Gothic Metal

Dark Tranquillity – Moment Review

Dark Tranquillity – Moment Review

“I’ve always thought Dark Tranquillity was the band that best represented the Gothenburg sound that took hold of metaldom in the early 90s. It’s indisputable that they’re the act that’s aged the most gracefully in the quarter century since the style took hold, as fellow countrymen In Flames and Arch Enemy wandered off into career oblivion. That’s not to say there haven’t been ups and downs in the Dark Tranquillity catalog. That brings us to Moment, their 12th platter of moody melodeath.” Dark moments.

Dismal – Quinta Essentia Review

Dismal – Quinta Essentia Review

“It’s very satisfying that in a location where I’ve worked for over 6 years I can still enjoy new experiences. Italy’s Dismal and their new record called Quinta Essentia (Quintessence) represents a number of firsts for me. First time hearing this band; first dual review with a n00b; first album where different resources conflicted as to label; first album where different resources conflicted as to number of releases by the band; first album where my first listen resulted in 3 reviews’ worth of notes. It was all very intriguing to me, least of all the music produced here. The greatest challenge was narrowing my thoughts into a reasonable article. Where to begin?” First rodeos.

Helfir – The Journey Review

Helfir – The Journey Review

“It’s all about the journey, so the saying goes. For me, the journey from album discovery to album listening to album review is often the highlight of my week, regardless of the ultimate destination (read: rating). For Luca Mazzotta, the one man behind the one-man Helfir project, The Journey is his third release, and one that takes its title very seriously. Taking the helm on every instrument, real and programmed, Mazzotta’s ambitions and inspirations, including such names as Katatonia and Porcupine Tree, are unleashed over fifty minutes of honest, dark, and remarkably flexible music.” Safe travels.

Draconian – Under a Godless Veil Review

Draconian – Under a Godless Veil Review

“Darkness and light, good and evil, heavy and soft. Dichotomy has long played a key role in metal music, and following in the long, dark shadow of Theater of Tragedy, many bands have attempted the whole “beauty and the beast” thing, pairing death metal croaks with soaring, sometimes operatic female vocals. When it works the style can be very enthralling, and over their nearly 25 year career Draconian has been at the forefront of this movement, crafting albums of gothic doom death full of weepy romance and crushing grief. 2015s Sovran opus was one of their best and it left a rather large impression in my skull. It would be a tough act to follow, and it’s taken Draconian nearly five years to make the effort.” Dragon, why do you cry?

Tomorrow’s Rain – Hollow Review

Tomorrow’s Rain – Hollow Review

“With all the tech-death, funeral doom, and post-whateverthefuck being hurled our way over the last couple of years, it’s paradoxically refreshing when certain sounds of yesteryear make an unexpected, yet somewhat welcome, return. In today’s case, it’s in the form of mid-90s-flavored gothic metal that would have Century Media doing a violent double-take as to what decade it is.” Blame it on the rain.

Dunwich – Tail-Tied Hearts Review

Dunwich – Tail-Tied Hearts Review

“Considering its size and influence on the world, Russia has provided the scene with precious few successful metal bands. Strange for a country that shares a border with Finland and is known for the biggest frostbitten tundra on the planet. From the top of my head came Second to Sun, Arkona and Tardigrade Inferno, and that’s about it (though I’m sure there’s more). Maybe Dunwich can muscle their way onto the stage. Hailing from Moscow, the trio has constructed this debut of theirs in a very independent spirit before being picked up by Caligari Records, who are calling it ‘one of the most unique and exciting bands [they]’ve come across in years.’” Hearts and horrors.

The Lightbringer – From The Void To Existence EP Review

The Lightbringer – From The Void To Existence EP Review

From The Void To Existence, like Devil With No Name‘s self-titled, is a conniving little EP that snuck through our Jericho-esque walls to fraternize with the big boys. It also manages to offend two camps in its blend of black metal and power metal: a commute, if you will, between the Realm of Obscurely Kvlt Black Metal and the Vault of Powery Cheese,” Power black attack.

Acârash – Descend to Purity Review

Acârash – Descend to Purity Review

Descend to Purity is the band’s sophomore effort, following 2018’s In Chaos Becrowned. Doc Grier thought that effort was a promising debut, but with songs that tended to meander and ultimately go nowhere. He also nearly started a riot in the comments section by stating that Ghost kinda suck. Now, I have no wish to further inflame a world that has enough tension as is, but whatever your feelings about Ghost, you have to admit that the band members at least sound like they’re having fun. Acârash is aiming for the same aesthetic.” Good metal fun?