Lifelover

Bethlehem – Bethlehem Review

Bethlehem – Bethlehem Review

“With Christmas just around the corner, it gives me wry amusement that Bethlehem are about to unleash their latest slab of blackened thrash on the unsuspecting masses. Tis the season and Bethlehem are in a very giving kind of mood!” Grim yule tidings.

Graveworm – Ascending Hate Review

Graveworm – Ascending Hate Review

“Not having heard anymore from the Graveworm camp after their 2011 release, you can hardly blame me for assuming the band had realized their obsolescence. Imagine my surprise at getting promo from AFM Records for Ascending Hate. I had to hear it, it was that simple.” Madam X needed to hear some blackened death? In other news: the sun is hot and dogs like steak.

Deadspace – The Promise Of Oblivion Review

Deadspace – The Promise Of Oblivion Review

“Transport yourself if you will to the outer reaches of planet Aegis VII. A routine mining operation’s in progress with the situation fast souring. The year is 2508 and our story opens up with the USG Ishimura as it sends out an ominous distress signal to the Concordance Extraction Corporation (CEC)… I’ve misled you, this is not an overdue review of that Dead Space.” Nerd Alert!

Melencolia Estatica – Hel Review

Melencolia Estatica – Hel Review

Madam X is a dedicated reviewer. In preparation for her thoughtful analysis of Melencolia Estatica’s black metal concept album Hel, she watched the really really old movie that provided the source material, then she did some deep thinking about the music itself. In contrast, Steel Druhm posted sexy pics of the female band member. He’s a slacker pig.

Chasma – Declarations of the Grand Artificer Review

Chasma – Declarations of the Grand Artificer Review

Debut albums are very important. One day when your band has built up a fan-base, people usually come back to your first album when your newer ones suck. So needless to say, it is pivotal to construct something respectable that might be hailed in the future. American trio Chasma are fairly new to the scene, having only released a demo in 2009, but they’re now releasing their first full-length Declarations of the Grand Artificer. Clocking in at a modest 32:33 with three songs, this wasn’t going to be the most accessible black metal record.

Shroud of Despondency – Dark Meditations in Monastic Seclusion Review

Shroud of Despondency – Dark Meditations in Monastic Seclusion Review

Some say that the album is dead. And no, by this I don’t mean vinyl, because for all but the biggest audiophiles vinyl really is dead. I mean the album; a set of interconnected songs that form a whole, that induce you to sit and listen to them all and enjoy. Every truly monumental record is one of those kinds of records, one that should make you want to sit down and listen and just feel that swelling in the chest, or whatever you feel when you find something that really hits home. Few live up to this these days and I think there are several reasons for this, though, I’ll save those for another time. But Shroud of Despondency’s Dark Meditations in Monastic Seclusion is one such record, a cohesive whole and a supremely honest offering which, for all its warts, is a tremendous piece of work.