The Artisan Era

Warforged – The Grove | Sundial Review

Warforged – The Grove | Sundial Review

“It took an unprecedented length of time for me to appreciate Warforged’s debut I: Voice back in 2019. In fact, I was so moved by the record once it finally clicked that I awarded it an enthusiastic 1.5-point upgrade. Naturally, that puts a lot of pressure on the follow-up, entitled The Grove | Sundial. Upon learning that Adrian Perez—who was in charge of lead vocals, keyboards, sampling, piano, and lyrics on I: Voice—separated from the project, I balked.” Forging a new weapon.

Aronious – Irkalla Review

Aronious – Irkalla Review

“Well, this could have been awkward. In trying to research this week’s subject, I had become increasingly puzzled as to why I couldn’t find much on them. Nothing on AMG itself; nothing on Metal Archives, nothing on Facebook and so on. It turns out there had been a fluff up in the AMG Engine Room, meaning that the band’s name was misspelled in the promo sump. Once this snafu came to light, it also revealed that Aronious is not, in fact, new to AMG and it would seem I have unwittingly stolen reviewing rights from no lesser death metal scribe than Kronos.” Deathly strife.

The Devils of Loudun – Escaping Eternity Review

The Devils of Loudun – Escaping Eternity Review

“Hailing from Seattle, and featuring members of Aethereus—who themselves released a stellar album just a few weeks back—The Devils of Loudun specialize in death metal of the melodic and symphonic variety. The band’s debut full-length Escaping Eternity finds neoclassical guitar leads and keys soaring over a foundation of thick, grooving riffs, while the powerful vocals of Aethereus’ Vance Bratcher dial the heaviness quotient up to critical levels.” Devil be Loud(un).

WAIT – The End of Noise Review

WAIT – The End of Noise Review

“Time WAITs for no sponge. This apparently holds true for my unfortunate green friend to my left, the sands of time quite literally gushing out of his be-hourglassed noggin. The oddly disturbing artwork depicting this surreal injury translates to the weird and wacky, grungy prog-death stylings of Baltimore’s WAIT (short for We are in Transit). A supergroup of sorts, the trio pulls from the pool of live performers who jammed for acts ranging from Cynic to Defeated Sanity to Obscura, so it comes as no surprise to me that debut album The End of Noise promises to be a twisted and technical affair.” Difficult commute.

Aethereus – Leiden Review

Aethereus – Leiden Review

“In his mostly positive review of their 2018 debut Absentia, Kronos pointed out that Aethereus treads the middle ground between flashy tech-death and death metal’s more dissonant realms. Not much has changed in this department, but where Absentia had a tendency to feel a bit disjointed because of the band’s stylistic duality, sophomore effort Leiden cashes in on the potential inherent in Aethereus’ chosen sound palette.” Technical ecstacy.

Dessiderium – Aria Review

Dessiderium – Aria Review

“December is an exceptionally bad time to release any album. Between all the list compiling and TYMHM-ing that comes with the territory, I like to try to squeeze in a review or two for the “good enough” albums that find themselves caught out in the cold amid list season celebrations. Mind you, I don’t let them inside to partake, but I at least open the door just a crack to grant them a fleeting breath of celebratory warmth. For an album like Aria, this is an exceptionally disappointing fate. Had this been released even a few months prior, I feel that I would have had the time to digest this immense record to its fullest by list season.” Scrooged.

Stortregn – Impermanence Review

Stortregn – Impermanence Review

“Every year it seems that in the midst of all the doom, sludge and black metal clogging up my arteries, I find that one album of fast, technical, brutal sci-fi themed metal that I can’t stop listening to. Recent output by Xoth, Æpoch, Beast of Nod and the mighty Archspire have flayed my face meat and chilled my soul with surgical guitars and the unknowable horrors of the cosmos. In 2018 I discovered Swiss band Stortregn through their fantastic third full-length Emptiness Fills the Void. Despite its title, the album absolutely burst at the seams with blackened, thrashy tech death glory that never sacrificed melody for brutality. The cold, dark vacuum of space sounded thrilling in their capable hands. Three years later, Stortregn has moved from the diverse roster of Non Serviam Records to tech death specialists The Artisan Era for their fourth LP Impermanence.” In space no one can hear you fanboy.

Symbolik – Emergence Review

Symbolik – Emergence Review

“I’ve always preferred melodic death metal to plain death metal. While I appreciate the skill involved in well-crafted brutality, I generally insist on having some kind of melody to follow along with or atmosphere to get lost in. I remember when Archspire hit the Angry Metal world through Relentless Mutation, and I could not understand the appeal. One day, not too long ago, it just… clicked. The technical skill, the expert neoclassical weavings, the sheer unmatched power of the thing — I’ve loved the album ever since. And ever since, I’ve been hungry for more. Symbolik are the next tech-death group to take a shot at winning my heart with Emergence, their debut full-length.” Heart clicks.

Myth of I – Myth of I Review

Myth of I – Myth of I Review

“The gentle field recordings kicking off Myth of I’s self-titled debut album are just what I need to hear in the midst of experiencing a global pandemic. The sound of birds chirping delicately and water rippling steadily over a bed of rocks calm my nerves and help to flatten the emotional rollercoaster I’ve been wringing myself on. As one might be able to forecast, this opening period of serenity presented by a progressive metal band was bound to come to an end. Introductory track “Pandora” merely serves as a lush and tranquil setup for the truly fitful storm that invades the meat of Myth of I’s first full-length album.” Mythology and madness.

Aronious – Perspicacity Review

Aronious – Perspicacity Review

“Before the podium this week is the debut from Wisconsin’s Aronious, a prog/tech death outfit with impressive chops and no lack of ambition. Across Perspicacity, Aronious can’t relax, and nor can they yield, relent, or…  uh… Anyway, they’ve heard every tech death band and will pretend to be all of them.” Pretensions to the throne.