Blaze Bayley – Promise and Terror (Candlelight Records)

I believe Blaze wasn’t given the right opportunity to shine during his brief time with Iron Maiden [were you listening to the same Virtual XI as I was? – ed.]. His impressive track record on his Read more […]

Keep of Kalessin – Reptilian (Nuclear Blast Records)

In line with Watain and Dark Fortress to supplant the old guard of black metal, Norway’s Keep of Kalessin haven’t as much made a step forward with Reptilian as a lateral move. Their Kolussus effort Read more […]

Tarot – Gravity of Light (Nuclear Blast Records)

Nothing elevates the profile of a group faster than when its main member joins a worldwide gothic/ symphonic success story such as bassist/vocalist Marco Hietala did in 2002 with Nightwish. As a result Read more […]

Dew-Scented – Invocation (Prosthetic Records)

When you highlight traditional German thrash, the trio of acts that come to mind regardless of order include Kreator, Destruction and Sodom. Instinctively taking the precursor British metal foundation Read more […]

Levi/Werstler – Avalanche of Worms (Magna Carta Records)

Not exactly the first place we’d run to when it comes to instrumental guitar shred albums, the duo of Eyal Levi and Emil Werstler of Atlanta-based modern death metallers Daath have pulled a fast one Read more […]

Cynic – Re-Traced (Season of Mist Records)

With a whole new generation now finally getting it, Cynic have gone from cult status to the veritable “it” band among the young, neo-prog crowd. Quite the change from a few years ago when it was Focus and Read more […]

Kivimesan Druidi – Betrayal, Justice, Revenge (Century Media Records)

Sometimes it’s good to know what to expect when going into an album. Sure, the occasional curveball or surprise is always a treat, but in the realm of epic/folk metal, straying from the course (which Read more […]

Mouth of the Architect – The Violence Beneath EP (Translation Loss)

Their one song “Quietly” (off of 2008’s Quietly) is still far and away the best thing Mouth of the Architect has done and if it was indicative of what the band can do, then we’re still listening. Read more […]

The Vision Bleak – Set Sail to Misery (Prophecy Productions)

Typically, hard-nosed Goth metal is a total non-entity, unless you’re still ranking Moonspell as a Goth metal band. For Germany’s The Vision Bleak,Set Sail To Misery serves as a reminder that you Read more […]

Watain – Lawless Darkness (Season of Mist Records)

Such anticipation for a new black metal album is typically reserved for so-called BM luminaries like Cradle of Filth and Dimmu Borgir, not a gimmick-free, straight-to-the-point act such as Watain. Strange Read more […]

Avantasia – Angel of Babylon (Nuclear Blast Records)

Tobias Sammet certainly gets plenty of air time in the metal scene. First achieving worldwide success with his power metal act Edguy, Tobias expanded into the realm of all-star project status with Avantasia. Read more […]

Exodus – The Atrocity Exhibition: Exhibit B – The Human Condition (Nuclear Blast Records)

Not sure if this is a good or bad thing, but Exodus (in their old age and infinite wisdom) have entered into the realm of predictability. From a mile away, we could have guessed as to how The Atrocity Read more […]

The Haunted – Road Kill DVD/CD (Century Media Records)

Would-be touring acts would be best be advised to either stay away from this DVD or take notes. Anyone thinking touring life is glamorous will be persuaded otherwise by Road Kill, primarily shot and directed Read more […]

Twilight – Monument To Time End (Southern Lord Records)

A great idea from the start, Twilight nearly burned out after its killer self-titled album from 2005. With members of Nachtmystium (who weren’t big back then), Xasthur (who were big back then), Krieg (kinda Read more […]

Dofka – Humanity Bleak (Self-Released)

Ardent followers in the power or traditional metal scenes are most familiar with guitarist Jim Dofka [I sure as hell am – ed.] and his instrumental expertise. Humanity Bleak resurrects his vocal-led Read more […]

