Hammerheart

Atlantean Kodex – The Course of Empire Review

Atlantean Kodex – The Course of Empire Review

“After impressing the metalverse with 2013s The White Goddess, the band took their sweet time crafting a followup, and the long-awaited The Course of Empire definitely dials up the Bathory-esque epic Viking side of Atlantean Kodex‘s mammoth heavy metal sound. Along with the band’s usual While Heaven Wept meets Manowar on Manilla Road take on oversized throwback metal, there’s a powerful Hammeheart influence under-girding the already titanic, soaring compositions, making for a heavier, darker sound.” Atlantean Empire rising.

Professor Black – Sunrise Review

Professor Black – Sunrise Review

Chris Black (A.K.A. Professor Black) is an entire music scene unto himself. He’s played with Pharaoh, Superchrist and Nachtmystium as well as being the founder of Dawnbringer, High Spirits and Aktor. Now he’s releasing not one, not two, but three new albums under the Professor Black brand, all on the same day, all with vastly different styles and intents. Because I’m powerful and full of Viking ape rage, I took Sunrise, which is a lovingly trve ode to Bathory‘s Viking era, as well as classic metal artists like Running Wild and W.A.S.P.” Black for the Viking attack.

Ereb Altor – Ulfven Review

Ereb Altor – Ulfven Review

Ereb Altor is a band I’ve reviewed more than almost any other since joining the AMG metal collective in 2010. They’re a prolific bunch and stick to a regular release schedule despite also releasing albums under the moniker Isole, and their material is consistently good if not great. Ulfven is their newest release, following 2016s Blot Ilt Taut which was a series of Bathory covers. This was appropriate as Quorthon has always been the wellspring from which the band draws their inspiration.” Reforge the sword.

Nechochwen – Heart of Akamon Review

Nechochwen – Heart of Akamon Review

“I’ll freely admit to having thrown up my hands and walked away from the majority of black metal over the past five years. Whatever drew me to the style in its infancy with Bathory and onward through Emperor and Darkthrone has all but died. I’ll still pay attention to releases by the big names, but for the most part I’ve given up the ghost. One of the rare bands that still holds a special place in my nonblack heart is West Virginia’s quirky and obscure Nechochwen.” It’s time to get your ass into the Spirit World!

Ereb Altor – Nattramn Review

Ereb Altor – Nattramn Review

Ereb Altor, the other project by the men behind Isole, are back to wage the next phase of the battle for my favoritism. I enjoy both acts and it seems with each new release my loyalty shifts, with Isole‘s recent The Calm Hunter putting me back in their camp, at least temporarily. Is it moving day again? I feel so temporary.

King of Asgard – Karg Review

King of Asgard – Karg Review

“Formed from the ashes of the highly underrated and (AMG worshipped) Viking metal act Mithotyn, King of Asgard has more or less continued the mission statement of releasing odes to the northern winds, Viking valor and snowy landscapes, all heavily influenced by latter period Bathory as well as Einherjer, Ensiferum. Karg is their third such endeavor and it observes the traditions of its ancestors with all due reverence, while moving things in a darker, more stripped down direction.” Do you feel the need to plunder and pillage? If so, here’s your liege lord.

Falkenbach – Asa Review

Falkenbach – Asa Review

“There’s music meant for a summer drive with the top down (old Van Halen), hitting the weights hard (Slayer, Pantera) and a night of hard-drinking in sketchy beer mills (Fireball Ministry, Orange Goblin). Likewise, the new slice of folksy Viking metal from Falkenbach proves perfect for chopping wood in the brisk Fall air. While I recognize “wood chopping” or “lumberjack” metal is an under-served medium, I feel confident saying this is the finest chopper album I’ve heard all year.” Grab thine axe as Steel Druhm weaves his tales of Viking rage and folksy tomfoolery.

Atlantean Kodex – The White Goddess Review

Atlantean Kodex – The White Goddess Review

“As a fanboy extraordinaire of classy, epic doom, I’m clearly the target demographic for larger-than-life regressive metallers Atlantean Kodex. Their massive debut The Golden Bough was an intoxicating mixture of While Heaven Wept, Solstice and Solitude Aeturnus with a healthy dose of Bathory‘s Hammerheart added for Viking flair.” Steel Druhm has been chomping at the bit for this release and nobody likes being chomped. Does The White Goddess live up to his unreasonable expectations or will the remainder of 2013 be a rabid chomp-fest?

Ereb Altor – Fire Meets Ice Review

Ereb Altor – Fire Meets Ice Review

“With little or no fanfare, the trolls of Viking/doom/folk/black metal known as Ereb Altor storm back from the frozen wastes with their hybrid sound and more tales from Norse mythology. Though they began life as an epic-sized, Viking metal act with a strong doom influence (check out By Honour because it’s badass!), they added more and more black metal over time, culminating with 2012s Gastrike opus. As before, they worship the sound and mood of Bathory‘s Hammerheart opus (and to a lesser extent Twilight of the Gods) while also incorporating early Darkthrone influences and doom stylings similar to While Heaven Wept.” A fusion of Viking, black and doom metal pretty much sells itself, but Steel Druhm still showed up to grab a paycheck and examine the heady brew that Ereb Altor cooked up. Tastes like…wictory.