Reviews

Chthonic – Mirror of Retribution (Spinefarm Records)

It sometimes seems that the idea of Chthonic is better than the reality. The Taiwanese symphonic black metal band came to the attention of Western audiences with the release of Seediq Bale in 2005. A Read more […]

Ahab – The Divinity of Oceans (Napalm Records)

Turgid aquatic doom…if there really is such a thing, then Germany’s Ahab are it. Regaling us with more stories of wave and woe, the band return with The Divinity of Oceans an equally-as-crushing Read more […]

Leaves’ Eyes – We Came With the Northern Winds/En Saga I Belgia DVD (Napalm Records)

The handful of times yours truly has seen Leaves’ Eyes live, it appeared a bit of live “trickeration” was going on if you catch my drift. The band sounded a little too pristine for these ears, Read more […]

Augury – Fragmentary Evidence (Nuclear Blast Records)

Quo Vadis, where art thou? Technical Canadian death metal is not the same without you and if one thinks for a second the likes of Despised Icon and Beneath the Massacre are capable of filling that void, Read more […]

Thornafire – Vortex Deconstruccion (Ibex Moon Records)

There’s something awfully hateful with the Spanish language. Just the inflection is convincing enough (just reference any sitcom that uses the negative stereotype of the angry Spanish woman), so pair Read more […]

Nightrage – Wearing A Martyr’s Crown (Lifeforce Records)

Funny…it’s really simple to play melodic death metal of the Swedish variety accordingly. Of course, everyone (i.e. random metalcore band #562) says they do it right, but they’re not Nightrage and Read more […]

Yob – The Great Cessation (Profound Lore Records)

With the Middian fiasco now in the rearview mirror, main Yob-dude Mike Scheidt appears to have done the right thing by re-activating this very crucial power trio. Prior to disbanding in 2005, Yob had a Read more […]

Hail of Bullets – Warsaw Rising EP (Metal Blade Records)

Responsible for the best death metal song of the last five years in the form of “Ordered Eastward,” Dutch death metal supergroup Hail of Bullets are pulling out the ‘ole stop-gap EP with Warsaw Read more […]

Gnostic – Engineering the Rule (Season of Mist Records)

Sort of a primer for Atheist’s first record in 16 years, Engineering the Rule bears several, if not too many resemblances the legendary tech-death crew. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering Read more […]

Precious Metal – Decibel Presents the Stories Behind 25 Extreme Metal Masterpieces (Da Capa Press)

As print dies a slow and painful death, those who grew up devouring Metal Maniacs, Terrorizer, and Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles (read: anyone over the age of 25) are left with few little options. Read more […]

The Legion – A Bliss To Suffer (Listenable Records)

A Bliss to Suffer is neither here nor there; a by-product of the generic nature of blackened death metal. It’s the brand of samey, hook-less extreme metal that has killed for lesser bands than The Legion, Read more […]

Divine Heresy – Bringer of Plagues (Century Media Records)

Talk about picking the best time to release an album. Bringer of Plagues is going to be released right in the thick over a legal battle of the Fear Factory name, which, depending on one’s perspective, Read more […]

Celesty – Vendetta (Spinefarm Records)

It’s split down the middle: if you’re a Finnish power metal band, you’re going to sound like either Stratovarius or Sonata Arctica. Not like there’s anything inherently wrong with that (is Thunderstone Read more […]

Fairyland – Score To A New Beginning (Napalm Records)

Fairyland, who without question have the worst name in all of power metal, won’t strike fear into anyone in the near future, but Score To A New Beginning has some legs to it. And since there are no Read more […]

Godflesh – Songs Of Love & Hate/Love & Hate In Dub/In All Languages DVD (Earache Records)

Musically, you can’t fault this little box set at all. Originally released back in 1996 Songs Of Love And Hate was a bleak masterpiece that has stood the test of time thanks to it’s powerful product. Read more […]

Ava Inferi – Blood of Bacchus (Season of Mist Records)

Now having fully severed ties with Mayhem, guitarist Rune Eriksen (aka “Blasphemer”) can now turn his focus to Ava Inferi, a far less black metal-tinged outfit with two albums already under its belt Read more […]

Goatwhore – Carving Out the Eyes of God (Metal Blade Records)

God is the target this time out for Goatwhore. Not Hurricane Katrina or the painstaking healing process singer Ben Falgoust endured after a 2003 van accident. It’s a fitting approach for the New Orleans Read more […]

Doro – Fear No Evil (AFM Records)

With 25 years in the business and God knows how many albums under her belt, the legendary Doro is always up to something. Whether it’s cutting the 2009 Wacken theme song, doing some symphony work or Read more […]

Killswitch Engage – Killswitch Engage (Roadrunner Records)

This one really could have gone either way. Having always managed to stay a few steps ahead of the rest of the melodic, metalcore crowd, Killswitch Engage seemed to slip a little with 2006’s As Daylight Read more […]

Ektomorf – What Doesn’t Kill Me… (Regain Records)

These Hungarians usually take a beating from the metal press for obvious reasons. Seriously, who wants to hear a third (world)-rate version of latter-Max era Sepultura and Soulfly? Not very many, eh? Lampooning What Read more […]

Forest Stream – The Crown of Winter (Candlelight Records)

Good enough to open for Katatonia during the Swedes 2007 run in Russia, Forest Stream could be the most visible Russian metal band since Mental Home, who came as fast as they went. While it’s unlikely Read more […]

Pantheon I – Worlds I Create (Candlelight Records)

More than just a step up from 2007’s formidable The Wanderer And His Shadow, Worlds I Create is a gigantic leap for Pantheon I, one that propels this Norwegian quintet into rarely-grazed pastures. Read more […]

Delain – April Rain (Sensory/Roadrunner Records)

Quite the fuss around these Dutchmen (and woman), primarily because of Martjin Westerholt’s (ex Within Temptation) involvement and the fact singer Charlotte Wessels is another in a now very long line Read more […]

The Gathering – The West Pole (Season of Mist Records)

The majesty of Mandylion and Nighttime Birds seem so far off that The Gathering feels like a different band. Well, they are, obviously and that’s both with the departure of longtime singer Anneke Read more […]

Pelican – Ephemeral EP (Southern Lord Records)

A stop-gap EP before the next full-length (due sometime later this year or early 2010), Ephemeral is merely a snippet of what Pelican (far and away the best instrumental metal band of the last decade) Read more […]

Obituary – Darkest Day (Candlelight Records)

Now three albums deep into their reformation (wow…already?), legendary Floridian death metallers Obituary have come through in the clutch yet again with Darkest Day. It’s more of the same, and since Read more […]

Glorior Belli – Meet Us At the Southern Sign (Candlelight Records)

Anytime anyone deviates from the norm in black metal, you run the risk of it working or falling flat on its face. Black metal may forever be out of its fully-experimental phase that occurred earlier this Read more […]

Suffocation – Blood Oath (Nuclear Blast Records)

The age-old question: “How do you keep brutal death metal interesting over the course of 10 songs?” is a tricky one. It’s a bit maddening really; you take music so rhythmically pummeling and brutal Read more […]

Jungle Rot – What Horrors Await (Napalm Records)

For those of you who like your death metal devoid of cliché then the cover of Jungle Rot’s latest release, What Horrors Await is going to be immediately off-putting. Once you get beyond that though, Read more […]

Magrudergrind – Magrudergrind (Willowtip Records)

Opening with a sustained burst of feedback and slowly building noise, Magrudergrind are back, ready to tear off faces with the aptly-titled “The Protocols Of Anti-Sound.” It’s both a statement of Read more […]