Soilwork

Synthetic – Clepsydra: Time Against Infinity Review

Synthetic – Clepsydra: Time Against Infinity Review

“Well, the promo claimed Clepsydra to be symphonic progressive metal, which did not fill me with hope. Thankfully, this claim was wrong. It’s not very symphonic; it just overuses keyboards a lot. It admittedly has that in common with actual symphonic bands, but at least the synths in Synthetic are more earnest in their synthetic sound rather than trying and failing to imitate an actual orchestra. Nor is this record very progressive at all; most of the songs have a basic verse-chorus structure and rely on direct hooks of a pretty tried and true style. The style in question is more along the lines of metalcore and melodic death, winding up somewhere in between Killswitch Engage, Soilwork and In Flames, just with a lot more keyboards.” Corephobia.

Drops of Heart – Stargazers Review

Drops of Heart – Stargazers Review

“Although “melodeath/metalcore” is rarely a good thing around here, the greatest strength of Stargazers is how very well Drops of Heart are able to merge these styles together. Stargazers boasts a unified, cohesive sound in the rough style of Soilwork (whose vocalist guests on “Starlight,” so that’s probably not a coincidence), preferring their metalcore influences over their melodeath ones.” Stargazing into the past.

Angry Metal-Fi: The Best and Worst Sounding Albums of 2019

Angry Metal-Fi: The Best and Worst Sounding Albums of 2019

“Metal-Fi? One has got to wonder if the serious lack of updates on the site is because of these issues or are they in fact the root cause? I honestly don’t know. Certainly, neither Dave nor I could have possibly foreseen that our unannounced hiatus last year would kick off Ragnarök. But unfortunately, that’s what all of the facts seem to indicate. Our bad.” Deaf and taxes.

Angry Metal Guy’s Top Ten(ish) o’ 2019

Angry Metal Guy’s Top Ten(ish) o’ 2019

I’m a big fan of the D&D-themed webcomic Order of the Stick. As the comic became a true phenomenon a decade ago and its author Rich Burlew became increasingly in demand, he began drawing himself looking more disheveled with every self-portrait. In the introduction to the most recently released book, his self-portrait is wearing sweatpants, has unkempt hair and looks about ready to fall over. That is a feeling I viscerally share. Or, as the kids say in 2019: IT ME!

Destrage – The Chosen One Review

Destrage – The Chosen One Review

“A man walks into a bar after a long day at work. A mushroom sits beside him, a real fun guy. The man orders a Stella Artois from the bartender and asks for it in a two-ounce glass. Perplexed, the bartender knocks eighty percent off the price and does what he is asked. “Bottoms up” says the man to the mushroom, who toasts to feces and personal growth in return. The man sets down the empty glass roughly, which gets the bartender’s attention. “That,” the man says to the bartender, “was some terrible whiskey.” This is how most metalcore reviews read by writers who never could stand the genre to begin with. They want it to be something it’s not, and when it inevitably fails, it faces the wrath of the mighty pen.” Pull up a toadstool.

Dawn of Demise – Into the Depths of Veracity Review

Dawn of Demise – Into the Depths of Veracity Review

“Dawn of Demise are the death metal equivalent of comfort food; they’re high in calories, addictive and provide an unhealthy dose of tasty goodness that proves difficult to resist. The Danish veterans have been plugging away with their beefy, groove-laced brutal death formula for well over a decade. And while they may struggle to hit truly great heights, I’m always eager to dive into the thick, gooey depths of their simple and bludgeoning formula. Fifth album Into the Depths of Veracity largely offers more of the same as a follow-up to 2016’s solid The Suffering LP.” Brutal buffet.

Eluveitie – Ategnatos Review

Eluveitie – Ategnatos Review

“Taking in Eluveitie‘s closing performance on 70K Tons with sentynel, I recognized something: Eluveitie is popular. Not like entry-level popular, not poser popular (well, maybe), but actually popular. The boat’s Mosh Pit Residentia showed up in spades for that set, but with the floor so choked with the trve and weeb alike, group activities like conga lines and dance parties sprung up instead. Everyone knew the songs—hell, I knew the songs. The nonet put on too great a show to discount, far better than other bias-confirming trainwrecks I witnessed that weekend. Maybe, just maybe, I’ve written Eluveitie and Ategnatos off too soon.” Then again…

Record(s) o’ the Month – January 2019

Record(s) o’ the Month – January 2019

One month down in 2019 and we’re off to the races. January was by most accounts—excepting the eventual contrarians in the comments section, a relatively disappointing month. After an almost overwhelming and backloaded 2018, the first month of 2019 felt like a pretty tepid start to the year. Fortunately, there were still some diamonds in the rough. So here’s three albums—two which received the reviews they deserved and one which was unfairly maligned—that I think that you should give your consideration from January of 2019.

Soilwork – Verkligheten Review

Soilwork – Verkligheten Review

“Not long ago, sweating the steely Damocles ax of content output, I considered outing my own Indefensible Position: Soilwork‘s most recent two full-lengths, The Living Infinite and The Ride Majestic, are their best. Formulaic? Sure, but riddled with tip-top bangers and speedy sing-alongs stronger than any they’d ever done. That both received 2.0s balled my segmented digits into puny rage nuggets whenever that betrayal came to fore. But then, an oddity: I re-spun the damned things, probably for the first time with my shiny reviewer ears, and found my ire lessened.” Still tilling the same soil.

An Interview with Unleash the Archers

An Interview with Unleash the Archers

“This autumn saw Unleash the Archers undertake their North American tour in support of 2017’s excellent album, Apex. October saw the tour roll through Calgary, with supporting act Striker and a couple of local bands. Huck N Roll somehow shoehorned his way into the club and managed to find some time to sit down with vocalist Brittney Slayes (before he was discovered and rudely extracted from the premises), to talk about the tour, the next album, and King Diamond.” Apex interviewer.