Oct20

Harmonize – Warrior in the Night Review

Harmonize – Warrior in the Night Review

“There is a fine line between cringe and cheese. The latter is a savory substance that has embalmed many a God of Metal throughout the ages, and while the former can be bewitching in some of its shapes, it’s all the same loathed by most of us. Cheese is a crucial ingredient to all metal that I love, and of late I find that my desire for that silky, golden mass has become more and more difficult to satiate. Just as my craving was reaching peak levels and I hurried to spin Manowar’s “Sons of Odin” for the 666th time, the rattle of the promo bin beg I pay heed.” Sing for your steel!

Nightmare – Aeternam Review

Nightmare – Aeternam Review

“France’s Nightmare are no strangers to the heavy metal scene. The band’s origins go back four decades to their foundation as a punk outfit in 1979. Over the next few years, the punk stylings gave way to the burgeoning heavy metal sound of the early 80s and the band released a couple of full-lengths before going on hiatus in 1988. But Nightmare‘s best work was yet to come.” Dream warriors.

Amiensus – Abreaction Review

Amiensus – Abreaction Review

“It beats me how the grief-stricken yet gorgeous and woodsy, black metal of Minnesota’s Amiensus flew under the radar of my hawk-like colleagues here at AMG up until now. After my first few listens of the ten year old band’s newest material, however, I couldn’t help myself from feeling taken aback and even pouting a little. Where are the beautiful, aching cleans and shimmering synths of 2013’s Restoration and 2015’s Ascension, I wondered? Amiensus‘s first two albums, arguably more accessible than their latest, were especially formative for me.  They pulled me into the metal genre deeper than any other metal albums I had listened to before, more so even than Panopticon‘s Autumn Eternal.” Gourd songs.

Enslaved – Utgard Review

Enslaved – Utgard Review

“Sometimes a band makes such a drastic change in style that you’re floored by it. Many times upset by it. But Enslaved made it work. Well, at least for a couple more albums. I liked most of RIITIIR, but nothing after. And when E and its saxophone-sucking closer arrived five years later, I had pretty much given up on the band. So, you can imagine the dread I felt when I got the promo for Utgard.” En garde.

Monsterworks – Malignment Review

Monsterworks – Malignment Review

“It seems like I just finished writing about Monsterworks a short time ago – or did I? I mean, their last album came out two and a half years ago – or did it? Was that the last we heard of these guys? It feels like it wasn’t. Normally they’re on an album a year release schedule, so this is a big gap for them. Makes me wonder if they were up to something else during that time. In fact, I’m rather bullish on that idea. I’m also very confused.” Monsters, Inc.

Brave the Cold – Scarcity Review

Brave the Cold – Scarcity Review

“When it was announced that guitarist Mitch Harris and drummer Dirk Verbeuren were collaborating for some kind of death metal project, I was unsure exactly what to expect. Mr. Harris is a grand progenitor of grind, starting out with Righteous Pigs before joining Napalm Death in 1989. Since then he’s helped define an entire genre and dabbled in weirdness on the side, as with Meathook Seed. On the other hand, Dirk Verbeuren has played with Megadeth, Soilwork, Devin Townsend, Warrel Dane, and any number of black and death metal acts. With such a widely traveled duo, the options seem limitless.” Frost grinding.

Synthetic – Clepsydra: Time Against Infinity Review

Synthetic – Clepsydra: Time Against Infinity Review

“Well, the promo claimed Clepsydra to be symphonic progressive metal, which did not fill me with hope. Thankfully, this claim was wrong. It’s not very symphonic; it just overuses keyboards a lot. It admittedly has that in common with actual symphonic bands, but at least the synths in Synthetic are more earnest in their synthetic sound rather than trying and failing to imitate an actual orchestra. Nor is this record very progressive at all; most of the songs have a basic verse-chorus structure and rely on direct hooks of a pretty tried and true style. The style in question is more along the lines of metalcore and melodic death, winding up somewhere in between Killswitch Engage, Soilwork and In Flames, just with a lot more keyboards.” Corephobia.

Ascian – Elysion Review

Ascian – Elysion Review

“Self-described as a happy medium between My Dying Bride and AlcestAscian bring on the gloom by way of gargantuan riffs summoned at a glacial pace by guitarists P. and T. There be no fluff whatsoever across the remarkably tight thirty-eight minutes that span this album. The mission statement of Elysion is plain as day: to crush all who venture in this overcast wasteland until nothing remains but a faint wisp of soul dust.” Unhappy mediums.