ALBUM REVIEW: Warforged – The Grove – Sundial


 

Warforged is one of those bands that has eight and a half million labels used to describe their music. From black metal, technical, death to proggy, I think each and every promo notification I received for this band labeled the band with something different. The multitude of labels are actually appropriate as not a single track on The Grove | Sundial (The Artisan Era), the band’s second album, sounds the same on this album.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Gaerea – Mirage


 

Yes, I think I’ve figured it out. What’s that? Well, I’m listening to Gaerea’s Mirage (Season of Mist) and for whatever reason, my brain keeps bringing up modern-day Lorna Shore. How does that make any sense, you ask? The former is clearly a black metal outfit, while the latter traffics in the death metal – deathcore, whatever – side of things. Sure, but as stylistically distinct as they are, boy do both bands enjoy being self-indulgent.

How so?

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ALBUM REVIEW: Hierophant – Death Siege


Blending together subgenres of metal to further push the boundaries of heavy music is not an uncommon practice these days. Hierophant, while starting off as mostly a blackened sludge metal group, is more recently focused on mixing the extremes of black metal and death metal. Their fifth release, Death Siege (Season of Mist), continues this signature for the Italian foursome.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Wolfheart – King Of The North


 

Finland is a country known for their long, cold winters. Wolfheart is a band that captures their nation’s wild and wonderous weather in their dramatic and dynamically dark sound. The group’s appropriately named debut record, Winterborn came out in 2013 and they have consistently been conveying the majestic magic of Suomi ever since. Now this four piece is getting ready to release their sixth full-length, King of the North (Napalm Records) where they dive even deeper into sharing stories about their country’s lore and land. Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Dreadnought – The Endless


There is something mystifying about records that are able to mix beautiful melodies and soundscapes with the aggressive signature of a metal band. Dreadnought has been doing this for a decade now and has released its fifth collection entitled The Endless (Profound Lore). The mix of progressive song structures, jazz, and classical elements, and elegantly placed influences of black and doom metal really tie the band’s sound together. The album is deceptively forty-plus minutes long as listeners will surely lose themselves in the midst of this one.Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Becoming The Archetype – Children Of The Great Extinction


 

It has been a decade since we last received an album from the Southern act Becoming the Archetype. This Georgia-based band is known for their unconventional methods of banging out heavy riffs while proclaiming a positive message. Their last release, I AM was well received with its proggy frills and edgy tech cadences. They gained some attention for their unique ways, so it was a pity when they pressed the pause button in 2013. After taking an indefinite hiatus and going through another lineup change, the boys are now back with their sixth full-length record, Children of the Great Extinction (Solid State Records). Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Sigh – Shiki


 

Four years after previous studio outing, Heir To Despair (Candlelight), Japanese avant-garde black metal act Sigh switch record labels once again and return with twelfth full length album Shiki (Peaceville). In their native language, the title translates into many different things such as ceremony, colour and motivation but the main themes present here are “four seasons” and “time to die”. A concept derived from a traditional Japanese poem, frontman Mirai Kawashima takes an existential approach to the seasons, watching cherry blossoms (a symbol of Spring) in full bloom while going through the Autumnal stage of his life with Winter just around the corner.Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Tomb Of Finland – Across The Barren Fields


 

Without hampering the quality of the record, Tomb Of Finland pile layer upon layer and meticulously interspersed elements of doom, black metal and good ol’ death metal on the quartet’s third full-length, Across The Barren Fields (Uprising! Records). Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Blacklab – In A Bizarre Dream


Never a country to be worried about being viewed as a bit strange, Japan has always enjoyed a rich history of unnaturally jarring cultural opposites. For every Spirited Away, Rashomon or Ponyo there’s a Battle Royale, Suicide Club, or Tokyo Gore Police, and for every bouncy and sickeningly wholesome J-Pop band there’s a Corrupted, Bathtub Shitter, and Flagitious Idiosyncrasy in the Dilapidation.Continue reading