Jan23

For I Am King – Crown Review

For I Am King – Crown Review

“I can address the Arch Enemy-shaped elephant in the room with For I Am King. A female vocalist, a Gothenburg-inspired guitar attack, just enough metalcore riffage to keep things relatable – Crown has got it all. To be clear, there is nothing cutting edge about it; if it’s riffs you want, ask and you shall receive. Don’t approach Crown expecting to come away with the prototype of the new breed of melodeath or a newfound respect for Arch Enemy.” Arch usurper.

Autumn’s Child – Starflower Review

Autumn’s Child – Starflower Review

“Why do these retro 80’s pop/metal knockoff records keep clogging the promo sump? And why am I the only one here willing to pry them out? And why do bands think it’s a good idea to keep making this schlock in the first place? Autumn’s Child is one of Swedish vocalist/muti-instrumentalist Mikael Erlandsson’s many projects. While not familiar with Mr. Erlasndsson before I dislodged Starflower from a tar-like mass of solo black metal projects,” Flowers in the 80s attic.

Ashen Horde – Antimony Review

Ashen Horde – Antimony Review

“The black/death/prog polymaths of Ashen Horde are back with Antimony, their latest subgenre-surfing full-length. The new one is a concept album that explores the unsolved Victorian-era murder of one Charles Bravo. Experts agree that Bravo perished from antimony poisoning, but his story spins out from there to embrace a cornucopia of credible suspects and motivations.” Clue Town.

Inherits the Void – The Impending Fall of the Stars Review

Inherits the Void – The Impending Fall of the Stars Review

“The middle of the Venn diagram of melodic and atmospheric is where I find my favorite kind of black metal. Sizzling with the energy and catchiness of epic tremolo refrains and blastbeating tempos, and shimmering with veils of synth. If it’s a good example at least. Hence, I rushed to pick up Inherits the Void’s sophomore record The Impending Fall of the Stars as soon as I saw the magic adjectives melodic and atmospheric applied to their black metal style.” Void estate planning.

Seven Doors – Feast of the Repulsive Dead Review

Seven Doors – Feast of the Repulsive Dead Review

“U.K. death metal strikes early in 2023 with a debut full-length from Seven Doors, the one-man OSDM project by Ryan Wills. With a horror-inspired theme and a firm grounding in the classics like early Death, Massacre, and Cannibal Corpse, Feast of the Repulsive Dead’s formula is riffy, relentless meat n’ tatters death designed to keep one foot on your neck and the other up your strata-chocolata.” Knock knock.

Bizarrekult – Den Tapte Krigen Review

Bizarrekult – Den Tapte Krigen Review

“On initial listen, I can tell you that Den Tapte Krigen is no Vi Overlevde. Let that sink in as you consider the consequences of that statement. Is that good or bad? For one, Den Tapte Krigen is a tighter album (only eight tracks) with a formalized theme. There’s fluidity from the beginning to the end of this journey. What about those surprise transitions and standout songs, you ask?” Rejoin the Kult.

…and Oceans – As in Gardens, So in Tombs Review

…and Oceans – As in Gardens, So in Tombs Review

“2020 saw the overdue restoration of Finland’s …and Oceans, lost to the wastes for nearly 20 years despite their earliest music releasing in parallel with such peers as Emperor and Dimmu Borgir. Cosmic World Mother was a strong return to their original melodic black metal, tinged with symphonic and electronic elements they had acquired over subsequent releases. It featured a couple of my favorite black metal tracks from recent years which set up expectations for a successor. As in Gardens, So in Tombs has arrived but does it deliver?” Surf’s up.

Lumen Ad Mortem – Upon the Edge of Darkness Review

Lumen Ad Mortem – Upon the Edge of Darkness Review

“Australian black metal is strong, and hoping to add their names to the list of Strayan luminaries is Lumen Ad Mortem (The Dying Light). Formed in 2019, Upon the Edge of Darkness is their debut, and promises grim melodies from the “floor of the Australian forest.” The question of whether Australia has forests or not crossed my mind, but over-analysis is rarely a good idea with metal.” Under the Down Under moon.

Anachronism – Meanders Review

Anachronism – Meanders Review

“The word ‘meanders’ itself describes more than just the state of lesser dissonance heavy or atmospheric acts who clash songs out of existence with contrapuntal Tetris. Rather, Anachronism with their latest leans on the artistic concept of the meanders as they might appear in a mosaic, ornamental patterns of winding or interlocking lines.” Musical blocks in sonic temples.