Jorn

Blaze of Sorrow – Absentia Review

Blaze of Sorrow – Absentia Review

“It’s amazing the things you discover lurking around the Promo Pit. Blaze of Sorrow is not a band that has been on my radar, but between that album art (I mean, look at it), that name (Absentia is such a cool name it nets you twelve band name search results on Metallum), and the promise of “windswept, cascading black metal [that] is undoubtedly melancholic at heart” (I know, I know, marketing copy is marketing copy, but what can I say, it sounded good), I was sold on Blaze of Sorrow‘s Absentia before I’d heard a single note.” Grand declaration of expectations.

Crobot – Motherbrain Review

Crobot – Motherbrain Review

“When you’re coursing through the frightening wastes that constitute the promo bin at AMG, it can be easy to get lost in the sea of variety that exists within. So sometimes it’s nice to cast complexity to the wind and settle for some good old-fashioned “heavy metal.” No subtle keyboard wizardry, no special effects to carry me into another realm, no technical nonsense, just distorted guitars and shouting in tune for forty-four minutes or so. Crobot, you are what I was looking for this day.” Simplicity is the Crobot key.

Yer Metal Is Olde: Katatonia – Tonight’s Decision

Yer Metal Is Olde: Katatonia – Tonight’s Decision

Katatonia are something like my anti Pokémon: when I first discovered them, circa Viva Emptiness, I shared none of the love that the rest of the metalsphere had for the Swedes, and yet it and each subsequent album would eventually dig the band a little deeper into what’s become their home at the innermost depths of my heartcicle. Like the infamous pocket monsters ov yore, each successive Katatonia offering has introduced new defining elements to their makeup, constantly evolving and establishing distinct historical chapters in their wake. Today we revisit Tonight’s Decision, an album that bade farewell to Katatonia‘s violent youthful tendencies and set them on a course for dark prog greatness.” They chose…wisely.

The Projectionist – Visits from the Nighthag Part 2 Review

The Projectionist – Visits from the Nighthag Part 2 Review

“All was dark, the sound of falling rain my only companion as I watched the world from atop Black Mount Promo. Hushed whispers warning of The Nighthag’s return had found their way to my ears, and I had to be sure. Before long, Iightning split the sky, shattering the surrounding dark, and there she was: The Nighthag, back for Part 2 of her deadly visit to our lands, summoned by The Projectionist.” From hags to riches.

Pulver – Kings Under the Sand Review

Pulver – Kings Under the Sand Review

“Things have been rather hectic here at the Hall as ov late. N00blings are blossoming into semi-functional writers, eagerly frittering about with their promos clasped to their chests and causing general chaos as they run amok. Adding further confusion to the fray, THE SYSTEM… IS DOWN; our website maintenance platform has been as cooperative as Julian Assange, thrusting our fabled Sentynel into a battle that has left vast digital bedlam in its wake. Amidst this sea of gleefully scurrying hordes and flames, order is nowhere to be found. In all this madness, I heard a voice cry out, choked and rasping from ash and years of hobo wine: ‘One of you overrating bastards better cover Pulver, or I’ll see to it that Madam X haunts you to the end of your Jørn-forsaken lives!'” Consequences and repercussions.

Sol Sistere – Cold Extinguished Light Review

Sol Sistere – Cold Extinguished Light Review

“Ov all the cruel ironies in this angry metal world, black metal’s oversaturated state, at this point presumably mere days from breaching mainstream radio status, is likely the one that yanks my unicorn the most. That the brave new musical world discovered by such wanderers as Burzum, Mayhem, and Bathory would be further explored and defiled in time was never a question, yet the rampant proliferation of new obsidian acts we find ourselves plagued with is less akin to expansion than to… well, frankly, a fucking plague.” Semi-cold.

Steel Prophet – The God Machine Review

Steel Prophet – The God Machine Review

Steel Prophet has endured an up and down career of late. They started life as a highly prolific heavy metal band sounding like a cross between Queensrÿche and Iced Earth, churning out 7 albums between 1995 and 2004. Then they fell completely silent until 2014s surprise comeback album, Omniscient. It was a respectable reunion outing and it had me hoping the Prophet was back in a late career groove. Then another four long years went by without a peep and I assumed they were dead in the water again, until album number nine The God Machine arrived unexpectedly.” God as tech.

Herman Frank – Fight the Fear Review

Herman Frank – Fight the Fear Review

Herman Frank made his metal bones by playing guitar alongside Wolf Hoffman on Accept‘s early and influential albums like Restless and Wild and Balls to the Wall. He then took a decades-long hiatus, returning for the band’s first few post-Udo albums before decamping once again to helm his eponymous project. His solo output hasn’t fallen far from the Accept tree, but always steered closer to classic hard rock ideas and formulas. This rock influence became more prominent on 2016s The Devil Rides Out, and the trend continues on fourth outing, Fight the Fear.” Fear is the mindkiller.

Whyzdom – As Time Turns to Dust Review

Whyzdom – As Time Turns to Dust Review

“In the curd kingdom of Powermetapolis, in the days just before World War III, things were not well. A cruel wizard, known as Dread Lord Chëëse, had descended upon Powermetapolis with his army — the Trite Trope Troop — and engulfed the lands in flames of predictable parmesan. The echoes of endless Epica clones haunted the air with their carbon-copy cries, over-the-top orchestral orchids had all but choked the indigenous metal flora into extinction, and the kingdom found itself reduced to a laughable shell of its former potential in the wake of the invading tides. Times were trvly tough for Powermetapolis, and in 2007 a group of a peculiar species known as Frenchmen formed an alliance known as Whyzdom, a musical militia whose mission was to bring back the life, the glory, and the powah to the kingdom.” Take the powah back!

Preludio Ancestral – Oblivion Review

Preludio Ancestral – Oblivion Review

“Next up on the AMG stack of rotating power metal promos is the fourth studio album from Argentinian independent sympho-heavy/power entity Preludio Ancestral, a band heretofore bound to digital obscurity in the South American underground. The band’s past fits with my general impression of many underground metal acts from South American nations: a strange amalgamation of Spanish and English lyricism, bizarre album cover art, and a penchant for very eccentric, almost anarchical musical stylings that run the gamut from alternative rock, Manowar-hailing shirtless heavy metal, and Euro-styled power metal across individual albums.” Hail, hail the shirtless.