Mar22

Desert Clouds – Planexit Review

Desert Clouds – Planexit Review

“When Britain left the European Union, nearly every country in the Union had a populist party or two stand up and shout: “Now it’s our turn!” Variations on the name Brexit were the hippest hashtags for a fortnight, including Nexit for the Netherlands, the unwieldy Italexit for Italy, and the strangely upbeat Fixit for Finland. With a wry smile and knowing wink, London-based quartet Desert Clouds decided to base these political kerfuffles in a more cosmic scenario. What kind of union is the titular planet exiting though? And who would be the equivalent of Boris Johnson in this allegory?” Space erase.

Cirkeln – A Song to Sorrow Review

Cirkeln – A Song to Sorrow Review

“Some things enter human culture and just don’t leave. What could be a better example than the epic fantasy spearheaded (in the West) by J.R.R Tolkien, spawning countless other artworks and fuelling many an obsession to this day. Similarly, the rise of solo projects within black metal is seemingly indefatigable. Cirkeln combines these two strands—the mainstream and the counter-culture—through a discography inspired by genre heavyweights of each. Tolkien and Moorcock on the one hand, Celtic Frost and Bathory on the other.” Ring of sour.

Astral Tomb – Soulgazer Review

Astral Tomb – Soulgazer Review

“Good brutal death albums ruin your day. You swing your fists and frown, letting the caveman slams and moist leads saturate your eardrums in a coat of red mist as the mosh-pit hysteria results in a few too many lost brain cells. Astral Tomb does just that, featuring all the hallmarks of a good slam/goregrind/brutal death album: opener “Transcendental Visions” fitting this to a tee, the thirteen-minute opener reeks of Carcass-meets-Devourment-meets-Blood Incantation gore in its brutal emphasis on excess.” Star tombs, raw wounds.

Grand Harvest – Consummatum Est Review

Grand Harvest – Consummatum Est Review

“Ostensibly labeled as “death-doom,” Grand Harvest plays a powerful mixture of styles that includes but transcends such a label. Each of the record’s eight proper tracks displays its own unique personality while still fitting nicely within the band’s core sound. Combining the rhythmic barbarism of Bolt Thrower or Asphyx with the introspective atmospheric black metal of a band like Eneferens, Grand Harvest is able to convey their esoteric message while covering a wide swath of emotional territory.” Harvesting of sorrows

Kvaen – The Great Below Review

Kvaen – The Great Below Review

“What’s there left to say about Kvaen beyond five little words, four of which are “fire?” Back in early 2020, Jakob Björnfot came out of seeming nowhere with a fully formed meloblack/speed metal aesthetic and a keen songwriting ear to deliver one of the the most vital sounding throwback records of the year. The Funeral Pyre had something going for it that a lot of good, even great records don’t. Beyond technical musicianship—which Björnfot most certainly has—beyond reverence for a genre’s history, that record was fun. As. Hell. It didn’t matter that no new ground was being broken, it only mattered that Björnfot was driving it like it was stolen.” Hell Alone 2: Electric Burning You.

As the World Dies – Agonist Review

As the World Dies – Agonist Review

“Hailing from the UK, As the World Dies come with solid pedigree attached, featuring members of Memoriam and Pemphigoid. Eager to blast their own path of dominance, the band enlisted the services of several notable guest vocalists to add some beef and retro death metal charm to the bludgeoning proceedings.” The agonist and ecstasy of death.

Falls of Rauros – Key to a Vanishing Future Review

Falls of Rauros – Key to a Vanishing Future Review

“This multi-instrument outfit continues to work with its traditional format of six tracks over forty-five minutes. But, while this new record doesn’t have anything you haven’t already heard, the band has a knack for execution. Somehow, they continue to breathe uniqueness into each effort and supply just enough originality to make each new record different from the last.” Vanishing returns?

Friends of Hell – Friends of Hell Review

Friends of Hell – Friends of Hell Review

“80s style doom metal is as rare these days as an honest person in politics. Bands that did it so well back in the day are all but extinct and even promising younger acts like Pallbearer and Khemmis who teased the rebirth of the style sagged under the weight of it all and drifted off to greener pastures. To this dark tableau come Friends of Hell, the classic doom project spearheaded by members of Reverend Bizarre and Electric Wizard.” With friends like this…