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album review Archives - Kevin Gentilcore

Your Weekly Metal Playlist 06.14.19

By | metal reviews

Nocturnus AD – Paradox
 I don’t want to get into why Nocturnus is now adding “AD” to their name so let’s just sum it up by saying this Nocturnus is essentially the band that made the fucking masterpiece that is The Key, a balls out creatively wild, symphonic, death metal sci-fi monster from 1990, way the fuck before anybody was doing anything like that at all. So yeah, the promise of new music by that band is enticing. Paradox definitely wants you to know it was made by The Key as the production is very similar and very 90’s. It’s not a bad thing at all it’s just very much in your face with “HEY WE MADE THE KEY” which is fine because as we established, that album fucking rules and Paradox is pretty similar in it’s balls out approach to wild death metal musicianship. To me, that goes a long fucking way because creativity is scarce around these parts and Nocturnus are at least going for something their own and blasting you in the face with it. Even if it was a carbon copy clone of The Key it’s light years ahead of any OSDM band. I dig it and all it’s insanity.
Visigoth – Bells of Awakening
Um, yeah, absolutely unsurprising to me that Visigoth manage to destroy all other metal releases this year with a ten minute, two song, single release because that’s just how fucking monstrous this band is. This band is the very literal and emotional epitome of heavy metal as a whole. Everybody else is just posing.
Goregang – Neon Graves
I’ll admit I was 100% in on this band solely based on the cover art alone by artist Juanjo Castellano, clearly influenced by Dan Seagrave and very reminiscent of his work with Entombed, BUT the album is pretty fucking rad. Sure, it’s a bit of a throwback, as if the cover art didn’t suggest that already but what do you really expect from members of Soilwork, Ribspreader, and Venom Inc. However, the OSDM tendencies don’t take center stage and they aren’t galavanting around trying to prove how old school they are, it’s more informed by old Swedish death metal, Death, but with a fucking filthy layer of crust to give it a nice punk push. Fucking super fun all around.
Vale – Burden of Sight
Fucking blasting, crusty as fuck black metal. I just can’t get enough of this crust infused metal, particularly the bands that have those super sweet melodic tinged riffs. It makes it all the fucking shit.
Neckbeard Deathcamp – So Much for the Tolerant Left
I think Neckbeard’s anti-fascist meme within a meme humor is so fucking sidesplittingly funny that I give this band a huge high five. They’re so fucking good at riling up and pissing off these fucking NS supporters and alt-right metal ass clowns that it’s almost an art. These same fucks that sit around and boast about how “black metal should be offensive” yet Neckbeard offends them more than anything, the irony isn’t lost on me, just this dunderheaded dumb fucks. And their song titles, sheer comedic gold. They’re such a joke within a joke that it surprises me they’re getting so much label attention and festival support but hey, if this flash in the pan keeps pissing of NS idiots I say keep it coming. The music on So Much is hard to review because it’s made as a reflection of all the trappings of typical NS bands, IE war-metal like production, low quality, but also it has to stand on its own as good jams. I’m not sure they get there but I do enjoy it for the novelty and the complete and devastating blow the’ve been serving this basement dwelling fuck nuggets. Keep it up, boys.
Mispyrming – Algleymi
A lot of hype around this band and this album. It’s been four years since their debut, an album that was one of the focal points of the then exploding Icelandic black metal scene, which has since gone on to be extremely fruitful and creatively prolific. I’ll say this, Mispyrming bring all that same creative and unique energy that set that scene apart from all the rest with this new album while expanding their scope. It’s a massive album and something to behold.
Ares Kingdom – By the Light of Their Destruction
Ares Kingdom is so good at being so fucking good so of course I was anticipating their new release to be, well, fucking good, and it fucking sure is. Their determined approach to killer thrash/death is so satisfying I don’t have any idea why this band is just dominating everything. That being said, I think this album is just as good as any of the rest and that they all stand on equal footing. In my mind at least. Just super solid, enjoyable metal from a band that does it solidly every single outing.
Kull – Exile
