Reviews

Cradle of Filth – Darkly, Darkly Venus Aversa (Nuclear Blast Records)

There’s little debate over how increasingly extreme Cradle of Filth has become over the years, and it’s not a reach to say they’re heavier than their more black-like contemporaries (and rivals) Dimmu Read more […]

Magic Kingdom – Symphony of War (Limb Music)

Anyone remember the days of the original Metal Mania’s on MTV with Dee Snider hosting during the mid 1980’s? If so, you might remember like me, your first encounter with Sweden’s Yngwie Malmsteen. Read more […]

God Dethroned – Under the Sign of the Iron Cross (Metal Blade Records)

Usually as veteran bands evolve, one expects commercial aspects to creep into the group psyche in the hopes of making underground origins blossom into career-sustaining recording and touring cycles. Read more […]

Addicted to Pain – Addicted to Pain EP (Hear N Now/Megaforce Records)

A bit like a junior Pro-Pain, Albany’s Addicted to Pain’s claims they are thrash seem to be a bit unfounded, as this 4-song EP is in the vein of meat-and-potatoes, American metal. You know, the no-frills Read more […]

Children of Technology – It’s Time To Face the Doomsday (Hell’s Headbangers Records)

Talk about kicking it old-school, Italy’s Children of Technology’s It’s Time To Face the Doomsday will only be released on vinyl and tape. Seriously, who has a tape player nowadays? Maybe those Read more […]

Dio – At Donington UK: Live 1983 & 1987 (BBC Recordings)

Golden times these were for Dio, especially in ’83, just when Holy Diver hit and exploded. As the title suggests, At Donington UK: Live 1983 & 1987 captures the Man (and his top-notch band) Read more […]

Salome – Terminal (Profound Lore Records)

Fresh-faces are always welcome in the awfully-tired stoner doom or general doom scene (excuse Blistering’s lack of enthusiasm here), so leave it to a chick and two dudes to breathe some life into the Read more […]

Jaldaboath – Rise of the Heraldic Beasts (Napalm Records)

Weird, but isn’t one Alestorm enough for the world? It’s no sweat off anyone’s back to have Swashbuckle around, who are far more mean and thrashy than Alestorm could ever be, so perhaps it’s only Read more […]

At Vance – Decade (AFM Records)

Argh. The dreaded best-of compilation. Debate resounds as to whether bands truly desire these contractually obligation cash-grabs or if record labels believe consumers are mere sheep locking into a “must Read more […]

Athorn – Phobia (AFM Records)

Hailing from the festival metal Mecca of Germany, Athorn seemingly arise out of nowhere to label rank status in a mere two years, releasing only one EP Livable Hatred in the process. But the five-piece Read more […]

Equilibrium – Rekreatur (Nuclear Blast Records)

A band that is very much a conglomerate of everything that Pagan/folk/epic metal is (and that’s a lot), Equilibrium have yet to figure out what kind of band they are on their second album, Rekreatur. Read more […]

Murder Construct – Murder Construct EP (Relapse Records)

Rounding up a bunch of death metal veterans for a project is hardly new (actually, it’s quite overdone), yet when it’s done right, and when it sounds like the band actually gives a fuck, the results Read more […]

Creation’s End – A New Beginning (Sensory Records)

Boasting a pseudo all-star lineup with former Riot/Masterplan singer Mike Dimeo and James Labrie guitarist Marco Sfogli in the ranks, Creation’s End are the stinging example that for the millionth time, Read more […]

While Heaven Wept – Triumph: Tragedy: Transcendence – Live At the Hammer of Doom Festival (Cruz del Sur Music)

It’s an utter crime to label these guys as doom, ‘cause there so much more to them. Like, so much more. One of the more cult and widely-respected American metal bands of this era, While Heaven Wept Read more […]

Queensryche – Empire 20th Anniversary Edition (Capital Records)

How to follow-up the best metal concept album of all-time…that would be Empire. As Queenryche’s rating exploded in the late 80’s after Operation: Mindcrime, the right move was to streamline the Read more […]

