Moonsorrow

At the Altar of the Horned God – Through Doors of Moonlight Review

At the Altar of the Horned God – Through Doors of Moonlight Review

“Seriously. Shut. The. Fuck. Up. Like ‘pagan’ wasn’t already a bad word to most of the Christian population. Now it’s a bad word for Christian-hating metalheads. Unfortunately, the folky, melodic, and, at times, quite beautiful qualities of the genre veil the National Socialist squabble from many-a anti-Semitic band and label. Which, for someone that loves this style of music, is frustrating as hell. Many writers—not only of this website—won’t touch the stuff. Though plenty of writers skip over one-man black metal outfits because there’s a bajillion of them—all blurring together in one chaotic sound after another—’pagan black metal’ bands get tagged and placed in a cold locker. Not a band name mentioned. Not even out of spite. But, neither I nor Spain’s At the Altar of the Horned God will let these motherfuckers spoil a good time.” Nazis bad, pagans good.

Hexenklad – Spirit of the Stone Review

Hexenklad – Spirit of the Stone Review

“Hailing from the wooded glens of Ontario, Hexenklad come bearing as many cursed furs as their teetering carts can bear. Many will recognize SIG:AR:TYR guitarist Mike Grund, but only those hooked into the Canadian black metal scene may notice frontman Timothy “Voldemort Voldamares” Johnston, former member of the now-defunct Eclipse Eternal and contributor to David Gold tribute Heart of Gold.” From the Great White (Blackened) North.

70000 Tons of Metal: One Man’s Journey

70000 Tons of Metal: One Man’s Journey

“My friends ask me what happened, but my ability to verbally communicate has been reduced to moaning and a weeping noise that sounds something like a baby panda crying for milk. I wonder how I’m going to make it through the final day of this floating festival. I wonder when the aching will subside. I wonder where my life went so wrong. How did I end up here, on the 7th annual 70000 Tons of Metal cruise, weak with exhaustion and feeling like my body has been bludgeoned with a sledgehammer? My mind drifts back…” Tales from a 70000 ton heavy thing.

Bornholm – Primaeval Pantheons Review

Bornholm – Primaeval Pantheons Review

“Metalheads saying “I’m a pagan” is, generally speaking, our chosen genre’s equivalent of wine-guzzling middle-aged single women who say they’re “not religious, but spiritual” during those book clubs where Eat, Pray, Love is read in perpetuity. It’s empty posturing made to make someone sound more profound and “enlightened” than they actually are. So-called pagan metal is generally melodic stuff with a lyrical eye to old folklore but, other than that, the definition doesn’t give us a whole lot to go on.” Only join Book of the Dead clubs.

Record(s) o’ the Month – June 2016

Record(s) o’ the Month – June 2016

“It’s a blast from the past! That’s right, the Record(s) o’ the Month for June are finally here. And boy howdy, I gotta say that it was tough to get to these. There was plenty of infighting, accusations of me being a distant and cold tyrant. A psychoanalyst was called in. Then the police. Turns out that Steel Druhm may have lots of daddy issues, but he also hates talking about them and has a massive gun collection. We managed to get through this whole thing only slightly injured and now that I’m out of the hospital I’m posting this. So here you have it, Ye Olde Recordes o’ the Monthe for June.”

Record(s) o’ the Month – April 2016

Record(s) o’ the Month – April 2016

It’s not often that the Record(s) o’ the Month are decided before a month has already begun, but April got pretty close to being just that. In fact, I feel a little guilty about it, because the month that has been is surprisingly packed with music that I—and the other writers here—love. There wasn’t much of a fight about it, what with all the ruling with an Iron Fist of Steel™ and all, but I would like to apologize to all the contributors who reviewed awesome stuff this month which is getting ignored on this list. I’m sure your complaints will be aired aggressively in the comment section. I’m glad I’ve given you something to get your blood pumping. I’ve heard that sitting around reading metal blogs all day is bad for your health.

Haken – Affinity Review

Haken – Affinity Review

Haken have rapidly become one of my favorite bands in the world. Since my introduction with 2013’s The Mountain I’ve retraced their steps back through Visions and Aquarius – both slightly uneven stylistically and in terms of quality but with truly exemplary moments – and eagerly devoured their revised versions of older tracks on their 2014 EP, Restoration. I’ve seen them live twice and would be seeing them again in a month but for some pesky exams which will impact my future. It was therefore with great enthusiasm that I sat down with their fourth album Affinity.” Warning: fanboys may drool uncontrollably.

Moonsorrow – Jumalten aika Review

Moonsorrow – Jumalten aika Review

Moonsorrow is an enigmatic band whose fame and status in metal defy expectations. A band whose songs tend toward the 15-minute mark, who sings in Finnish, and who obeys no label’s release schedule is not a band that I would expect to be releasing one of the most anticipated albums of 2016. The first album in 5 years—follow-up to Varjoina kuljemme kuolleiden maasa (henceforth Vkkm because lol), which was my Record o’ the Year in 2011Jumalten aika is a 5 track, 67 minute journey down the path cut by Moonsorrow in the years since their first releases. And it’s a simultaneously difficult and comfortable release from one of Finland’s premiere acts.