AMG Turns 15: Senior VPs Speak

15 years ago, on May 19, 2009, Angry Metal Guy spoke. For the very first time as AMG. And he had opinions: Very Important Opinions™. The post attracted relatively little attention at the time, but times change and, over the decade and a half since then, AMG Industries has grown into the blog you know today. Now with a staff of around 25 overrating overwriters (and an entirely non-suspicious graveyard for writers on permanent, all-expenses-paid sabbaticals), we have written more than 9,100 posts, comprising over seven million words. Over the site’s lifetime, we’ve had more than 107 million visits and now achieve well over a million hits each and every month. Through this, we’ve built up a fantastic community of readers drawn from every corner of the globe, whom we have (mostly) loved getting to know in the more than 360,000 comments posted on the site.

We have done this under the careful (if sternly authoritarian) stewardship of our eponymous leader Angry Metal Guy and his iron enforcer, Steel Druhm, while adhering to strict editorial policies and principles. We have done this by simply offering honest (and occasionally brutal) takes, and without running a single advert or taking a single cent from anyone. Ever. Mistakes have undoubtedly been made and we may be a laughing stock in the eyes of music intellectuals, socialites and critics everywhere but we are incredibly proud of what AMG Industries represents. In fact, we believe it may be the best metal blog, with the best community of readers, on the internet.

Now join us as the people responsible for making AMG a reality reflect on what the site means to them and why they would willingly work for a blog that pays in the currency of deadlines, abuse, and hobo wine. Welcome to the 15th Birthdaynalia.

Thou Shalt Have No Other Blogs!


El Cuervo

AMG and me

When I reflect on what really matters at the end of each year, AMG.com always comes up trumps. Its benefits are many, its failings few, and I struggle to imagine my life had I never joined its crew a decade ago. Surprising though this may be to those familiar with my pride, AMG could be an unread blog and it wouldn’t matter. It represents a creative outlet, exercises my brain differently from my corporate career, rewards me with high-quality listening material, and even introduced some individuals that I now consider strong friends. Serving a not-for-profit organization operated by nerds for nerds, with a combined love for their esoteric interest grants me balance and perspective I would otherwise miss in my rigidly structured professional life. Even after thousands of hours of unpaid servitude, it energizes and excites me.

Sure, it satisfies my ego that Angry Metal Guy also attracts thousands of unique readers per article, and has sizable clout in the underground and mid-tier of heavy metal media. I love the bump bands experience following our praise, and even the incendiary comments when we criticize something popular. But these are just the cherry on the top of everything else it affords me. This site nourishes my soul; through creativity, community, and hubris.

AMG gave to me …

Cormorant // Dwellings – In 2011, I was still relatively new to extreme metal but I already knew that Opeth was one of my favorite bands. A simple Opeth name-drop by AMG in his review was all it took to pique my interest. Shortly thereafter, Cormorant—especially their first two records, 2009’s Metzoa and this—became some of my favorite music too. So much so that a slice of the art from this second record is prominently tattooed on my body. Dwellings is an expansive, unpredictable treasure map of a record. It’s littered with dozens of obvious paths and landmarks, but also subtler trinkets you’ll miss until your tenth listen. There’s so much to admire here, from the burly riff and thunderous vocals opening “Junta,” to the wandering, shredding guitars narrating Kevin Rudd’s apology to Australia’s indigenous population (“The First Man”) and the beautifully delicate interludes on “Funambulist.” Dwellings is the earliest example of many albums introduced to me via AMG.com that have had a lasting impact on either my listening tastes or life generally.

