Oct20

Mors Principium Est – Seven Review

Mors Principium Est – Seven Review

“Some of why I feel this way is because few bands can pack as many riffs into a single album as MPE do. When I listen to their entire discog in an afternoon, it feels like it’s taken ten years off my life. There’re so many riffs—you wonder if there are any left. Twenty years in existence, a dozen members now funneled down to two, and six albums turn Seven. Will Seven be their lucky number?” Number of a beast.

Raging Speedhorn – Hard to Kill Review

Raging Speedhorn – Hard to Kill Review

Raging Speedhorn. Now that’s a name I’ve not heard in a long time. A long time. And to be honest, I didn’t really expect to hear it again but it would seem it’s pretty Hard to Kill this six-piece from Corby in the UK. I first came across Raging Speedhorn when they opened the main stage at Ozzfest in Milton Keynes in 2001. I am almost certain that I saw them again at some point and, after conferring with one of my best mates, I think this may have been a rather unlikely-seeming slot opening for The Dillinger Escape Plan sometime around 2002 or 2003. I hadn’t thought about them since then until a few weeks back, when Holdeneye alerted me to the fact that we had received the promo for Hard to Kill and asked whether, as the only person to ever reference Raging Speedhorn on the blog, I was interested. Hell, why not.” Can’t kill the Horn.

Defecto – Duality Review

Defecto – Duality Review

“I’ve seen the question time and time again on any review below a 2.5. “Why even review this?” Well, there’s a bunch of reasons. An important one is, as soon as we pick a promo, we’re honor bound to review it regardless of quality. Oftentimes we don’t even know what we’re getting into, signing the contract over only the band name, album title and genre. A writer may start up a promising promo and have his head in his hands before the first minute is out, knowing he’s on the hook. That wasn’t the case with Defecto; I’ve reviewed the Danes before, to unspectacular result, and fully intended not to subject myself this time. But the band was brought up during our monthly meeting and the Emperor commanded me to pick up where I left off. Drat.” Double broken.

Armored Saint – Punching the Sky Review

Armored Saint – Punching the Sky Review

Armored Saint is like that comfortable pair of jeans you’ve held onto forever, steadfastly ignoring the badly frayed cuffs, rips, and discolorations that accumulate over a lifetime of wear and tear. They’re a familiar and reassuring part of your life and you’ll brook no talk of replacement. These overperforming underdogs have been delivering their hard scrabble, punchy take on heavy metal since their 1983 EP, and through the 37 years since then the only things that have really changed are their hairlines.” Fist of the Saint.

Leaves’ Eyes – The Last Viking Review

Leaves’ Eyes – The Last Viking Review

Leaves’ Eyes is a band I hear about plenty, but whose music I seldom actually hear. A few samples here and there, a sliver of news-worthy drama over there, a conversation once in a while — that’s it. So it’s a bit odd that I wound up with the responsibility of reviewing their latest output, The Last Viking, but then, sometimes not knowing about band-land drama is good for the weary reviewer.” Eyes Fatigue.

Benediction – Scriptures Review

Benediction – Scriptures Review

“When I first heard Benediction, it was on the indispensable Death…Is Just the Beginning II with “Dark is the Season.” I still get that opening riff stuck in my head from time to time. Many moons ago when I first discovered Anaal Nathrakh, I learned that vocalist Dave Hunt had performed on Benediction’s 2008 release Killing Music, I was rather ambivalent upon hearing it. Sometime around then I heard Bolt Thrower’s underrated Honour Valour Pride, which featured Benediction’s best-known vocalist Dave Ingram, and I loved his performance. Ingram’s stellar performance on the title track of Megascavenger’s At the Plateaus of Leng was a big factor in me picking it up. Scriptures, Benediction’s first release since Killing Music, sees Ingram return to the fold and my expectations measured.” Death… is beginning again.

Memoremains – The Cost of Greatness Review

Memoremains – The Cost of Greatness Review

“Pop metal. Sure. Why not. Sorry, hang on, I missed a crucial detail there. Finnish pop metal. Sure! Why not? Frankly, as much as I may have misgivings about the style, pop is generally meant to be a cheery style and right now I could use some cheer, because this month has seriously sucked on just about every level and, frankly, I’m getting tired of catharsis. So I’m turning away from doom for a second, turning up the speakers, loading up The Cost of Greatness, and am ready for my self-prescribed dose of artificial happiness (non-drug category). So bring it on, Memoremains. Bring. It. On.” The price of happiness.

False Gods – No Symmetry… Only Disillusion Review

False Gods – No Symmetry… Only Disillusion Review

“I’m the biggest Eyehategod fan I know, and sludge gets a bad rap. I get it: much like drone, if you just amp up the distortion to an 11/10 and know how to abuse the blues scale, you’ve got it made. Of course, there’s more nuance, like the need for facial hair, flannel, intoxicating substances, a shotgun, and some dark woods in the Deep South, but that’s just pedantic. My point is, you wouldn’t expect Crowbar-esque sludge from some dudes in New York, New York.” Empire expanding.

Lord Almighty – Wither Review

Lord Almighty – Wither Review

Lord Almighty, that’s some pretty artwork. An animal skull, painted with myriad pastel colors, conveys that sense of decay which defines so much of the metal art world. Meanwhile, a rich palette of greens and blues strengthens the impression that this skeletal creature’s surroundings teem with life. Plus, emblazoned atop the stripped-down scenery oversees this Lord’s unholy crest, gnarled and subtly overgrown while simultaneously resembling a fortress, the moon presiding over its kingdom. Needless to say, I was thrumming with excitement to get my hands all over this. Imagine my glee when the Bostonians’ sophomore record Wither—an apt name to go with the cover—didn’t totally suck.” Wither systems.