Portuguese Metal

Saevus Finis – Facilis Descensus Averno Review

Saevus Finis – Facilis Descensus Averno Review

“With a name that translates roughly to “The Savage End,” Saevus Finis aim to live up to their moniker with their equally-ominously-titled debut Facilis Descensus Averno (An Easy Descent into Hell). Exercising a particularly gnarly blend of dissonant death and black metal, this plays out in the expectedly extreme metal fashion, amelodious odes of cavernous, claustrophobic cacophony. And it’s pretty cool. In a funny coincidence, it turns out the vocalist of Saevus Finis—Mortvorvm— also provides pipes and guitars for Wells Valley, which received the TYMHM 2023 treatment from yours truly.” Black birds of a feather.

Systemik Viølence – Negative Mangel Attitude Review

Systemik Viølence – Negative Mangel Attitude Review

“Punk and metal have a complicated relationship, or at least we treat them like they do. As fans, we like to be something—a metalhead, a punk, a dissobro. As music seekers, we like to have genre guides—punk-born tags like crust, mathcore, grindcore, metal-born tags like doom, death, black, kissing cousins like sludge, thrash, deathcore. And the bands we value tend to play to or play with these expectations. Others eschew the norms of where they’re placed or even fight the idea of being the guitar music we’ve all come to love—but not Systemik Viølence. These Portuguese knuckleheads just wanna play screeching chords, overdriven bass, and venomous vocal lashings loud, fast, and loud.” Feel the wiølence.

Hours of Worship – Death & Dying Vol. I Review

Hours of Worship – Death & Dying Vol. I Review

“Not even a year ago, I sat down with the sophomore LP, The Cold that You Left from Lisbon/New York City duo Hours of Worship. Its dour, moody sensibility had me channeling my inner goth as it spun its miserably pretty synth soundscapes. Now, Death & Dying Vol. I—with part II due later this year—has arrived to double down on the despair.” Sad as sport.

Carma – Ossadas Review

Carma – Ossadas Review

Carma is a quartet from Coimbra, Portugal, also home to Ossadas’ muse: the Conchada Cemetery. This burial site is not only of morbid intrigue but also packed with architectural interest, serving Coimbra’s wealthiest families as far back as 1860. In true funeral doom fashion, Ossadas is as majestic as it is morbid, melody coursing through each movement as the black metal sharpens the mammoth doom riffs.” Home of the grave.

Oak – Disintegrate Review

Oak – Disintegrate Review

“After submerging myself in copious death metal throughout January and early February, Steel‘s well-seasoned body needed a soak in the soothing tides of funerary doom-death. And so I happened upon the sophomore release by Portugal’s Oak. The side project of Gaerea lead guitarist/vocalist, Guilherme Henriques and featuring various current and former Gaerea members, it attempts a style far afield from what that black metal outfit is known for. This is classic funeral doom death across the boards, though it has a fair amount of blackened elements bubbling up as well. The gimmick here is that Disintegrate is but one 45-minute track.” Counting the rings of tragedy.

Godiva – Hubris Review

Godiva – Hubris Review

“Portuguese symphonic death metal outfit Godiva founded in 1999. Between that year and 2007, the fledgling band released a couple of demos and an EP, only to go on hiatus until their resurrection in 2018 with a revamped lineup and a new single, “Empty Coil.” Now, after 24 long years of toil underground, Godiva ready their first full-length LP, Hubris, in a rather saturated market for symphonic and gothic death metal.” Not just for dessert anymore.

Adaga – Das Ruínas do Ser Review

Adaga – Das Ruínas do Ser Review

“Black metal has never been a cheery subgenre. Flavors that lean towards the charmingly-titled depressive, suicidal black metal obviously even less so. There is also no rule that this music—or indeed any music—that deals with existential despair, and depression need actually sound overly melancholic, though it certainly helps. Adaga play black metal of the DSBM-leaning kind. A solo project (of course), whose origin and constitution is opaque, their debut Das Ruínas do Ser fulfills virtually all the expected criteria.” Sad hard.

Amputate – Dawn of Annihilation Review

Amputate – Dawn of Annihilation Review

“The Boss Ape looked perplexed. ‘Why is my favorite reviewer…’—My grin widened—’…of basement-dwelling, one-man, atmoblack projects choosing to cover death metal?’ I gingerly pointed him to AMG policy 5a: ‘Man cannot live by black metal alone. Thou shalt expand thine horizons.’ He nodded suspiciously and slipped Amputate’s second album, Dawn of Annihilation, across the desk. ‘You’ll be pleased to note that there’s no falsetto,’ he added. ‘Just try not be an ass-clown about this one… or it’s more Minipony for you.’ Wheelhouse or pony stall?