Gothic Metal

Eastern High – Halo Review

Eastern High – Halo Review

“The year of shitty band names continues with Eastern High. If you think that moniker sounds like a high school, well, that’s because it is, located in Cardiff, Wales. In fact, the school is the top result when you search for Eastern High. But unlike its handle, the band (which is from Sweden, not Wales) apparently hides enough quality to make dear TheKenWord cuss me out for snatching it from the promo bin while he was looking the other way.” Moderate speed times at Eastern High.

Moon Reaper – Descent Review

Moon Reaper – Descent Review

“I don’t know about you guys, but I’m a genre stickler at heart. I find a lot of comfort knowing where to fit every release that comes across my doorstep, so when acts swoop in to challenge that, I’m simultaneously uneasy and intrigued. There are plenty of folks that fall into this category but perhaps the most intriguing has been the UK act Conjurer. I’ve seen these lads described as everything from Swallow the Sun-esque death/doom, Cult of Luna-worshiping post-metal/sludge, to the blackened doom of Thou. 2018’s Mire is a landmark in its own right, and as we anxiously await its followup, we find newcomers Moon Reaper, definitely fans of Conjurer.” Genre reaping.

Agrypnie – Metamorphosis Review

Agrypnie – Metamorphosis Review

Agrypnie is a German black metal band from Hesse, and no newcomer to the scene, having released five full-lengths, a split, an EP, and a compilation since 2005. Perhaps “avant garde” is a tag given to bands that are just difficult to pinpoint, as these guys employ a kitchen sink of influences and guest vocalists in their aural assault in sixth full-length Metamorphosis.” Kafkanated.

Howl of the Underdogs Movie Review

Howl of the Underdogs Movie Review

“Usually, band documentaries are reserved for two types of Acts. Either, those who made it big and want to have their legacy cemented, which will often be titled something like “The Rise Of Band.” Or, those who made it big and crashed so spectacularly it makes for a good story: “The Rise And Fall Of Band.” What usually doesn’t happen is “The Lack Of Rise Of A Great Band That Somehow Never Made It Big.” But Madder Mortem isn’t really a usual band, with their decades of experience pumping out fantastic albums with stunning emotional depth and a completely unique sound which I’ve not heard replicated or imitated anywhere.” Underdogs have their day.

Dark the Suns – Suru raivosi sydämeni pimeydessä Review

Dark the Suns – Suru raivosi sydämeni pimeydessä Review

“Anyone remember these guys? No? Dark the Suns were part of the gothic melodeath wave that came along in the wake of Theatre of Tragedy in the late 90s and early aughts. You’d be forgiven for missing these Finns though, as their output was never all that compelling or memorable. They did manage three full-length releases however, with the last hitting in 2010. After that they faded into the Goth ether. Because they never seemed to gain any real traction in their “heyday,” I was rather surprised to see their name appear in the promo sump. So surprised in fact that I was compelled to find out what could have brought the band back after 10 long years in the grave.” Prodigal suns.

Moonspell – Hermitage Review

Moonspell – Hermitage Review

“In these times of isolation, the band has come to the realization that their time is coming to an end. A statement that saddens me to read. But Moonspell feels they still have a little more juice left in them. This retrospection has resulted in a new focus—a focus to buckle down and use their remaining time as a band to pump out the best songs possible. Along with that, they”ve cut the fat off Hermitage. The keys, the sad vocals, the gothic melodicness still intact, it’s the orchestrations that are gone. Like the band’s good ole days. But, stripped to barebones, is the band even capable of recreating their greatest moments?” Waning crescent.

Evergrey – Escape of the Phoenix Review

Evergrey – Escape of the Phoenix Review

“2021 will see the release of a wealth of albums written and recorded during the COVID pandemic. This phenomenon will likely impact records in a myriad of ways. Some will directly reflect the times in concept, lyrics or atmosphere. Others may benefit from bands having additional time stuck in lockdown together to hone their compositions. In the case of Evergrey‘s 12th album Escape of the Phoenix, the latter appears to be the case.” Firebirds, energy weapons.

Lake of Tears – Ominous Review

Lake of Tears – Ominous Review

“Sweden’s Lake of Tears may be one of the most chameleon-like bands in metal history. Over their 27 year career they’ve morphed from Gothic doom to prog, stoner space rock, and onto dark prog with blackened edges. Somehow they always did justice to the disparate styles they tinkered with, and like those many flavored jelly beans in Harry Potter, you never knew what you would get from album to album. It’s been almost ten years since 2011s Illwill and I’d started to think of Lake of Tears in the past tense. Then along came ninth album Ominous.” Buying tears in bulk.

Tribulation – Where the Gloom Becomes Sound Review

Tribulation – Where the Gloom Becomes Sound Review

“I’ve loved Tribulation backwards. After Dr. Fisting‘s review introduced me to Down Below, I paid it forward to my fiancée, whose reaction was initially lukewarm. But after we witnessed the band play at the Dynamo Metalfest festival, she became an even bigger fan than I was, and she started spinning their material relentlessly. This obsession exposed me to much of the band’s back catalog, from the recent gothic-oriented material to the early Entombed-style death metal, and even branching off to guitarist Jonathan Hultén’s excellent dark folk solo album Chants From Another Place last year.” Gloom for rent.

Catalepsia – Inheritance [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

Catalepsia – Inheritance [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

“2020 felt like a year in which a lot of quality albums escaped our reviewing grasp. In some cases we simply didn’t get promo and in others we just missed the boat altogether because we’re fallible human beings. Count Inheritance, the sophomore album from Latvia’s Catalepsia, in the former category, and it was our loss for not getting our hands on this freaky beast way back in January.” Sleep studies.