It is now painfully clear that modern society has entered its endgame. Our agricultural miracle based on fossil fuels has reversed itself, no one trusts the sham elections, intelligent people are not reproducing, our infrastructure has rotted, technological development has stalled, most people have gone insane, and hope-cope has replaced solid thinking as we try to rationalize the decline.
In short, all the stuff that bands from Queensr&yche;che through Bathory warned about in the 1980s has come true. We are living through …And Justice for All, Hvis Lyset Tar Oss, and Crossover lyrics, struggling against the death that inevitably comes when society establishes itself and herd manipulation replaces common sense, at which point the herd consumes all and replaces it.
Not forgetting the ongoing ecocide or the vast political instability created by adopting a system based on appearance to groups that therefore assiduously ignores real problems while focusing on spicy or emotional ones of no consequence, we can see that the decay runs deep and is not a matter of some Them but an Us. Equality has rotted our souls.
So, you’re doomed and future generations will live in mud huts on bush meat and grubs, but for now, you probably want to know what metal has sucked ass recently.
Osculum Infame – The Black Theology: better than most carnival metal because it has savage riffs, but these songs still do not hold together as songs, only moments of a few cool riffs before plunging into randomness.
Angelcide – Black Metal Terrorism: like the worst of all reviews to write, this one involves a band of talented musicians who are imitating the past as technique but try to give it their own stamp, resulting in lots of tasty parts that do not add up to songs and are adulterated by lots of predictable stuff that mixes black metal, heavy metal, and speed metal into a hash of a mash.
Advent of Fire – Verikaste: all of the dumb tropes of speed metal given a death metal carapace, complete with chanting vocals that create a groove which dominates everything, forcing children’s show drums over chug repetition riffs.
Lost Shade – Hegau: someone mixed together Slayer, speed metal, and Oi/RAC to make a pounding assault of verse-chorus songs based heavily around vocals, similar to Honor. Ironically it sounds like Slayer covering middle period AC/DC, including Slayer style interludes where the song comes together. Not badly done, suffers from too much vocal emphasis and not enough distinctive voice.
Kluizenaer – Ein Abbild Der Leere: more droning black metal that aims for the noise of an air conditioner with a loose fan belt causing a slow undulation, probably to remind you of summer, with extra background wailing and no direction.
Tine – Mergae Maris Profundi: “power metal” seems to mean speed metal with heavy metal riffs and gospel modalities, where “symphonic metal” seems to mean heavy metal with keyboards and extra pretense; while this release gets in some good riffs, they are background to vocals and keyboards.
Ordinul Negru – A Sojourner Wandering Through the Barren Openness: all this atmospheric black metal crap is rebranded emo, in this case familiar indie rock progressions played with tremolo slowly and interspersed with Motley Crue riffs.
Redemptor – Agonia: bouncy rock rhythms hidden among speed metal and “progressive death metal” (really: technical pop punk/emo riffs, basically “prog lite” of offtime playing of odd chord voicings at random) that goes nowhere but hey a guy who was in Vader for five minutes played on it, cool man.
Artwork For The Blind – The First Supper: jaunty hard rock riffs tricked out with punk and death metal technique into songs that center on the vocals, therefore go nowhere but in big loops back to where they started, as pointless as this release.
Living Inferno – A True Believer: these guys love their old Entombed but try to work it into stop/start offtime modern metal, which basically means rock with power chords that hides its hip-hop influence unlike jump metal a.k.a. nü-metal, and it is as fun as making tea in a microwave.
Mantiel – Obskurité: very much made in the style of the first Behemoth, basically a muddier more distant-sounding version of the approach Immortal used in production and playing, but boring and maudlin instead of mysterious and alienated.
Beyond Death’s Throne – Haphazard Ethos: black metal riff, speed metal chug, heavy metal chorus, repeat… these are more songs about nothing, with enough black metal blended in to fool the listener on the first round, but no reason to re-listen.
Nocturnal Prayer – Mutilation on the Bed of Winter: this is more “black metal as technique” which misses the goal of atmosphere created and its change, and instead focuses on A-student versions of old black metal tropes, ending in a circular quest to nowhere.
Intricated – Apocalyptic Metamorphosis: gurgle deathgrind but these guys actually listened to their own stuff enough to make songs that fit together internally yet are distinct enough to appreciate, even if the style seems designed to be familiar background noise more than adventure.
Hrafnskald – The Means of Barbarity: another Satanic Warmaster inspiration, this band mixes a great deal of old Absurd into its black metal and Oi/RAC mixture, producing a very listenable hard rocking experience with a few song structure surprises but basically good energetic punk.
Second Wind – Reclamation: this band tries to combine the bombast of later nü-metal with the emo stylings of contemporary “modern metal” and merge it into a Pantera-style bluesy slow speed metal approach, producing something better than most of these genres but not very relevant to underground metal fans.
Duskmortym – I. One Night Over the Baltic…: here the musicians take a more chaotic approach to the Dissection formula of mixed hard rock and black metal, adding in a bit of war metal style riffing and bluesy noise-heavy leads, ending up with a sort of musical picture show like Sorcier des Glaces but with more explosive intensity.
Undead – Redemption: this one did not strike me as much bad Entombed worship as it did previous reviewers here, but more like an attempt to ultra-streamline Swedish death metal to make it more like Havohej or Vomitory while keeping high energy.
Warzy – State of War: imagine Joe Satriani with less jazz and more a polyglot blend of rock that combines the best of the classic era of guitar rock with 1980s glam metal and makes some nods to experimental material. Nothing groundbreaking, but unique, and easy to enjoy while listening to.
Necrophor – Reborn: this band combines the slower pace of Bathory percussion with Swedish death metal, and uses slow chord changes with fast strumming like early Behemoth to give it atmosphere, producing melodic stripped-down death metal.
Holocaustum – In The Fields They Bled: using the song format of brutal death metal, Holocaustum interweaves melodic black metal lead-picked riffs instead of chords, culminating in a Dark Funeral styled swelling black metal inspirational but melancholic atmosphere.