Season of Mist

Opera Diabolicus – Death on a Pale Horse Review

Opera Diabolicus – Death on a Pale Horse Review

“Along with Shaw and Levén, the band adds some stellar vocals from Madeleine Liljestam (Eleine) and Angelina DelCarmen (Charetta), and guitar solos from King Diamond legends Andy LaRocque and Michael Denner. But the backbone of the album is all the other guests. These lesser-known individuals supply the keys, strings, pianos, and organs that make up the record’s core. It’s an unbelievable lineup with a lot of moving parts. But, somehow, the band keeps this chaotic metal opera about ‘witchcraft, the black death and revenge!’ together.” Panic in the opera horse.

Cynic – Ascension Codes Review

Cynic – Ascension Codes Review

“If you aren’t familiar with Cynic… I guess just fuck you? Look at another website, loser. If you are, I can tell you right off the bat that the Seans are dearly missed. I’m not familiar with the role of Malone & Reinert in shaping the band’s ambitions, but Ascension Codes does seem like a case of Masvidal just running with it and trying to make the most Cynic-ass record he could without them.” Rise and get weird.

Der Weg einer Freiheit – Noktvrn Review

Der Weg einer Freiheit – Noktvrn Review

“I have a tendency to expect too much from my favorite artists. For many, an attachment sparked by a particularly excellent record leads many to lifelong devotion. For me, it results in mounting expectations, which are all too easily extinguished. And extinguished they were by Der Weg einer Freiheit‘s Finisterre, at least at first. The band’s stellar Stellar was already a black metal all-timer for me, and the fact that Finisterre dared dampen that album’s epic scope in any way felt like sacrilege. Of course, that feeling changed with time and acceptance; in fact, if I ever get around to writing a Contrite Metal Guy piece, it will be first up to bat for a promotion. Lessons were thus learned, and I dove into Noktvrn with zero expectations and an open heart.” Open heart, frozen veins.

Hooded Menace – The Tritonus Bell Review

Hooded Menace – The Tritonus Bell Review

“Finland’s Hooded Menace are lords of death-doom. Their back-catalog is a veritable boneyard of fatal furors that crawl at a corpse pace and exist on the edge of an undead pulse. Indeed, their last album, Ossuarium Silhouettes Unhallowed, made a grave impression on many an end-of-year list, mine included. Now, sixth album The Tritonus Bell prepares to resound, and one thing is certain; Hooded Menace are masters of their craft. But this record’s new stylistic choice excludes heft in favor of history and the implication is almost unrecognizable.” Bells to the wall.

Thy Catafalque – Vadak Review

Thy Catafalque – Vadak Review

“Few musicians have as long and varied a career as Tamás Kátai of Thy Catafalque. The one-man outfit may have attracted an entourage of impactful guests over the years, but the end product was always, is always him. The throughlines of his writing and personal touch continue to persist even now, a decade since he struck out on his own. However, his most recent outings, Geometria and Naiv, lacked that certain je ne sais qoui essential to his kaleidoscopic sound. Vadak marks Thy Catafalque‘s fifth entry in seven years, a common cause of too much lack and not enough luster. Of course, just as I was ready to pass on Vadak with the same half-shrug as 2020’s Naiv, Kátai starts dropping bombs.” Thy bomber.

Withered – Verloren Review

Withered – Verloren Review

“Metal subgenres can be a bit like high-school groups: comfortable if you fit easily into one, but a bit alienating if you’re a loner or difficult to pigeon-hole. Such has been the fate of Atlanta’s Withered. Over the course of four solid albums, their brand of blackened deathy sludgy doom has managed to endear itself to only a niche audience, and be mostly ignored by everyone else. Lest you were concerned, Withered has far too much street cred to be the geeky nerd, but they are the slightly weird loner no-one understands and therefore leaves alone to get on with whatever weird things they’re getting on with. Fifth collection, Verloren, finds Withered doubling down on their unique sound.” Toxic noise for the harsh palate.

Altarage – Succumb Review

Altarage – Succumb Review

“I’ll just come out and say it; I have no clue what is going on in this record. As The Guy Who Explains Why Shit Like This Is Good, that really puts me in a bind. As a result, I’ve spent weeks putting off this review. But hey, maybe we can try something new; instead of me telling you what’s the point of Succumb, how about you tell me. For once, I’m going to read your comments and entertain the idea that your opinions are as valid as those of my own self, The Guy Who Explains Why Shit Like This Is Good. Go wild down there.” Late hit.

Vreid – Wild North West Review

Vreid – Wild North West Review

“Like I Krig and Milorg, this new release is a concept album. Instead of learning some history, the concept here is the ups and downs of life as we wait for death. But, more specifically, bassist Hváll says the inspiration for Wild North West comes from his struggles, knowledge, and experience. One of the coolest parts about the album (not to bring Windir up again) is that some of what you’ll hear Valfar wrote back in 2002. Crazy enough, you’ll also hear him play it. He hasn’t risen from the grave, but it sure as shit feels like it.” Wild and dead.