Sep20

Memories of Old – The Zeramin Game Review

Memories of Old – The Zeramin Game Review

“As if the cover of Memories of Old‘s debut wasn’t enough of an indicator, this one is for all the fantasy nerds out there. Promo materials for The Zeramin Game identify Memories of Old‘s music as symphonic power metal, but if we’re talking specifics, The Zeramin Game is a spirited cross between castle metal and pirate metal. It’s the kind of album I’d expect might be born if Serenity and Alestorm had an inkling for each other — an album concerning equal parts ancient times, legend, and prophecy and equal parts a journey across turbulent seas.” Game-core.

Ragehammer – Into Certain Death Review

Ragehammer – Into Certain Death Review

“After the absolute walloping Ragehammer dished out on The Hammer Doctrine, I wanted more Ragehammer but was perfectly content spinning that wonderful little record again and again. Since I avoid social media like the plague vodka-based drinks, I generally don’t know who’s releasing what until I dig through the ol’ promo sump. Seeing Ragehammer was a pleasant surprise, as The Hammer Doctrine still gets regular spins ‘round these parts.” Hammer.

Evoke – Seeds of Death Review

Evoke – Seeds of Death Review

“I’m a hammer kind of guy. I wield the Banhammer in the comment section, one of my favorite historical figures is Charles “the Hammer” Martel, my favorite Avenger is Thor, and I love the throwback 80s speed and insanity of Norway’s Deathhammer. Albums like Evil Power take me back to the glory days of speed and provide all sorts of nostalgic amusement and berserker energy. Evoke hail from the same scene as Deathhammer and vocalist/guitarist Kato Marchant has played for them live. Seeds of Death is Evoke‘s debut full-length, and it aims to hammer you with blinding speed and tongues firmly planted in the cheek of the 80s.” Feel the need for Seed.

Napalm Death – Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism Review

Napalm Death – Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism Review

“It’s genuinely hard for me to comprehend someone taking a strong dislike to Napalm Death because, above all else, they represent a seal of quality. At this point in their career the band have managed to command their blast-happy frenzy and deathly breakdowns with the kind of fluidity most acts can only imagine. But experimentation has never been far from their arsenal, and new album Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism is no exception. In a career that spans excellent to reliable, the only real question is: which category does this sixteenth record belong to?” Death throes.

Finntroll – Vredesvävd Review

Finntroll – Vredesvävd Review

Finntroll‘s role in the development of modern folk metal cannot be understated. Re-visiting classics like Jakens tid and Nattfödd often leads me to wonder how these guys managed to rip off my favorite folk albums before they were written. The unabashed and upfront nature of their folk qualities changed the game. That said, it’s amazing that Finntroll are still relevant. 21 years into the game, the newer blood in the genre reasonably should have surpassed them by now.” Troll down memory lane.

The Progressive Souls Collective – Sonic Birth Review

The Progressive Souls Collective – Sonic Birth Review

“Progressive metal in general can be a contested battleground. The genre and likely every single band within it has had the charge of pretentiousness levied at some point, and not always without reason. It is the terrain of 15 minute epics full of bloat, pseudo-intellectual lyrics that talk a lot and say very little, a small city worth of guest artists, and the paradoxical slavery to tropes first invented over 40 years ago. And there are no worse sinners than progressive supergroups. The Progressive Souls Collective, hereafter TPSC, is sort of mostly a supergroup but not quite.” Tough delivery.

Plague Years – Circle of Darkness Review

Plague Years – Circle of Darkness Review

Plague Years dole out Slayer grooves with hardcore vocals just like every other modern crossover band, but the beef levels have been turned up to 11 by down-tuning the guitars and adding some death metal elements. If Power Trip is the classic, lean and mean Greek god physique of crossover, Plague Years is the modern-day, steroid-saturated Mr. Olympia.” Circle of power.

Hræ – Þar sem skepnur reika Review

Hræ – Þar sem skepnur reika Review

“Iceland. What on earth do they put in the water over there? With a population of a small city, the country is consistently at the cutting edge of black metal. More importantly, there’s a certain aesthetic that is unique to the country; you just know when you’re listening to an Icelandic band. Now we have Hræ, the project of scene-veteran, I, who has appeared in other groups like Endalok, Naught and Guðveiki.” Iceland ascendant.

Skeletal Remains – The Entombment of Chaos Review

Skeletal Remains – The Entombment of Chaos Review

“Old school death has bucked the dreary trend of a wretched 2020 thus far with a stellar supply of quality albums to help keep the blues away. Now the unfashionable but dependably solid Californian crew Skeletal Remains emerge from their dank and dusty crypt with their bludgeoning brand of no-frills death on latest platter of destruction, The Entombment of Chaos.” Bone entombers unite!

The Ocean – Phanerozoic II: Mesozoic | Cenozoic Review

The Ocean – Phanerozoic II: Mesozoic | Cenozoic Review

“Above the couch, in my teeny one-bedroom apartment, hangs a painting of the ocean. I bought it when I moved in and at one of the lowest points of my life. There’re hints of a sun beaming behind those dark clouds, but it won’t come out. The waves are an angry black, with blueish white tips; crashing against the shore like frustrated fists to a tabletop. What shore it is, I have no idea. It’s an imagined piece. There’s no way in Hell a human being would be safe from that viewpoint. She/he would be smashed against those black, volcanic rocks. The result could be a splash of red to round out the blacks, greys, dark blues, and shocking whites. Sometimes I get lost in its chaoticness as it hangs quietly in my living room. To me, it’s a cheap painting that holds emotions and memories—though they’re bad ones. To others, it’s a color palette that matches my space. Regardless, I’ve always thought that if I could put music to it, it’d be The Ocean.” Save the whales!