Sep16

Negură Bunget – Zi Review

Negură Bunget – Zi Review

“Through their music, Negură Bunget seek to provide a window into the esoteric world of their homeland and its traditional way of life. Utilizing an array of native folk instruments, they craft a strange, otherworldly atmosphere, sucking the listener in and transporting them to another time and place altogether. Invoking images of rolling grassy vistas, dense woodland and glistening rivers meandering their way down from the towering Carpathian mountains.” Aren’t you Vlad you came?

Iron Mask – Diabolica Review

Iron Mask – Diabolica Review

“While Narnia has shifted their direction to a more power-metal sound, Iron Mask stayed true to the Mighty Malmsteen. Hell, Iron Mask even used an actual Malmsteen vocalist for their epic Black as Death release. But, the Belgian’s 2013 record, Fifth Son of Winterdoom, was not good. And I’m sorta afraid to hear this newest release. Well, duty calls. Here goes nothing…” Answer the call of Malmsteen.

Vorgrum – Last Domain Review

Vorgrum – Last Domain Review

“Somewhere along my personal timeline of listening to extreme music I formed an imaginary line dividing two equally valid camps of folk metal. On one side, you have your bands of brooding boys who like to pose next to frozen streams for their promo shots in between discussions of just how great Windir was; on the other, you have your gangs of drunken revelers, crowding into the nearest tavern to relate raucous tales of wenches and trolls to any half-willing passersby.” Is that a troll on the cover or are you just happy to see me?

Re-Armed – The Era of Precarity Review

Re-Armed – The Era of Precarity Review

“It was noted in the comments that there’s been a lot of negativity around here lately. That’s not false: 2016 has suffered the runs worse than a 3rd grade recorder recital that accidentally hit the brown note. Whether that’s due to an outflow of compelling material, the recent infestation of scrubs (That’s Dr. Scrvb to you), or just something in the water at AMG Inc., the readership can only take so much aspersion. I swore I wouldn’t embrace the misery. If Re-Armed could generate a lick of positivity from their hyphenated frames, I was going to find it.” In every cloud there’s a silver lemming.

Opeth – Sorceress Review

Opeth – Sorceress Review

“It’s funny to think about how long it has been since the golden age of Swedish metal. In the mid-to-late ’90s and early aughts, Swedish bands were atop the world. Now venerable legends were young, hungry and novel. 1995 saw the release of Slaughter of the SoulThe Gallery and Orchid, while the following year graced us with Morningrise and The Jester Race. And when I got into Opeth in 1998 I was swimming in a veritable ocean of amazing Swedish records. Despite my love of the band, I would have laughed if someone had suggested that Opeth—the guys who couldn’t write a song shorter than 10 minutes—would be the most successful of the bunch in 20 years. Maybe it’s obvious in retrospect. Opeth was the band with the broadest opportunities for evolution. They have shown that consistently in their long career. Record after record they evolve; sometimes for the better and sometimes not. But they have always been forward thinking and—given their recent moves into merch and their own imprint—clever.” But is the new album good?

Katla – Embryo Review

Katla – Embryo Review

“Ah, the seventies. An excellent decade for wanton sex, drug abuse and consequently, psychedelic music. In the common mindset, the foremost psychedelic band is of course Pink Floyd, and with good reason. But another influential band that tends to get overlooked, is Hawkwind, who had a bit more oomph than the aforementioned space rock colossus, using experimental timbres and textures to accentuate their otherwise fairly straightforward proto-metal. The influence of Hawkwind (who, amazingly, are still around) is clear on the debut of the trippy Swedish quartet Katla.” A might (Hawk)wind blows.

Hobbs’ Angel of Death – Heaven Bled Review

Hobbs’ Angel of Death – Heaven Bled Review

“The year is 1987. Robocop is in theaters, thrash metal is booming, and my mommy and daddy are just a few short years away from bumpin’ uglies to produce yours truly. On the other side of the world, an Australian Slayer fan named Peter Hobbs decides to transform his thrash band Tyrus into a new project named after Reign in Blood’s infamous opening track. The result is Hobbs’ Angel of Death – ostensibly one of the first bands from Down Under to play what we now know as classic thrash metal.” The social thrash contract must not be broken!

Them – Sweet Hollow Review

Them – Sweet Hollow Review

“New the band may be, but the individual members are all seasoned veterans, most notably bassist Mike LePond from Symphony X and drummer Kevin Talley from Suffocation. Markus Ulrich (Lanfear) and Markus Johansson (Sylencer) are on six-string duties and Richie Seibel (also Lanfear) handles the keyboards. Vocalist Troy Norr’s recent experience moonlighting in a King Diamond tribute band informs what Sweet Hollow is all about.” But they do make a good cup of tea….