Jul20

Record(s) o’ the Month – July 2020

Record(s) o’ the Month – July 2020

“Another month grinds by as we squirm in the grips of a global pandemic. Toilet paper made a big comeback recently, but most of life’s little pleasures are still off-limits or subject to restrictions and regulations. Music is still flowing though, and for that we should all be very grateful.” Music is still alive even if rumors have that AMG isn’t.

Bedsore – Hypnagogic Hallucinations Review

Bedsore – Hypnagogic Hallucinations Review

“What’s in a name? Everything and nothing. Death metal has always flirted with the ridiculous in an effort to conjure distasteful imagery. However, Rome’s Bedsore seem to be walking a fine line between punishment and parody. But at a glance, the legendary Gorguts hardly suggests unnatural excellence. Now, their name simply reminds us of humble beginnings. Similarly, if you glanced at Bedsore‘s moniker, rolled your eyes and moved on, then, to quote the immortal Ronnie James Dio: fool, fool.” Don’t fear the seeper.

Howling Giant / Sergeant Thunderhoof – Turned to Stone Chapter 2: Masamune & Muramasa Review

Howling Giant / Sergeant Thunderhoof – Turned to Stone Chapter 2: Masamune & Muramasa Review

“Last year, I had the privilege of contributing a TYMHM review of Nashville stoner trio Howling Giant, with their album The Space Between Worlds. Jampacked with Torche worship and other catchy, fuzz-revering stoner metal greats, it distinguished itself with how it balanced impressive songwriting and performances with a fantastic sense of levity. While it’s hard to take stoner genres seriously in general, Howling Giant just sounds like three dudes at a jam session having the time of their lives, and that energy is infectious. Less than a year later, and we’re graced with a split!” Stones and swords may break your bones, but riffs are where it’s at.

Lantern – Dimensions Review

Lantern – Dimensions Review

“This review is obscenely late. Mostly because I’m trying to complete a PhD and not contract terminal stupidity from my Government. I’ve also been increasingly distracted by death metal’s performance this year. Without doubt, the genre’s legion of revenant revengers have clawed through the rot of 2020 and thrust a flayed face to the light. Lantern, who shone so pallid and putrid in 2017, are of particular note.” Late to the early grave.

Judicator – Let There Be Nothing Review

Judicator – Let There Be Nothing Review

“Thanks entirely to Eldritch Elitist‘s coverage of Judicator‘s last album, The Last Emperor, I discovered one of my favorite new-to-me bands in recent memory. After an initial good impression, The Last Emperor eventually completely won me over, and it landed in my top 10 of 2018. There’s something so pure and magical about the way Judicator combines the influences of Blind Guardian and Iced Earth into a prog/power beast that stands its own. It reminds me of what Demons & Wizards might sound like if their music was actually good.” Nothing is more.

Damnation Angels – Fiber of Our Being Review

Damnation Angels – Fiber of Our Being Review

“Will things ever return to normal? And, if they do, what will ‘normal’ look like? Sometimes it takes every fiber in my body not to lash and scream out at this stupid fucking world. Though the homeless are multiplying outside my bedroom window and even the friendliest people I know look broken down, everything’s fine. So fine. If the apocalypse is truly upon us, it’s fitting that the Damnation Angels will guide us to the flames. So, forward march. Let’s enjoy this new hell with every Fiber of Our Being.” Morale fiber.

Soulrot – Victims of Spiritual Warfare Review

Soulrot – Victims of Spiritual Warfare Review

“By the time you’re an adult you’ve made many life choices and traveled many paths. Some you regret, some you embrace. Entombed‘s legendary Left Hand Path is one of my personal favorites, and 30 years after its release, the legacy of its singular sound lives on. Chile’s Soulrot are big fans of that particular path, and sophomore album Victims of Spiritual Warfare is a loving stroll down the well-trod byway now known as Swedeath.” Pathfinders.

Dystopia A.D. – Rise of the Merciless Review

Dystopia A.D. – Rise of the Merciless Review

“Preconceptions are fun, aren’t they? When I tell you Dystopia A.D. is a 2-man unsigned band from Jersey, or Joisey as it’s colloquially known, you’re already forming a picture in your head. If you’re like me, you’re probably expecting some sort of politically charged thrash, possibly of a crossover or core-related variety. Dystopia is, after all, a word that inherently defines a result of particular forms of governance, and Jersey is known primarily for blue collar thrash, Overkill of course its flag carrier. Combine that with the unsigned 2-man band and the picture seems complete. Except it’s utterly, utterly wrong.” Garden state fake.

High Spirits – Hard to Stop Review

High Spirits – Hard to Stop Review

Hard to Stop seems an apropos title for a new High Spirits platter, as founder and solo performer Chris Black (Dawnbringer, Professor Black, Aktor) cannot easily be dissuaded from his quest to fuse the hard rock playfulness of Thin Lizzy into a metal format. On album number four, he’s once again assembled a collection of high energy rockers built around simple but effective hooks and harmonies.” Never stop never stopping.

Blackballed – Elephant in the Room Review

Blackballed – Elephant in the Room Review

“Standing on my shelf next to other “non-metal” records, like Captain Beyond, Pink Floyd, Johnny Cash, Tom Waits, Waylon Jennings, Blue Öyster Cult, and Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, you’ll find albums from B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Joe Bonamassa, Robert Johnson, and John Lee Hooker. Am I trying to say I’m an expert in the field? Heavens, no. But this would explain my odd selection of (typically) straight-forward, go-nowhere blues/hard rock promos for review. And here’s yet another.” Blues balls.