Katatonia

Deathwhite – Grey Everlasting Review

Deathwhite – Grey Everlasting Review

Deathwhite clearly enjoy the role of enigmatic mega-mystery band. For ten long years, they’ve toiled to release dark, gothy-tinged doom music with cascading negative thoughts and feelings, and all without revealing who is actually in the band. Their sound has gone through some evolution over the decade but here on album number three, Grey Everlasting, they’ve firmly locked themselves into the same soundscape as Katatonia and Warning, dropping much of the alt-metal elements in favor of bleak, unhappy odes to bummertude.” Grey is the new grey.

Lux Incerta – Dark Odyssey Review

Lux Incerta – Dark Odyssey Review

“Another review, another band with a ten-year gap between albums. When I was a young whipper-snapper, the gap was ten months! C’mon bands, get prolific again. Okay, anyhow, French dark metal act Lux Incerta produced a promising debut, now-ironically entitled A Decade of Dusk, back in 2012. If I were reviewing back in those days, it would have received one of those “there are a number of issues but this is a promising debut and I look forward to seeing where they go from here” summaries. Strong in many areas, clearly influenced by bands such as My Dying Bride and Katatonia, but still a ways to go in maturing and honing their sound.” Darkness fanciers.

Kuolemanlaakso – Kuusumu Review

Kuolemanlaakso – Kuusumu Review

Kuolemanlaakso have been a tricky beast to track over their 10-year existence. Featuring Swallow the Sun‘s Mikko Kotamäki on vocals and several members of Chaoweaver, they started out as a straightforward doom-death act. They evolved into something stranger and more expansive by their sophomore opus Tulijoutsen, blending several genres together into an intriguing and unique sound. Two years later they befuddled everyone by releasing M. Laakso – Vol I: The Gothic Tapes, which had nothing to do with their prior sound, replacing it with a rocked-out, cheesy goth metal. It was such a startling departure that I wrote the band off entirely. Five years of silence followed, and now they return with Kuusumu and yet another shift in sound and style.” Beast of unknown origin.

Swallow the Sun – Moonflowers Review

Swallow the Sun – Moonflowers Review

“There hasn’t been much positivity coming from the Swallow the Sun camp these last few years. The tragic passing of guitarist Juha Raivio’s partner and Trees of Eternity collaborator Aleah Stanbridge led to a grief-driven release from Raivio’s Hallatar project as well as the unrelentingly depressive When a Shadow is Forced Into the Light from this group. Years pass and pain diminishes, but based on what we get on Moonflowers, it seems Mr. Raivio is still struggling to get back to the light.” Aphotic hypnotic.

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.