H.I.M.

Ewigheim – Schlaflieder Review

Ewigheim – Schlaflieder Review

“The old adage “Never judge a book by its cover” holds firm here. Long story short, I picked Germany’s Ewigheim for review from our list of promos because a certain half-man, half-gorilla who shall forever remain nameless listed them as “black metal” due to the album cover, logo, and the fact that he glanced over the German one-sheet. Hankering for some kvlt blackness of the tr00est order, I grabbed their sixth full-length, Schlaflieder, and was met with… something totally not black metal.” Mistakes were made.

Year of the Goat – The Unspeakable Review

Year of the Goat – The Unspeakable Review

“It wasn’t very long into Year of the Goat‘s sophomore effort, The Unspeakable that I was asking myself, “self, is this the second coming of Ghost?” The answer is no, since that happens next month and it’ll be their third coming (or two and a half since I didn’t care much for Infestissumam), but this here platter certainly has a lot of similarities to the goods provided by those mysterious masked ghouls.” Boo!

Lacrimas Profundere – Antiadore Review

Lacrimas Profundere – Antiadore Review

“More goth-metal from Napalm Records? Sure, I think we all need a break from the endless waves of retro-death, retro-thrash and black metal (which is by definition retro). Lacrimas Profundere has been around forever and over the past five or six albums, they’ve settled into a comfort zone of glum, goth-rock in the same vein as Entwine, H.I.M., To Die For and naturally they include plenty of nods to The Cure and The Cult. While one can hammer them for essentially releasing Ave End over and over again, their knack for keeping things catchy and lively continue to draw me back time after time. While I think their Filthy Notes For Frozen Hearts was their best release in this cycle, I was more than pleased with 2010s The Grandiose Nowhere and still spin it pretty often when that urge to be morose hits me.” Steel Druhm is on a goth-metal kick, so you all must deal with it and play along until we go back to death metal 24/7.

Dark Tranquillity – Construct Review

Dark Tranquillity – Construct Review

“I’ve been waiting for this one for some time. As a big Dark Tranquillity fan, I’ve weathered their style shifts and experiments with more commercial and more “modern” sounds. While 2010s We Are the Void was respectable with a few killer cuts, I ended up really liking the extended extras that were included on the limited edition release (which eventually became the Zero Distance EP). That group of songs encapsulated what modern-day DT does best: create melodic, but cold, sterile, modern death metal. I really wanted them to continue in that direction on Construct, but they thought otherwise.” Do the last of the Gothenburg titans finally fall victim to time and tide or can The Tranquil Ones keep the flame of melodic death alive?

October Falls – A Collapse of Faith Review

October Falls – A Collapse of Faith Review

Depressed Finns are really no surprise in metal these days. It seems like Finns are a pretty morose bunch in general. A country famous for bands like Poisonblack, H.I.M., Sentenced, Insomnium, Black Sun Aeon and Swallow the Sun, it shouldn’t be terribly surprising that some pretty bleak and depressing stuff comes out of Finland. And let me be clear, that’s not even naming huge groups of bands that I’m sure others could probably come up with. But October Falls isn’t your standard “depressed metal” band from Finland. There are no silly ESL lyrics about being buried in a plastic bag or any of that jazz. Instead, October Falls is a “depressive” black metal band with folk sensibilities.

Lacrimas Profundere – The Grandiose Nowhere Review

Lacrimas Profundere – The Grandiose Nowhere Review

Alright all you self-loathing, gothic creepozoids and lovers of exquisite pain, step right up and get the perfect soundtrack for stalking your ex. Yes, it’s The Grandiose Nowhere by those Germanic gloom meisters Lacrimas Profundere. Album number nine shows these boys up to their usual dark tricks and giving you some hard charging, gloom infested rock n droll with plenty of misery for those who love the cold grip of melancholia. Lest you think that doesn’t sound like fun, I am thrilled to report this is a mighty rocking and rollicking goth-o-thon that makes you nod your head no matter how badly you want to sit and stare at the ground in misery.

Amorphis – Skyforger Review

Amorphis – Skyforger Review

Amorphis is easily one of my favorite bands producing metal in the 2000s. Over the last few years I’ve seen a lot of the bands that I really got into when I was a young, impressionable metal guy start to get more and more popular as they got picked up by bigger labels, got put out on the market, and as metal got cool again (who’da thunk it?)–bands like Opeth, Enslaved, Amon Amarth and others. Amorphis, however, had fallen off my radar, and I think a lot of people’s radars, before they got themselves a new vocalist. A man of small stature, and huge personality and voice: Tomi Joutsen. For whatever reason, this breathed life into the venerable, and quite excellent, band taking them out of their temporary lull and pushing them to the forefront with the bands putting out the best modern metal has to offer.