Nov22

Ofdrykkja – After the Storm Review

Ofdrykkja – After the Storm Review

“Since its inception in 2012, Ofdrykkja seems to have been labeled as atmoblack. That was just about accurate for 2014 debut, A Life Worth Losing, although even then there were indications that these Swedes had designs on something grander. That proved to be the case, as the band’s sound has continued to grow and evolve through Irrfärd (2017) and Gryningsvisor (2019), with black metal largely abandoned on the latter, save for some occasional, harsher vocals (see “Wither” and “As the Northern Wind Cries”), in favor of exploratory post-rock and Scandinavian neo-folk.” I, voiddrifter.

Risingfall – Rise or Fall Review

Risingfall – Rise or Fall Review

Losing a friend sucks. Whether human or animal, sudden or expected, chronic or acute, death comes as part of life and rarely does it arrive when we most need it. Unfortunately, shortly before the release of Risingfallߵs debut album, Rise or Fall, one of their founding members, Yoshiki, gave way to a chronic illness. However, Risingfall knew they couldn’t let this hold them down—this throwback act hailing from Japan knows there’s only one way to celebrate death: heavy metal.” Metal never dies.

Detherous – Unrelenting Malevolence Review

Detherous – Unrelenting Malevolence Review

“Not much has changed for Detherous on the style front. Last time I referenced the early thrash of Kreator and the early death of…Death, but the most fitting returning comparison belongs to Demolition Hammer. As if the increased groove profile of Unrelenting Malevolence wasn’t enough to convince you that Detherous worships Demoliton Hammer’s Epidemic of Violence, the band has even included a cover of that album’s incredible opener.” Unrelenting hammer smashed facing.

Carnal Savagery – Worm Eaten Review

Carnal Savagery – Worm Eaten Review

“I’ve enjoyed my share of nasty, greasy death metal this year, and in the preceding 11 months when genre favorites like doom have been poorly represented, it’s been death that kept reliably turning my crank. As we enter the dreaded dead zone of November and December when promos are scant and generally sub-par, I hedged my bets by hoarding as much death as I could cram into my iron sump skimmer of bestial inwasion. One of the death nuggets stuffed unceremoniously in the junk truck was Carnal Savagery’s fourth full-length, Worm Eaten.” Compost pokery.

Nazghor – Seventh Secular Crusade Review

Nazghor – Seventh Secular Crusade Review

Nazghor play old school black metal with the melody turned way up. Think classic Dissection mixed with the hyperactivity of Sacramentum. Since 2016’s Death’s Withered Chants, Nazghor have followed an ever-more melodic road without sacrificing their trve brand of old school satanism. Seventh Secular Crusade walks the path ever deeper without sounding like it has abandoned its black metal roots.” Satan Claws is coming to town.

Vengeur – Par Feu et Par Flammes Review

Vengeur – Par Feu et Par Flammes Review

“There’s electronic metal, and then there’s this Vengeur record. Superficially similar, Herman ‘Vengeur’ Pańkow’s solo project could hardly have less in common with that subgenre. ‘Witch house,’ ‘dissolved genres,’ and ‘avant-garde’ are just some of their Bandcamp tags. The fact that this is on I, Voidhanger should also give fair warning of its idiosyncrasy. Nothing, however, could prepare me for what would come after I pressed play on Par Feu et Par Flammes.” Beat of the electro-heart.

Crypt Rot – An Ancient Summoning Review

Crypt Rot – An Ancient Summoning Review

“Not all bands have lofty goals—such is the case for many in the slam zone. At the very least, though, slam bands attempt to humor their audience with band and album names that snag the eyes and knot the gut in the slow-moving sump of the “bring the riff back but slower” crowd. I myself have gawked at such names like Goresoaked Collection Of Slam Killed Craniums or Indomitable Worldwide Slamdemic (Invirulent) this year hoping to get a hit of that sweet, sweet slam crank. Unfortunately, great names do not always deliver. And even more unfortunately, Crypt Rot has a name generated by two death metal naming dice.” One time, at Slam Camp…

High Command – Eclipse of the Dual Moons Review

High Command – Eclipse of the Dual Moons Review

“For me, 2022 has been chock-full of highly anticipated albums from returning favorites, so it’s only fitting that my last review of the year should be more of the same. Three years ago, I told you not to miss Beyond the Wall of Desolation, the debut full-length from Massachusetts band High Command and late addition to my year-end list. When I first heard that record, I immediately fell in love with the band’s epic, fantasy-themed crossover thrash and was impressed by the way they were able to take a bunch of old-school, typically aggro styles and mash them together into something oozing with grandeur.” Command to highly overrate.

In the Woods… – Diversum Review

In the Woods… – Diversum Review

“The average age of all the cells in an adult human is somewhere between seven and ten years old. We constantly replace parts of ourselves, so that you are mostly a different person every decade or so. That means if you really, like, think about it, no band that lasts longer than ten years has any of its original lineup left. This is how I explain In the Woods… to myself. The outfit is in its fourth decade of shuffling through lineups and genres, with drummer Anders Kobro and the ellipsis in their name the only constants.” Lost among the trees.

MMXX – Sacred Cargo Review

MMXX – Sacred Cargo Review

MMXX is a very short name for a band, but it still says a lot about its story. During periods of isolation and lockdown in the titular year, Andrea Chiodetti (ex-The Foreshadowing), Jesse Haff (Daylight Dies), and Egan O’Rourke (Daylight Dies) formed something of a doom metal supergroup, based in the United States and Italy, and began writing music inspired by the events happening around them. From there, the project has grown ambitiously—now signed with Candlelight Records, the band brought on guest musician after guest musician to form something of a dark Avantasia-like project.” Sacred cargo or suspicious package?