So this is all the members of Bal-Sagoth minus the lead singer. From what I gather it’s the continuation of the idea of Bal-Sagoth just without Byron Roberts. I don’t know what the story there is but more Bal-Sagoth is a big fucking win for me and this album sounds just like what it promises: Bal-Sagoth with a new singer. All the grand, over-the-top, cheeseball, insanely symphonic black metal fantasy Bal-Sagoth did so well is here in fine form once again. It’s super satisfying for a Bal-Sagoth or cheese fan and I’m glad this exists in my ears because it’s fucking all over rad.
Epectase – Astres
it’s an I, Voidhanger release, my go to label for black and death metal bands that go above and beyond to expand and explore their metal genres and don’t give a fuck. I, Voidhanger has proven by far their bands are worth the listen and more often then not numerous label bands are jockeying for year end positions on my list. Epectase is going to be one of those bands. Completely not satisfied with the conventional black metal trappings, Epectase takes a “progressive” and wildly cosmic approach to black metal that dares (guffah!) to inject some melody and major chord stylings into black metal. It’s a creative powerhouse that makes me wonder why other bands are so stuck to the trappings of their genres.
Gloryhammer – Legends From Beyond the Galactic Terrorvortex
I mean, if you don’t like overtly cheesy and theatrical, humorous power metal, you ain’t gonna like Gloryhammer. You really have to dig this sort of sensational metal or at least be willing to give yourself over to it completely. This is the bands third album and it’s just as fun and ridiculous as the other two. Gloryhammer fully embraces, unapologetically, the highest order of cheese power metal. You cannot take this stuff seriously or you’ll have a bad time. Just go with it. Embrace it. It’s fucking power metal. it’s supposed to be fun.
Esoctrilihum – The Telluric Ashes of the Ö Vrth Immemorial Gods
Just leave me alone with I, Voidhanger’s catalog of bands. Seriously, how does a label get so good at releasing amazing albums? Of all the bands on the roster though, Esoctrilihum is the one that excites me the most. They play death metal and black metal but not like you’ve ever heard. Those are just loose constructs that they play with. It’s fucking extremely creative and original and unique and inspired and is still brutally heavy. And this is the bands third release in just over a year. Year end contender, right here.
Nekroi Theoi – Dead Gods
Any metal band that is willing to play with genre limitations and purposefully try and expand them or break them is something that’ll catch my ear, even if it’s a genre of metal I don’t delve into all that much. That genre being Brutal Death Metal, a genre that’s rigidity is what’s kept me from it in the first place. Nekroi Theoi decided to root themselves in brutal but meld in a ton of doom, atmospherics, and prog-ish, technical aspects to view the genre from a different angle. Does it work? For the most part. There’s a lot of “this is the death metal part” or “this is the prog” part and I wish it was more integrated as a whole but yeah, it’s better than most brutal death metal I’ve heard so that’s saying something.
Captain Three Leg / Office – Suggested Listening/Executed Prophecy
Super awesome split between the humorous, sound clip heavy, nasty punk of Captain Three Leg, and the grindtastic face punch of Office. A killer split between to sonically different bands but emotionally similar.
 Misanthropic Rage – Towards the Greyscale Aphorysm
This band is completely new to me but it checked a lot of my “must hear” marks. IE avant-garde, black/death from Poland (fingers crossed they aren’t full of fucking fascists). Poland has some killer bands along this line already. Thy Worshiper comes to mind, but Misanthropic Rage keeps the heavy side of things up front and center and lets the experimental and avant-garde nature float around in the back, informing the sound rather than being the sound. I like that approach and keeps things super balanced and engaging at the same time.
Skaphe + Wormlust – Kosmiskur hyrllingur
This is interesting as it’s not a split but a collaboration between two of the weirder Icelandic black metal bands and of course, it’s a weird, dissonant, psychedelic mind fuck. Particular interested in Wormlust’s involvement as that bad was one of the first to usher in the big explosion of the Icelandic black metal scene and has been rather quiet for years. Pretty killer and unique stuff here.
Atlas Entity – Beneath the Cosmic Silence
A one-man death metal band that is not fucking around with genre conventions. Equal parts technical, atmospheric, post, thrash, and melodic, this album is another blast of fresh air in an overcrowded, old school worshipping genre.
Sadistic Ritual – Visionaire of Death
Super fucking satisfying thrash metal that derives influence from a lot of the rougher, classic thrash bands but borrows so much it never ends up sound like just one band or style of thrash. While it’s nothing new to be sure, that non-specific thrash riffing and force is enough to separate it from the rest of the locked-in-place, new thrash bands and deliver a wholly pleasing thrash album.

