Iron Bonehead Productions

Cross Vault – As Strangers We Depart Review

Cross Vault – As Strangers We Depart Review

“There are certain key words and taglines that all but guarantee your friendly stronghold Steel will seize a promo as his own, jealously guarding it from interlopers, pretenders and would-be promo usurpers. Putting “Viking doom” in your promo blurb alongside reference to Bathory is one such way to score a hard ticket to the iron reviewing table. Germany’s Cross Vault have been toiling away in relative obscurity since 2014, heavily influenced by acts like Warning and crafting downcast material that often feels like a follow up to that act’s monumental Watching from a Distance opus. By 2015 a heavier, more grandiose sound made an appearance alongside the Warning-isms, somewhat justifying Viking era Bathory comparisons. After 4 years of silence, third album As Strangers We Depart sees the band once again searching for that perfect blend of doom, gloom and epic sounds.” Doom n’ boom.

Reaper – The Atonality of Flesh Review

Reaper – The Atonality of Flesh Review

“It was just over one year ago that I wrote about mysterious Swedish duo Reaper and their debut record Unholy Nordic Noise. A viciously irreverent mixture of first-wave black metal, speed metal, and crusty HM-2-laden punk, the record saw the band going boldly where many bands had gone before and successfully delivering a short and sweet platter of simple, yet satisfying blasphemy. The disgustingly croaked vocals combined with the musical style to give me the impression of Abbath taking a bath with Bathory‘s Bathory, and the resulting sound was as cathartic as it was entertaining. Well, these guys seem to believe that more is more, so they wasted no time in following the debut up with The Atonality of Flesh.” Tone up that flesh for summer.

Malakhim – Theion Review

Malakhim – Theion Review

“Black metal is my mac ‘n’ cheese. It’s something I can consume at pretty much any time. First thing in the morning? Delicious! A quick lunch at work? Get that puppy in the microwave! When I’m hungry and don’t know what to have for dinner? There’s always mac ‘n’ cheese! Best of all? It goes with pretty much anything. Even ice cream. Trust me on this. The downside is that I don’t remember most of my mac meals; one has to be pretty special to stand out. 2021 has brought me my first go-to meal, courtesy of Theion, the debut album of Malakhim, a Swedish black metal quintet formed in 2017.” A gooey fate.

Vassafor – To the Death Review

Vassafor – To the Death Review

“The band sport a Mitochondrion or Adversarial styled take on death/black metal with a thrashy assault-heavy relentlessness combined with eldritch melodies and passages of doomy ominousness. These New Zealanders laid it on thick with 2012’s double LP The Obsidian Codex, expertly balancing relentless blackened death with ritualistic atmosphere and dense doom to create an experience that felt far shorter than its immense hour-and-thirty-five-minute runtime suggested. Enter 2017’s Malediction, which wasn’t… that. While offering a “shorter” listen at fifty-four minutes, it never managed to truly escape the doomy drudgery and wallowed in uneventfulness for nearly an hour. Enter 2020’s To the Death.” Death be not quick.

Temple Nightside – Pillars of Damnation Review

Temple Nightside – Pillars of Damnation Review

“Readers of this site will not find it surprising when I say that I love blackened death metal of the chaotic and brutal variety, with groups like Impiety, Archgoat, and Angelcorpse being some of my favorites. In the last decade, however, a new strain of blackened death metal came to prominence that seemed to prioritize atmosphere and uneasiness above all else. Some of the more notable bands in this category are Portal, Abyssal, and Teitanblood—groups whose work I respect, even if it doesn’t resonate with me as deeply. When I grabbed Pillars of Damnation, the fourth album by Australia’s Temple Nightside, I had no idea what strain of blackened death metal it would be.” Cavern kegger.

Dkharmakhaoz – Proclamation ov the Black Suns Review

Dkharmakhaoz – Proclamation ov the Black Suns Review

“Industrial black metal has not boded well in 2020, with groups like American snoozers T.O.M.B. and Dutch painmongers Ulveblod earning some of the lowest ratings I’ve awarded during my tenure. Dkharmakhaoz‘s Proclamation ov the Black Suns, blessedly, is extremely well-written and densely punishing second-wave foray into atmospherics that never neglects its highlights.” Black sunshine.

Horn – Mohngang Review

Horn – Mohngang Review

“It’s neat seeing a progression of an artist across a project’s discography. From Anathema‘s death/doom to prog-rock stylings, Ahab‘s crushing funeral doom to, like, pretty funeral doom, to the deathcore to symphonic black metal to straight-up black metal of Abigail Williams, it shows true growth and maturity to acknowledge the past while stepping into the future. Today’s is German act Horn, comprised of sole member Nerrath, a prolific pagan black metal act with two demos, eight full-lengths, and an EP since 2002.” Change is in the air.

Amnutseba – Emanatism Review

Amnutseba – Emanatism Review

Amnutseba is a “lacerating ‘n labyrinthine” black metal group from Paris. After releasing a couple demos, re-released in vinyl as compilation I-VI, they reemerge to release Emanatism, a devastating tour-de-force packed to the brim with noisy ideas. What separates it from any other Deathspell Omega– and Satan-worshiper? It is, in a word, unhinged.” Midnight in Paris.