Finnish Metal

Malady – Ainavihantaa Review

Malady – Ainavihantaa Review

Malady might be the best-kept secret here at Angry Metal Guy World Headquarters. Aside from myself and old-soul-in-a-youthful-body El Cuervo, I don’t think anyone else has heard of them, let alone loved their first two albums the way we did. Maybe it’s because ElC and myself love to find obscure prog acts. Maybe it’s because these guys aren’t even remotely metal – in fact, maybe it’s because they remind us of early-era King Crimson and other prog-rock acts from a half-century ago that they tickle our fancy.” House calls with Doc Huck.
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Concrete Winds – Nerve Butcherer Review

Concrete Winds – Nerve Butcherer Review

“Finnish two-piece Concrete Winds emerged from the ashes of Vorum in 2019, with debut Primitive Force marrying an unrelenting death metal onslaught with a passionate love of gobbledygook song titles. The band’s approach bears a close resemblance to the ferocious stylings of war metal, albeit with less of a blackened edge. Accordingly, while Concrete Winds’ moniker is a head-scratcher, the title of their sophomore effort Nerve Butcherer leaves little ambiguity about how the listener is intended to feel.” Mad nerve butcher!

Swallow the Sun – Moonflowers Review

Swallow the Sun – Moonflowers Review

“There hasn’t been much positivity coming from the Swallow the Sun camp these last few years. The tragic passing of guitarist Juha Raivio’s partner and Trees of Eternity collaborator Aleah Stanbridge led to a grief-driven release from Raivio’s Hallatar project as well as the unrelentingly depressive When a Shadow is Forced Into the Light from this group. Years pass and pain diminishes, but based on what we get on Moonflowers, it seems Mr. Raivio is still struggling to get back to the light.” Aphotic hypnotic.

Omnium Gatherum – Origin Review

Omnium Gatherum – Origin Review

Omnium Gatherum have been at the forefront of the Finnish melodeath movement since 2003, conspiring with countrymates Insomnium and Amorphis to slather the globe in heavy, melancholic tuneage. They’ve shown themselves to be gifted at merging sadboi introspection with hooky melodeath moments on killer albums like New World Shadows and Beyond, and 2018s The Burning Cold was another quality platter, improving on 2016s somewhat somnambulant Grey Heavens. Since The Burning Cold however, nearly half the band’s lineup has changed over, with them losing a guitarist, bassist, and drummer. Armed with new members they’ve also shifted towards a new approach.” Ominous gatherings.

Burning Point – Arsonist of the Soul Review

Burning Point – Arsonist of the Soul Review

Burning Point have a very inconsistent track record in the Euro-power rat race. Early releases Salvation by Fire and Feeding the Flames were decent but a bit too generic to leave a lasting impression. Some subsequent albums just seemed phoned in, further consigning them to second or third-tier status in the Euro-power sweepstakes. It wasn’t until 2012s The Ignitor that they delivered an album that really grabbed my attention and shook it. Full of heavy, aggressive riffs and powerful vocals, it was a punchy, angry dose of power leaning into Mystic Prophecy and Brainstorm territory with good results. Just as things seemed to be heading in the right direction, vocalist Pete Ahonen pulled a Kai Hansen, opting to hand off vocal duties and focus solely on guitar.” Burning bridges and lineups.

Craneium – Unknown Heights Review

Craneium – Unknown Heights Review

“Finland’s Craneium managed to accrue some low-level buzz on the strength of two albums of entertainingly fuzzy, buzzy pysch/stoner rock mixed with minor sludge and alt-rock influences. While their sound is sure to remind you of other bigger acts like Monster Magnet and Sahg, they’ve managed to do their own thing and create some interesting material with a unique spin. Now comes third album Unknown Heights, which after nearly three years of effort the band thinks is their best product thus far.” Trip to the brain stone.

Alkuharmonian Kantaja – Shadowy Peripherals Review

Alkuharmonian Kantaja – Shadowy Peripherals Review

“I like my music weird. It’s a problem, and it’s great. You see, I don’t think there’s really a lot of truly “weird” in metal. Weird musicians, sure. Weird concepts, absolutely—how about those guys who write about mollusks?—but actual, genuine, weirdness? I don’t know. So when I see the fabled “avant-garde black metal” tag floating about in our pile o’ promos, I tend to take first and ask questions later.” Undue diligence done dirt cheap.

Skepticism – Companion Review

Skepticism – Companion Review

“Autumn brings about a slow but captivating decay of leaves turning colors and dying, falling to the ground in a beautiful, somber reminder that life can change in a matter of years to a matter of seconds. So, with the passing of the seasons, now is a great time to pour a glass of your favorite spirit, sit in front of a fire, and partake in Companion, the sixth full-length by legendary Finnish funeral merchants, Skepticism.” Of doom and ice.

Hooded Menace – The Tritonus Bell Review

Hooded Menace – The Tritonus Bell Review

“Finland’s Hooded Menace are lords of death-doom. Their back-catalog is a veritable boneyard of fatal furors that crawl at a corpse pace and exist on the edge of an undead pulse. Indeed, their last album, Ossuarium Silhouettes Unhallowed, made a grave impression on many an end-of-year list, mine included. Now, sixth album The Tritonus Bell prepares to resound, and one thing is certain; Hooded Menace are masters of their craft. But this record’s new stylistic choice excludes heft in favor of history and the implication is almost unrecognizable.” Bells to the wall.

Bonehunter – Dark Blood Reincarnation System Review

Bonehunter – Dark Blood Reincarnation System Review

Bonehunter and I have a deep, penetrable relationship that’s difficult to describe. They put out albums, and I review them. OK, so that wasn’t complicated. But, the last time I checked, I’ve reviewed more of their albums than I have any other band since starting at AMG. This year’s Dark Blood Reincarnation System makes four albums and four Grier reviews for these crusty Finns. If you don’t know Bonehunter, it’s time you were educated. Bonehunter is best known for two things: bear erections and punky, black-thrash.” Bones to the wall.