Reviews by Michael O'Brien

  • 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...

    Read More

  • 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,...

    Read More

  • 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...

    Read More

  • 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...

    Read More

  • 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...

    Read More

  • 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...

    Read More

  • 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...

    Read More

  • 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...

    Read More

  • H.P. Lovecraft - The Lurking Fear
  • H.P. Lovecraft

    The Lurking Fear

    By Michael O'Brien | 11 July, 2016

    While I’m a lover of books, I’ve never really gotten on board with the audiobook format. There’s something about the experience of digesting a story through the written word that isn’t quite the same for me when it’s ...

    Read More

  • C.B. Murdoc - Here be Dragons
  • C.B. Murdoc

    Here be Dragons

    By Michael O'Brien | 24 June, 2016

    There were two things that drew me to this promo from the outset. The first is that the band’s unusual moniker reminded me of the kind of name a character from a Raymond Chandler novel might have, and the second was that the band was formed ...

    Read More

  • Gorguts - Pleiades' Dust
  • Gorguts

    Pleiades' Dust

    By Michael O'Brien | 11 May, 2016

    Like what I assume to be the case with the vast bulk of the death metal community, I’m a pretty big fan of Canada’s Gorguts. They’re a band that has not only spent their lengthy career pushing themselves creatively, but have also...

    Read More

  • Amenra - Alive
  • Amenra

    Alive

    By Michael O'Brien | 06 May, 2016

    When I first heard 2012’s Mass V, the fifth full-length album from Belgium’s Amenra, it was love at first listen, but as the years stretched out post-release, I found myself returning to the album less and less. Not because I&...

    Read More

  • Wolvserpent - Aporia:Kala:Ananta
  • Wolvserpent

    Aporia:Kala:Ananta

    By Michael O'Brien | 03 March, 2016

    It’s funny how a band’s name can predispose you to an assumption about what they’ll sound like even before you’ve heard a single note. In the case of Boise, Idaho’s two-piece act, Wolvserpent, I’m not really sur...

    Read More

  • Wildernessking - Mystical Future
  • Wildernessking

    Mystical Future

    By Michael O'Brien | 11 February, 2016

    If you’re anything like I recently was and are unfamiliar with Cape Town, South Africa’s Wildernessking, I can save you some time right up front by asking you the following question: do you like atmospheric or, dare I say it, Cascadian...

    Read More

  • Rotting Christ - Rituals
  • Rotting Christ

    Rituals

    By Michael O'Brien | 05 February, 2016

    You really have to hand it to Rotting Christ. Over the course of nearly 30 years and now 12 full-length releases, I can’t think of a single album that hasn’t at the very least been decent, but can definitely think of many that have bee...

    Read More

  • Conan - Revengeance
  • Conan

    Revengeance

    By Michael O'Brien | 29 January, 2016

    From the rough and raw doom of their 2010 EP, Horseback Battle Hammer, through to the more refined but no less crushing doom of their second full-length album, 2014’s Blood Eagle, The UK’s Conan has been responsible f...

    Read More

  • Abbath - Abbath
  • Abbath

    Abbath

    By Michael O'Brien | 20 January, 2016

    At the risk of sounding like a grouchy, jaded contrarian, I have to say that I didn’t come into Abbath’s debut album feeling overly excited about it. I was curious, sure, but excited? No.

    <...

    Read More