Self Release

Les Chants du Hasard – Livre Troisième Review

Les Chants du Hasard – Livre Troisième Review

“Sometimes, you have to try something different. Stagnating into a limited pool of metal quickly leads to burnout, and if there’s one thing I can’t stand… well, it probably wouldn’t be burnout explicitly, but that’s up there for sure. To stave off that awful feeling for as long as possible, I’ve made a conscious effort to be reasonably variable in what kinds of music I review for this site. I tell you this so you’ll understand why it was that when I first scanned through the promotional material for Livre Troisième, the third full-length release from French act Les Chants du Hasard, and saw the line “is it still metal? The question is now irrelevant,” my response was to dive right in, sight unseen.” Les Pretentious.

Estuarine – Nyarlathotep Review

Estuarine – Nyarlathotep Review

“I’m not sure why we have a general rule against EP’s, but I imagine that it has something to do with the brevity of the content. We don’t get a good representation of the artist if we’re only given a few songs to work with, while full-lengths are intended as cohesive works and can showcase the effectiveness of an artist to create them. Grind, however, throws a big ol’ middle finger at this in favor of beatdown explosions that sneer in the face of subtlety with the dumbest grin possible. A grind full-length can be anywhere between fifteen and thirty minutes, and even then, Estuarine‘s ten minutes is challenging brevity.” One-man grind to kick some behind.

Snaer – Frozen Alchemy Review

Snaer – Frozen Alchemy Review

“From Pittsfield, Maine, Snaer is a quartet founded in 2015, having released a 2019 EP entitled Do It Yourself, a title that conveys their aesthetic and work ethic. Featuring a thrash- and doom-infused style that feels icy and brutal in equal measure, debut full-length Frozen Alchemy effectively balances mystical and punishing. Raw spiraling riffs conveyed through Viking metal-esque chord progressions, blackened rasps, complex percussion, and a nice progressive edge all greet the ears with frigid bite.” Lead to gold or lead to goat?

Malice Divine – Malice Divine Review

Malice Divine – Malice Divine Review

Malice Divine is the brainchild of classically-trained Toronto musician Ric Galvez. The self-titled record finds Galvez handling the entire creative process and all of the performances with the exception of the drums. Known primarily as a lead guitarist in the Toronto scene, Galvez was excited about the opportunity to indulge in a solo project. But old habits die hard, and Malice Divine glistens like a guitar fan’s wet dream. Galvez combines the melodic blackened death sounds of Necrophobic and Dissection with the emotive soloing and progressive song structures of Death and the technical majesty of Wintersun.” Malice in Meloblackland.

Plague Weaver – Ascendant Blasphemy Review

Plague Weaver – Ascendant Blasphemy Review

“♫Ohhh, Plague Weaver, I don’t believe he will make it through the night.♫ Had to be done, I have no regrats. Anywho, Canada’s Plague Weaver is the work of a dynamic duo of miserable misers and on their full-length debut Ascendant Blasphemy they seek to blend the nastiest bits of raw black metal, doom, and death into an unpleasant concoction best served with a heavy antibiotic regime. They bill the end product as black metal with doom death influences and that’s an entirely fair description, though what you get is a bit more slimy and ugly than you might expect.” Right out of the plague book.

Narakah – Blast Haven Review

Narakah – Blast Haven Review

“My deal is that, unless it hooks, grooves, and absolutely obliterates with both heft and speed, it’s not gonna do a damn thing for me. Maybe it’s because I was spoiled at a relatively young age by the likes of Napalm DeathNasumBrutal Truth, and the like, but it’s not often that I’m floored by grind these days. But a change of pace can do wonders, and it just so happens that Pittsburgh’s Narakah dropped their second EP, Blast Haven, on us. Nine songs at twelve minutes. Sure, it’s cheating to grab an EP when it’s not EP Season, but if it’s good enough, I can shine some light on it.” Blast heaven.

These Colors Fade – Contemporary Tragedy Review

These Colors Fade – Contemporary Tragedy Review

“Hello there! Hope you are enjoying the sunny weather in scenic California, and thank you for submitting Contemporary Tragedy, the second full-length (and third release) from your one-man post-hardcore outfit, These Colors Fade. Going from the supplied materials that accompanied your submission, Contemporary Tragedy took over 800 hours to write, perform, produce, and mix. That’s an impressive feat! More and more, we’re seeing talented one-person bands crop up out of the woodwork, going toe-to-toe with the heavyweights in contemporary metal music. With the costs of production and promotion starting to drop considerably, there’s never been an easier time to record, mix, and promote your music.” The color of tragedy.

Dreamslain – Tales of Knights and Distant Worlds Review

Dreamslain – Tales of Knights and Distant Worlds Review

“It involved a lot of bushwhacking, riding across three passes, through streams, losing our way, carrying our bikes up the backside of two mountains, and being eaten alive by black flies. We made it, though, and because we are stupid we did it again a month later. When we found a review of the trail, several years old by this time, the summary read, ‘I can only recommend this ride to the most foolhardy of idiots.’ Where am I going with this? Read on, dear friend, read on.” A dream to some… a nightmare to others!