Metal Blade Records

Artillery – X Review

Artillery – X Review

“Denmark’s Artillery weren’t the first thrash band to cross my stereo in the 80s, as they were beaten to the punch by most of the “Big Four” and two-thirds of the big names in Germanic thrash. Still, their Fear of Tomorrow debut hit like a thunderbolt from Thor himself when it arrived in 1985. It was heavy and fast, but also had major hooks and choruses that drilled deep into your skull. The band had a very good run with follow ups Terror Squad and By Inheritance and then inexplicably called it a day in 1990. They resurfaced briefly in 1999, then promptly returned to limbo until 2009. Since then they’ve managed to be productive, releasing an album every two or three years, maintaining enough of their classic sound to keep folks like me interested. Sadly, guitarist Morten Stützer, who along with his brother Michael founded the band and created its distinctive riffing style, passed away in 2019 at the young age of 57. Artillery soldiered on in the aftermath, recruiting a new guitarist and returning with their tenth full-length, X.” The cannons will not be silenced.

Cannibal Corpse  – Violence Unimagined Review

Cannibal Corpse – Violence Unimagined Review

“I said it in 2017 and I’ll say it again: I fucking love Cannibal Corpse. This is a band that almost infamously represents death metal in its purist form. Opaque riffs, furious vocals and a trajectory more certain than cradle to grave. Their discography contains many a predatory précis on a genre they helped define. Yet, all too often, their name is accompanied by inexplicable eye-rolling. It is forever beyond me how any death metal aficionado can turn their nose up at an act as effective as Cannibal Corpse.” Esprit de Corpse.

The Crown – Royal Destroyer Review

The Crown – Royal Destroyer Review

“It brings me no joy to write that, to my ears, Royal Destroyer does not meet the high bar set by Cobra Speed Venom, one of The Crown’s finest efforts and 2018’s best record. With that bit of unpleasantry dealt with, I can thankfully write that Royal Destroyer is still a good record, and nowhere near the misstep Death is Not Dead was.” Crown Royal?

Dvne – Etemen Ænka Review

Dvne – Etemen Ænka Review

“If you ask me, Dvne is one of the greater discoveries of the last 5 years. After sampling them, based on a random recommendation from a random review, I’ve found myself increasingly absorbed by the Scottish band. They are still my favorite out of all the TYMHM reviews I wrote, and they landed a high spot in my end of year list in 2017. Needless to say, my anticipation for this weirdly named sophomore offering of sci-fi prog sludge was sky high.” The riffs must flow!

Iotunn – Access All Worlds Review

Iotunn – Access All Worlds Review

“If any of you are fellow Dungeons & Dragons nerds, which of course you are because you listen to metal, you should be familiar with the concept of a natural 20. Well, lately I’ve been experimenting with literally randomizing what promos to pick, using a single line of code to spit out a number corresponding with a place in a list. This time, the code landed on an unassuming sounding debut by a band called Iotunn, marked as space rock. Imagine my surprise when fellow prog lover Huck N Roll informed me that instead I’d landed on a very promising chunk of Metal Blade backed cosmic progressive death metal with none other than Jón Aldará (Barren Earth, Hamferð) on vocals.” Significant access.

Dread Sovereign – Alchemical Warfare Review

Dread Sovereign – Alchemical Warfare Review

“I enter this review with a certain amount of trepidation. Two writers whom I thought would be interested in Alchemical Warfare, Dread Sovereign’s third album, were not. Akerblogger reviewed their last effort, and when I offered this to him he said, ‘all yours.’ When I mentioned this new album to Grymm, who like myself is a big fan of Primordial, he said ‘they don’t do anything at all for me.’ Well, not exactly ringing endorsements, but I was still willing to take a chance and hope for the best.” Dread or gold?

Harlott – Detritus of the Final Age Review

Harlott – Detritus of the Final Age Review

“As I mentioned when I wrote 2017’s Extinction review, Harlott isn’t afraid to show love to their influences. Some might say Harlott isn’t afraid of reaching into that box of thrash classics and taking what they like, as well. At any given time, the riffs transition from Exodus to Slayer to Testament, and the vocals mimic Araya, Petrozza, and Dukes/Souza. The guitars can be acoustic at times but prefer to be heavy. The drums blast and fill with no regard for concrete floors, and the bass rattles hardware off the garage door. Harlott may not have a whole lot in the way of originality, but that doesn’t make their fourth album, Detritus of the Final Age, any less solid and nothing short of nostalgic.” Ramming speed.

Whitechapel – The Valley [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

Whitechapel – The Valley [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

“Bet you didn’t expect a TYMHM 2019 post just as TYMHM season 2020 begins to pick up, did ya? I also bet you didn’t expect to see AMG’s third- or fourth-best black metal specialist piggybacking aboard a relatively popular deathcore album either. Well, it’s 2020, a year jampacked with surprises. So surprise, motherfucker – the Metal Gods work in mysterious ways.” Time is a fluid construct.

Fates Warning – Long Day Good Night Review

Fates Warning – Long Day Good Night Review

“As the year mercifully draws to an end and we start thinking about list season, there are still a few November releases that many of us are looking forward to. This is one of them: the thirteenth album from American progressive metal outfit Fates Warning. As last week’s YMIO shows, I’ve been a fan of this band for decades, and Long Day Good Night had a tentative reservation in my Top Ten-ish list once it was announced.” Long times.

Déluge – Ægo Templo Review

Déluge – Ægo Templo Review

Déluge is a French black metal/post-hardcore quintet, a demo and debut full-length Æther under their belt since their 2013 formation. Perhaps most similar to acts Downfall of Gaia or Celeste, Déluge‘s sophomore effort Ægo Templo is content channeling the worship of hyper-melodic post-rock-influenced post-hardcore or screamo acts like Envy, So Hideous, or Suffocate for Fuck Sake.” After France comes the flood.