Mar21

The Quill – Earthrise Review

The Quill – Earthrise Review

“Man, what a milestone for The Quill. Not a lot of bands, even many of legendary status, survive long enough to see the release of their 10th album, but here we are. Not that I can say I’ve been following the band since its inception. For one, I wasn’t born yet in 1986. For two, my first brush with the band was their last release, Born From Fire, which I reviewed all the way back in 2017. At the time, I much enjoyed their style of straightforward proto-metal, but more than an hour of this style is a lot for any band, especially when a portion of it is spent on subpar material. Have the Swedes hired an editor this iteration, or are we going into overtime once more?” Dad patrol.

Grabak – Scion Review

Grabak – Scion Review

“I was worried about the metal scene when the world shut down, but a simple glance at the promo bin quells any fear with the rapidity of lightning – if black metal is your poison. Yes, we’ve got our blackened heavyweights that we’ll keep arguing about at AMG Headquarters. But when I predicted that, like cockroaches, small-time black metal projects would emerge from the dust of a silent world to wreak blackened havoc on the underground, I was right. Caliber is another question entirely, but quantity over quality seems to be the name of the game. Will veteran black metal collective Grabak wreak big havoc or be squashed under the sole of my ruthless “JUST CUZ IT’S KVLT DOESN’T MEAN IT’S GOOD MMKAY” boot?” Progeny of the plague.

Ghostly Aerie Coven – Bird of Prey Review

Ghostly Aerie Coven – Bird of Prey Review

“You can get an idea of an album based on its cover. And, uh, wow. Three-eyed literally-horned Forlesen owl (who has fallen on hard times) feeding the head of Christ with a chalice of nails? A whole lotta fuckery to unpack here. Why does Jesus need nails? Of all people, I would assume his iron intake is higher than others. Before I go off the rails with more edgy unfunny comedy, the most important question is: what the hell kinda music is this? Well, if you honed in on the bizarre blasphemy and guessed black metal, ding ding ding!” Owl at the moon.

Servants to the Tide – Servants to the Tide Review

Servants to the Tide – Servants to the Tide Review

“As a trve, epic sort of gentleman, I feel there’s a  disturbing lack of quality epic doom in today’s metal scene. Atlantean Kodex can’t release a monstrous magnum opus every year, and with While Heaven Wept out of action, the scene is screaming in the night for wengeance and a love bite that almost never arrives. Attempting to fill this epic gap comes Germanic tribe, Servants of the Tide with their self-titled debut platter. Proudly name dropping both the aforementioned acts as major inspirations, the band dives into the deep end of the trve pool, also borrowing from Candlemass and Sorcerer as they labor to spin grand tales of great deeds.” Something to Tide you over.

The Beast of Nod – Multiversal Review

The Beast of Nod – Multiversal Review

The Beast of Nod‘s Vampira: Disciple of Chaos was one of the coolest indie death metal albums back in 2018. The icy hunk of sharp, odd prog-death featured unique songwriting, delightfully insane humor, an entertaining story with fascinating characters, and a thousand hooks sharpened with intent to kill. Wild seems an apt descriptor, especially when you take into account the extensive lore that the project created to accompany their musical arm. While rough around the edges at times, that first icebreaker put The Beast of Nod on my map, and the maps of several more of our writers.” Nod plod.

Wheel – Resident Human Review

Wheel – Resident Human Review

“Remember that unexpected wave of quality Tool-like albums that got released in short succession a few years ago? One of the more overlooked albums at the time was Moving Backwards, the excellent debut from British / Finnish proggers Wheel. With a dark take on the modern prog sound, slightly off-kilter riffs, heavy and engaging bass and drums and a smooth, expressive vocalist, the band did not disappoint after its excellent supporting appearance for Soen. With another platter exploring human nature landing in our laps, can the guys live up to the high standard they’ve set for themselves?” Wheels as tools.

Nordicwinter – Sorrow Review

Nordicwinter – Sorrow Review

“I don’t know how much the brand Ronseal means to people outside the UK but here, it immediately conjures an advertising slogan: “Does exactly what it says on the tin.” Sometimes, you come across bands that embody this. Nordicwinter is Ronseal. Despite being from Canada, it would appear that its very raison d’être is to deliver in audible form the desolate, lonely wastes of a single Scandinavian season – I’m not going to say it, you know, the one … traditionally between Autumn and Spring. Sorrow takes this to extremes, however.” 12 inches of Sorrow.

Sanguisugabogg – Tortured Whole Review

Sanguisugabogg – Tortured Whole Review

“Unlike what appeared to be three-quarters of death metal internet, I wasn’t truly amazed by Sanguisugabogg’s debut EP Pornographic Seizures. It sounded like brutal death metal with a penchant for thuggish “caveman riffs,” which is contemporary shorthand for “riffs which show an appreciation for Mortician.” Nevertheless, I’m a sucker for pageantry; when the ‘bogg premiered a music video produced by Troma I was firmly committed to hearing their debut full-length Tortured Whole.” Ecelectic Boggaloo.

Decline of the I – Johannes Review

Decline of the I – Johannes Review

“Like Mephorash, Decline of the I relies on key atmospheres, orchestration, and beautiful female choirs. The main difference here is that Decline of the I is French. Meaning that you can expect some weird-ass shit on their albums. With a new lineup to support founding member A.K., let’s explore Johannes.” The Decline of Western Civil-I.

Witchseeker – Scene of the Wild Review

Witchseeker – Scene of the Wild Review

“Wild and rowdy speed metal from Singapore with a penchant for earwormy hooks? Don’t threaten me with a good time! And Witchseeker is all about letting the good times roll on sophomore platter Scene of the Wild (ESL Slip o’ the Month). Taking heavy inspiration from early 80s speed acts Like Oz and Raven and newer bands like High Spirits and especially Enforcer, Witchseeker aim for that sweet spot between manic speed and rocking party anthems that stick on first exposure.” Wild boys.