Satanic Surgery is an album that clearly puts having fun making music at the forefront of its agenda and finds success in doing so. After all, it’s hard not to at least crack a smile while listening when those making the music so clearly are enjoying it.
If this is all we as metal fans get out of the Immortal dispute, then this is more than acceptable olive branch. While the album certainly could have been enhanced with the natural chemistry that Abbath had with his former band, it still feels like the most well-rounded album that he’s released since 2003’s masterpiece, Sons of Northern Darkness. It’s got a great mixture of rawness, accessibility, brutality and cheese, and is 2016’s first essential release for all fans of extreme metal. A must have for fans of unending grimness.
Five years. Five long damn years is how long the wonderful people of Long Island patiently waited for the return of Long Island’s most popular melodic death/progressive metal bands.
After nearly two decades of silence and side projects, Sweden’s melodic death metal maestros At the Gates dropped 2014’s seamless At War With Reality and have been assaulting the entire globe with a touring schedule as relentless as the riffs ever since. With a confidence and chemistry most full-time bands would kill for year after years of relentless practice, At the Gates really do seem like one of the most proficiently savage and insanely-catchy bands to ever emerge (and then re-emerge) from this subgenre.
Produced like a rock album, by rock musicians, the drum sounds, delayed guitars and meaty bass tones make these tracks snap, crackle and pop like very little else. There’s a big stoner vibe on some of this material but it’s never overdone, partly in thanks to the dual vocal attack that wails and screeches over these big distorted passages.