Nov19

Esoteric – A Pyrrhic Existence Review

Esoteric – A Pyrrhic Existence Review

“Funeral doom must be the most impenetrable iteration of extreme metal. The genre’s painfully protracted process either engrosses or evades the listener entirely with its inevitable crawl and morose mass. Cherd of Doom and I are blood-bound for the cause where as “metalheads” like Holdeneye
harbor a taste to offend the soul. This lack of middle ground has been exploited to great effect by many bands over the years, but the fittingly named Esoteric take the proverbial cake. The Brits’ particular brand of doom is about as challenging as it gets and wields an entire weather system of psychedelic textures and thunderous passages.” A study in large-scale doomery.

Remains – Chaos & Light Review

Remains – Chaos & Light Review

“The band’s influences should be obvious from the cover — the logo screams Dismember, and the prevalence of blue reminds one of Left Hand Path. It’s a chillier blue though, which fits with the Swedish black metal once removed element of their sound, which seems to be culled from Sarcasm. Remains is from Mexico, which makes their sound uprooted from Sweden in a fundamental way — this is what makes them interesting. Put another way, this can’t be a pure Swe-death record because it’s a death metal record from Mexico.” Heavy on the chaos, please.

Blame Zeus – Seethe Review

Blame Zeus – Seethe Review

“But if we disregard the stains of the posturing rap machismo, there’s nothing inherently bad about alternative metal. Generally speaking, it’s often got muscly, infectious riffs, vocal hooks for days, and a bass presence other genres could learn from. It’s the opposite of trve and kvlt, but elitism had always been a dead end. The only thing that often irritates me greatly about alternative metal is the high levels of either emo or tough-guy bluster. So what if we replace that with a fantastic set of bronzed female vocals and a subtle dusting of prog? That’s when we get Blame Zeus.” Commence the Zeusical.

Magic Kingdom – MetAlmighty Review

Magic Kingdom – MetAlmighty Review

“Having never heard of Magic Kingdom prior to this review, I was surprised to find out that the band’s existence dates back to 1998 and to find out that Mr. Lance King himself had at one point been involved with the band according to Metal Archives. MetAlmighty finds the band slinging power metal tunes that should satisfy fans of bands like Theocracy, Gloryhammer, and the various incarnations of Rhapsody.” Magic, monsters, and monarchs.

Avatarium – The Fire I Long For Review

Avatarium – The Fire I Long For Review

“Just as with their last outing, Avatarium’s latest opus snuck up on me, having only learned of its imminent release a week ago. I’m not sure why this band escapes my metal detector/radar so effectively, but this 70s doom rock project founded by Leif Edling of Candlemass fame always makes for a pleasant surprise, as they’ve been quite impressive over their relatively brief life cycle. Health concerns have caused Leif to step away from the band more and more over the last few years, and on fourth album The Fire I Long For, he’s he’s been relegated to helping write a few songs.” Feel this fire.

Vesperith – Vesperith Review

Vesperith – Vesperith Review

Throughout the ages, many are the writers of these ancient halls who have remarked upon metalcore bands whose promotional materials lurk deep within that bogs of our storage facility masquerading as something else altogether. Many are those who have excitedly snatched up and absconded with a rare unsupervised melodeath promo only to realize, to their endless despair, that the joke is on them. As a relative newcomer, I knew to beware of this phenomenon, but I didn’t count on the surprising number of ambient bands whose promotional teams might seek to do the same thing with black metal. You’d think I’d have learned by now – Vesperith’s self-titled debut marks the fourth time I’ve sat down to sample a not-black metal “black metal” album.” Sucker!

Quayde LaHüe – Love out of Darkness Review

Quayde LaHüe – Love out of Darkness Review

“I was saddened to learn that by skipping the first day of Eliminator Fest, I’d missed a performance by the band that I find myself covering today: Olympia, Washington’s Quayde LaHüe. After spending time with their debut album Love out of Darkness, I’m vowing to catch them live at some point, because these guys and gal kick some serious olde school ass.” Love in a dark place.

Aggressive Perfector – Havoc at the Midnight Hour Review

Aggressive Perfector – Havoc at the Midnight Hour Review

“It’s clearly throwback week in the House ov Steel. No sooner do I crash land after high speed sledding through the 80s with Warsenal than I find myself prematurely buried in the creepy graveyard of 80s metal curated by England’s Aggressive Perfector. With a sound stuck in the mire between Mercyful Fate and Venom, and at times digging in the same graves that Deceased made a career out of defiling, their debut drags the unsuspecting listener through a horror revival of all the charmingly slimy metal hits of the 80s.” Havoc panic.

Obsequiae – The Palms of Sorrowed Kings Review

Obsequiae – The Palms of Sorrowed Kings Review

“Back in 2015 I was taken off guard and enchanted by the superb sophomore album from Obsequiae, entitled Aria of Vernal Tombs, which marked a strong improvement over their impressive debut. Despite operating a bit outside my regular wheelhouse, the album’s raw blend of folky and medieval melodic black metal struck a chord that left me gobsmacked, gushing over the album’s elegant melodies, accomplished song-writing and earthy tones. Well finally the band have awoken from their slumber, returning to the ye olden days with another taut yet epic collection of melodic black metal tunes on their long awaited third album, The Palms of Sorrowed Kings.” Royal tidings.

Den – Iron Desert Review

Den – Iron Desert Review

“Think about running a marathon. Through the desert. On one leg. With gastroenteritis. And no map. This is how difficult it is to forge a unique and compelling sound in the saturated world of metal. Bands generally either go super heavy, or adopt a hybrid sound of some kind. But when you have bands like An Autumn for Crippled Children combining dream-pop with black metal, and Devourment making music so dense it almost absorbs light, what is a band to do? Well, if they have the balls, they could try to do both. Enter Den, a band that wants to offer you a joint, then smash it unceremoniously through your skull after two tokes.” Heavy sand.