Disillusion - Ayam
Whoever keeps saying Wilderun is the next Opeth better put this on before claiming that again. I would argue Disillusion pulls it off better than Wilderun, especially on this album.

I never really heard of this band before this year, but they quickly won me over from the first track onwards. In fact, the first 4 tracks are absolute knockouts in experimentations with brutality. They flow between so many ideas but never feel incoherent. "Tormento" especially fucks, especially with how ... read more

Lorna Shore - Pain Remains
Honestly, if this were a 3 song EP with the last 3 songs, it would be genuine perfection. Unfortunately, the other songs in this album feel very overexaggerated and leave no impact on me. All of the other songs follow a standard formula and rely on the shock value from "Into the Hellfire" to make them work. Maybe the nicest thing I can say about this album is that it's miles better than past Lorna Shore works, as those albums are borderline unlistenable.

TL;DR more Pain Remains ... read more

Fallujah - Empyrean
Fallujah have returned with style. It's great to hear them back in their prime.

There's something about Fallujah's mix of technical death metal with ambient sections and triumphant choruses that genuinely works for me. I wish I could say what that is, but it really shows on this album. There's an awesome sense of instrumentation on here and the album shines in its choruses. I don't have much else to say about this one. I docked one point just because the vocals were grating on first listen, ... read more

Nothing More - Spirits
Oh boy, okay...I really wanted to like this album, but unfortunately, Better Noise Music continues to turn potentially great bands' hard work into underwhelming experiences. I consider a 3/5 rating to be bad, but for context, I'll likely never listen to this album again, whereas I would listen to the rest of their discography with ease.

I loved the self titled album and The Stories We Tell Ourselves, but there's something in here that doesn't sound right. Personally, I think it's the mixing. ... read more

Aenaon - Mnemosyne
I'm back for a limited time, so I'm gonna keep this brief: this album is extremely good.

Aenaon got put on my radar from the Metal Trenches youtube channel. I started off with "Psyche" and just saw the album through from there. I'v been slowly engrossing myself into experimental/post-black metal (i.e. Ihsahn, A Forest of Stars, White Ward, Deafheaven) and haven't really looked back. From the first track onward, it's obvious this album is different. There's an awesome amount of ... read more

Billy Howerdel - What Normal Was
June 2022 Reviews:

I had no idea this was one of the APC founders, but this solo album felt like it was almost to something interesting. It is entirely possible I missed something and I'll likely return to this when I figure out what is is I was missing.

Rank 11th / 40

High Castle Teleorkestra - The Egg That Never Opened
June 2022 Reviews:

Now normally, I'd be really into a forward thinking album like this, but to me, this feels like an album that should be released 300 years from now instead of 3. There's a lot happening here and I feel like the band members have evolved as a species and left us behind.

Rank 18th / 39

Exocrine - The Hybrid Suns
June 2022 Reviews:

This sounded exactly like I expected it to sound.

Rank 27th / 38

Grey Daze - The Phoenix
June 2022 Reviews:

I can't shake the feeling that this and the last album feel like Grey Daze are just milking Chester's death, but this batch of songs is semi decent overall. I would listen again eventually, but not actively return to.

Rank 17th / 37

Our Last Night - Empires Fall
June 2022 Reviews:

It's a good thing Our Last Night is significantly better at covering pop songs because their original material really really sucks.

Rank 34th / 36

Vexes - Imagine What We Could Destroy (If Only Given Time)
June 2022 Reviews:

This album is nearly 110 minutes and yet somehow, it feels like nothing was truly accomplished. Sure there are great moments in here, but they are overshadowed by the daunting runtime of the whole project and it feels like there's a lot of wasted moments in here.

Rank 25th / 35

White Ward - False Light
June 2022 Reviews:

White Ward continue to push musical boundaries, exceed expectations, and provide powerful music for the 21st century. This will unequivocally go down as one of the best albums of the decade.

For the uninitiated, White Ward combine extreme black metal and noir jazz (i.e. sax and piano) to create an extremely bleak but refreshing sound. Now, I am not a BM fan at all and have criticized many albums from the genre for sounding like they were made in a toaster oven. However, ... read more

Magna Carta Cartel - The Dying Option
June 2022 Reviews:

There is literally 0 reason for me to like this, but it's got a droning sort of feeling combined with alternative rock that gives it a good pulse overall. It gets a bit slow at times, but is satisfying overall.

