Mantar

Contrite Metal Guy – Mistakes Were Made

Contrite Metal Guy – Mistakes Were Made

“The life of the unpaid, overworked metal reviewer is not an easy one. Cascading promos, unreasonable deadlines, draconian editors and the unwashed metal mobs – it makes for a swirling maelstrom of music and madness. In all that tumult, errors are bound to happen and sometimes our initial impression of an album may not be completely accurate. With time and distance comes wisdom, and so we’ve decided to pull back the confessional curtain and reveal our biggest blunders, missteps, oversights and ratings face-plants. Consider this our sincere AMGea culpa. Redemption is retroactive, forgiveness is mandatory.” Bygones begone.

Wolf King – Loyal to the Soil [Things You Might Have Missed 2018]

Wolf King – Loyal to the Soil [Things You Might Have Missed 2018]

Wolf King‘s impressive debut LP Loyal to the Soil dropped back in April and marked the young Californian band as an act to watch. Vitriolic blackened hardcore sits at the core of Wolf King‘s sound, with sludgy beat-downs and whiffs of grind fleshing out their confident and aggressive formula. Although by no means a pair of peas in a pod, there’re certainly some aesthetic and tonal similarities with Germany’s Mantar, with Wolf King arguably having the upper hand when comparing their 2018 releases.” Wolf King can do anything.

Mantar – The Modern Art of Setting Ablaze Review

Mantar – The Modern Art of Setting Ablaze Review

“The Contrite Metal Guy inside me has Mantar‘s powerhouse 2016 sophomore album Ode to the Flame on a shortlist for downgrading. And although I believe I was a little too generous with the scoring, the album still impressed greatly and I’ve been able to rely on the German duo for high quality punk and doom infested blackened sludge since their stunning debut, Death by Burning, dropped in 2014. It seems the rest of the world is catching on rapidly, judging by Mantar‘s ever growing stature and swelling popularity within the modern metal scene. Now, The Modern Art of Setting Ablaze is in the can, along with a heaving load of anticipation for the all important third full-length opus.” Art as punishment.

4 Days of Death: The Maryland Deathfest Diaries

4 Days of Death: The Maryland Deathfest Diaries

“Anyone who’s seen The Wire knows Baltimore can be a rough place, but on Memorial Day weekend every year, things get especially brutal. Hundreds of rabid metal fans from all over the world descend on ‘Charm City’ to participate in Maryland Deathfest, and the result is four days of moshing, headbanging, and partying like it’s 1989.” Death to all.

Highland – Loyal to the Nightsky Review

Highland – Loyal to the Nightsky Review

“Though I appreciate black metal and listen to my fair share of the genre, generally I’m more of a death metal guy, so I’m particularly selective when it comes to choosing artists to engage my black metal fix. When perusing the promo portal, for some reason the band name, album title and unsigned status of American/Armenian trio Highland was enough to pique my interest and curiosity. Plying their trade with a minimum of fuss, Highland channel Scandinavian second wave influences, spiked with shades of the livewire thrashing energy of Absu, riff-driven groove of Vreid, and seething wallop of Mantar, delivering an aggressive and dynamic album.” It’s over Anakin….

Allfather – Bless the Earth with Fire Review

Allfather – Bless the Earth with Fire Review

“Back in January, St. Louis trio The Lion’s Daughter caught a few of us off guard here at the AMG offices with their grotesque and captivating sophomore LP, Existence Is Horror. The record was surprisingly impressive for such an early-year release, and it even had AMG himself proclaiming that 2016 would be the Year of Blackened Sludge. If Allfather’s Bless the Earth with Fire proves anything, AMG was at least half right.” AMG is generally between 1/4 and 1/2 right.

Mantar – Ode to the Flame Review

Mantar – Ode to the Flame Review

“German duo Mantar stormed the underground, cracking skulls and galloping to glory with their scorching debut album, Death by Burning in 2014. Fusing raucous black metal with spiteful sludge and doomy slogs, Mantar’s punked-up energy, fuck-the-world attitude and an abundance of primal riffs and gnarly hooks kept me gripped and hungry for more. On the back of the album Mantar deservedly scored a deal with Nuclear Blast for the anticipated release of the all important sophomore album. So with the big wigs behind them, can Mantar deliver on the considerable promise they displayed first time round?” So much buzz!

Stuck in the Filter – February’s Angry Misses

Stuck in the Filter – February’s Angry Misses

“In the first of what will (hopefully) be a monthly column, Stuck in the Filter will shine a light on a handful of albums that didn’t get proper love upon release date. So, without further chatter, here’s some quick samples and quicker blurbs on some notable releases that didn’t get the full five-hundred.” In any given month, mistakes are made and things are missed. To partially ameliorate this unavoidable fact of life, we delve into the greasy, unclean filter of the AMG promo bin. Wear your gloves.