Melodeath

Freaks and Clowns – We Set the World on Fire Review

Freaks and Clowns – We Set the World on Fire Review

Freaks and Clowns is a Swedish quintet, two full-lengths into their five-year career. While undoubtedly power metal in Christer Wahlgren’s vibrato-laden trills, expect little Rhapsody of Fire sword-flashing here. Injected with a healthy dose of AC/DC-esque hard rock and aptly energetic Gothenburg riffing with an Avatar clown theme to boot, tracks range from glam-themed arena-rock anthems to take-no-prisoners beatdowns of riffy goodness.” Game of clowns.

Hellfox – The Call Review

Hellfox – The Call Review

“As I promised in my list post, I’m once more attempting to pick up the writing habit I successfully maintained for the first half of last year. Alas, this does mean venturing into the notoriously barren January promo box. Worse, I was late and my colleagues had nabbed everything promising. My first selection turned out to be a C-tier early-00s darkwave band so far removed from both metal and good music that even I wouldn’t cover it here. Think Collide, but very boring. Fortunately, I did a bit more due diligence on my second attempt. Hellfox, are certainly metal, describing themselves as alt-metal with a melodeath lean.” Hellfox in the groan room.

Vaelmyst – Secrypts of the Egochasm Review

Vaelmyst – Secrypts of the Egochasm Review

“Melodic death metal is a genre I want to like more than I actually do. Describe it to me and, on paper, I should love it. Not a death metal fan but desperately wanting to be so that I can hang out with cool kids Kronos and Ferrous Beuller, dialling up the melodic quotient should be just the ticket. While there are, of course, bands like Dark Tranquillity and Insomnium, that I love, I find that melodic death metal is a genre plagued by mediocrity.” Melo-ego and super-death.

Dormanth – Complete Downfall Review

Dormanth – Complete Downfall Review

“2020 has been a looooonnnng year and here I find myself, almost at the end of it. My List – following a not insignificant amount of agonizing – has been submitted, two TYMHMs have been written (two still to go, admittedly) and I am staring at my last full review of the year. So, what I need now from Dormanth is a real burst of the zingy, energetic melodeath the promo blurb promised, to carry me through these last couple of weeks.” Fever dreams and downfalls.

Orpheus Omega – Wear Your Sins Review

Orpheus Omega – Wear Your Sins Review

“One of my favorite things about melodic death metal is its versatility. Alone, death metal is a style that I can appreciate but don’t often enjoy. So when you fuse it with aspects of other genres that I love, it’s easy for me to enjoy the result. Subsequently, this has long been one of my favorite genres of metal music. So much so that I’ve been hunting for some to review basically since the moment I got here. At long last, here they are, Orpheus Omega, who hails from Victoria, Australia, and Wear Your Sins, their fourth full-length effort.” Wish upon a scar.

Rifftera – Across the Acheron Review

Rifftera – Across the Acheron Review

“From a metal perspective, 2019 has been decidedly underwhelming so far. When the promo bin threw me a melo-death album by a band whose name sounds like an adolescent parody of iconic metal giants, I had little hope that things would improve. This sophomore effort by Finnish band Rifftera follows 2015’s Pitch Black; a self-produced smorgasbord of melodic death metal, thrash, power and prog, smashed together with the grace of a junkyard compactor, and then played with the dial at 11. It was fun, but it was a mess.” Have these Finnish melodeath-thrashers gotten their shit together?

Shed the Skin – We of Scorn Review

Shed the Skin – We of Scorn Review

“The music on the sophomore release by Cleveland’s death metal quintet Shed the Skin is deceptively simple. In its core, the band’s possessed, groove-laden death metal is propelled steadily forward at medium pace and with a certain brutality characteristic for Hells Headbangers’ roster. Around these straightforward and conventional structures, floating somewhere between thrash, old school, and modern death metal, the group cultivates an abundance of flair and an aura of tight frolic.” Frolic through the grave park.

Starkill – Shadow Sleep Review

Starkill – Shadow Sleep Review

“Commercialized metal is one of the strangest and most unnatural phenomena our beloved genre has gone through. I’m not talking about metal that happened to get mainstream recognition, by the way. Even Metallica, with the most lucrative metal act in history, started off as a thrash metal band like any other and only gained widespread fame after 5 albums. I’m talking about bands that seem to have been created or molded precisely to sell metal to the masses, like Amaranthe or Sonic Syndicate.” The vogue of metal.

Oceans of Slumber – Winter Review

Oceans of Slumber – Winter Review

Oceans of Slumber is walking a very unique path. A combination of melodic death, doom and black metal influenced by the Century Black roster from about 1998, Winter blends that with a sadboy metal and alternative rock base. The album is beautiful, mysterious, and oddly chaotic. It’s also really good.