Israeli Metal

Subterranean Masquerade – Mountain Fever Review

Subterranean Masquerade – Mountain Fever Review

“Let me preface this review with a bite-size Contrite Metal Guy: I overrated Subterranean Masquerade‘s last album, Vagabond, by half a point. While it’s still a damn cool album, with a great sense of adventure and exploration, it was also a bit unfocused and unbalanced, a shortcoming of which I failed to make note at the time. Alas, I am only human, and as the first underground band I discovered all on my own back in 2005, this band has a special place in my heart.” Cave raves.

Scardust – Strangers Review

Scardust – Strangers Review

“I have a strange relationship with progressive metal. On one hand, I feel like the vast majority of prog is made up of decent song ideas separated from one another by fancy time signatures, self-indulgent experimentation, and other forms of needless wankery. But on the other hand, I proudly claim progressive titans Symphony X and Nevermore as my two favorite bands of all time. Those bands had a way of making their immensely complex compositions seem deceptively simple — a hallmark of a good prog band in my book. To me, progressiveness is really just the amplification of — or an embellishment upon — what a band already does well. Thus, my view that much of today’s “prog” music is really just embellished nothingness. On that cheerful note, enter Israeli progressive metal band Scardust.” Prog for dummies.

Tomorrow’s Rain – Hollow Review

Tomorrow’s Rain – Hollow Review

“With all the tech-death, funeral doom, and post-whateverthefuck being hurled our way over the last couple of years, it’s paradoxically refreshing when certain sounds of yesteryear make an unexpected, yet somewhat welcome, return. In today’s case, it’s in the form of mid-90s-flavored gothic metal that would have Century Media doing a violent double-take as to what decade it is.” Blame it on the rain.

Venomous Skeleton – Drowning in Circles Review

Venomous Skeleton – Drowning in Circles Review

“Having been raised in church, I found my religious experience carried over into my vast expeditions into metal’s colorful multiverse: I find myself reaching more and more for the stuff that incorporates a unique tone of reverence, a sound of standing beneath the colossal or infinite. For bands like Batushka, Ancient Moon, and Behemoth, this liturgical and hieratic atmosphere is proposed through its ritualistic songwriting and uses of common religious musical elements (Gregorian chants, choirs, etc.) contrasting with blasphemy’s twisted dagger in an aural representation of madness. Sonne Adam‘s death/doom solo LP Transformation did this for me.” Worship music.

Obsidian Tide – Pillars of Creation [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

Obsidian Tide – Pillars of Creation [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

“I love TheKenWord, but the problem is, if you skip an hour on the AMG Slack channel, you’ll probably miss one of his 1462 album recommendations. Lucky for me, at the precise day and time when Kenny waxed on about Obsidian Tide’s new album I just happened to be lurking on the forums, and I caught the link. The young fella did himself proud with this recommendation. Obsidian Tide are an Israeli progressive metal trio, and Pillars of Creation is the band’s debut album, a seven-song, 55-minute concept album detailing a man’s journey to enlightenment.” Tides and tidings.

Video Premiere and Interview with Butchered of Arallu

Video Premiere and Interview with Butchered of Arallu

“Every once in a while, for some strange reason, we like to give you creeps the VIP treatment and surprise y’all with some extracurricular goodness. Today you turds’ll be treated to a trve and tasty twofer: in a gracious act of metal camaraderie and questionable judgment straight outta Israel, blackened death veterans Arallu have granted us the honor of premiering the video for “Spells” from their latest desert-y offering, En Olam, as well as subjected their vocalist, Butchered, to an inquisitive Muppet.” Muppet on the desert beat.

Arallu – En Olam Review

Arallu – En Olam Review

“I now recognize AMG‘s Law ov Diminishing Albums as a cold and cruelly ironic constant, and subsequently I slowly shuffled up to Six‘s successor, the septimal En Olam, with extreme arthritis and trepidation. By the time it was all over, I sighed wearily and shuffled even more gingerly back to my sleeping perch—for such was the extent of my physical capabilities in the wake of the ass beating that En Olam had just given me.” Desert for dinner.

Desert – Fortune Favors the Brave Review

Desert – Fortune Favors the Brave Review

“The smoke hasn’t even cleared from the battlefield that was the recent Sabaton opus, and here we go again with another over-the-top war-themed power metal album, this time by Israel’s Desert. It takes a certain amount of moxie for a relatively unknown act to drop their third album right alongside that of their nearest comparison point. Fortune Favors the Brave indeed. Desert does have a lot in common with Sabaton as far as thematic approach and overall bombast level, but they also sound a lot like Blind Guardian and Iced Earth. That’s quite a wicked trifecta.” Get sandy.

Zohamah – Spread My Ashes Review

Zohamah – Spread My Ashes Review

“Of all the myriad concoctions of subgenre blends present in metal, few have the potential to be as heinous and vile as black and doom metal. The ominous gloom of the latter mixed with the foul malevolence of the former can make for some horrifyingly ugly textures, something I discovered when reviewing Vile Creature last year. Though I tend to stay away from black metal if I can, this particular cocktail has shaken and stirred something in me, and thus I had no qualm fetching Zohamah from the promo bin, a one-man Israeli band whose debut combines black, doom, and death metal into an unholy platter of terror. Or that’s the idea, anyway.” Burnt offerings.

Exit…Hall Left: The Weenie Metal Round-Up [Things You Might Have Missed 2018]

Exit…Hall Left: The Weenie Metal Round-Up [Things You Might Have Missed 2018]

“Not everyone can be BRUTAL ENOUGH!!! Some of us are hobbits; diminutive, folksy, averse to Camo™ and Camo™-derived accouterments. Maybe you just want to smell the flowers, despite your allergies. That’s ok. We’re here for you.” Hello, weenies.