May16

Bedowyn – Blood of the Fall Review

Bedowyn – Blood of the Fall Review

“For better and worse, sludge metal has branched out considerably beyond the abrasive and uncompromising early years of the genre, defined by the likes of The Melvins, Eyehategod, Grief, the underappreciated Iron Monkey and boundary busting legends Acid Bath,. Increased diversity and scene saturation has polluted the genre pool, leading to interesting yet inconsistent results and mixed feelings from yours truly.” Sludge is as sludge does.

Flotsam and Jetsam – Flotsam and Jetsam Review

Flotsam and Jetsam – Flotsam and Jetsam Review

As a dumb 16 year-old I turned away from bands when the glass-shattering high notes that were a trademark of many vocalists went the way of the dinosaur, either by design or age inducing the testicles to drop. As a dumb 35 year-old, Alan Tecchio raved to me about Flotsam and Jetsam‘s then new album, 2010’s The Cold. As one of my favorite metal vocalists (Hades, Non-Fiction), Alan’s word was bond, James Bond, so I picked it up. At first listen it made me turn my Fruit of the Looms into a fudge factory.” Enter the Age of Incontinence!

Mortillery – Shapeshifter Review

Mortillery – Shapeshifter Review

“I would be a goddamned liar if I said I were a longtime fan of Canadian thrashers, Mortillery—and those who commented on last year’s Unleash the Archers review can contest to this. However, after diving deep into the band’s back catalog, I can wholeheartedly admit that, in a single week’s time, I am a diehard fan of this band. And for the first time in awhile, I will not be sent to the AMG basement for my poor taste in metal or forced outside to scrape the dead armadillo carcasses hanging from the grilles of the staff’s Prius’.” We’ve actually moved your desk down there.

The Order of Israfel – Red Robes Review

The Order of Israfel – Red Robes Review

The Order of Israfel‘s 2014 debut Wisdom became a bit of a sleeper for yours truly. I gave it a positive review and saw the potential, but didn’t expect to return to it quite as much as I have. The combination of classic doom with tough biker rock proved hard to ignore and though it missed my year end lists, it’s become a regular part of my “free range” listening time.” Free Steel Druhm!

Vainaja – Verenvalaja Review

Vainaja – Verenvalaja Review

“In 2014, Finnish three-headed beast Vainaja dropped a megaton bomb in the form of Kadotetut, leveling the ears of those who bore witness to their hymns, and placing themselves in a comfortable 3rd place spot on my year-end list with their mix of Celtic Frosty atmospherics and Asphyxiating tremolo doom. The story of a long-lost book of desecrations, sacrificial rites, and other blasphemous acts set to a bone-crushing doom/death backdrop, was both addictive and effective. Two years later, another tome has been unearthed.” Books cause nothing but trouble.

Katalepsy – Gravenous Hour Review

Katalepsy – Gravenous Hour Review

“Slam’s audio palette isn’t especially varied. The death metal setup – already instrumentally optimized for a pretty particular group of timbres – tuned down and sometimes pitchshifted into an almost inaudibly low register doesn’t give you much to work with in terms of tone diversity, which is why so many slam bands have tight, grating snares and so many slam riffs go all in on pinch harmonics. And when Katalepsy go all in, I mean all in.” Go big or go home.

Assassin – Combat Cathedral Review

Assassin – Combat Cathedral Review

“I feel ashamed to admit it, but I had never heard Germany’s Assassin before grabbing their new release, Combat Cathedral. Which is sad considering they have been in the scene for some thirty years. This, however, is understandable if one looks at the band’s sporadic release schedule (which is nonexistent between 1988 and 2005).” German thrashers will even fight on holy ground!

Vektor – Terminal Redux Review

Vektor – Terminal Redux Review

“Arizona thrashers Vektor hold a special place in my cold black heart, as their previous album Outer Isolation was one of my very first reviews for this esteemed website. Crazy to think that that was five years ago, and crazier still is that Vektor has not released any new music in that half-decade — practically an eternity in today’s climate of short attention spans and equally short tour/record/tour cycles. Fortunately, Vektor has finally rewarded their fans’ patience with a lengthy, almost impossibly dense record called Terminal Redux.”

Iron Savior – Titancraft Review

Iron Savior – Titancraft Review

“Nothing clings quite so tenaciously to life as a Germanic metal band. Think about it for a moment – all the big names in 80s Kraut thrash are still active, along with nearly all of their 80s power and traditional acts. In essence, Teutonic metal is harder to kill than nail fungus and just as unsightly. Though Iron Savior didn’t come into existence until 97, they’ve proven typically resilient and hard to eradicate.” German metal can’t be stopped, German metal can’t be topped.

Suidakra – Realms of Odoric Review

Suidakra – Realms of Odoric Review

“As pointed out by our highly esteemed El Cuervo, Suidakra is perhaps one of the most productive bands on the planet. Including this year’s Realms of Odoric, the band has dished out twelve albums in nearly twenty years (including an early-career period where the band was releasing an album a year).” With so much productivity, are these guys the anti-Necrophagist?