Trivium – What the Dead Men Say

Trivium have had a colorful career. From blowing up in 2005 with their sophomore release Ascendancy to creating a widely beloved genre-defying masterpiece in Shogun, they’ve known various heights of acclaim. In Waves is also generally quite well-lived, but then things got a bit shakier. They went through various drummers, frontman Matt Heafy had problems with his voice, and some of their albums weren’t as widely appealing as their older work. To some, this might sound like the story of a band past their prime. That’s not necessarily true, as none of their albums in this period were bad per se, but the reception from the fans was more mixed. Every new album would get compared to heights of previous releases.

All of that changed in 2017; things took a turn. With the release of The Sin And The Sentence everything seemed to align and bring the band to new heights. They found a new drummer that elevated their sound in Alex Bent, they found a new sound that elevated their recent trajectory, and Matt’s Twitch streaming career took off, growing the band’s audience in new ways. Of course, with every major milestone album in a band’s career, one question lingers: What happens next?

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Spell – Opulent Decay

Of all the genres to augment and splice with new varieties, good ol’ heavy metal seems to be the one that escapes the creative mutations most often. It makes sense. If a heavy metal-augmented style becomes “too” anything, that retro flavor seems to fade the fastest. It’s suddenly no longer…

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Nightfear – Apocalypse

Recently, I’ve been handed a term by a friend and I’ve found myself using it a lot. That term is “Pringles metal,” which they used to describe death metal stalwarts Cannibal Corpse, who have built a 30-year career on a credo of reliability and a penchant for turning out an…

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Heavy Delinquency – Wandering Oak

Another day, another excellent release from 2019 which I’ve only gotten to now. I’ve had Wandering Oak’s Passage Elemental bookmarked since I stumbled on it when trawling through Bandcamp but I only seriously set down to listen to it when someone on my Facebook feed recommended it. What I found…

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Fliege – The Invisible Seam

Every year, I grow more impressed by the breadth of new ideas introduced into the world of black metal. I’ve long held the belief that the “blackened” prefix manifests in more unique ways than any other metal subgenre. Even the lightest introduction of black metal aesthetics can significantly alter the…

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Legendry – The Wizard and the Tower Keep

The prospect of revivalism, as we’ve discussed on the site many, many times before, is a double-edged sword. With every attempt to recreate the magic of older bands or scenes that have fallen by the wayside comes the possibility that the alchemy falters; any time eyes are turned firmly backwards,…

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Hippie Death Cult – 111

What I like best about getting my paws on a debut record is experiencing the twofoldness of the statement that is made on this introduction. The record simultaneously says “this is definitively us” and “this is just the beginning.” (Well, hopefully it’s not the end so soon, right?) Portland quartet…

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Hey! Listen to Winter Eternal!

Partly by design and partly because people have terrible memories for this kind of stuff, the ties between black metal and heavy metal have been obscured by time. Through thrash, the genre to which it owes its speed and abrasiveness, black metal inherited many of the qualities which made the…

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