Scottish Metal

Hellripper – The Affair of the Poisons Review

Hellripper – The Affair of the Poisons Review

“Despite enjoying metal my whole life, I used to struggle with thrash beyond the biggest names. I found it bland, chugging and neanderthalic. 2017 was a watershed time for my enjoyment of the thrashing style, and part of that watershed was Coagulating Darkness by Hellripper. Bridging black, speed and thrash, James McBain’s solo project did what so many others (including the ‘classics’) previously had not and opened the doors to the genre. Though I never got round to a write-up, it’s one of the premium speedy albums of the 2010s and Hellripper shot up my list of favorite bands.” Return of the Ripper.

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.