Season of Mist

Crippled Black Phoenix – Banefyre Review

Crippled Black Phoenix – Banefyre Review

“Is 97 minutes too much music? Is it unfair to judge albums simply for being long? Yes… and yes. Regardless, Banefyre presents us with 92 minutes of new Crippled Black Phoenix sounds plus one bonus track. Our own Huck N’ Roll has a mixed history with leading man Justin Greaves (Se Delan, ex-Iron Monkey) and his rotating cast of sound partners, but it can be tiring digesting the hours of music that this project puts out, so I’ve stepped in to give olde Huck a rest.” Free birds.

Nite – Voices of the Kronian Moon Review

Nite – Voices of the Kronian Moon Review

“There’s something about blackened vocals over trad stylings that just feels right. Whether it’s Midnight, Demiser, or Bewitcher, the juxtaposition of filthy vocals and NWoBHM leads never fails to shake me out of my stupor in the skull pit.  So I was thrilled when our great ape overlord bestowed this formerly nameless n00b with Nite’s sophomore album, Voices of the Kronian Moon. Darkness Silence Mirror Flame piqued Steel Druhm’s wizened and jaded ears, but the album’s length hard-capped its ceiling. During the pandemic, have these Californians been taking Nite courses at the Steel School of Editing for Wayward Bands?” Moon Nites.

Abbath – Dread Reaver Review

Abbath – Dread Reaver Review

“As you can see from the atrocious cover art, Abbath continues to prove this is his band. And he’s starting to show that with the same absurd vigor that garners album covers from Yngwie Malmsteen. And when I saw that Abbath chose to mix Dread Reaver himself, my fear factor increased double-fold. And on first listen, I knew Dread Reaver was in trouble.” Bob and reave.

Sylvaine – Nova Review

Sylvaine – Nova Review

“I’ve become a jaded man-cat over the last few years or so. I can blame Covid, or humanity’s lack of… well, humanity towards one another, or a myriad of other reasons. The fact of the matter is whenever I turn on the news or see yet another impossibly bad hot-take on Twitter, the anger that begins to well up inside me can power my home city for months. So, what’s a grouchy man-cat to do? Listen to Nova, the fourth full-length by Norwegian/French multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Kathrine Shepard, aka Sylvaine, that’s what. Having reviewed not one, but two, albums of hers, I knew what to expect. Or so I thought.” Prime Nova.

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.