Portuguese Metal

Irae – Lurking in the Depths Review

Irae – Lurking in the Depths Review

“Black metal has a weird reputation. If you ask anybody walking down the street about it, given its nuances of church burning and Satanism, they’ll shudder and tell you “that stuff is scary, man.” However, if you ask a person who regularly listens to it, it becomes a different beast entirely: using Burzum‘s self-titled as an example, you’ll hear an angsty Ewok grumbling about his mom taking away his Satanic Bible while abusing a Walmart guitar.” Fear and loathing in Portugal.

Necrobode – Sob o Feitiço do Necrobode Review

Necrobode – Sob o Feitiço do Necrobode Review

“While I’ve certainly found many that have piqued my interest, few do it the way Archgoat does it. Fortunately, Portuguese trio Necrobode apparently heard my prayers and answered them with their Sob o Feitiço do Necrobode debut. Unfortunately, while this certainly scratched an itch, they still have a ways to go before they usurp their primary influence.” Goat with a bullet.

Ironsword – Servants of Steel Review

Ironsword – Servants of Steel Review

“Before mastering the steel, you must first master yourself. Yet mastering oneself requires the mastery of epic metal. This is the riddle of trveness, and why your journey has brought you here to this Ironsword review. Portugal’s most trve of metal bands have long toiled to forge the perfect sword with which to lay waste to posers and the defenders of false metal. In their quest for metal supremacy they traveled the Manilla Road to the ends of the world.” Steel away the night.

Israthoum – Arrows from Below Review

Israthoum – Arrows from Below Review

“I come to my last writing engagement of the year off the back of reading Grymm’s humbling first post on mental health in metal – and the absolutely incredible reaction to that – as well as wrapping up my TYMHMs and agonizing over my year-end list. It feels somehow anticlimactic to return to ‘normal’ reviewing. That’s no disrespect, however, to today’s subject, a band formed way back in the early 90s in Portugal under the name Grendel, then becoming Geryous, before assuming their current and enduring moniker, Israthoum in 1998.” What’s in a name?

Blame Zeus – Seethe Review

Blame Zeus – Seethe Review

“But if we disregard the stains of the posturing rap machismo, there’s nothing inherently bad about alternative metal. Generally speaking, it’s often got muscly, infectious riffs, vocal hooks for days, and a bass presence other genres could learn from. It’s the opposite of trve and kvlt, but elitism had always been a dead end. The only thing that often irritates me greatly about alternative metal is the high levels of either emo or tough-guy bluster. So what if we replace that with a fantastic set of bronzed female vocals and a subtle dusting of prog? That’s when we get Blame Zeus.” Commence the Zeusical.

Apotheus – The Far Star Review

Apotheus – The Far Star Review

“Every now and then you run into something that seems to have been made specifically for you. It’s like someone reached into your head, downloaded a copy of your soul, extracted exactly the sort of things you enjoy, and made something that panders to the template it found. Apotheus’ promo described a progressive melodeath band with a sci-fi concept album about interstellar colonization. Periods for emphasis, but Sign. Me. The. Fuck. Up.” Swallow the wvrm.

Alcoholocaust – Necro Apocalipse Bestial Review

Alcoholocaust – Necro Apocalipse Bestial Review

“It’s Monday. 8:24 A.M. I pull my Toyota into the Magazine Street parking garage, fifth floor, the only spot in the shade that still has cell phone reception. Aura Noir‘s Out to Die is blasting on the stereo. I pay the parking fee on my mobile app and sigh as I prepare myself for another day at the office. And then, I stop. What if I don’t go in? I think to myself. What if I just turn the car back on and drive away? What if I forget my job and spend the rest of the summer guzzling booze, getting hairy, and banging my fukkin head for the Master in Hell? It seems radical, but a group of people have actually done it.” Down with adulthood!

The Black Wizards – Reflections Review

The Black Wizards – Reflections Review

“In the metal community, race is a somewhat awkward point. Metalheads are largely (though not exclusively) a socially-progressive sort, despite what the epidemic of NSBM would have you believe. Yet look around at any metal festival, and perhaps 1 in a 1000 visitors aren’t of a pallid complexion. The same goes for the musicians; you’ll be hard-pressed finding a whiter group of artists than, say, Nightwish. Of course, on some level this makes sense, considering where the majority of metal comes from.” Reflections on coexistence.

Ravensire – A Stone Engraved in Red Review

Ravensire – A Stone Engraved in Red Review

“Ancient armies will clash. Muscle, sweat, bone and blood will meet gleaming steel. Once tranquil fields will be littered with tattered banners and fallen heroes. This is Ravensire‘s world and we just fight in it. Hailing from Portugal, they’re an epic heavy metal band through and through, taking inspiration from all the best swords (Doomsword, Ironsword), the Viking ethos of Bathory‘s Hammerheart era, and of course, the loin beclothed he-men of Manowar.” Stone beats Steel.