Review

Truent – Through the Vale of Earthly Torment Review

Truent – Through the Vale of Earthly Torment Review

“Tech death is a tough game. In the skill-leading genre even more so does the crowd appear faceless, a mathy mob of scholarly guitar solos, flatulent bass, and trigger-happy kit-meisters. To stand out in the tech realm, contemporary fan favorites Archspire combine ridiculous speeds with memorable, rap-adjacent vocals and neoclassical sweeps aplenty. Meanwhile, bands in the Psycroptic school of thought attempt groove whiplash with 270 degree riff-corners that drift into stadium-size choruses. On their debut full-length outing, the young Canadian outfit Truent shows they are fans of these two styles of tech and try to paint an identity fusing them with a little modern core sentimentality.” Arms race.

Charlie Griffiths – Tiktaalika Review

Charlie Griffiths – Tiktaalika Review

“The Side Project Era is a common part of the evolution of many successful bands. They’ve been around for a while, they’re doing pretty well, and they know what they sound like. But naturally different members have different musical preferences and want to try different things. They could leave the band, but that’s pretty drastic. Enter the Side Project. Today’s example stars Charlie Griffiths, one of Haken‘s guitarists, taking an opportunity to write for six-string guitar after years of playing eight-string with his main band.” Side pieces.

Khold – Svartsyn Review

Khold – Svartsyn Review

Khold combines Carpathian Forest-esque black ‘n’ roll, Satyricon accessibility, and Darkthrone-like sinisterness that molded Grier‘s tiny heart into a lump of coal for nearly a decade. Then, 2014 saw the end of the band. During this time, the crew resurrected their thrashy black metal counterpart, Tulus. Which felt like a somewhat natural progression following Khold‘s odd 2014 swansong, Til ended. Also, the band’s founder/drummer found success with Darkthrone‘s Nocturno Culto, releasing album after Sarke album. Fast forward to 2022, and the boys are back.” Ice Khold.

Werewolves – From the Cave to the Grave Review

Werewolves – From the Cave to the Grave Review

“I’m surprised we never covered Werewolves before on this blog. Their debut record, The Dead are Screaming—picked up by Prosthetic Records one month into the pandemic in 2020—fucking rulez. To my surprise, I somehow missed the follow-up they dropped less than a year later. Thankfully, I had my eye trained closely enough on this band to catch third outing, From the Cave to the Grave, before Werewolves slipped by undetected once more.” Pack attack.

Entrails – An Eternal Time of Decay Review

Entrails – An Eternal Time of Decay Review

“An OG band from the golden era of Swedish death metal, Entrails mastermind Jimmy Lundqvist didn’t manage to release an album until 2010’s impressive Tales from the Morgue debut. Along with powerhouse follow-ups Tomb Awaits (2011) and Raging Death (2013), Entrails elevated themselves to the upper echelon of the throwback Swedeath scene. The last several albums have got the job done solidly, however, the band has been coasting in a comfort zone and struggled to reach the heights of their earlier trio of prime platters. A line-up shake-up occurred in 2019 and now the band returns with their anticipated seventh LP, entitled An Eternal Time of Decay.” Guts check.

Minipony – Ajna Review

Minipony – Ajna Review

I’ve listened to a lot of metal. I’ve listened to a lot of very average metal. I’ve listened to some pretty bad metal. Despite all this, I was simply unprepared for Ajna. You see, Ajna is on another level entirely. True story: “Because of Ajna, I could not complete the train journey to work this week. It was halfway through my 5th listen when something cracked. “Why would the Boss Ape force this upon me?” I mused. “Is this a test of my loyalty?” If so, it was a stern examination. The pointless sound effects; the bizarre vocals; the bite-sized, jittery riffs; these all congealed into a force that simply overwhelmed my brain. I could no longer compute, and the only response was to laugh. So, I did. I howled and cackled and coughed up my coffee.” Small horse, big confusion.

Saor – Origins Review

Saor – Origins Review

“We’re now a decade into Andy Marshall’s uniquely Scottish take on metal, blending furious black metal with majestic melodies and Scottish folk instrumentation. Saor is an experiment which has demonstrated great results, with the likes of Aura and Guardians being some of the strongest folk/black metal albums of the 2010s. 2019’s Forgotten Paths was solid but easily my least favorite release, but with a new decade comes a new record called Origins. Is it a return to Saor’s roots, or does it represent a new beginning?” Roots, icy roots.

Darkane – Inhuman Spirits Review

Darkane – Inhuman Spirits Review

“I like Darkane. The veteran Swedish outfit has always struck a particular chord with me, especially on their more consistently ripping offerings, such as underrated debut Rusted Angel, and gems like 2002’s Expanding Senses, and 2005’s Layers of Lies. Despite falling into the shadows of their more recognized contemporaries, Darkane‘s gnarly, melodic and hooky blend of thrash and melodeath, amply bolstered by chunky modern metal grooves and symphonic touches, offers a damn good time when the band is in the zone.” Rusted angels of darkness.

Ianai – Sunir Review

Ianai – Sunir Review

Ianai is a “single-entity” project shrouded in mystery. Its secretive mastermind Trevenial offers twelve tracks influenced by folk music across the globe, equally evocative and primitive. With ties to England (mastered by Orgone Studios’ owner Jaime Gomez Arellano) and Finland (produced by Jaani Peuhu), and featuring a classical orchestra and world music artists, as well as a vast array of guests, from notable acts like HIM, Sisters of Mercy, Swallow the Sun, and The Rasmus, Sunir is a debut loaded with potential and questions in equal measure.” It takes a global village.