U.K. Metal

Elderseer – Drown in the Shallowness Review

Elderseer – Drown in the Shallowness Review

“There seems to be a wellspring of gothic doom in the promo hopper in early 2023, and I’m okay with that. Coming off a heated love affair with Tribunal, I eagerly scooped up the debut by U.K. doomsters, Elderseer and hoped for a similar love connection. Their full-length debut adopts a style in the vein of My Dying Bride, Celestial Season,  and early Paradise Lost, with long, winding songs telling tales of great misery and woe. And at a mammoth 68-minute runtime, Drown in the Shallowness delivers more than your fair share of sadcakes and grief biscuits.” Seer me MMXXIII.

Memoriam – Rise to Power Review

Memoriam – Rise to Power Review

“U.K. death metal “supergroup” Memoriam are considered by some to be the spiritual successor to the legendary Bolt Thrower. With Thrower’s former vocalist Karl Willetts at the helm and backed by Frank Healy of death luminaries Benediction, the pedigree is notable and the style they traffic in has clear similarities to Willett’s renowned former outfit. Despite the talent involved, I’ve never been awed by Memoriam’s output.” Battle fatigue.

Seven Doors – Feast of the Repulsive Dead Review

Seven Doors – Feast of the Repulsive Dead Review

“U.K. death metal strikes early in 2023 with a debut full-length from Seven Doors, the one-man OSDM project by Ryan Wills. With a horror-inspired theme and a firm grounding in the classics like early Death, Massacre, and Cannibal Corpse, Feast of the Repulsive Dead’s formula is riffy, relentless meat n’ tatters death designed to keep one foot on your neck and the other up your strata-chocolata.” Knock knock.

Threshold – Dividing Lines Review

Threshold – Dividing Lines Review

“Since hitting the prog-metal scene in 1993, the U.K.’s Threshold have proven to be one of, if not the most, reliably high-quality acts running. Album after album of intelligent, thoughtful, and highly memorable releases reinforced their talent and knack for polished songcraft. They’re responsible for several of my favorite albums in the genre and at this point, I never wonder if a new platter will be good or not. 2017s massive Legends of the Shires was a double album of smart and memorable music that overcame the sudden departure of vocalist Damien Wilson by bringing in former frontman Glynn Morgan. I still go back to it often and may have underrated it. Five years later we get the followup and 12th album, Dividing Lines.” Never cross Threshold.

O.R.k. – Screamnasium Review

O.R.k. – Screamnasium Review

“These guys create exciting and vital music that cannot be compared to that of Porcupine Tree. There’s a spontaneity here that is rivaled only by Boss Keloid – in fact, that’s a great comparison. O.R.k. may not be as heavy, but the quirkiness and unique delivery is there in spades, and Screamnasium is no exception.” Fewer quills, more thrills.

Famyne – II: The Ground Below Review

Famyne – II: The Ground Below Review

“U.K.-based “modern” doom act Famyne evaded my metal detector with their eponymous 2018 debut. I might have missed their sophomore outing too, had I not been desperate for some doom when skulking through the fetid promo sump on a dark and dreary night. Thus, I approached II: The Ground Below without context or expectation, and what I heard befuddled me for a good while.” Uncommon grounds.

Wode – Burn in Many Mirrors Review

Wode – Burn in Many Mirrors Review

“I’m struggling to think of a musical genre which so obstinately refuses to go away as traditional black metal. Despite the progression of 30 years since the ‘second wave’ style was crystallized by the lonely teenagers of Norway, new bands continue to produce metal which is entirely imitative of such teens. Wode, of Manchester, joined the fray in 2016 with their self-titled debut which was an especially mean and riff-dominated example of the sound. It was a powerful, if one-dimensional, release which was bettered by its sequel called Servants of the Countercosmos which wrapped intricate leads and dynamic song-writing into a more cohesive album. 4 year later and Burn in Many Mirrors is primed for unveiling, promising yet more tales of cosmic evil.” Wode to you of earth and sea.

Celestial Sanctuary – Soul Diminished Review

Celestial Sanctuary – Soul Diminished Review

“There’s little I enjoy more than boastful, vain-glorious chest thumping in a young band’s promo package, and the U.K.’s Celestial Sanctuary delivered just that, proudly proclaiming themselves the forerunner of a New Wave of British Death Metal. Strong words for such a young act with nary but a demo and single to their name, but can they back it up on their full-length debut, Soul Diminished?” Diminishing soul returns?

Superterrestrial – The Void that Exists Review

Superterrestrial – The Void that Exists Review

“Writing fresh introductions for black metal reviews becomes exponentially more difficult with each new attempt. Case in point: I have already written this entire review, sans introduction, because I had no clue how to introduce Superterrestrial. Like many modern underground dwellers, they revel in secrecy. Not only are the band members’ roles undisclosed, but information on The Void that Exists available online at the time of this writing is so scarce that Metal Archives has mistakenly categorized it as a two-track EP.” Mystery + apathy = Mapathy.

Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats – Wasteland Review

Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats – Wasteland Review

“Less is more. That little witticism has become the AMG mantra because it’s so very true. Most 75-minute albums are less enjoyable than a 45 minute version would be. Three Taco Bell Hard Taco Supremes are a better choice than six. It’s just how the world works. When it comes to the creepy stoner rock of Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, this rule proves especially accurate. Though I loved their second album, Bloodlust and found their whole night stalker shtick endearing, I’ve never felt the same about any of their later releases. Wasteland is their fourth full-length and the recipe remains the same.” Creepy uncles and bad trips.