Inquisition – Bloodshed Across the Empyrean Altar Beyond the Celestial Zenith

Honestly, immensely disappointing. Tracks 9-11 were great, but I felt the rest of the album was repetitive and uninspiring. The vocals aren’t shocking like the band is famous for, and the riff work was very inconsistent. You had riffs like on the title track, and then you had the entire first half of the album, which felt like one long background buzz of boredom. I feel like there was just no goal with the music, it was just sort of aimlessly hypnotic and dark, without actually succeeding in being either. To top it all off, the album is immensely long, clocking in at 57 minutes and 13 tracks. If this was around 40 minutes, I think I could handle this, but again, the entire first half feels like one extended track, disregarding the 3 pointless intro/outro tracks. I don’t mind repetitive black metal, but there has to be some sort of goal in mind when making music like that, and here I feel like it’s just trying to be aimlessly occult without any of the creativity needed to do so. This album is a large production attempting to dive into a low production theme, and fails as a result.


5.75/10

https://inquisitionbm.bandcamp.com/album/bloodshed-across-the-empyrean-altar-beyond-the-celestial-zenith

Feign – Atlas

Pretty boring honestly. The mixing was awful as well, with random fade-ins, certain parts of the song being way too quite at times, stuff like that. I actually liked the last track the most, even though it was only a holdover from their demo. It felt like it didn’t force the whole cosmic theme. It was a bit more raw, but still has some spaciness to it. I don’t agree with the bands self proclaimed attempt to “be as melodic as possible”, because this isn’t even close to that. Overall quite average, though there’s enough here to warrant maybe a second list


5.75/10

https://intothenightrecords.bandcamp.com/album/atlas

Flotsam and Jetsom – Flotsam and Jetsom

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: A thrash band releases a classic album in the 80s, releases a second album afterwards that’s not quite as good, but still decent, only to continue to be mediocre for years afterwards, eventually falling into the alt/groove metal craze, then try to desperately resurrect their career 30 years later by trying to go back to their roots. It’s a story as old as music itself, bands starting off great, then losing all of their juice for years, only to try to go back to what they were first doing many years later. I’m sure even in ancient Egyptian times you had musical artists who got washed up. However a new twist has been put on this story over the past few years or so: these revivals are actually working. Satan has released two albums to high acclaim (one that I reviewed and loved), Iron Maiden totally revitalized their sound, fuck even Anthrax released their best album in a long time. There’s been this old school revival going on and I’m very glad to be reviewing during this time. Flotsam and Jetsom obviously fell for this tale, and similarly, almost 30 years later, released an album to somewhat high acclaim that tries to modernize what originally made their debut a cult classic.

And it’s so close to working. So damn close. On the opener Seventh Seal Flotsam shows so much potential and demonstrates that they do have the chops to still create a fantastic album. Seventh Seal brings this perfect balance between heaviness and clean riffs, along with a perfect track length, opening the album in a way that unfortunately none of the rest of the album even comes fucking close to reaching. The first 4 tracks are all fantastic for the reason that they don’t overdo it on the heaviness and “chugs”. I put that in quotes because it’s not really chugging, but more stationary riffs that don’t go anywhere, to the point where they sometimes sound more like mediocre doom metal riffs than anything belonging in a thrash album. The moment Verge of Tragedy hits the album takes somewhat of a nosedive into sameness and mush. Aside from maybe The Incantation and Monkey Wrench (which is really one track that’s separated into two for reasons I couldn’t explain if I wanted to), the entire rest of the album feels like when you just ranked up in your favorite video game and you’re really happy but your dad comes into your room and tells you that you’re a disappointment to your family because you’re at your dad’s house playing video games with no job at 24. And it’s like “oh great, it’s only 12 pm” and the rest of the day you just sit there playing games but it’s all so tainted by the crushing realization that you’re a sack of shit so you can’t have fun with the games. It’s one big mess of bleh, ugh, and I want to kill myself.