Revolution Renaissance – Trinity (Napalm Records)

If you ever need soap opera drama within the power metal world, look no further than guitarist Timo Tolkki who moved on from Stratovarius onto Revolution Renaissance. Stabbings, bloody female vocal replacements, Read more […]

Symphorce – Unrestricted (AFM Records)

Clearly at the point in their career where they have topped-off, Germany’s Symphorce appear poised to slide down the power metal ladder with the awfully safe Unrestricted. Granted, “safe” and “power Read more […]

Heaven & Hell – Neon Nights: Live In Europe (Armoury Records)

In what should be the first of many posthumous releases for Ronnie James Dio and Heaven & Hell, Neon Nights: Live In Europe comes across as a hastily-thrown together live set, without any real selling points. Read more […]

Slough Feg – The Animal Spirits (Profound Lore Records)

Must be a lonely spot for Slough Feg considering, you know, they’re practically one of the few earnest, instantly identifiable “true” metal bands going. Heck, even calling them “true metal” Read more […]

Nàttsòl – Stemning (Prophecy Productions/Lupus Lounge)

Anyone with the brains to give nods to early-era Borknagar (read: their self-titled debut and majestically majestic The Olden Domain) is worth investigating. For Norway’s Nàttsòl, working in and around Read more […]

Johnny Lokke – Promises and Lies (Big Riff Records)

Essentially a one-man band playing traditional-beyond-traditional metal, Johnny Lokke won’t make anyone forget the mandatory works of Priest, Maiden, and King Diamond (three bands the man borrows from Read more […]

August Burns Red – Home DVD/CD (Solid State Records)

About as unimaginative as cardboard, and looking as metal as yours truly did when he was in kindergarten, Christian metalcore titans August Burns Red have accumulated a strong following and sales numbers Read more […]

Grave Digger – The Clans Will Rise Again (Napalm Records)

Venerable Grave Digger. They don’t do anything remarkable, nor do they do anything that would make even the most cursory of listeners become annoyed. They’re just Grave Digger, the same band it was Read more […]

Lifelover – Konkurs (Prophecy/Lupus Lounge)

In the realm of what is avant-garde and is truly avant-garde, Sweden’s Lifelover fall easily into the second category. If the litmus test is anything beyond Into the Pandemonium, then Konkurs (which Read more […]

Mean Deviation – Four Decades of Progressive Metal By Jeff Wagner (Bazillion Points)

What a massive undertaking this book by former Metal Maniacs associate editor Jeff Wagner represents. If anyone has the knowledge, passion, skills and class to tackle 40 years of a music movement and Read more […]

Control Denied – The Fragile Art of Existence Reissue (Relapse Records)

On paper, Control Denied seemed like the band that would lead metal into the 00’s. With Chuck Schuldiner at the helm, along with budding singer Tim Aymar (ex-Pyscho Scream, currently of Pharaoh) in Read more […]

The Showdown – Blood In the Gears (Tooth and Nail Records)

For all of the endless pontificating we do about how God-awful Christian metal is, it takes a band like The Showdown (and let’s not forget Believer) to give the niche at least some credibility. Since Read more […]

Iron Fire – Metalmorphosized (Napalm Records)

Usually ganged up on by critics for their blissfully unaware portrayal of cheesy power metal, Denmark’s Iron Fire are far from the worst thing power metal has to offer. Actually, they have popped out Read more […]

Immortal – Live At Wacken 2007: The Seventh Date of Blashyrkh DVD/CD (Nuclear Blast Records)

A good two years prior to the release of their comeback album All Shall Fall, Immortal had the presence of mind to do some live dates to put their pretty faces back in the metal public eye. And like most Read more […]

Forbidden – Omega Wave (Nuclear Blast Records)

They’re all coming back, aren’t they? Guess it was only a matter of time before Forbidden jumped into the act, which is fine – they were one of the few Bay Area thrash bands with the gall to use Read more […]