Reviews by Michael O'Brien

  • Obelyskkh - The Providence
  • Obelyskkh

    The Providence

    By Michael O'Brien | 23 April, 2017

    Even though I’ve been a fan of the style for quite a while now, I have to admit to feeling pretty burned out on the sludge/stoner doom genre these days. While there are definitely bands occupying this space that are doing interesting things,...

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  • Empusae - Lueur
  • Empusae

    Lueur

    By Michael O'Brien | 07 April, 2017

    With a string of interesting albums being released over the year or so that I’ve been aware of their existence, I’m at the point where I pay attention to just about everything that Belgian label Consouling Sounds puts out these days, a...

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  • Drug Honkey - Cloak of Skies
  • Drug Honkey

    Cloak of Skies

    By Michael O'Brien | 23 March, 2017

    Before receiving this promo, if you'd told me that I'd be reviewing an album from a band named Drug Honkey, I would've laughed, but I can’t imagine I would’ve believed you. Here we are, though, and amusing name notwithstanding, Clo...

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  • Sunless - Urraca
  • Sunless

    Urraca

    By Michael O'Brien | 23 February, 2017

    I’ve been in a pretty unhappy relationship with technical death metal for quite a while now. From my perspective, it seems as though the overriding trend these days is for a lot of the bands in this sphere to occupy one of two extremes: the ...

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  • Hadal Maw - Olm
  • Hadal Maw

    Olm

    By Michael O'Brien | 08 February, 2017

    Prior to receiving the promo for Olm, Hadal Maw’s second full length, I had a very conflicted and confused relationship with the Melbourne-based band. Based on previous experiences seeing them play live, I’d had positive feeli...

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  • Emptiness - Not for Music
  • Emptiness

    Not for Music

    By Michael O'Brien | 18 January, 2017

    Belgium’s Emptiness are a hard band to satisfactorily categorise, being that they’ve evolved their sound rather drastically over the course of their now five full-length albums. From the black/death metal of their first two releases, t...

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  • Worm Ouroboros - What Graceless Dawn
  • Worm Ouroboros

    What Graceless Dawn

    By Michael O'Brien | 29 November, 2016

    Of all of the diverse bands on Canadian label Profound Lore’s roster, San Francisco’s Worm Ouroboros are perhaps the band that embodies the extremity of that diversity the most.

    Lead by Jessica Way (guitar, vocals) and Lorraine...

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  • Devilment - II: The Mephisto Waltzes
  • Devilment

    II: The Mephisto Waltzes

    By Michael O'Brien | 18 November, 2016

    To say that I was not a fan of Devilment’s 2014 debut album, The Great and Secret Show, would be something of an understatement. It wasn’t for a lack of interest in it either, being that it featured Cradle of Filth’s Dan...

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  • Sirenia - Dim Days of Dolor
  • Sirenia

    Dim Days of Dolor

    By Michael O'Brien | 14 November, 2016

    I came into Sirenia’s eighth full length album, Dim Days of Dolor, consciously aware that I’m not really its target audience. This is a band that once straddled a line between symphonic metal and melodic death metal but has st...

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  • Suma - The Order of Things
  • Suma

    The Order of Things

    By Michael O'Brien | 23 October, 2016

    The Order of Things is an album I've been waiting for for a hell of a long time. Six years now, in fact.

    Back in 2010 Sweden’s Suma released Ashes, which was and continues to be one of my all time favourite sludge/d...

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  • Syndrome - Forever and a Day
  • Syndrome

    Forever and a Day

    By Michael O'Brien | 04 October, 2016

    I’ve long been a fan of Belgium’s Amenra, but it wasn’t until earlier this year that I became aware of just how powerfully captivating they can be in their acoustic form. In addition to their excellent live album, Alive,...

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  • Warfather - The Grey Eminence
  • Warfather

    The Grey Eminence

    By Michael O'Brien | 16 September, 2016

    To say that Warfather’s 2014 debut, Orchestrating the Apocalypse, was a disappointment would be quite the understatement. With the exception of his vocal duties with Nader Sadek, it had been quite some time since (then) ex-Morbid An...

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  • Imperium Dekadenz - Dis Manibvs
  • Imperium Dekadenz

    Dis Manibvs

    By Michael O'Brien | 02 September, 2016

    Over the couple of months I’ve spent with Imperium Dekadenz’s fifth full-length album, Dis Manibvs, - which also happens to be my first exposure to the band - I’ve had this nagging feeling of familiarity in the back of m...

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  • Vader - Iron Times
  • Vader

    Iron Times

    By Michael O'Brien | 22 August, 2016

    I’d be amazed if anyone went into a new Vader recording expecting to be surprised by what they hear by this point. Aside from the fact that the band has been active for over 25 years, their output has also been incredibly consistent over tha...

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  • Crypt - Disgusting Zombie Metal
  • Crypt

    Disgusting Zombie Metal

    By Michael O'Brien | 17 August, 2016

    Crypt, who hail from Brisbane and who have recently reformed after 15-odd years away, released one of my favourite Australian demos in 1994 with Excruciating Agony which, at the time, was one of the heaviest things I’d ever heard an...

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  • Sanford Parker - Lash Back
  • Sanford Parker

    Lash Back

    By Michael O'Brien | 29 July, 2016

    Well, this isn’t what I was expecting to hear at all.

    I’ve been a fan of Parker’s work as a musician and a producer for a while now, and especially for his contributions in Minsk and Buried at Sea. His more recent program...

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  • Lord of War - Suffer
  • Lord of War

    Suffer

    By Michael O'Brien | 11 July, 2016

    Just as there are labels out there like Flenser Records and Blood Music that I tend to be drawn to because of the kind of material they specialise in, there are also labels out there that I shy away from for the very same reason, and Unique Leader...

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