M-Theory Audio

The Absence – Coffinized Review

The Absence – Coffinized Review

“Everyone likes an underdog, and I am no exception. Garnering a solid profile over the years, Florida’s The Absence remain underappreciated purveyors of Scandinavian inspired melodic death, with a twist of Americanized thrash aggression mixed into the equation. Early albums, From the Grave and Riders of the Plague set a high standard, before a lengthy recording hiatus occurred between 2011’s Enemy Unbound and 2018’s comeback opus A Gift for the Obsessed, marking a solid return. Never ones to push the envelope, The Absence have managed to insert enough of their own character into a well worn style to escape stylistic limitations.” We all get Coffinized eventually, kid.

Immortal Guardian – Psychosomatic Review

Immortal Guardian – Psychosomatic Review

“Feats of sheer sonic escapism have defined much of my listening habits in the Covid era. The stronger an artist can nail a “larger than life” aesthetic in sound and concept, the better. My polyamorous affair with Bal-Sagoth and Galneryus has never burned brighter, while new favorites like Finsterforst have dominated my playlists. Immortal Guardian‘s debut Age of Revolution fits comfortably into a similarly overblown mold.” Topic blunder.

Scardust – Strangers Review

Scardust – Strangers Review

“I have a strange relationship with progressive metal. On one hand, I feel like the vast majority of prog is made up of decent song ideas separated from one another by fancy time signatures, self-indulgent experimentation, and other forms of needless wankery. But on the other hand, I proudly claim progressive titans Symphony X and Nevermore as my two favorite bands of all time. Those bands had a way of making their immensely complex compositions seem deceptively simple — a hallmark of a good prog band in my book. To me, progressiveness is really just the amplification of — or an embellishment upon — what a band already does well. Thus, my view that much of today’s “prog” music is really just embellished nothingness. On that cheerful note, enter Israeli progressive metal band Scardust.” Prog for dummies.

Sicarius – God of Dead Roots Review

Sicarius – God of Dead Roots Review

“When we last saw Californian black metal band Sicarius, they were receiving high praise from yours truly for their outstanding debut Serenade of Slitting Throats. I returned to Serenade so its follow-up God of Dead Roots can be put in proper context for this review. This was beneficial, as the differences were in little things – at face value, God of Dead Roots certainly sounds like Sicarius, and Mick Kenney finds himself back behind the boards.” Roots and replanting.

Hazzerd – Delirium Review

Hazzerd – Delirium Review

“While I relish the disgusting lurch and crawl of Asphyx and Autopsy, I’ve never been able to shake my love of blistering, thrashing metal. Reign in Blood kicked down the door, and through that door has charged classics like Slaughter’s Strappado, MercilessThe Awakening, and Morbid Priest’s Spectrum of Death into my iron heart and album collection. I can’t get enough of the stuff, but after listening to …And Justice for All again, I rediscovered my enjoyment of that vein of thrash as well – Metallica was my gateway into metal, after all. Hazzerd is a relatively young Canadian band who play this second type of thrash.” Speed Hazzerds ahead.

Hecate Enthroned – Embrace of the Godless Aeon Review

Hecate Enthroned – Embrace of the Godless Aeon Review

“January has been… slow for quality metal releases. Can Hecate Enthroned buck the trend and save us all? Embrace of the Godless Aeon is the sixth album from these Brits as they push past the twentieth year in their recording career. Coming off a five year release gap and sporting a new vocalist, is there any hellfire left in their demonic well of blackened death metal?” Embrace the orchestration.

Into Eternity – The Sirens Review

Into Eternity – The Sirens Review

“Well, this is a band I didn’t expect to see again; I actually didn’t recognize the name until several listens in, having gotten properly into metal after their mid-2000s heyday. These days, Into Eternity are possibly best known as the band from which Iced Earth poached their fifth and current vocalist Stu Block. However, they were always a force to be reckoned with and now they’re back with a vengeance after a decade since their last opus, The Incurable Tragedy.” Sing us a song, you’re a siren.

Immortal Guardian – Age of Revolution Review

Immortal Guardian – Age of Revolution Review

“When I was first testing the waters of various metal subgenres over a decade ago, in order to familiarize myself with the scene as a whole, something became immediately apparent: I do not like virtuoso-helmed acts. Though bands like DragonForce, that relied on high-flying technical artistry, were standbys in my early days of metal fandom, it was clear to me as soon as I encountered a seventy-five minute, single-track instrumental shred album that indulgence at the cost of songwriting was standard practice.” Shred is not dead.

The Absence – A Gift for the Obsessed Review

The Absence – A Gift for the Obsessed Review

“Even as a child of the internet era, there are a few things that have declined with its spread, for which I hold a bittersweet fondness. One of those is the once-geographic nature of the different metal scenes; while the influence of place is not gone, it hardly holds the sway it once did. Case in point: The Absence are a Tampa, Florida based act, but to the ear, they should be from Gothenburg. Offering an hour slab of At the Gates worship for their fourth album, A Gift for the Obsessed, The Absence bear a difficult task, as this style is well-worn. Do they have the chops to pull it off?” Did Absence make the heart grow fonder, or fatter?

Novareign – Legends Review

Novareign – Legends Review

“Risking sideways looks around the break room, I harbor an innate soft spot for DragonForce. You can say what you want about their incessant need to beat their frets to death, but it still resulted in some damn catchy songs. Plus, I was that kid who was way better at Guitar Hero than everyone else. DragonForce couldn’t repel more girls if they wore orthodontic headgear with a d20 strapped to it, so naturally Teenage Mutant Metal Wvrm loved them. Novareign clearly feel the same way.” Welcome to Wankville.