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Deathdomain Webzine – Random reviews & Random rants

Against the Wall – July 2013

Black Sabbath – “13”
LABEL: Vertigo Records
GENRE: Heavy/Traditional/Doom Metal

(TK): Black Sabbath is Black Sabbath, but seriously!? This album is so boring I had to struggle just to get through it. They just sound so old.  Wait? …….they are old. 5.0/10

(MJ): #13 actually gives me a nice retro feeling and I dig the album quite a bit. Bläck Säbbäth! 7.0/10

(VS): A return to the roots. Ozzy’s voice is a bit weaker naturally, but the songs are interesting and remind a lot of the first Sabbath-era. With new production of course. 7.0/10

(JP): The masters of reality does not disappoint. 8.0/10

(CÄ): What a comeback of an album! I honestly did not think the old men had it in them to reinvent themselves and their trademark-sound, to such an extent. Boy, am I glad I was wrong! 8.0/10

(BH): Not a fan. Check here for my thoughts. 5.5/10

(AMG): This was a record I had absolutely no expectations for. And I mean that in the meanest way possible: Ozzy has been a joke for nearly two decades, and the other guys (while respectable) haven’t done much worth my time either. “13” proved me wrong. There’s a ton of good stuff here and the record is—most importantly—consistent. Would have been a nice epitaph—too bad Ozzy’s already mumbling incoherently about another record. 7.0/10

Darkane – “The Sinister Supremacy”
LABEL: Massacre Records
GENRE: Melodic Death/Thrash Metal

(TK): Darkane have always been masters of epic intros. “The Sinister Supremacy” continue on this legacy. Mackrory is back and this is solid as fuck!  8.0/10

(MJ): Lawrence is back, and Darkane are more melodic than ever. I’m sad, but still glad. I miss the real frantic riffage and more of Wildoer’s cymbal swarms, but I cannot not like Darkane. 8.5/10

(VS): I was never into this band and that didn’t change with this album. A boring piece of modern metal. 3.0/10

(JP): I really like “Rusted Angel” and “Insanity”, but after that they lost their intensity. Unfortunately they haven’t found it on “The Sinister Supremacy”. 6.0/10

(CÄ): With the return of vocalist extraordinaire – Lawrence Mackrory – Darkane finally manages to live up to their fantastic debut album from 1999 and by doing so, they come out of this edition of ATW, victoriously! 8.5/10

(BH): Decent deathy-thrash from a veteran band that doesn’t really do a whole lot to stand out. 6.0/10

(AMG): Mmm, Darkane is back and they sound pretty good. This record isn’t a blistering ZOMG kind of moment or anything, but there’s plenty of seriously thrashy parts and they manage to do modern thrash without calling up the demons of core. 6.0/10

 Extol – “Extol”
LABEL: Indie Recordings
GENRE: Progressive Metal/Alt. Rock

(TK): Artsy and progressive stuff with a fantastic production. Actually really enjoyable despite some of the lyrical content. Jesus ain’t my homeboy so to speak.  6.5/10

(MJ): An interesting new acquaintance. I could care more. 5.0/10

(VS): A weird mixture of progressive metal, thrash metal and some alternative rock. I have mixed feelings about it, one moment I like it, the next I don’t. 6.0/10

(JP): The clean vocals remind me of Freak Kitchen, that’s a good sign. The music is energetic, exciting and light years from their early stuff. Not that those were bad, I just think this suits them better. 8.0/10

(CÄ): Here is a band that have managed to attain what so many others spend their entire careers looking for, namely establishing a unique sound of their own! Kudos! Definitely this round’s winner for me, when it comes to pleasant surprises! 7.5/10

(BH): I had no idea Extol was still a thing. I enjoyed “Undeceived” enough, and this one is not at that level, but hey, they’re still trying. Good for them. 6.5/10

(AMG): Because Extol is chrispy (that is, Christian) I’ve never given them a chance. “Extol” is pretty cool, smartly composed progressive metal record blended with a melodeath base that meanders into the occasional nod to the Norwegians’ landsmen (the ones who like Satan). The biggest problem here is that it drags at times, but I love the clean vocals and the contrast. 6.0/10

Amon Amarth 2013
Amon Amarth – “Deceivers of the Gods”
LABEL: Metal Blade Records
GENRE: Melodic Death Metal

(TK): For the first time since I bought the “Sorrow Throughout the Nine Worlds” EP back in ’96, I actually enjoy AA. I guess it’s time to buy my first AA album since then. 7.5/10

