Obscura

Thulcandra – Under a Frozen Sun Review

Thulcandra – Under a Frozen Sun Review

The Germanic horde Thulcandra is back for another fast and furious bout of Dissection worship. For those who missed my review of their 2010 opus Fallen Angel’s Dominion, these chaps, lead by Stefan Kummerer (Obscura) are huge fans of the late, great Dissection and their debut was a loving tribute to their classic sound. Since I’m also a fan, their authentic and spot-on Dissection-isms (and occasional Immortal-isms) won me over enough to overlook the complete lack of originality. That release stands up well and I still spin it fairly often. Now comes their second album, Under a Frozen Sun and its a whole lot more of the same. Once again, they deliver expertly performed, melodic black metal with all the hallmarks of The Somberlain and Storm of the Light’s Bane albums. This time however, it feels slighty less fresh and engaging. Perhaps their homage schtick is growing old or maybe its the black metal weariness I’m feeling of late. Either way, while less successful than the debut, Thulcandra (or Dissection, I’m not sure which) retains just enough charm and appeal to make for some worthwhile moments of old school Scandinavian blackness, suitable for scowling and frowning in the snow. It also has several barnburners that rise above the continued pattern of staunch unoriginality.

Pestilence – Doctrine Review

Pestilence – Doctrine Review

They say you can’t go home again. If the recent track record of Dutch deathsters Pestilence proves anything, it’s that you may get home again, but you can’t stay there long. Pestilence had a few significant contributions to the death genre in the late 80’s and early 90’s, most notably the excellent Consuming Impulse from ’89 (a nasty, vicious slab of ugliness and a top ten all time death album IMHO) and the very solid Testimony of the Ancient release in ’91. Then they radically shifted styles by incorporating copious progressive jazz fusion elements into the Spheres opus and alienated many fans in the process. That essentially closed the book on Pestilence until their 2009 reunion album Resurrection Macabre, which did indeed go home to their early death metal roots and kicked a fair amount of arse too. Now, we get their second post-reformation platter and much to my chagrin, back comes the progressive jazz-fusion elements to muddy the waters (though not to the extent they did on Spheres). This leaves Doctrine a squirming, writhing mutant offspring, half Consuming Impulse, half Spheres and it feels like an album tearing itself apart with inconsistent, incompatible ideas. Needless to say, I’m not very jazzed about this.

Bodyfarm – Bodyfarm EP Review

Bodyfarm – Bodyfarm EP Review

Amidst the sea of breakdowns, pig squeals, and all things core, comes a band that’s traditional and non-conforming. Bodyfarm, named from the institutions that examine and study the deceased and decomposition of dead flesh, is a straight up no BS death metal project with pure energy and substance. Along the same lines as Vader, Vomitory, or Cannibal Corpse in that there sound is stripped away aggressive death metal. No Gimmicks so to speak, just the music free from the pressures of mediocre innovations and the rising deathcore movement. I’m pleased to say these guys might have accidentally stumbled upon something refreshing.

Obscura – Omnivium Review

Obscura – Omnivium Review

March has really been one hell of a month, hasn’t it? To think after Amon Amarth and Vintersorg we get to follow it all up with Obscura’s Omnivium. If any record counts as the most-anticipated of the year, Obscura is probably getting pretty close to that level. Having released in 2009, what was really a hell of a surprise for most listeners (including people who’d purchased their previous record) in Cosmogenesis, these technical death metallers built on their Necrophagist cred (and sound) and on the legacy of the mighty Death with their technical, progressive death metal, complete with awesome fretless bass attack. So, while this isn’t really a record that can fall victim of the sophomore slump (being the band’s third record), it certainly is an album that could fall victim to overly heightened expectations. And, I must admit, this Angry Metal Guy certainly had heightened expectations

Grayceon – All We Destroy Review

Grayceon – All We Destroy Review

Grayceon is a three-piece progressive metal band from San Francisco that was formed in 2005 and that is releasing their third full-length All We Destroy via Profound Lore (which is being distroed by Sound Pollution in Sweden, by the way). Since their 2007 debut, the band has been hailed as something totally unique on the metal landscape, and in 2011 this is still very true. In fact, I would go so far as to argue that they are a singular voice in the area in such a way that there is very little functional comparison to a reader understand what it is that they do, and more specifically why it’s so damn successful. However, as a music reviewer that’s my job (or in this case, ridiculously time consuming habit), so I shall wade fearlessly into the fray and hope that you, angry reader, are left with a sense of why you should head over to Profound Lore’s website and purchase the record.

Thulcandra – Fallen Angel’s Dominion Review

Thulcandra – Fallen Angel’s Dominion Review

At long last, the new Dissection Album!! Well, it isn’t..but it should be! After 2006’s massively disappointing Reinkaos album and the subsequent tragic loss of Jon Nodtveidt, the once mighty and majestic Swedish black metal band was part of metal history. The markers on Dissection’s grave being the highly esteemed albums The Somberlain and Storm of the Light’s Bane. Although there will never be another Dissection, Thulcandra is trying with all their collective might be the next best thing and their debut Fallen Angel’s Dominion comes as close as possible to reviving those fallen heroes of old. If you absolutely detest bands aping the style and sound of a seminal genre icon, cease reading and go find other worthwhile pursuits. However, if you are willing to listen to a quality band that forsakes originality in favor of blatant hero worship, stay tuned folks.

Top 10(ish) of 2009

Top 10(ish) of 2009

Well, everyone else under the sun has been releasing their Top 10 lists, and for those of you faithful readers out there I’m sure you’re also interested in what I’m going to say about the best records of 2009. First, let me say that for the first half of this year I was not indeed Angry Metal Guy, but instead, I was just a normal guy buying my metal and hoping that it was going to be fucking awesome. Now, I’m a bitter critic. As a bitter critic I hear a lot more, but this year has still been characterized by some of the biggest bands on the scene for me. Mainly, Amorphis, who in my opinion have released the finest album of the year, if not the finest album of their very distinguished career. But, let me get to that later. There have been some great records this year, but there has been a lot of mediocre shit. Think of this list as being two-tiered, top 10 and then top 20. The top 10 are the records that I think were really awesome, elite albums, the second 10 are records that I think are great and worth your time and effort. Note that I haven’t heard certain albums that I’d like to hear due to that whole poverty not being offset by stealing music thing. With this, I hope to launch AngryMetalGuy.com into the new year on a new note: one where bands suck less.

Interview with Trevor from The Black Dahlia Murder (2009)

Trevor from The Black Dahlia Murder is the first person I’ve ever interviewed more than once.  Unfortunately, he doesn’t remember that.  When I talked to him, the guys were a start up band from Detroit that was soon going into the studio to record Miasma a record that went over, well, remarkably well.  So well, […]