Insomnium

Countless Skies – Glow Review

Countless Skies – Glow Review

“UK melodic death crew Countless Skies impressed on their 2016 debut, New Dawn. Although in hindsight I was perhaps a little too generous with my final evaluation, the album signaled a rising voice worth keeping close track of. Some four years later, Countless Skies return rejuvenated, and with the backing of none other than Willowtip Records, a slightly left field label for the band’s rich, layered melodeath tapestry. The intervening years have treated Countless Skies well, and sophomore platter Glow, sounds like a band more comfortable and confident with their lush blend of gorgeous melody, progressive arrangements, and dynamic shifts into heavier realms.” Glow and steady.

Slow Fall – Beneath the Endless Rains Review

Slow Fall – Beneath the Endless Rains Review

Slow Fall are the newest kids on the Finnish melodeath playground. They’d been skirting the chain link fence, peering in since 2016. Now, finally satisfied with their chosen lineup, the band is coming out swinging, seemingly out of nowhere, with their very first full-length album. On their first try, Slow Fall nail an impressive formula for melodeath.” It’s the slow knife that cuts the deepest.

Fires in the Distance – Echoes from Deep November Review

Fires in the Distance – Echoes from Deep November Review

Echoes from Deep November, the debut by unheralded Connecticut melodeath act Fires in the Distance, was originally slated to drop as a self-release way back in May. Then the band managed to get signed by Prosthetic Records and the release was pushed out to this week. When I was spinning the album back in May, I wondered why they weren’t signed, as they clearly posses talent and potential, so it’s nice to see them in the loving embrace of a label deal.” November coming fire.

Raventale – Planetarium II Review

Raventale – Planetarium II Review

Raventale is a strange one-man act. Founder and multi-instrumentalist Astaroth Merc started the project in 2006 as a vehicle for his atmospheric, droning black metal, but over time the sound underwent massive mutations. Death/doom influences began creeping in and the musicianship grew by leaps and bounds. By the time of 2017s Planetarium, the project was starting to sound like a heavier SIG:AR:TYR, riffy and full of beautiful guitar-work while retaining a powerful black metal core. That album was based around a space theme and the long-form compositions did it justice with expansive vibes and deep, rich moods. For whatever reason, Merc opted to follow that up with a full-on funeral doom approach on 2019s Morphine Dead Gardens, which I loved muchly. Now barely a year later he’s clicked back into blackened mode with a conceptual sequel to Planetarium.” Astronomy domine.

Thurisaz – Re-Incentive Review

Thurisaz – Re-Incentive Review

Thurisaz is a Belgian band blending together an atmospheric concoction of black, doom, and death metal. Their latest album is heavy on the atmosphere and lighter on the death and doom. Despite being a part of the metal scene for over two decades now, Thurisaz‘s sound on Re-Incentive is beautiful and unassuming.” Dark incentives.

Insomnium/Omnium Gatherum Livestream Concert Review

Insomnium/Omnium Gatherum Livestream Concert Review

Insomnium and Omnium Gatherum were two of many unfortunate bands caught up in the fallout from the global pandemic, having to cancel their North American tour before they were able to play for the likes of Madam X, Dr. WvrmMuppet, and myself on their swing through Massachusetts. When they announced they would be livestreaming a concert on Good Friday as a way of reaching out to fans, myself and several other AMG writers were eager to support the endeavor and pay witness. The idea of them performing to a largely empty hall adorned solely with cameras was certainly novel, and I wanted to see how it all played out.” Man plans, God laughs.

Soliloquium – Things We Leave Behind Review

Soliloquium – Things We Leave Behind Review

Soliloquium‘s sophomore album Contemplations was one of those releases I stumbled over in the promo sump and was really surprised by. This Swedish doomy melodeath act hit all the right melancholic sadboi buttons, reminding strongly of early Katatonia and Rapture without ever sounding derivative. It ended up making my Top Ten(ish) for the year and I return to it regularly. I wasn’t aware we were getting a new album this month and we didn’t get the promo until a few days before it released, thus the tardy review.” Gourmet leftovers.

Angry Metal-Fi: The Best and Worst Sounding Albums of 2019

Angry Metal-Fi: The Best and Worst Sounding Albums of 2019

“Metal-Fi? One has got to wonder if the serious lack of updates on the site is because of these issues or are they in fact the root cause? I honestly don’t know. Certainly, neither Dave nor I could have possibly foreseen that our unannounced hiatus last year would kick off Ragnarök. But unfortunately, that’s what all of the facts seem to indicate. Our bad.” Deaf and taxes.

Dawn of Solace – Waves Review

Dawn of Solace – Waves Review

“As a big fan of Tuomas Saukkonen’s Before the Dawn and Black Sun Aeon projects (R.I.P. to both), I was the natural demographic for his melancholy melodeath vehicle, Dawn of Solace as well. 2006s The Darkness was a beautiful and haunting dose of Finnish gloom that made an impression, and I always wondered why he never released another album under that name. Now in 2020 he finally delivers the followup outing titled Waves.” Surfing blues.