Reviews

Crypt Monarch – The Necronaut Review

Crypt Monarch – The Necronaut Review

“Sometimes, you need something a little bit different. Other times, you need something a lot a bit different. In times other than those, you need a lot of somethings a lot a bit different. This is one of those times for me; for whatever reason, I’m not finding that 2021 is a good year for new music – at all. So I have increasingly been opening my arms and ears far and wide in an attempt to find something different, something new to excite me and rekindle the spark. This path has today led me to Crypt Monarch, a stoner doom band from Costa Rica, and The Necronaut, their debut full-length release.” Lost in Necropolis.

Mama Doom – Ash Bone Skin N Stone Review

Mama Doom – Ash Bone Skin N Stone Review

“Occult rock has undergone something of a renaissance. Over the past few years, it would seem that a crop of Blue Öyster Cult devotees have taken a collective step outside of their salt circle and onto the lighted stage. Whether it’s the pop metal Satanism of Ghost, or the 70s-tinged stylings of groups like Lucifer, Blood Ceremony and Witch Mountain, occult rock with just the right amount of metallic edge has taken a very specific subset of the world by storm. So where does New York’s Mama Doom fit into the pentagramed paradigm?” I dismember mama.

Hexenklad – Heathenheart Review

Hexenklad – Heathenheart Review

“Canada’s Hexenklad is a semi-supergroup of sorts, boasting members of SIG:AR:TYR, Eclipse Eternal and Pagan Ritual. On their second full-length Heathenheart they dish out a wide-ranging variety of pagan black/folk tunes bearing marks ranging from Moonsorrow, Ensiferum and Windir. They’ve also taken the opportunity to pose for some excellently over-the-top LARP Guild photos and videos. Talent is abundant, as is the ambition.” Heathen hearts, big eyes.

Planet of the Dead – Pilgrims Review

Planet of the Dead – Pilgrims Review

“A doom/stoner album with songs about classic horror and sci-fi books and movies? Sounds right up my alley. New Zealand’s Planet of the Dead take on all sorts of material, from Dune to Alien to Slaughterhouse 5, and do so with a sludgy simplicity here on their second album, Pilgrims. Their debut album, Fear of a Dead Planet, came out just last year, so this is a pretty quick turnaround by today’s standards. Channeling the usual suspects such as Black Sabbath and Kyuss, and coming off a bit Bull Elephant-adjacent, this quartet hits the sweet spot in album length, with eight songs spread out over less than forty minutes, making for an release that’s easy to get into from start to finish. Do they hit the mark on all eight tracks?” Space sludge.

Cognitive – Malevolent Thoughts of a Hastened Extinction Review

Cognitive – Malevolent Thoughts of a Hastened Extinction Review

“People around here know me as not being too into the more extreme quarters of the metal gallery. Hell, when I started writing, I’d barely prodded beyond the confines of Swedish death metal like Bloodbath and Vicious Art. Anaal Nathrakh was the exception to the rule, but even there I was more drawn to the melodic elements of their work, such as those showcased on Hell Is Empty… and deathcore never even appeared on my radar until I was trampled by Xenobiotic. Since crawling into an empty cubicle at AMG offices (while ignoring all the blood) some of the more unseemly viscera have begun to seep into the hollows of my skull. It’s a slow and sporadic process, and though my experience with tech death and deathcore remains scant, it’s enough to lash together a somewhat cohesive frame against which to place techdeathcore ensemble Cognitive.” Evil thoughts, fair reviews.

Death Tribe – Beyond the Red Light District: A Canal Experiment Review

Death Tribe – Beyond the Red Light District: A Canal Experiment Review

Occasionally, events come along that completely shatter the way we view the world. For the people of Beirut, Lebanon, one of those occurred on August 4th, 2020, when ammonium nitrate, stored at the port, exploded, killing 207 people, injuring 7,500, and leaving approximately 300,000 homeless. Those who were there initially thought a nuclear bomb had exploded, so powerful was the blast. This was a crippling blow for a nation already ravaged by civil war and endemic political corruption. This disaster serves as the nexus for progressive death metal band, Death Tribe’s, sophomore album, Beyond the Red Light District: A Canal Experiment (BRLD:CE).” From disaster comes art.

Rebellion – We Are the People Review

Rebellion – We Are the People Review

“Germany’s Rebellion isn’t what I’d call a thinking man’s metal band. That said, they’ve released two concept albums based on Shakespeare’s works (Macbeth and King Lear), and they’ve shown a penchant for tackling historical events and individuals over their career. On ninth album We Are the People, they’ve put down the classic English literature and gone deep into the annals of history for a wide-ranging analysis of nationalism, war, and man’s innate desire for freedom and liberty. As a big history buff and admirer of Enlightenment era philosophy, this kind of concept is 100% my manbag.” Natural rights (and wrongs).

Yngwie Malmsteen – Parabellum Review

Yngwie Malmsteen – Parabellum Review

“At the ripe age of old, Yngwie Malmsteen is back with his 873rd full-length release. But, unlike some of his more recent outings, the man explores his neoclassical roots. This means it took him 3.5 more days than usual to write the album. He also put to death 19 guitars during rehearsal and 74 in the making of Parabellum. All deaths were the result of friction from his finger-play, setting them on fire. But even though the man has been releasing albums before the invention of the calendar, no one has reviewed any of his albums at AMG. So be it, I said.” Wanko tango.

Cavern Deep – Cavern Deep Review

Cavern Deep – Cavern Deep Review

“Fuck mushrooms, man. Sure, that sounds pretty extreme, considering their healing properties and whatnot, but everyone’s favorite vegan meat substitute/hallucinogen/pizza topping contains some serious nightmare fuel. Take what they do to insects, for instance. “Dude, they’re ants,” you might scoff. Have you ever played The Last of Us? Also, Mario. Plumber extraordinaire. Eats one mushroom, gets “tall”, and kicks poor, defenseless turtles into each other while headbutting blocks for pocket change, glowing flowers made of fire, edible stars, and MORE MUSHROOMS. Shit ain’t normal, folks. So when Swedish trio Cavern Deep decided to pen a story about 50 archaeologists who discover a subterranean world loaded with luminescent fungi, you best believe that fuckery is afoot.” Shroom for growth.

Leila Abdul-Rauf – Phantasiai Review

Leila Abdul-Rauf – Phantasiai Review

“Can you hear that distant noise? Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No. It’s… a modulated trumpet. Wow. Why did you think that was a bird? To be fair, “modulated trumpet” isn’t exactly a phrase I – or anyone around here, for that matter – use often, so I can see why it wasn’t your first guess. But it’s nevertheless the shining star of Phantasiai, the fourth full-length release of ambient music from California’s Leila Abdul-Rauf. Armed with little more than vocal melodies, a glockenspiel, and the aforementioned trumpet, Abdul-Rauf is primed to create unsettling atmospheres and cryptic journeys. How well does the listener fare in these hazy crossroads?” Modulated expectations.