Melodic Death Metal

Malice Divine – Malice Divine Review

Malice Divine – Malice Divine Review

Malice Divine is the brainchild of classically-trained Toronto musician Ric Galvez. The self-titled record finds Galvez handling the entire creative process and all of the performances with the exception of the drums. Known primarily as a lead guitarist in the Toronto scene, Galvez was excited about the opportunity to indulge in a solo project. But old habits die hard, and Malice Divine glistens like a guitar fan’s wet dream. Galvez combines the melodic blackened death sounds of Necrophobic and Dissection with the emotive soloing and progressive song structures of Death and the technical majesty of Wintersun.” Malice in Meloblackland.

Innersphere – Omfalos Review

Innersphere – Omfalos Review

“So there I am, reading a book of poetry in the filth and muck of the Angry Metal Guy Promo Pit — totally minding my own business — when I overhear some kind of commotio. Raised voices, overblown guitar solos, agonized screaming, the whole nine yards. “Ah,” I think to myself. “Holdeneye did the 4.0 thing again.” I move to refocus on my book when I see something out of the corner of my eye: Innersphere. Omfalos. “Melodic death doom metal.” Pause for effect. Melodic… death… doom… metal. I try to wrap my head around the concept, and decide, with no chance remaining that I’m going to have the peaceful afternoon I’d planned for, to snatch up the album and leave, because, frankly, I need to know what exactly this thing is and how it works, because I’m telling you right now, there’s no way that’s a thing.” Face the thing that could just be.

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.