Your Weekly Metal Playlist 05.17.19

By | metal reviews

Idle Hands – Mana
Idle Hands debut EP Don’t Waste Your Time hit me like a ton of fucking bricks and had I heard it in 2018 it might have made my top spot for the year, or at least, very close to the top. Their debut album Mana, is all the promise and beautiful creativity promised on the EP. Idle Hands mix 80s pop and goth, Killing Joke at their most 80s-ish with a full on metal drive and intensity. It’s not like goth metal or anything you’ve heard before, it’s its own beast both 80s goth and metal and it’s fucking reinvigorating and exceptional.
Bewitcher – Under the Witching Cross
Super fun and rifftastic, black n’ roll with speed metal tendencies. Not really much else to say except that this is Bewitcher’s second outing and second impressive and downright fun as fuck album. Good stuff.
Spirit Adrift – Divided by Darkness
Spirit Adrift is sneakily becoming one of my current favorite bands with their super powerful and heavy trad/doom/classic metal take. I kind of felt their first album was a bit Khemmis-y but on their second album, Curse of Conception, they blew the gates wide open and fully attained their own unique sound. Now on to album three and Divided by Darkness is a triumphant metal performance of exceptional order. Fucking insanely riffy and intoxicatingly metal Spirit Adrift is full on heavy metal without resorting to gimmicks like homage or tribute styles yet they encorporate so much of metal’s history and presence. What a phenomenal release.
Martyrdod – Hexhammaren
Fucking Martyrdod rule. Just straight up rule, there’s no other way to put it. They just blast through album after album of pure energetic, punk-ed up and crusty as fuck black metal with insanely melodic and catchy hooks. I mean, why wouldn’t you fucking love this band and the new album, simply beautiful.
Call of the Void – Buried in Light
Denver’s own Call of the Void bring the nasty, dirty sludged-up punk metal vibes. Damn intense and energetic and well done all around. Hail, Denver!
The Accused AD – The Ghoul in the Mirror
It’s The Accused, I mean, it’s crossover metal at some of its best. Is this as classic as some of the Martha Splatterhead stuff? No, but who fucking cares? It’s the Accused doing their thing and have some punked up thrash fun so what the fuck more do you want?

Dreadnought – Emergence
Dreadnought’s music is simply beautiful. Combining elements of post rock/metal with black metal, psychedelia, and backed with some trippy keyboards, Dreadnoughts third album is their best outing yet. A band that keeps getting better is amazing to watch and hear and leaves you breathless with each move. Big fucking hails to Dreadnought and Denver metal.
Warforged – I: Voice
Just fucking blasting out of nowhere is the debut from Warforged. Fucking going all over the place with a massive death metal foundation as it’s root, I: Voice handles black metal, tech, prog, and jazz scales all with masterful creativity then throws it all into a sci-fi story blender to make one of the best albums of the year. Fucking massively creative and intensely interesting, this is what I wish we were striving for always.
Rammstein – Rammstein
Oh buddy, I used to be so fucking into Rammstein in my waining high school days and I’ve always managed to check out what they were up to over the years but the past decade or so that they’ve been missing I didn’t really give them much thought and just sort of moved on but word on street was they were all of a sudden releasing a new album with little to no buildup. Now here we are with a new Rammstein album a decade since the last and you know what? They still sound like Rammstein. If you’re looking for progression or change this isn’t the album or band for you. And that’s just fine. Rammstein do the pop metal/industrial thing so well there’s no want on my end for them to do anything else and this album is wall to wall, 4 minute long, catchy, industrial metal songs. Just the way they’ve always been. Just the way they always will be.
Bethlehem – Lebe Dich Leer
As far as I’m concerned Bethlehem is a classic band at this point and they’ve been fucking knocking it out of the dingy dungeon with their past couple albums. I love their weird, experimental, goth-ed up take on black metal and the addition of Onielar on vocals since 2016 has just given the band the extra power to help make some of the best albums of their career. Speaking of Onielar, I am a fan of her other band Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult in all of it’s raw black metal-ness but I think her vocal performances are better in Bethlehem and this gothic black metal realm. She’s the stand out performance for sure on this album and their previous but the whole band is hot fucking fire and continue to make incredible albums.
Paladin – Ascension
Hot fucking hell, this album fucking rules. It’s an extremely energetic, riff show of power metal, thrashed the fuck up and topped with a little melo death just for good measure and that makes it super fucking fresh and exciting and all the things I want. Power metal continues its dominating streak over 2019.
Vale of Pnath – Accursed
I know that Allegaeon is want to be the dominating tech death force here in Colorado but if you ask me, Vale of Pnath is running circles around Allegaeon’s science based tech death with their horror, cultish, Lovecraftian-like tech death. I know, splitting hairs and who fucking cares, really, because both bands are rad but for my money Vale is fresher, more on point with the tech and death metal combo and just flat out awesome.

