VAELMYST – Earthly Wounds (2018)

Valemyst Earthly Wounds 2018

And it is time to come up from the graveyard, warehouse, and whatever festering bog for a different approach to death metal. Are those guitar solos that are not done by blunted buzzsaws? I say this fully knowing that Vaelmyst (the slaughter mist that appears over the bodies of the slain) is nowhere near the level of pop accessible. With that said, if one was looking for a fun excursion down the well threaded paths of melodic death with competent musicians and vocals that sound like severed heads, then you…

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VISIGOTH – Conqueror’s Oath (2018)

I do not think I have seen an album take over my social media feed as much as the new Visigoth. This is hilarious as Visigoth is not the type of band that many people know about unless you are into this type of music. Though the last.fm statistics for Visigoth put them at 9K listeners, metrics go out of the window when dealing with niche sounds with rabid fanbases. What are numbers for bands like Eternal Champion, Manilla Road, Atlantean Kodex, and Night Demon? The internet is a weird…

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SUMMONING – With Doom We Come (2018)

With Doom We Come

The news of With Doom We Come, the 8th record from Austrian black metal band Summoning, was met with an undeniable and overwhelming amount of excitement not just from the perspective of a group of fans but from followers of an entire genre. Dungeon synth’s relationship with Summoning may seem a bit complex being the band has a tandem relationship with the sound but with the announcement of the band’s first in five years caused an uproar in small bedrooms. This is perhaps why the new Summoning record is so…

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Big Metal Month (January)

Big metal month returns for 2018. This was a column I started to devote not only keep up with big name releases but also take a breather from releases that 10 people will probably hear. This also gives me a chance to keep myself up to date with the bigger labels and a mainstream approach to heavy music. It is also a different way for me to fish out any albums that would be interesting for full length review. I think I found one while the rest are sort of…

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On The Wings of Dragons

on the wings of dragons

JD McGibeny wants to ride a dragon. It’s a noble aim, and I’m willing to bet that somehwere near 90% of the sentient beings in the universe would agree with him, but I’m willing to bet not all of them consider it a passion like McGibney. It’s the title track of his EP, his website, his bio, this is a guy for who riding a dragon isn’t an idle wish, but a longterm goal, and one that doesn’t seem at all diminished by it’s apparent impossibility. This is a man…

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Big Metal Month (November / December)

Big Metal Month was a new idea I had to keep up with some of the giant labels in heavy metal releasing new albums from well known bands. Since I have chosen to spend all of my time with dungeon synth and things no one else cares about, it is surprising to see some of metal’s biggest releases pass without notice. Big Metal Month also sounds like a comic book which comes in an oversized magazine with lots of pictures. This obviously makes me happy. Please use this column to…

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NE OBLIVISCARIS – Urn (2017)

ne obliviscaris urn

I remember Portal of I when it came out in 2012 and the massive amount of hype this band got surrounding unorthodox yet seamless approach to extreme music. It seemed like a new era of music for some. I was not around for their 2007 demo which seem to follow the same cycle of hype and foreshadowing to great things. Urn is Ne Obliviscaris’ third record celebrating 10 years of releases and as 2017 comes to a close, this band reminds everyone that they have a firm hold in the…

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ELVENKING – Secrets of the Magick Grimoire (2017)

Elvenking – Secrets of the Magick Grimoire (2017)

If one has read previous digest from me, I have been spending 2017 focused on power metal in the vein of USPM and early speed metal. Because of this, melodic power and European based sounds has been a distant memory. This is perhaps why I have enjoyed Secrets of the Magick Grimoire so much as it reminds me of a time when I adored bands like Rhapsody and Dragonland. If we are being honest here, I know little to nothing about Elevenking aside from their kick ass name and their…

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Big Metal Month (October)

Big Metal Month was a new idea I had to keep up with some of the giant labels in heavy metal releasing new albums from well known bands. Since I have chosen to spend all of my time with dungeon synth and things no one else cares about, it is surprising to see some of metal’s biggest releases pass without notice. Big Metal Month also sounds like a comic book which comes in an oversized magazine with lots of pictures. This obviously makes me happy. Please use this column to…

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ENSLAVED – E (2017)

Well, here we are with Enslaved and boy do we have a lot to talk about. Enslaved is fairly new to me meaning that aside from this Norwegian band being monumental in any black metal list or article, much of their post 2000’s work was vague to me. This came in conflict with the band’s continual popularity with each of their records. Last year I feel backwards into the band’s discography working my way from a frosty viking black metal band into a psychotropic warriors plunging their way through a…

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Big Metal Month (September)

Mastodon returns to us with a short EP which is following their 2017 album Emperor of Sand. The difference between these two releases is Cold Dark Place is a stripped down minimal version of Mastodon with a steel pedal guitar as the primary instrument. While I have had varying views on Mastodon since basically their beginning, Cold Dark Place is an interesting diversion for the band who has had varying successes with experimentation over the course of their career.

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SEPTICFLESH – Codex Omega (2017)

Septicflesh - Codex Omega

Before we start this review. I must give thanks to Spiros Antoniou (Seth) for not only having an AMA on r/metal rather than other places on Reddit but answering most of the questions from fans including mine about the alien latex suit they wore for promo shots. the name Septicflesh carries weight in the extreme metal world for being one of the more recognizable names in the atmospheric / symphonic death genre mostly because there are only a handful of bands actually employing the style. Even if this wasn’t the…

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Heavy Metal 2017 (August)

As we seen with most of our cover images, this painting by Frank Frazetta, titled the Norseman and made in 1972, graced the cover of the inaugural volume of Flashing Swords magazine which was an anthology of sword and sorcery and other weird fiction. The first issue had stories from Fritz Leiber, Jack Vance, and Poul Anderson. unlike other publications which sort of butchered the original composition,. Flashing Swords was unique in the fact that the entire Frazetta painting was given a nice black frame which allowed the picture to…

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Big Metal Month (August)

Big Metal Month was a new idea I had to keep up with some of the giant labels in heavy metal releasing new albums from well known bands. Since I have chosen to spend all of my time with dungeon synth and things no one else cares about, it is surprising to see some of metal’s biggest releases pass without notice. Big Metal Month also sounds like a comic book which comes in an oversized magazine with lots of pictures. This obviously makes me happy. Please use this column to…

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