German Metal

Knife – Knife Review

Knife – Knife Review

“Over the past few years, I’ve found myself growing increasingly fond of the blackened speed metal subgenre. Something about the mix of simple, unrelenting riffs, vicious vocals and gleefully evil subject matter speak to my soul in a profound and fundamental way. But instead of exploring any of that in therapy, I just keep an eye out for the next morsel of Motörhead-worshipping, Venom-venerating filth that bobs to the surface of the promo sump. That’s exactly how I happened upon Knife, a blackened speed outfit hailing from Germany that traffic in this (un)heavenly concoction.” Blades of steel.

Gràb – Zeitlang Review

Gràb – Zeitlang Review

“A hefty chunk of metal has to do with reckonings. Whether about the absence of God, the rejection of the superficially “beautiful,” or the fact that we will all be worm-food one day, bands use the medium to highlight the darker side of a showdown we all must face. If pop is about how we’d like things to be, metal is about how things are. Part of reckoning is looking back honestly at our lives as we get older.  Zeitlang (Yearning), the debut album by Gràb—a German black metal trio created by former Dark Fortress front-man, Grant—centers on an old man who retreats to a cottage deep in the mountains to reflect on his life.” Gràb life!

Fear Connection – Progeny of a Social Disease Review

Fear Connection – Progeny of a Social Disease Review

Fear Connection traffic in a very familiar, very comfortable style of death metal. You get what you pay for with these gents from Bremen, and that’s to their credit: guttural growls interspersed with higher-pitched snarls, crunchy riffs, neck-breaking grooves, and plenty of fretboard brutality, with a dash of thrash for good measure. Fear Connection haven’t reinvented the wheel on Progeny of a Social Disease. If you’ve ever taken a dive into the classic death metal deep end, you’ve definitely heard much of this before.” Fear is the beerkiller.

Cosmic Burial – …to the Past Review

Cosmic Burial – …to the Past Review

“Atmospheric black metal is the gift which keeps on giving. It will not stop giving, even if you beg it to. Since the mid-90s it has grown out of its blackened roots, adopting folksy strings, shimmering guitars and cosmic synths as it has developed and stratified. There are now literally thousands of bands doing very similar things, all attempting to stand out through the delicate fusion of black metal with emotive atmospheres. Germany’s Cosmic Burial is one such group – or rather, one such individual given that this is (not unusually) a one-man affair.” Too much past, not enough present.

Waldgeflüster – Dahoam Review

Waldgeflüster – Dahoam Review

“Sometimes, an album seems to come along at just the right time, as if the capricious gods of the promo bin have taken a break and their serendipitous cousins, briefly, have the run of the joint. I recently went back to my homeland for a visit after a Covid-induced absence of nearly two years. When you return home after being away for so long, the earth feels more earthy, the sky deeper, the sea icier and fresher. It’s a sensation that’s hard to describe to anyone who has never left. But German band Waldgeflüster know. Their sixth album, Dahoam (“At Home”) is all about rediscovering the beauty of the familiar through wiser, more traveled eyes.” Homely.

We Butter the Bread with Butter – Das Album Review

We Butter the Bread with Butter – Das Album Review

We Butter the Bread with Butter have gone full circle, entering 2021 with the same original lineup as when the duo first spawned in 2007, plus one adorable doggo. I’m not sure how that happened, but at least their secret formula remains intact. Electronic dance music and deathcore renew their vows on Das Album, drumming and bassing to and fro, trapping me beneath the weight of a stout breakdown or whipping me around a stupid catchy chorus.” I can’t believe it’s still Butter!

Brainstorm – Wall of Skulls Review

Brainstorm – Wall of Skulls Review

“Ever since I stumbled upon Brainstorm by way of Symphorce by way of Ivanhoe, I’ve found these German heavy metal masters to be one of the most reliably ass-kicking acts running. And what a run they’ve been on of late. Every album since 2014s Firesoul has been extra-inspired and brimming with fist-pumping, blood-angering metal classics. 2018s Midnight Ghost was the best in a long line of very good to great outings and it gave me everything I crave from a traditional metal album. Led by powerhouse vocalist Andy B. Franck, Brainstorm have long shown a knack for crafting tunes loaded with hook after hook, infused with beefy, muscular riffage in the Nevermore / Iced Earth vein, and few bands can match their ability to craft a monster chorus. On thirteenth opus Wall of Skulls, absolutely nothing has changed.” Trophy metal.

Nocturnal – Serpent Death Review

Nocturnal – Serpent Death Review

“Of all the things we have reason to bitch and moan about in 2021, whether it be this goddamn pandemic, sports, politics, work, annoying neighbors or whatever frustrating societal issue is pissing you off in these turbulent times, I don’t believe thrash should be on the bitch list. Yes this timeless genre that was a gateway for many folks into the wider realms of metal, has had quite the fruitful year by modern standards. Which brings us to the latest album from unheralded German thrashers Nocturnal, entitled Serpent Death.” Snake Whacking Day.

Legions of the Night – Sorrow is the Cure Review

Legions of the Night – Sorrow is the Cure Review

“German power metal trio Legions of the Night was formed during the course of 2020, the obvious time in our history to assemble a group of people to collaborate closely on a new project. It brings together founding member Jens Faber, drummer Philipp Bock (both of Dawn of Destiny) and singer Henning Basse (ex-Metalium and Firewind, among others). That line-up, together with the fact that their debut includes a cover of Savatage‘s “Sirens,” might give you some sense of what to expect from this album.” Power of the Legions of the Night are calling.

Groza – The Redemptive End Review

Groza – The Redemptive End Review

“I was tentative about taking this album. I was familiar with Groza‘s debut Unified in Void from 2018, granting it a casual listen and making that “not bad” Obama Rage Comic face from 2012. If one peruses the Metallum profile of these Germans, you’ll be graced with the shocking sight of a whopping 0% average review score from three reviews. Why, you ask? Probably because — and maybe this is obvious given the act’s name and a certain Polish full-length debut — Groza sounds a hell of a lot like Mgła. That’s unfair, awarding no merit to an album simply because it imitates another. I mean, if fans cancelled every act that sounded like Transilvanian Hunger, we’d have no black metal left.” The end of influence?