Angst and Loss in Acceptance: A Discussion of Swallow the Sun — “Moonflowers”

Swallow The Sun - Moonflowers

When I first started writing this piece, I thought I would end up writing a review where I would discuss how Moonflowers, Swallow the Sun’s newest release, was a departure from the grief we saw and heard previously. However, the more I listened, the more this evolved into something that needed to be discussed within the context of going through the stages of grief. I also felt that it was appropriate to make a call back to a piece I wrote many years ago that also dealt with doom metal and loss, but in a translated context. After all, being constantly surrounded by pain, grief, and loss makes someone introspective and reflective of where they are in this current time. This is the case with Moonflowers, an album that shows that hope and acceptance can bloom from the darkest of places.

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Album Review: Omnium Gatherum — “Origin”

Omnium Gatherum - Origin

In a previous review, I had mentioned that melodeath has been enjoying a renaissance, as both new and old bands continue to play and reinvent themselves in order to remain consistent within the genre. However, despite the newer additions and slight reinventions over the years, Omnium Gatherum continues to stay the course, creating music that still sounds fresh and poignant to this day. When Omnium Gatherum announced that they were going to release a new album after the very excellent The Burning Cold, I was stoked. I knew that whatever the band had planned, the album was going to be an enjoyable time. After all, Origin was one of the three melodeath albums I was looking forward to in November, and they clearly exceeded my expectations.

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Album Review: Gaahl’s WYRD — “The Humming Mountain”

gaahl's wyrd - the humming mountain

When you start digging into black metal, Gorgoroth inevitably falls into the mix, and it was there that I first discovered Kristian Eivind Espedal, aka Gaahl. Blasphemy though it may be, the band as a whole didn’t stick with me, but as Gaahl moved on I stayed with him, following his brief aggressive burst with God Seed as well as his work with the more introspective Wardruna. But it wasn’t until Gaahl’s WYRD that the man found an outlet that really spoke to his increasingly divergent interests, and two years after a stellar debut we’re graced with the mini-album The Humming Mountain. Surprising no one, it’s really good.

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Album Review: Massacre — “Resurgence”

Massacre - Resurgence

When approaching Resurgence, the new album from death metal vets Massacre, there’s many different ways to take it in: forget history and receive it as part of today’s old school death metal resurgence. Or, you can take it as an extension of the band’s legacy: does it live up or exceed expectations? The former is easier, but not as dramatic. The latter is a challenge. How do you compare it to From Beyond, as an absolute masterpiece that helped shape the genre into what it is today. It forces comparisons to an album that has no comparison.

Either way you slice the skull, Resurgence is a beast from a band that knows all too well how to make great death metal albums.

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