Soilwork

Sunken State – Solace in Solitude Review

Sunken State – Solace in Solitude Review

“Though childhood friends and siblings surrounded me with the stuff, the only two metalcore releases that stuck were Trivium‘s Shogun and God Forbid‘s IV:  Constitution of Treason. And, depending on the mood, As I Lay Dying. The rest ain’t my bag. The reason I grabbed Sunken State‘s debut record was mainly for the vocal performances. It’s an interesting melding of barks, rasps, and shouts. Solace in Solitude also combines their metalcore sound with melodeath, Lamb of God groove, and subtle hints of death metal. It’s an interesting combination of elements—especially for a band from South Africa.” Core tour.

Karpenter – Sleepless Review

Karpenter – Sleepless Review

Karpenter plays an Americanized version of the Swedish sound which was foundational to bands like As I Lay Dying, along with the Swedish take on that Americanized Swedish sound which was done by Soilwork and In Flames on Stabbing the Drama, Sworn to a Great Divide, A Sense of Purpose, and Come Clarity. The newest of the above is thirteen years old, the oldest sixteen – Karpenter is an unintentionally hard-hitting commentary on the passage of time.” Sleeping in the past.

Leach – Lovely Light of Life Review

Leach – Lovely Light of Life Review

“In one of my very first reviews after being officially added to the Angry Metal Guy staff, my plan to preemptively punish myself with metalcore was foiled by my inability to not like metalcore. Well, “metalcore” may be a bit of a misleading label when it comes to Leach, because 2019’s Hymns for the Hollow found them employing a sound that reminded me a lot of the groovy melodic death/thrash style currently employed by their fellow Swedes in The Crown and The Haunted. That “core” label probably gets leveled at these guys because their songs tend to have more of a commercial tinge and because vocalist Markus Wikander uses hardcore shouts that can veer into “screamy” territory at times. Long story short: Hymns of the Hollow won me over with its simple-but-effective formula. But follow-up Lovely Light of Life is finding me two years older and two years wiser, and there’s no way I’ll fall for Leach‘s charms again. Right?” Love, hate, and metalcore.

Caedes Cruenta – Of Ritual Necrophagia and Mysterious Ghoul Cults Review

Caedes Cruenta – Of Ritual Necrophagia and Mysterious Ghoul Cults Review

“To be honest, I’m not entirely sure where the line between black metal and blackened death lies. There’re folks who are entirely justified for crying “DEATH” when you add some bass to the mix, but others will be completely in the right to scold them for hopping a little too hard. Since groups like Belphegor and Marduk have blurred the lines with their bottom-heavy yet grim AF aesthetics, it’s a horde of near or far-sighted folks blurring everything.” Ghouls night ovt.

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.