The Cult

Secrets of the Moon – Black House Review

Secrets of the Moon – Black House Review

“Bands change and sounds evolve. These are the most inescapable truisms in music regardless of genre, with only AC/DC and maybe Sodom resisting the inevitable flux. The last time I reviewed a Secrets of the Moon album way back in 2012 they were a somewhat progressive black metal act endeavoring to mix goth elements into their sound. Now Secrets of the Moon no longer play black metal in any way, shape or form.” Evolve or die.

Witches of Doom – Funeral Radio Review

Witches of Doom – Funeral Radio Review

“Pulling off the whole “gothic-doom-stoner metal” thing is no easy task. You need just the right blend of mood, meat and mist, and not every band is up to that kind of high level jiggery-pokery. Italy’s Witches of Doom have been lurking around the genre since 2014 with 2 full-lengths to their name, but third outing Funeral Radio is my first encounter with them. Their interesting cover art gleamed amid the fetid effluvium of the promo sump, and a brief sampling suggested something like a Danzig meets Alice in Chains grave cocktail.” Witch’s brewskis.

Video Premiere and Interviews with Stevie Boiser and Trevor Portz of Ashen Horde

Video Premiere and Interviews with Stevie Boiser and Trevor Portz of Ashen Horde

“Back in March, I reviewed Ashen Horde‘s latest opus of black metal fury, Fallen Cathedrals. I heaped an unhealthy amount of praise its way back then, and I’m still spinning it a ton now. In fact, I would be very surprised if it were to fall outside of my top 5 albums come year’s end. My review may have been riddled with factual errors, but founder, songwriter, instrumentalist, and clean vocalist Trevor Portz showed up in the comments and revealed himself to be a gracious and enormously cool guy. So, when the opportunity to do an interview presented itself, I couldn’t resist.” We’re already off to a better start than last time.

Haze Mage – Chronicles Review

Haze Mage – Chronicles Review

“Growing up, my teenage cat-brain was filled with all sorts of bizarre questions and interesting ‘What If?’ scenarios. How long is the prison sentence for cutting the tags off my mattress? What other dimension does the other sock go when its sibling emerges from the dryer? Most puzzling of them all would have to be ‘What if Glenn Danzig and his cohorts did away with their Satanic leanings and lyrics during their musical peak, and decided to just smoke a metric fuck-ton of pot instead?'” Enter the Maze of the Haze Mage.

Retro-spective Review: Hall Aflame – Guaranteed Forever

Retro-spective Review: Hall Aflame – Guaranteed Forever

“I’ve been meaning to write a retro-review of this bad boy for a long time since it’s the very definition of “buried treasure.” Sadly, it’s an equally good example of a winning release that slipped through the cracks and fell into oblivion. Hall Aflame was a project launched by Metal Church founder/guitarist/main writer Kurdt Vanderhoof after quitting the band due to tour burnout. While there are trace elements of his main band in the sound. Guaranteed Forever is a weird amalgam of southern hard rock, blues and metal that borrows heavily from acts like The Cult, Jackyl, Tesla and The Four Horsemen.” Steel Druhm dives back into the vault of metal and finds yet another forgotten or overlooked album that should get a second look. Look at it!!!!

Lacrimas Profundere – Antiadore Review

Lacrimas Profundere – Antiadore Review

“More goth-metal from Napalm Records? Sure, I think we all need a break from the endless waves of retro-death, retro-thrash and black metal (which is by definition retro). Lacrimas Profundere has been around forever and over the past five or six albums, they’ve settled into a comfort zone of glum, goth-rock in the same vein as Entwine, H.I.M., To Die For and naturally they include plenty of nods to The Cure and The Cult. While one can hammer them for essentially releasing Ave End over and over again, their knack for keeping things catchy and lively continue to draw me back time after time. While I think their Filthy Notes For Frozen Hearts was their best release in this cycle, I was more than pleased with 2010s The Grandiose Nowhere and still spin it pretty often when that urge to be morose hits me.” Steel Druhm is on a goth-metal kick, so you all must deal with it and play along until we go back to death metal 24/7.

Lake of Tears – Illwill Review

Lake of Tears – Illwill Review

In the Whack-A-Mole game that is genre pigeonholing, Lake of Tears pop up all over the board, defying you to anticipate their next move. These Swedes have been around a very long time and have always defied easy answers as to what style they actually play. Generally described as gothic metal, they’ve wandered between psychedelic doom, goth-rock, quasi-thrash and pseudo-death over the years. Each album had its own unique flavor and approach while always keeping the distinctive LoT sound. Here on Illwill, their eighth album, they keep the guessing game alive and deliver a strange mix of styles but it all hangs together somehow and works well. With parallels to Paradise Lost, Cemetary, Charon and Type O Negative to name a few, they run all over the place but its always dark in tone and plenty melodic.