Friday, January 16, 2015


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By Maxim Björky

Having excluded any bands who are unfortunate enough to be friends with me, I found this listening guide actually became a lot easier to put together. As usual, it ended up as a sort of dissonant puzzle whereby I try, in vain, to reconcile absurd glory and steel with the kind of black metal fit only for unemployed philosophy TAs. At the end of every single one of these lists, I always find myself standing over this sort of grotesque monster, sewn-together by nothing more than my own dorky obsession with discovering new, novel, and challenging things. In any case, my high school counselor said that it might be good to take a break from reviewing gas station bathrooms on Yelp and mix things up for the sake of my portfolio.

Let’s get down to business.

Demos and EPs

10. Violent Hammer – More Victims demo (Shadow Kingdom Records)

Viciously mixed. Not your grandma’s war metal.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Toxik - "Too Late" + "Crooked Crosses"

TMA is in a short break mode as the first of 2015's worthwhile releases slowly trickle in.

In the meantime, Toxik released two new songs late last year, and I'm finally getting around to giving them a listen. Your thoughts are more than welcome--I'm leaving the two tracks, "Too Late" and "Crooked Crosses," below for your listening pleasure.


Saturday, January 3, 2015

A Year in Review: The Metal Advisor's Top 10 Albums of 2014

Tremendous (Yes, I'm using that word for the umpteenth time. It's a versatile one, isn't it?) is the only word that comes to mind when thinking back on 2014. The year was curious one, indeed, because I sank my teeth into a number of bands that I had never heard before; some of which were fortunate enough to make this list and others that narrowly missed out. And that's what made this year harder than 2013--I had to be choosy.

The problem is that there's simply too much music out there. Most of it is shit, I'll give you that, but as I said in my songs list, once you uncover the diamonds in the rough, you feel positively overwhelmed. More often than not, so many are at your disposal that choosing is a bitch.

But we'll persevere. We'll get though this list, and push happily into 2015 as we fondly reminisce on the best albums of last year (and, unlike 2013, in no particular order!).


ADX - Ultimatum

ADX has always been a favorite of mine, from their nearly perfect debut to their newest effort, Ultimatum. Be aware that the entire record is, lyrically, written in French, which has been the case for the band since their inception. Be aware that it takes nothing away from the record, either.

ADX's brilliantly catchy songwriting is in place on Ultimatum and little has changed from the old days. If you go into the record expecting material like Exécution, you're going to get that. ADX doesn't mess around and hasn't slowed down with age. Long live these French masters.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

A Year in Review: The Metal Advisor's Songs of 2014

"Dancing on Your Grave" just narrowly missed the list. Darn.
What surprised me most about this list was how tough it was to limit myself to 20 songs. The sheer amount of music that comes across my plate each year is ridiculous--and most of it is wasted time because it isn't worth more than one listen. But once a gem of an album or song reveals itself, that wasted time is quickly forgotten, especially when one has a selection as good as this.

From Babymetal to Lvcifyre, we'll hit a selection of the high points from this year. Without further ado, let's dig into The Metal Advisor's songs of 2014 (in no particular order, of course!).


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Year-End Catch Up: Horrendous, Edge of Haze, Cleaver, MindMaze, Misericordia

Horrendous - Ecdysis

Needless to say, Horrendous is tremendous. No, seriously. As corny as that sounds, they're as brilliant as can be in an age where the classical side of death metal is experiencing a surge of bands that quite simply don't do enough to stand out from one another. Horrendous has everything: traditional heavy metal-inspired instrumentals, raunchy death-thrash numbers, the Swedish razorblade guitar sound, and vocals that remind vaguely of Chuck Schuldiner. Put it all in a pot, give it a quick stir, and out pops something that just works. And it's beautiful.

While it's hard to say Horrendous' sophomore effort, Ecdysis, is completely flawless, what it does an excellent job at is sounding coherent for its 44-minute runtime. Every song has a link to the next, whether it be with the guitar's meaty, slow-to-decay aesthetic, fluid songwriting, or the instrumentals that do nothing more than required--this is death metal as it should be with no gimmicks, flamboyant attention grabbers, or studio tricks. The old days are alive and well and, with a retooled formula, just enough to make Ecdysis one of the best records of 2014.