Venom

Wraith – Undo the Chains Review

Wraith – Undo the Chains Review

Sometimes reviewers live with regrets. “Was I too hard on Wraith?” wondered reviewing machine Charcodadentron or whatever his fucking name is. “Do they still say mean things about me at band practice?” Fortunately, he’s had another shot to Undo the Chains of his self-doubt. Yeah, you know you want to read it.

Hellsword – Cold Is the Grave Review

Hellsword – Cold Is the Grave Review

“Like most blackened speed metal bands, Hellsword channels classic acts like Venom and early Bathory to form the base of their sound, but they also take a few steps into thrash territory, occasionally sounding a bit like debut-era Slayer. Hellsword are just now delivering their debut full-length despite forming way back in 2009, and this extended time together shows in their songwriting maturity.” Blades and Beelzebub.

Black Mass – Feast at the Forbidden Tree Review

Black Mass – Feast at the Forbidden Tree Review

“Is it just me, or is Redefining Darkness Records on somewhat of a tear lately? We’ve covered thirteen of the label’s releases since late 2018, and all thirteen have received a score of 3.0 or better. I’ve handled three of those reviews in 2021, and I’ve found them to be good, very good, and fucking awesome. So when the promo for Redefining Darkness act Black Mass came along with its epically sinuous artwork, I threw my head back, cursed the sky, and feasted upon its forbidden fruit.” Rise of the Tree Eaters.

Bunker 66 – Beyond the Help of Prayers Review

Bunker 66 – Beyond the Help of Prayers Review

“There’s something so alluring about the melding of two genres like black and speed metal. When executed correctly, these seemingly disparate styles join forces to create a noxious stew altogether stronger than the sum of their individual parts; powerful, bombastic and able to dissolve your stomach lining. Bands like Blackevil, Bewitcher, Hellripper and a cornucopia of their spike-and-denim clad contemporaries prove what transpires when icy BM and the meat-and-potatoes chug of 80s speed form their unholy union. Bunker 66 are no strangers to this format, and are eager to continue the sacrilegious scourge with their new album Beyond the Help of Prayers.” Bunker busters.

Insane – Victims Review

Insane – Victims Review

“My door is always open for 80s-inspired speed metal. You see, all you younger folks merely adopted the speed. I was there when it first broke through the ground and started hunting for scalps. I was raised by it, molded by it. I owe it a debt. And so I grabbed the promo for Insane‘s sophomore outing based on a sample I heard that sounded like the ugly stepbrother to classic Canadian speedsters Razor. I expected knuckle-dragging, saliva spraying acts of rapid-fire depravity on Victims. In this I was not disappointed, though the method of delivery had some surprises in store for me.” Wictims ov changes.

Lucifuge – Infernal Power Review

Lucifuge – Infernal Power Review

“When I reviewed Lucifuge‘s last effort, The One Great Curse, it was a different age. OK, it was February 2020 but it feels like it was a different age. I remember sitting in riverside bar – indoors, no less – sipping a craft beer, while tapping out my thoughts on what was the third full-length in as many years from this Germany-based four piece. Well, one year (and a global pandemic) on, and Lucifuge is back with fourth offering, Infernal Power.” All the power, 100% less Danzig.

Demiser – Through the Gate Eternal Review

Demiser – Through the Gate Eternal Review

“It’s spring in Minnesota. Given the harshness of our winters, these longer daylight hours and warmer temperatures always feel transformative, but after these past 12 months of hell, and with vaccination rates climbing and new Covid cases dropping, one can almost imagine normal life emerging from the pandemic like the landscape emerges as the snow disappears. In physical terms, this means the compulsion to go outside is strong. Absorb some sunlight, smell the mild air, watch things grow. In metal terms, it’s time to put down the doom and dsbm and reach for something fun, fast and filthy. South Carolina’s blackened thrash band Demiser have spent pandemic isolation crafting their debut full-length, Through the Gate Eternal.” Reports of Demiser are not greatly exaggerated.

Pestis Cultus – Pestis Cultus Review

Pestis Cultus – Pestis Cultus Review

“Raw black metal is not typically my thing. I like my black atmospheric or symphonic, as a rule. Normally, if you’re after the lo-fi stuff, you’d wanna talk to Messrs of Doom and in Muzaka. But, that said, I rather enjoyed my time with Funeral Fullmoon, so here I am, back in the dark, icy depths of … well, this time, Western Australia.” Lo-fi down under.

Evil – Possessed by Evil Review

Evil – Possessed by Evil Review

“I’ve got a soft spot for Japanese metal, especially the old-school varieties. It should shock absolutely nobody that Evil come directly from the lineage of Abigail and Sabbat thematically, meaning that they take the “evil” schtick of classic Venom and Bulldozer so far that it exceeds parody and lands in a strange realm of charming innocence and naivete. Evil, on their second album Possessed by Evil, lands feet-first in this realm.” Possession is nine-tenths of witchlaw.

Dread Sovereign – Alchemical Warfare Review

Dread Sovereign – Alchemical Warfare Review

“I enter this review with a certain amount of trepidation. Two writers whom I thought would be interested in Alchemical Warfare, Dread Sovereign’s third album, were not. Akerblogger reviewed their last effort, and when I offered this to him he said, ‘all yours.’ When I mentioned this new album to Grymm, who like myself is a big fan of Primordial, he said ‘they don’t do anything at all for me.’ Well, not exactly ringing endorsements, but I was still willing to take a chance and hope for the best.” Dread or gold?