The large majority of the album feels like a big bowl of “I can’t believe it’s not groove metal”, where it has this tinge of groove metal without actually being so, so it just feels awkward to listen to. It’s like that one bit of popcorn shell stuck in your teeth that you can’t quite tell if it’s actually there or your imagination. It doesn’t really feel too awful, but it’s annoying enough to drive you insane and ruin whatever activity you’re trying to enjoy. I guess I could just describe this as “really heavy, slightly mid tempo  thrash” and call it a day, but that just sounds like a cop-out.

I really do think that if they lightened up this album just a tad, and focused more of a faster paced kind of thrash, this would be very enjoyable. As it is, it sounds like an attempt to rekindle cult glory that just barely misses the mark, but that near miss pays a somewhat heavy price. The end result is an album that has moments, but ultimately sputters it’s way to a disappointing finish. It’s like going to college, except it takes 30 years, and you end up with a liberal arts degree and 200k worth of debut. At that point, it may be worth just quitting while you’re not as behind and things don’t get worse, because if this self-titled is Flotsam’s best attempt at a true revival, I really don’t want to see what happens when they get burnt out a second time.


5.75/10

Katatonia – The Falls of Hearts

This album is like finding out your second favorite baseball team lost an early regularly season game.

This album is like stubbing your toe on a beanbag chair.

This album is like having a breakfast sandwhich from Burger King.

This album is like getting a B- as a final grade for a class and your parents going “well that’s not too bad I guess, try harder next term honey!”.

This album is like waking up 20 minutes before your alarm is supposed to go off.

This album is listed on the WWF’s endangered species list, but doesn’t have any danger signification next to it because it’s not quite there yet.

This album is like gathering your whole family to go to Olive Garden, then realizing Olive Garden isn’t actually that good, but you get unlimited salad and breadsticks so it’s w/e.

This album is that B student kid at your middle school who really liked dinosuars but never spoke in class and became a gas station attendant at Arco.

When you buy this album it comes with one free, unscented, plain red sticker.

If this album were a country it would be Latvia.

This album is like if pudding tasted like tapioca.

This album is like finding out the co-creator of the Simpsons died last year.

This album is like buying adderall off the street, using it 3 times, then pitching it because it’s “not your thing” and you don’t want to get in trouble.

This album was certainly an album I listened to and can’t really comment on any further other than making up mediocre roasts that sound like they came from a 19 year old’s twitter page. Could be worse.


5.75/10

Evig Natt – Evig Natt

You know you’re in for something interesting when you get that spicy straight from photoshop cover art. Like, it’s a house, no effects you could pull off could possibly make it look spooky and menacing. To the music, there actually isn’t much here that’s worth talking about. The climaxes sound generally the same (soaring female vocals over doom chugs and symphonics), the music itself is rather bland, and the only thing I can really mention is the hilariously bad use of a theremin towards the end of the album. Overall it sounds like a slightly heavier and better done Evanescence. It’s not bad, just not really worth listening to seriously.


5.75/10

Coldsaw – Coldsaw

I don’t think I’ve seen a single band on bandcamp who has self labeled themselves as rock’n’roll and made really good music. I think those things just can’t coexist. They are also never actually rock’n’roll genre wise, and are always either cringe worthy and mediocre, or just plain awful. These guys manage to fall into just the mediocre category, albeit serviceably mediocre. It isn’t bad, but there’s really no reason to listen to it if you’ve ever heard a random local metal band play at a bar.


5.75/10

Funeral Whore -Phantasm

You know the saddest thing about this album isn’t that it’s really generic. It’s not that the scattered B-Horror movie samples don’t add anything to the music. It’s not the that album cover is fucking atrocious. It’s that the name Funeral Whore is now wasted on a mediocre death metal band, and not the heaviest, most vile, and rankest funeral sludge band to ever exist. THAT’S the real tragedy here.


5.75/10