Voivod

Moanhand – Present Serpent Review

Moanhand – Present Serpent Review

“Try as I might, it’s hard to break out of patterns that take months, if not years, to craft and make a template out of. I still put actual milk in my coffee and not that oily Coffeemate bullshit. My breakfast omelets will always have cheddar cheese, bacon, and enough garlic to anger vampires. Above all, I like my doom metal to be… doom metal. Heavy. Oppressive. Mournful. That said, sometimes a little deviation can work wonders, and Roman Filatov, chief songwriter and solo proprietor of Moanhand, is seeking to woo the masses over with his creative take on a classic sound using a wide swath of influences.” Snake’s take.

Olde – Pilgrimage Review

Olde – Pilgrimage Review

“Ontario’s Olde have been banging around the sludge scene for an unknown period of time, formerly as Corvuss until around 2014 when they decided to change their name to what it is today. I’m usually pretty good at keeping an ear out for quality sludge and doom releases, but I will admit I’ve never heard of Olde until the accompanying one-sheet bio claimed that they’re for fans of High on FireTroubleThe Melvins, and Entombed How do I say no to that?!” Olde and slowe.

Wanderer – Awakening Force [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

Wanderer – Awakening Force [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

“For the second year in a row, a metal band from Portugal floored me with something I had no idea that I wanted to hear until I heard it. Last year it was Midnight Priest, and this year it’s Wanderer with their debut record Awakening Force. It’s not that either band are doing something extremely novel, but it’s their execution and emphasis on specific parts of their influences that make them both special.” All that wander and not lame.

Brave the Cold – Scarcity Review

Brave the Cold – Scarcity Review

“When it was announced that guitarist Mitch Harris and drummer Dirk Verbeuren were collaborating for some kind of death metal project, I was unsure exactly what to expect. Mr. Harris is a grand progenitor of grind, starting out with Righteous Pigs before joining Napalm Death in 1989. Since then he’s helped define an entire genre and dabbled in weirdness on the side, as with Meathook Seed. On the other hand, Dirk Verbeuren has played with Megadeth, Soilwork, Devin Townsend, Warrel Dane, and any number of black and death metal acts. With such a widely traveled duo, the options seem limitless.” Frost grinding.

The Third Kind – Man vs Earth Review

The Third Kind – Man vs Earth Review

“As a reviewer, it always feels good when you correctly identify a band’s influences. Hmm, I thought to myself upon first listening to The Third Kind‘s Man vs Earth debut, this kind of sounds like All Out War. It turns out there’s a good reason for that. Formed in 2015, Kind count All Out War guitarist Taras Apuzzo amongst their ranks, along with other members from a slew of New York hardcore bands.” Earth had it coming.

Afterbirth – Four Dimensional Flesh Review

Afterbirth – Four Dimensional Flesh Review

“Welcome to my ass. We won’t be long. I’ve gathered us here today before my review of the brilliant new Afterbirth record because I didn’t want to drag you through here in the middle of it. Suffice it to say that my critique of Afterbirth‘s The Time Traveler’s Dilemma has proven unassailably correct: Afterbirth should get right back on the horse, they should keep exploring their progressive tendencies, and they absolutely should record with Colin Marston. Probably no thanks to my scolding they have. Four Dimensional Flesh is a triumph, one of the most charismatic and original death metal albums you’ll ever hear.” Ass above, so below.

Black Sites – Exile Review

Black Sites – Exile Review

“Chicago’s Black Sites is the brainchild of guitarist and singer Mark Sugar, formerly of underrated modern thrashers Trials. It could be that Sugar and I are roughly the same age, both grew up on shitty post-glory-days ’90s thrash metal and/or are both from the Midwest, but whatever it is he seems to speak my language. Trials‘ final album ended up on my Top 10(ish) in 2015 and Black Sites‘ debut found similar acclaim in 2017. A songwriter with two albums that placed at #2 in my Top 10(ish) lists in the year they were released is about as close to a direct highway to “elevated expectations” as it gets. And when Mark sent me Exile, I can say that I was very excited.” Makin’ bacon (and metal).

Hellnite – Midnight Terrors Review

Hellnite – Midnight Terrors Review

“During their halcyon years Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax loomed large over the thrash landscape, basking in success and spawning a fanbase so large it defied a horizon. But there existed a tier below the A and B-listers, bands like Allegiance, Heathen and Xentrix who eked out a modest existence built on solid albums supported by a coterie of eager followers. This is not a vein you’d expect a modern thrash band to mine for inspiration, yet that is exactly where Hellnite have chosen to strike their pickaxe with their debut album, Midnight Terrors.” Mine the medium.