The Human Abstract

Archspire – Relentless Mutation Review

Archspire – Relentless Mutation Review

The Lucid Collective may have made Archspire‘s career, but Relentless Mutation is the album that will make their legacy. Three years ago, Archspire‘s second record dropped, followed by the mandible of many a tech death fan. Just when we thought the late 2000s tech death sound generated by the Sumerian/Unique Leader cohort was finally on its way out, here was an album that took the style and sprinted away with it, not even pausing at the finish line to let your ears catch up. It was concise, brutal, and spectacularly tight, setting new standards of both performance and writing, simultaneously catchy and indulgent. I would have been quite pleased to see Relentless Mutation recap the whole thing. But that’s not what happened.” Evolve via mutation.

Darkend – The Canticle of Shadows Review

Darkend – The Canticle of Shadows Review

“Until recently, I believe Italy’s Darkend promoted the kind of symphonic black metal that chased the coattails of bands like Cradle of Filth. With their fourth release, The Canticle of Shadows, I was unsure of whether to expect more of the same or something entirely new. I succeeded in missing their earlier releases like Damned Woman and a Carcass, Assassine and Grand Guignol, despite them receiving mostly positive reviews.” What the hell is a canticle?

Nekrogoblikon – Heavy Meta Review

Nekrogoblikon – Heavy Meta Review

“We all have a little touch of crazy inside us. You know what I mean; trapped laughter that rumbles out with such force it makes your belly hurt. Sadly with all the hullabaloo and day-to-day grind we forget to stop and breath, but more importantly, we forget to laugh. American melo-death merchants, Nekrogoblikon have made it their mission to remind us that tapping into our crazy and embracing the silly is just downright necessary and I support that!” Goblins are the medium, meta is the message.

Unearth – Watchers of Rule Review

Unearth – Watchers of Rule Review

Unearth are among the last of their kind. The New Wave of American Heavy Metal – if there ever was such a thing – has crashed, receded, and carried away a flotsam of recycled Gothenburg riffs, open string drop-D breakdowns, and post-Pantera toughguy groove. Bands not dissolved in the fizz of waning popularity and ill-conceived murder-for-hire plots have either distilled themselves into Top 40 radio rock (Avenged Sevenfold) or continue struggling to recreate the glory of their heyday (Killswitch Engage). Unearth stand alone….” So much for progress and evolution.

Quest of Aidance – Misanthropic Propaganda Review

Quest of Aidance – Misanthropic Propaganda Review

“Gawd, is it possible it’s really been 30 years since V and Robert Englund rooted their reptilian claws so firmly into my life! My head very nearly exploded when I came across this, the first full-length release by Swedish deathgrind band Quest of Aidance and I discovered that Misanthropic Propaganda is in fact a V concept album based on the original 1983 television series. Yes really! Misanthropic Propaganda follows on from the band’s 2007 EP release Dark Are The Skies At Hand and while it’s been an extended break between EP and full-length release, it’s done Quest of Aidance the world of good.” Have we lost Madam X to The Resistance? Read on and find out.

Beyond the Shore – Ghostwatcher Review

Beyond the Shore – Ghostwatcher Review

“Madam X rarely wanders down the road of hardcore or metalcore since dealing with mallrats and emo’s is troublesome (where to hide the bodies and all…). Once in a while though, venturing out into the unknown pays off and you stumble across an album with a little more imagination and progression (cast your mind back if you will to 2011’s Digital Veil delivered by Travis Richter’s The Human Abstract). Now jump back to 2009 to the release of Lexington, Kentucky based Beyond the Shore’s first EP precursor (The Arctic Front). While the album bore some small resemblance to Parkway Drive, it sounded juvenile and lacked the intensity of say “Dark Days.” Four years later Beyond the Shore haven’t been working on a funeral doom album. No, instead they’ve been working on getting into Metal Blade Records (home to As I Lay Dying and a host of other big names) good graces, honing their sound and gathering some interesting elements to add to their music.” Is our Madam X warming up to metalcore?? Say it ain’t so, X!! Oops, there I go using genres as pejoratives…

Angry Metal Guy Speaks: On Genres as Pejoratives

Angry Metal Guy Speaks: On Genres as Pejoratives

A really curious thing happens from time to time that I think it’s time to comment on. Because we all (that is, those of us who read and/or write AngryMetalGuy.com) love heavy metal, we all essentially draw boundaries for it. It all depends on your perspective, but largely we say that one thing is metal and another thing is not. We make fun of the things we find to be not metal and we praise (and often deify unnecessarily) that which we find to be super metal. This is not a surprise. In fact, I’d guess that it’s a natural part of the human brain: we group things and put them in their place so as to better order our world. We also use cognitive short cuts in order to reach conclusions about the vast seas of information that exist outside of our existence.

Angry Metal Guy’s Top 10(ish) of 2011

Angry Metal Guy’s Top 10(ish) of 2011

And here it finally comes. I want to take a little time to gaze at my navel before heading off to the races here. 2011 has been a hard year for me and for AngryMetalGuy.com. Without the help of Steel Druhm, this website probably would have gone under due to serious burnout. It stands that there are other options for both of us as reviewers, but we both love this site and the little community it has become and don’t have any desire to see it go anywhere. And, frankly, due to blood, sweat and more blood, we just don’t feel like we can really stop working on this website. So when I say to you all, that we don’t want to stop doing this largely because you guys keep coming by and reading this I seriously mean it. It’s a great feeling–even when sometimes the music industry gets goddamned lame.