Septic Flesh

Hecate Enthroned – Embrace of the Godless Aeon Review

Hecate Enthroned – Embrace of the Godless Aeon Review

“January has been… slow for quality metal releases. Can Hecate Enthroned buck the trend and save us all? Embrace of the Godless Aeon is the sixth album from these Brits as they push past the twentieth year in their recording career. Coming off a five year release gap and sporting a new vocalist, is there any hellfire left in their demonic well of blackened death metal?” Embrace the orchestration.

Halcyon Way – Bloody But Unbowed Review

Halcyon Way – Bloody But Unbowed Review

“Just because you wore yourself down to the stubs doesn’t mean you produced anything worth a damn. It’s about what you achieve, not how much of it. Halcyon Way would seem to disagree. Having built their reputation on grit and gumption, they stand proud of their latest album, Bloody But Unbowed, a declaration to dogged persistence if there ever was one. But, does effort guarantee success?” Prog-thrash is a dangerous game.

Abigail Williams – Becoming Review

Abigail Williams – Becoming Review

I’ve never been an Abigail Williams fan. Their debut was lackluster and derailed by metalcore underpinnings. In the Absence of Light had some actual potential but was far too generic. Needless to say, I had modest expectations as I sat down to examine their new album. Well, Steel Druhm was nearly knocked from his stately Chair of Metal Judgment [Metal Chair of Judgement? – AMG] by what he heard on Becoming. Gone are the tepid attempts to recycle left-over Dimmu Borgir and Cradle of Filth riffs and horror movie symphonics. In their place is raw, shoegazey, post-rocky, contemplative blackness, loaded with doomy atmosphere, close in spirit to Wolves in the Throne Room and Agalloch, with elements of Aurvandil and Emperor mixed in. It’s a startlingly major change to be sure (even more so than their previous shift from black-core to Dimmu-worship), and proves there’s no wagon they won’t gleefully hop onto. Surprisingly though, their newest disingenuous switch works well and they may have found the style they can excel at. That is, if they can stop pursuing every new fad and trend (the technical term is “chasing their own fail”).

Steel Druhm’s Top 10(ish) of 2011

Steel Druhm’s Top 10(ish) of 2011

We made it through another year here in Angry Metal World. We overcame Terminal Reviewer Burnout Syndrome, careers and personal lives, just to bring you more of our self-righteous, ego-driven babbling and blathering. Why did we do it? Because we care so damn much! Now, as the year grinds us all towards inevitable doom, it falls to me to get the metal wheel a rollin and name my picks for the best albums of 2011. This was a pretty solid year, so it was tough to figure out which albums belonged where, but you demanded it, so I’m delivering the goods, Yeah!

3 – The Ghost You Gave to Me Review

3 – The Ghost You Gave to Me Review

3 was one of my favorite discoveries of the year 2007. The End Is Begun ripped me out of my progressive complacency and reminded me that well-written, well-performed progressive rock or heavy metal, can be some of the most interesting and effective music. In a world dominated by polyrhythms and breakdowns, 3 was a refreshing blast of melody, piccolo toms and some of the most creative and unique guitar playing and song writing that I’d heard in a very long time. So I guess it’s fair to say that I have been anticipating their follow up, The Ghost You Gave to Me with no small amount of anticipation.

While Heaven Wept – Fear of Infinity Review

While Heaven Wept – Fear of Infinity Review

2011 got off to a rollicking start for metal and it seemed that we in the reviewer game were going to have our hands full trying to select a top ten come December. However, as March wound into April and we got to hear some very highly anticipated releases, things started to look a little less stellar. Angry Metal Guy was less than blown away by the new Amon Amarth and Septic Flesh among several others not yet reviewed. Now it’s my turn to feel less than floored by a much beloved band’s new material. As a huge fan of While Heaven Wept and their epic, beautiful doom style, I must admit to being slightly let down by Fear of Infinity, their fourth album. Now, before people get the wrong idea, this remains a very solid, well done doom metal album and maintains the style and sound of past While Heaven Wept material. However, it just doesn’t achieve the towering heights of excellence heard on their Of Empires Forlorn and Vast Oceans Lachrymose albums. Something seems amiss on some of the material here and I can’t quite place my finger on it.

Vomitory – Opus Mortis VIII Review

Vomitory – Opus Mortis VIII Review

I’ve actually been having a bit of a problem this year. While this is supposed to be the big year for all the big-named metal bands that I love, I can’t help but get the feeling that no one is putting out records that are even nearly as good as they should be. OK, I really got into the new Vintersorg, but I thought Septic Flesh was a letdown, as was the new Amon Amarth. There are others that I can’t mention yet, but let me just say, I’m disappointed with pretty much all of my favorite bands this year. So when I got Vomitory’s Opus Mortis VIII and popped it in, I can’t say that I was expecting much more than that same ol’ same ol’ feeling of apathy. I was beginning to think, frankly, that this was my problem. But Vomitory helped me realize something, this is their problem, not mine.