Progressive Death Metal

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.

The Lylat Continuum – Ephemeral Review

The Lylat Continuum – Ephemeral Review

“This review is testament to the power of the pre-release single. I was immediately intrigued by the description “blending proggy death metal with psychedelic ambient breaks” and its atypical approach to death metal fulfilled this description. I specifically sought out the release in the promo swamp, dredging it up from between the smelly stoner doom and fetid black metal ordinarily infesting it. Denver’s The Lylat Continuum have brewed their potion for a number of years before releasing Ephemeral, their debut album, and it’s nothing if not inventive.” Hype and regret.

Luna’s Call – Void [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

Luna’s Call – Void [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

“2020 provided plenty of quality metal releases, but only a scant few of those which tickled my fancy fall into the “progressive metal” category. Of those, we missed two that deserve mention. The first is Cellar Vessel‘s immense slab of Xanthrochroided symphonic prog-death, entitled Vein Beneath the Soil. The second—and, obviously, more preferred, since I’m writing about it—is UK quartet Luna’s Call‘s sophomore epic Void.” When the void calls…

Nawabs of Destruction – Rising Vengeance [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

Nawabs of Destruction – Rising Vengeance [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

“It’s time to ask the real questions. No more beating around the bush. What is a Nawab? According to a cursory Googlefu, a Nawab—which, translated literally, means “Viceroy”—is a Southern Asian royal title attributed to a governor under the Mogul empire, and was generally comparable to the Western world’s idea of a King. Alternatively, a Nawab could just refer to “a Muslim nobleman or person of high status.” So when you read the name Nawabs of Destruction, the honorable subject of today’s tongue bath, show the appropriate measure of respect.” Bend the knee!

Cryptic Shift – Visitations from Enceladus Review

Cryptic Shift – Visitations from Enceladus Review

“While I’ve traditionally identified as a basic black metal bitch, my listening habits of late have hovered firmly above death metal territory. The art of the Big Dumb Riff has held absolute command of my Spotify search bar, and it’s all thanks to the diversity the genre pool has spawned in over three decades of evolution. Just as I finish my most recent round of dick flattening at the hands of something as unflinchingly savage as Black Curse, I know I can hop to the opposite end of the technical axis to enjoy similarly aggressive highs in a fresh context. Cryptic Shift‘s debut is about as far from something like Black Curse as you can imagine on the caveman riff spectrum, but those same thrills are all here.” Up Shift’s creek.

Voidceremony – Entropic Reflections Continuum: Dimensions Unravel Review

Voidceremony – Entropic Reflections Continuum: Dimensions Unravel Review

“With heavyweights like Tomb Mold and Blood Incantation drowning in the love of the underground, proggy OSDM has never been so widely celebrated or practiced. If you’re a player in the death metal underground, that makes it an ideal time to switch focus from your nasty death metal band to your proggy death metal band and release your inscrutably titled debut album.” Void where prohibited.