German Metal

Khôra – Timaeus Review

Khôra – Timaeus Review

“Once again, I picked promo for an irrelevant reason. German/Irish blackened death trio Khôra wound up in my review queue because their name sounds like the name of one of our cats (Kora). I feel like that’s a perfectly reasonable justification for album selection. If it isn’t, well, then I guess I don’t care. Khôra doesn’t care either, and put out whatever the hell they want regardless of what your tastes or expectations are.” Cats and jammers.

Lord Vigo – Danse De Noir Review

Lord Vigo – Danse De Noir Review

“I went for a walk on a beautiful day – fifteen degrees Celsius or so – and gave Danse de Noir, the fourth record from German metallers Lord Vigo, its maiden voyage through my ears and mind. Within five minutes, I was reminded why I love this outstanding little genre called metal. Lord Vigo plays trad metal in the vein of Ram but stirs some Candlemass and Angel Witch into the mix for good measure.” Metal appreciation.

Membaris – Misanthrosophie Review

Membaris – Misanthrosophie Review

“I am worried. I find myself in the midst of an unfamiliar situation that I am not sure I am equipped to handle. I am not talking about the global pandemic—I know I am not equipped to handle that. No, the situation I am talking about is that I am staring down the barrel of awarding another 4.0. You need to understand that, when March began, I had awarded a total of three 4.0s across my whole time at AMG. Now, I am very seriously considering awarding a third this fucking month!” The struggle is real.

Heaven Shall Burn – Of Truth & Sacrifice Review

Heaven Shall Burn – Of Truth & Sacrifice Review

“We’re currently living in some batshit crazy times, friends. Between the United States being heavily divided to the point where people within their own political wheelhouses are fighting with each other, political tensions throughout the world where another war could erupt practically any minute, and now COVID-19 wrecking havoc on our daily lives, it’s not an easy time for anybody. There’s enough anger to go around to power a small nation, and very few metalcore bands channel that anger as effectively as Heaven Shall Burn.” Double the anger.

Neaera – Neaera Review

Neaera – Neaera Review

“No matter how hard you try, you can never really escape your past. By day I’m the kvltest of the kvlt, blasting the blakkened fukkin death while wearing a shirt that depicts Jesus getting flogged by a horde of goat demons. But when I curl up at night with my plesiosaurus plush, I know at heart I’m still the same mid-aughts core kid who got his start in the metal world with Killswitch Engage and their ilk. Even today, when the promo teat runs dry, sometimes I find myself returning to where it all began: core.” Damn core kids!

Dark Fortress – Spectres from the Old World Review

Dark Fortress – Spectres from the Old World Review

“Back in 2014, Madam X covered the release of Venereal Dawn by Bavarian brutalists Dark Fortress. Our Marchioness de Machiavelli didn’t particularly care for the album’s progressive expansion of melodic black metal. I, on the other hand, adored it. Since Morean joined forces with V. Santura, their sonic shade has substantially deepened. The duo’s combined involvement in projects as diverse as Alkaloid, Triptykon, Noneuclid and Hannes Grossmann has wrought one my favorite writing partnerships in extreme metal. Six years on, and Dark Fortress are poised to drop eighth album Spectres from the Old World.” Old world, new blackness.

Stallion – Slaves of Time Review

Stallion – Slaves of Time Review

“This Stallion album may have arrived at just the right time for the band’s review fortunes. Having made my way through middling (at best) retro metal albums from TerrifianT and Slaughter Messiah over the past month, my standards for this style of music may be lower than normal. That, or Stallion have managed to address the main complaints I had with their 2017 release, From the Dead.” Slaves of good timing.

Lucifuge – The One Great Curse Review

Lucifuge – The One Great Curse Review

“If you are thinking that Lucifuge’s choices of band logo and cover art — not just on this record but on previous outings too — point towards them being fans of the old black metal guard of Venom, Celtic Frost, and Bathory, you’re spot on. And these tastes are reflected, to a significant degree, in the music, too.” Olden evils.

Vision of Choice – Mistress of the Gods Review

Vision of Choice – Mistress of the Gods Review

“And then a record comes along that takes me right back to that storied past and refills my magic bar to 100%. Mistress of the Gods, the debut album from Germany’s Vision of Choice is one of those records. After close to thirty spins of this 57-minute monster, I’m still trying to come up with the best way to describe what it sounds like. Here’s the best I got: take the masculine riffs and baritone bellows of a band like Omen, mix it with some German speed a la Helloween or Blind Guardian, add some eccentric Savatage flair, and round it out with Mötley Crüe and Van Halen, and you might get close.” Hot pocket o’ metal.