Shadows Fall

Domination Inc. – Memoir 414 Review

Domination Inc. – Memoir 414 Review

“Greek thrashers Domination Inc. (minus the “Inc.” back then) released their debut Infants of Thrash. Take one look at the band’s name, and it shouldn’t surprise you that Infants sounds a cowboys from hell of a lot like Pantera. Fast forward four years and sophomore effort Memoir 414 finds the band wanting to “slightly move away from our initial old-school sound” and hoping that it will sound “heavier and more modern.”” Vulgar display of diary entries.

Converge – The Dusk in Us Review

Converge – The Dusk in Us Review

“But for whatever reason, the band fell off the radar for me after 1998’s incredible When Forever Comes Crashing. Simply put, I thought I outgrew their chaotic brand of hardcore. And because of that, I missed one of the biggest about-faces with their legendary 2000 album, Jane Doe; an album that married their atonal metalcore with thick post-metal influences. It’s only been in recent years that I’ve been playing catch-up with their catalog, and the amount of progress on each subsequent album has been nothing short of astounding.” Rising in the gloaming.

Awaiting Downfall – Distant Call Review

Awaiting Downfall – Distant Call Review

“Sometimes it’s almost impossible not to look back on the past and ask ‘what if?’ As in ‘what if I’d actually taken those piano lessons in middle school and learned to play an instrument?’ or ‘what if I’d actually talked to that cute girl in my sophomore English class and didn’t end up as a single guy in my mid-twenties eating Chinese takeout on my couch while wearing a faded Morbid Angel shirt with the sleeves cut off?’ With debut Distant Call, German thrashy metalcore quartet Awaiting Downfall aim to answer their own versions of this question: what if Trivium didn’t go full Metallicore with The Crusade and instead tried to remake Ember to Inferno?” The implications are staggering!

Demonstealer – This Burden Is Mine Review

Demonstealer – This Burden Is Mine Review

“In my almost three years of reviewing for AngryMetalGuy.com, very few things surprise me anymore. Yet, while doing research for This Burden Is Mine, the second album by Indian one-man project Demonstealer, I hopped onto their Facebook page, and realized just how prolific one Sahil Makhija, aka The Demonstealer, is. Not only is he the guitarist and vocalist on here (as well as in his main band, Demonic Resurrection), but he also runs his own eponymous record label (which is also India’s first extreme metal label). He also has his own online cooking blog. In fact, the first thing I saw on Facebook was was a link to a YouTube video for making bacon cake. I didn’t know such a concoction of magnificence even existed on this lowly plane, proving that magic does indeed manifest on Earth.” Bacon cake impresses even the jaded staff of AMG.

Aphyxion – Earth Entangled Review

Aphyxion – Earth Entangled Review

“The past two years have put to death the oft-spoken cliché that only young hungry bands make exciting music anymore. 2014 alone has given us career highlights from genre titans Vader and Behemoth, while last year’s Gorguts/Carcass one-two comeback punch still has me walking around like our gore-obsessed friends across the pond personally shoved their captive bolt pistol up my ass. Now on the eve of an At the Gates reunion record, it’s no surprise newcomers like Denmark’s Aphyxion have trouble finding a place to surface in the churning sea of the current scene. Even with three EPs and over 100 shows logged since forming in 2007, their debut album Earth Entangled shows them fighting their damnedest to breathe as a modern metal group.” I hear mercy drownings are on the rise these days….

Artas – Riotology Review

Artas – Riotology Review

Well, I’m not sure what I did to end up on the Angry Metal Guy’s Official Shit List. However, his assigning me both the new Lazarus A.D. and Artas albums proves I’m on it bigtime. I can just picture AMG up there on his throne all high and mighty, laughing as he contemptuously sneers, “let him eat metalcore.” Steel Druhm does not like being on the Shit List and Steel Druhm will have his wengeance! Anyway, Riotology is the second album by Austrian metalcore/quasi-thrash bandwagon jumpers Artas. Up until now their claim to fame was a wildly ill-conceived cover of Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise” which ended up being funnier than Weird Al Yankovic’s “Amish Paradise.” Now, with Riotology they can truthfully claim recording two average metalcore albums. Hey, congrats guys! As soon as I saw the album cover which looks like a screen shot from the Assassin’s Creed video games I should have known where this was heading. The second clue I was in trouble was the band’s prominently displayed claim that they play “modern metal.” Apparently that’s record industry speak for tired metalcore by bands that yearn to be At the Gates and In Flames with poppier, radio-friendly choruses. Because I’m merciful, I will now implore you all to leave this review and save yourselves. I can’t go with you however, for I must write it.

Lazarus A.D. – Black Rivers Flow Review

Lazarus A.D. – Black Rivers Flow Review

There are plenty of myths that sane folks know to be false like Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster and honest politicians. However, one should never count the sophomore slump among those fairy tales and urban legends, for it is very real and very painful to behold. Exhibit A for 2011 is Lazarus A.D. who had a decent if not remarkable debut with 2009’s The Onslaught. Many seemed to lump them in with the retro-thrash revival and while there was some Exodus aping to be sure, they always sounded more metalcore-ish to my ears. Although I hate metalcore like I hate taxes, there was enough aggression, energy and nods to the old school throughout The Onslaught to make it semi-palatable and I didn’t totally hate it. Well, there is simply no digesting their second platter Black Rivers Flow, as Lazarus A.D. have firmly embraced their inner mall kid and all things Shadow’s Fall and the result is a veritable black river of crappy, overused grooves, tough guy posturing and general mediocrity.

Death Angel – Relentless Retribution Review

Death Angel – Relentless Retribution Review

When California sons Death Angel came from nowhere and dropped their classic debut The Ultra-Violence on the metal world in 1987, yours truly was blown away in a pretty major way. That album, along with a handful of others, defined my metal youth and I still listen to it regularly to this day. Sadly, the minds behind that classic release could never record its equal and the albums that followed were always somewhat of a mixed bag. Nowhere has this trend been more evident than on release number six, Relentless Retribution.