To Die For

Autumnal – The End of the Third Day Review

Autumnal – The End of the Third Day Review

“Kindly overlook the album cover you see to the left. Not only does it lack the good grace to include some kind of cool spherical object, but it also resembles something from a Christian new age rock group (the kind they play at inoffensive volumes in Christian, new age-y coffee joints). Worse still, it doesn’t give the slightest indication that Autumnal is a winningly morose, melodic doom act from Spain, or that The End of the Third Day is destined to be one of the sleeper hits of 2014.” Are you ready to feel those gloriously sad feels?

The Isolation Process – The Isolation Process Review

The Isolation Process – The Isolation Process Review

“Are you one of those people who wish Paradise Lost never strayed from the sound of Draconian Times? If so, The Isolation Process has a belated Christmas/Festivus gift with your name on it. The eponymous debut from this Swedish three-piece made up of members of Lingua and Come Sleep (neither of which I ever heard of) features a style strikingly similar to that classic album, while adding select elements of Tool, Sinamore and To Die For. As gothic-tinged doom metal goes, that makes for quite the heady stew in which to dunk your biscuits of despair and oyster crackers of unresolved childhood issues.” Do you like Paradise Lost? If so, hug this album to your breast and sing it a sweet love song.

In Solitude – Sister Review

In Solitude – Sister Review

“Well, look who wandered off the homage reservation. Sweden’s In Solitude made their mark with 2011’s The World. the Flesh. the Devil. and its uncannily accurate aping of vintage Mercyful Fate. So close was the sound to albums like Melissa and Don’t Break the Oath, that several people I played it for thought it was a reunion album or re-recorded demo material. While homage bands are all well and good, it seems these chaps wanted to shake off that image and on Sister, they’ve done so quite impressively. While the Mercyful Fate influence is still apparent (especially in the vocals), the new material takes their Fate worship and coats it with scads of gothic and doom sensibility while adding a strong Danzig vibe as well.” Why would a band so skilled at ripping off one of the best metal bands of all time ever change their approach? Because that’s what art is all about, you dullards!!

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.

Dark Tranquillity – Construct Review

Dark Tranquillity – Construct Review

“I’ve been waiting for this one for some time. As a big Dark Tranquillity fan, I’ve weathered their style shifts and experiments with more commercial and more “modern” sounds. While 2010s We Are the Void was respectable with a few killer cuts, I ended up really liking the extended extras that were included on the limited edition release (which eventually became the Zero Distance EP). That group of songs encapsulated what modern-day DT does best: create melodic, but cold, sterile, modern death metal. I really wanted them to continue in that direction on Construct, but they thought otherwise.” Do the last of the Gothenburg titans finally fall victim to time and tide or can The Tranquil Ones keep the flame of melodic death alive?

Amorphis – Circle Review

Amorphis – Circle Review

“If Amorphis fanboyism was an infectious disease, the AMG offices would surely be quarantined due to the terminal cases both AMG and myself suffer from. I’ve always regarded their Tales From the Thousand Lakes as the greatest melo-death album of all time, and few bands can boast a run of releases as consistently brilliant as Eclipse through Skyforger. The Beginning of Times had some great songs, but was overlong, a bit bloated and dragged badly on the back-end. I’m sure I wasn’t alone in expecting a big bounce back from the Finnish titans, and it was with typically high expectations that I welcomed the Circle promo when it finally arrived.” Amorphis is the big fish in the thousand lakes of Finnish metal, but will Circle keep them at the top of the food chain or consign them to the role of bottom feeder? Join Steel Druhm as he fishes for answers.