Album Review: Orden Ogan — “Final Days”

It’s been a little while since we heard from German power metal stalwarts Orden Ogan. The band’s terrific last album, Gunmen, dropped way back in 2017 and wound up staking a claim on at least one of our staffers’ year-end lists. But since then, the band’s had some ups and downs. Longtime guitarist Tobias Kersting left the group. Vocalist / producer / mastermind Seeb Levermann suffered a hand injury and had to give up guitar-playing responsibilities of his own. And most notably, the [gestures broadly at everything] that was 2020 forced multiple delays of the band’s follow-up album, the perhaps-too-appropriately-titled sci-fi concept piece, Final Days.

Originally scheduled for release last summer, Final Days is, erm… finally… upon us. So, how does it stack up with Orden Ogan’s back catalogue? All told, mostly well enough.

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Album Review: Demiser — “Through the Gate Eternal”

Demiser - Through the Gate Eternal

You know what you’re getting into when you see that brutal wood-cut cover art, a dripper scythe standing in for an “i” in the band’s name. If that didn’t seal the deal for raucous blackened thrash that South Carolina’s Demiser churn out on their debut Through the Gate Eternal then maybe this description from the band’s press kit will help: whiskey and speed fueled, demon-worshipping metal from hell. This is the sound of a band taking European and American thrash and crushing it into the dirt of black metal with the ash-stained heel of Motörhead. In other words, right up my alley.

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Album Review: Hænesy — “Garabontzia”

The more I listen to black metal, the less I find myself caring about about things like rules or categorization. I’m not looking for black metal to change my worldview, or adhere to a set of parameters that maybe made sense over 20 years ago, but mean little now. I want the music to align to what I need at a given moment, and whether it does that via second wave lo-fi buzzing guitars, symphonic sweeping tremolo lines, or post rock shoegaze, it doesn’t matter in the end. I don’t need it to educate me, I need it to carry me – a weird thing to say about black metal, but there you go. And Garabontzia, the latest from Hungarian band Hænesy does that nicely, channeling post black metal whipped through a haze of reverb and ambient keyboard to deliver a spacious wave of noise that crashes in ever softening reverberations.

Are we still talking about black metal? Does it really matter?

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Rainbows in the Dark: Future Faces — “Euphoria”

I almost skipped the intro for this one because life is extremely busy right now, and I’m crunched for time while writing this.  Sometimes I feel like it almost costs more energy to slow down and take a breather than it does to keep up with everything, but if there’s one thing that music lets me do it’s that, and that is kind of the whole point of Future Faces’ debut full-length Euphoria.  It’s really an album about taking a second and letting it all hit you, absorbing the full spectrum of beauty and vastness that we inhabit. 

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Album Review: Gravesend — “Methods of Human Disposal”

What do you think of when you think of New York City?  Perhaps it’s fashion, architecture, high culture, some of that Vile Luxury people are always talking about these days.  Perhaps it’s adorable, pizza-loving sewer creatures, both furry and smooth skinned, just trying to make it in the world.  Well, put any thoughts of a happy and bright city out of your mind, at least for the next twenty-something minutes.  Gravesend are back with their anticipated debut full-length Methods of Human Disposal, and they aim to paint a picture of a very different New York City than you might imagine.

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