The Vision Bleak

Carach Angren – Franckensteina Strataemontanus Review

Carach Angren – Franckensteina Strataemontanus Review

“But Franckensteina Strataemontanus is not a true retelling of Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley. If any of you know the myths and legends surrounding the creation of this story, you know that there’re a lot of tales that involve Johann Konrad Dippel. There’s no proof that Shelley was ever inspired by this strange individual, but the connection is hard to ignore. An individual who reportedly invented nitroglycerin, experimented on dead animals and human cadavers, and created an elixir that would allow him to live until the age of 135. Here, Carach Angren provides us with a slight reinvention of the classic Frankenstein story. One that uses artistic license to make Dippel the psychotic creator of an unloved monster.” Frank n’ frowners.

L’Acéphale – L’Acéphale Review

L’Acéphale – L’Acéphale Review

“Twenty-nineteen has, so far, been an interesting year for metal. Not including the fact that the infamous Lords of Chaos has finally hit the big screen. And it seems to be the catalyst for some interesting current events. Events brought on by weirdos that wish they were 1) Norwegian and 2) friends with Count Grishnakh. Churches of all denominations have been going up in flames around the world and one can only wonder how far this will go. Hell, as of this writing, the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris has gone up in smoke. And one can only wonder, with the nonstop success of the French scene, who is responsible.” Burning times.

Dying Embers – Where Shadeless Dwell Frozen Review

Dying Embers – Where Shadeless Dwell Frozen Review

“In the mid-00’s, I was just starting to dip my toes into the realms of metal. Maybe it was just the entry point I had with Children of Bodom, but there were a slew of bands that were called melodic death metal, but like a Scooby Doo villain, turned out to be power metal with some harsh vocals, some of them adding some cues from Gothic metal to seem a little darker. Bands like Eternal Tears of Sorrow or Before the Dawn went over well with pubescent me, with their straightforward, Maidenesque guitar harmonies and gloomy veneer. Dying Embers fall in this category as well, being tagged melodic death metal, and instead molding bits of Gothic and growls onto a mid-paced power metal album with the unwieldy title Where Shadeless Dwell Frozen. Time to feel like a teenager again.” Drama Club metal.

Usurpress – Interregnum Review

Usurpress – Interregnum Review

“Consistency is a virtue, most of the time. Oftentimes, it is vital for a band’s recognizability, allowing only for incremental growth and change, both within an album and across several. But it can be taken too far with a sound growing stale, or eschewed completely for avant-garde whiplash effects (see Igorrr). Usurpress love mixing different genres into their Swedish death metal, risking consistency issues but aiming for the reward of diversity and unpredictability.” Overthrow the expected.

Deinonychus – Ode to Acts of Murder, Dystopia, and Suicide Review

Deinonychus – Ode to Acts of Murder, Dystopia, and Suicide Review

“I’ve been meaning to check out Deinonychus for one simple reason: I fucking love dinosaurs. Fellow dino nerds will know that Deinonychus was a fearsome predator of the early Cretaceous period, closely related to the infamous Velociraptor and with a name that means ‘terrible claw.’ It’s a badass band name, and though this Dutch trio doesn’t sing about slicing open unsuspecting sauropods, their music is no less compelling.” Music to go extinct to.

Ides of Gemini – Women Review

Ides of Gemini – Women Review

“Almost a decade ago, when I had only gotten my head stuck in the alluring crevice that is metal for a few short years, I stumbled upon a little-known atmospheric doom metal band called Black Math Horseman. I hardly listened to any doom, nor bands with female vocalists at the time (I wouldn’t develop a taste for it until years later) so the album, titled Wyllt, never really stuck, but the concept intrigued me nonetheless. Now, many trials and tribulations later, I find myself back in the loving arms of Sera Timms’ haunting cry with a different band by the name of Ides of Gemini.” Ides wide open.

Light of the Morning Star – Nocta Review

Light of the Morning Star – Nocta Review

“I’ve always found gothic metal to be, much like viking or pagan metal, a phrase that is more evocative of a specific feel rather than a genre with finite boundaries. It’s one of those styles that manages to fit a deceptively diverse array of bands under its umbrella; Type O Negative, Moonspell, and The Vision Bleak differ greatly from a purely mechanical standpoint, yet the thick, gloomy atmosphere is ever present.” Ready for a graveyard romance?

Draugsól – Volaða Land Review

Draugsól – Volaða Land Review

“It’s no secret that—following a legacy now two decades old—black metal is synonymous with Scandinavia. For most, this refers to Norway and Sweden, but, depending on who you ask, this may also include Finland and Iceland. Regardless if these countries meet the rules for the “Scandinavia” tag, they have a plethora of black metal bands, with legacies all their own. And I thank that goat-headed deity for that.” Feeling Scandinavia, looking frozen tundra.