Ghost

Abhor – Occulta Religio Review

Abhor – Occulta Religio Review

“Once upon a time, metal acts – the early ones at least – skirted around the issue of Satanism. “Are they for real?” “Are they not?” “Can’t you just like goats and pentagrams without someone thinking of the children anymore?” But that shit curved back on itself like a funhouse mirror. In no time at all, every band, be they black, death, or retro pop, were sacrificing small animals and pilfering scented candles from their mom’s bathroom, and, in so doing, killed the shtick wholesale. Those same blasphemous symbols that once declared you were in league with Satan lost their oomph when they could be purchased on discount tee shirts at Walmart. So what are we to make of Abhor?” In a bowling league with Satan.

From Beyond – The Band From Beyond Review

From Beyond – The Band From Beyond Review

“Life coaches and creepy self-help gurus always seem to tell you to get a clear plan and follow it. As if all life’s complexities and intrinsic chaos could be bypassed by the mere existence of bullet points and feel good mission statements. Like many of my fellow metal fanciers, I prefer a life of chaos, uncertainty and random disaster. I feel safe saying Texas oddballs From Beyond are right there with me on that too. Their debut  jettisons policy and protocol, instead hurling ideas against a studio wall to see what sticks and how deeply.” Of plans and punches.

Death Alley – Superbia Review

Death Alley – Superbia Review

“No joke: the day I found out Death Alley‘s new record was coming out, I was jamming hard to Captain Beyond and Blue Öyster Cult. It was as if my craving for some old-school rock reached across the ocean to the Netherlands. Not only did Death Alley hear my call, they answered it—with Superbia. Don’t get me wrong, I ain’t much for religious interventions or anything but, my god, I almost picked up the Bible after that.” It’s bible good!

Crucifyre – Post Vulcanic Black Review

Crucifyre – Post Vulcanic Black Review

Crucifyre are no strangers to the crucible of the Angry Metal Guy review. Way back in 2014, Madam X pilloried Crucifyre‘s Black Magic Fire for “mimicking what’s been done before” and its “lack of adventure.” It appears the band took at least one of those criticisms to heart. Past adding a new vocalist and a new bassist, third try Post Vulcanic Black plays up the band’s quirks, sounding more eclectic and experimental than ever before (at least as far as death-thrash goes).” Evolve or die.

Abysmal Grief – Blasphema Secta Review

Abysmal Grief – Blasphema Secta Review

“Italy’s Abysmal Grief have been doing horror-themed doomed things for 22 years. That’s a lot of time to be doing anything, perhaps enough that one might expect something downright brilliant from a band with such experience, but riddle me this: when’s the last time you encountered a brilliant 22-year-old?” Young, dumb and fulla doom.

Priest – New Flesh Review

Priest – New Flesh Review

“I rate low and hate high, I’m always unpleased and unsatisfied, and I have the tendency to review shit that no one wants. You know, like Fozzy and Wintersun. And you know the worst part about it? No matter how bad or ugly it gets, I hate to admit I kinda enjoy it. But, who in their right mind would grab the debut record from Priest—a band consisting of ex-Ghosts and as far back in leftfield as one can get? But, like that other Swedish band, they’re about as retro ’80s as it gets. It’s just that they play… ummm… synth-pop…” Somebody got your Ghost?

The Great Discord – The Rabbit Hole Review

The Great Discord – The Rabbit Hole Review

“A few weeks ago, I described the latest Arch Enemy album as the bad kind of pop metal: too slick, too loud, too focused on choruses and too conscious about image. But there’s a different, less negative definition possible of pop metal: not afraid of loading the songs with easily digestible hooks, catchy melodies, EDM influences, simplistic structure and a focus on vocals. It’s daring, because it seems to aim at a gap between fandoms: too slick and not challenging enough for metalheads, but too heavy for the mainstream.” Pop goes the minstrel.

Contrite Metal Guy – Mistakes Were Made

Contrite Metal Guy – Mistakes Were Made

“The life of the unpaid, overworked metal reviewer is not an easy one. Cascading promos, unreasonable deadlines, draconian editors and the unwashed metal mobs – it makes for a swirling maelstrom of music and madness. In all that tumult, errors are bound to happen and sometimes our initial impression of an album may not be completely accurate. With time and distance comes wisdom, and so we’ve decided to pull back the confessional curtain and reveal our biggest blunders, missteps, oversights and ratings face-plants. Consider this our sincere AMGea culpa. Redemption is retroactive, forgiveness is mandatory.” Steel takes a plea deal.

Gravdal – Kadaverin Review

Gravdal – Kadaverin Review

“It was the gorgeous construction of Torturmantra‘s “Mishandlet” (guested by Niklas Kvarforth), that roped me in. This past encounter with Gravdal, and hearing of guest appearances from members of Satyricon, Taake, SAHG, The Ruins Of Beverast, Seven Impale and Orkan along with lyrical contributions by V`gandr (Helheim and Taake) would seem to cement Kadaverin as a “must-hear” release. But does it?” The black metal circus arrives.

Attic – Sanctimonious Review

Attic – Sanctimonious Review

Grier walks through swinging double–doors; their rectangular plates and white panels smudged by hundreds of dirty, desperate hands. Along the decades–old, re-waxed checkerboard floors of sun–bleached white and black, the vulnerable Doctor approaches the receptionist’s desk. ‘The doctor is waiting.’ The distinguished Grier makes his way through the buzzer–kept door to the far–end of the faux–marbled hallway. He turns the doorknob to Room 17. Beyond the stuttering fluorescent bulbs overhead, the Doctor finds “Dr.” Landau seated at a walnut–stained desk, just this side of the cherry–red built–ins—bookshelves filled with volumes as convincing as the toupee positioned upon Landau’s head. Grier walks to the glossy, chocolate–brown sofa positioned in the middle of the room. He lies back. Landau looks upon the weathered face and sleep–deprived eyes of the patient. He knows well the sickness the patient suffers.” Physician, heal thyself!