Slow Cuts of 2021

In my childhood, I was a slow eater, a fast runner, and got bored quickly. In terms of digesting metal albums, I’m occasionally on the slow side, hence why Slow Cuts of 2021 has popped up midway through February. In this article, I’ll examine 5 pretty diverse albums that needed more time to mull over than usual – albums that I ran out of time for in 2021.

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Slow Cuts of 2020

Doom crawlers that needed time to mull over

Not all albums strike home immediately, and sometimes that’s particularly the case with the slower and more atmospheric variants of metal. However, the onus is on reviewers to turn over their thoughts quickly and share their conclusions as close to the time of release as possible. As a result, some of those slow-growers or slow-movers get swept over in the course of a year, or simply get heard at a time when it’s too late to review them with relevance. Over the course of 2020, several of those albums built up, largely in the doom style, so why not have a look over them all at once? Casting back almost a year to last April, the releases by King Witch and Marrowfields came out on the same day, the 24th, followed by Sorcerer’s third full-length a month later, then Pulchra Morte and Cardinal Wyrm close to the end of the year. First, a quick look chronologically, then a five-way battle to conclude!

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Shredding: Windir

In a career that was all too brief, a young Norwegian man named Terje Bakken, now known as Valfar to the metal masses, took black metal to a new level of refinement that bands like Emperor and Satyricon had only hinted at before. Valfar’s vision was a unique one that melded the grandeur and mood of Viking-era Bathory with the intensity of the first wave of Norwegian black metal and the folky touches of bands like Borknagar and Falkenbach. In honor of this brilliant artist, here’s a rundown of his full-length output from worst (or least good, rather) to best.   

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Ayreon – Electric Castle Live and Other Tales. Concert and live release review

Ayreon, the jewel of the Dutch progressive rock and metal scene, brainchild of Arjen Anthony Lucassen is a unique musical studio phenomenon that brings together some of the finest craftsmen of sonic artistry from all across the globe. A studio project… or is it?

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Shredding: Power Quest

Larry zealously and over-enthusiastically ranks the British power metallers’ discography.

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