Rising – To Solemn Ash (Exile on Mainstream Records)

he normally experimental and noise-based Exile on Mainstream label doesn’t sign bands like Rising. If they were a cross-hybrid-extreme-avant-garde ensemble, then yeah, it would make sense, but for the Read more […]

Farsot – Insects (Prophecy Productions/Lupus Lounge)

“Progressive black metal” is a term that should be banished from the ranks. Actually, anything involving “progressive” should be the last thing uttered when describing any kind of music, and that Read more […]

Nightwish – Imaginaerum (Roadrunner Records)

Funny how Nightwish ends up writing longer, more complex songs when they should be doing the opposite…an elaborate concept album likeImaginaerum would be totally Tarja Turunen territory. Totally. Simple-minded Read more […]

Shear – Breaking the Stillness (Lifeforce Records)

Due to the finite nature of our physical time on this earth, it shouldn’t be surprising that many musicians wish to extend their talent and creativity into as many bands/project outlets as possible. Read more […]

Vore – Gravehammer (Self-released)

No spiel is necessary when discussing why a simple death metal band like Vore is a better alternative to the cadre of technical death metal bands who would rather light up the sky with notes than hunker Read more […]

Astral Doors – Jerusalem (Metalville)

Ronnie James Dio is in the house…sort of. There is no better Dio vocal impersonator than Astral Doors’ Nils Patrik Johannsson, a man whose bread and butter is doling out vocal licks that are eerily reminiscent Read more […]

Rhope – Turning Maybes Into Reality (Bakerteam Records)

Released on Bakerteram Records, A subdivision of Scarlet Records with the intent on forging new acts onto the international scene, the Italian four piece known as Rhope produce quite an eclectic musical cocktail Read more […]

Iron Fire – Voyage of the Damned (Napalm Records)

An alteration in sound and/or direction doesn’t always warrant the changing of one’s name, but some bands should strongly consider it, like Denmark’s Iron Fire. Known mostly for their relatively light Read more […]

Drudkh – Eternal Turn of the Wheel (Underground Activists/Season of Mist Records)

By standard of convention, Drudkh’s 2010 opus Handful of Stars was anything but conventional. It laid off the distortion yet was still heavy, it was black metal sounding but didn’t beg and borrow Read more […]

Lantlôs – Agape (Prophecy Productions/Lupus Lounge)

Responsible for one of 2010’s best black metal albums (.neon) andsongs (“Coma”), Lantlôs has hit the ground running with Agape, a body of work that practically shuns every black metal convention Read more […]

Majestic Downfall – The Blood Dance (Chaos Records)

Bands/projects of the singular, one-man variety typical don’t sound as polished as Majestic Downfall. Methinks not a lot of them are coming from the metal netherworld of Mexico either, all the more reason Read more […]

Woods of Ypres – Woods 5: Grey Skies and Electric Light (Earache Records)

Unfortunately, this is a posthumous release given the untimely passing of Woods mainman David Gold this past December. Gold was killed in a car accident near his hometown in Barrie, Ontario at the young Read more […]

Illdisposed – There is Light (But It’s Not for Me) (Massacre Records)

Going on two decades of existence, Illdisposed have been consistently putting out solid work since their inception. The band has certainly morphed since their early years of pounding death metal, becoming Read more […]

Primal Fear – Unbreakable (Frontiers Records)

A band that should never, ever deviate from the course, Primal Fear has made a career out of essentially doing the same thing over and over since their eponymous 1999 debut. And frankly, that’s fine Read more […]

Almah – Motion (AFM Records)

Funny to think that Edu Falaschi has been fronting Angra for over a decade now. Charged with rebuilding the band after the departure of Andra Matos in 1999 (not to mention the band’s rhythm section), Read more […]

The 11th Hour – Lacrima Mortis (Napalm Records)

A noticeable improvement over 2010’s rather pedestrian Burden of Grief, Lacrima Mortis finds The 11th Hour and main dude Ed Warby (Gorefest, Ayreon, etc.) striking some able-bodied doom moments across Read more […]

Dies Irae – Secret Veils of Passion (Chaos Records)

It’s quite evident that on Dance of December Souls, Katatonia had no idea how to end a song. Take a gander at any one of the album’s eight cuts and you can almost feel a sense that the Swedes wanted Read more […]

Brainstorm – On the Spur of the Moment (AFM Records)

Perhaps realizing that last year’s Memorial Roots wasn’t up to snuff, German metallers Brainstorm quickly bounced back into the studio to record On the Spur of the Moment, an album that is less Read more […]

Acherontas – Vamachara (Agonia Records)

As an indication of Acherontas and Vamachara’s all-around blasé nature, it took Blistering roughly a month and over a dozen listens to type this review. Sure, other things have gotten in the way, most Read more […]

Rue – Thorns (Shifty Records)

Last heard from in 2003 (which frankly, seems like eons ago), Midwestern sludge metallers Rue return with Thorns, their second full-length. While their extended absence might have provided them with ample Read more […]

Ptahil – For His Satanic Majesty’s Glory (Wraith Productions)

Sometimes, atmosphere is everything. Granted, it’s not more important than actual songs (counting bands that you know, can actually write), but certain styles of metal lend to it sounding a certain Read more […]

Cormorant – Dwellings (Self-Released)

Considering the propensity for most labels to sign everything that breathes, it’s a tad surprising no one has picked up San Francisco’s Cormorant yet. Perhaps they don’t want to be signed…or they’re Read more […]

Holy – Holy EP (Hell, Yes! Records)

Brutish, fast-paced and intense. If that sounds like your idea of a good time then get on board for Holy. This bunch of Italian grind-punks are here to flay the skin from your bones across eight tracks Read more […]

Morbus Chron – Sleepers in the Rift (Pulverised Records)

Outside of copying Left Hand Path note-for-note, there probably isn’t a better way to create the vaunted Stockholm death metal sound than having former Entombed mastermind Nicke Andersson produce one’s Read more […]

The Man-Eating Tree – Harvest (Century Media Records)

Doubtful this one is going to get a North American release, prompting Blistering to again, use alternate means of tracking down the album. Not like it totally matters – you can probably find the coordinates Read more […]

Vektor – Outer Isolation (Heavy Artillery)

The gap between technical thrash and not-so technical thrash is noticeable, especially if you’ve been hit over the head repeatedly with denim-sporting mongrels who are barely old enough to drink. To Read more […]

Blood Mortized – Bestial EP (Chaos Records)

The regurgitation of Stockholm death metal that has been going down of late is close to careening out of control. Such a shame, for it could minimize the masterworks of Dismember, Entombed, and Grave, Read more […]

Wolvhammer – The Obsidian Plains (Profound Lore Records)

Yet another good pickup for Profound Lore, Minneapolis/Chicago-based blackened sludge metallers Wolvhammer prove to be an ideal fit for the increasingly discordant and varied USBM sound. With the root Read more […]

Illnath – The Third Act in the Theatre of Madness (Pitch Black Records)

A less flashy, “poor woman’s” version of Arch Enemy, Danish melodic death metallers Illnath make good use of raspy, practically androgynous female vocals on their third album, The Third Act in the Read more […]

Infernal Legion – The Spear of Longinus (Moribund Records)

A card-carrying member of the old-school North American death metal club since 1999, Washington’s Infernal Legion make due with a simplistic, yet churning brand of death metal on The Spear of Longinus, Read more […]