Scottish Metal

Alestorm – Curse of the Crystal Coconut Review

Alestorm – Curse of the Crystal Coconut Review

“Figuring out what a band sounds like is akin to writing a biography: look first to the influences. Alestorm’s biography would need chapters devoted to a beloved and trve band named Bal-Sagoth. Early Alestorm material is based around the idea that it would be fun if Bal-Sagoth were Scottish, got drunk, played sea shanties, and kept the keyboard heroics.” Who ordered the Ale with Bals?

Valaraukar – Demonian Abyssal Visions Review

Valaraukar – Demonian Abyssal Visions Review

“It’s become a cliché to list all the things for which Scotland is famous. But cliché gets you banned to the Skull Pit Corner ov Naughtiness™ in these parts. So let’s look at something less well-known that Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh, is renowned for… deep-fried Mars Bars. I should love them. Chocolate, caramel, and nougat, all deliciously fried up as a warm, crunchy breakfast dessert. Yet I don’t. It’s really difficult for me to explain why, because every individual component is something I love, but the final product just underwhelms.” Sums and blackened parts.

Saor – Forgotten Paths Review

Saor – Forgotten Paths Review

“Cometh the new year, cometh the folksy, atmospheric black metal proclaiming itself as the trvest example of native culture in heavy metal. Unlike most of the talentless hacks wielding an electric guitar, penny whistle, and swastika flag who operate out of their mothers’ houses, Saor can legitimately boast some of the greatest music in this genre and represent one of the best new metal bands from the 2010s.” Saor feelings.

Juniper Grave – Of Hellions and Harridans Review

Juniper Grave – Of Hellions and Harridans Review

“Listen, by the time December rolls around we don’t want to review new albums. We’re too busy listening to our favorites of the year to bother with new releases. But I’m a sucker for female-fronted blues-rock and occult bands–I love Blues Pills and Sabbath Assembly, and last year I had Pristine’s album high on my list–so when Juniper Grave’s debut landed in our promo pit, I had to grab it.” Hellions, Harridans, Huckster.

King Witch – Under the Mountain Review

King Witch – Under the Mountain Review

“Thanks to a job that requires me to travel frequently, I spend an inordinate amount of time on trains. This allows me ample opportunity to sample whatever promo delight I happen to be attached to, but it also affords said artist a particular challenge – namely, can you draw my attention from the hell that is public transport. Between the droves of marauding spawn tearing up and down the aisle and the fuck-knuckle proudly standing in the middle of everything with his fucking bicycle, sweet riffs are all that separate the general public and an omni-directional wave of misanthropy, and Scotland’s King Witch have them.” Riffs over humanity.

Alestorm – No Grave but the Sea Review

Alestorm – No Grave but the Sea Review

“In an administrative oversight that’s a combination of letting the lunatics run the asylum, a fat kid choose his diet in a chocolate factory, and an AA experiment where everyone is told to drink themselves sober, our trusted leaders at AMG have, for some reason that will forever remain in the abyss of the unknown, decided it was a good idea to let yours truly review Alestorm’s latest.” The sound of a writing position opening.

Cnoc An Tursa – The Forty Five Review

Cnoc An Tursa – The Forty Five Review

“How do you keep a genre fresh without turning it into something it’s not? This is a question I’ve been pondering for a while now. See, I’ve been a near-obsessive devotee of the whole atmospheric-blackened-folk metal shebang ever since I caught Winterfylleth as a support band back in about 2009. Unfortunately, after many years, countless foliage-themed album covers and a surfeit of unintelligible shrieks about Odin and mountains, the sub-subgenre is starting to feel a little stale, and thus my corresponding enthusiasm for new releases is beginning to wane accordingly.” Kilts, hilts and glory.