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Articles by Pete Long

Album: Serpent Eater – Hyena

February 5th, 2014

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Serpent Eater
Hyena
Hammerheart Records
17 March 2014

by Pete Long

Serpent Eater may be new the the scene even if most of their members are not (with bands such as Throats, Hammerhead and Daskrill on their collective resume). Hyena isn’t perhaps the hardcore album you might expect though. It’s a melting pot of a record – you might think about calling them crust, or maybe sludge, but it’s more probably more to the point to describe them as semi-coherent fury.

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Album: Kampfar – Djevelmakt

January 30th, 2014

Kampfar 2013 promo photo Thrash Hits

Kampfar
Djevelmakt
Indie Recordings
27 January 2014

by Pete Long

For those not aware, Kampfar is apparently an old Norse war cry meaning “Odin”, with a probable alternate meaning of “we’re going to disembowel you”. If you already knew that, you’re probably also aware of the Norwegian black metal band bearing that name. They have just released Djevelmakt, the follow up to 2011’s Mare, which was all about witches. Djevelmakt is all about “the muck and bile of the underworlds” which is, as concepts go, a pretty damn suitable one given their music.

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Album: Dawn of Tears – Act III: The Dying Eve

December 17th, 2013

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Dawn of Tears
Act III: The Dying Eve
Inverse Records
31 October 2013

by Pete Long

Six years after their impressive debut long-player Descent, Spanish five-piece Dawn of Tears return with Act III: The Dying Eve. The world hasn’t exactly been short of melodic death metal bands in that time, but it’s still a big old absence, with only the Dark Chambers Litanies EP to show for that time. Throw in a few changes to the line-up – no more keyboardist Charly Alvarez – and it is difficult to know what to expect.

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Album: Black Messiah – Heimweh

December 16th, 2013

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Black Messiah
Heimweh
AFM Records
29 November 2013

by Pete Long

It mightn’t be quite as popular as the current wave of atmospheric black metal, but there’s no shortage of bands playing various black and folk metal tributes to Odin and chums. Germany’s Black Messiah have been at that game for two decades now, without ever really placing themselves in the league of heavyweights like Falkenbach and Moonsorrow.

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EP: Malthusian – MMXIII

December 3rd, 2013

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Malthusian
MMXIII
Invictus Productions
22 November 2013

by Pete Long

A band’s name should tell you something about them. Malthusian have named themselves after the theories of the Reverend Malthus regarding the role of war, disease and famine in keeping population levels sustainable. It is a name heavy with connotations of pessimism, inhumanity and cruelty. Given that MMXIII is the first release from the Dublin based four-piece, that name is the best clue of what to expect from this three song demo.

It is a very accurate guide.

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Album: Mountain Witch – Cold River

October 28th, 2013

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Mountain Witch
Cold River
This Charming Man Records
28 October 2013

by Pete Long

A really cynical man might suggest that Mountain Witch picked their name to benefit from any potential confusion with Witch Mountain. It doesn’t help that both bands exist in the broad spectrum of doom metal. Mountain Witch’s Cold River isn’t entirely comfortable with that label though – if you were to describe the album, the second from the Hamburg-based trio, in two words, then those two words would be “Seventies Homage”.

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Album: Kataklysm – Waiting For The End To Come

October 21st, 2013

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Kataklysm
Waiting For The End To Come
Nuclear Blast
28 October 2013

by Pete Long

If nothing else has been learnt from Kataklysm’s 22 years and ten studio albums to date, apart from the fact that they’re really good when they’re in the mood, it’s that they’re not adverse to the odd stylistic change or experiment. It seems appropriate therefore that Waiting For The End To Come sounds a little like a split album. Montreal’s finest (sorry, Cryptopsy) clearly have a lot of different ideas about what could make a good death metal album and this time, they’re using all of them at once.

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Album: Skeletonwitch – Serpents Unleashed

October 8th, 2013

Skeletonwitch 2013 promo photo Thrash Hits

Skeletonwitch
Serpents Unleashed
Prosthetic Records
28 October 2013

by Pete Long

Some bands like to change their sound from release to release. Other bands stick faithfully to what they know – they’ll change a little here and there, but essentially evolution is slow. Skeletonwitch most definitely fall into the second camp. Serpents Unleashed, Skeletonwitch’s fifth album, is a gristly offering in much the same vein as Forever Abomination and its predecessors.

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