In Solitude

Spell – Opulent Decay Review

Spell – Opulent Decay Review

“The retro waves never stop crashing ashore, they just shift decades. Beginning around 2000 the metalverse became inundated with 80s throwback acts, and over the past ten or so years there’s been an increasing drive to mine 70s rock for inspiration as well. Canadian act Spell are in on this big dig, incorporating a lot of 70s rock ideas into a slurry containing NWoBHM and goth rock. Opulent Decay is their third attempt to get this tricky recipe right, showcasing an intriguing blend of eras and styles which results in something very old sounding and full of occult auras.” Olden magic.

Idle Hands – Mana Review

Idle Hands – Mana Review

“Remember Spellcaster? I don’t, but Doc Grier loved their final album: Night Hides the World made his 2016 Top Ten(ish) List. After burning the fuse at both ends, however, the band folded. Now three-fifths of Spellcaster have regrouped as Idle Hands, led by bassist Gabe Franco (who switches to guitars and vocals here). Franco brings with him guitarist Sebastian Silva and drummer Colin Vranizan, and the lineup is rounded out with Brandon Hill on bass. Be warned, though: this is not Spellcaster 2.0. Gone are the almost-thrash, pure metal sounds of that band, as well as the Iron Maiden and Iced Earth influences. Idle Hands aim for something much different, plucking influences from the opposite end of the spectrum and assembling them into a fairly unique sound.” Devil’s Workshop now hiring!

Tribulation – Down Below Review

Tribulation – Down Below Review

Tribulation have been on an interesting career path as of late. While their early works could be loosely classified as Swedish death metal a la Entombed, the band gradually began to bring in other influences and become something else entirely. As of 2015’s The Children Of The Night, the band was taking cues from such diverse sources as Mercyful Fate and Sisters Of Mercy,, and seemed to have learned a few things from former tourmates In Solitude, with excellent results. I was curious about what Tribulation would do next, and with the impending release of Down Below, it looks like I’m about to find out.” Evilution.

Attic – Sanctimonious Review

Attic – Sanctimonious Review

Grier walks through swinging double–doors; their rectangular plates and white panels smudged by hundreds of dirty, desperate hands. Along the decades–old, re-waxed checkerboard floors of sun–bleached white and black, the vulnerable Doctor approaches the receptionist’s desk. ‘The doctor is waiting.’ The distinguished Grier makes his way through the buzzer–kept door to the far–end of the faux–marbled hallway. He turns the doorknob to Room 17. Beyond the stuttering fluorescent bulbs overhead, the Doctor finds “Dr.” Landau seated at a walnut–stained desk, just this side of the cherry–red built–ins—bookshelves filled with volumes as convincing as the toupee positioned upon Landau’s head. Grier walks to the glossy, chocolate–brown sofa positioned in the middle of the room. He lies back. Landau looks upon the weathered face and sleep–deprived eyes of the patient. He knows well the sickness the patient suffers.” Physician, heal thyself!

Svarttjern – Dødsskrik Review

Svarttjern – Dødsskrik Review

“I’m a sucker for HansFyrste’s ghastly vocal style, he could probably read from the phone directory and I’d be very okay with it. The bug in my ear took effect around Ragnarok‘s Malediction and it only got worse when I discovered Svarttjern‘s and later release Ultimatum Necrophilia. Thankfully it’s a solid 2-years beyond the release of Ultimatum, which means we get another shot of Svarttjern, decked out in all their bullet belt and corpse paint finery.” Phone directory grimness would be very kvlt.

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!

Tribulation – The Children Of The Night Review

Tribulation – The Children Of The Night Review

“Although they began as progenitors of fuzzed-out Entombed-style death metal, Sweden’s Tribulation has been on a trajectory towards smarter, more structured music since their second record, 2013’s The Formulas of Death. Their latest album boasts the Dio-worthy title The Children Of The Night.” Tribulation is a tricky little wicket. You never know what they’ll do next.

Anguish – Mountain Review

Anguish – Mountain Review

“Sweden’s Anguish have a lot of hype going for them. Their debut, 2012’s Through the Archdemon’s Head, turned the heads of fans, critics, and foxes the world over, bludgeoning everyone with their massive mix of Candlemass, Trouble, and the *ahem* unique vocals of J. Dee. Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to check that album out, but when news hit that their newest release, Mountain, would take their sound and streamline it, cutting out the fat and giving us just the meaty morsels of their maddening dinner spread, I took the opportunity to jump in…” There may or may not be some minor hype about this band, but we ignore the buzz and deal in facts. Just the facts.

Mr. Fisting Comments: Evolve or Die

Mr. Fisting Comments: Evolve or Die

“As someone who entered the world of metal during the mid-1990s, I quickly got used to bands evolving and changing established formulas. We never knew if someone’s next album was going to go techno, or go punk rock, or invent new subgenres entirely. Granted, a lot of these “experiments” had commercial motives behind them, and oftentimes the results straight-up sucked. But still, there’s something to be said for being surprised.” Mr. Fisting is tired of metal bands playing it safe and he’s pissed at metal fans too. Give us hell, Fisting!