Sep22

Sumerlands – Dreamkiller Review

Sumerlands – Dreamkiller Review

“Since being impressed into service at AMG Reviewing Emporium, LLC back in 2010, few albums came out of nowhere to blindside me like Sumerland’s 2016 debut. A classic metal project hailing from the city of brotherly shove, Sumerlands perfectly captured lightning in a bottle, channeling a bygone era of metal with a collection of no-nonsense barn burners full of atmosphere and hooks. Long-time cult doom impresario Phil Swanson stepped out of his comfort zone to deliver an impressive vocal performance and everything from Ozzy’s early solo career to doom and the power-prog craze of the late 80s and early 90s was referenced adroitly.” Dreams and expectations die hard.

Wayward Dawn – All-Consuming Void Review

Wayward Dawn – All-Consuming Void Review

“Danish death metallers Wayward Dawn entered my life right when I needed a swift and relentless jackhammering to the nuts. Their sophomore album Haven of Lies was my first exposure to the band, landing right when lockdowns were setting in around the world as Covid began its malevolent quest to disrupt the world as we knew it.” Death at dawn.

Bones – Sombre Opulence Review

Bones – Sombre Opulence Review

“I have been in a weird space with death metal in 2022. While quality releases have trickled in at a reasonable rate, not much has really blown me away and shaken me to the core. In fact, I’ve spent ample periods revisiting the past, leaning on old favorites, while the latest dominating platter from reliable legends Immolation has remained in solid rotation. Yet as the last chunk of 2022 dawns upon us, optimism is high due to the often-fruitful later-year riches. Belgium’s Bones intend on bludgeoning their way into focus on their debut full-length, Sombre Opulence.” Lovely bones?

Spiritus Mortis – The Great Seal Review

Spiritus Mortis – The Great Seal Review

“In the darkness I lurk, watching from a distance for that first glimpse of what I know must eventually arrive. But how long must I languish in this grim limbo? My hunger grows exponentially as weeks stretch into months without succor. In anguish, I raise my fists to the Heavens and cry out. Where oh where are the great doom albums of 2022? Where are the classic doom-inspired platters designed to crush me ‘neath oceans of despair and mammoth riffs? Aside from the winning debut by Early Moods (God, I hate that name), there’s been little to slake my unhealthy doom desires. Thus I pinned a great deal of miserable hope on the return of Finland’s Spiritus Mortis.” High spirits.

Lybica – Lybica Review

Lybica – Lybica Review

“First and foremost, and this should come as no surprise to any of you… but this wins Cover o’ the Year for me. Hands down, no competition. Sure, you’ve got your Eliran Kantors, your Travis Smiths, and your Necrolords. And that’s all fine and dandy. But here, we have a proud, majestic cat with its tongue out, as if to say, “I’m here, world… and I shall blep.” It’s only fitting, then, that Lybica, the South Floridian instrumental band featuring Killswitch Engage’s Justin Foley and members of Gravel Kings, would name themselves after the African wildcat species often referenced as the godfather to the modern-day domesticated cat.” Cats in the belfry.

Dead Void – Volatile Forms

Dead Void – Volatile Forms

“I became acquainted with Dead Void through their quiet yet mammoth 2018 demo The Looming Spectre. I was neck deep in the melodic style of death/doom, my only experience with more ominous mutterings consisting of Thergothon or Swallowing, so these Danes’ breed of absolutely devastating death/doom hit me like a ton of slimy bricks. As dead and dripping as the walls of R’lyeh, with a megaton weight that more closely recalled funeral doom, it cranked my excitement meter to a solid 11. When Volatile Forms appeared in the promo dump, I hungrily gobbled it up.” Void if forms removed.

Trauma – Awakening Review

Trauma – Awakening Review

“Founding drummer Kris Gustofson is back with the band’s recent guitar duo, ex-Testament powerhouse Greg Christian, and little-known Brian Allen (ex-Vicious Rumors and the like). And together, these old boys bring the heat. More than any other album in their catalog, Awakening is a true thrasher. While Allen still sports classic high-ends made popular by Hillier, Anthrax, Heretic, and Metal Church, he can also throw down some Zetro Souza-isms and monstrous growls. Awakening sees the band traverse unfamiliar waters that might or might not fracture their fanbase. But this new record feels like the comeback we’ve always longed to hear.” Past Trauma present.

Taxi Caveman – Galactic Slope Review

Taxi Caveman – Galactic Slope Review

“I’ll not proclaim any prior knowledge of this band, nor even a particular affinity for their advertised genre of stoner metal. These Polish gents were selected on the bases of an excellent name and central conceit of an album featuring just 2 tracks over 30 minutes. Over that length of time, I was at least assured that it would not be too taxing to review Taxi Caveman. Interestingly, Galactic Slope is described on its one sheet as a sophomore bridge between their debut and third album, the expression of which suggests to me that it’s not a substantial release in its own right. Given there are but 2 tracks, and at great risk of editorial wrath, I’ll take each in turn.” Crazy taxi.

King Buffalo – Regenerator Review

King Buffalo – Regenerator Review

Last year, in the midst of endless lockdowns, I got my lucky mittens on King Buffalo’s excellent The Burden of Restlessness. I had not heard another record that more perfectly encapsulated the experience of isolation resulting from the pandemic, nor have I since. The album was announced to be the start of a rapid-fire trilogy, the finale supposed to come out before the year was through. The vinyl crash elongated that schedule a tad, which caused part two, Acheron, to drop in the middle of list season and tumble between wall and ship. It had deserved better; not only is it a wondrous and otherworldly psychedelic trip, the whole album was recorded live in an actual cave for a unique sound not easily reproduced. So let me make it up to the band by at least addressing the closing chapter of the pandemic trilogy: Regenerator.” Royal animals.

Fallujah – Empyrean Review

Fallujah – Empyrean Review

Fallujah has a contentious history here at the house of AMG. From the first flirtations Angry Metal Guy himself had with The Harvest Wombs, to the loudness wars that consumed The Flesh Prevails to the unenthused success of Dreamless—all ending in the nonconsensual torture of our very own TheKenWord with his harrowed recount of 2019’s Undying Light, which left the poor poriferan in a state most unfit for attacking this newest, Empyrean.” Fuss and bother.