Obscura

Aethereus – Absentia Review

Aethereus – Absentia Review

“Since the label’s inception, The Artisan Era has been edging into Unique Leader’s territory like it’s the South China Sea. With InferiAugury, and a slew of up-and-coming tech-death acts under its thumb, the label has established an ear for quality in an overindulgent niche. And as much as The Artisan Era’s output tends towards the frilly, keyboards-and-synth-orchestra side of the genre, I’m still keen to hear from their bands, and Washington’s Aethereus have my attention.” Absentia makes the heart grow brutal.

Sacrificed Alliance – Withdrawn Review

Sacrificed Alliance – Withdrawn Review

“Look past the front pages, beyond the newest Kalmah or Omnium Gatherum, but to the fringes. What do you see? Melodeath, by inch and by foot, grows longer by the year. This lengthwise legacy has nascent foundations as far back as Crimson before acts like Insomnium and Be’lakor (for better) and Wintersun (or worse) exposed that phenomenon to the masses. The most impressive returns rely not on track listings overstuffed with a dozen taut melobangers but long-form songs pushing the boundaries of melodeath’s expectation. Sacrificed Alliance assume this mantle.” Melodeath and the universe are ever expanding.

Record(s) o’ the Month – July 2018

Record(s) o’ the Month – July 2018

Below you have my Record(s) o’ the Month for July of 2018 drawn from July’s embarrassment of riches. Normally, July is a throw-away month. It’s the heart of festival season—everyone is torturing me with their pictures from Wacken and GenCon right now—and labels are careful about releasing new stuff. So it was a happy surprise that there was an intense crop of stand-out records that we enjoyed here at Angry Metal Guy Industries, LLP. Alas, we can only choose so many and—alas (for everyone but me)—my will is law.

Parius – The Eldritch Realm Review

Parius – The Eldritch Realm Review

“It’s good to have friends in high places; for prospective subjects of a review here, that means being buddies with an Angry Metal Guy hall of famer. Such were the means by which I became aware of Parius, a melo-prog-tech death metal act that shares a state — and on multiple occasions, a stage — with fellow Pennsylvanians Lör, the toppers of this blog’s 2017 aggregated list. Their enthusiastic social media plugging of Parius’ second LP, The Eldritch Realm, intrigued me as it came from a group that clearly has an ear for talent. Plus, given the record’s title, it would have been an irredeemable crime to not cover it personally.” Tales of the Elitist.

Obscura – Diluvium Review

Obscura – Diluvium Review

Obscura‘s 2009 release, Cosmogensis, dropped right when I was getting back into metal in a big way. I, like most people who heard it at the time, hailed it as the spiritual successor to Necrophagist and crowned the band the Kings o’ Noodly Death Metal. They have, in my estimation, never lived up to these expectations. Both Omnivium and Arkóasis fell flat, and both suffered from similar weaknesses; ballooning song and album-lengths, often at the cost of compositional focus and coherence.” If that’s not a cliff-hanger that makes you need to click, nothing is!

Yer Metal is Olde: Gorguts – Obscura

Yer Metal is Olde: Gorguts – Obscura

Obscura is flat out the most influential technical death metal album ever written. Steeve Hurdle and Luc Lemay’s paradigm-establishing use of dissonance and deliberate composition drew up an instant classic almost de novo. If ever a death metal album was divinely inspired, Obscura was, and once this box was opened, there was never a chance of resealing its contents.” The birth of evolution.

Inferi – Revenant Review

Inferi – Revenant Review

“AV Club ran a recent piece on the best ever back-to-back-to-back run on an album. That site may not be brutal enough for you malcontents, but you know who is? Me. Inferi. 2014’s The Path of Apotheosis stands on its own merits, but the 6-7-8 of “Destroyer,” “Onslaught of the Covenant,” and “Marching Through the Flames of Tyranny” made that record. Alone, each could have been a song of the year contender; together, they drove me to get “Inferi” tattooed directly on my heart. Needless to say, the Nashville quintet set the bar for follow-up Revenant at an unrealistic level.” Expectations and tattoos.

Augury – Illusive Golden Age Review

Augury – Illusive Golden Age Review

“Before Beyond Creation, there was Augury. At the tail end of the 2000s, the Quebeckers were at the forefront of the proggy side of tech-death along with Anata and Obscura, and their 2009 LP Fragmentary Evidence is a too-often overlooked milestone in the genre – perhaps because so many contemporary tech death albums (CosmogenesisThose Whom the Gods DetestOraclesEverything is Fire) were just as good and bore follow-up releases. Yes, for a long time it seemed that Augury had been outright replaced by Beyond Creation, who snatched the torch of Montreal’s world-class tech death scene, but a bit shy of a decade later, here we are with Illusive Golden Age.” Back from the tech-dead.

Nervecell – Past, Present… Torture Review

Nervecell – Past, Present… Torture Review

“Why tech-death insists on being an exercise in as many bands as possible doing the exact same thing as each other, is something that baffles. On that note, and with Beuller-approved levels of irony, let’s talk about some dudes from Dubai and what they’ve done with the genre on their third full-length, Past, Present… Torture.” Dial N for Nile, oh, and Nervecell.