Wonderbox Metal End of Year List – Best Metal of 2017

2017 was an amazing year for music, with so many top-notch albums seeing the light of day. I pretty much say this every year, of course, but that doesn’t seem to stop it being true. With this in mind, the 2017 list was especially hard to put together, and I agonised over this one more than I did for any of the lists in previous years.

As is traditional, I also want to mention some releases by bands that could easily have made it onto the list, and should have by many rights, if only I could have somehow managed to fit them all in –

Abhorrent DecimationAmenra, Apes, Artificial BrainAu-Dessus,

CelesteDesecrate the FaithEarth RotEarth WitchFalls of Rauros,

Full of HellGnawGutslitHelplessHenry Kane,

Hundred SunsIngurgitating OblivionInto OrbitJohn FrumKarne,

KvalLividMorbid AngelPrimitive ManCraven Idol,

SlowSoulskinnerThe Kennedy VeilUlsectWildspeaker.

I urge you to check out all of the above releases, in addition to the ones in the actual list below. I could probably keep adding more bands you should give a listen to, but a line has to be drawn somewhere, I suppose.

So, without further ado, let’s get right down to it… Continue reading

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Druid Lord – Grotesque Offerings (Review)

Druid LordDruid Lord are a death/doom metal band from the US and this is their second album.

I wonder what rotten, infested crypt this has crawled out of? Druid Lord manifest themselves as shambling ghouls, full of the horrors of the night and the terrors that lurk just at the edges of your vision. Continue reading

Temple of Void – Lords of Death (Review)

Temple of VoidTemple of Void are a death/doom band from the US and this is their second album.

Now here’s one I’ve been really looking forward to. Of Terror and the Supernatural was one of my absolute favourite releases of 2014, and it seems like it has been a very long wait for this new one. Continue reading

Temple of Void – Of Terror and the Supernatural (Review)

Temple of VoidTemple of Void are from the US and this is their début album. They play Doom with an infusion of Death Metal.

Temple of Void’s 2013 Demo was a really enjoyable 3-track taster for the band, and this début full length takes those three songs, adds 5 more and results in Of Terror and the Supernatural.

Their sound is one of Doom Metal mixed with an Old-School Death Metal influence, which manifests in the faster sections, the deep vocals and the general air of rotting heaviness that the band exude with every diseased pore.

Opener The Embalmer’s Art is like a microcosm for the album as a whole. It has faster, gritty sections which are tempered by largely slow and Doom-y main parts and morbid, grim vocals. The guitar melodies are haunting, downright miserable and very, very powerful.

Somehow, even though this is only a début, Temple of Void have managed to produce a piece of rotten artistry that sounds as if it has taken decades to coalesce into being. The songs sound mature and so full of atmosphere and dark tidings it seems impossible that these are new songs and not long lost tracks from the vaults of Peaceville history.

Upon first listening to the album it sounds instantly welcoming and familiar without sounding stale or old-hat. Upon subsequent listens this feeling is reinforced and very quickly the album shapes up to be both an old friend and a stunning new discovery.

The vocals are deep growls that have an instant presence and charisma. Somewhat reminiscent of the singer of Opeth at his expressive, malevolent deepest; the singer of Temple of Void has a phenomenal bellow that really clears the cobwebs away.

I’m incredibly impressed with this. The quality of the riffs, the depth of feeling that they evoke and the whole structure of the songs in general speaks volumes about the talent of the band.

Crawling Death Metal-laced Doom has never sounded so good.

Essential listening.