Sept16

Carnophage – Monument Review

Carnophage – Monument Review

“Though billed as a technical death metal album, Monument has little to do with The Faceless-core being oozed out of southern California every few months. Instead, Carnophage plays a not unsophisticated mix of early-’00s influenced death metal, taking cues from Suffocation and Hate Eternal. It’s not a fantastic formula, but the band follows through, and there’s surprisingly little to complain about on Monument.” I’m sure we’ll find something.

Allegaeon – Proponent for Sentience Review

Allegaeon – Proponent for Sentience Review

“If you look at the top of this page, you will find a reference to the old adage “less is more.” The phrase came from the minimalist art movement and is still a common saying in many areas of art and design. In music, it usually describes how an album can be improved by removing songs or song sections that don’t add anything to the album as a whole, leaving the bloat on the cutting room floor. Here at Angry Metal Guy Universal Enterprises, we’re big fans of the principle; we don’t have a 45 Minute Rule for nothing. Allegaeon, being top-class musicians, of course know all about such basic rules of composition. They just don’t give a fuck.” When is more actually more?

Charred Walls of the Damned – Creatures Watching over the Dead Review

Charred Walls of the Damned – Creatures Watching over the Dead Review

“Depending on your perspective, Charred Walls Of The Damned are either a supergroup composed of metal legends, or a fucking joke. Sure, the band is masterminded by drummer Richard Christy (Death, Iced Earth, The Howard Stern Show), and fellow Death veteran Steve DiGiorgio is on bass. At the mic is none other than Tim “Ripper” Owens, one of the most polarizing vocalists in the genre — to the extent that AMG himself has a legitimate beef with the ex-Judas Priest/Iced Earth frontman. Creatures Watching Over The Dead is the unnecessarily-long title of their 3rd album, their first in about 5 years.” Can’t we all just get along?

Sahg – Memento Mori Review

Sahg – Memento Mori Review

“Led by vocalist/guitarist Olav Iversen, Norwegian quartet Sahg have been delivering quality rock/metal with old-school values for years. Their 2013 opus Delusions of Grandeur was a sonic and compositional masterpiece, landing on AMG’s Top 10 that year, and showing serious staying power on my stereo as well. After a 3-year gap, Sahg returns with two new members and a dark, doomy album called Memento Mori.”

Steve Grimmett’s Grim Reaper – Walking in the Shadows Review

Steve Grimmett’s Grim Reaper – Walking in the Shadows Review

“I hate when artists known for a role in some famous/semi-famous band feel the need to feature their name prominently on subsequent endeavors. It always looks cheesy (Vinny Vincent Invasion), usually feels a bit desperate (Paul Di’anno’s Battlezone) and generally smacks of chasing faded glories (Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody of Fire?). Steve Grimmett’s Grim Reaper is the newish band led by Grim Reaper‘s vocalist and the vehicle by which he hopes to recapture former accolades and ancient laurels.” Read Steel Druhm’s review of Grim Reaper, now featuring more Steel Druhm.

Ancient – Back to the Land of the Dead Review

Ancient – Back to the Land of the Dead Review

“I find black metal deeply polarizing. While helplessly captivated by the cold, desolate aura of much of the genre’s higher quality output, I also find myself mind-numbingly frustrated when magnificent records are in my view ruined by intentionally dreadful production, sounding as though they were recorded not in a studio but rather in a metal bin at the bottom of a distant lake (Transilvanian Hunger anyone?). Founded in Bergen in the early nineties by frontman Aphazel, the aptly-named Ancient have been diligently plying their trade for almost a quarter of a century now, establishing a back catalogue of uncharacteristically lush-sounding black metal and recruiting a small but loyal following along the way.” Old and cold, or old and bold?

Insomnium – Winter’s Gate Review

Insomnium – Winter’s Gate Review

“Coming from the refreshingly short blasts of concise metal by High Spirits and Sumerlands and having to tackle a 40-minute melo-death song seemed like a particularly arduous shift of gears for yours truly. Winter’s Gate is Insomnium‘s seventh release, and apparently they wanted to pay homage to Edge of Sanity‘s legendary Crimson opus by crafting a massive composition filled with similarly diverse moods and complexions.” Winter is coming (and staying).

Sumerlands – Sumerlands Review

Sumerlands – Sumerlands Review

“As always, I’m dating myself with my taste in music, but so be it. Sumerlands is an unheralded act set to explode on the nostalgia-core scene with their self-titled release and let’s just say, I’m fully on board. Featuring Phil Swanson (Hour of 13, Briton Rites, et al) on vocals, Sumerlands plays exactly the kind of music I couldn’t get enough of in the late 80s/early 90s. It’s dark, brooding, traditional American metal with traces of prog and doom around the edges.” The boys of summer never sounded so olde!

High Spirits – Motivator Review

High Spirits – Motivator Review

“Ever notice how we at AMG Conglomerated Blogworks, Ltd. spend our time bitching and carping about album length and the need for slavish adherence to the 45 Minute Rule? In an age when even EPs are running close to 40 minutes, it gets pretty hard to to uphold the “less is more” banner and remain a defender of editing and artistic restraint. Then in our darkest hour, Chris Black arrives with his High Spirits project.” Expectations and spirits are high.