Jan22

Maule – Maule Review

Maule – Maule Review

“I’m starting my year off on a positive note. In my Top Ten(ish) column (along with many others) one commenter opined about our lack of love for melodic stuff. I really took that statement to heart and decided that for January it’s only traditional and glam metal for this olde cat. So here we go, with a new creation born on Canada’s west coast, Maule. Touting themselves as part of the new wave of traditional heavy metal, they intend to gallop their way into our hearts with churning rhythms, rousing choruses, and rather pleasant Canadian personalities.” Take off, eh?

Vicious Knights – Alteration Through Possession Review

Vicious Knights – Alteration Through Possession Review

“‘Vicious’ can be defined as deliberately cruel or violent. Not a term one naturally associates with the popular image of the gallant knight, enduring all sorts of perils and dragons to save—and, if he’s lucky, fondle—the princess. But in what, I suppose, is an effort to invert or undermine conventional images, Vicious Knights is the chosen moniker of this thrash trio from Thessaloniki, Greece. Formed in 2016 and with a demo and an EP under their belt, they scored a deal with German label, Dying Victim Productions, and are now ready to unleash their debut LP.” Knight moves.

Spider God – Black Renditions Review

Spider God – Black Renditions Review

“Every once in a blue moon, an album comes along that speaks to me so deeply that I break the rules to cover it. This year, that honor belongs to what is perhaps the most thoroughly unexpected album to ever grace these spongy orifices: UK one-man-band Spider God‘s Black Renditions. I say mad science experiment because Spider God offers no new material whatsoever on Black Renditions—this, my friends, is a covers album. A pop covers album. I’m talking about Britney SpearsThe Pointer Sisters, Backstreet Boys, among others.” Spider infections and burnt credibility.

Krallice – Crystalline Exhaustion Review

Krallice – Crystalline Exhaustion Review

“For the better part of the last two weeks I’ve done nothing but wrap my head around the entire output of Queens, New York black metal alchemists Krallice. This was difficult enough with their mathy, progressive first four albums, but the wildly experimental, technical second half of their catalogue knocked me slightly out of phase with this reality. I see in five dimensions now. I respond to things before they happen, because they have already happened and are never not happening.” Dimensional crosstrainers.

Freaks and Clowns – We Set the World on Fire Review

Freaks and Clowns – We Set the World on Fire Review

Freaks and Clowns is a Swedish quintet, two full-lengths into their five-year career. While undoubtedly power metal in Christer Wahlgren’s vibrato-laden trills, expect little Rhapsody of Fire sword-flashing here. Injected with a healthy dose of AC/DC-esque hard rock and aptly energetic Gothenburg riffing with an Avatar clown theme to boot, tracks range from glam-themed arena-rock anthems to take-no-prisoners beatdowns of riffy goodness.” Game of clowns.

Hellfox – The Call Review

Hellfox – The Call Review

“As I promised in my list post, I’m once more attempting to pick up the writing habit I successfully maintained for the first half of last year. Alas, this does mean venturing into the notoriously barren January promo box. Worse, I was late and my colleagues had nabbed everything promising. My first selection turned out to be a C-tier early-00s darkwave band so far removed from both metal and good music that even I wouldn’t cover it here. Think Collide, but very boring. Fortunately, I did a bit more due diligence on my second attempt. Hellfox, are certainly metal, describing themselves as alt-metal with a melodeath lean.” Hellfox in the groan room.

Dawn of Solace – Flames of Perdition Review

Dawn of Solace – Flames of Perdition Review

Dawn of Solace‘s 2020 sophomore platter of sadboi goth-doom, Waves ended up my top album that year, surprising even me. It had heavy competition to be sure, but throughout 2020 the album kept its sullen tendrils wrapped tight around my iron lungs, and in the end, it became the soundtrack to a strange period of quarantine, unease, and uncertainty. I suppose this shouldn’t have been a surprise as I’ve long been a sucker for the kind of unhappy tidings Tuomas Saukkonen churned out in projects like Before the Dawn and Black Sun Aeon, and Dawn of Solace is the ultimate vehicle for his weepy ideations. Third album, Flames of Perdition was originally slated for a 2021 release but got pushed back to this week, giving me much more time than I usually have with a promo.” Mourning in the morning.

Depleted Uranium – Origins Review

Depleted Uranium – Origins Review

Depleted Uranium scrape together the contrasting textures of the Dillinger Escape Plan and cut them with nastier shots of powerviolence. Pivoting between tense builds and haywire blasts of aggression, they try to make the best of Origins’ sixteen minutes and change, never dropping the pace for too long.” Half live.

Burned in Effigy – Rex Mortem Review

Burned in Effigy – Rex Mortem Review

“Melodic death metal is a strange beast for me. It’s one of those genres that almost always sounds good on first listen, but once the novelty wears off, I rarely find myself enamored enough to hang around. I recently joked that Amon Amarth is the only melodeath band I actually like, and while that may not actually be true, the sentiment illustrates what I need in order to like an album of this particular genre. No thanks to sad-boi, contemplative versions of the style; I need riffs and aggression in my melodeath platters.” Burning in elegance.