(MJ): “Deceiver of the Gods” went from a weak 3 to a strong 7 by the third spin. That will have to be enough. 7.0/10

(VS): I listened to the album a couple of times but the earth didn’t move. It sounds like heavy metal with growls, that’s all. Reminded me of Judas Priest or even Slayer at some parts. Not the Amon Amarth I like. 4.0/10

(JP): Amon Amarth is one of those bands that I never really bothered to give a proper chance. Not because I think they are a bad band, I just find them a bit boring. Same song over and over again, only Ac/Dc gets away with that. 6.5/10

(CÄ): In my book, Amon Amarth is the very definition of a well-oiled machine playing it safe, year in, year out. A slave of its own success formula, operating within its comfort zone, in order not to lose ground. The AC/DC of death metal, if you will. 6.0/10

(BH): Not as immediately enjoyable as their last few albums, but this band can really do no wrong. 8.0/10

(AMG): It’s nice to see Amon Amarth getting out and doing their thing again. After a couple of depressingly forgettable outings, “Deceiver of the Gods” really kicks some serious ass. Check out my detailed review here. 8.0/10

Deeds of Flesh – “Portals to Canaan”
LABEL: Unique Leader Records
GENRE: Brutal Death Metal

(TK): It’s technical, it’s death metal, it’s competent, it’s enjoyable. But it ain’t really that exciting in the long run. 7.0/10

(MJ): 10/10 for the actual music (well, almost). The instrumental track and some fucked out outros, intros and whatever really disturbs the complete package. 7.0/10

(VS): At last this is released. I really dig their way of delivering brutality and this album shows the band’s progress. 7.5/10

(JP): Technical death metal that forgets that you can’t just rely on your ability to play your instrument extremely well.  When they shine, they really shine. It’s too bad it’s so boring when they don’t. 7.0/10

(CÄ): In the land of the Flesh there’s nothing new under the sun! 6.0/10

(BH): This band has always been extremely brutal, extremely technical, and extremely difficult to digest. They don’t change their formula on this one. 6.5/10

(AMG): Once upon a time I probably would have been over the moon listening to “Portals of Canaan”. The writing is brutal, the technicality (at times) is brilliant and it’s got a nice Hour of Penance/Abysmal Dawn feel, which always nods to the old school Florida DM. But “Portals to Canaan” does absolutely nothing for me. The brutality and technicality feels forced and I feel bored. 4.0/10

The Black Dahlia Murder – “Everblack”
LABEL: Metal Blade Records
GENRE: Melodic Death Metal

(TK): I always confuse TBDM with some Metalcore-band and that is also a reason I never really listened to them. And while the music ain’t Metalcore the vocals certainly are and that is enough for me to brush this away.  5.0/10

(MJ): Awesome. Melodic but still brutal. A lot of cool stuff going on. 8.5/10

(VS): An album full of energy. Full review here8.0/10

(JP): I’ve always found TBDM boring, and this record doesn’t change my mind. I can’t get over the fact that they sound like a bunch of kids trying to find their sound. Not in the sense that they can’t handle their instruments, more that they can’t write good solid songs.  3.0/10

(CÄ): Competent? Hell yeah! Interesting? Hell no! Average? Hello! 5.0/10

(BH): Competent and technical ‘Merican melodic death metal. The amazingly annoying vocalist has improved his skills too. Saw this band live and his screechy side made me deaf for two weeks. True story. 7.0/10

(AMG): I’m sure all the TRVE EVROPEAN METAL ‘TIL MY BULLET BELT DROWNS ME IN THE BATHTUB guys over here are going to complain about short hairs making death metal, so I’m going to step up here and say that “Everblack” is one of the best death metal records I’ve heard this year (my full review here). Adding Ryan Knight to TBDM has upped the band’s game seriously and they are making the best music of their life. “Everblack” ain’t Ritual, but not many things are. 8.0/10

Summoning – “Old Mornings Dawn”
LABEL: Napalm Records
GENRE: Epic/Atmospheric Black Metal

(TK): Summoning never really did get my juices flowing. Sadly “Old Mornings Dawn” doesn’t change this fact. 5.0/10

(MJ): Epic. Read full review here.  9.0/10

(VS): The die-hard fans of Tolkien must be very happy this period. One more epic masterpiece by Summoning8.0/10

(JP): One of my all time favorite black metal bands. It doesn’t get more epic than this.  9.0/10

(CÄ): Something festers in the heart of Middle-Earth, springing from the hills of Wiener schnitzel and Sound Of Music! 6.0/10

