Evergrey – The Storm Within

I don’t know how these dudes managed to make an album this insipid and boring, but they should feel proud that they achieved it. This is like if Third Law era Muse made a metal album, but without anything theatrical/hilariously bad. This is ridiculously overproduced to the point of my disgust, added along to an unreasonable run time, with abso-fucking-lutely nothing happening the whole way. These kind of albums are why the term progressive metal has no real meaning anymore. It’s not a terrible album, but it’s insultingly boring and poppy.


3.25/10

Sanguine Relic – III – The Vampyre Weeps in Secrecy of the Night

Apparently I actually do have a limit on how lo-fi and badly made a black metal album can be before I actually don’t like it. This is just squarely a bad album, with little worth listening to. I do find it funny that the band figured the one thing the album needed was a black metal cover of a Bjork song. As if using guitars to cover a song entirely made with saxophones will make the record great. I’d love to see the conversation that led to that, or rather lack of conversation (or any sort of thought really). In case you were wondering, no they don’t nail the cover, very much the opposite in fact, as expected.


3.25/10

Conan – Revengeance ALBUM REVIEW

I’m not gonna beat around the bush here. There’s not gonna be any poetic introduction, no funny metaphors, and no attempt to be artful in my language. I’m just gonna cut to the chase: Revengeance is boring as fuck. Like, this is the soundtrack to a cheap retirement home boring (christ am I really that incapable of not making a metaphor in a review?). Yeah, I heard this was Conan’s weakest yet, so I wasn’t exactly expecting the world. But holy mother of fuck, how do you make an album with a cover that great so insipidly dull?

Here’s the thing, in stoner doom, like the powerpuff girls, you need three major ingredients: fuzz, heaviness, and riffs, the importance being the reverse of that order. They got spice (fuzz) down pat, but completely left out sugar and everything nice, not to mention Chemical X (which for this genre, is probably weed). Which means this album gives you a good dose of Bubbles, but completely left out Blossom and Buttercup, which were the only ones people cared about anyway (I really am completely incapable of not using metaphors, jesus on a candlestick).

Fun fact, I actually forgot I was listening to this around 1/3 of the way through. I didn’t actually notice until that weird sound that was playing in the background stopped. And I went “oh shit, that’s bad, I have to go back and listen to that”. So I started and about 3 minutes later realized “Oh right, no wonder I forgot I was listening to something, nothing fucking happened”.

The riffs? Bland and forgettable the few that there are. Heaviness? Totally fucked by a godawful production job that sounds like they wanted to be hardcore but their mom didn’t let them so they went halfway. Actually, it’s more like quarterway if we’re being real here. I’ll give credit where it’s due, the vocals are actually really good, easily my favorite thing on here. But you barely ever hear them. So instead you just get an entire album of incessant buzzing that masquerades as doom metal.

Is this review a bit lazy, probably. But I figured a lazy review that’s completely honest and to the point would be better than pulling a Conan and wasting 50 minutes of your time with no point at all.


3.25/10

VHOL – Deeper Than Sky ALBUM REVIEW

This albums just all over the place. One minute it’s going fast and thrash, with some punkish lyrics and riffs. The next it’s got a spacey atmosphere that seems more like a wall of trippy noise than anything else.  It’s like blackened crust punk on schizophrenia and shrooms. Ideas zoom and dash all over the place, rarely a break in between. One moment you have a melancholy, prog-induced chill coma, then the next you have a piano track that sounds like it came out of an avant-garde clown’s wet dream. The entire atmosphere of this album is one of confusion, which would be fine, but I don’t think that’s what it was meant to be. I can’t tell if I’m supposed to feel happy or angry when I’m listening to this. Heck maybe I’m supposed to feel both. But the result is I feel neither. There’s lots of snippets of great ideas that go nowhere, and intelligent passages that feel empty. Deeper than Sky is like watching Jim Carey playing a serious role. It tries to convey a dark sense of dread and important, but you can’t help but ponder whether to laugh at it’s attempt, or cry that it tried in the first place.


3.25/10

Espera XIII – Unexpected Austral Lights ALBUM REVIEW

This is just beyond mediocre. Absolutely nothing about this is above average, or even average for that matter. It’s just sub mediocre melo death where most of the songs sound the same. You can literally exchange the titles of the tracks and you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. This album is obscure for a reason, and it’s because it’s just another drop in the sea of mediocre music.


3.25/10