Royal Hunt – In the Heart of the City (Best of 1992 – 1999) (Scarlet Records)

To demonstrate just how small our precious metal scene is, this scribe used to cut checks to recently re-installed Royal Hunt vocalist (and fellow Pittsburgher) DC Cooper. Reason being, my old band was Read more […]

DaiTribe – Epochalypse A.D. (True Gemini Records)

Without having to read too much on Chicago’s DaiTribe, one has to figure they were brought up through the 90’s metal bar scene. During that no-so-awesome period in American metal history, swiping Pantera Read more […]

Aldebaran – Embracing the Lightless Depths (Profound Lore Records)

No one will ever accuse funeral doom bands of being self-aware or privy to the needs of their audience. Hey, time is valuable and some of us (not including Blistering, thankfully) have places to go and Read more […]

Candlemass – Psalms For the Dead (Napalm Records)

Consumers prefer their favorite products or brands last forever. Artists understand there’s a limited shelf life when it comes to excellence. Sooner or later, skills decline, priorities change, and circumstances Read more […]

Royal Thunder – CVI (Relapse Records)

It’s quite wacky to think about how many advancements we’ve made in recording technology, yet some records sound like they were recorded four decades ago. Technology in reverse perhaps? There’s some Read more […]

West of Hell – Spiral Empire (Reversed Records)

Realizing that launching a musical career in New Zealand wasn’t exactly the easiest of things to do, progressive thrashers West of Hell packed up their belongings and fled to Vancouver. After securing Read more […]

Words of Farewell – Immersion (AFM Records)

Melodic death metal is such a generational thing now that fourth or fifth generation bands (we think) are copping the sounds of first generation bands in their twilight years. Or, they’re looking to Read more […]

Blind Guardian – Memories of a Time to Come (Virgin/EMI)

Long overdue for a “best-of” collection, Blind Guardian were more than likely in a dilly of a pickle trying to select songs for Memories of a Time To Come. Had they succumbed to the desires of their Read more […]

Before the Dawn – Rise of the Phoenix (Nuclear Blast Records)

With plenty of wind left in the sails of last year’s excellent Deathstar Rising, Finnish melodic death metal champs Before the Dawn are back with Rise of the Phoenix, an even more homegrown-sounding Read more […]

Author & Punisher – Ursus Americanus (Seventh Rule)

Words don’t do Author & Punisher proper justice, only because this is a one-man project where machines, yes machines make the music, not regular instruments (and yes, we realize that a vast majority Read more […]

Miseration – Tragedy Has Spoken (Lifeforce Records)

Third albums typically separate the mainstays from the contenders. In a life cycle of a band – particularly if the essential songwriter components remain constant – the first album showcases the initial Read more […]

Struck By Lightning – True Predation (Translation Loss Records)

Not having to think while listening to music is sometimes a good thing. Like, there’s enough to think about during the course of a day (when to nap, when to eat, how to avoid hearing Justin Beiber, etc.), Read more […]

Shadows Fall – Fire From the Sky (Razor and Tie)

Since there’s no real way to bring their career to the point where it was around 2004/2005, Shadows Fall are doing the smart thing by sticking to what they do best on their seventh full-length, Fire From Read more […]

Ahab – The Giant (Napalm Records)

Playing up on the “nautik doom” thing is probably the best thing Germany’s Ahab could do. Reason being, they’re lumped in with the funeral doom scene and it effectively limits their scope, like, big-time. Read more […]

Sabaton – Carolus Rex (Nuclear Blast Records)

Not sure if losing 4/6’s of your lineup is the way to go prior to an album’s release, but hey, hats off to Sabaton for circling the wagons and getting back up to speed in such a short amount of time. Carolus Read more […]

Havok – Point of No Return EP (Candlelight Records)

Released in conjunction with Havok’s spring/summer touring schedule,Point of No Return is a stopgap release for the Colorado-based thrashers, enabling the band to toss in two new jams and some familiar Read more […]

Order of Nine – Seventh Year of the Broken Mirror (Nightmare Records)

Beginning as Templar in the late 90’s, I fortunately got to know this group’s brand of powerful dark progressive metal during the Powermad Festival days when meeting vocalist Michael DeGrena in between Read more […]

Children of Bodom – Holiday At Lake Bodom (15 Years of Wasted Youth) (Spinefarm Records)

In the presser for this release, main Bodom man Alexi Laiho stated how the band was “justified to put this out” and he’s right – they are. Considering the Finns were deemed nothing more than the Read more […]

Kill Devil Hill – Kill Devil Hill (SPV Records)

Pantera is more popular than ever, something that usually happens to bands who break up too soon. There’s just too many storylines for the band to die: Vinnie Paul versus Phil Anselmo, Vulgar Display Read more […]

Bereft – Leichenhaus (The End Records)

A bit of an all-star project featuring members of Abysmal Dawn, Intronaut, The Faceless, and Graviton, Bereft hitches its wagon to slow-churned, dingy death doom. Because there’s such an onslaught of Read more […]

Firewind – Few Against Many (eOne Music/Firewind Ltd)

Striking while the iron is hot and main employer Ozzy does the Black Sabbath reunion thing, guitarist Gus G returns with his power metal outfit Firewind. Album number seven comes on the heels of a series Read more […]

Saint Vitus – Lillie: F-65 (Season of Mist Records)

A long time coming for this one (16 years), meaning that the old stoners with their dusty leather vests can hop on their hogs, hit the bar, find a billiards table, and let Chandler, Wino, and the boys Read more […]

Angelus Apatrida – The Call (Century Media Records)

After years spent slugging it out in the Spanish metal underground, throwback thrashers Angelus Apatrida have gotten the call-up to the big-leagues with their fourth full-length, The Call. Perhaps their Read more […]

Six Feet Under – Undead (Metal Blade Records)

There couldn’t be a bigger gap between Cannibal Corpse and Six Feet Under at the present time, both in terms of popularity and overall death metal execution. While CC has plotted virtually the same course Read more […]

Cripple Bastards – Senza Impronte (Relapse Records)

The French equivalent to Napalm Death, Cripple Bastards lay claim to an astounding 73 splits and seven studio albums since 1988. Such a telling trait for a grind band – they don’t lack in productivity, Read more […]

Wild Hunt – Before the Plane of Angles (Kemado Records)

Nothing screams artsy American black metal more than a band called “Wild Hunt,” you know? At least this isn’t Cascadian black metal…that would cause Blistering to run for the (redwood-covered) hills. Read more […]

Sonata Arctica – Stones Grow Her Name (Nuclear Blast Records)

Well into the part of their career where their output is nowhere near as critical as it once was, Finnish power metal heroes Sonata Arctica continue to drift further away from their core, early sound on Stones Read more […]

Cancer Bats – Dead Set On Living (Metal Blade Records)

Canadian road warriors, groove metal punks and all round good guys Cancer Bats are back and you’d better sit up and listen. Following quickly from last year’s Bears, Mayors, Scraps & Bones with Read more […]

Teramaze – Anhedonia (Nightmare Records)

A band that might find itself in solid favor with critics but over the heads of the casual metal fan, Australia’s Teramaze are a forward-thinking metal amalgamation that rolls thrash, progressive, and Read more […]

Wolfbrigade – Damned (Southern Lord Records)

With Unleashed being the only classic Swedish death metal band still releasing albums worth a salt (sorry, Grave is WAY overrated), many are starting to turn to the d-beat scene for their Stockholm fix. Read more […]