Skeletonwitch

Tankard – Pavlov’s Dawgs Review

Tankard – Pavlov’s Dawgs Review

“I was overjoyed when Tankard asked me to pose for this lovely album art. Metal fuels my mind, and beer fuels my body; it’s a match made in heaven. Tankard realized this before I was born. These inebriated Germans have been around since the early days of German thrash, and their 1986 debut was released within months of Sodom’s Obsessed by Cruelty, Kreator’s Pleasure to Kill, and Destruction’s Eternal Devastation.” Beer drool.

Yatra – Born into Chaos Review

Yatra – Born into Chaos Review

“Some bands insist on pushing envelopes, demanding listeners’ attention by challenging genre norms and breaking new ground. Yatra is not one of those bands. These Maryland natives had a prolific first few years, releasing a stoner doom debut in 2019 and following it up with two sludgy riff-fests in 2020. Their last album All Is Lost earned praise from our very own GardensTale, establishing Yatra as a lean mean sludge machine without reinventing any wheels. Its follow-up Born into Chaos promises a shift in sound, from the band’s stoner origins to no-frills death metal. As an avowed death metal lover, I couldn’t help but be intrigued.” Yatra, Yatra, Yatra…

Bloodgate – Solace in Mourning Review

Bloodgate – Solace in Mourning Review

Blood. Gate. BLOOD. GATE. BLOOD! GATE! If that isn’t a band name perfectly tuned for chanting at live shows, I don’t know what is. Yet in the online world, Cincinnati, Ohio’s Bloodgate, now two LPs into their career, is a virtually non-hyped entity. Perhaps a reformulation of their blackened thrash approach will help in that respect. While 2018’s Ambush and Destroy was a tantalizingly melodic slab of Skeletonwitch worship, Solace in Mourning, despite its more contemplative title, adds a heap of death metal to the mix and feels decidedly more aggressive and unhinged for it.” Open the gates!

Disparaître – Urchig Review

Disparaître – Urchig Review

“I’ve moonlighted as a metal reviewer for a couple of years now and I never cease to be amazed that bands – and black metal bands in particular – seem to have a burning wish not to make it easy for fans and reviewers to find them, nor to find out anything about them. Ok, I get it, you might not want your real name out there. I’ll give you that. So maybe you come up with some sort of creepy-weepy pseudonym to go by and, perhaps, splash the cash on a black cloak, maybe some face paint and. if there’s any change from that, possibly some barbed wire to wrap round a good stick that you can waggle about menacingly. Alright, I can get on board. But then there are bands … or projects, I don’t know, like today’s subject Disparaître, where there’s really very little out there. No proper Bandcamp page, no Facebook page that I can find, obviously no website, and even Metal Archives has nothing beyond a nationality: French.” Socially/sonically distant.

Thron – Pilgrim Review

Thron – Pilgrim Review

“Bands like Thron felt much more special to me as a fledgling member of the AMG staff back in early 2017. In those days, I was just happy to be covering something good. Thron’s debut LP wasn’t just good; it was damn good, and the best record I had covered for this blog at the time I penned my review. Its follow-up, Abysmal, was nothing like its namesake. We unfortunately never received a promo for Abysmal, but it was a successful risk for the band, as they pivoted from pure meloblack to something more diverse and richly textured. As ironically great as Abysmal was, I am somewhat happy I never covered it in retrospect. Its successor, Pilgrim, is on an almost identical playing field.” Thron trend.

Panychida – Gabreta Aeterna Review

Panychida – Gabreta Aeterna Review

Panychida began as a fairly meat-and-‘taters black metal project in 2004, but has gradually been expanding its sound to include a greater emphasis on the classic heavy and thrash bands of yore. Gabreta Aeterna is the band’s most expansive and diverse effort yet, going all-in on the thrash, complete with righteous solos and rock-with-your-cock out passages.” Blackness in a hard place.

Ysgaroth – Storm Over a Black Sea Review

Ysgaroth – Storm Over a Black Sea Review

Ysgaroth is a “progressive extreme metal” band from Vancouver, their self-released Storm Over a Black Sea being their debut. While I’ve never entirely understood the phrase “extreme metal,” these Canucks throw everything and the kitchen sink into their poutine platter: black metal shrieks and tremolo, thrashy riffs, hardcore drumming, technical noodling, and avant-garde post-metal/sludge strangeness for a multi-car pileup with multiple fatalities.” Frequent wind.

Transcendence – Towards Obscurities Beyond Review

Transcendence – Towards Obscurities Beyond Review

“Riffs are really fucking important. It’s my job around here to write an additional seven hundred-ish words on top of “riffs good” or “riffs bad,” but when it comes to metal music, riffcraft is always my priority. It’s only when the riffs fail to stand out that first impressions require a deeper dig; if the “what” of the music fails to satisfy, perhaps the “why” can provide some solace. And that’s where California’s Transcendence vexes me.” Vex Arcana.