Inquisition

Denial of God – The Hallow Mass Review

Denial of God – The Hallow Mass Review

“He dribbles down the court, the clock winding down to an excruciating ten seconds. He fakes left and tears right, leaving his opponent stumbling. This is why the Orlando Magic drafted the Most High with their No. 1 pick, because with God, all things are possible⁠—like a deep playoff run.” I doubt even God can conjure that up this year.

Lothric – Adversarial Light Review

Lothric – Adversarial Light Review

“Ah, black metal. What storied history, what grimly grand aspirations of defiance, what glorious panda men frolicking in snowy forests! What once began as church burnings and murder and a big “fuck you” to the status quo has expanded into countless internet memes and as many sub-sub-subgenres as there are bands. From the lo-fi quality and the blasphemous shrieks, to enough broken picks per tremolo and blastbeats per minute to make a ladies’ Bible study group collectively gasp, it’s the sound of defiance and harshness. However, it toes a delicate line between shock and schlock, and Athens, Georgia, one-man satanic black metal act Lothric hopes to score a win for the home team with his debut LP Adversarial Light.” Fight the light.

Valaraukar – Demonian Abyssal Visions Review

Valaraukar – Demonian Abyssal Visions Review

“It’s become a cliché to list all the things for which Scotland is famous. But cliché gets you banned to the Skull Pit Corner ov Naughtiness™ in these parts. So let’s look at something less well-known that Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh, is renowned for… deep-fried Mars Bars. I should love them. Chocolate, caramel, and nougat, all deliciously fried up as a warm, crunchy breakfast dessert. Yet I don’t. It’s really difficult for me to explain why, because every individual component is something I love, but the final product just underwhelms.” Sums and blackened parts.

Mystifier – Protogoni Mavri Magiki Dynasteia Review

Mystifier – Protogoni Mavri Magiki Dynasteia Review

“Mystifier are an ancient Brazilian black metal band and the latest to emerge from whatever dank place veteran bands who haven’t released a comeback album are hiding. Formed in 1989, their early releases were renowned for a style that combined the primitive extremity of Sarcófago with the ritualistic and otherworldly aura of Beherit. With this sound they produced such underground classics as 1992 debut Wicca and 1996’s The World Is So Good That Who Made It Doesn’t Live Here. Yet widespread popularity was not to be.” Wicked Mystic.

Blue Hummingbird on the Left – Atl Tlachinolli Review

Blue Hummingbird on the Left – Atl Tlachinolli Review

“Blue Hummingbird is a quartet of musicians billing themselves as the War Chapter (natch) of LA music collective Black Twilight Circle, a darling bunch of indigenous-blooded Hispanic musicians dedicated to speaking evil truth to power, in this case the colonialism that so decimated their ancestors’ cultures. Fucking shit up along the way is obviously a plus. However, where other members of BTC have released albums, Blue Hummingbird have released only an EP and contributions to splits across a near-decade career, all to substantial buzz.” Fire birds.

4 Days of Death: The Maryland Deathfest Diaries

4 Days of Death: The Maryland Deathfest Diaries

“Anyone who’s seen The Wire knows Baltimore can be a rough place, but on Memorial Day weekend every year, things get especially brutal. Hundreds of rabid metal fans from all over the world descend on ‘Charm City’ to participate in Maryland Deathfest, and the result is four days of moshing, headbanging, and partying like it’s 1989.” Death to all.

Aosoth – V: The Inside Scriptures Review

Aosoth – V: The Inside Scriptures Review

“I hadn’t paid much attention to France’s Aosoth until they dropped the captivating IV: An Arrow in Heart LP in 2013, a dark and crushing affair of malicious, dissonant black metal. Admittedly I have only flirted with the remainder of their back catalog since, with nothing much, to my ears, standing up to the colossal An Arrow in Heart. The album’s hefty production and outside elements almost made it sound like Aosoth were a black metal band, in a particularly evil and hulking death metal body, with the songwriting smarts to craft an equally punishing, challenging and addictive opus. Now, after four years, Aosoth return hellbent on continuing their twisted conceptual mission and hammering home the fact that no-one does black metal quite like the French.” Black arrows ov death.

Crafteon – Cosmic Reawakening Review

Crafteon – Cosmic Reawakening Review

“Cthulhu rises from the depths. Seawater cascades in waterfalls down its body; its colossal form dwarfs a nearby castle, a monument to mankind’s delusions of superiority as if it were some child’s plaything. The logo in the top left reads “Crafteon,” a nod to Lovecraftian[1. Get it? Huh? Do ya?] fiction, complete with dangling tentacles. Sure, this album’s exterior presentation pretty much screams “Eldritch bait,” but you know what? This is my 50th review for AMG, and I feel like indulging my base impulses in celebration.” Celebrate with Cthulhu!

Vesicant – Shadows of Cleansing Iron Review

Vesicant – Shadows of Cleansing Iron Review

“War. Whether for profit, liberation, or for sheer annihilation of your enemies, many bands have scoured the various battles and wars throughout the ages for musical and lyrical inspiration. World War I in particular remains a fertile ground for a variety of metal bands, with depictions of trenches and chemical warfare highlighted in gruesome, vivid detail. New Zealand’s Vesicant, their name derived from the blistering after-effects of mustard gas, attempt to weave their own horrific tales of one of the ugliest wars in history with their debut album, Shadows of Cleansing Blood.” War inside your head.

Venenum – Trance of Death Review

Venenum – Trance of Death Review

“A lone cello sings a mournful melody in a minor key. Fluttering piano touches accentuate the subtle tremolando strings. The folksy piece develops patiently, oscillating between an ambient sort of vagueness and a nervous incisiveness. While the surprising first two and a half minutes of Bavaria’s Venenum’s full-length début Trance of Death stand in contrast with the carnage that will follow, they are also perfect archetypes of the eclecticism and compositional strength of the release as a whole.” Carnage before cello, never mellow. Cello before carnage, happy carcass.