Moonsorrow // Varjoina Kuljemme Kuolleiden Maassa – Although I’d already breached the realms of death metal prior to discovering AMG (via Opeth and In Flames, naturally), black metal had eluded me. It was a gap about which I was concerned, given my moves towards heavier music. Happily for me, the review of Moonsorrow’s sixth full-length blew that door wide open. Varjoina Kuljemme Kuolleiden Maassa is hardly entry-grade material, featuring a bleak atmosphere, alien vocals, and four main tracks each exceeding eleven minutes. But the grand melodies, sharp riffs, folksy slant, and EPIC song-writing scope offered the necessary bait for me. It basically ruined atmospheric and folksy metal for me from the outset; almost no other bands successfully write engrossing, long-form black metal like these guys, despite most of them trying. Listening to VKKM is less like hearing music and more like slowly wandering towards a freezing death in the Nordic wilderness. But in a good way! While the band has arguably produced other, stronger records—the mythological curiosity of Verisäkeet and monolithic Hävitetty are also exemplary—VKKM holds a special importance to me for opening up an entire genre.



Steven Wilson // Hand. Cannot. Erase. – At the age of 22/23, I would describe 2016 as the year that my childhood ended and adulthood began. I was preparing to enter employment at the end of my further education and went through a difficult break-up with a long-term partner. Although Hand. Cannot. Erase. released in 2015, I spent far more time with it the following year. Along with a few other artists outside my typical territory of prog and metal, it narrated that period for me. Progressive rock sits comfortably within my bailiwick but the mournful strains of pop found on the title track and “Perfect Life” are what stand H.C.E. apart from everything else. AMG‘s AotY summary was absolutely right in saying that “the emotional engagement that Wilson and co. are able to evoke in me is precisely what makes this album more than the sum of its parts.” It’s my emotional response to the music here that makes this record what it is. Even in the numerous ways my life has changed in the subsequent eight years, I find it a little difficult to return to this one. It’s a landmark album in my life.



I wish I had written …

AvantasiaThe Wicked Symphony Review. This album represents not only the vehicle through which I discovered AMG but also one of my favorite albums from the 2010s. It’s the most raucous, overblown and catchy fusion of hard rock and symphonic metal I’ve heard. But my first listen also represented a turning point in my life. Pre-Wicked Symphony, so much of my listening was rooted in bands introduced to me by my dad. Post-Wicked Symphony, these roles were reversed and I now feed him new releases I think he’ll enjoy. I would have loved the contemporaneous opportunity to describe this phenomenon in relation to Avantasia.

I wish more people had read …

Geoff TateKings and Thieves Review. The great Dr. Fisting is the most incisive, humorous writer to ever sit in our ranks, and his review of Kings and Thieves forms his best output. Framed as a letter, Fisting delivers a savage, but wholly reasonable, takedown of a problematic, wayward Mr Tate. The line “hearing you sing about getting laid is about as sexy as walking in on my parents” delighted me at the time and still delights me now. Read this.

 


Grymm

AMG and me

In all my years of listening to metal prior to writing about it, I was searching long and hard for anything that would come close to the magic that the late, great Metal Maniacs magazine brought to the world. Once I encountered Dr. Fisting‘s immortal(ly brutal) review of Kings and Thieves by ex-Queensryche vocalist Geoff Tate, I knew I had found it. Little did I know that I would call this place home for over a decade. To say this site is special to me, is to understate the impact it’s had on my life, my writing, and how I approach all music nowadays. The fact that I made a second family here among the staff and readers makes this all the sweeter. I don’t regret the time, energy, and tears spent here.

As I’ve said many times, onward…

AMG gave to me …

Reverend Kristin Michael Hayter // Saved!The most recent and jarring album that I discovered since joining up here, the former Lingua Ignota took all the pain she experienced through abuse, and turned it into a religious, lo-fi cleansing, that was equal parts beautiful, stirring, and brutally uncomfortable. I often waver between experiencing this album to purge, and never wanting to touch it again because it’s that raw. When an album makes you feel those things, you know the artist(s) who crafted it did something right.

