Throwback Thursday: Zgard – “Contemplation”

Zgard - Contemplation cover

In this edition of Throwback Thursday, we look back on an album from 2014: Zgard‘s Contemplation. Zgard is the project of Yaromisl Grozovoy, who handles vocal duties as well as all instruments bar the drums. As their Ukrainian origin denotes, they play black metal in the Slavic tradition, resulting in drawn-out, melancholic compositions that dip into the waters of folk music more than once. In this review, we will look at how well the different aspects of the music are balanced out. Continue reading

Throwback Thursday: Market Square Day and Dio, v. 2016


Remember last year (or maybe two years ago?) when I used Market Square Day as a reason to talk about Dio? Well, that time is here again. A few key pieces of background information: 1. I live in Portsmouth, NH — the best small city on the god damn planet. And that’s partly because 2. Dio was born here. Finally, 3. This coming Saturday is Market Square Day. So what better opportunity is there to talk about all of the above than the present? Continue reading

Throwback Thursday: Nokturnal Mortum’s “Lunar Poetry” Turns 20!

Regardless of whether you agree on their political stances or not, Ukraine’s Nokturnal Mortum can’t be dismissed for not having a huge impact on black metal, especially the kind influenced by folk music and rooted in symphonic grandeur. Their third demo –– disputably their first full-length –– Lunar Poetry recently turned 20 and deserves to be recognized for its excellence in songwriting and creating one of the strongest wintry atmospheres conjured in a black metal album from the 90s.  Continue reading

Throwback Thursday: In Flames’ – “The Jester Race” Turns 20

inflames_thejesterraceIn the vein of our love for all things Swedish, today’s Throwback is at another cornerstone of melodic death metal. While it’s not old enough to buy its own beer yet, it could probably at least pass for being legal. In Flames‘ classic sophomore record The Jester Race just turned 20, and if that makes you feel old, you best hold on to your walker while we blast the solo from “December Flower.”  Continue reading

Throwback Thursday: Hypocrisy’s “Abducted” Turns 20

hypocrisy Abducted.jpg

For a significant while, Hypocrisy was my favorite band across genres. I discovered them relatively early in my metal-listening career, following the release of Arrival in 2004, and was addicted to their take on melodic death metal through 2009’s A Taste of Extreme Divinty. While their most recent effort, 2013’s End of Disclosure, was somewhat underwhelming, the impact their previous work has had on death metal (and really metal in general) is undeniable. And to uncover what is arguably my favorite Hypocrisy album out of them all, you need retreat all the way to 1996 when they released the quintessential album that is AbductedYes, this album just turned 20 not two weeks ago, which is unreal to me. So, as is only fitting, it is time to focus on this classic in celebration of its 20th birthday. Continue reading