Iron Monkey

Crippled Black Phoenix – Great Escape Review

Crippled Black Phoenix – Great Escape Review

“Yes, this album cover needs a unicorn. It’s the first and foremost thing any of us noticed in the AMG World Headquarters break room. I don’t know what’s going on with this horse, but it won’t be good when and if it comes back down to earth. I suppose it’s escaping, although maybe it’s just simply jubilant. At eleven songs and over 74 minutes, is Great Escape going to make me jubilant, or am I going to want to make my escape?” Unicorn in the sky. Making little children cry.

Ravens Creed – Get Killed or Try Dying Review

Ravens Creed – Get Killed or Try Dying Review

“Among the uninitiated, metal has a reputation for being “that angry sort of music.” Of course, we know better than that. Many progressive and power metal bands wax about life-affirming statements in flowery language, and even many heavy metal bands aim more for fun and camaraderie than anger and skull-bashery. With more extreme forms of metal, it’s easier to see where the ignorant come from, but even black metal commonly puts subjects like evil and subversion ahead of sheer violence. Ravens Creed, however, have no problem giving in to the stereotypes.” Violence begets other violence.

Boss Keloid – Melted on the Inch Review

Boss Keloid – Melted on the Inch Review

“At AMG Headquarters last week, as a number of us were gathered around the bench press station during our allocated one hour of yard time, discussions turned from who could bench the most, to personal tastes when it comes to genres to review. When I was finally allowed to talk, I said I like my dad metal, sure, but I also enjoy deeply of prog, doom, some stoner — and I like it all to be just a little off-kilter. Well, members of Boss Keloid must have been standing nearby, because Melted on the Inch, their third album, ticks all my non-dad-metal boxes.” Boss dad prison metal.

Bedowyn – Blood of the Fall Review

Bedowyn – Blood of the Fall Review

“For better and worse, sludge metal has branched out considerably beyond the abrasive and uncompromising early years of the genre, defined by the likes of The Melvins, Eyehategod, Grief, the underappreciated Iron Monkey and boundary busting legends Acid Bath,. Increased diversity and scene saturation has polluted the genre pool, leading to interesting yet inconsistent results and mixed feelings from yours truly.” Sludge is as sludge does.

Primitive Man – Home Is Where the Hatred Is Review

Primitive Man – Home Is Where the Hatred Is Review

“Loud, heavy, dense, raging, lacking any sort of subtlety or nuance – rarely has a band been so aptly named as Primitive Man. Self-releasing their debut to critical acclaim both here and across the metalogosphere, they followed it up with a series of splits before being snapped up by Relapse for their latest outburst of hatred. Their approach has remained pretty consistent across these releases: crank everything up until it feeds back, then hammer out the most repulsive blackened sludge they can conjure.” Better call your local Department of Sludge Control.

Colossus – Wake Review

Colossus – Wake Review

I’ve spent the last few minutes trying to stick a label on Wake. Not that it matters anyway and, to be honest, watching MTV on mute while listening to “Ruinbuilder” with my headphones on is a valid alternative to tiring out my brain. Ms Germanotta is out of sync in this peculiar, extemporary world of mine as she moves about trying to keep up with the pace imposed by the nervous beat of a Swedish drummer. This unrepeatable choreography slowly fades into the background as Niklas Eriksson’s vocals, sometimes reminiscent of Savatage’s Zachary Stevens and Jon Oliva’s melancholic elegance, boldly sets the record straight with the opener “A Stir from Slumber”.