Primus

Somehow Jo – Tusk Review

Somehow Jo – Tusk Review

“I’m not sure what, if any, expectations I had for Finnish alt metallers Somehow Jo when I etched my crude shark sigil into the review boulder by their name. It’s not a moniker that really speaks to me and the artwork – although quite pretty – also doesn’t give a lot away. But you can be sure that any expectations I may have unconsciously harbored, plummeted when I read that sophomore album Tusk was written largely in a “small bunker next to a shady titty bar” and that, throughout, the band prioritized “freshness and originality in all of the ideas we’ve brought for the other members to be eaten and then later to be defecated in to a demo of some kind.”” Jo momma.

Flummox – Selcouth Review

Flummox – Selcouth Review

“I usually try to pick bands to review based on my prior knowledge of them, partly because I’m risk-averse, but mainly because I’m very lazy and I dislike having to make the effort to look up a band’s information. Unfortunately, this same laziness also means I’m often last to check what’s available for review, so end up with the unknowns spurned by the rest of the AMG workforce. Flummox were one such unknown, but I had a good feeling about the band. Distinguishing themselves from the rest of the metal scene with a quirkiness that extends from their artwork to their lyrics to their range of musical influences, on paper Flummox are a fascinating prospect. Though generally not a fan of jam-bands, especially on record, a sneak preview of “The Ghost of Ronnie Dio” suggested Flummox could combine their influences and personality into well-written, entertaining, proper songs. So how does Selcouth fair as a whole?” Guess.

Annihilator – Feast Review

Annihilator – Feast Review

“Anyone who read my review of Annihilator‘s malformed 2010 outing knows I’ve met my fair share of frustration and disappointment at their diabolical hands. For those who missed that ill-tempered screed, I lamented how they’ve made a career out of underperforming and steadfastly refusing to live up to the potential promised by their Alice in Hell debut. Hell, you can’t even look to them to turn out consistently decent albums, as more than a few have been bad. The thing that galls me most, is that almost every album has one or two tracks that hint at what founder/guitar-wizard Jeff Waters is capable of.” Can these once ragin’ Canadian thrashers finally get things back on track with Feast? If so, Steel Druhm’s Annihilator abuse may finally come to a middle.

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.