Melodic Death Metal

The Generals – To Hell Review

The Generals – To Hell Review

The Generals are a Swedish quartet from Åmål, releasing two full-lengths and a split since their 2002 formation. 2009 debut Stand Up Straight and 2013’s Blood for Blood were both solid slabs of Wolverine Blues mimicry that, despite their simplicity, had no need to fix what wasn’t broken. To Hell, the first effort since 2013, continues and capitalizes upon its “death metal-cigarette with a rock ‘n’ roll filter” aesthetic with chunky riffs, blazing solos, pissed-off barks, and a Swedeath buzzsaw tone that commands respect.” Hell ain’t a bad place.

Ephemerald – Between the Glimpses of Hope Review

Ephemerald – Between the Glimpses of Hope Review

“Today, we welcome Finnish symphonic death metal troupe Ephemerald, sporting a name that rolls of the tongue nicely while still eliciting a cringe from those who utter it. This unfortunate portmanteau combining ‘ephemeral’ with ’emerald’ makes very little sense on the surface. Diving deeper, however, I conjure a number of entertaining scenarios in which it could be apt. For example, if we assume Ephemerald‘s mission statement to be to smash emeralds into oblivion with the sheer magnitude of their steel—and if we then assume that they are successful in such endeavors—perhaps the presumed short-lived existence of said emeralds would justify the band’s name. But of course, that entire machination is as nonsensical as the name itself, is it not?” Stoned.

Caedes Cruenta – Of Ritual Necrophagia and Mysterious Ghoul Cults Review

Caedes Cruenta – Of Ritual Necrophagia and Mysterious Ghoul Cults Review

“To be honest, I’m not entirely sure where the line between black metal and blackened death lies. There’re folks who are entirely justified for crying “DEATH” when you add some bass to the mix, but others will be completely in the right to scold them for hopping a little too hard. Since groups like Belphegor and Marduk have blurred the lines with their bottom-heavy yet grim AF aesthetics, it’s a horde of near or far-sighted folks blurring everything.” Ghouls night ovt.

Ablaze My Sorrow – Among Ashes and Monoliths Review

Ablaze My Sorrow – Among Ashes and Monoliths Review

“Melodeath is a tough sub-genre to review because it exists in a constant state of tension. It’s pulled in three directions constantly: death metal at one point, traditional heavy metal at another, and power metal at the third. The ebb and flow between these is what makes it enjoyable, but it’s also what divides fans. Err too much to one end and the music sounds “death metal-lite.” Err towards another and it resembles strained power-metal without any heft. The best melodeath is able to resolve these tensions, creating a palatable middle-ground. The Swedish melodeath scene of the 90s mastered this, and was pivotal to the movement’s popularity. A minor, but not inconsequential, contributor was Falkenberg’s awkwardly titled Ablaze My Sorrow.” Pain in the ash.

Luna’s Call – Void [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

Luna’s Call – Void [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

“2020 provided plenty of quality metal releases, but only a scant few of those which tickled my fancy fall into the “progressive metal” category. Of those, we missed two that deserve mention. The first is Cellar Vessel‘s immense slab of Xanthrochroided symphonic prog-death, entitled Vein Beneath the Soil. The second—and, obviously, more preferred, since I’m writing about it—is UK quartet Luna’s Call‘s sophomore epic Void.” When the void calls…

Bloodletter – Funeral Hymns Review

Bloodletter – Funeral Hymns Review

“This is year two of Covid and we’re still discovering new ways in which the pandemic is altering the way we live. For instance, we’ve received multiple 2021 promos for Funeral Hymns, the sophomore release from Chicago thrash metal band Bloodletter, but Metal Archives and Bandcamp say it was released in September of 2020. I’m sure we will have more situations like this in the next couple of months. In fact, my review for next week is in the exact same boat. Not knowing who to trust, I’ve decided to trust the only person that I can trust: yours truly.” Blood can’t be dated.

Counting Hours – The Will [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

Counting Hours – The Will [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

“Longtime members of the AMG metal intelligentsia are likely aware I enjoy me some melancholy melodeath and downbeat mope-core. Said intelligentsia may also have noticed I tend to namedrop long-defunct Finnish melodeath act Rapture rather frequently. That’s because I really loved their sound and truly miss them since they called it a day after releasing the excellently bleak Silent Stage way back in 2005. Over the years various bands helped fill the hole left in my wretched soul, but no one could truly replace Rapture. Finland’s Counting Hours may have come as close as inhumanly possibly though with their debut The Will.” Inherit the sadness.

Genus Ordinis Dei – Glare of Deliverance Review

Genus Ordinis Dei – Glare of Deliverance Review

Genus Ordinis Dei’s last platter, Great Olden Dynasty, was a surprisingly excellent piece of symphonic and melodic death metal. Italian metal is not usually known for its restraint, particularly with symphonics, but while the orchestral textures were as excessive as expected, the songwriting was tight and focused, and the versatile roar of vocalist Niccolò is a fantastic asset to the band. 3 years later, the band’s aspirations have grown.” Inquisition-core.

Nawabs of Destruction – Rising Vengeance [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

Nawabs of Destruction – Rising Vengeance [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

“It’s time to ask the real questions. No more beating around the bush. What is a Nawab? According to a cursory Googlefu, a Nawab—which, translated literally, means “Viceroy”—is a Southern Asian royal title attributed to a governor under the Mogul empire, and was generally comparable to the Western world’s idea of a King. Alternatively, a Nawab could just refer to “a Muslim nobleman or person of high status.” So when you read the name Nawabs of Destruction, the honorable subject of today’s tongue bath, show the appropriate measure of respect.” Bend the knee!