Sep22

Praise the Sun – The Proffer of Light Review

Praise the Sun – The Proffer of Light Review

“I remember the excitement I felt when I discovered In Flames during the late 90s. Albums like Whoracle and Colony were heavy, but they had Maiden-like harmonies and they were drenched with cool melodies that kept me coming back for more. The contrast between the Mack truck riffs and the catchy hooks hit a nerve. Since then, hundreds of melodeath bands have tossed their spear in the ring, but not many have been able to hit the same mark. Praise the Sun recaptures a little bit of that old thrill.” The fire still burns.

Morbus Grave – Lurking into Absurdity Review

Morbus Grave – Lurking into Absurdity Review

“Sometimes you get a pretty good idea of what a promo will sound like based solely on the name and album title. Such was the case with Morbus Grave and their debut splatter platter, Lurking into Absurdity. I seized this sticky abomination based on the sounds my brain predicted would greet me upon sampling, and lo and behold, Steel‘s metal sense did not deceive. These Italian fiends are steeped in the gruesome ways of 80s death and seem to have a creepy obsession with the seminal works of Autopsy and Impetigo.” Men at lurk.

Crippled Black Phoenix – Banefyre Review

Crippled Black Phoenix – Banefyre Review

“Is 97 minutes too much music? Is it unfair to judge albums simply for being long? Yes… and yes. Regardless, Banefyre presents us with 92 minutes of new Crippled Black Phoenix sounds plus one bonus track. Our own Huck N’ Roll has a mixed history with leading man Justin Greaves (Se Delan, ex-Iron Monkey) and his rotating cast of sound partners, but it can be tiring digesting the hours of music that this project puts out, so I’ve stepped in to give olde Huck a rest.” Free birds.

Epoch of Unlight – At War with the Multiverse Review

Epoch of Unlight – At War with the Multiverse Review

At War with the Multiverse is a familiar, yet fresh take on their established formula, featuring a re-jinked line-up that has tirelessly honed the material comprising this long-awaited return. Whereas Epoch of Unlight’s sound has previously featured a technical, thrashy black metal core embellished with melodeath and progressive elements, At War with the Multiverse flips the tact a little.” Run to the Unlight.

Vrenth – Succumb to Chaos Review

Vrenth – Succumb to Chaos Review

“Over the years, I’ve come to realize that death metal is more about the visceral reaction that your body and mind have to a barbaric aural bludgeoning than it is about memorability, and I’ve thus come to enjoy entire albums full of quality metal of the dead variety. But every once in a while, a death metal band comes along with the apparent intent of providing that same visceral journey while simultaneously providing riff after memorable riff, a host of unforgettable solos, and enough stylistic changeups to keep the listener on their toes. California’s Vrenth is just such a band.” Death with life.

Mo’ynoq – A Place for Ash Review

Mo’ynoq – A Place for Ash Review

Mo’ynoq is one of black metal’s most frustrating bands – a sky-high potential that never feels capitalized upon. Garnering an underground reputation with their self-released Dreaming in a Dead Language, the North Carolina quartet dealt in second-wave trademarks with an otherworldly twist about them. Balancing two vocalists, frosty tremolo and bouncy riffs, a touch of melody, and a maniac on the kit, the debut should have been a rousing success. Alas, as reflected in the gone-but-not-forgotten Lokasenna ‘s cautiously optimistic review, Mo’ynoq never really got past tripping over their own feet.” Mo’ better?

Behemoth – Opvs Contra Natvram Review

Behemoth – Opvs Contra Natvram Review

“While I don’t consider myself to be a huge Behemoth fan—in fact, I haven’t even listened to all of their releases—I rather enjoy most of the band’s albums with which I’m familiar. Demigod is a blackened death classic, and I like The Apostasy quite a bit too—and not just because it features an appearance by my beloved Warrel Dane (R.I.P.). The Satanist had some great moments, but the amount of pretense on display was a bit unnerving. And that sense of foreboding was ultimately justified with the release of its follow-up, the at times cringy I Loved You at Your Darkest. While initially hesitant to cover that album’s successor, I was overcome by curiosity.” Curiosity and the beast.

Altars Ablaze – Life Desecration Review

Altars Ablaze – Life Desecration Review

“Metal fans are stupid, mindless idiots just looking for their next fix, demanding MOAR of the same exact shit they’ve heard a billion times over. That includes me, and that most certainly includes you. Especially you. With this powerful knowledge in hand, bands who tailor their music for themselves rather than for their fans are free to produce some of most unique and compelling metal around. On the other side of the same coin, some bands with this same knowledge often phone it in, delivering a fan-servicing slab of decent material without a lick of personality in the name of album sales. Czechia’s Altars Ablaze, a blackened death metal quintet formed from members of Heaving EarthSupreme Conception, and others, explicitly refuse to cater to the unwashed masses.” Fan service or fan sacrifice?

Greber – Fright Without Review

Greber – Fright Without Review

“A drum kit, a bass guitar, two throats, and an unflinching look at life. Such components make up Greber, the unapologetically unhinged grind/sludge two-piece responsible for Fright Without. In their near-15 years of existence, the pair have constructed a fair number of audial slaps in the face, both alone and in numerous splits with the likes of Minors and Anthesis. With one half (Steve Vargas) coming from sludge act The Great Sabatini, and the other (Marc Bourgon) from grind group Fuck The Facts, Greber have always blended these two unfriendly styles.” Greber, baby.