Spanish Metal

Bizarre – Invocation Codex Review

Bizarre – Invocation Codex Review

“Another day, another metal album flaunting our cosmic insignificance in the face of unfathomable monstrosity. Lovecraft and death metal are like milk and honey, so Lord Cthulhu Almighty, take me to the promised land. Bands like Sulphur Aeon, Abyssal Ascendant, and Catacombs pluck my heartstrings with tentacled grace and eldritch care, taking my mind’s eye to the depths of R’lyeh – and it’s fucking Christmas in the abyss year-round, baby.” How Bizarre.

Arna – Dragged to a Lunar Grave Review

Arna – Dragged to a Lunar Grave Review

Arna lists Spectral Wound as an influence, and the perfunctory cover art bears an uncanny resemblance to that band’s recent (stellar) album, A Diabolic Thirst. But whereas A Diabolic Thirst featured an image with depth and nuance, Arna’s is flat and more minimal, and this is a helpful metaphor for separating the two bands. Arna plays old school, furious black metal, but with a much grimier, flattened production, and at a far more sedate pace than the relentless fury of Spectral Wound.” Arna you tired of black metal yet?

Altarage – Succumb Review

Altarage – Succumb Review

“I’ll just come out and say it; I have no clue what is going on in this record. As The Guy Who Explains Why Shit Like This Is Good, that really puts me in a bind. As a result, I’ve spent weeks putting off this review. But hey, maybe we can try something new; instead of me telling you what’s the point of Succumb, how about you tell me. For once, I’m going to read your comments and entertain the idea that your opinions are as valid as those of my own self, The Guy Who Explains Why Shit Like This Is Good. Go wild down there.” Late hit.

Dormanth – Complete Downfall Review

Dormanth – Complete Downfall Review

“2020 has been a looooonnnng year and here I find myself, almost at the end of it. My List – following a not insignificant amount of agonizing – has been submitted, two TYMHMs have been written (two still to go, admittedly) and I am staring at my last full review of the year. So, what I need now from Dormanth is a real burst of the zingy, energetic melodeath the promo blurb promised, to carry me through these last couple of weeks.” Fever dreams and downfalls.

At the Altar of the Horned God – Through Doors of Moonlight Review

At the Altar of the Horned God – Through Doors of Moonlight Review

“Seriously. Shut. The. Fuck. Up. Like ‘pagan’ wasn’t already a bad word to most of the Christian population. Now it’s a bad word for Christian-hating metalheads. Unfortunately, the folky, melodic, and, at times, quite beautiful qualities of the genre veil the National Socialist squabble from many-a anti-Semitic band and label. Which, for someone that loves this style of music, is frustrating as hell. Many writers—not only of this website—won’t touch the stuff. Though plenty of writers skip over one-man black metal outfits because there’s a bajillion of them—all blurring together in one chaotic sound after another—’pagan black metal’ bands get tagged and placed in a cold locker. Not a band name mentioned. Not even out of spite. But, neither I nor Spain’s At the Altar of the Horned God will let these motherfuckers spoil a good time.” Nazis bad, pagans good.

Ruinas – Ikonoklasta Review

Ruinas – Ikonoklasta Review

“The world today is a frustrating place. You try to go on vacation and miss your flight because some idiot got into a fender bender and caused a traffic jam. You try to go out to eat and can’t find anywhere to park. You try to take a shit and are forced to wipe your ass with an old washcloth because every store within 100 miles is sold out of toilet paper. In times like these, nothing helps more than a pure blast of raw aggression, an aural rampage that obliterates any and all sense of frustration from your mind. I find deathgrind works particularly well in this regard, especially albums like Death Toll 80K‘s incendiary and rifftastic Harsh Realities. Seeing Ruinas listed under the deathgrind tag, I hoped this newfound Spanish group would offer just what I was looking for during a time in my life that’s been more frustrating than usual.” Ain’t no cure for the TP blues.

Rosy Finch – Scarlet Review

Rosy Finch – Scarlet Review

“The hallway that led to my office in grad school was red. Both walls. I shit you not. To make matters worse the hellish tunnel narrowed as you approached its end—where, to no one’s surprise, you could find my office. Trust me when I tell you that five years of red walls can fuck with a person. Like grad schools, animals also use the color red to ward off people. Red can represent everything from lovers to the most gruesome of deaths. And Spain’s grrrl sludge group, Rosy Finch, is every bit as varying in its topics and delivery. With artwork that looks as though poor Carrie got it again, this is Scarlet.” Red is a slow color.