Katatonia

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.

Dark Tranquillity – Moment Review

Dark Tranquillity – Moment Review

“I’ve always thought Dark Tranquillity was the band that best represented the Gothenburg sound that took hold of metaldom in the early 90s. It’s indisputable that they’re the act that’s aged the most gracefully in the quarter century since the style took hold, as fellow countrymen In Flames and Arch Enemy wandered off into career oblivion. That’s not to say there haven’t been ups and downs in the Dark Tranquillity catalog. That brings us to Moment, their 12th platter of moody melodeath.” Dark moments.

Decembre Noir – The Renaissance of Hope Review

Decembre Noir – The Renaissance of Hope Review

“Has there ever been an album cover that seems to be more of a direct contradiction of the title than this one? A man drowning his wife is The Renaissance of Hope? Seems counter to the theme, until one examines the lyrics and subject matter of this, Decembre Noir’s fourth album. Hope is a very personal subject, especially when viewed through the lens of euthanasia. The hope of the person who is finally allowed to die versus the anguish of the person fulfilling the wish.” The fragility of hope.