Your Weekly Metal Playlist 04.19.20

By | metal reviews, Uncategorized

Fuck everything. List to metal. Here’s some great new stuff I’ve been putting in my ears this week.

Waldgefluster – Mondoscheinsonaten
Waldgefluster have been releasing amazing album after amazing album and it boggles my mind more people aren’t listening to this band, or at least, talking about them. Mondoscheinsonaten is their fifth album of captivating and masterfully composed atmospheric, German, nature-oriented black metal, and it might be their most beautiful. It might be the most beautiful black metal album of the year. I can’t get enough of this band and in a year where black metal and a part of it’s fans are determined to make it a less fun and inclusive place while defending absolute garbage people and bands, I’m clinging to bands like Waldgefluster like grim fucking death.
Blood Command – Return of the Arsonist
And here were have a combination of pop punk and pop metal(?). Blood Command have that 90’s early 2000’s pop punk thing going on with an equal focus on the pop and punk but with a bit of metal’s aggression and instrumentation. This totally would have been a band I’d have been into after seeing them at a Warped Tour in the 90s. Super fun, super stylish and catchy as all fucking get out.
Inferi – The End of an Era (Rebirth)
Inferi’s highly melodic and technical death metal just hits all the right fucking notes with me and I can’t even deny it. I didn’t discover them until their 2014 album The Path of Apotheosis so I really have no opinion on their first album, which has now just been re-recorded and released anew. I can tell you that this album is a fucking melodic and technical riff machine that is so infectious it transcends infection. And that’s really all I was expecting or even wanting. This album rules and so does the band.
Inculter – Fatal Visions
Holy shit, this is a fucking shred machine. Insane black thrash from Norway. I didn’t think anybody was going to give Hellripper a run for his money yet here we fucking are. At least until Necromantheon get off their asses again. Get this in your life.
Hath – Of Rot and Ruin
I’ll cling to any new death metal that isn’t “old school” nowadays, especially when it’s a band that’s actually trying to do something somewhat original. Hath take on a melodic, technical, proggy, blackened mish-mash and do it exceedingly well and engagingly. There’s a lot of hype around this album right now and it might not be the “masterpiece” it’s being heralded as but it’s fucking damn good and vastly different then all the old school worshippers everybody is freaking out about.
Numenorean – Adore
Give me black metal that’s changing shit up and bushing the bullshit genre boundaries. Give me something that is even remotely different or at least reaching of other ideas and elements. Give me more stuff like this new Numenorean that makes black metal melodic and catchy and poppy and emotional and dark and miserable. Fuck black metal orthodoxy and the assholes that will surely rage about this. This album is rad and I hope you choke on it.
Allegaeon – Apoptosis
Colorado’s own Allegaeon blasting out the super technical, melodic death metal. Both technical musically and technical with the scientific anecdotes and themes, which is what I think makes Allegaeon stand out. They’re like a hyper melodic science experiment, one whose results are catchy ass riffs for days and technical wizardry that’ll make your head spin. Super solid release, again from these guys.
Black Sites – Exile
This is super fucking refreshing. Just straight up heavy metal with no genre tags. Heavy metal in its purest form but also, amazingly, not an homage or old school show off band. Just a modern take on the most distilled form of metal. For reference it reminds me of Armored Saint/ John Bush era Anthrax mixed with Cyclone Temple. There’s even a nice goth inspired song that makes me ache for that new Idol Hands, but that’s another story all together. This simply fucking rules. No fluff, no pretense. Heavy, fucking, metal.