Reviews by Michael O'Brien

  • Chelsea Wolfe - Hiss Spun
  • Chelsea Wolfe

    Hiss Spun

    By Michael O'Brien | 21 September, 2017

    Ever since I got my hands on her Unknown Rooms acoustic album back in 2012, I’ve been a pretty big fan of Chelsea Wolfe. Of the many things that draw me to her as an artist, her unpredictability is very high on the list, but that ca...

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  • Belphegor - Totenritual
  • Belphegor

    Totenritual

    By Michael O'Brien | 13 September, 2017

    When I was first introduced to long-running Austrian blackened death metal act, Belphegor, via their sixth full-length album, 2006’s Pestapokalypse VI, I went on what could best be described as a years long binge of their material. ...

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  • Septicflesh - Codex Omega
  • Septicflesh

    Codex Omega

    By Michael O'Brien | 02 September, 2017

    Greece’s Septicflesh must surely stand as one of the great heavy metal comeback success stories in recent memory. Following their breakup in 2003, they returned in 2008 with the very well regarded Communion, and have since that time...

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  • Paradise Lost - Medusa
  • Paradise Lost

    Medusa

    By Michael O'Brien | 29 August, 2017

    To this day, Paradise Lost's 1995 release, Draconian Times, remains one of my favourite albums of all time. It also has the dubious honour of being the last Paradise Lost album that resonated with me for the nearly 15 years leading up to ...

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  • MRTVI - Negative Atonal Dissonance
  • MRTVI

    Negative Atonal Dissonance

    By Michael O'Brien | 22 July, 2017

    The daunting flood of promos that are sent my way each week makes the act of choosing something to review less of a science than a scattershot process that usually takes the form of picking something either due to a familiarity with the band, a fa...

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  • Suffocation - ...Of the Dark Light
  • Suffocation

    ...Of the Dark Light

    By Michael O'Brien | 06 June, 2017

    Approaching ...Of the Dark Light for the first time a couple of weeks or so ago, it occurred to me that it’s actually been quite a while since I’ve been really drawn to and hooked by a new Suffocation release. My first instinc...

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  • Sólstafir - Berdreyminn
  • Sólstafir

    Berdreyminn

    By Michael O'Brien | 25 May, 2017

    While I understand that many view 2009’s Köld as Sólstafir’s watershed album (and they may well be absolutely spot on for all I know as I’ve not heard it), I wasn’t introduced to the band until their 20...

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  • 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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