Technical Metal

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!!

Alterbeast – Feast Review

Alterbeast – Feast Review

“Ah, Unique Leader records, what would we do without you? I’d certainly be out an unpaid reviewing job, and I’m sure Par Olafsson and Zack Ohren would see a lot less business. Tirades and drinking games notwithstanding, I’m always game to snatch up Unique Leader Records next release, and in this case it’s the sophomore effort from Sacramento-based Alterbeast.” Tech-death pong.

Hadal Maw – Olm Review

Hadal Maw – Olm Review

“Melbourne’s Hadal Maw made waves in the Australian metal scene with their Senium debut in 2014. Although the album exhibited the band’s considerable potential through a frenetic blast of noisy tech-death, the compositions and production left ample room for improvement.” Has the improvement room been accessed?

Obscura – Akróasis Review

Obscura – Akróasis Review

“What now?” That’s the question Akróasis, unfairly or otherwise, is supposed to answer. Obscura in 2016 is solely within the hands of founder, guitarist, and vocalist Steffen Kummerer. With the core of the band as we knew it between Cosmic Genesis and Omnivium gone—and that’s an impressive list: Hannes Grossman on drums, Jeroen Paul Thesseling on bass, and Christian Münzner on guitars—Akróasis is a moment for a new statement of intent.

Fractal Generator – Apotheosynthesis Review

Fractal Generator – Apotheosynthesis Review

“If 2015 has been skimping on anything (other than good death metal), it’s spheres. Whereas I researched for months in order to compile a list of 2014’s roundest and most symmetrical album art, we haven’t seen enough roll past this year to play a game of nine-ball with. They’re so infrequent that even semi-spherical album covers, like this one for Apotheosynthesis, the debut of Canadian tech-death outfit Fractal Generator, have started to ping on my radar.” Sphere today, gone tomorrow.