Folk

Musk Ox – Inheritance Review

Musk Ox – Inheritance Review

Musk Ox are three guys with acoustic string instruments playing folk music: not exactly a new idea. But their pedigree as composers and musicians is impeccable. Musk Ox‘s previous album, 2014’s Woodfall, was great. Cellist Raphael Weinroth-Browne’s solo record Worlds Within was one of my favorites last year, while guitarist Nathanael Larochette and violinist Evan Runge play in The Night Watch and released the excellent An Embarrassment of Riches the year before. Fortunately, Inheritance fully lives up to all this promise.” Dichotomy and musk.

Neptunian Maximalism – Éons [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

Neptunian Maximalism – Éons [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

“Consisting of core members Guillaume Cazalet, Jean Jacques Duerinckx, Sebastien Schmidt, and Pierre Arese, alongside a massive entourage of musicians, Neptunian Maximalism (or NNMM) utilize a range of influences, genres, and instruments both traditional and contemporary, to create their second full-length and crowning achievement Éons. While it’s unclear if it is indeed metal, that matters little. It’s an immensely sprawling release, a two-hour-plus release over three discs, and its content is just as challenging.” MOAR to score.

The Devil’s Trade – The Call of the Iron Peak

The Devil’s Trade – The Call of the Iron Peak

“This album couldn’t have come at a better time, nor could it have come at a worse time. As dark and defeated as any piece of music I sampled these two years writing for this blog, The Devil’s Trade‘s Season of Mist debut The Call of the Iron Peak simultaneously captures the disillusioned despair and troubled spirit of our world and drags me down below that threshold towards a core of utter emptiness sourced from the very soul of sole songwriter Dávid Makó.” Iron sharpens despair.

Mystras – Castles Conquered and Reclaimed Review

Mystras – Castles Conquered and Reclaimed Review

Castles Conquered and Reclaimed is the first release from Mystras, another outing from Ayloss of Spectral Lore fame. Following the epic Spectral Lore and Mare Cognitum split, which only dropped in March, I for one did not expect to see anything else from Ayloss in 2020, and certainly nothing of the scope and scale of this latest project.” Siege the day.

Bell Witch/Aerial Ruin – Stygian Bough Volume I Review

Bell Witch/Aerial Ruin – Stygian Bough Volume I Review

“Dylan Desmond and Jesse Shreibman’s decision to make official their partnership with Erik Moggridge, the man in Aerial Ruin‘s one-man dark folk band, made sense. Moggridge’s guest vocals on Mirror Reaper conveyed grief and loss on a frequency that Bell Witch couldn’t have reached alone. Stygian Bough Volume I pries those mournful dimensions wide in a symbiotic give-and-take quite unlike anything either act has produced before.” Witch in flight.

The Moon and the Nightspirit – Aether Review

The Moon and the Nightspirit – Aether Review

“I love receiving distinctly non-metal promos. I mean, it’s the name of the site, right? Angry ‘Metal’ Guy. Receiving folk, neo-folk, ambient, and similar musical styles feels like a statement from their artists: “no, it isn’t literally metal, but it’s metal in enough ways for you, ‘Guy.’” And I’m not complaining; from Winterfylleth’s The Hallowing of Heirdom to October Falls’s Kaarna to Forndom’s Faþir, some of my favorite musical discoveries have been metal “in all the right ways but one,” and all featured on this site. Since 2005, The Moon and the Nightspirit, a Hungarian duo featuring multi-instrumentalists Ágnes Tóth and Mihály Szabó, have been making traditional folk music; Aether is their seventh full-length album, and it feels like it belongs in all three of the above fields.” Aether realms?

Wino – Forever Gone Review

Wino – Forever Gone Review

“Scott “Wino” Weinrich is at a point in his lengthy and influential music career where he can do pretty much anything he wants. He can cut more albums with his seminal doom act, The Obsessed, or perform with that other seminal doom act, Saint Vitus. He might even pursue collaborations with a who’s who of musicians as he did with Dave Grohl in Probot and with German dark folk artist Conny Ochs. Another option would be to record an album of stripped down, bare bones acoustic Americana rock. It seems as Wino ages, his heart gravitates back to that final option more and more.” Forever Wino.

Hexvessel – Kindred Review

Hexvessel – Kindred Review

“Finnish forest folk band Hexvessel‘s music conjures images of druids and deep, misty woods, and I’ve been a fan since Steel covered No Holier Temple. I love this sort of mystical folk-influenced music, a genre my partner describes as “witchy music.” Right after I wrote about All Tree, I saw them play an enchanting show in an incense-steeped church in London. And now, of course, we’re all stuck in quarantine and unable to actually go wander in the woods. You’d think, then, that I should be excited for another album.” Forest fever.

Forndom – Faþir Review

Forndom – Faþir Review

“When we talk about “power” in the music we review, it usually translates roughly into one of two categories: “loud” and “emotional.” More often than not, it translates into both. Metal music strives to be powerful, whether in the form of “crushing” riffs, “anguished” screaming, or “epic” symphonies. I muse on these definitions because, when pressed to come up with a word to describe Faþir, the second full-length release from Sweden’s Forndom, “powerful” is the word I feel aligns most strongly with the album. And yet, there are no riffs; there is no screaming; there are no symphonies.” POWERS!