Metal Blade Records

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.

Armored Saint – Punching the Sky Review

Armored Saint – Punching the Sky Review

Armored Saint is like that comfortable pair of jeans you’ve held onto forever, steadfastly ignoring the badly frayed cuffs, rips, and discolorations that accumulate over a lifetime of wear and tear. They’re a familiar and reassuring part of your life and you’ll brook no talk of replacement. These overperforming underdogs have been delivering their hard scrabble, punchy take on heavy metal since their 1983 EP, and through the 37 years since then the only things that have really changed are their hairlines.” Fist of the Saint.

Lik – Misanthropic Breed Review

Lik – Misanthropic Breed Review

“Critic-bait comes in two forms: pretension and novelty. Critics are often a special mixture of jaded and self-important, so something that appeals to an inflated sense of one’s own intelligence or to that jaded sensibility which dismisses the familiar reflexively, respectively, is what sets the critical heart aflutter. Lik is not critic-bait, but they’ve got this particular critic hook, line, and sinker.” Dismember tomorrow.