Iron Monkey

Back to the Grindstone: Insect Warfare – World Extermination

Back to the Grindstone: Insect Warfare – World Extermination

“Back to the Grindstone is a love letter feature dedicated to the appreciation of all things grindcore. This most extreme of extreme niche genres has been kicking since the late ’80s, growing in underground stature as the years march on. The rule of thumb to this feature is simple; spotlight will be on grind albums old and new, though will not include releases from the past five years, or albums previously covered on this website. Genre classics, underappreciated gems, old school and nu school will be covered, highlighting albums aimed at established fans and curious listeners interested in diving into the cesspool of the grind scene.” Bugs ARE the feature!

Baratro – The Sweet Smell of Unrest Review

Baratro – The Sweet Smell of Unrest Review

Baratro is a side project of Dave Curran of Unsane. If that shouldn’t clue you in on the level of sonic abuse that awaits you on The Sweet Smell of Unrest, then get outta my face. Noise rock is already a caustic breed of music, a nasty chocolate coating, but when you fuse it with the megaton weight of sludge, the heavy peanut butter, you’ve got yourself a sonic peanut butter cup of bludgeoning pain.” Two great pains that hurt even more together.

Viral Tyrant – Vultures Like You Review

Viral Tyrant – Vultures Like You Review

“Diving headlong into the promo sump, I decided to take a gamble on the debut album from Portland, Oregon’s raucous Viral Tyrant and their debut LP, Vultures Like You. Formed in 2018 the fiery four-piece have a lone demo and single behind their name, before arriving at this first foray into full-length territory. Being that sludge is a notoriously grimy, seedy back-alley style, let us dispense with the pleasantries and determine whether Vultures Like You is any good.” Sludge is a disease.

Raging Speedhorn – Hard to Kill Review

Raging Speedhorn – Hard to Kill Review

Raging Speedhorn. Now that’s a name I’ve not heard in a long time. A long time. And to be honest, I didn’t really expect to hear it again but it would seem it’s pretty Hard to Kill this six-piece from Corby in the UK. I first came across Raging Speedhorn when they opened the main stage at Ozzfest in Milton Keynes in 2001. I am almost certain that I saw them again at some point and, after conferring with one of my best mates, I think this may have been a rather unlikely-seeming slot opening for The Dillinger Escape Plan sometime around 2002 or 2003. I hadn’t thought about them since then until a few weeks back, when Holdeneye alerted me to the fact that we had received the promo for Hard to Kill and asked whether, as the only person to ever reference Raging Speedhorn on the blog, I was interested. Hell, why not.” Can’t kill the Horn.

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.