Mar18

Eldritch – Cracksleep Review

Eldritch – Cracksleep Review

“It’s always more difficult to review a band with an established discography when you’ve never heard of them in the first place. Such is the case with Eldritch, a prolific Italian power metal outfit with a whopping 11 albums under their belt since their 1991 inception. Allegedly, their earlier works contained such influences as Metallica, Machine Head, and Pantera, but 17 years and a few line-up changes can do a lot to a band (right, Metal Magic?) In case of Eldritch, their experience has pushed power and progressive tendencies to the forefront, settling on a sound from the neighborhood of Angra for their new release, the curiously titled Cracksleep.” Eldritch non-elitist.

Cân Bardd – Nature Stays Silent Review

Cân Bardd – Nature Stays Silent Review

First-time long-time readers will note this site’s rep for lofty production expectations. Hell, even yours truly, who once indulged in sub-100 kbps Youtube rips, the food court Chinese of music formats, somehow finds himself infected with those same insidious ideals. Still, that total production meltdown, the one that drags down a perfectly otherwise great score and results in public gnashing of teeth, has escaped me. So when I saw that Nature Stays Silent was mixed by a 19-year-old one-man band ‘at home,’ I braced my eardrums for maximum pain.” Bardd of hearing.

JIRM – Surge Ex Monumentis Review

JIRM – Surge Ex Monumentis Review

“First of all, look at that cover. If that isn’t one of the most glorious pieces of album art, I don’t know what is. It reminds me ever so slightly of Dio’s old mascot, but JIRM don’t worship at that altar. No, the band formerly known as Jeremy Irons and the Ratgang Malibus. play a groove-filled psych/stoner blend with plenty of progressive tendencies, and Surge Ex Monumentis is their first album under the shortened moniker. After three albums with their cumbersome old name. Why the name change? To distance themselves from a washed-up, mean old actor, or to just give us less to try and remember? And what else besides the name has changed?” Up the Jeremy Irons!

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?

The Golden Grass – Absolutely Review

The Golden Grass – Absolutely Review

“I love that title. Absolutely. It’s so charming. So affirmative. The Golden Grass, too, which sounds like a chip off the old rural-prog block made famous by the likes of Jethro Tull (though with a more obvious weed connotation). But despite strong ’60s and ’70s rock influences, Tull this is not. Hailing from Brooklyn, Absolutely represents the third full-length release by these chaps. Is it good? Absolu… well, partly.” Grass or pass?

GosT – Possessor Review

GosT – Possessor Review

“In my adolescence, I loved staying up late to watch whatever horror films cable television deemed unsuitable for daytime consumption. Whether it was an old-school gem like Nightmare on Elm Street or absolute trash like Pinata: Survival Island, it was all thrilling to me, greatly enhanced by the blackness of the silent house, lit solely by the macabre images unfolding on screen. As much as I love horror films, they have long since ceased to be as darkly mystifying. Yet, the atmosphere presented on GosT’s Possessor brought the memories back in waves. A bewildering combination of synthwave, horror soundtracks, and extreme metal, Possessor instantly recalled the captivating schlock of the after-midnight movies from my youth with its similarly commanding presence, even if its spell is somewhat inconsistent.” Don’t look in the basement studio.

Altars of Grief – Iris Review

Altars of Grief – Iris Review

“In 2004, a close friend of mine lost not one but both of his parents in the Indian Ocean tsunami that claimed nearly a quarter of a million lives. While I hope I will never experience tragedy as dramatic and profound as his, the impact reverberated throughout our small group, and to a comparatively infinitesimal degree, we shared in his loss. Without wanting to cheapen such sorrow, doom metal — particularly in its more extreme iterations — has always offered me a similar catalytic capacity to know its author’s pain.” Tragic beauty.

Reject the Sickness – The Weight of Silence Review

Reject the Sickness – The Weight of Silence Review

“Creative stagnation has plagued the modern melodeath scene for years, with the over-saturated market dominated by a handful of select bands injecting life into the sub-genre, while mediocre imitators pile up beneath. So does The Weight of Silence redeem Reject the Sickness and do enough to elevate their status beyond cookie-cutter levels of third-tier tedium?” Oh wah ah ah ah.

Augury – Illusive Golden Age Review

Augury – Illusive Golden Age Review

“Before Beyond Creation, there was Augury. At the tail end of the 2000s, the Quebeckers were at the forefront of the proggy side of tech-death along with Anata and Obscura, and their 2009 LP Fragmentary Evidence is a too-often overlooked milestone in the genre – perhaps because so many contemporary tech death albums (CosmogenesisThose Whom the Gods DetestOraclesEverything is Fire) were just as good and bore follow-up releases. Yes, for a long time it seemed that Augury had been outright replaced by Beyond Creation, who snatched the torch of Montreal’s world-class tech death scene, but a bit shy of a decade later, here we are with Illusive Golden Age.” Back from the tech-dead.

Daze of June – Heart of Silver Review

Daze of June – Heart of Silver Review

“Thank you for registering your interest for the Daze of JuneHeart of Silver Situational Response Kit. Here at Anodyne Metalcore Industries™ we pride ourselves on delivering products that are designed for any delicate occasion in need of a solution. Below you will find a number of scenarios that outline the efficacy of our product. With its polished delivery and muted dynamics, Daze of JuneHeart of Silver can be counted on when a calming, neutered experience is called for, no matter how fragile the circumstances. Be assured that this Danish-made item is professionally engineered and focus-tested to give you exactly what you expect with no surprises or unwanted excitement.” Fake Placid.