Technical Metal

Toxik – Dis Morta Review

Toxik – Dis Morta Review

“Founded in 1985, New York thrashers Toxik released two albums before vanishing into obscurity. 1987’s World Circus (think Anthrax meets Sanctuary) and 1989’s Think This (think Cowboys-era Pantera meets Megadeth) have enjoyed cult-classic status ever since thanks to the band’s phenomenally technical playing, insane vocals, and bizarre songwriting. The band broke up in the early 90’s and briefly reformed in 2007 and again in 2013, and is ready to unleash Toxik’s first full-length in over twenty years.” Toxik thrashculinity.

The Bearer – Chained to a Tree Review

The Bearer – Chained to a Tree Review

The Bearer reflects the turmoil in its hometown of Austin, Texas, lyrics protesting the affluent takeover of their city. The trio losing its practice spaces to Tesla showrooms and offices fuels its humanistic message, a reminder to value the people before they are trampled in the onslaught of capitalistic progress. Dabbling in mathcore, beatdown, and technical elements, Chained to a Tree is aflame with hardcore punk counterculture pulsing through its veins.” Bear markets.

Monuments – In Stasis Review

Monuments – In Stasis Review

“To my credit, I was prepared. For those who enter the prog trailer park via that sketchy patch of woods at the back called “djent,” the polyrhythm abusers can be easier to spot. Futuristic-looking album covers, scientific names, and vaguely mathematic monikers like Structures, Tesseract, Volumes, and Intervals greet the eyes – or Monuments, in this case.” Escape from 2003.

Meshuggah – Immutable Review

Meshuggah – Immutable Review

Meshuggah is often accused of failing to evolve or change. That accusation is misplaced. While it’s certainly true that their unique style means it requires just one guitar line from Fredrik Thordendal or a single snarl from Kidman to know it’s Meshuggah, exactly how they’ve deployed that has changed subtly from record to record. Immutable picks up where The Violent Sleep of Reason left off, feeling freer than Meshuggah‘s precise technicality has sounded in many a year.” Immutable, inflexible, inshuggahable.

Heavy Meta – Mana Regmata Review

Heavy Meta – Mana Regmata Review

“Don’t get your hopes up, ye of heavy metal’s golden years. Heavy Meta is nearly everything you hate about today’s extreme music. Mathcore, black metal, noise rock, and prog all have a hand in this monstrosity, and if there is an inkling of distaste for any of these styles, Mana Regmata might need to come with a side of aspirin. Featuring a tongue-in-cheek moniker that you could proudly proclaim at any party, it’s a group that only jokingly defines itself as “blackened progressive cowboy nintendocore.”” Meta health.

Car Bomb – Mordial [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

Car Bomb – Mordial [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

“New York’s Car Bomb have oddly escaped my radar, so I was stoked to finally become acquainted with the band on their blockbuster fourth LP, Mordial. Admittedly I’m less adventurous towards experimental, technical extreme metal than I used to be, but bands like the mighty The Dillinger Escape Plan, along with Burnt by the Sun, Uphill Battle and large portions of the early Willowtip roster are dear to my heart. Car Bomb‘s complex, abrasive blend of mathcore and choppy, groove-centric extreme metal is full of color as surprisingly penetrating hooks lend a vaguely accessible streak to otherwise challenging and uncompromising music.” Don’t cut the red wire.

Black Passage – The Veil Review

Black Passage – The Veil Review

“Every now and again we at AMG receive promo that defies genre classification. Out of those, one or two make us crazy trying to decide whether we even like it or not. This review marks the first time I get to experience said phenomenon firsthand. Black Passage, a “metalcore” quintet out of Bay Area, CA, are releasing their debut LP The Veil at the tail end of July.” Pigeons without holes.

Ascend the Hollow – Echoes of Existence Review

Ascend the Hollow – Echoes of Existence Review

“I am ashamed. Why? Because I almost let this badass record slip through my greedy clutches. You see, my good friend (who we know as Septic ’round these parts) randomly pops in now and again to apprise me on some of his choice metallic discoveries. He introduced Irish/German/Dutch quartet Ascend the Hollow to me and I was instantly hooked. Like, so fast my head spun. I needed to share my excitement for Echoes of Existence with as many people as possible, but how? It would’ve been grand if we received promo, I thought. Then, all of a sudden I received a virtual sucker punch while rooting around the bin—the thing’s been sitting there since the end of April! How in the actual heck did I miss that??? And lo I experienced great embarrassment. I nearly neglected one of the coolest new bands to materialize out of absolute nowhere this year.” Finder of nearly lost things.

Ashen Horde – Fallen Cathedrals Review

Ashen Horde – Fallen Cathedrals Review

“2018 saw my tastes begin to shift. The power metal that brought me to the dance — while still producing some gems for the year — had to watch as blackened death metal swept me off my feet and took me home once the music had stopped. A full half of my top ten for the year — and all of my top four — could have been tagged (arguably) with both “black” and “death.” While I enjoy albums of each genre on their own, there’s something about the two being combined in interesting ways that really gets my juices flowing (this is your cue to don eye protection). Hence, my interest in Los Angeles’ Ashen Horde, the proggy black/death project of multi-instrumentalist Trevor Portz and Inferi / Equipoise vocalist Steve Boiser.” Ash Hoarders unite!

Exocrine – Molten Giant Review

Exocrine – Molten Giant Review

“Exactly once a year, on an undisclosed and constantly shifting date, Unique Leader puts out a killer death metal record. Think about it. Last year I heaped praise on Cytotoxin‘sGammageddon. Frankly, it smacks of conspiracy. I have no idea what the label stands to gain from this strategy of randomly inserting quality product among a dozen bags of Drano, but this Skinner box of brutality does keep me coming back to the alley in the hopes that the next record I pick up from them will be the one that’s allowed to shine. Molten Giant never stood a chance.” SKINNER!!