Lorna Shore // Pain Remains – I’ll admit, I’m not the biggest fan of deathcore out there, and it doesn’t help that I (unfairly, in hindsight) avoided New Jersey’s Lorna Shore due to the actions of their prior vocalist. What I didn’t know was that they gave said asshole the boot almost immediately after Immortal’s release, and were blessed with the golden throat of one Will Ramos. The rest, as they say, is history. Since then, they’ve been on a majestic ascent that many bands would give everything for, and they rightfully deserve all the success in the world that they’ve achieved.

Darkest Era // Severence – One of the earliest albums I discovered via another writer here at AMG, Irish minstrels Darkest Era deserve far, far more love than they’re currently getting … and from what I’ve heard, they’re getting some well-deserved love lately from all the metalheads. Rightfully so. For, as good as their debut The Last Caress of Light was, Severence saw a major improvement in terms of musicianship and songwriting, seeing them surpass many of their inspirations by leaps and bounds.

I wish I had written …

Any of Cherd‘s Christmas posts, especially the Tarja Christmas album. Sometimes, you’re feeling the Spirit of Christmas and you want to spread joy. Sometimes, you just can’t stand the fucking holidays, and just want to laugh your ass off at some damn good (piss)takes on the commercialized, uber-capitalistic holidays, and our holiday cheer-spreader has spent the last few years making us hurt our ribcages from ugly-laughing so damn much to his reviews of Christmas albums, and Tarja’s over-the-top Christmas album was beyond ripe for the taking. I wish I had his propensity for pain humor.

I wish I could do over …

Grymm Comments: On Coming Out and Acceptance in the Metalverse… Again. – Don’t get this twisted; everything I said in my second coming-out piece still needed to be said and, sadly, nothing’s changed. But if you knew even half of the bullshit I endured once it was published, you would too lose all motivation to support the very music that has people in it that want to see you either removed from the scene, or outright dead. My desire to write pretty much died after this went live…

 

I wish more people had read …

Grymm Comments: On Coming Out and Acceptance in the Metalverse… Again. …but I’m not at all sorry I did it. Metal, for all its acceptance of its wayward misfits, miscreants, and outcasts, still has a colossal problem in terms of racism and homophobia, and it’s only gotten more emboldened over the last decade or so. It’s heartening to see pushback against it though and if that means someone else will pick up the baton, after I laid it down, to call out that bullshit, then all the better. None of the other major players have the fortitude to do so, but there are those who can and will.

 


Kronos

AMG and me

Look, I don’t write here anymore; I’ve left that to the more capable. But when I did, the reason for it all was that someone gave a fuck whether I was capable or not. When someone first commented to say, “Hey, this is some bad prose” on a Kronos review, that was when I decided that I was going to keep writing for AMG. For all our sins as a website, we did—and those currently writing here still do—care to make what you read here good, and care to connect you with art that is good. The commentariat’s demand for quality pushed me as a writer to produce both the best criticism and the most entertaining writing I could muster, even when I didn’t have much to say. But there came a point when I found I had too little to say to keep saying anything. Seeing the rest of the staff continue to dish thoughtful commentary even on thoughtless art, made bowing out easy. I’m proud to have been a piece of the project for so long.

I hope it keeps going another fifteen years. That way, when I’m a Steel-level fogie and Defeated Sanity are as neolithic as Metal Church, I can return and correct Generation Alpha’s horrible taste.

AMG gave to me …

Dodecahedron - Dodecahedron (Gatefold Double Vinyl Cover)Dodecahedron // Dodecahedron – If I had never heard Dodecahedron’s opening chords, I may have had a very different life than I do now. Knowing that those sounds exist completely reshaped my relationship with music, shifting my interest from the technical to the visceral. Never before had I felt my stomach turn from sound alone. If there’s any overarching theme in my music writing, it’s the failure to completely capture this sensation in words, to properly express the importance of art that sparks the neurons below the neck.

