Immortal

Protector – Excessive Outburst of Depravity Review

Protector – Excessive Outburst of Depravity Review

“The same week I meet Flames for the very first time I’m also tasked with reviewing Germany’s long-running thrash/death act Protector. Formed way the Hell back in 1986, they’ve been seasoning the obese for decades with a style that grabs equally from thrash and proto-death metal. If you imagine Morbid Saint smashed into a thick romesco with Kryptos and Sodom, you have the basic idea of what Protector is aiming for.” Protector or tormentor?

Abbath – Dread Reaver Review

Abbath – Dread Reaver Review

“As you can see from the atrocious cover art, Abbath continues to prove this is his band. And he’s starting to show that with the same absurd vigor that garners album covers from Yngwie Malmsteen. And when I saw that Abbath chose to mix Dread Reaver himself, my fear factor increased double-fold. And on first listen, I knew Dread Reaver was in trouble.” Bob and reave.

Abhoria – Abhoria Review

Abhoria – Abhoria Review

“Picking a new promo is an exciting occasion because there’s no telling what the results may be. A few years back, I wandered far outside of my wheelhouse to snag a progressive blackened death metal release by a band called Ashen Horde. I had no prior knowledge of the band whatsoever, and I was enthralled by what I heard. But I had no idea that the great music was just the tip of the iceberg of what I would gain from the experience. Ashen Horde guitarist and main songwriter Trevor Portz reached out to me shortly after the album’s release, leading to a fun interview with both Portz and Ashen Horde vocalist Stevie Boiser, and Portz and I have maintained frequent contact ever since. Early on, he told me about a more straightforward black metal project that he was working on called Abhoria.” Abhor the horde.

Krolok – Funeral Winds & Crimson Sky Review

Krolok – Funeral Winds & Crimson Sky Review

““Delve deep in and listen… listen to the atmospheres of an arcane night and return within your thoughts into bygone times.” So goes Krolok’s description of their second offering of ESL-inflected black metal. The band, hailing from a literal Carpathian forest, bills itself as “atmospheric.” Their actual sound, however, riffs on the age-old question: “What if trve and kvlt, but also having of dungeon synth keys?”” What would Krolok do?

Fustilarian – All This Promiscuous Decadence Review

Fustilarian – All This Promiscuous Decadence Review

“While many a reviewer despises grabbing black metal promos stuck in the ’90s, I love it. For nothing else, it gives me an itch for my favorites. Sometimes I won’t even finish the new promo before I abandon it for the road down memory lane. I always start with Darkthrone—sometimes Transylvanian Hunger, other times it’s Hate Them. Then it’s Mayhem‘s De Mysterii Dom Sathanas and Wolf’s Lair Abyss. From there, it’s Gorgoroth, Immortal, Funeral Mist, and Horna. Before I know it, the review is past due and the album is already on the shelves.” Lateness and decadence.

Bonehunter – Dark Blood Reincarnation System Review

Bonehunter – Dark Blood Reincarnation System Review

Bonehunter and I have a deep, penetrable relationship that’s difficult to describe. They put out albums, and I review them. OK, so that wasn’t complicated. But, the last time I checked, I’ve reviewed more of their albums than I have any other band since starting at AMG. This year’s Dark Blood Reincarnation System makes four albums and four Grier reviews for these crusty Finns. If you don’t know Bonehunter, it’s time you were educated. Bonehunter is best known for two things: bear erections and punky, black-thrash.” Bones to the wall.

Groza – The Redemptive End Review

Groza – The Redemptive End Review

“I was tentative about taking this album. I was familiar with Groza‘s debut Unified in Void from 2018, granting it a casual listen and making that “not bad” Obama Rage Comic face from 2012. If one peruses the Metallum profile of these Germans, you’ll be graced with the shocking sight of a whopping 0% average review score from three reviews. Why, you ask? Probably because — and maybe this is obvious given the act’s name and a certain Polish full-length debut — Groza sounds a hell of a lot like Mgła. That’s unfair, awarding no merit to an album simply because it imitates another. I mean, if fans cancelled every act that sounded like Transilvanian Hunger, we’d have no black metal left.” The end of influence?

Crescent – Carving the Fires of Akhet Review

Crescent – Carving the Fires of Akhet Review

“I’ve said it before and, Ra be damned, I’ll say it again. I love eastern themes in metal. As a result, my interest is naturally piqued by any band utilizing those progressions or from that part of the world. I discussed this at length in my review of Crescent‘s 2018 album The Order of Amenti. These Egyptians definitely know how to implement dynamic scales amidst stone-cracking riffs. Now, ignited with a little new blood, Carving the Fires of Akhet prepares to descend on the masses in a flurry of smoke and ash.” Axe, wax or wane?

Son of Sam – And the Monster Awoke… Review

Son of Sam – And the Monster Awoke… Review

“When Rimfrost disbanded after their magnificent Expedition: Darkness, I thought I’d never get to review something from them again. What’s this gotta do with Rimfrost? You’re about to find out. After Rimfrost parted ways, drummer Throllv and bassist Khratos joined forces to create new music under the moniker Son of Sam. But what is Son of Sam? Is it the next phase of Rimfrost‘s sound? Will they dig deeper than ever to top Expedition: Darkness? Or, is this something else?” The monster next door.

Atrium – Ancient Spells Review

Atrium – Ancient Spells Review

“Wolves are neat critters, but their portrayals have gotten a bad rap. The gift shop t-shirt of choice for angsty teenagers who listen to Five Finger Death Punch‘s “Jekyll & Hyde” and convince their friends that they have a “dark side,” the symbol has lost its teeth. Toss in that one individual who identifies as a wolf and barks at a lake, these canines have often become a symbol of try-hards rather than the courageous and loyal representation with which it is traditionally associated. Gazing upon the howling wolf that graces the cover of Ancient Spells, does Atrium offer strength and courage or is it upended by its own insecurities?” Eyes bigger than your belly, Wolfie?