The Black Dahlia Murder

Ancestral Curse – In Dreams of Endless Darkness Review

Ancestral Curse – In Dreams of Endless Darkness Review

“Since the first chords of “Black Sabbath” rang out from Tony Iommi’s tipless fingers, horror and metal have been intertwined. Horror can be injected into a record any number of ways, be it through gratuitous slasher samples, thematic lyrical content, or a general focus on terrifying atmosphere. New York new bloods Ancestral Curse claim to brandish a “horror-themed concoction of melodic blackened death metal.” In Dreams of Endless Darkness is the self-released debut from this quintet, which always tempers expectations, but the band managed to pull in a couple of notable guest spots that caught my eye.” Scared by death.

Xoth – Exogalactic Review

Xoth – Exogalactic Review

“When the Elder Gods finally turn their dread gaze on this flake of cosmic dandruff, Xoth will be there to pass out beers. “Party Lovecraft” is a tricky vibe to nail and also possibly an oxymoron, but this Seattle tech/thrash/black/melodeath/whatever act makes it their own. Over the course of two excellent albums, Invasion of the Tentacube and Interdimensional Invocations, Xoth filled a void that only Xoth knew was there. Few who listen can resist their charms, and now the band drops third long-player Exogalactic.” X marks the Xoth.

Orphalis – As the Ashes Settle Review

Orphalis – As the Ashes Settle Review

Orphalis has everything a band could want–except for a bigger audience. Over the course of three prior albums, this German quintet honed their take on “brutal technical death metal” into a potent force. Their sound consists of chops and hooks served in roughly equal measure, riffs on riffs on more riffs stuffed into the sausage casing of three- to -five-minute song structures. The band flashes songwriting prowess alongside technique that never devolves into wheedly-deedly indulgence, and they coat everything with a shellac of genuine aggression.” Malice at the Phalis.

Bloodletter – A Different Kind of Hell Review

Bloodletter – A Different Kind of Hell Review

“At first listen, Bloodletter sound pretty much the same in 2023 as they did in 2021 (or 2020, depending on when you believe the album was actually released). Combine the nasty thrash of a Slayer or a Dark Angel with the melodeath of The Black Dahlia Murder or At the Gates, sprinkle in some icy blackened tremolos, and you’re left with a 35-minute package of highly melodic brutality.” Hate mail!

Chronicle – Where Chaos Thrives Review

Chronicle – Where Chaos Thrives Review

“An unheralded young act from Denmark, I tackled Chronicle’s third LP, Where Chaos Thrives, without previous experience with the band’s material. Nevertheless, that may be my own unfortunate oversight, as Chronicle play a bouncy, raging style of thrashy melodeath meets technical death shreddery that can certainly fit neatly in my wheelhouse if the songwriting goods are up to scratch.” Chronicles of anger.

Foretoken – Triumphs Review

Foretoken – Triumphs Review

Foretoken take a particularly aggressive approach to melodic death metal, much like The Black Dahlia Murder do. Yet, this duo also share considerable affinity with more opulent acts such as Brymir, Mongol, Ephemerald, Stormlord and Aephanemer. Symphonics play a support role exclusively, however, as vicious riffing and ripping leads take charge and guide the record through battlefields of speedy tech-death percussion.” Wictory or death!

Carnosus – Visions of Infinihility Review

Carnosus – Visions of Infinihility Review

“Listen to this album, and witness Carnosus use every part of the tech death buffalo to document the rise of a “totalityrannic empire” bent on repopulating the world with a race of “cadaverine-like beings.” You won’t be thinking about the concept much, though, not while these nine thrash-inflected songs scramble your central nervous system.” Carne asunder.

Heads for the Dead – The Great Conjuration [Things You Might Have Missed 2022]

Heads for the Dead – The Great Conjuration [Things You Might Have Missed 2022]

Main Project Resorption (n): a phenomenon that occurs when a band’s side project grows so vigorously that it threatens to ingest the entity from which it sprung. I’m not ready to diagnose Sweden’s mighty Wombbath as being vulnerable to Main Project Resorption just yet, but 2022 was a banner year for the outfit’s spinoffs.” Absorb this!

Revocation – Netherheaven Review

Revocation – Netherheaven Review

Revocation are cool again. To be fair, Revocation were almost always cool. From 2008’s Empire of the Obscene to 2014’s Deathless, the band were unstoppable, almost single-handedly revitalizing death thrash. With the speed and grace of a whipsnake, they gleamed through twisting, treacherous songs, dazzling with every move. Their music was not malicious; it was downright joyous, and bandleader Dave Davidson’s boisterous solo work hearkened back to the crazed fret flights of records like Rust in Peace while taking thrash in new directions.” Be not deaf in Heaven.