Katatonia

Yer Metal Is Olde: Katatonia – Last Fair Deal Gone Down

Yer Metal Is Olde: Katatonia – Last Fair Deal Gone Down

“The year of our Angry Metal Overlord 2001 was a “very good year,” to quote the everyone who has ever spoken about wine in a movie. Indeed, the year that produced Opeth’s epic and scene-changing Blackwater Park and Propagandhi’s Today’s Empires, Tomorrow’s Ashes, also gave us Mutter by Rammstein, Awakening the World by Lost Horizon and Laundry Service by Shakira. But is Last Fair Deal Gone Down the best album released in 2001?”

Vouna – Atropos Review

Vouna – Atropos Review

Vouna was one of my first reviews here at AMG. While I certainly feel dated by the release of Atropos, it also allows me time to reflect. Sole member Yianna Bekris has undoubtedly honed her craft, and I’d like to think that I have as well, even as the morale-boosting beatings continue and the terrifying ape-in-charge keeps staring at me from the dark corner over there. An associate of Wolves in the Throne Room‘s Weaver brothers, Bekris took me completely off-guard with Vouna‘s self-titled debut in 2018, an effort dubbed “funeral doom” but was anything but the bellowing subterranean lurching we’ve come to know and love. Atropos offers a huge step forward, adding a healthy dose of obscurity and an unrelentingly bleak atmosphere to sink your teeth into.” Bleak houses.

Ablaze My Sorrow – Among Ashes and Monoliths Review

Ablaze My Sorrow – Among Ashes and Monoliths Review

“Melodeath is a tough sub-genre to review because it exists in a constant state of tension. It’s pulled in three directions constantly: death metal at one point, traditional heavy metal at another, and power metal at the third. The ebb and flow between these is what makes it enjoyable, but it’s also what divides fans. Err too much to one end and the music sounds “death metal-lite.” Err towards another and it resembles strained power-metal without any heft. The best melodeath is able to resolve these tensions, creating a palatable middle-ground. The Swedish melodeath scene of the 90s mastered this, and was pivotal to the movement’s popularity. A minor, but not inconsequential, contributor was Falkenberg’s awkwardly titled Ablaze My Sorrow.” Pain in the ash.

Soen – Imperial CD Review

Soen – Imperial CD Review

AMG Himself and I come at Soen from slightly different directions. Our overlord fell in love with this band in spite of the overt Tool worship present on their initial releases, and felt that Ekelöf was their secret weapon, a vocalist of sublime talent. For AMG Himself, the band started off near the top of their game and have only gotten better over their first four albums. This writer, however, got on board with Soen because of their Tool worship (and the fantastic rhino artwork on Tellurian), and I felt what was holding the band back on their first three release was, in fact, the vocals.” Soen the seeds ov love.

Counting Hours – The Will [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

Counting Hours – The Will [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

“Longtime members of the AMG metal intelligentsia are likely aware I enjoy me some melancholy melodeath and downbeat mope-core. Said intelligentsia may also have noticed I tend to namedrop long-defunct Finnish melodeath act Rapture rather frequently. That’s because I really loved their sound and truly miss them since they called it a day after releasing the excellently bleak Silent Stage way back in 2005. Over the years various bands helped fill the hole left in my wretched soul, but no one could truly replace Rapture. Finland’s Counting Hours may have come as close as inhumanly possibly though with their debut The Will.” Inherit the sadness.

Exgenesis – Solve et Coagula [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

Exgenesis – Solve et Coagula [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

“That glorious moment when you find a fucking cool record and you excitedly run off to tell your friends fellow captive writers about it. That awkward moment when one of them is like “oh yeah, I was telling everyone about this a few weeks back – wait, you were there, weren’t you?” And all you’re thinking is “die.” In this case, my sternest death stare was directed at the insufferable Cherd of Doom for it was he, not me, that first tooted the trumpet of Swedish-Colombian melodic doom/death dealers Exgenesis and their stunning full-length debut, Solve et Coagula.” Spiteballs and Coagula.