Relapse Records

Black Anvil – As Was Review

Black Anvil – As Was Review

Black Anvil is one of those bands you always expect to break through on their next record. Formed in 2007 by members of New York hardcore act Kill Your Idols, the black metal quartet’s 2009 debut Time Insults the Mind and 2010 follow-up Triumvirate initially seemed poised to break the group out of the underground with their infusion of Watain-style riffing into a sweaty hardcore aesthetic.” Is this when the Anvil cracks through?

Ulcerate – Shrines of Paralysis Review

Ulcerate – Shrines of Paralysis Review

“God is dead, but what can be done once the corpse is buried? Just to the left of nihilism, HP Lovecraft staked out a territory where divinity was absent and mankind insignificant, battered by forces beyond time and comprehension. Anti-christian, nihilistic, and cosmicist themes have all long been staples of metal, both lyrically and musically – but after decades the fear is gone; the well dry and the water stagnant. To reach ever greater extremes, these tropes must be transcended. Ulcerate did so.” Look busy, the abyss is watching.

Gatecreeper – Sonoran Depravation Review

Gatecreeper – Sonoran Depravation Review

“I haven’t reviewed death metal in a good long time, so I thought I’d get back on the dead horse with upstart Arizona act, Gatecreeper. For their Sonoran Depravation debut they’ve crafted a style mixing equal parts of the D-beat Swede-death style made famous by Entombed, the grit and dirge of Asphyx and the bastard war grind of Bolt Thrower. Sounds tempting, eh?” Tempted by the tank of another….

Sumerlands – Sumerlands Review

Sumerlands – Sumerlands Review

“As always, I’m dating myself with my taste in music, but so be it. Sumerlands is an unheralded act set to explode on the nostalgia-core scene with their self-titled release and let’s just say, I’m fully on board. Featuring Phil Swanson (Hour of 13, Briton Rites, et al) on vocals, Sumerlands plays exactly the kind of music I couldn’t get enough of in the late 80s/early 90s. It’s dark, brooding, traditional American metal with traces of prog and doom around the edges.” The boys of summer never sounded so olde!

Inter Arma – Paradise Gallows Review

Inter Arma – Paradise Gallows Review

“Reviewers the world over can agree; compartmentalizing bands into neat little genre labels can make life easier, but don’t necessarily do bands justice. Case in point: Virginia’s Inter Arma are equal parts Southern rock, sludge, doom metal, 70’s prog rock, and cavernous death metal.” Pigeonholery is an art AND a science.

Cough – Still They Pray Review

Cough – Still They Pray Review

“There comes a time in life when you need to walk away from something for a little while to appreciate what you have. Whether it’s painting, turning wood, or writing music reviews, you eventually reach a point when you have to step away from what gives you life in order to recharge and attack it with renewed focus and energy. Playing in a band is no different. Virginia’s Cough took a much-needed five year break after touring for their last album, 2010’s Ritual Abuse, and are back with their first for Relapse, the ominously titled Still They Pray, and if anything, the time off did them a world of good.” Breaks are good.

Yer Metal Is Olde: Amorphis – Elegy

Yer Metal Is Olde: Amorphis – Elegy

Amorphis has a special place in the hearts of everyone involved with Angry Metal Guy. In fact, it was the review of 2009’s awesome Skyforger by AMG Himself that got the ball rolling for your favorite group of opinionated miscreants. As for myself, the Finns had a profound personal effect on me as well.” And now their older stuff is OLDE!

Boris with Merzbow – Gensho Review

Boris with Merzbow – Gensho Review

“To write about Gensho, the latest in a 15 years long series of collaborations between illustrious Japanese experimental metal, rock, and everything in-between trio Boris and legendary noise musician Merzbow (alias Masami Akita), is to write about three different records: a Boris shoegaze-cum-drone meditation, a Merzbow harsh noise attack, and a mammothian combination of the two.” What’s with guys who like drone and writing run on sentences, anyway?