ALBUM REVIEW: Mithridatum – Harrowing


 

The juxtaposing contradiction that is Mithridatum’s debut album Harrowing makes it surprisingly difficult to reach a conclusion.

The Willowtip release sees the newly formed trio (featuring former members of Abhorrent, The Faceless) jockeying with a myriad of other bands in an ultra-saturated landscape that is just begging for a group to come along and shatter the mold. As such, it’s nearly career suicide not to stand out from the rest (unless you’re AC/DC). Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Ashen Horde – Antimony


 

Chipping away at the putrid exterior, Antimony (Transcending Obscurity) is Ashen Horde tackling a litany of musical techniques, touching upon elements of technical black and death metal. In doing so, guitar solos feel completely organic; the drums drive the rhythms throughout; and the sheer blasphemy housed within the guitars is palpable.Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Dryad – The Abyssal Plain


 

The vaunted Mariana Trench is nearly seven miles deep underneath the ocean surface. Or in other words, it plummets down into the Earth more than Mt. Everest stands tall. The creatures that occupy that type of ecosystem need to withstand unimaginable pressure, cold temperatures and a complete lack of light.

 

And if that’s not terrifying enough, Dryad took this notion to the next level and crafted a thirty-five-minute opus that does as good a job as anything else in positing what the environs found down there might actually sound like via the medium of biting blackened metal: The Abyssal Plain (Prosthetic Records) captures and exploits the paralyzing nightmare of finding oneself in such an alien, unknown world. Foggy, muffled production represents the complete disorientation that would be felt so far below.

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ALBUM REVIEW: AHAB – The Coral Tombs


 

There are vocalists who scream, sing, and grunt. And then there’s Daniel Droste.

The Ahab frontman and mainstay has, since 2004, imbued into doom metal a unique, untouchable style of singing which surpasses anything else heard to date. It’s matter-of-fact, informative and in a class of its own.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Anti-Flag – Lies They Tell Our Children


 

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Having stuck around since the late 1980s, Anti-Flag has become old enough to address the same young, impressionable people they once were when they formed so long ago. Ever ambitious and straight to the point, the Pittsburgh-based punk rock foursome is as approachable as at any other time in their storied career with Lies They Tell Our Children (Spinefarm Records). Rife with on-brand “fuck the system” anthems and guest appearances by like-minded rabble-rousers, the songs pack such an easily consumable punch.

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STAFF PICKS: Matt Cook’s Top 25 Albums of 2022


One of the new additions to our global writing team this year was Matt Cook from the Boston area, where our roots run deep. He did a bang-up job for us covering many genres of metal, but usually landing on the grossest Death Metal, the kultest of Black Metal, some heavy Metalcore, or good ol’ punk. Check out his Top 25 Albums of 2022 here.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Obvurt – Triumph Beyond Adversity


 

The nut to crack that is Obvurt is a tough one.

On the one hand, the Quebec-based tech-death trio hold their own with bombastic, forceful drumming; chaotic, thrashy elements; and call-off-the-dogs brutal vocals. On the other hand, the majority of Triumph Beyond Adversity (Unique Leader Records) is mired in mediocrity, relying too much on formulaic tropes while falling prey to a surplus of empty space. A portion of the songs inexplicably feel out of place, though not due to the band’s inability. Instead, the record plays as the personification of a college student who boasts a 3.0 GPA while coasting through the four years without engaging in much of any extracurricular activity, content with being uncompromisingly normal.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Dystopia A.D. – Doomsday Psalm


 

The unmistakable pall of monochromatic fear and fright begs the question: should Dystopia A.D. have named their latest record Doomsday Bible? Instead calling it Doomsday Psalm, the album presents an anthology of horrors; a plethora of terror. The end of the physical world becomes the least of your worries.

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ALBUM REVIEW: The Last Ten Seconds Of Life – Disquisition on an Execution


 

 

Disquisition On An Execution surpasses the confines of being a meager release. It’s The Last Ten Seconds Of Life’s eighteen-minute soundtrack to accompany a lecture on the best way to snap a victim’s neck in one fell swoop. The four-track EP – courtesy of mammoth label Unique Leader – is an inescapable assault – a hodge-podge of dense, declarative deathcore. Fits and starts of feral madness fuel the Pennsylvanian foursome.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Candlemass – Sweet Evil Sun


 

The Chernobyl disaster rocked the then-Soviet Union in 1986. Ronald Reagan was the president. Gas was just over a dollar a gallon (Editor’s note, gas was $2.14 per gallon nationwide in 1984). Times were much different so many decades ago, which makes it all the more remarkable that epic doom metal pioneers Candlemass – who formed in 1984 – continue to wield the torch of the scene, guiding the masses and collecting newcomers along the way.

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