Melted Bodies // Enjoy Yourself – Well, don’t mind if I do. I thought this sounded OK from GardensTale‘s review and didn’t get around to it until I’d turned in my year-end list for 2020 (after all, I know best, so why bother listening to what these bozos tell me is good). Then I spent 2021 listening to Enjoy Yourself on a weekly basis. Melted Bodies’ sardonic seapunk-infused thrash proved the perfect artistic vehicle to deliver a treatise on hypernormalization and the misery, and seediness of American culture. Far from being just a metal record with a political bent, Enjoy Yourself is more directly a political document printed with a gaudy mix of guitars, synthesizer boops, and blast beats, in which every annoying, hokey lyrical delivery hisses out through a rot-toothed sneer.

billy woods // Hiding Places While I was actively writing, I pretty much knew if I’d like a new metal record well before the review came out. The writers look out for each other, you know? And few were more persistent and reliable gauges of my interest than Kenstrosity, who somehow just knew I’d love this album. Hiding Places carries more than a whiff of the care and crypsis of a great art-house death metal record without being anything close to one. Muted instrumentals creak and twinkle around woods, whose tangled lyrics squint suspiciously at love and belonging, paranoid from decades of imperial violence. Gloomy but electric, woods delivers his piece with a mix of resignation and reprehension that hooks me in every time. It’s not metal, but it is really fucking angry.


Dr. Wvrm

AMG and me

I’ve asked myself what AMG means to me far too often over the last few years. As I’ve fallen out, in and back out of love with metal, with reviewing, and with arguing with “writers” about the finer points of comma usage. As I’ve watched better and more dedicated reviewers slip away to the far side of the hourglass, I’ve wondered what my useless ass is still doing here.

I don’t write; no time, no drive. I don’t read the articles, but then again, who does? I stay in touch with current releases (mostly because Kenneth or Dolphin Fucker or Eldritch shove things they know I’ll like in my face) but am no longer a voracious consumer and cataloguer. My fixations have moved on to other equally meaningless pursuits. Yet here I stay, despite the guilt of missed deadlines and the shame of another broken promise of regular reviews, doing just enough to avoid unceremonious defenestration from The Hall, because I love these people.

This site, those who read it, and particularly those who staff it, are the only people I have ever had in my life who see what I see in this awful music; who understand the ways this awful music can take on a life of its own, suffusing relationships and memories like little else can; who have connected with me and supported me and been so good to me, simply because of this awful, this god-awful music.

AMG, more than anything else, means community, and I consider myself lucky to have found a place at its table.

AMG gave to me …

Wilderun // Sleep at the Edge of the EarthSleep is (a) an entirely unoriginal selection, (b) the first 5.0/5.0 record to which this site introduced me, and (c) the only metal record my father has ever appreciated. This is a man who once made me turn off Billy Joel. After 20 years of musical repartee boiling down to me blasting Cryptopsy’s “Crown of Horns” for laughs, Wilderun managed to bridge our gap. It surely has to do with the literal Berklee grads orchestrating a symphonic masterpiece more than anything heavy about the record, but if I’ve learned anything in this life, it’s to shut up and take your win. The image of the two of us listening to “Hope and Shadow” while driving through the hills of Pennsylvania Dutch Country is vivid in the way those special moments always are, even years later. I’m sure if asked, he couldn’t recall that afternoon. The memory is fine just the same.

The Night Flight Orchestra // Amber Galactic – As Sleep was to my father, so was Amber Galactic to my mother. In many ways, I owe my metal worship to her; if not for a childhood raised on nothing but soft rock, I likely wouldn’t search out the ugliest music humanly possible. While she was never as repulsed by my musical predilections as my father, she was also not the audience for Slayer or Children of Bodom, just as I was not the audience for Shania Twain, Rod Stewart or Seal. Our tastes diverged for good in the year 2004, leaving little but tussles over the radio knob, and eventually everything else. Our fights were, and are, legendary among our friends and family, which was a badge of honor as an asshole teenager and is now a marker of shame as an asshole adult. I don’t remember how she got wise to Amber Galactic – maybe through me, accidentally. But for the first time in the long-time search for a ceasefire, she was as into “Gemini,” “Domino”, and “Josephine” as I was. It was a good time. That detente didn’t last long, of course, but as a wise man once said, “Shut up and take your win.”

