Jul21

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.

Galvanizer – Prying Sight of Imperception Review

Galvanizer – Prying Sight of Imperception Review

Galvanizer play some olden death metal, specifically “grinding death metal.” If you’re having AMG-themed déjà vu, you probably remember Cadaveric Incubator’s Nightmare Necropolis from earlier this year. Both bands are similar in sound, having much in common with Entombed and Carcass but neatly avoiding typical Swe-death production values. While not entirely lacking in obvious melodiousness, Galvanizer really counts on the listener enjoying Symphonies of Sickness which, if you like death metal, is a safe bet.” Prying old coffins open.

Praise the Plague – The Obsidian Gate Review

Praise the Plague – The Obsidian Gate Review

“For as generally tired and played out the genre has become as of late, black metal pairs exceptionally well with a cornucopia of disparate genres. Sure, we all know that it goes together with death metal, like a harmonious, spiked-gauntleted, and dog-food-promoting Reese’s peanut butter cup. Doom, however, seems like a stranger chocolate for our humbled corpse-painted nut butter of dubious origins. Something about not only the speed involved, but also the “hurry up and get to the fucking point, already” aspect of doom that would, on the surface at least, seem contradictory to the icy, tremolo-infested sound that birthed many a hooded sweatshirt-clad frost-dweller. Thankfully, we have German quintet Praise the Plague.” Gate creepers.

Archangel A.D. – Casus Belli Review

Archangel A.D. – Casus Belli Review

Archangel A.D. play thrash about as retro as it gets. But even retro thrash has its particular flavors, in this case an even split mixture between Metallica and Annihilator. Aside from the opener, which might as well have been called “King of Spades” for as close as it hews to Motörhead’s classic. Nevertheless, there’s a more than satisfying amount of hooky riffs on Casus Belli, as well as a surprising amount of variety.” Belli of the beast.

Crypt Monarch – The Necronaut Review

Crypt Monarch – The Necronaut Review

“Sometimes, you need something a little bit different. Other times, you need something a lot a bit different. In times other than those, you need a lot of somethings a lot a bit different. This is one of those times for me; for whatever reason, I’m not finding that 2021 is a good year for new music – at all. So I have increasingly been opening my arms and ears far and wide in an attempt to find something different, something new to excite me and rekindle the spark. This path has today led me to Crypt Monarch, a stoner doom band from Costa Rica, and The Necronaut, their debut full-length release.” Lost in Necropolis.