Skepticism

Bewailer – Where My Demise Dwells Review

Bewailer – Where My Demise Dwells Review

“Do you remember the first time you heard Swallow the Sun‘s The Morning Never Came? How those crushing tones and shattering gutturals hit you like the saddest ton of cement ever and you thought that, indeed, the light would never grace your world again? How the subtle, folky elements added a sense of longing, while the sound of waves crashing made you feel lost in a sea of hopelessness and never being found? And above all, how fucking evocative that feeling was? And how you had to go bask in the sunlight to recover from it? That’s the feeling I had when I popped in Bewailer‘s debut album Where My Demise Dwells.” Swallowing more sadness.

Profetus – The Sadness of Time Passing Review

Profetus – The Sadness of Time Passing Review

“From the first minutes, it will be obvious to followers of the style that Profetus model their slow trudging misery after funeral forefathers Thergothon and Skepticism. This makes sense, as all three bands hail from Finland, home of the world’s most metal bands per capita at two bands per person.” Remembrance of heavy things past.

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.

Antichrist – Pax Moriendi Review

Antichrist – Pax Moriendi Review

“I’ve often wondered about the importance of a band’s name. Would Death be as big, or produced the same groundbreaking music, if they’d named themselves Erotic Diarrhea Monster? Would Kreator have become the thrash legends they did if they instead called themselves Pee Wee’s Scrotal Shitstorm? The world may never know, but it certainly seems having a more common and accessible name puts pressure on a band to produce better music. Case in point: Antichrist, a Peruvian quartet originally formed in 2004 and later reactivated in 2012.” The Devil is in the details.

Akatharta – Spiritus Immundus Review

Akatharta – Spiritus Immundus Review

“Sometimes, when that flight of masochistic fancy hits, we here at AMG like to play a little game lovingly referred to as Promo Roulette – not unlike Russian Roulette, but with every chamber loaded with disaster and disappointment. The powers that be randomly assign a project, comfortable in the knowledge that the first, last and only rule of said gamble is: the house always wins. On occasion, however, it is possible to steal a non-fatal cranial grazing and happen upon something worthwhile. So when the relative quality of Akatharta‘s debut, Spiritus Immundus, rebounded off my ferrous hide and into my lap, I was pleasantly surprised.” You got lucky, Beuller!

Ill Omen – Æ.Thy.Rift Review

Ill Omen – Æ.Thy.Rift Review

“Sometimes the right setting is everything for a metal album. Fortunately for myself, through a pretty atypical series of life events I’ve had the opportunity to enjoy several records in environments that bring out their absolute best. I’ve listened to Ahab while snuggled below decks on a three-masted barque sailing in the North Atlantic, I’ve listened to Wolves in the Throne Room while hiking the lush forests of the Pacific Northwest, I’ve listened to Baroness while cruising through the humid towns of southeastern America, and I’ve listened to The Acacia Strain while cleaning my toilet. But Æ.Thy.Rift, the third album from Australian one-man black metal project Ill Omen, isn’t one of those albums that just benefits from a proper listening environment – it demands one.” So…give it up!

Skepticism – Ordeal Review

Skepticism – Ordeal Review

“Live albums are a dicey bag. Not every band has the capabilities to produce something classic along the lines of Live After Death or Alive in Athens, and most certainly not from the funeral doom genre. On top of that, to make your first album after a seven-year absence a live album that’s three-quarters new material? That’s some rather gutsy planning right there….” Play live or die.

Tomb of Finland – Below the Green Review

Tomb of Finland – Below the Green Review

“Okay, admission time: as you can probably guess, I don’t always rely on the Grymm Grab Bag™ to decide who or what I get to review. If it’s a band I love or have a history with, I’ll give a fair looksee and go from there. In some cases, the name alone will grab me and say, “dude, review this, please.” Hence, Finland’s Tomb of Finland. That’s a pretty benign name to most people, right?” Wait for it….

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.