Amorphis - Under the Red CloudAmorphis // Under the Red CloudUnder the Red Cloud topped the very first Top Ten I put together, in 2015, still a pre-staff wannabe. Even then, I wanted to foist my awful opinions on the world, and in many ways, that was the first step to my eventual membership here. That isn’t why this review matters to me though. I had no idea who Amorphis was before AMG Himself‘s review of Under the Red Cloud. In the years since, I’ve been grateful for their constant companionship, in the summer sun and on lonely nights like the one on which I write this. I reached for them on a January morning, as the last throes of a Nor’easter snowed me into the maternity ward. I’m passing the hours between bottles by staring out at crystalline whorls as “Enigma” plays. It’s one of my very favorites, in their catalog, in all of music, and I can’t help but share it. I turn the volume down and pass the headphones from my ears to my son’s. It’s only for a moment, and who knows how well you can hear less than a day removed from in vitro, but it’s our moment. It’s this moment, all these moments, that I want to flash before my eyes when my bell finally tolls, and I hope someone turns the speaker up to 11 when they do.


Eldritch Elitist

AMG and me

I’m not sure if any of my colleagues know this, but I have done most of my writing in my nearly 8 year tenure at Angry Metal Guy on my cell phone. I submitted my application to AMG on May 24th, 2016; exactly two weeks later, my first and only child was born. He was a particularly clingy baby, so for months when I’d arrive home from work, he was essentially glued to my arm for hours on end. When Steel Druhm and Madam X graciously brought me on as a probationary writer, I begrudgingly adapted to writing on a stupid-ass, tiny-ass screen with my stupid-ass, big-ass thumbs. The process has been second nature to me ever since.

Let me be perfectly clear: If I was doing this for a shot at writing for any other blog, I would have bailed immediately. But I owed Angry Metal Guy for singlehandedly revitalizing my passion for metal, after my interest in the genre had waned over a half decade of post-high school life. No other outlet compared when it came to treating melodic metal with the same respect and professional level of writing quality afforded to so-called “trailblazers” in the scene. Having the kind of music that made me fall in love with the genre in the first place legitimized by such a talented crew was revelatory. I can only hope my contributions in this space have resonated similarly with others like me.

AMG gave to me …

Beaten to Death - UnpluggedBeaten to Death // Unplugged – I’m not a grindcore fan. The number of grindcore albums I’ve listened to in full likely ranks in the single digits. I also think that Beaten to Death’s Unplugged is one of the coolest, catchiest, and most compulsively listenable records of the last decade. Part of what makes Unplugged a special record for me is that—aside from its sheer kinetic brilliance—discovering this record through AMG is what made me want to write for this blog in the first place. Jean-Luc Ricard’s spot-on piece wisely zeroed in on this record’s decidedly un-grindy eccentricities, which was vital for enticing genre tourists like myself. Mirroring that review’s impact has been my mission with every positive review I’ve ever penned. For all the self-proclaimed power metal haters who thanked me in the comments for making them one-off converts to records like The Saberlight Chronicles: Thanks for the free dopamine!

Khemmis // Hunted – I used to be a casual appreciator of doom metal. That is, before Steel Druhm reviewed Khemmis’s 2016 opus Hunted, which more or less put me off the genre for good. Hunted is a perfect encapsulation of everything I enjoy in a doom metal record. So perfect, in fact, that everything I’ve heard in the realm of traditional doom metal since has failed to elicit a response stronger than “this is good, but I wish I was listening to Hunted.” This album excels through sheer simplicity and masterful melodic handling, filling any semblance of dead air in a genre where most compositions feel like a waste of space. The tragedy here is that Khemmis’ formula is so effective as to feel effortless in its construction, yet no other band has been able to match these heights, despite the formula for success sounding so obvious to my ears. Were it not for Steel Druhm’s rightfully glowing (if underscored) review, I might have never heard my favorite doom metal album at all.

