Sacred Mother Tongue – Out of the Darkness (The End Records)

Really cool name, like swiped from a song by The Cult or something, the U.K.’s Sacred Mother Tongue possess the bare essentials to be on those “straight” metal/rock bands on their Out of the Darkness Read more […]

Orphaned Land – All is One (Century Media)

Lots of love for Orphaned Land, probably because they give so much of it out. If there was a Nobel Peace Prize to be doled out in the metal sector, these guys would win by a mile, for their message of Read more […]

Huntress – Starbound Beast (Napalm Records)

Jill Janus arrived on the metal scene in 2009 and immediately attempted to create a buzz around her feminine mystique as a singer who delved into the occult. The hype seemed to be huge, and the band’s Read more […]

Chthonic – Bú-Tik (Spinefarm Records)

Not what one would call novel, but certainly unique, Taiwanese extreme metallers Chthonic have managed to capture the imagination of the Far East metal scene, which up until a few years ago, was largely Read more […]

Fejd – Nagelfar (Napalm Records)

Sweden’s Fejd begs the question,  “How folk can you go?” Their association with Napalm Records notwithstanding, the Swedes have generated a pretty impressive metal following since their 2001 formation, Read more […]

Hybrid – Angst (Deepsend Records)

A largely unknown quantity save for their sole 2008 album, The 8th Plague, Spanish technical grinders Hybrid (thank goodness they’re not called “Hybrid Theory”) have undergone a change in the ranks (read: Read more […]

Amon Amarth – Deceiver of the Gods (Metal Blade Records)

Amon Amarth is a band that exudes rare strength and power in a way that almost feels tangible and transferable.  Similar to the way a fiction reader can transpose himself into the protagonist and live Read more […]

Kalmah – Seventh Swamphony (Spinefarm Records)

The sole proprietors of Finnish swamp metal, Kalmah has yet to land the properly-timed blow to finally make their mark on this side of the pond. While those early 00’s Century Media days netted the band Read more […]

Lonewolf – The Fourth and Final Horseman (Napalm Records)

Parading a style of heavy metal with old-school power tendencies more well-known from German or Greek acts than France, Lonewolf nonetheless has established a decent stockpile of albums since 2002, with The Read more […]

Monsterworks – Album of Man (Mortal)

One of those bands that are under the radar, but have no business being as such, the U.K.’s Monsterworks are making inroads at becoming one of cerebral metal’s more interesting bands. And by “cerebral,” Read more […]

Lair of the Minotaur – Godslayer EP (The Grind-House)

[Cue run-on sentence] Recorded as means to commemorate Chicago savages Lair of the Minotaur’s tenth anniversary, the Godslayer EP is a quick two-song free-for-all of bludgeoning, no frills metal that Read more […]

Queensryche – Queensryche (Century Media)

Frankly, “this” version of Queensryche didn’t have to try very hard to better what “that” version (i.e. Geoff Tate’s) put out a few months ago in the form of Frequency Unknown. F.U. (as it has been come Read more […]

Masterplan – Novum Initium (AFM Records)

Jorn Lande is out, again, and with him goes the unfulfilled promise of a power metal supergroup that has yet to topple the band it was created to take out: Helloween. In light of the undeniable quality Read more […]

Seth – The Howling Spirit (Season of Mist)

These days, a once-inactive black metal band rejoining the metal fray is heck of a lot more interesting than a death metal band doing the same thing. This dead horse we continue to beat is tiresome for Read more […]

Extinction Protocol – Aeonic Obliteration (P2)

We don’t hear much from Erie, PA, the city best known for being smack-dab in the middle of the Snow Belt, along with owning the distinction of having three football teams (Bills, Browns, and Steelers) Read more […]

Dark Moor – Ars Musica (Scarlet Records)

For as manly power metal tries to make itself out to be, it sure sounds like some bands are playing for the ladies. But hey, most dudes are in a band to score points with the chicks – they just won’t Read more […]

The Black Dahlia Murder – Everblack (Metal Blade Records)

The release of Everblack gives pause to ten years ago when The Black Dahlia Murder were so fresh-faced, unproven, and green, that few gave them a fighting chance of survival. Dismissed because of their Read more […]

Tristania – The Darkest White (Napalm Records)

Hardly the cleavage-pushing, keyboard-loving, bravado-based band they were when Beyond the Veil was making waves at the dawn of the 00’s, Norway’s Tristania have successfully transitioned into a new Read more […]

Trail of Tears – Oscillation (Massacre Records)

Trail of Tears have never been able to keep it together during their 15-year duration as a band. Founding member/male vocalist Ronny Thorsen has seen members come and go on a Mustaine-like level, with Read more […]

ASG – Blood Drive (Relapse)

Blood Drive, the fifth album from North Carolina’s ASG is the band’s first release for Relapse Records. It’s a sludgy/psychedelic heavy rock affair, finding singer Jason Shi and co. going for big, Read more […]

Gravewurm – Infernal Minions (Hell’s Headbangers)

A study in contrasts, Gravewurm with a “u” is sloppy; sloppy to the point where they have difficulty staying in time. Graveworm with an “o” on the other hand, is a slick, Gothic black metal band whose Read more […]

The Devil’s Blood – III: Tabula Rasa or Death and the Seven Pillars (Metal Blade Records)

Unmastered and barebones to an extent, each of the songs on III: Tabula Rasa or Death and the Seven Pillars are still surprisingly robust for what amounts to work-in-progress demos. The use of drum-machine Read more […]

Havok – Unnatural Selection (Candlelight Records)

Denver’s Havok have been deservedly flying high on the success of their excellent 2011 album Time is Up, their impressive debut album in 2009’s Burn, and a busy touring schedule.  They’ve built Read more […]

Warbeast – Destroy (Housecore Records)

Sophomore releases can make or break a band and I thank the metal gods above that Warbeast do not disappoint with Destroy. The raw and viciousness of their self-titled debut in 2010 took many by surprise Read more […]

Beyond Creation – The Aura (Season of Mist)

An album that is two years already, meaning it’s getting the ‘ole “reboot,” The Aura is the debut effort from French Canadian technical death metal mongloids Beyond Creation. Anyone with even an Read more […]

Noisem – Agony Defined (A389)

Reign in Blood was so short that you could put the entire running order on both sides of a cassette. It’s one of the nostalgic factors behind a release than many feel to be thrash’s and Slayer’s finest Read more […]

Evile – Skull (Earache/Century Media Records)

Now past the pivotal third album stage and without the unfortunate specter of deceased bassist Mike Alexander hanging over them, British thrashers have come back with a beyond-thrash album in the form Read more […]

Suidakra – Eternal Defiance (AFM Records)

“Folksy melo-death” is what Suidakra does, having produced one of the style’s more impressive albums in the form of 2003’s Signs for the Fallen. Said album proved the Germans could handle venturing outside Read more […]

Leprous – Coal (Inside Out Music)

Impossible for Norway’s Leprous to not learn anything as Ihsahn’s backing band. Aside from his unparalleled musical abilities, Ihsahn has developed into quite the composer during his post-Emperor days, Read more […]

Sirenia – Perils of the Deep Blue (Nuclear Blast)

When one door closes, another one opens, especially in the case of Sirenia leader Morten Veland. Leaving Gothic metal veterans Tristania in 2000 due to musical differences, he put Norwegian act Sirenia Read more […]