Melodic Death Metal

Dark Tranquillity – Moment Review

Dark Tranquillity – Moment Review

“I’ve always thought Dark Tranquillity was the band that best represented the Gothenburg sound that took hold of metaldom in the early 90s. It’s indisputable that they’re the act that’s aged the most gracefully in the quarter century since the style took hold, as fellow countrymen In Flames and Arch Enemy wandered off into career oblivion. That’s not to say there haven’t been ups and downs in the Dark Tranquillity catalog. That brings us to Moment, their 12th platter of moody melodeath.” Dark moments.

Strydegor – Isolacracy Review

Strydegor – Isolacracy Review

“As 2020 drags itself towards the finish line, dry-heaving and wheezing like the miserable fuck of a year it was, there are going to be bands trying to shine some light onto what’s been a horrific time in everyone’s lives. Few genres can inject much needed life into a shambling corpse quite like melodic death metal, and today, we’ve got the fourth full-length from German quartet, Strydegor.” Isolation nation.

Countless Skies – Glow Review

Countless Skies – Glow Review

“UK melodic death crew Countless Skies impressed on their 2016 debut, New Dawn. Although in hindsight I was perhaps a little too generous with my final evaluation, the album signaled a rising voice worth keeping close track of. Some four years later, Countless Skies return rejuvenated, and with the backing of none other than Willowtip Records, a slightly left field label for the band’s rich, layered melodeath tapestry. The intervening years have treated Countless Skies well, and sophomore platter Glow, sounds like a band more comfortable and confident with their lush blend of gorgeous melody, progressive arrangements, and dynamic shifts into heavier realms.” Glow and steady.

Slow Fall – Beneath the Endless Rains Review

Slow Fall – Beneath the Endless Rains Review

Slow Fall are the newest kids on the Finnish melodeath playground. They’d been skirting the chain link fence, peering in since 2016. Now, finally satisfied with their chosen lineup, the band is coming out swinging, seemingly out of nowhere, with their very first full-length album. On their first try, Slow Fall nail an impressive formula for melodeath.” It’s the slow knife that cuts the deepest.

Mors Principium Est – Seven Review

Mors Principium Est – Seven Review

“Some of why I feel this way is because few bands can pack as many riffs into a single album as MPE do. When I listen to their entire discog in an afternoon, it feels like it’s taken ten years off my life. There’re so many riffs—you wonder if there are any left. Twenty years in existence, a dozen members now funneled down to two, and six albums turn Seven. Will Seven be their lucky number?” Number of a beast.

Paradise in Flames – Devil’s Collection Review

Paradise in Flames – Devil’s Collection Review

Paradise in Flames is a Brazilian black metal quartet, having released two albums, two demos, and an EP since their 2003 formation. While their third full-length’s cover poses questions, a glance at their promo confuses further. They cite death metal countrymen Sepultura and Sarcófago as influences, while the Devil’s Collection was mastered by producer Tue Madsen of Meshuggah and Dark Tranquility fame. Such first impressions are baffling, but the looming question is: is Devil’s Collection any good?” Riffing is fundamental.

Kataklysm – Unconquered Review

Kataklysm – Unconquered Review

“I’ve stuck by Kataklysm for a long time. The Quebecois death metal institution has remained a personal favorite for ages, partly because I grew up with the stuff. I became a fan through great records like Shadows & Dust, Serenity in Fire, In the Arms of Devastation, and the underrated Prevail. One tends to associate the era of a band most formative to their tastes with the sound of that band, which makes sense; that’s what caused them to become a fan, after all. As time takes its toll, things change; we can’t stagnate forever. Sometimes, after an absence, we don’t recognize our friend for a moment. Such was my initial reaction to Unconquered.” Identity crisis.

Synthetic – Clepsydra: Time Against Infinity Review

Synthetic – Clepsydra: Time Against Infinity Review

“Well, the promo claimed Clepsydra to be symphonic progressive metal, which did not fill me with hope. Thankfully, this claim was wrong. It’s not very symphonic; it just overuses keyboards a lot. It admittedly has that in common with actual symphonic bands, but at least the synths in Synthetic are more earnest in their synthetic sound rather than trying and failing to imitate an actual orchestra. Nor is this record very progressive at all; most of the songs have a basic verse-chorus structure and rely on direct hooks of a pretty tried and true style. The style in question is more along the lines of metalcore and melodic death, winding up somewhere in between Killswitch Engage, Soilwork and In Flames, just with a lot more keyboards.” Corephobia.