International Metal

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.

Silver Knife – Unyielding/Unseeing Review

Silver Knife – Unyielding/Unseeing Review

Silver Knife’s sound is driven by an “aggressive melancholy.” The scathing edge to their knife is laced with poison, ready to slice through the next layer, ready to inflict greater pain. A reinvigorating dose of melancholic black metal has been missing from 2020. This year needs a realistic soundtrack. The depressive duo of Silver Knife met before the world collapsed in 2008. Dutch multi-instrumentalist N. (most known for being one of the three masterminds behind weird black trio Laster) and Belgian S. (most known for wielding the axe for Hypothermia, Trancelike Void and Monads) have painted a collaborative picture of melancholic dread with Unyielding/Unseeing, their first release.” Knife life.

Meridian Dawn – The Fever Syndrome Review

Meridian Dawn – The Fever Syndrome Review

“In the late 90s and early 00s, yours truly bombarded himself with an unhealthy amount of melodic death metal. Basically, anything and everything that came from Gothenburg, Sweden was feverishly devoured at an alarming rate. All blame goes to At The Gates, of course, but quite a few great albums came from there. Sadly, so did some absolute dreck. But there’s no denying that the groundwork that they, Dark Tranquillity, and In Flames laid for bands to come, because no matter what, it just keeps coming, much to our joy and/or dismay.” Fever and syndrome.

The Committee – Utopian Deception Review

The Committee – Utopian Deception Review

“Now that mega-corporations have paved the internet highways with the asphalt of targeted ads and misinformation, the digital utopia has become a divisive dystopia where that same creativity grows mainly in the cracks between the concrete. But its connective power still remains unabated, and The Committee is testament to that. It was certainly possible for a band whose members live scattered across Europe to exist, but it would surely be more difficult, possibly insurmountably so.” Join the meeting.

Azath – Through a Warren of Shadow Review

Azath – Through a Warren of Shadow Review

“I’ve been riding a wave of very good death metal promos recently, and since it would be sheer madness to walk away from the table when you’re beating the house, I’m doubling down. How could I not grab Through a Warren of Shadow, the debut record from Azath, when it has a sweet image of a stately mountain-perched dragon on the cover?” With logic like that, what could go wrong?

Calligram – The Eye Is The First Circle Review

Calligram – The Eye Is The First Circle Review

“How can music communicate the feeling of dread? While all styles are able, metal’s inherent darkness fits like a glove. While it’s easy to provide aural bludgeoning or emphasize excess, the discipline of restraint takes time and effort. From the post-metal dirges of Neurosis, the avant-garde buildups of Eryn Non Dae., the spiraling doom of Swallowed, the blackened payoffs of Cultes des Ghoules, and the death metal environs of Desolate Shrine, it revels in darkness, plays with menace, but most notably, waits patiently.” Waiting in the darkness.

Azusa – Loop of Yesterdays Review

Azusa – Loop of Yesterdays Review

Loop of Yesterdays enters with a burly thrash riff that gives way in seconds to a lull of shady jazz chords. Two minutes later, Azusa are playing both at once. The record’s dichotomous approach spawns many such treasures, oddities that are hardly surprising considering the source. An Extol/The Dillinger Escape Plan supergroup could hardly produce a pedestrian sound.” The future is fleeting.