Feb22

Record(s) o’ the Month – March 2022

Record(s) o’ the Month – March 2022

One of the problems with the Record(s) o’ the Month post is that I, apparently, cannot escape the glass cage of emotion that has been my life for a few years. Unfortunately, said glass cage doesn’t have an internet connection and that makes it difficult to keep up with everything. In reality, Record o’ the Month posts take a lot of work. So, I’m here to fix that! March is hardly done and I’m posting the Record(s) o’ the Month!

Svartsot – Kumbl Review

Svartsot – Kumbl Review

“What should be said of the workhorses? The acts that caught your ear once and never let go? Not the kings of the mountain, no, but perennially at least at base camp. Like your dad used to say, the world needs 2.75-rated records too. Svartsot surmounted the folk metal summit but once with their 2007 debut Ravnenes Saga; their three shots at the top since have fallen well shy of that peak. Still, their thick-axed folkery scratches a certain itch, and given the Danes’ obligation to their sound, there’s little chance their fifth album, Kumbl, will be a disaster. There’s also little chance it’ll be a hit.” Ready to Kumbl.

Deathhammer – Electric Warfare Review

Deathhammer – Electric Warfare Review

“Norway’s Deathhammer probably need no introduction as they’ve achieved some notoriety by releasing a string of full-lengths, demos, EPs, and splits—with some form of release almost every single year—since their formation back in 2005. My personal experience with the band is fairly limited, but I do own 2015’s Evil Power and consider it to be a good-to-very good example of the early, chaotic thrash sound. I skipped 2018’s Chained to Hell despite its stellar artwork, but let’s see what Deathhammer sounds like in 2022.” Hammer will hurt them.

Fall of Stasis – The Chronophagist Review

Fall of Stasis – The Chronophagist Review

“Extreme music and cheer have an uneasy relationship. Power metal is generally expected to be upbeat and not take itself too seriously, but when the growls and screams enter the building, such attitudes are wont to leap out the window. Death and black metal are serious business, dammit! Except when they’re not, and examples abound of bands that embrace both the dark and the light. At first glance, Fall of Stasis seem to be the serious sort. A faux Old English logo, a grim apocalyptic cover, and a title that literally means ‘the time eater.’ But is it all as dark as it seems?” Goro-core.

Inner Missing – Dead Language Review

Inner Missing – Dead Language Review

“I’ll be honest, my expectations for Dead Language were low. First, wow, that is a terrible name. Second, Inner Missing are a two-person gothic metal band releasing album number nine in twelve years. You have to give them credit for persistence, but nine albums without a breakout isn’t promising. Third, my first impression of the lead single “The Quest” was entirely dominated by the inexplicable near-monotone vastly over-inflected bass vocals. It was not looking good. Expectations and first impressions are funny things, though.” Lost and found in translation.

Venator – Echoes From the Gutter Review

Venator – Echoes From the Gutter Review

Echoes From the Gutter finds Venator expanding upon the classic sound they established on the well-executed and well-received 2020 Paradiser EP, a sound that finds them worshipping with reverent fervor before the alter of the deities of early 80s British and American heavy metal. When I listen to these guys, I hear Defenders-era Judas Priest mixed with Jag Panzer, Angel Witch, and Omen; their songs are undeniably heavy and irresistibly catchy.” Hello from the metal gutter.

Kryptograf – The Eldorado Spell Review

Kryptograf – The Eldorado Spell Review

“With that album cover, you know exactly what you’re getting. You’ve heard it before – a bunch of musicians who smoked one too many joints in high school, and then one too many joints in college, and decided to share their boundless love for early Black Sabbath with the world. Norwegian four-piece Kryptograf is relatively new to the overcrowded stoner rock scene, but they made a splash with their self-titled 2020 debut, which melded vintage doom, hard rock, and psychedelic jams.” Loving the leaf.

Sin Starlett – Solid Source of Steel Review

Sin Starlett – Solid Source of Steel Review

“Calling something new “NWoBHM” is a tricky proposition. Some bands and labels seem to fall on the description as a lazy synonym for Maiden, but that clearly only captures a slice of the historical scene. Sin Starlett’s tendency to swap out huge sections of the wardrobe between albums only amplifies the confusion in calling them simply “NWoBHM.” 2012’s awfully-named Throat Attack saw Starlett wear through the combined speed and pop sensibilities of Defenders of the Faith-era Judas Priest. 2016’s Digital Overload, meanwhile, saw the Starletts adopt thrashier trappings. The borderline thrash riffs and vocal barks seemed to signal a new direction for follow-up Solid Source of Steel. Wherever steel may roam.