Shining

Rodent Epoch – Rodentlord Review

Rodent Epoch – Rodentlord Review

“Today’s Horna-meets-Gorgoroth-meets-The Deathtrip second-wave sound is courtesy of Finland’s Rodent Epoch. Admittedly, when I first read the band name and saw the album title, I couldn’t help but think of that villain from the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoons. Which made me question Rodent Epoch‘s debut full-length, Rodentlord: is it a cartoon or is it for real? Let’s see what this Rat King thing is all about.” Vermin, vermout.

Dalkhu – Lamentation and Ardent Fire Review

Dalkhu – Lamentation and Ardent Fire Review

“Wow, it’s been three years since I reviewed Dalkhu‘s Descend… into Nothingness? Where in the hell has the time gone? When I reviewed it, a new life had just begun for me, right when this fantastic black/death record dropped in my lap. Ever since then, I’ve come back to Descend… with regularity. Not only is it an exceptional piece of deathy Dissection but it marked a huge progression for Dalkhu. Within one release, the band morphed from the sharp—and, sometimes, unpleasant—attacks of the blackened Imperator to the polished, passioned, and death-centered Descend… As one would expect, I had high hopes for more of the same treatment from this year’s Lamentation and Ardent Fire. But, it seems, the band is incapable of sitting still.” Mud, fire, death.

Poly-Math – House of Wisdom | We are the Devil Review

Poly-Math – House of Wisdom | We are the Devil Review

“With the recent reunion of At the Drive-In, hopes have never been higher for a rekindling of the fire under the asses of Omar Rodríguez-López and Cedric Bixler-Zavala – a fire which produced the best prog rock albums of the 2000s. And given the rate at which Rodríguez-López currently produces LPs (about one a month for the past two years), it might not be long before there’s a new The Mars Volta album collecting saliva on turntables everywhere. But that doesn’t mean substitutes aren’t welcome.” We take whats we can gets.

Arkheth – 12 Winter Moons Comes the Witches’ Brew Review

Arkheth – 12 Winter Moons Comes the Witches’ Brew Review

“Time to turn over another rock for yet another black metal garage project! Yet another slice on the Australian Metal Genre Roulette Wheel, Arkheth is a self-described experimental black metal project coming off an eight-year hiatus. “Experimental” as a subgenre label can be vague even at the best of times (that is, when it’s not an outright lie by marketing), but it’s still a head-turner for fans of strange music.” Strange brew.

Shining – X – Varg utan flock Review

Shining – X – Varg utan flock Review

Shining is remarkably long-lived if one considers mainman Niklas Kvarforth’s admonitions that everyone should commit suicide. Twenty years into Shining’s career, Varg utan flock (Wolf without [a] Pack) marks the band’s 10th full length, and first since 2014. I have been holding out hope that Shining will regain the form of their earliest masterpieces, but since 2011 that field has been fallow. It’s tough to live up to records like Halmstad—one of the best albums of the 2000s—and Född förlorare. Those albums were excellent, memorable, and loaded with great writing and riffs. But starting in 2012, Shining/Kvarforth made a lot of noise about change. This was particularly present on 2012’s Redefining Darkness and even, to an extent, on IX: Everyone, Everything, Everywhere, Ends. The reasons for this are unclear—it could simply be that Kvarforth was bored—but the “redefinition” meant English lyrics in 2012, and a significant lack of intensity in 2015. So, you’ll forgive me if I approached X: Varg utan flock with some hesitancy.” In the darkness, a ray of deeper darkness.

The Great Discord – The Rabbit Hole Review

The Great Discord – The Rabbit Hole Review

“A few weeks ago, I described the latest Arch Enemy album as the bad kind of pop metal: too slick, too loud, too focused on choruses and too conscious about image. But there’s a different, less negative definition possible of pop metal: not afraid of loading the songs with easily digestible hooks, catchy melodies, EDM influences, simplistic structure and a focus on vocals. It’s daring, because it seems to aim at a gap between fandoms: too slick and not challenging enough for metalheads, but too heavy for the mainstream.” Pop goes the minstrel.

Grift – Arvet Review

Grift – Arvet Review

“It’s the music that sends me careening through a canyon as dark as a Nick Cave soundtrack and as unique as a Sólstafir record. It has a suffocating mixture of Shining-like desperate, voice-throwing screams and cleans moodier than your grandma’s sanitarium. Coming off 2013’s Burzum-esque EP, I hoped Gärdefors would push on. I hoped for his refusal to revert back to the generic sounds of Fyra elegier. I hoped for more Syner. Well, my hopes became reality. And that reality is Arvet.” (TGIDF) Thank God It’s Depressive Friday.

Mist of Misery – Shackles of Life Review

Mist of Misery – Shackles of Life Review

“Such is the dearth of my trveness, humility, and years, I’ve recently realized that I tend towards double-adjective metal. That is, types of metal with an additional adjective in their genre tag. Progressive death metal? Check. Post black metal? For sure. Symphonic power metal? Come at me. I could therefore scarcely avoid swiping at the tantalizing fruits surely offered by the three adjectives in the ‘depressive symphonic black metal’ labeled on our promo sheet.” A three metal combo, now with a side of cold saw.

Gravdal – Kadaverin Review

Gravdal – Kadaverin Review

“It was the gorgeous construction of Torturmantra‘s “Mishandlet” (guested by Niklas Kvarforth), that roped me in. This past encounter with Gravdal, and hearing of guest appearances from members of Satyricon, Taake, SAHG, The Ruins Of Beverast, Seven Impale and Orkan along with lyrical contributions by V`gandr (Helheim and Taake) would seem to cement Kadaverin as a “must-hear” release. But does it?” The black metal circus arrives.

Cold Fell – Irwell Review

Cold Fell – Irwell Review

“It’s no secret: I love me some black metal. But, even I, have gotten tired of every other album we review being a product of the genre. And none of it is good. So, it’s no surprise that I have to ignore a large portion of the releases that sneak by our oh-my-god-I’m-so-sick-of-black-metal filters. Again, I love the genre and still listen to way more black metal than even the sickest doctor would dare prescribe. But many of the new black metal outfits just don’t do it for me.” Feel like you’re drowning in excessive blackness?