International Metal

Celestial Swarm – Gateways to the Necroverse [Things You Might Have Missed 2021]

Celestial Swarm – Gateways to the Necroverse [Things You Might Have Missed 2021]

“It seems like I routinely encounter one album within the first week of the year that sticks with me to the end. In 2021, that honor belongs to Celestial Swarm‘s immense debut, Gateways to the Necroverse. The international four-piece claim to innovate a novel subset of br00tality: “slamming black metal.” Given what I’ve spent an entire year absorbing, I think a better moniker is “brutal black metal,” but I suppose that’s splitting hairs.” At the Gateways.

Lock Up – The Dregs of Hades Review

Lock Up – The Dregs of Hades Review

Lock Up is a cool band. The long-running supergroup collective, featuring a shuffling cast of characters, have been kicking out the filthy deathgrind jams since their barnstorming 1999 debut Pleasure Paves Sewers. Sophomore album Hate Breeds Suffering ruled as well. Despite a more haphazard and sporadic output in the years since those two gritty, unvarnished gems dropped, Lock Up continued to maintain relevance while adhering to their classic deathgrind template, warts and all.” Lock up the nuance.

The Answer Lies in the Black Void – Forlorn Review

The Answer Lies in the Black Void – Forlorn Review

“Who doesn’t love international cooperation? Well, I suppose we’re bound to have a few hardcore nationalists in our readership who don’t, but in our increasingly connected world, getting cozy with the neighbors can go a long way. The same goes for metal; people from all over the globe, or even just the continent, working together can result in some magical things. Case in point: newly erected international project The Answer Lies in the Black Void, which is quite a mouthful as band names go. The duo consists of Hungarian citizen Martina Horváth (Thy Catafalque) and Dutch breakcore specialist Jurgen Köhnen (Servants of the Apocalyptic Goat Rave).” Fellow metal travelers.

Miasma Theory – Miasma Theory Review

Miasma Theory – Miasma Theory Review

“Hey, remember Zach Randall? Not only did this super cool dude found badass off-kilter epic doom outfit Northern Crown, he even participated in the very important and worthwhile interview series on mental health right on this here blog. Zachary is practically a member of the family at this point, so I couldn’t let his little side project Miasma Theory go unnoticed. It’s a relatable project too, because just like all of us, most of the band members have not been in a room together, instead using the power of the internet to tune in from around the globe.” Doom from a distance.

Thermohaline – Maelström Review

Thermohaline – Maelström Review

“Thanks to that one boozy pirate-themed power metal band whose name rhymes with “Sail Dorm,” it’s difficult to take oceanic themed albums seriously. There are plenty of bands that have torn it up, Ahab showcasing mammoth waves with their breed of crushing funeral doom, Isis displaying the uncaring expanse with shoegaze-y post-metal, and Firtan and Déluge offering some respective symphonic black and post-black to reflect he majesty of the oceans. Scrolling through my black metal collection and each album’s respective themes goes something like this: winter, winter, occult, winter, occult, occult, evil, winter, etc. Oceanic-themed black metal is few and far between, and you’d be hard-pressed to find the good stuff. Will Thermohaline kickstart a new trend or will it end up drowning in its own ambition?” The sea was angry that day, my fiends.

Cambion – Conflagrate the Celestial Refugium Review

Cambion – Conflagrate the Celestial Refugium Review

“There’s a lot going on in death metal: there’s the swampy, smelly, drag-your-corpse through the mire old school sort; there’s the cosmic, existential, ponder-the-time-signatures-of-the-universe sort; there’s the thrown down, bro town, drag-your-grandma-through-the-pit sort; there’s the corpse riding, shriek gliding, casual-blasphemy-on-a-weekday kind. Then, there’s also death metal – the angry sort that starts angry and stays angry. Cambion’s gimmick is angriness and speed.” Spree-Cambion era.

Trillionaire – Romulus Review

Trillionaire – Romulus Review

“Now my questions are more pointed, such as what specific right is protected by what’s often called the Lumley v Gye tort. When I was in my first year, I couldn’t envision asking such a question. Two and one-half academic years later, I’ve got more questions than answers. Adding to this litany of questions is one that has nothing to do with law, philosophy, hamburgers, Live in Leipzig, beer, or any of those things I frequently write about. This question is as follows: what would happen if The Haunted circa Unseen wanted to make something like newer Thrice and Saliva?” Socratic disaster.

Them – Return to Hemmersmoor [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

Them – Return to Hemmersmoor [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

“I can’t believe we never received the promo for Them‘s Return to Hemmersmoor. I mean, seriously, I’m their biggest fan! Even when their first album fell into the hands of an anti-Diamonder, I still hailed the shit out of it. This October, I even asked my kids if they wanted to watch Tim Burton’s Sweet Hollow. That’s how much the band is on my mind.” Themsmoor.

Aphonic Threnody – The Great Hatred Review

Aphonic Threnody – The Great Hatred Review

“Dark, moody doom death with gothic touches is a dish best served in an isolated, wintery cabin where only faint hints of sunlight can penetrate the deep freeze. Aphonic Threnody attempt to deliver exactly this kind of dour dish on their third album The Great Hatred. Following in the downtrodden footsteps of My Dying Bride and Saturnus, the duo making up this project are determined to turn your mellow into blubbering Jello™ with titanic doom riffs, booming death roars, and all the heart-tugging sadboi embellishments you’ve come to expect.” Haterade.

Dark Rites – The Dark Hymns Review

Dark Rites – The Dark Hymns Review

“I’m what you’d call an ardent defender of the death metal faith. But amidst my desire for music heavier than a neutron star, I’m also a sucker for melody – a firm believer in the power of a solid hook and even a mighty chorus or two. Enter The Dark Hymns, the third album from Dark Rites, a self-described “unrelenting” melodic death metal band “with an old school vibe.” With members hailing from the U.S. and U.K., my interest was piqued.” Dark as rite.