Shape of Despair

Chalice of Suffering – Lost Eternally Review

Chalice of Suffering – Lost Eternally Review

“Grief can seemingly last forever. Whether you’re actively working through it or just passively experiencing its various stages, grief is a marathon, not a sprint. Excitement, on the other hand, is always fleeting. Moments of joy, fright or rage flare up and burn out quickly. Excitement is not a state that can be sustained for long. Grief, sorrow, despondency, these can last indefinitely. There’s a reason grindcore albums never break 30 minutes while funeral doom albums stretch well past an hour. If it takes time to experience, it will take time to express. But listening to the genre at its best isn’t about being patient, as if there’s some reward at the end. It’s more about allowing yourself to be borne along by the slow process. Minneapolis, Minnesota’s Chalice of Suffering—612, represent—is here to take you on a long journey through the deepest despair.” Playing the long winter game.

Abyssic – High the Memory Review

Abyssic – High the Memory Review

“Metal, as a rule, is an exercise in excess. Of the ‘popular’ musical styles, it’s the loudest, the heaviest, the angriest, the most extreme. Thematically, topics of death and darkness are presented with superlative hyperbole. For non-fans, it’s all about as subtle as a volcanic explosion. We, of course, know better. Within each metal sub-genre, bands fall on a relative spectrum ranging from ‘tastefully restrained’ to ‘over-indulgent like, whoa.’ But what does the latter look like when the sub-genre is already known for being the -est? Say, funeral doom? It looks something like Norway-based Abyssic‘s second full-length, High the Memory.” The duck confit of doom.

Maestus – Deliquesce Review

Maestus – Deliquesce Review

“Funeral doom is the cilantro of the metal world. Those who like it tend to love it. Others wonder why anyone would want to eat a little leaf that tastes like soap listen to a twenty-minute song with four beats per minute. On the occasions it’s reviewed here, there are usually a few predictable cries from the peanut gallery of “Only listened to 30 seconds! Why this boring? Me want fast!” That’s right. I made you sound like Cookie Monster.” C is for Cookie and it’s better than you deserve.

Obseqvies – The Hours of My Wake Review

Obseqvies – The Hours of My Wake Review

“I’ve branched out quite a bit over the years in my time with Angry Metal Guy & Affiliates, LLC., and over the years, you notice a bit of bleed-through when it comes to discovering new bands. Many are trying to push boundaries as hard and as far as humanly possible in hopes to get noticed by music reviewers such as myself. Others hope that by emulating a well-proven and time-tested sound but with as much conviction as possible, they can win us over by virtue of hooks, clever melodies, and just straight-up heart and soul. What the fuck am I getting at, you may ask? The latter is the path of the day here, as Finnish funeral doombearers Obseqvies hope to draw my eye (of solitude) with their debut album, The Hours of My Wake. With three songs at almost an hour in length, did they succeed?” Time, taking its toll on you.

Collapse of Light – Each Failing Step Review

Collapse of Light – Each Failing Step Review

“Personal loss and despair have always been prime fodder for doom metal. The style basically exists to simulate the experiences of grief, sorrow and deprivation, tearing open the worst emotions in human existence and daring us to confront them. When you stop and think about it, it’s hard to understand why anyone would seek such music out. We will all suffer genuine loss. We will all hurt deeply and profoundly, and sometimes we will never truly move beyond it. Why then would we seek out facsimiles of such heartache? I don’t have the answer, but I do know that Collapse of Light have come to expose all your deepest pain and sadness on their debut Each Failing Step.” Triumph in failure.

Clouds – Departe Review

Clouds – Departe Review

“Sometimes a piece of music is entirely about a single, specific feeling, be it rage, joy or sadness. Departe, the second album by atmospheric post-doom super group Clouds, is definitely about the latter, and it attempts to drown the listener in a vast sea of chilling, cloying melancholy without offering the slightest hint of hope or beam of light. Formed by members of The 11th Hour, Eye of Solitude, Rapture, Barren Earth and Shape of Despair, the line up reads like doom royalty and their vast experience helps make this one of the bleakest, most depressive listens of this year or any other.” Got something in your eye? You’re about to.

Jonne – Jonne Review

Jonne – Jonne Review

“I’m aware many readers think I pick promos to review based solely on the presence or absence of a sword wielding barbarian on the cover. I can certainly see the reasoning behind that school of thought, but you’ll note there is no such angry warrior here, only a solitary dude in feathers and native garb. That dude is none other than Jonne Javela, vocalist and guitarist of Finnish folk-metal pioneers, Korpiklaani, and Jonne is his new solo album.” Finland’s woodland spirits are loose and feeling frisky.

Record(s) o’ the Month – June 2015

Record(s) o’ the Month – June 2015

“Summer is a time when thoughts inevitably turn to love, sun worshipping, cold beers and good friends. Maybe that’s why the AMG staff was so egregiously delinquent with their Record(s) o’ the Month selections for June. More likely it’s because they’re all a bunch of slack-jawed yokels with the work ethic of a entitled Siamese cat.” The summer is here but the AMG staff is not, so forgive the lateness of this lot.

Shape of Despair – Monotony Fields Review

Shape of Despair – Monotony Fields Review

If sitting alone in a darkened room, lighting a few candles, uncorking a good claret, and settling in for an uninterrupted hour of beauteous funeral doom sounds like your idea of a fun night in, you’re probably already a fan of Shape of Despair. Discovering that they were finally releasing a new LP after eleven years of waiting left me pert with anticipation.” Slow and low, that is the tempo.