Folk Metal

Siren’s Rain – Rise Forth Review

Siren’s Rain – Rise Forth Review

“Sometimes, the cover of an album is meaningless, you know, just a cliched picture of a skull or zombie or something to adorn the record sleeve. Sometimes, however, the artwork can tell you a lot, both about what to expect from a record and about the band behind it, which presumably signed off—or in a few cases even designed—the artwork in question. In the case of Tacoma, Washington’s Siren’s Rain and their self-released debut album, Rise Forth, the artwork triggered an all too familiar sinking feeling.” Graphic displays.

Paydretz – Chroniques de l’Insurrection Review

Paydretz – Chroniques de l’Insurrection Review

“If there’s something that black metal bands have been flocking to lately, besides corpse paint and hooded sweatshirts, it’s war. Over the last decade, the genre’s been scouring both World Wars to the point of picking at scraps. Scant few, if any, even bothered to turn their eyes to battles of centuries past, especially when it comes to the French Revolution or, more specifically, the War in the Vendée. A counter-revolution that lasted approximately three years and resulted in the slaughter of countless men, women, and children, the War in the Vendée remains an oft-overlooked bloodbath, save for the occasional historical film or two. Today, French supergroup Paydretz brings this historic tale to light on their debut, Chroniques de l’Insurrection.” Obscure French military history and metal.

Felled – The Intimate Earth Review

Felled – The Intimate Earth Review

Felled approach black metal differently than many. There’s a lot of mournful folk imbued within these sonic landscapes, thanks to a lead violin which takes center stage as often as, if not more often than, the lead guitars. Dour atmosphere grips with a cold, unforgiving hand and drags you across snowy tundra, no thought given to your ability to weather the journey. All that matters is that the melodies and moods cut through your thin flesh-wrapper and find a home deep inside your marrow.” Intimate despair.

Dordeduh – Har Review

Dordeduh – Har Review

“Until a few months ago I was only peripherally aware of Dordeduh. I had heard their debut album, 2012’s Dar de duh, and thought it was “good” but not really worth revisiting. Similarly, I was aware of the apparent amazingness of Om, Negură Bunget’s 2006 opus, in which Edmond “Huppogrammos” Karban and Cristian “Sol Faur” Popescu played a pivotal role. While that album was stunning in scope, the black metal production values turned me off. Potential, yes: essential, no. Fast forward to 2021, and on a whim I clicked on the first track released from Har, entitled “Descânt.” It was then that I knew I had to not only hear this album, but bring it forth to the Angry Metal Guy faithful.” From Romania with love.

Subterranean Masquerade – Mountain Fever Review

Subterranean Masquerade – Mountain Fever Review

“Let me preface this review with a bite-size Contrite Metal Guy: I overrated Subterranean Masquerade‘s last album, Vagabond, by half a point. While it’s still a damn cool album, with a great sense of adventure and exploration, it was also a bit unfocused and unbalanced, a shortcoming of which I failed to make note at the time. Alas, I am only human, and as the first underground band I discovered all on my own back in 2005, this band has a special place in my heart.” Cave raves.

Vexillum – When Good Men Go to War Review

Vexillum – When Good Men Go to War Review

“”Bagpipes are a lovely addition to any song,” I staunchly declared a mere fortnight ago in another review. While my bagpipe rule of thumb held true on Wynter Arvn‘s Abysses, I’m struggling to stand by my words after spending the last couple weeks with Vexillum‘s When Good Men Go to War. Strong onion, weakly held? I’d say so. How could I have known that this opinion would make me grimace so soon? Rather than adding a haunting and epic mysticism to Vexillum‘s music, the bag-pipe is instead an ever-present, garish nuisance.” Bag men.

Thermohaline – Maelström Review

Thermohaline – Maelström Review

“Thanks to that one boozy pirate-themed power metal band whose name rhymes with “Sail Dorm,” it’s difficult to take oceanic themed albums seriously. There are plenty of bands that have torn it up, Ahab showcasing mammoth waves with their breed of crushing funeral doom, Isis displaying the uncaring expanse with shoegaze-y post-metal, and Firtan and Déluge offering some respective symphonic black and post-black to reflect he majesty of the oceans. Scrolling through my black metal collection and each album’s respective themes goes something like this: winter, winter, occult, winter, occult, occult, evil, winter, etc. Oceanic-themed black metal is few and far between, and you’d be hard-pressed to find the good stuff. Will Thermohaline kickstart a new trend or will it end up drowning in its own ambition?” The sea was angry that day, my fiends.

Völur – Death Cult [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

Völur – Death Cult [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

Völur is a thing that I too nearly missed this year. The Canadian folk/doom trio received a strong recommendation from Akerblogger some years ago, and returned this year to unleash their third full-length, Death Cult, upon the Angry Metal Masses this past November. Unfortunately, life got in the way, and the album was never picked up for review. Now I’m here to rectify the issue, because as far as doom metal goes, Death Cult is one of the best albums I’ve heard in some time.” Drinking the Kool-Aid.