Scottish Metal

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.

Ashenspire – Speak Not of the Laudanum Quandary Review

Ashenspire – Speak Not of the Laudanum Quandary Review

Ashenspire hail from Glasgow (Scotland) and like their British / Norwegian counterparts (A Forest of Stars / Vulture Industries), Ashenspire deliver a brand of avant-garde black metal that has you sit up and take notice. Clad in a single-breasted frock coat, Speak Not of the Laudanum Quandary tells of the harrowing odyssey of British imperialist tragedy using 7 lengthy tracks.” Big topic, big music.

Eden’s Curse – Cardinal Review

Eden’s Curse – Cardinal Review

“Wait, come back! I know a quarter of you took one look at that lurid, mega-tacky cover and started to turn away in disgust, while another quarter started doing something worse (which results in hair growth in unsightly places). But before you judge this book based on its highly regrettable cover, hear me out. Eden’s Curse is a kind of low-rent “super group” of sorts that’s been puttering around the edges of metaldom since 2007, and despite the absence of household names they’ve managed to release some enjoyably melodic metal albums.” No one expects the Red Riding Hood Inquisition!

Fuath – I Review

Fuath – I Review

If you’ve been around since 2014, you may be aware that I’m rather taken with Andy Marshall’s solo project, Saor. As a talented song-writer and multi-instrumentalist, he has capably demonstrated that he knows his way around Gaelic culture and melodic intensity. Fuath—Gaelic for ‘hate’—is more fierce, more ominous, more closely tied with Norwegian black metal than Marshall’s other work, but it retains the profoundly evocative atmosphere for which his work is known. The imaginatively-titled I is his first release under this new moniker and it seems he’s on to another winner.” Come for the Christmas trees, stay for the music.

Things You Might Have Missed 2014: Alestorm – Sunset on the Golden Age

Things You Might Have Missed 2014: Alestorm – Sunset on the Golden Age

“Previously on AMG, heavy metal pirates Alestorm received the glowing accolade of “unceremoniously piss[ing] in the pool” of pirate metal in a Running Wild review. Today on AMG, these Scottish privateers set sail into calmer critical seas, and I’m going to spend 500 or so words telling you, our dear readers, why Alestorm’s latest record, Sunset on the Golden Age, is worth your time and attention.” Mutiny is afoot at AMG, and the one thing we don’t tolerate is insubordination. Oh, and Alestorm worship.

Things You Might Have Missed 2014: Saor – Aura

Things You Might Have Missed 2014: Saor – Aura

“Painting an elaborate portrait of the mysterious but beautiful Scottish Highlands, Aura is atmospheric folk metal of the kilt and haggis variety. Saor is the brainchild of Andy Marshall, ex-Falloch, and he saw great success with his début Roots.” The hills are alive with the sound of…SAOR!

Falloch – This Island, Our Funeral Review

Falloch – This Island, Our Funeral Review

“With Scotland potentially poised to proclaim independence from English rule in a very un-William Wallace fashion (ballots instead of broadswords), it seems only fair to highlight some Scottish music for a fookin change, eh? Today’s subject is Falloch, a folksy, relentlessly bleak post rock outfit that takes elements of traditional Scottish music and blends them with healthy doses of melodic, vaguely blackened metal. I suppose their sound could be described as Eluvilite mixed with Primordial and Agalloch, with some Enya thrown in for haggis and giggles.” Remember, they may take your dignity, and they may take your lunch money, but they’ll never take…your AMG!

Of Spire & Throne – Toll of the Wound Review

Of Spire & Throne – Toll of the Wound Review

“I don’t know what it is lately with the United Kingdom and it’s inhabitants looking to bulldozer over all those around them. With Conan crushing heads like they’re little businessmen on Kids in the Hall, it seems like the UK is a new hotbed for monolithic, slower-than-a-glacier doom metal. Scotland’s Of Spire & Throne are tossing their cabers into the ring, bringing forth quite the slab of sludge with their three-song EP, Toll of the Wound, and dangnammit, this deserves to be heard!” FREEDOM…and quality doom too!