UK Metal

Ethereal Shroud – Trisagion Review

Ethereal Shroud – Trisagion Review

Trisagion, at its core, fits the mold of atmospheric black metal to a tee. However, only fools suggest that Ethereal Shroud settle for that core sound without layers upon layers of extracurricular influence to flesh it out. In 2021, that influence takes the form of a most depressive subset of doom, a network of melodic leads which alternate between chilling and radiant, and crafty drumming that handily combines post-metallic defiance of standard beats with traditional blasts and double-bass runs.” Ephemeral glory on the precipice of oblivion.

Green Lung – Black Harvest Review

Green Lung – Black Harvest Review

“Does innovation matter in metal? I often seem to find myself saying something along the lines of: “[insert band name here] isn’t really doing anything new here but perhaps they’re not really trying to.” Is ‘not doing anything new’ inherently a criticism? There’s no point asking London, UK’s Green Lung, as they’ve been too busy to care, absolutely nailing their brand of Black Sabbath worship.” Ancient airs.

Beyond Grace – Our Kingdom Undone Review

Beyond Grace – Our Kingdom Undone Review

“Back in 2017 I waxed pompous about the debut album from England’s Beyond GraceSeekers was a highly impressive first offering, full of exploratory death metal that put a premium on musicianship and forward-thinking. However, I often feel that the real test of a band’s mettle can be found in that precarious second release. Fortunately, Our Kingdom Undone meets the call with a savage roar of its own.” Kingdoms of might.

Qrixkuor – Poison Palinopsia

Qrixkuor – Poison Palinopsia

“I didn’t choose this. This album I had no intent to cover. But, thanks to a contract I signed under duress, swearing myself to temporary servitude under one green, be-grilled Kermit impersonator, I am here reviewing a random record of his choosing. Lo, here I be, with UK trio Qrixkuor (pronounced “Trix-are-for-kids,” I believe) and their debut opus Poison Palinopsia. Two tracks. Forty-eight minutes and change. This is going to be one weird, wild ride.” Death writ large.

Firienholt – By the Waters of Awakening Review

Firienholt – By the Waters of Awakening Review

Firienholt sound pretty much exactly as you’d expect based solely on this album art. Falling somewhere in the center of a Venn diagram split between atmospheric black metal, symphonic folk-ish metal, and dungeonsynth, By the Waters of Awakening offers an experience that not only relaxes and soothes, but also evokes a desire for bone-chilling winter to return forthwith. Tambourines, flutes, strings, trumpets and French horns, and glistening synths decorate a light dusting of blackened frost across a wondrous landscape of mournful melodies and heartfelt verses. This is not an album for headbanging.” Serenity now!

Voronoi – The Last Three Seconds Review

Voronoi – The Last Three Seconds Review

Voronoi is a progressive jazz metal trio hailing from Leeds, UK. The fact that keyboardist Aleks Podraza worked with the emotionally beautiful and genre-defying The Cinematic Orchestra immediately caught my eye. The band blends together the sophistication of classical music and modern jazz fusion with the heavy downtempo riffs of prog-metal. Imagine cutting edge jazz pianist Tigran Hamasyan and math-metal experts Meshuggah teaming up to provide the background music for a dinner party.” Fusion turbulence.

Luna’s Call – Void [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

Luna’s Call – Void [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

“2020 provided plenty of quality metal releases, but only a scant few of those which tickled my fancy fall into the “progressive metal” category. Of those, we missed two that deserve mention. The first is Cellar Vessel‘s immense slab of Xanthrochroided symphonic prog-death, entitled Vein Beneath the Soil. The second—and, obviously, more preferred, since I’m writing about it—is UK quartet Luna’s Call‘s sophomore epic Void.” When the void calls…

Sorceress of Sin – Mirrored Revenge Review

Sorceress of Sin – Mirrored Revenge Review

“I decided to go for something epic to wrap up the year. It’s been a while since I reviewed any power metal or even just vanilla heavy metal, so I figured, what the hell? I’ll pick up UK’s Sorceress of Sin. Now, I’m not the biggest trad-heavy or trad-power fan, and 99% of the time the thing that kills my mood with the genre are vocals. Regardless of the skill exhibited, there are too many greats who adopt a tone and style that just does not appeal to me. Can Sorceress of Sin break the curse with their debut album Mirrored Revenge?” Mirrors of wengeance.