Rank 8th / 33

Fortis Ventus - Vertalia
June 2022 Reviews:

While this is a slightly refreshing take on symphonic metal, it takes up a bit too much time and feels repetitive.

Rank 8th / 32

Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows - Destroy Rebuild
June 2022 Reviews:

I don't know much about this band but the impression I got out of this is that the instruments are fine and the vocals are way too autotuned. If the vocalist was not in the picture at all, it'd be a significantly better album.

Rank 15th / 31

The Drones - Wait Long By The River and the Bodies of Your Enemies Will Float By
Got too goofy and noisey for me. Not really my thing.
The Doors - The Doors
Don't like the last song but everything else was decent.
Sam Fender - Seventeen Going Under
Not the best heartland rock album I've heard, but a good one nonetheless.
Deau Eyes - Legacies
June 2022 Reviews:

I was not expecting parts of this to be catchy and interesting. It's not perfect, but it has a lot going for it as a pop record.

Rank 14th / 30

Future Palace - Run
June 2022 Reviews:

I was led to believe this would be more fun than it turned out to be. It follows an extremely similar production style and format to everyone else doing this sound. The music is pretty bland and features arbitrary trap beats for no reason.

Rank 24th / 29

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Recent Review Comments
On Lorna Shore - Pain Remains
"It's a very overrated record. I've been watching a lot of people disregard Fit For An Autopsy and Shadow of Intent but praise this. Every song on here does the same thing whereas the other two bands are at least trying."
On MetalReview's review of Papa Roach - Ego Trip
""As good as MGK" are you okay?"
On The Oklahoma Kid - Tangerine Tragic
"I heard the second song on the album, then saw the cover art, and then got excited. The second song turned out to be the best one somehow."
On Aviators - Dreams of the Deep
"Aviators is an MLP artist for the most part. Even if it wasn't MLP as an album, it's still not good."
On Windwaker - Love Language
"I have to go back to that EP, but this didn't feel interesting at all. The riffing was barely there and the songwriting wasn't impressive."
On Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool
"I mean, Radiohead just isn't good and when you're ready to accept that, we can chat more."
On Monuments - In Stasis
"@nightangel it's got ideas I like but it's lacking in the punch that made old Monuments work. Both old Monuments albums are a 9/10 from me in comparison. There are moments that are decent but the vocals ruin a lot and cutting them out would have made this album way better."
On Without Waves - Comedian
"Is that a song? Band?"
On Allegaeon - Damnum
"Yeah, for sure! Never a bad thing!"
On TipoOpositivo's review of Bad Omens - THE DEATH OF PEACE OF MIND
"Ah, that makes sense. Yeah, would definitely agree with that assessment overall."
On Zeal and Ardor - Zeal & Ardor
"@SlothLord Since I only just heard this band last night, I am probably going to check out their other material."
On UrsusMaritimus's review of Rolo Tomassi - Where Myth Becomes Memory
"Post-Metal is already a thing and it's wonderful. If you haven't heard of "Unfold the God Man" by Psychonaut, that album is a must listen."
On Modern Error - Victim of a Modern Age
"Yes electronic music is real music. But some music just sounds bad with electronics. There are instances where electronics hurt the project more than help it. This was one of them. I get the symbolism that the band tried to do, but it ultimately fell flat and I was very disappointed overall."
On Pridelands - Light Bends
"And yet they all sound super similar. Funny how that works."
On Shadow of Intent - Elegy
"It's got a lot going for it, but overall, it's definitely decent. I found it a bit less memorable than Melancholy, but that's not bad."
On Between the Buried and Me - The Parallax II: Future Sequence
"Maybe Fantano should...idk, not be considered an end all be all God to his fans when he clearly doesn't know shit about certain styles of music."
On Sleep Token - This Place Will Become Your Tomb
"@grnhll not on here. I got them on reddit."
On Devin Townsend - The Puzzle
"@chesterkiwi I was made aware of that when I heard this album, but I appreciate the rehash."
On Gang of Youths - Go Farther in Lightness
"@Hazza12 that actually makes a lot of sense. I could see this being a great vinyl listen."

January Playlist
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