Melodic Death Metal

Omnerod – The Amensal Rise [Things You Might Have Missed 2023]

Omnerod – The Amensal Rise [Things You Might Have Missed 2023]

“Sometimes a record takes its sweet time worming its way into my brain. Other times, a record drills into me with the immediacy of a bolt of lightning. Omnerod’s sophomore full-length, The Amnesal Rise, did a little bit of both to me in 2023. Released back in May, this immense, intense slab of dramatic progressive death metal slowly crept into my skin, but the infection it carried was virulent. I found myself feverishly affected by its horrific tale, and while it took me a while before I returned, once I did, there was no escape.” Bugs on a balloon.

Æolian – Echoes of the Future Review

Æolian – Echoes of the Future Review

“It’s difficult to fully articulate why I feel so strongly about Spain’s melodic death metallers Æolian. I stumbled upon their debut album Silent Witness shortly after its release in 2018, and while I saw lots of potential in their aggressive take on melodeath, Silent Witness ultimately left me unimpressed to the point that I ended up passing over their 2020 release The Negationist. So when Æolian’s name appeared within the promo sump, why did I feel such hope that this time, this time Æolian would nail it?” Hope and reality.

Shylmagoghnar – Convergence Review

Shylmagoghnar – Convergence Review

“Holy shit, Shylmagoghnar doesn’t do itself any favors. Everything about the project seems engineered to scare all but the most committed away. Unpronounceable name that’s a spelling mistake waiting to happen? Check. One-man, home-made black metal? Check. Excessive length and an inability to self-edit on previous albums (both of which clocked in at the 70 minute mark)? Check. And yet, there was something undeniable about the band’s previous output.” Fat Wednesday.

Hinayana – Shatter and Fall Review

Hinayana – Shatter and Fall Review

“We’ve been waiting for this for years. With only 2020 EP Death of the Cosmic to tide us over from Hinayana’s excellent 2018 debut Order Divine, which received the TYMHM treatment from the great and mighty Dr. Wvrm, it has been a dry spell. The Austin, Texas quintet’s sound lends itself to the melodic death/doom, notably Finnish, melancholy of Insomnium or Swallow the Sun, but with tight songwriting and a patient unfolding through relentless plodding of Amon Amarth, Order Divine became a bit of a sleeper hit for 2018. Featuring a tight and concise bite that will soothe your soul before forcing you to spit out broken teeth, will you invite follow-up Shatter and Fall’s slow-motion beatdown?” Soundtrack to Fall or stumble and fall?

Dyssebeia – Garden of Stillborn Idols Review

Dyssebeia – Garden of Stillborn Idols Review

“I am highly skeptical about the value of social media. For the most part, if you ask me (which I appreciate no one is but you should – I have OPINIONS!), it simply allows anonymous idiots hiding behind stupid pseudonyms to think that their opinions on anything from politics to music matter. For the most part, I don’t social. However, it was via a post on Zuckerbook (which I reluctantly use on occasion) that I first came to learn of the existence of Swiss blackened progressive death outfit, Dyssebeia, and their forthcoming debut, Garden of Stillborn Idols, which I duly snagged for review.” Farm fresh Idols.

Sigir – Rainmaker Review

Sigir – Rainmaker Review

“Us metalheads have an above-average reverence for classic bands, I feel, but the genre is doomed to die without ample young blood. Finland, officially the most metal country in the world, is fertile ground for such saplings to sprout, and Sigir is among its freshest crop. After a previous project named Ritual of Terror never made it off the runway, three of its members found a new guitar player and plowed on. Rainmaker is their debut, the first full-length any of the foursome ever released, promising a fresh take on black-infused melodic death metal. A bold claim from a troupe of greenhorns; can they live up to it?” Making it rain (blood).

Stortregn – Finitude Review

Stortregn – Finitude Review

Stortregn have always been a meloblack band with a tech death heart, but Finitude is a faster, meaner, and more varied beast than ever. The album is tightly wound and asymmetrical, unlike 2021’s Impermanence which counterbalanced the band’s labyrinthine instrumental prowess with nearly cinematic song structures, giving us sweeping epics like “Ghosts of the Past” and “Grand Nexion Abyss.” Many of the band’s signature aesthetics are still intact.” Tech vs. man.

Sylvatica – Cadaver Synod Review

Sylvatica – Cadaver Synod Review

“Danish melodic folk death quartet Sylvatica has been around since 2009, with two full-lengths plus an assortment of EPs and singles under its collective belt. The band’s debut EP, Sagn og sagaer, had a stomping folk metal edge to it that recalled early Blind Guardian but with harsh, growling vox. By the time of their first LP, 2014’s Evil Seeds, Sylvatica’s sound had evolved somewhat, bringing them closer in tone to Skyfire or maybe Stormkeep, while on their sophomore outing, Ashes and Snow (2021), that progression continued.” Evolve or die a corpse.

Sulphur Aeon – Seven Crowns and Seven Seals Review

Sulphur Aeon – Seven Crowns and Seven Seals Review

Sulphur Aeon is, as of this writing, my favorite extreme metal band. Their first three releases—the brutal Swallowed by the Ocean’s Tide, the incredible Gateway to the Antisphere, and the unforgettable The Scythe of Cosmic Chaos—represent a truly unfuckwithable hot streak of ridiculously high caliber records. So deep is my love for these German worshippers of eldritch deities that, quite frankly, it’s almost a conflict of interest for me to cover them. Yet here I am, determined to provide the public with what they deserve: a proper and thorough review of Sulphur Aeon’s upcoming fourth opus,Seven Crowns and Seven Seals.” Tendril loving care.

October Tide – The Cancer Pledge Review

October Tide – The Cancer Pledge Review

“Since 1994 this sadboi doom/death Katatonia spin-off has been spewing sullen tunes to the beat of a depressed march. Originally more in line with a stripped-down presentation of the kind of work that Dance of December Souls started and Brave Murder Day championed, October Tide festered into its own deathly beast, eventually seeing the legendary Jonas Renkse step away to a succession of progressively more vile vocalists.” High? Low? October Tide.