Self Released

Monarch – Future Shock Review

Monarch – Future Shock Review

“Another week, another contest contestant, this time in the form of San Diego thrashers Monarch, winners of the 2019 Wacken Metal Battle USA. That’s better than a Participant ribbon! Led by guitarists Casey Trask and Matt Smith (who also serves as vocalist), Monarch’s style harkens back to the early days of thrash, with plenty of punky attitude and silly subject matter yet loads of technical skill. After 2017’s debut Go Forth…Slaughter, the band played a ton of gigs, honed their songwriting skills, and went into the studio (rather than the debut’s DIY approach) to craft Future Shock, an album they hope is a big step forward.” Born to rule?

Fragmentum – Masters of Perplexity Review

Fragmentum – Masters of Perplexity Review

Fragmentum want to be famous so bad. By the beard of Johan Hegg, they want to be famous so bad. On top of their own homepage with the hip and cool .zone domain, the promo package includes a list of no less than 9 social media and related pages, including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Bandcamp, Bandsintown, Spotify, Soundcloud and Apple freaking Music. The package also has the very stylish modern (and generic) band logo in 4 different formats and no less than 11 pictures of the 3 man band (5 of the band, 2 of each band member individually. The promo text, which is so masturbatory it may as well have been handwritten in man-brine, speaks of “a well known Belgian diverging metal band,” trying to squeeze the formation into the genesis of a new subgenre, whatever the hell ‘diverging metal’ is supposed to be. So the trio has everything it needs for its break into metal stardom, right?” Vexed and perplexed.

The Beast of Nod – Multiversal Review

The Beast of Nod – Multiversal Review

The Beast of Nod‘s Vampira: Disciple of Chaos was one of the coolest indie death metal albums back in 2018. The icy hunk of sharp, odd prog-death featured unique songwriting, delightfully insane humor, an entertaining story with fascinating characters, and a thousand hooks sharpened with intent to kill. Wild seems an apt descriptor, especially when you take into account the extensive lore that the project created to accompany their musical arm. While rough around the edges at times, that first icebreaker put The Beast of Nod on my map, and the maps of several more of our writers.” Nod plod.

Unflesh – Inhumation Review

Unflesh – Inhumation Review

“Unlike the New Hampshire trio’s debut Savior, which ranks among my earliest Bandcamp purchases, Inhumation flows like hot blood through open veins. Where the debut rode through a chaotic blizzard of technicality, Inhumation builds upon an ensemble of tight, catchy riffs, blackened leads and throbbing bass counterpoint. Drama drips from the walls of this cathedral of melodic tech-death. Excess has been excised from the exercise, exhibiting only that which enhances the experience.” All hail the Unflesh.

Sullen – Nodus Tollens – Act 1: Oblivion Review

Sullen – Nodus Tollens – Act 1: Oblivion Review

“You never forget your first 4.0. Oh, I don’t mean the first 4.0 you listen to, I mean the first 4.0 you review for Angry Metal Guy. Honestly, this statement will probably not breed a great deal of recognition with the majority of you. But my first 4.0 was this album by Disperse. It was light, modern prog metal with a djenty undertone that everybody hated except for me and like 3 people, but I stand by my score for that record. So when the first notes of Sullen’s Nodus Tollens – Act 1: Oblivion reached my ear and I caught a Disperse-y scent in the air, I grinned and readied myself to write another loving review reviled by the masses. 4 is a crowd.

Tragedy in Hope – Sleep Paralysis Review

Tragedy in Hope – Sleep Paralysis Review

“Firstly, the vocal techniques applied to Sleep Paralysis happen to be fairly androgynous, which adds mystique to the project. Secondly, Sleep Paralysis feels very much like a concept album, dealing with a wide spectrum of mental and emotional distresses, including actual sleep paralysis. Drama bleeds all over this album, and Sasha often takes on multiple roles, both male and female, in the service of each segment in the story. My third and final discovery complicates matters.” Bedtime worries.

Dark Zodiak – Ophiuchus Review

Dark Zodiak – Ophiuchus Review

Dark Zodiak borrow bits of the chunky, militaristic rhythms of Sodom, the scratchy grooves of Kreator and the progressive wanderings of Metallica. The push into heavier death-thrash territory is almost entirely due to a grotesque performance from vocalist Simone Schwarz, who commands the record with guttural roars, dry rasps, sinister narration, and even the occasional pig squeal.” Sign stealing.

Dead Exaltation – Despondent Review

Dead Exaltation – Despondent Review

“Technical death metal is one of those “hit or miss” genres for me. While I find the intricate rhythms and minigun note delivery intoxicating at times, I still require the style’s purveyors to provide that thing for which I look in all of my metal endeavors: the almighty riff. Genre legends Cryptopsy shred like no other, but they undergird their sound with a buttload of groove, and modern technical titans Archspire and Cytotoxin make sure to riff just as hard as they noodle. While I generally don’t love overly gore-themed releases due to the nature of my work, the pickings were fairly slim for this week. So I took a chance and picked up Despondent, the debut release from India’s Dead Exaltation, nasty artwork and all.” Technical butchery.

Shotgun Revolution – IV Review

Shotgun Revolution – IV Review

“I was so confused when I picked up Shotgun Revolution for review a few weeks ago. I thought for sure someone here reviewed them already on this site, but a cursory search returned zero results. Then, I suddenly remembered I was thinking of Shotgun Rodeo, and all was right with the world again. So, I downloaded my totally up-for-grabs promo and smashed that heckin’ play button. Instantly I teleported to 2005, when post-grunge and hard rock saturated every radio station on the East Coast. I thought this kind of thing was pretty much dead in the water, but I guess I was wrong.” Gun up or stand down.

Red Cain – Kindred: Act II Review

Red Cain – Kindred: Act II Review

“Maybe you thought I was joking when I claimed the mantle of weeniedom. I do sometimes joke, after all. But now you are coming to realize that Red Cain is not a death metal band. They’re not even a black metal band. Look them up, I’ll wait. Look at the tags down there. Oh, and the score. Yeah, see, it says power metal. You know why it says that? It could be that I’m a big weenie now.” Cain and the Weenies.