Self Released

postcards from new zealand – Nin-an-ak Review

postcards from new zealand – Nin-an-ak Review

“What does New Zealand have to do with Ancient Sumeria? Not a damn thing, but then again, the Brits didn’t play much of a role in the conquests of Alexander the Great and no one batted an eye when Maiden wrote a track about him. So the subject of choice for Nin-an-ak, an ancient Sumerian goddess of kink and war, doesn’t require much justification. Not as much as the name postcards from new zealand, anyway, nor their preference for not using capitals. And definitely not as much as the genre this promo came tagged with: post-sumerian-chamber-death-prog-core.” Dead tongues, dead letters.

Timōrātus – My Life In a Made Metal Band Review

Timōrātus – My Life In a Made Metal Band Review

Timōrātus is a deathcore project comprised primarily of David and Courtney Napier. They started out back in 2006 as a decidedly serious evangelical Christian band—their name means “full of reverence towards God; devout” in Latin—until just a couple years ago when they turned to parody in 2020’s My Life In a Mediocre Metal Band. This would explain why the jokes, such as they are, remain doggedly G-rated. One could call them youth pastor-y.” Spinal Pap.

Hyperia – Silhouettes of Horror Review

Hyperia – Silhouettes of Horror Review

“It’s been a long time since I reviewed a thrash metal album. When I stumbled upon Hyperia‘s Silhouettes of Horror in the promo dump, though, I knew I had to have it. First of all, the Canadian quartet touted themselves as “melodic thrash,” then they followed up with an elaboration including attractive attributes like “insanity” and “drinking.” Plus, the album artwork boasts that classic stylized look that graced many a thrash slip cover over the years. It seemed to me that Hyperia had all of their ducks in a row for their second record, and I was eager to pass judgment upon it accordingly.” Duck, duck, moose!

Fall of Stasis – The Chronophagist Review

Fall of Stasis – The Chronophagist Review

“Extreme music and cheer have an uneasy relationship. Power metal is generally expected to be upbeat and not take itself too seriously, but when the growls and screams enter the building, such attitudes are wont to leap out the window. Death and black metal are serious business, dammit! Except when they’re not, and examples abound of bands that embrace both the dark and the light. At first glance, Fall of Stasis seem to be the serious sort. A faux Old English logo, a grim apocalyptic cover, and a title that literally means ‘the time eater.’ But is it all as dark as it seems?” Goro-core.

Slow Burning Rage – Slow Burning Rage Review

Slow Burning Rage – Slow Burning Rage Review

Slow Burning Rage is a one-man crew consisting of multi-instrumentalist Ryan Parrish, who you may know as the former drummer of melodeath heavyweights Darkest Hour, as well as other varying acts like Iron Reagan, Mammoth Grinder, City of Caterpillar, and Bleach Everything (to name a few). What can you expect from Slow Burning Rage, then? Well, for as varied and crazy as his resume is, it’s nothing like any of his acts. Slow Burning Rage‘s self-titled debut is deemed “jazz sludge” by the promo gods.” Rage for change.

Bloodywood – Rakshak Review

Bloodywood – Rakshak Review

Bloodywood‘s approach to metal is, on the surface, similar to Linkin Park‘s in that they often combine rapped verses with sung choruses—utilizing both English and Hindi lyrics—backed by gym-ready riffs reminiscent of Hacktivist, We Butter the Bread with Butter, and even Dyscarnate. Look beneath those superficialities and you find a ton of cool Indian folk instrumentation playing along, particularly weighted towards woodwinds and festive drums.” The Rock Shack is now open.

Blindfolded and Led to the Woods – Nightmare Withdrawals [Things You Might Have Missed 2021]

Blindfolded and Led to the Woods – Nightmare Withdrawals [Things You Might Have Missed 2021]

Blindfolded and Led to the Woods, is a band from New Zealand with a bit of a storied past. Originally starting off as a humor-centric deathcore group with bizarrely titled offerings like Armed to the Teeth with Jellybeans or My Vaseline Diaries, the song “Atop the Wings of a Magpie” changed everything. Dissonant interplay, ominous tempos, speedy riffs, and even a guest spot from Nile‘s Karl Sanders replace mindless breakdowns and Psyopus-inspired wankery. Nightmare Withdrawals may not be their debut, but it’s their breakout album, and for good fucking reason.” Deliverance to quality.

The Final Sleep – Vessels of Grief Review

The Final Sleep – Vessels of Grief Review

“The fusion of death metal and doom metal is something I’ve never fully embraced as a purveyor of the heavy and hard-hitting. I mean, I should have, a long time ago—death metal is usually more extreme than I’m in the mood for and doom metal is great, if occasionally too un-speedy, so the blending should work. Sometimes it does—Rise to the Sky has certainly made a fan of me—but it just isn’t something I often seek out. When I first sampled The Final Sleep, a five-piece band from the United States of whom four are guitarists (yes, one of them is a bassist), I was drawn to the almost-progressive style of the vaguely doom-ish death metal on their sophomore release Vessels of Grief.” To sleep, perchance to scream.