a question of quantity.” Wer the party at?

Dronte – Quelque Part Entre La Guerre Et La Lâcheté Review

Dronte – Quelque Part Entre La Guerre Et La Lâcheté Review

“We take the electric guitar for granted. Where would metal be without its deliciously distorted tones? Dronte asked themselves the same thing, and they interpreted it as a challenge. And while they were at it, they got rid of all electrical feeds to their instruments. Yes indeed, we are dealing with a self-proclaimed acoustic metal band. Can there even be such a thing? Are electric instruments not an absolute necessity for metal? And would anyone besides the French be insane enough to even attempt it?” The other Tenacious D.

Pounder – Uncivilized Review

Pounder – Uncivilized Review

“Sometimes, rarely, there is value in a stupid band name, the kind of band name that causes one to double-take, think “surely not,” and pry open the battered, stained crate in the promo bin, if only for more information. So it is with Pounder, side project of Exhumed and Gruesome‘s Matt Harvey, Carcass newcomer Tom Draper, and Nausea’s Alejandro Corredor. Despite the death metal pedigrees of the musicians, that dreadful name telegraphs everything you need to know about what to expect: brainless, cheesy, and oh so 80s.” Death to the 80s!

Abyssic – High the Memory Review

Abyssic – High the Memory Review

“Metal, as a rule, is an exercise in excess. Of the ‘popular’ musical styles, it’s the loudest, the heaviest, the angriest, the most extreme. Thematically, topics of death and darkness are presented with superlative hyperbole. For non-fans, it’s all about as subtle as a volcanic explosion. We, of course, know better. Within each metal sub-genre, bands fall on a relative spectrum ranging from ‘tastefully restrained’ to ‘over-indulgent like, whoa.’ But what does the latter look like when the sub-genre is already known for being the -est? Say, funeral doom? It looks something like Norway-based Abyssic‘s second full-length, High the Memory.” The duck confit of doom.

O.R.k. – Ramagehead Review

O.R.k. – Ramagehead Review

“It’s not often that so-called super-groups stick around for more than one or two albums. Invariably, the novelty of working together wears off, and competing priorities pull members in other directions. That hasn’t been the case with multinational prog rockers O.R.k., though: Ramagehead is the band’s third album, appearing like clockwork almost two years to the day after their superb Soul of an Octopusrecord. The quartet remains unchanged as well: the big names are Pat Mastelotto (King Crimson) on drums and Colin Edwin (Porcupine Tree) on bass, but guitarist Carmelo Pipitone and singer/composer LEF are not to be ignored.” Ramage Inc.