Yeah, this is exactly what you were expecting. And yes, it's just as awesome as you were expecting as well. The sound isn't quite as murky and dirty as it was on Mental Funeral or Severed Survival, but these underground giants are back with a vengeance. Monstrously crushing death metal that will surely make an appearance on several people's year end best of lists.
Maximalist symphonic black metal of the highest order. This isn't really my area of expertise, but I really like this album for whatever reason. I'm not very good at explaining why or even comparing it to anything since I'm usually hanging out with death and thrash bands. Using my limited knowledge of the genre, I could say it sounds like Anthems era Emperor or newer Dimmu Borgir if they didn't suck.
One of the best tech death releases so far. A nice healthy mix of Necrophagist, Obscura, and a non shitty The Faceless. Very brutal while also very proggy at the same time. Melts brains and eyes with flashy showmanship and strangely solid songwriting. There's a couple cliche style breakdowns but they fit very well here and don't end up being distractions like they do in so many otherwise cool albums.
Band and album name bring to mind some corny industrial metal ala Fear Factory but what you get is some really good death metal. It has a technical edge but it doesn't stray into the cliche tech death territory and end up sounding like Origin or something. It keeps the old school death metal ideal of riffs down while also showcasing their chops. The last track also features the best build up and release of the year.
Basically a less riffy and more epic Ensiferum. Bolero blends the folk metal with power metal like the aforementioned Finns, but don't quite stand out as songwriters nearly as strong. Regardless, I find myself constantly coming back to this album so it must be doing something right. Ensiferum/Kalmah fans could check this out and walk away satisfied.
Beastly, beastly Swedish death metal in the vein of Dismember or Entombed. I really find myself at a loss to describe this, as I've tried to review it a few times and just can't explain why it kicks so much ass. I just know it does. Listen or die, death metal album of the year so far.
The newest in a long line of creative, industrial death metal band The Project Hate (I hate the stupid number at the end). I haven't heard any of the band's previous work, so I don't know how different this is (if at all), but the strange mix of groovy death metal, industrial samples, tripped out spacey interludes, and obnoxiously in-your-face operatic female vocals is a bizarre mix that it manages to work extremely well. I suppose Mirrorthrone is a black metal version of this band, if that helps.