ALBUM REVIEW: Dawn of Solace – Waves

The ingenuity, inventiveness, and inclination of Finnish artist Tuomas Saukkonen appears to have no limits. He is a composer, multi-instrumentalist, and producer who has been making music magic for a considerable amount of years. One of his many successful ventures is a solo project called Dawn of Solace. Tuomas released his first record, Darkness (Dead Air Records) in 2006 and the betwiching gloom he captured on that release was different from all his other works. Now it’s time to get another taste of this project’s gothic goodness on the new album, Waves (Noble Demon). Continue reading

LIVE REVIEW: Amon Amarth – Arch Enemy – Hypocrisy: Live at Birmingham Academy

There’s a wonderfully surreal moment in The Simpsons when Abe Simpson inexplicably proclaims, “the Swedish are coming! The Swedish are coming!”. Well, tonight in frosty Birmingham, that’s exactly what’s happening. Hailing from the land of Abba, Ikea, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, three of the finest exponents of melodic death metal have landed in Blighty to bang heads and kick bottom. Continue reading

EP REVIEW – Astaroth Incarnate – Ascendance

It used to be easy, doing the devil’s good work. A pentagram here or there, maybe an inverted cross on the forehead, and audiences would cower at your brimstone-summoning bravura. But the competition for our evil-seeking dollar and download has grown to unspeakable proportions. Just ask Sam Astaroth, vocalist for Toronto-based death metal gurus Astaroth Incarnate about the demands of wickedness in 2019. A Mephisto-summoning moniker doesn’t go far enough, even housed in a thorny, nigh-unreadable font. Add a few bullet-belted warlocks crawling from the backwoods with pointy guitars, not to mention Sam’s own demon warpaint. Yet, these hellacious Canadians are still restless and wild. Continue reading

REVIEW: Rivers of Nihil – Black Crown Initiate, MØL, Orbit Culture Live at Mama Roux’s

With a lengthy and excitable queue having already formed well before the 7 pm opening time, you can already tell heading to Birmingham on a typically drizzly September evening is going to be well worth the effort. After disappearing for a few words with Rivers of Nihil drummer Jared Klein, I arrive back into the previously empty venue to find it heaving with activity. The bar area is already packed, beer flows freely and merchandise is being handed over at an impressive rate. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: ColdClaw – Anti-Martyr: Decades to Suffer

While much of the press materials that came along with ColdClaw‘s Anti-Martyr: Decades to Suffer (Ritual Sound Records) drive the point home about this California act dealing in Black Metal and Crust, I found that description a bit lacking. Yes, there’s gnarly black metal guitar licks all over the album but I’m detecting trace bits of Melodic Death Metal, Hardcore and perhaps some Thrash as well. Continue reading

Light This City to Kickoff Texas Tour, First European Dates Incoming

Re-activated Melodic Death-Metallers Light This City embark on a run of US tour dates this week starting tonight in Texas. The band continues to support they excellent comeback release Terminal Bloom (Creator-Destructor Records). The band will also undertake their first-ever European tour this fall. Continue reading