Album Review: Ad Infinitum — “Chapter I: Monarchy”

Ad Infinitum

At this point, everyone knows how I feel about symphonic metal, and I have discussed at length about how the genre has been severely over-saturated over the years. However, this genre just keeps pulling me back, a siren’s call to those who hold out some hope regarding something new that is not coming from the pioneers and the well-known bands of the genre. As such, when I see a new band with the symphonic metal label, I immediately stand up and take notice of what they could potentially do. After all, finding a diamond within the grime and the white noise in a genre is the one thing that makes this old cynic want to give symphonic metal another chance. Ad Infinitum is that chance, as their debut Chapter I: Monarchy, checks all the boxes that makes good symphonic metal great. Continue reading

Album Review: Triumvir Foul – “An Oath of Blood and Fire”

With their debut demo, An Oath of Blood and Fire, Portland death metal duo Triumvir Foul gives us many things: an abundance of thick, grimy guitar riffs; some of the rawest, most gutteral OSDM vocals you’ll hear this year; and, most importantly, a successful combination of these elements into a short and taut package. (Yes, technically the expression is “short and sweet,” but “sweet” doesn’t really apply here. Triumvir Foul doesn’t use the word “sweet.” Triumvir Foul has probably never even heard the word “sweet” before.) Accordingly, we’ll keep this assessment similarly short and taut: An Oath of Blood and Fire, simply put, kicks ass. Continue reading