Feb19

Lucifera – La Caceria De Brujas Review

Lucifera – La Caceria De Brujas Review

“My old computer science teacher once told our class that he liked Baja Blast Mountain Dew so much, he wished he could stick an IV in his arm and take it intravenously. Interestingly enough, that’s exactly the way I feel about blackened thrash metal. To me it’s like a drug: I don’t just want it, I fucking need it. It seems each continent produces its own unique strain and while I like Australia’s best, in recent years I’ve also come to enjoy the raw and uncompromising approach of South American bands like Invocation Spells and Witchtrap. Colombian duo Lucifera embody this same ethos.” Pick your poison.

Funereal Presence – Achatius Review

Funereal Presence – Achatius Review

“I’ve reviewed a lot of fucking black metal for this blog, and while I could never see myself tiring of covering the genre, I’d rather drown before hashing out another “The current state of black metal…” intro. For one thing, the sound and philosophies of modern black metal are constantly in flux, meaning that those who stumble upon my writings more than a year after publication will find them roughly as relevant as an instructional hip-hop dance VHS tape from 1992. For another, releases like Achatius feel displaced from the black metal timeline as a whole; it’s a record whose influences are clear, yet whose ambitions intriguingly conflict with its intent.” What is real? Funereal.

Joyless Euphoria – Dreaming in Ultraviolet Review

Joyless Euphoria – Dreaming in Ultraviolet Review

“Even before Sunbather set off a scene-cred melee best likened in both intensity and contrivance to the Hedley Lamarr goons/Rock Ridge citizens brawl in Blazing Saddles, post-black metal was no spring chicken. James Kelley of Altar of Plagues suggested that the band’s change of direction on Teethed Glory and Injury was at least in part due to boredom with a stagnant scene and despite the downright bacterial rate at which post-black metal bands spawn, I can think of very few remarkable records in the style that have come out in recent years.” Blue light special.

Damnation’s Hammer – Unseen Planets, Deadly Spheres Review

Damnation’s Hammer – Unseen Planets, Deadly Spheres Review

“As per the usual and against all wisdom, I judged an album by its artwork. I liked the high detail monochrome planet-scape. I liked the logo. I liked the name of the album. And just like that, all requirements for entry into TheKenWord’s listening queue lined up in perfect syzygy. Anyway, here I am with Damnation’s Hammer and their sophomore record, Unseen Planets, Deadly Spheres, knowing absolutely nothing about the band or their sound other than that they call the UK home and that their label tags them “heavy metal.” What do I discover? This is far more complex than just “heavy metal.” Yet, it’s all so simple. Let me explain.” Crouching planet, hidden sphere.

Traveler – Traveler Review

Traveler – Traveler Review

“Another month, another retro band dropping an album on our doorstep. Do we need more retro bands? Actually, we need more of every kind of band, if they’re capable of writing great songs. That will be the key here, as local (to me) boys Traveler aim to blow the lid off the retro/proto scene with eight songs of caffeine-injected, high-energy metallic romps down memory lane. In this case, if that lane had a name, it would be Manilla Road (see what I did there?).” Olde but still getting around.

Mastiff – Plague Review

Mastiff – Plague Review

“My first review under my own moniker here at AMG LLC Sole Proprietorship & Sons was for an unholy mix of plodding sludge doom and breakneck hardcore. If you can remember lo those many weeks ago, I concluded that however much you enjoyed each individual component, the combination never truly gelled. Well, if there’s one thing I’ve learned about metal, it’s that if a hybrid style exists at all, someone out there is doing that shit right. I submit to you now Plague, the second full length from misery making monsters Mastiff (Muppet, meet thy match) who play just such a mix.” Dog bites metal.

Our Survival Depends on Us – Melting the Ice in the Hearts of Men Review

Our Survival Depends on Us – Melting the Ice in the Hearts of Men Review

“I really don’t like to throw around the word “pretentious” in my reviews. Underground music, particularly of the avant-garde persuasion, is a field where I believe that perceived false pretenses are merely the result of a disconnect between the artist and consumer. After all, properly recording an album is an expensive undertaking; with little chance for financial gain, why would a given band have any reason not to wear its heart on its sleeve? While I’ve covered many albums where I’ve felt this sense of disconnect, Melting the Ice in the Hearts of Men is not one of them.” Hot island songs.

Down to the Bunker – Misery Review

Down to the Bunker – Misery Review

“There are a few genres that tend to be whipping boys in reviewer circles, hard as we might try to weed out such partisanship. Alt-metal in particular tends to be somewhat divisive, with kvlt types eschewing it as mainstream hackery, and more refined types likewise eschewing it as lowbrow idiocy. Yet others like myself, due to the diffuse nature of the subgenre and its near-universal tendency to approach metal from outside rather than from preexisting archetypes, find it difficult to frame both aesthetically and critically; it also doesn’t help that like with its distant cousins, nu metal and post-grunge, the quality control is often poor at best.” Misery seeks company.

Imperia – Flames of Eternity Review

Imperia – Flames of Eternity Review

“Any magician will tell you that the key to most tricks is misdirection: draw the audience’s eyes away from where they should be looking by any means possible. While their attention is averted, the sleight-of-hand takes place. What separates the greats from, say, Magician Bob at your niece’s third birthday party, is the seamlessness with which this technique is performed. Or to put it bluntly, if you notice that you’re being distracted, they’re doing it wrong.” Oh, this bodes well…

Rhapsody of Fire – The Eighth Mountain Review

Rhapsody of Fire – The Eighth Mountain Review

Rhapsody’s history has all the operatic drama required of its Italian heritage. Rhapsody, one of the ‘90s and early-aughts’ finest power metal bands, rose to prominence on the back of outstanding material before suffering a string of setbacks in the mid-2000s. After some legal drama and a triumphant return with two brilliant albums in two years, the band’s primary composers—Luca Turilli and Alex Staropoli—split the world in two.” Now Rhapsody of Fire is back with its third post-split album and first with a band new vocalist. What could go wrong?