Progressive Death Metal

First Fragment – Gloire Éternelle Review

First Fragment – Gloire Éternelle Review

“In the last decade, a cadre of death metal bands have stretched the limits of evil sound, using their technical skills to explore uncommon harmonic territories and bizarre anti-melody. First Fragment are not one of them. First Fragment are giant show-offs who stretch the limits of shred and use their technical skills to combine neoclassical melody with flamenco and swing, and I love them for it.” 19 pieces of flair.

Deviant Process – Nurture Review

Deviant Process – Nurture Review

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: technical death metal can be a fickle mistress. For a genre so overflowing with talent, much of the actual music can come across as rather soulless, and despite all the intricacies, a lot of releases appear surprisingly formulaic. In short, I’ve been burned before. But then I look to recent releases from bands like Alustrium, Symbolik, and Allegaeon; releases that serve as a potent reminder that not all is lost, and that when the tech-death hits, it hits hard. It was with this sunny outlook that I plucked Nurture, the latest release from Deviant Process, from the promo pit.” High hopes and technical problems.

Rivers of Nihil – The Work Review

Rivers of Nihil – The Work Review

“Following Kronos’ law of increasing hippietude, Rivers of Nihil have slowly softened their deathcore- and djent- influenced progressive death metal in order to embrace their more sensitive side. Their last record, Where Owls Know My Name, saw this softening succeed, the band now not too far removed from prog metal standbys Between the Buried and Me, sans the hyperactivity. Owls twined the band’s inherited heft and emotional valence into a few very strong songs and a respectable album, proof that the hippiefication process is not all bad. The Work takes it one puff further, balancing every moment of death metal intensity with one or two of chill prog.” Hip and sprawl.

Ænigmatum – Deconsecrate Review

Ænigmatum – Deconsecrate Review

“I’ve had my eye on Ænigmatum for two months now. As with most things that cross my path on the river Bandcamp’s neverending stream, the colorful but still fleshy and spiny cover for the Portland, Oregon quartet’s sophomore effort Deconsecrate caught my attention—and, thankfully, so did the advance track. It was a twisty, gnarled hurricane of blackened death metal from a label I normally associate with more knuckle-dragging fare. Needless to say, Ænigmatum seemed poised to deliver something fresh in a summer that’s been remarkably dry for this sponge.” Songs for scouring.

Burial in the Sky – The Consumed Self Review

Burial in the Sky – The Consumed Self Review

“In my travels I have run across a handful of large nocturnal birds, and when I do so I am sure to ask them who their favorite Pennsylvania-based progressive death metal band is. As any fan of the genre would expect, they invariably give the same reply: Alustrium. Wise, indeed, but their distant, diurnal relatives have keyed me in to a different group who slake their hunger: Philadelphia’s Burial in the Sky.” Birds die in the sky.

Crypt Crawler – Future Usurper Review

Crypt Crawler – Future Usurper Review

“Hailing from the same death metal scene as Depravity, Perth Australia’s Crypt Crawler are another interesting act seeking worldwide exposure. Their 2019 To the Grave debut was a simplistic, raw affair and offered some good, deathy fun. Future Usurper sees more polish and progressive tendencies worming into focus, blending  the early days of Death‘s proggy experimentation and more straight forward 90s death/thrash acts like Cancer and Malevolent Creation with modern sensibilities. Such an endeavor requires a significant talent pool and luckily, the members of Crypt Crawler have the requisite chops.” Crawlers in the throne room.

Hannes Grossmann – To Where the Light Retreats Review

Hannes Grossmann – To Where the Light Retreats Review

“I have a confession to make. I have a pathological aversion to bands named after people. Unless your name is Ozzy or Dio, I’m probably not going to listen to your album. Ok, I guess I love the solo stuff from Warrel Dane and Michael Romeo, but that’s it! I honestly can’t explain why, but I’ve just always thought that metal is a band’s genre. Anyways, I’ve said all that to immediately contradict myself.” What’s in a name?

Yer Metal is Olde: Opeth – Blackwater Park

Yer Metal is Olde: Opeth – Blackwater Park

“There are very few albums that I consider to be 5.0s or, in AMG money, ‘iconic.’ There are even fewer that I can actually picture the moment I first heard. One of those, however, is Blackwater Park. Opeth‘s fifth full-length album probably shaped my extreme metal tastes more than any other single record and I cannot believe it is already 20 years old.” Park of the beast.

The Beast of Nod – Multiversal Review

The Beast of Nod – Multiversal Review

The Beast of Nod‘s Vampira: Disciple of Chaos was one of the coolest indie death metal albums back in 2018. The icy hunk of sharp, odd prog-death featured unique songwriting, delightfully insane humor, an entertaining story with fascinating characters, and a thousand hooks sharpened with intent to kill. Wild seems an apt descriptor, especially when you take into account the extensive lore that the project created to accompany their musical arm. While rough around the edges at times, that first icebreaker put The Beast of Nod on my map, and the maps of several more of our writers.” Nod plod.

Iotunn – Access All Worlds Review

Iotunn – Access All Worlds Review

“If any of you are fellow Dungeons & Dragons nerds, which of course you are because you listen to metal, you should be familiar with the concept of a natural 20. Well, lately I’ve been experimenting with literally randomizing what promos to pick, using a single line of code to spit out a number corresponding with a place in a list. This time, the code landed on an unassuming sounding debut by a band called Iotunn, marked as space rock. Imagine my surprise when fellow prog lover Huck N Roll informed me that instead I’d landed on a very promising chunk of Metal Blade backed cosmic progressive death metal with none other than Jón Aldará (Barren Earth, Hamferð) on vocals.” Significant access.