Melodic Death Metal

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.

Regardless of Me – Black Flowers Blossom Review

Regardless of Me – Black Flowers Blossom Review

“Six years into this gig, and I still largely choose albums from the promo pool by name and/or genre tag. While I like to review a diverse array of sub-genres, it’s tough for me to not pick the low hanging fruit of obscure tags. The prospect of “trance metal” was an enticing one indeed, and it was from this that I selected Italy’s Regardless of Me.” No regard.

Fires in the Distance – Echoes from Deep November Review

Fires in the Distance – Echoes from Deep November Review

Echoes from Deep November, the debut by unheralded Connecticut melodeath act Fires in the Distance, was originally slated to drop as a self-release way back in May. Then the band managed to get signed by Prosthetic Records and the release was pushed out to this week. When I was spinning the album back in May, I wondered why they weren’t signed, as they clearly posses talent and potential, so it’s nice to see them in the loving embrace of a label deal.” November coming fire.

Dark Rites – The Dark Hymns Review

Dark Rites – The Dark Hymns Review

“I’m what you’d call an ardent defender of the death metal faith. But amidst my desire for music heavier than a neutron star, I’m also a sucker for melody – a firm believer in the power of a solid hook and even a mighty chorus or two. Enter The Dark Hymns, the third album from Dark Rites, a self-described “unrelenting” melodic death metal band “with an old school vibe.” With members hailing from the U.S. and U.K., my interest was piqued.” Dark as rite.

Raventale – Planetarium II Review

Raventale – Planetarium II Review

Raventale is a strange one-man act. Founder and multi-instrumentalist Astaroth Merc started the project in 2006 as a vehicle for his atmospheric, droning black metal, but over time the sound underwent massive mutations. Death/doom influences began creeping in and the musicianship grew by leaps and bounds. By the time of 2017s Planetarium, the project was starting to sound like a heavier SIG:AR:TYR, riffy and full of beautiful guitar-work while retaining a powerful black metal core. That album was based around a space theme and the long-form compositions did it justice with expansive vibes and deep, rich moods. For whatever reason, Merc opted to follow that up with a full-on funeral doom approach on 2019s Morphine Dead Gardens, which I loved muchly. Now barely a year later he’s clicked back into blackened mode with a conceptual sequel to Planetarium.” Astronomy domine.