Kalmah

Dawn of Disease – Procession of Ghosts [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

Dawn of Disease – Procession of Ghosts [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

“My first “real” metal band was Iron Maiden. The second was Children of Bodom, and through them, I found other melodic death metal bands like Norther and Kalmah. These last three bands were all listed on Metal Archives as “power metal with harsh vocals,” as a kind of elitist bid to disassociate melodic death metal that was too melodic from the “death” part of the label. While it was kind of a ridiculous strategy, it is true that there’s a major subsection of melodic death metal that has little in common with death metal aside from growls or screams.” Death’s revenge.

Crepuscle – Heavenly Skies Review

Crepuscle – Heavenly Skies Review

“With scant few acts from the golden era of Finnish melodic death metal living up to their former glitter and gusto, the torch has been unwittingly passed across state lines. From Æther Realm to Aephanemer, the kids who grew up worshiping at the altars of Ensiferum, Children of Bodom, and scores of others are now handily matching the quality of their influences. California’s Crepuscle is no exception.” The American way.

Stormlord – Far Review

Stormlord – Far Review

“Every once a while we at AMG hack and slash each other for promos. In this case, I slice-and-diced one Very Messy Individual™ (Holdeneye) in the name of a symphonic death metal band by the name of Stormlord. You see, symphonic death and symphonic black metal seem to be on the upswing this year.” Storming with malice.

Aephanemer – Prokopton Review

Aephanemer – Prokopton Review

“The vaunted sophomore album. The dreaded sophomore album. It’s a metal rite of passage nowadays, fully reflective of our hyper-streamlined society, for the raw and promising to go from who-the-fucks to our favorite bands in an insanely compressed period of time. This tends to be especially true for AMG favorites—see Wilderun, Æther Realm, Khemmis, Cân Bardd, Altars of Grief, Hamferð, etc., etc. Since the opening bars of their 2016 debut Momento Mori, I prayed that someday Aephanemer would assume their rightful place in that most hallowed legion.” One giant step.

Shed the Skin – We of Scorn Review

Shed the Skin – We of Scorn Review

“The music on the sophomore release by Cleveland’s death metal quintet Shed the Skin is deceptively simple. In its core, the band’s possessed, groove-laden death metal is propelled steadily forward at medium pace and with a certain brutality characteristic for Hells Headbangers’ roster. Around these straightforward and conventional structures, floating somewhere between thrash, old school, and modern death metal, the group cultivates an abundance of flair and an aura of tight frolic.” Frolic through the grave park.

Kalmah – Palo Review

Kalmah – Palo Review

Kalmah could be a fine case study for some poor grad student’s research into band development. Finland’s favorite sons grew up overnight, discovering their unique and — dare I say — iconic sound as young whipper-snappers. They caught the thicket of mid-period lows underfoot and freed themselves through personal evolution, not brute strength. They retooled into an incredibly consistent act not wholly unalike their early days, but not overtly similar either. It’s been nearly five years since Kalmah last stomped the swamp, and Palo would be more a shock if it wasn’t the beautiful bog beast we all expected.” Muckrakers.

Serenity in Murder – The Eclipse [Things You Might Have Missed 2017]

Serenity in Murder – The Eclipse [Things You Might Have Missed 2017]

“There’s a special little subcategory of my year-end list this year that I’m tentatively dubbing “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Finnish!” With much of that country’s melodeath old guard either disbanded, commercialized, or in an ongoing slump, it makes sense that other countries are picking up the slack. And one of the finest examples of the faux-Finn sound you’ll hear this year comes straight from Japan.” Japan to the rescue.

X.Kernel – Face the Truth Review

X.Kernel – Face the Truth Review

“How do you feel about keyboards? Do you like ’em gloomy and atmospheric? Synthy and cheesy? Perhaps the classic piano flavor does it for you. Whatever your tastes, X.Kernel have got you covered. Their debut Face the Truth follows eight long years of melodic rumination and, if the album art can be believed, enough Phoenix Wright to cause nightmares.” Keys to the kingdom.

70000 Tons of Metal: One Man’s Journey

70000 Tons of Metal: One Man’s Journey

“My friends ask me what happened, but my ability to verbally communicate has been reduced to moaning and a weeping noise that sounds something like a baby panda crying for milk. I wonder how I’m going to make it through the final day of this floating festival. I wonder when the aching will subside. I wonder where my life went so wrong. How did I end up here, on the 7th annual 70000 Tons of Metal cruise, weak with exhaustion and feeling like my body has been bludgeoned with a sledgehammer? My mind drifts back…” Tales from a 70000 ton heavy thing.