Hammerheart Records

Collision – The Final Kill Review

Collision – The Final Kill Review

“Normally we don’t review “mini-albums” here, but Collision’s The Final Kill thankfully slipped past the watchful eyes of the promo bin cadaver hounds – I suppose they were kept busy. The reason I decided to run headlong into this is because this is the Dutch band’s final release. I reviewed their oddly named Satanic Surgery a few years ago and didn’t give it a great score – or, honestly, even an okay one. Since we’re all stuck inside anyway, I figured why not shack up with The Final Kill, see the end of a movie that I started watching more than three-quarters through yet somehow found myself invested in.” Plagues make strange bedfellows.

Sammath – Across the Rhine Is Only Death Review

Sammath – Across the Rhine Is Only Death Review

“We see a lot expressed in a painting of shoes. Another artist could paint the shoes and using the same subject express a wholly different outlook. Metal has this habit with war⁠—myriad bands contemplate it and find wildly different elements to paint their sonic portrait, their own vision of the peasant shoes. Sammath sees war in an unforgiving light. Their death-tinged black metal sees war⁠—specifically World War II⁠—as human folly writ large, a senseless mess of faceless killing, death, and destruction with no real resolution.” The true face of war.

Ereb Altor – Järtecken Review

Ereb Altor – Järtecken Review

“If you found a younger version of me anytime from 1991 to about 2013, and asked past me how many albums I wanted to hear similar to Bathory‘s mighty Hammerheart release, I would grab you by the throat and scream “ALL OF THEM!” before running into the night to pillage and sack the sackable. The sound and atmosphere of Bathory‘s monsterwork was so damn trve, mighty, and metal, how could anyone grow tired of it? Around 2013 however, I did start to grow tired of the style, because so many of the bands attempting it lacked the charisma and gravitas to pull it off properly.” Hammer fail?

Isole – Dystopia Review

Isole – Dystopia Review

“As an inveterate doom fiend, I’m forever skulking the dank, darkened catacombs of Castle AMG, hunting for the next heartbreaking slab o’ crushing riffs and soul killing melodies. Thus far 2019 has offered up very little to slake my insatiable hunger for sadboi feelz and towering riff landfills. Because of this blight I had Isole brightly highlighted on my release calendar in red hot salmon, as they’ve been a highly reliable epic and regal doom outfit over the years.” I came, Isole, I conquered.

Akantha – Baptism in Psychical Analects Review

Akantha – Baptism in Psychical Analects Review

“‘There are few things in this world as pleasant as raw black metal.’ What foolish KenWords those were. I was young then, impressionable and naive. Akantha has since extinguished the innocent light from my eyes. In my newfound wisdom, I now believe that raw black metal is one of the ugliest things in this world.” Ugly is as ugly does.

NervoChaos – Ablaze Review

NervoChaos – Ablaze Review

“Know your limit, play within it. This is the advice Ontario’s gambling regulators give to people interested in blackjack, scratch tickets, and everything in between. More folks than the average ramblin’ gamblin’ man should heed the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation’s advice, and one group of folks is folks in metal bands.” Know when to fold em.

Sol Sistere – Cold Extinguished Light Review

Sol Sistere – Cold Extinguished Light Review

“Ov all the cruel ironies in this angry metal world, black metal’s oversaturated state, at this point presumably mere days from breaching mainstream radio status, is likely the one that yanks my unicorn the most. That the brave new musical world discovered by such wanderers as Burzum, Mayhem, and Bathory would be further explored and defiled in time was never a question, yet the rampant proliferation of new obsidian acts we find ourselves plagued with is less akin to expansion than to… well, frankly, a fucking plague.” Semi-cold.

Phlebotomized – Deformation of Humanity Review

Phlebotomized – Deformation of Humanity Review

“Following the spate of fantastic death metal records released in the twilight months of 2018, my new year’s resolution was thusly engraved: listen to more death metal. Admittedly, last year was absolutely bananas when it came down to average release quality across all varieties of death metal, rendering wishes for the streak to continue borderline pointless. I can at least continue to expand my horizons in a genre that I have always somewhat neglected, and what better way to start than with—Jesus fuck, what is that?” Ugly to be bone.

Sear Bliss – Letters from the Edge Review

Sear Bliss – Letters from the Edge Review

“In my mental compendium of underappreciated metal treasures, Hungary’s Sear Bliss holds a somewhat unique position. Though they’ve only released one truly great album in my eyes (2007’s The Arcane Odyssey), they have a relatively extensive back catalog of solid records, making them an easy selection whenever I want to throw on an uncomplicated black metal album that offers a few unique instrumental twists. The band’s incorporation of trombone had always delivered a distinct sense of heavy, brassy atmosphere that effectively combined second wave tropes with Summoning-esque majesty. With Letters from the Edge, the latter has stayed intact, but the former has fallen to the wayside in favor of something a bit more absorbing and melancholic.” Blackened trombone.

Pestilence – Hadeon Review

Pestilence – Hadeon Review

“Kill to survive; metal in 2018 is facing a similar conundrum, and has been for years. As the scene gets busier, it bleeds and struggles, much like extreme metal did in the mid-late nineties. Albert Mudrian’s Choosing Death showcases the problem ably: extreme bands simply had nowhere left to go. The glut of boring material is exhausting, and it gives the impression of an enervated scene. Pestilence, releasing their eighth studio record Hadeon this year, seems to feel this climate and have wisely decided to sound like a death metal band who loves making death metal.” A plague of death.