German Metal

Non Est Deus – Impious Review

Non Est Deus – Impious Review

“It’s fair to say that excitement was running high when I got the promo for Non Est Deus‘ third full-length, Impious. Not, I admit, because I was actually familiar with the first two LPs—this has since been rectified—but because of the German man behind Non Est Deus known as Noise. Why? Well, Noise is also the man behind Kanonenfieber, which produced my 2021 AOTY in Menschenmühle.” Unholy Noise.

Kluizenaer – Ein Abbild der Leere Review

Kluizenaer – Ein Abbild der Leere Review

“Formed as a solo project back in 2015, Kluizenaer—a German outfit, despite choosing the Dutch for ‘hermit’ as its nom de guerre—dropped a debut album, Radbraak, that a few cursory searches of the usual sources has failed to uncover. Since I am assured by the promo blurb that the debut comprised “abstract sound collages of blackened ambient and noise,” I did not intensify my searches. Radbraak was followed by two more obscure EPs before 2018’s locate-able Das ungebrochene Schweigen (The unbroken Silence), by which point Kluizenaer had evolved into a trio.” Evolution/mutation.

Anachoret – Syndrom Review

Anachoret – Syndrom Review

“An anachoret—anchorite in English—is someone who has committed to live an ascetic life in solitary confinement in order to devote themselves to prayer. In this way, they reflect the notorious stereotype of the solo black metal musician. Anachoret is no exception, being the solo black metal project of the mysterious K.C. This debut LP has apparently been three years in the making, following a demo, two splits, and an EP over a span of ten years.” Life in a lonely grave.

Tension – Decay Review

Tension – Decay Review

“When I came down with damnable Omicron recently, I needed all the comfort food and music I could get. Like comfort food, comfort music is almost guaranteed to contain a robust helping of processed cheese baked into recipes from a previous era, so I was thrilled when Dr. Metal Guy handed down the pixelated, Nosferatu-bedecked cover of Tension’s
debut, Decay. Add in that Dying Victims Productions had put out two of my favorite trad/speed albums of 2021 in  Significant Point’s Into the Storm and Heavy Sentence’s Bang to Rights, and my excitement was reaching a literal fever pitch. Could Tension recapture the magic of those releases from early last year to kick off 2022?” Keeping the olde ways.

Mystic Circle – Mystic Circle Review

Mystic Circle – Mystic Circle Review

“In the 2010 Will Ferrell/Mark Wahlburg movie, The Other Guys, we get a glimpse of what it’s like to be the unglamorous backup to the main act. Ferrell and Wahlburg play second fiddle to Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson’s badass, heroic cops; the hard-working foil to the flashy heroes, who get far less respect and attention than they deserve. I imagine, when not getting up to the usual metal shenanigans, that the creators of Mystic Circle can relate to The Other Guys. Formed way back in 1992, Mystic Circle has, in various iterations, released seven respected, if not adored, studio albums before calling it a day in 2007, having never reached the heights of some of their contemporaries.” Satan in the circle.

Vorga – Striving toward Oblivion Review

Vorga – Striving toward Oblivion Review

“Space. Black metal. It’s a match made in heaven! People have been writing black metal albums about space for decades, and it doesn’t seem to matter how oversaturated that specific niche gets. Metalheads eat it up. I eat it up. Space is such a massive thing anyway that the possibilities are quite literally infinite to our comparatively minuscule imaginations, so in that way it makes sense that there’s always a new invader breaching the bulkheads. Enter Vorga and their debut full-length, Striving toward Oblivion.” Space inwaders.

Fiat Nox – Demanifestation (Hymns of Destruction and Nothingness) Review

Fiat Nox – Demanifestation (Hymns of Destruction and Nothingness) Review

Fiat Nox is a German black metal quartet, having released one full-length, a demo, and an EP. Second “EP” Demanifestation (Hymns of Destruction and Nothingness) offers thirty minutes of second-wave shenanigans, citing acts like Dissection, Mgła, and Svartidauði as influences. While black metal influences pretty much end up being the umpteenth reiteration of Transilvanian Hunger, some nicely melodic touches grace Demanifestation as well as a take-no-prisoners attitude.” Nasty, brutish and short.

Kyning – Ān [Things You Might Have Missed 2021]

Kyning – Ān [Things You Might Have Missed 2021]

“Vocals are almost always a focal point in modern music of any type. Pop music is practically exclusively about vocalists, hip-hop is defined solely by its vocal style, and so on. Metal vocals oftentimes attempt to buck the trends, whether they’re unintelligible, buried beneath the music, or simply a mediocre afterthought. The latter option is more common in stoner metal, and that is where our path leads today.” Wabbit season.

Iron Fate – Crimson Messiah Review

Iron Fate – Crimson Messiah Review

“2021 was a mightily backloaded year of metal. I didn’t love a lot of stuff from January through August and I was coasting along with a very low yearly rating average. Since August however, it seems every other album I dive into is a blast and it’s done major damage to that once pristine median. Now comes the classic metal stylings of Iron Fate to play mischief with Steel ‘s ledger of maths.” Let olde acquaintance be not forgotten.

Kanonenfieber – Menschenmühle [Things You Might Have Missed 2021]

Kanonenfieber – Menschenmühle [Things You Might Have Missed 2021]

“The sonic palette in which Kanonenfieber lays out its tale is rooted in atmospheric black metal, meeting in the middle ground between the howling melodies of Minenwerfer and the more bombastic power of Panzerfaust. There are, however, nods to the likes of Bolt Thrower, and the gravelly, rasping growl of the vocals owes as much to traditional death, as it does to black metal.” The art of war.