Eluveitie – Helvetios (Nuclear Blast Records)

Easily the most active epic/folk metal band at the present time, Switzerland’s Eluveitie haven’t been able to match their sterling 2008 Slania, an album that while not the most elaborate body of work Read more […]

Iron Mask – Black As Death (AFM Records)

Anytime a bio boasts about the album in question having “over an hour of the band’s renowned talent,” it’s a big ‘ole red flag. An hour and change worth of power metal is only acceptable if your Read more […]

Ram – Death (Metal Blade Records)

If only more names were as simple as “Ram.” It might even be the easiest name to utter in metal history, and perhaps the Swedes aren’t very fond of syllables, with Death being the title of their Read more […]

Liberteer – Better To Die On Your Feet Than Live Your Knees (Relapse Records)

Politics have always been a favorite topic amongst the grindcore crowd, thus casting them in better-informed (and much smellier) light than the rest of us metal yokels. That could be the case, for the Read more […]

Pharaoh – Bury the Light (Cruz del Sur Music)

Watching the development of American traditional power metal act Pharaoh has been exciting. Casting away initial influences ranging from Germanbands like Rage to the twin harmonies most closely associated Read more […]

Christian Mistress – Possession (Relapse Records)

Do you know what’s annoying? People making a fuss out of rocker chicks. As in, everytime a female comes by wearing a Motorhead shirt with tattoos smelling like cheap whisky is this holy grail for dudes Read more […]

Anguish – Through the Archdemons Head (Dark Descent Records)

A bit surprised that no one has ripped-off Candlemass as much as they should. Granted, such a crime would essentially be ripping off Sabbath in a roundabout way, but the Swedes always had their way of Read more […]

Orange Goblin – A Eulogy For the Damned (Candlelight Records)

Based on association and geography alone, Orange Goblin are often slotted in with the lazy-as-all-hell stoner/doom scene that in some people’s eyes, begins and ends with Electric Wizard. It’s a mindless Read more […]

Nekromantheon – Rise, Vulcan Spectre (Indie Recordings)

We all listened to a little too much Hell Awaits and Schizophrenia in our time. (Note: If you don’t know the respective bands that recorded these albums, then shame on you) As the precursor albums Read more […]

Corrosion of Conformity – Corrosion of Conformity (Candlelight Records)

No Pepper, no problem. Now functioning as a trio without longtime frontman/guitarist/band “face” Pepper Keenan, Corrosion of Conformity has veered back to their brash punk-on-metal roots for their eighth Read more […]

Riotgod – Invisible Empire (Metalville Records)

The art of rocking. It’s not very well-defined, for anyone can claim “they rock” (or “We Rock,” like Dio did on Last In Line). Now, a lot of metalbands try to include “rocked-out” moments to compensate Read more […]

Everything Went Black – Cycles of Light (Prosthetic Records)

A bit of a dark cloud hangs over Everything Went Black and theirCycles of Light debut, as founding member Brian Kennedy passed away in March of 2011. It’s in these moments when bands usually sink or Read more […]

Alcest – Les Voyages de l’ Ame (Prophecy Productions)

Easy to see why Alcest has gone from one of the underground’s best kept secrets to the brink of high-level billing. These kind of things will happen when a.) you’re original; and b.) there’s substance Read more […]

Freedom Call – Land of the Crimson Dawn (SPV Records)

German power metal has trademarks known far and wide to the international scene. Helloween may have upped the Iron Maiden gallop ante, but in their early years, Freedom Call were well known for their heart-pumping Read more […]

Lacuna Coil – Dark Adrenaline (Century Media Records)

Blistering was off by four years in its prediction that Lacuna Coil would have its “return to form” album by 2016. This claim was made after 2009’s near-disastrous Shallow Life, an effort that saw the Read more […]

Evergrey – A Decade And A Half (SPV Records)

Evergrey always hated the progressive metal tag. They hated it so much that during this scribe’s stint at InsideOut Music in the mid-00’s, the band formally requested that any mention of progressive metal Read more […]

77 – High Decibels (Listenable Records)

“I’m sick to death of people saying we’ve made 11 albums that sound exactly the same. In fact, we’ve made 12 albums that sound exactly the same.” – Angus Young, circa early 90’s. [Best quote ever] We Read more […]

Lamb of God – Resolution (Epic Records)

Perhaps the last “big” metal band America will produce in a long time, Lamb of God is at the stage in their career where they can comfortably put out albums at their own pace, totally oblivious to the Read more […]

Hate Squad – Katharsis (Massacre Records)

German metalcore, as we’ve come to know it, typically runs down the lines of borrowed Gothenburg riffs and on-loan beatdowns. Originality has never been the scene’s long-suit, just ask Maroon, Heaven Read more […]

Dodecahedron – Dodecahedron (Season of Mist Records)

With a name that sounds more like a cold medicine than a black metal moniker, Denmark’s Dodecahedron (definition: any polyhedron with 12 flat faces) revel in the obtuse and relatively un-engaging world Read more […]

Horrendous – The Chills (Dark Descent Records)

Fundamentally speaking, Horrendous belong in the early 90’s. You don’t have to be a rocket surgeon (yeah, that’s right) to figure out that the band is all-in with Stockholm and entry-level American Read more […]

Psycroptic – The Inherited Repression (Nuclear Blast Records)

At the forefront of the technical death metal movement, Tasmania’s Psycroptic strike in the same manner as current-day Decapitated, meaning they’re every bit as note-happy, but more listenable than Read more […]

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 […]