In Flames

Praise the Sun – The Proffer of Light Review

Praise the Sun – The Proffer of Light Review

“I remember the excitement I felt when I discovered In Flames during the late 90s. Albums like Whoracle and Colony were heavy, but they had Maiden-like harmonies and they were drenched with cool melodies that kept me coming back for more. The contrast between the Mack truck riffs and the catchy hooks hit a nerve. Since then, hundreds of melodeath bands have tossed their spear in the ring, but not many have been able to hit the same mark. Praise the Sun recaptures a little bit of that old thrill.” The fire still burns.

The Halo Effect – Days of the Lost Review

The Halo Effect – Days of the Lost Review

“Longtime readers of the AMG Diaries will know my opinions regarding so-called “supergroups.” All too often these star-studded vanity vehicles promise much and deliver little, generally falling way short of anything truly super. With this jaded but entirely realistic worldview, I approached the debut from The Halo Effect, the project composed of Dark Tranquillity‘s Mikael Stanne and four former members of In Flames. That lineup makes The Halo Effect a supergroup for Swedish melodeth purposes if nothing else, and on Days of the Lost, they largely stick to what they know best, dropping an album’s worth of material that sits roughly halfway between the members’ main acts.” Heroes and halos.

Parasite Inc. – Cyan Night Dreams Review

Parasite Inc. – Cyan Night Dreams Review

Parasite Inc. is one of those bands that I want to fall deeply in love with, but I have no idea why anymore. This inexplicable yearning for that special spark with this German quartet no doubt owes its existence partially to the group’s super-fun debut, Time Tears Down. Since then, Parasite Inc. rapidly declined into cheesy, stale melodic metal that made me cringe more often than not. I had hoped that Cyan Night Dreams, the band’s third full length, might be the start of their redemption arc.” Hopes and dreams (and parasites).

Sarcasm – Stellar Stream Obscured Review

Sarcasm – Stellar Stream Obscured Review

“If you like old-school Swedeath, old-school black metal, old-school doom, then, sorry, you won’t like this album at all. That was my pitiful attempt at sarcasm. The Sarcasm in question here are a Swedish melodic blackened death metal group who have been knocking about since the late ‘80s. Their veteran status in the scene shows they take their craft a whole lot more seriously than their name might let on. It also prompts the question of whether music that follows a blueprint now 30 years old can still be exciting and compelling, particularly to those too young to feel the nostalgia factor.” Don’t cross the streams.

Malossi – Blanke Barter Review

Malossi – Blanke Barter Review

“It sounds like a dream or a hallucination. Clutch is actually a Norwegian band. They rock hard, they add a bit more of a desert vibe to their sound (think of a more restrained Kyuss), and they sing in Norwegian. They love to throw things like tuba and harmonica into their songs. Their favorite thing in life is abusing the hell out of scooters (hence the band name). And for their album cover, they use a portrait that basically looks like my dad. Sound crazy? It’s not that far from reality, my friends. Let me introduce you to Malossi, and their second album, Blanke Barter.” Scooter-core.

Karpenter – Sleepless Review

Karpenter – Sleepless Review

Karpenter plays an Americanized version of the Swedish sound which was foundational to bands like As I Lay Dying, along with the Swedish take on that Americanized Swedish sound which was done by Soilwork and In Flames on Stabbing the Drama, Sworn to a Great Divide, A Sense of Purpose, and Come Clarity. The newest of the above is thirteen years old, the oldest sixteen – Karpenter is an unintentionally hard-hitting commentary on the passage of time.” Sleeping in the past.

Mister Misery – A Brighter Side of Death Review

Mister Misery – A Brighter Side of Death Review

“‘Don’t judge a book by its cover,’ so the saying goes. But in our modern metal landscape, where a single look at an album cover or a song name can hook us or repel us forever, it’s damn hard to do otherwise. Mister Misery (strike one) are dying for your attention, as illustrated by that album cover (strike two). Their so-called brand of “horror metal” should be strike three, good morning, good afternoon, good night. And yet… maybe read the first page.” Twisted Mister.

Ablaze My Sorrow – Among Ashes and Monoliths Review

Ablaze My Sorrow – Among Ashes and Monoliths Review

“Melodeath is a tough sub-genre to review because it exists in a constant state of tension. It’s pulled in three directions constantly: death metal at one point, traditional heavy metal at another, and power metal at the third. The ebb and flow between these is what makes it enjoyable, but it’s also what divides fans. Err too much to one end and the music sounds “death metal-lite.” Err towards another and it resembles strained power-metal without any heft. The best melodeath is able to resolve these tensions, creating a palatable middle-ground. The Swedish melodeath scene of the 90s mastered this, and was pivotal to the movement’s popularity. A minor, but not inconsequential, contributor was Falkenberg’s awkwardly titled Ablaze My Sorrow.” Pain in the ash.

Dormanth – Complete Downfall Review

Dormanth – Complete Downfall Review

“2020 has been a looooonnnng year and here I find myself, almost at the end of it. My List – following a not insignificant amount of agonizing – has been submitted, two TYMHMs have been written (two still to go, admittedly) and I am staring at my last full review of the year. So, what I need now from Dormanth is a real burst of the zingy, energetic melodeath the promo blurb promised, to carry me through these last couple of weeks.” Fever dreams and downfalls.

Strydegor – Isolacracy Review

Strydegor – Isolacracy Review

“As 2020 drags itself towards the finish line, dry-heaving and wheezing like the miserable fuck of a year it was, there are going to be bands trying to shine some light onto what’s been a horrific time in everyone’s lives. Few genres can inject much needed life into a shambling corpse quite like melodic death metal, and today, we’ve got the fourth full-length from German quartet, Strydegor.” Isolation nation.