Howl – Full of Hell (Relapse Records)

As raw and ragged as say, Kylesa, perhaps Lair of the Minotaur and Black Cobra, Providence, Rhode Island’s Howl manage to produce a relentless, plundering debut with Full of Hell. At this juncture, Read more […]

Van Canto – Tribe of Force (Napalm Records)

A Capella speed/ power metal from Germany here. Tribe Of Force represents Van Canto’s third full length, shifting to more original material and less of a reliance on cover versions. I know a lot of times Read more […]

Bison BC – Dark Ages (Metal Blade Records)

After creating a stir with 2008’s Quiet Earth, Vancouver’s Bison BC are back with the equally large-in-girth Dark Ages. And while there’s no real huge distinction between Dark Ages (what are Read more […]

The Ocean – Heliocentric (Metal Blade Records)

With broad, ambitious concepts that usually go beyond the atypical focus of the metalgaze genre, Germanys’ The Ocean always set themselves up for failure, yet usually emerged unscathed. The daring Precambrian from Read more […]

Volbeat – Live: Sold Out DVD (Mascot Records)

Only fitting that a DVD released in 2008 is only coming out now, for a band that has been big in Europe and is only catching on in North America…now. Once a part of the mini Danish metal explosion Read more […]

Cathedral – The Guessing Game (Nuclear Blast Records)

So much for The Garden of Unearthly Delights being the last opus from the long-running quasi-British doomsters. It didn’t feel like the right way to go out anyway…what Cathedral needs is that tried-and-true Read more […]

Ludicra – The Tenant (Profound Lore Records)

Like anything coming out of the Bay Area, proper description all but eludes Ludcira. How these guys (and gals) were ever branded as a straight black metal band defies convention and while yes, they do Read more […]

Apostle of Solitude – Last Sunrise (Profound Lore Records)

Fronted by former Gates of Slumber drummer Chuck Brown, Apostle of Solitude do their part in keeping the vaunted doom torch aflame. To their credit, the Indianapolis-based quartet stays out of all-too-lazy Read more […]

Black Breath – Heavy Breathing (Southern Lord Records)

Question: how do you make the D-beat exciting and interesting enough for a full-length? Answer: borrow from Sweden. Fresh off a feisty EP in the form of Razor to Oblivion, Seattle’s Black Breath Read more […]

Imperium Dekadenz – Procella Vadens (Underground Activists/Season of Mist)

Since there is such a preponderance of black metal, it’s becoming easier and easier to disseminate what is good and (as our British friends would say) “utter shite.” In fact, we can tell right off Read more […]

Barren Earth – Curse of the Red River (Peaceville Records)

More supergroups. A supergroup here, a supergroup there, yadda-yadda. This is what happens when musicians get bored – they find similarly bored musicians and take the easy way out by paying homage to Read more […]

Stigma – Concerto for the Undead (Pivotal Recordings)

Sounding like a cross between The Black Dahlia Murder and The Absence (two bands that are virtually identical on some level), Italy’s Stigma don’t play the originality card very well on Concerto for Read more […]

Triptykon – Eparistera Daimones (Prowling Death/Century Media Records)

Essentially Celtic Frost with a new rhythm section (something we’ll hear Tom G. Warrior say repeatedly, no doubt), Triptykon continues in the dark, next-level-of-avant-garde-metal approach that CF took Read more […]

Order of Ennead – An Examination of Being (Earache Records)

Must be a weird scene for Deicide drummer Steve Asheim to work without Glen Benton, a man whose “antics” have probably done more harm than good for the Floridian death metallers. You never know which Read more […]

Flourishing – A Momentary Sense of the Immediate World EP (The Path Less-Traveled Records)

Rare that Blistering gets to hear raw death metal in this form. Since 95% of death metal nowadays chooses to use ProTools as a buffer/mistake-ridder-of, hearing something recorded live and in the flesh Read more […]