SIG:AR:TYR

Raventale – Planetarium II Review

Raventale – Planetarium II Review

Raventale is a strange one-man act. Founder and multi-instrumentalist Astaroth Merc started the project in 2006 as a vehicle for his atmospheric, droning black metal, but over time the sound underwent massive mutations. Death/doom influences began creeping in and the musicianship grew by leaps and bounds. By the time of 2017s Planetarium, the project was starting to sound like a heavier SIG:AR:TYR, riffy and full of beautiful guitar-work while retaining a powerful black metal core. That album was based around a space theme and the long-form compositions did it justice with expansive vibes and deep, rich moods. For whatever reason, Merc opted to follow that up with a full-on funeral doom approach on 2019s Morphine Dead Gardens, which I loved muchly. Now barely a year later he’s clicked back into blackened mode with a conceptual sequel to Planetarium.” Astronomy domine.

Steel Druhm’s Top Ten(ish) of 2016

Steel Druhm’s Top Ten(ish) of 2016

“Well, it looks like we made it to the end of another year of music, mayhem and interweb tomfoolery! And while 2016 kicked most of our asses in unpleasant ways, it was an outstanding year for metal music. In fact, I think it was the best overall since I joined the AMG meat grinder way back in 2010.” Don’t shoot the messenger gorilla.

Ctulu – Ctulu Review

Ctulu – Ctulu Review

“Knowing my obsession for all things Lovecraft, a friend of mine has been haranguing me for the last few years to check out Ctulu (the band, not the scourge of creation). Something I have consciously avoided doing, mostly because I’m an infuriating and perverse son of a bitch. When I stumbled upon their fourth and newest self-titled release in the arcane libraries of AMG, I decided enough was enough. Frankly, I wish I had sooner because Ctulu play a high-energy amalgamation of Lawless Darkness-era Watain and latter-day Immortal.” The restricted section is off limits to newbies!

Record(s) o’ the Month – April 2016

Record(s) o’ the Month – April 2016

It’s not often that the Record(s) o’ the Month are decided before a month has already begun, but April got pretty close to being just that. In fact, I feel a little guilty about it, because the month that has been is surprisingly packed with music that I—and the other writers here—love. There wasn’t much of a fight about it, what with all the ruling with an Iron Fist of Steel™ and all, but I would like to apologize to all the contributors who reviewed awesome stuff this month which is getting ignored on this list. I’m sure your complaints will be aired aggressively in the comment section. I’m glad I’ve given you something to get your blood pumping. I’ve heard that sitting around reading metal blogs all day is bad for your health.

SIG:AR:TYR – Northen Review

SIG:AR:TYR – Northen Review

SIG:AR:TYR are one of the most criminally overlooked acts in the Viking/folk/black metal arena and even after three high quality albums they still seem woefully under-appreciated. Taking the best elements of Bathory‘s Viking era and fusing them with influences ranging from Immortal, Falkenbach and Primordial, founder and sole member Daemonskald crafted some amazingly epical moments on unsung classics like Beyond the North Winds and 2010’s Godsaga.” Prepare to feel the Hammer o’ the North.

Falkenbach – Asa Review

Falkenbach – Asa Review

“There’s music meant for a summer drive with the top down (old Van Halen), hitting the weights hard (Slayer, Pantera) and a night of hard-drinking in sketchy beer mills (Fireball Ministry, Orange Goblin). Likewise, the new slice of folksy Viking metal from Falkenbach proves perfect for chopping wood in the brisk Fall air. While I recognize “wood chopping” or “lumberjack” metal is an under-served medium, I feel confident saying this is the finest chopper album I’ve heard all year.” Grab thine axe as Steel Druhm weaves his tales of Viking rage and folksy tomfoolery.

Ereb Altor – Fire Meets Ice Review

Ereb Altor – Fire Meets Ice Review

“With little or no fanfare, the trolls of Viking/doom/folk/black metal known as Ereb Altor storm back from the frozen wastes with their hybrid sound and more tales from Norse mythology. Though they began life as an epic-sized, Viking metal act with a strong doom influence (check out By Honour because it’s badass!), they added more and more black metal over time, culminating with 2012s Gastrike opus. As before, they worship the sound and mood of Bathory‘s Hammerheart opus (and to a lesser extent Twilight of the Gods) while also incorporating early Darkthrone influences and doom stylings similar to While Heaven Wept.” A fusion of Viking, black and doom metal pretty much sells itself, but Steel Druhm still showed up to grab a paycheck and examine the heady brew that Ereb Altor cooked up. Tastes like…wictory.

Aeternus – …and the Seventh His Soul Detesteth Review

Aeternus – …and the Seventh His Soul Detesteth Review

“Over the course of their career, Aeternus have taken me on a sonic ride full of dizzying highs, crushing lows and Milquetoast middles. Their highly acclaimed Beyond the Wandering Moon opus is a truly special album with an atmosphere and mood all its own and I find myself going back to it regularly over time. Their unusual blend of Norwegian black metal and symphonic death came to be known as “dark metal” and that summed up their original sound rather nicely.” But like all true love…one day it withered on the vine. Steel Druhm is bitter, but he’s still going to detail the trials and tribulation of the typical Aeternus fan. Give him your support and beers.