Xoth // Invasion of the Tentacube – Much like Wilderun before them, I’m not sure Xoth’s recent underground success would have resulted in as strong of word-of-mouth had Angry Metal Guy not been hyping them up since their 2017 debut. Our staff’s collective enthusiasm for promoting unsigned gems like Invasion of the Tentacube is, at least in my eyes, unmatched in getting bands like Xoth the early attention they deserve. Sure, there are many examples of self-released albums that fit these qualifiers, but Invasion of the Tentacube might be my personal favorite. It’s also worth mentioning this record as a reminder for people to revisit Xoth’s early material. Though a bit unrefined (as Akerblogger pointed out in his otherwise glowing review), this album is every bit as entertaining as Xoth’s subsequent LPs, and a neat little time capsule that captures all of Xoth’s ambitions in a charmingly adolescent package.

I wish I had written …

Frostbite OrckingsThe Orcish Eclipse Review. I maintain that it was a wise decision to retire the 0.0/5.0 score from our rating system, but for Frostbite Orckings, I should have lobbied to reinstate it for one last hurrah. Ideally, we wouldn’t have given this insulting crap the time of day to begin with, but the only value this garbage could have had was as a warning example after I pilloried it to fucking death. AI art, whether visual or aural, is not art, and should have no place where real artists struggle to thrive. Oh, and Unleash the Archers can go to hell.

I wish I could do over …

DunnockLittle Stories Told by Ghosts Review. Speaking of 0.0 scores… I was in a bad space mentally when I wrote this review, and I take full responsibility for giving Dunnock a platform as my personal punching bag. It didn’t feel good to write this, and it didn’t feel good to have people validating my scoring decision in the comments. If nothing else, writing this review changed my philosophy on writing negative reviews for the better. My tastes should have dictated that I had no business reviewing this record, which I’m sure has its fans. Somewhere. I still think it sucks.

I wish more people had read …

Tales of GaiaHypernova Review. While the comments section indicates many people read this review, I simply cannot allow this gem to be lost to time. Hypernova left me crying and borderline suffocating from laughter. I have amazing memories of subjecting friends to this record and watching them crumple into a state of helpless hysteria. Unless Tales of Gaia makes another record with the same singer, you will never hear anything else like this in your life.

 


Saunders

AMG and me

Various circumstances have conspired to fuck with my 2024 so far, leaving me scrambling as whips are cracked to contribute to this momentous occasion. 15 goddamn years, hey? And going stronger than ever… I am forever grateful and humbled to be a long-term servant to this mighty blog since joining the team during the latter half of 2014. My fading memory cannot quite pinpoint the timeline when I stumbled onto the pages of Angry Metal Guy. However, I remember being struck by the positive and passionate community vibes, the quality, insightful writing, and the no-bullshit rating system. I rapidly became an avid reader and, when opportunity came knocking, I jumped aboard. It’s been an awesome journey to see the incredible growth and expansion over the years.

Initially, I struggled as I adapted to a tight operation and steep learning curve with my then awful formatting skills (surprised I didn’t get the axe right there). Yet it was the professional standards, the support networks, set processes and the ongoing inspiration of the outstanding writing talent adorning these pages over the years that has kept me on my toes, and pushed me to become a better, more rounded writer. I am grateful for the exceptional (occasionally intimidating) writing standards and creative flair that each writer brings, which keeps me honest and inspires me. Not to mention the ridiculous amount of great music I’ve been alerted to over the years.

Writing for AngryMetalGuy.com means the world to me and has been my rock since stumbling across these pages roughly a decade ago. Although I don’t write as much as I would like to, daily visits to the blog remain a steadfast routine. Also, the one-of-a-kind community kicks arse and my writing buddies and colleagues are an awesome bunch of people and an absolute pleasure to work alongside. Here’s to many more great years ahead.

