Summoning

Summoning – With Doom We Come Review

Summoning – With Doom We Come Review

“If I were tasked with appointing one artist as head of a guild of Tolkien-inspired musicians, Summoning would be my number one pick with a bullet. That’s not just because Protector and Silenius have been churning out reliably high quality material for over two decades. As an act that pays tribute to a man who created a fantasy realm so intricately as to craft entirely new languages for it, Summoning has always been similarly ambitious, spawning a musical language as beautiful as it is unique, as if it were forged from cultures that couldn’t possibly exist in our own realm.” Ring in the new year!

Lustre – Still Innocence Review

Lustre – Still Innocence Review

“Sweden’s Lustre has proven divisive across the two prior releases reviewed. The first was heralded as a great atmospheric record and bestowed with a 4.0, while the second was quite the opposite and summarily handed a 1.5. I presume you’ve already skipped to the bottom for the score so I’ll address this now: my review of Still Innocence falls far closer to the second. For some reason the metal tab on Bandcamp is rammed with atmospheric black metal of this ilk so I suppose there’s an audience somewhere.” The silent majority is silent.

Battle Dagorath – II – Frozen Light of Eternal Darkness Review

Battle Dagorath – II – Frozen Light of Eternal Darkness Review

“Space is fucking big, and there’s an appropriately sizeable array of space-themed metal bands to match. Some artists approach the infinite blackness with a sense of child-like wonder, with bands like Star One and Keldian playing up sci-fi tropes in admiration of the majesty of the star ocean. Others, like Darkspace, channel the cosmos as an unparalleled force of nature; empty, suffocating, and impossibly cold. Battle Dagaroth, a band I had expected to be pure Summoning worship based on their name and ‘atmospheric black metal’ tag, is yet another act intent on aurally replicating the incomprehensible vastness of space.” In space no one can hear you frown.

Crafteon – Cosmic Reawakening Review

Crafteon – Cosmic Reawakening Review

“Cthulhu rises from the depths. Seawater cascades in waterfalls down its body; its colossal form dwarfs a nearby castle, a monument to mankind’s delusions of superiority as if it were some child’s plaything. The logo in the top left reads “Crafteon,” a nod to Lovecraftian[1. Get it? Huh? Do ya?] fiction, complete with dangling tentacles. Sure, this album’s exterior presentation pretty much screams “Eldritch bait,” but you know what? This is my 50th review for AMG, and I feel like indulging my base impulses in celebration.” Celebrate with Cthulhu!

Fuath – I Review

Fuath – I Review

If you’ve been around since 2014, you may be aware that I’m rather taken with Andy Marshall’s solo project, Saor. As a talented song-writer and multi-instrumentalist, he has capably demonstrated that he knows his way around Gaelic culture and melodic intensity. Fuath—Gaelic for ‘hate’—is more fierce, more ominous, more closely tied with Norwegian black metal than Marshall’s other work, but it retains the profoundly evocative atmosphere for which his work is known. The imaginatively-titled I is his first release under this new moniker and it seems he’s on to another winner.” Come for the Christmas trees, stay for the music.

Things You Might Have Missed 2015: Macabre Omen – Gods of War – At War

Things You Might Have Missed 2015: Macabre Omen – Gods of War – At War

“I love combining metal with long-distance running. I find that reducing myself to a wheezing heap is a surprisingly effective way to evaluate new music: if an album makes me say “fuck this!” and throw my iPod into the nearest drainage ditch, it probably isn’t worth revisiting. With Macabre Omen’s sophomore effort Gods of War – At War, the effect was quite the opposite.” You missed the battle of the year!

Númenor – Sword & Sorcery Review

Númenor – Sword & Sorcery Review

“Tolkien metal is actually a thing. For those that haven’t come across it prior to now, it’s a subgenre of black metal that’s supposedly more atmospheric and ambient with lyrics entirely based around Tolkien’s works. Summoning are the forerunners of the genre, but it looks like they have a little competition in the shape of Serbian band Númenor.” Nerds. Be. Raging (and LARPING).

Amestigon – Thier Review

Amestigon – Thier Review

“Near the end of Disney’s Ratatouille there’s a climactic scene during which the harsh, scrupulous restaurant critic Anton Ego (personality modelled, clearly, after AMG’s staff) savours the best ratatouille he’s ever had. Overwhelmed by the tastes and flavors that transport him back to his childhood, he’s left altogether dumbfounded with his usual negativity utterly dismantled. In a way, that’s the effect Amestigon’s Their had on me.” Did he just compare us all to a rat?

Nocternity – Harps of the Ancient Temples Review

Nocternity – Harps of the Ancient Temples Review

“Greek black metal seems to earn its fair share of acclaim, be it Acherontas’ latest album, meloblack torchbearers like Rotting Christ, or the epic pagan-isms of Macabre Omen. But while I love the bigger names, exploring the scene in depth has always been something I’d do ‘one day,’ just like finally watching the episodes of Twin Peaks after Laura Palmer’s killer is revealed, or cleaning up that mysterious stain in the corner of my living room.” Stain first, Greek exploration second.

Cardinals Folly – Our Cult Continues! Review

Cardinals Folly – Our Cult Continues! Review

“I’ve always found doom to be a particularly beguiling style of heavy metal. I’m not sure any other subgenre is able to evoke such a broad range of emotions, from sheer suicidal despair to fist-pumping, booty shaking euphoria. Or perhaps I have a pathologically shaky booty (though if you don’t at least feel a twitch in your hips when listening to Sleep’s Holy Mountain then I don’t trust you as a human being).” Ready from some odd doom metal? Jean-Luc Ricard joins AMG’s probationary squad to tell us of Cardinals Folly and their interesting approach to the typical slow and low.