(BH): If you like dark, atmospheric black metal soundscapes, then you probably already know Summoning. You also probably already know they have better stuff in their catalog than this. 6.0/10

(AMG): This record has convinced old fans and skeptics, but I am not feeling it. The keyboard sounds grate, and the songs are linear as hell. There are moments here and there, but either I got old and lame or they did. I say it’s them. (See: The Fundamental Attribution Error.) 4.0/10

Children of Bodom – “Halo of Blood”
LABEL: Nuclear Blast Records
GENRE: Melodic Death/Power Metal

(TK): For the first time, in a long time, I actually enjoy hearing CoB. Most of the albums after “Hate Crew Deathroll” (2013) have felt kinda, Meh! This I like. 7.0/10

(MJ): Great music. Worse sound. Full review here8.0/10

(VS): An album that relegates to the first Bodom albums, which are the best if you ask me. 7.0/10

(JP): I tend to use COB as an example of crappy melodies, and how bad melodic death can sound. This record is yet an example why I do this. 1.0/10

(CÄ): I think this is the first time I’ve ever listened through a Children Of Bodom album, from start to finish and even though I’m not exactly swept off my feet, I must say certain bits and pieces do speak to me, in an appealing way. There is however a fly in the ointment and that is the recurrent riff-borrowing, bordering on theft, even if done so in a cunning manner. Unfortunately this affects the overall impression for me, resulting in a somewhat lower grade. What a shame! 6.5/10

(BH): I feel like this band had hit rock Bodom (See what I did there?), but they sound revitalized and surprisingly interesting on this one. 7.0/10

(AMG): Hooboy. After their first really solid record since the early 2000s (“Relentless Reckless Foreverfrom 2011), Children of Bodom really flopped its dick out on this one. I had some expectations, but apparently I shouldn’t have. 4.0/10


Eternal Oath – “Ghostlands”
LABEL: Black Lodge Records
GENRE: Symphonic/Death Metal

(TK): Ok, admitting that this would have worked much better back in 1996, “Ghostlands” does possess some nostalgic charm. 6.0/10

(MJ): No magic. Embarrassing vocals. 2.5/10

(VS): Very good death metal vocals and nice synths. The only thing that bothers me is the mellow gothic element, but that’s just me. 6.0/10

(JP): Enjoyable for a song at a time, a bit boring when plowing through the whole record. 6.0/10

(CÄ): I can’t say that I’m exactly sold on Eternal Oath‘s take on this once Paradise Lost-patented sound, but there is something in their music that I just can’t defend myself against; that forces me to give in and yield to temptation. 7.0/10

(BH): I waited and waited for this album to grow some balls. It has none. Symphonic snooze-fest 4.0/10

(AMG): Of all the reunions one might have expected in the Swedish metal scene, Eternal Oath wasn’t really on my radar. “Ghostlands revisits a great, old-fashioned melodic doom that gets me pretty excited, actually. The weakest part is the female vocals, but the Peter Steele lows are fantastic. 7.0/10

 White Wizzard– “The Devil’s Cut”
LABEL: Earache Records
GENRE: Heavy Metal

(TK): I’ll listen to this over Iron Maiden any day of the week, mostly because IM hasn’t really done anything exciting since 1990.  7.0/10

(MJ): Heavy Metal is the law! Especially the vocals are great, but this strong arm of the law doesn’t quite reach all the way. The intro track can go and die. 7.0/10

(VS): Overplayed heavy metal. Only the followers will love it. 5.0/10

(JP): Not my cup of tea, this gives me nothing. 3.0/10

(CÄ): Power metal! Enough said! 2.0/10

(BH): Seriously? And yes, it actually sounds as bad as the cover looks. Probably worse. 1.0/10

(AMG): Gag me with a fucking spoon. This shit is so tired, my fat, angry ass could beat it in a footrace. The NWoBHM was 35 fucking years ago people, let’s move on. 2.0/10

Deathdomain ATW July 2013 on Spotify

Categorised as: Against The Wall | AMG | BH | | JP | MJ | Reviews | TK | VS


  1. Kyle says:

    Methinks there’s a miscalculation/typo in the overall rating for Extol…

    • Tommi Konu says:

      Methinks you are absolutely correct and mesays, sorry. I had a lot on my plate while compiling this months ATW. As of next month I will have someone double-check my mathematic-skills. Thanks for pointing this out! // TK

  2. John Stormbringer Demiris says:

    That AMG guy sounds like a hipster…

  3. Wow, that AMG sure does have fine taste!

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