AMG single spin reviews – week 3

It should be no surprise to anyone that I am miles behind with these reviews. I have somehow managed to keep up with the listening, but actually writing down what I thought of each one is lagging behind.

With this in mind I am going to have to restructure the reviews. I do not have the time or inclination to write a considered review for each album, so I am going to change to a less structured approach. I’ll be writing about each album a little bit, but in a normal paragraphed blog style. It would have been nice to give every album its own little segment, but my innate procrastination will not allow it.

So, here we go for week three. These are for albums reviewed between the 15th and 21st of January – excluding the ‘Things You Might Have Missed’ entries.

We are kicking off with one of those anonymous black metal bands that seem to be popular in certain circles: CMPT – Krv i Pepeo. I’ll just say that this fits squarely in the ‘not for me’ category, like a lot of black metal. I don’t remember much about it. It’s a similar story for Verbum – Exhortation to the Impure: it didn’t leave much of an impression, and while I preferred it to CMPT I won’t be going back to listen to its Chilean Death Doom stylings again.

Bullet Ride album cover
Bullet Ride – At the Gates of Hell

I didn’t like the blackened doom of Charnel Altar – Abatement of the Sun. I can usually find something to interest me in most releases, but I was left cold on this. Sorry. Thankfully the next album provided some decent tunes: Bullet Ride – At the Gates of Hell. Some of the commenters at AMG did not like the vocalist, but I really enjoyed her characterful wailings. Not perfect by any means, but fun! They hit pretty much every metal cliché going, but do so in an entertaining way. Nice!

Trenches album cover
Trenches – Reckoner

I should have liked Trenches – Reckoner, but I didn’t. Maybe I was having a bad day or something, but this just skipped past in my playlist without leaving much of an impression. This is a shame, because on paper they should be in prime Dave territory, especially as Isis and Neurosis were mentioned in the review. Oh well. Conversely I really enjoyed Autumn’s Child – Zenith, which harks back to the 80s for its AOR-fest of cheesy tunes. It’s not going to win any awards, but I found plenty to enjoy. Sometimes you just need something a bit disposable.

I also found lots to like with the proggy Toundra – Hex. An instrumental post-metal album that included plenty of memorable moments, and exceptional musicianship. I got a few good bits out of Worm Shepherd – Ritual Hymns. This was a bit nuts for me, but while the extremity of the music was a bit overwhelming, I did enjoy parts. It had plenty of style and at least was memorable.

Some fun was had with Greek death metal band Abyssus – Death Revival. I need some additional style to go with death metal, and while this band don’t stray too far from the core they were still rather decent. On the other hand Druid Lord – Relics of the Dead was… interesting, if not actually good. I generally like death doom and there are some monstrous riffs here. I just wish the songs were a bit more memorable.

I may have over-used the word ‘memorable’ so far. Oh no.

Lastera cover
Lastera – From The Ashes

Power metal has a bit of a bad reputation, but I often find myself loving it – like I have with Lastera – From the Ashes. This is easily my favourite album of the week, if not the year so far. Brilliant stuff from a band I was previously unaware of. I’ll be revisiting this one a few times for sure. It’s a shame I won’t be for Oar – The Blood You Crave. Once again the post-metal tag – something I usually consistently like – fails to find favour. It’s not bad at all, but with so many bands to listen to this year I couldn’t whip up that much enthusiasm for this.

Oooh, getting nearly at the end of the week. Let’s see what’s left. Ashes of Ares – Emperors and Fools was a bit of a disappointment. It was pretty decent, but somehow managed to underachieve. The band are great and have an exceptional vocalist, and yet I couldn’t bring myself to fully engage with their material. A near miss, though.

Oh, that’s it! The end of week 3, and a clear win for the awesome Lastera.

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