AMG gave to me …

Soen - Tellurian -- art by José Luis López GalvánSoen // Tellurian – Just months after I joined the staff, Angry Metal Guy Himself reviewed the sophomore album from Swedish progressive metal band Soen. I had overlooked their debut, and it was the impassioned piece of fine critical writing and subsequent lofty rating that piqued my interest. Being a prog enthusiast and big Opeth and Tool fan (no, not one of those Tool fans), Soen’s emotive, melancholic, chunky, complex and infectious brand of prog metal touched my heart and gripped my soul. It wrapping up top honors on my first year-end list writing here in 2014. It began a love affair with Soen, especially through their golden stretch from Tellurian to 2019’s exemplary Lotus album. Furthermore, Tellurian opened my eyes more and more to the many wondrous bands operating in the modern progressive metal field. A decade later and Tellurian continues to resonate strongly and remains one of my treasured early discoveries on this blog.



Mutoid Man // War Moans Mutoid Man’s 2017 album War Moans dropped at a challenging period in my life, where I was navigating a career change and plunging into the unknown. Shit got pretty hectic; thus, certain albums took on extra significance in my life. The much-missed Dr Fisting wrote a typically cool review of the zany supergroup’s sophomore album, inspiring me to dip into the crazy world of Mutoid Man and their ridiculously catchy, wild concoction of influences. War Moans quickly ascended to become a go-to album and modern favorite, igniting my rabid fandom of the band to this day. Mutoid Man transcend simple labels, skilfully meshing elements of metal, rock, prog, punk, math and hardcore into cohesive, speedy, rollicking jams. They possess massive crossover appeal, punching out A-grade tuneage with plenty of zip, technical skill, and a knack of cranking the fun factor, and embellishing their batshit, hyperactive formula with wickedly addictive earworm gems.

Bathory // Hammerheart – I am a big metal feature nerd and, though the reviewing game takes precedent, some of my favorite moments are the various feature pieces and passionate write-ups of classic albums. When the curmudgeonly Doc Grier wrote a Yer Metal Is Olde piece on Bathory’s 1990 album Hammerheart, my curiosity was sparked. Although I was a fan of Enslaved and had dabbled in Borknagar, Bathory’s much-adored Viking metal legacy was largely untouched in my historic metal explorations. Branching out of my comfort zone and exploring other styles and genres is an ongoing thrill as a metalhead. This piece triggered me to open my horizons and delve more fully into the battle-hardened, epic realms of Viking metal and associated styles. Hammerheart is a fucking epic monster of a classic opus, that opened further doors for me and broadened my appreciation of not only Viking metal, but certain overlooked black metal gems, including Bathory’s own early classics.



I wish I had written …

For shits and giggles, I could easily go to Dr Fisting‘s Indefensible Positions takedown of Slaughter of the Soul, just for the sheer ballsyness, despite disagreeing with the sentiment. In the end, Grymm‘s killer Yer Metal Is Olde write-up of Acid Bath’s underground classic When the Kite String Pops stands out. This album (and this band) is an all timer for me and Grymm did an outstanding job of conveying why this album is so special and unique. It’s a classic YMIO entry that I occasionally go back to read, giving me the warm nostalgic feels and reminding me why I fell in love with this album back in the day, and why it still holds a place in my heart.

I wish more people had read …

AMG Goes Ranking – Dying Fetus. The Dying Fetus Ranking piece was a special moment in my decade-long career writing on this blog. A long-time favorite and pivotal band in opening my ears to the wonders of the more brutal, slammy realms of death metal, this ranking feature was a proud moment. Despite the collective efforts of my comrades Maddog and Dolphin Whisperer, fewer than thirty comments at time of writing was a little disappointing for a band of Dying Fetus’ stature. I don’t know how many actual clicks it got but I was certainly expecting / hoping for more rabble, agreements, and fiery debates than what occurred.


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