Kataklysm

Kataklysm – Unconquered Review

Kataklysm – Unconquered Review

“I’ve stuck by Kataklysm for a long time. The Quebecois death metal institution has remained a personal favorite for ages, partly because I grew up with the stuff. I became a fan through great records like Shadows & Dust, Serenity in Fire, In the Arms of Devastation, and the underrated Prevail. One tends to associate the era of a band most formative to their tastes with the sound of that band, which makes sense; that’s what caused them to become a fan, after all. As time takes its toll, things change; we can’t stagnate forever. Sometimes, after an absence, we don’t recognize our friend for a moment. Such was my initial reaction to Unconquered.” Identity crisis.

Illdisposed – Reveal Your Soul for the Dead Review

Illdisposed – Reveal Your Soul for the Dead Review

“Back in my younger years, I played in a little local band that was glorified Obituary-core. I had no delusions of grandeur, unless “grandeur” was playing at seedy bars for beer money some weekends. It was fun, and it was what I wanted to write and play at the time. Recently, before seeing Iron Maiden for the fourth time, my friend – who was in the old band for a spell – said that if he started another band, he’d want it to be Kataklysm 2.0. He quickly corrected himself and said it would be Kataklysm 0.9, as there was no way to beat Kataklysm at their own game. This was a somewhat unfortunate development – I’d love to play death metal with my friend again, but Kataklysm 0.9 already exists in the form of Danish death metal band Illdisposed.” Math is hard.

Backstabber – Conspiracy Theorist Review

Backstabber – Conspiracy Theorist Review

“Oh Canada. How doth thee provideth the world oodles of death metal. The country never seems to run out of new bands to show off every year. Usually I can expect good things from most of those bands, too, which is all the more impressive. To kick off the new year ov death metal, I abducted Québécois Backstabber and their self-released debut Conspiracy Theorist. Ten tracks (seven proper, three instrumental) of modernized death metal with a politically charged message of subterfuge and paranoia sounds like an interesting proposition. Can these guys sell me their scandals, or will they simply appear to me as loonies in tin-foil hats?” Watch the skies.

Ad Patres – A Brief Introduction to Human Experiments Review

Ad Patres – A Brief Introduction to Human Experiments Review

“A hacky joke that everyone can relate to is the excruciating process of picking a restaurant with a woman who’s okay with ‘anywhere.’ ‘No, I don’t feel like tacos.’ ‘No, I had red meat two days ago and that’s a steakhouse.’ ‘We went there two months ago, I want something new.’ ‘It’s not called The B.K. Lounge, it’s Burger King, and we’re not going there.’ Repeat ad infinitum, or at least ad fame. Before we get too comfy on our high horse (or eat it on a pizza, which is shockingly delicious), metalheads generally are the same way.” Delicious like horse pizza?

Vane – Black Vengeance Review

Vane – Black Vengeance Review

“If you’re anything like me, you often find yourself pondering the great questions of the universe. For instance, like me you’ve probably wondered what would happen if Lamb of God and Kataklysm made sweet love while Alestorm sat in the corner reading them a bedtime story. Unlike most of the big questions plaguing humanity, we no longer have to speculate on this one. Polish band Vane love drama on the high seas, and on their debut album Black Vengeance, they throw their three-pointed hat into the hotly contested ring of pirate metal. Is this going to be worth the pay-per-view fee?” Hoist the N00bs and batten down the skull pit!

Unearth – Exctinction(s) Review

Unearth – Exctinction(s) Review

“I’ve always liked Unearth’s style of metalcore, which I first encountered on the genre classic The Oncoming Storm. That’s their high-water mark for me, and the sound of Americanized Swedish melo-death with the breakdowns of metalcore hit both the melodic and kinetic sweet spots. Yes, structurally it was predictable; you could bet successfully that if there was a chugging bit then a melodic one was right around the corner or vice versa, but it worked like gangbusters. The more Unearth adheres to their established sound, in my view, the better.” Stay in your lane!

Vuohi – Witchcraft Warfare Review

Vuohi – Witchcraft Warfare Review

“It’s 6:50 PM on a cold Saturday night. I’m tapping my foot impatiently, waiting for my lovely girlfriend — a few months my elder, and perhaps a bit slower moving, therefore — to come out from her room. ‘Come on, darling,’ I say, double-checking my tie in the mirror, ‘we’ll be late if we don’t leave soon.’ I hear the door open, and expect to be floored; she always looks so good in dresses, and this is a formal event. I turn around and do a triple-take — she’s wearing a strawberry onesie. I’m left confused as to what her intentions were, and I may perhaps never figure it out. May as well make the most of it, right? This ethos permeated my listening time with the Finnish band Vuohi’s debut full-length Witchcraft Warfare.” Kitchen sink-core.

Kataklysm – Meditations Review

Kataklysm – Meditations Review

“There was a time some years ago where I never read anything about metal on the internet. My knowledge of the genre came from the music itself and books like Ian Christe’s indispensable Sound of the Beast. My barometer of taste was my group of friends; a record that we’d spin endlessly and enjoy together was a great one. Kataklysm’s Prevail was one such record, and it’s remained a favorite throughout the years. Entering into the digital wilds of the internet age, I was shocked to find that there existed people who didn’t think the Maurizio Iacono fronted version of Kataklysm was great. All the pedantic arguments in the world never dimmed my enthusiasm for the band, and every new release of theirs is met with great anticipation from me.” Meditative destruction.

Subservience – Forest of the Impaled Review

Subservience – Forest of the Impaled Review

Subservience‘s Forest of the Impaled, on the other hand, is a violent war waged through the militaristic practices of Grave, Vader, Dismember, and Hypocrisy. I know what you’re thinking: not more Swe/Poland–death. Legitimate complaint. But, while Forest of the Impaled isn’t the most engaging or original of releases, it has just enough going on for it to avoid being the discharged aftermath of their predecessors’ lustful ways.” You picked the wrong forest…again.