Jul21

Dimman – Songs and Tales of Grievance Review

Dimman – Songs and Tales of Grievance Review

“There’s something refreshing about looking at an album cover and not having any idea what you’re supposed to be seeing, but knowing exactly what you’re meant to feel. Bleak, muted despairing agony radiates from the succinctly-titled Songs and Tales of Grievance, and that was always going to be hard for me to pass up. The artist is Dimman, a Finnish sextet, and this is, as far as I can tell, their first release under this moniker. Peddling modern melodic death metal, the band’s approach is a familiar one, assured and confident despite the album’s debut status.” The airing of grievances will now commence.

Groza – The Redemptive End Review

Groza – The Redemptive End Review

“I was tentative about taking this album. I was familiar with Groza‘s debut Unified in Void from 2018, granting it a casual listen and making that “not bad” Obama Rage Comic face from 2012. If one peruses the Metallum profile of these Germans, you’ll be graced with the shocking sight of a whopping 0% average review score from three reviews. Why, you ask? Probably because — and maybe this is obvious given the act’s name and a certain Polish full-length debut — Groza sounds a hell of a lot like Mgła. That’s unfair, awarding no merit to an album simply because it imitates another. I mean, if fans cancelled every act that sounded like Transilvanian Hunger, we’d have no black metal left.” The end of influence?

Eastern High – Halo Review

Eastern High – Halo Review

“The year of shitty band names continues with Eastern High. If you think that moniker sounds like a high school, well, that’s because it is, located in Cardiff, Wales. In fact, the school is the top result when you search for Eastern High. But unlike its handle, the band (which is from Sweden, not Wales) apparently hides enough quality to make dear TheKenWord cuss me out for snatching it from the promo bin while he was looking the other way.” Moderate speed times at Eastern High.

Amnessia Eterna – Malditos Review

Amnessia Eterna – Malditos Review

“Since Steel‘s clammy, hairy hand forced me to write for this illustrious establishment, I’ve noticed a trend. The trend is the inconsistency of thrash releases. It’s like the entire genre gets together as one unit of foul-mouthed dinosaurs, balding dads, and pizza-hungry horror enthusiasts to decide when to release albums. They sit around chugging Mylanta, Steel Reserve, and Truly, talking their trade and comparing solos. After evaluating the recorded material at this annual meeting, they’ll make a decision. The decision this year? No releases. Who made the decision? No one really knows. At this point, everyone’s puking from overdoing it on alcohol and stomach acid. At next year’s meeting, the verdict will flip. Or, so everyone hopes.” Thrash rebels.

Blacksword – Alive Again Review

Blacksword – Alive Again Review

“With a tagline of “heavy metal from Siberia” and an eye-catchingly awful cover, Blacksword caught this primate’s primal attention. This is the sophomore outing by a group that last released something way back in 2010, so I wasn’t expecting a whole heck of a lot from these cold weather warriors. What you get on Alive Again however is a surprisingly spry and enjoyable dose of epic flavored traditional metal borrowing from the American power metal sound of the 80s as well as modern acts like Iced Earth and Diviner.” From Russia with iron glove.

Moon Reaper – Descent Review

Moon Reaper – Descent Review

“I don’t know about you guys, but I’m a genre stickler at heart. I find a lot of comfort knowing where to fit every release that comes across my doorstep, so when acts swoop in to challenge that, I’m simultaneously uneasy and intrigued. There are plenty of folks that fall into this category but perhaps the most intriguing has been the UK act Conjurer. I’ve seen these lads described as everything from Swallow the Sun-esque death/doom, Cult of Luna-worshiping post-metal/sludge, to the blackened doom of Thou. 2018’s Mire is a landmark in its own right, and as we anxiously await its followup, we find newcomers Moon Reaper, definitely fans of Conjurer.” Genre reaping.

Lotus Thrones – Lovers in Wartime Review

Lotus Thrones – Lovers in Wartime Review

“Heath Rave is the man behind Lotus Thrones. He was also the drummer for Wolvhammer and Across Tundras. This solo project came to be, as many have, due to last year’s many months of quarantine. Rave started Lotus Thrones to return to creating music, moving in directions not really related to his former bands but showing influence from acts such as Neurosis, Sisters of Mercy, and more.” Things to do during plague.

Arna – Dragged to a Lunar Grave Review

Arna – Dragged to a Lunar Grave Review

Arna lists Spectral Wound as an influence, and the perfunctory cover art bears an uncanny resemblance to that band’s recent (stellar) album, A Diabolic Thirst. But whereas A Diabolic Thirst featured an image with depth and nuance, Arna’s is flat and more minimal, and this is a helpful metaphor for separating the two bands. Arna plays old school, furious black metal, but with a much grimier, flattened production, and at a far more sedate pace than the relentless fury of Spectral Wound.” Arna you tired of black metal yet?

Expunged – Into Never Shall Review

Expunged – Into Never Shall Review

“What would you do if you came into possession of a functioning time travel device? Some would undoubtedly set out to right great historical wrongs. Noble stuff that. Unlike these do-gooders, the three low-life bastards in Expunged would blast back to 1990 and make Left Hand Path way more raw, ugly and unpolished. Also a noble endeavor if you ask me.” Violent revision.