Reviews

This Misery Garden – Cornerstone (Season of Mist Records)

Bands should be wary of making improper associations to Katatonia. That’s sacred ground we’re talking about. If you’re going to use the Swedes as a reference point, then you’d be best able to deliver Read more […]

Lifeforms – Multidimensional (Lifeforce Records)

Anybody out there really dig the whole Djent thing? Ya, me neither… but this debut album by Sacramento tweens Lifeforms isn’t the most awful thing ever. Trust me. These savants brandish serious musical Read more […]

Satan – Life Sentence (Listenable Records)

This apparently “go-time” for any NWOBHM to release an album after years of dormancy. It’s akin to a zombie uprising, we guess. Like, what’s more hip than zombies right now? And what’s more fashionable Read more […]

Six Feet Under – Unborn (Metal Blade Records)

No strangers to turning new albums around faster than most, Six Feet Under are back with Unborn, which comes off the heels of last year’s Undead. Apparently, Chris Barnes has some type of concept in Read more […]

VHӦL- VHӦL (Profound Lore Records)

Thee Most Sensational, Inspirational, Celebrational, Credential laden, Super, All-Star Band, VHӦL! Yes, that description was ripped from The Muppet Show Theme (the first part, at least) but, all these Read more […]

Soul of Steel – Journey to Infinity (Bakerteam Records)

Power metal can be a movement very hit or miss with this journalist. The definition has changed so much through the years: growing up acts like Helloween, Liege Lord and Riot (especially with the Thundersteel Read more […]

Freedoms Reign – Freedoms Reign (Cruz del Sur Music)

A wide-open opportunity for a cash grab (wait, is there any cash in metal?), Freedoms Reign is the product of former Fates Warning guitarist Victor Arduini. We say “cash grab,” for it would have been Read more […]

Abnormal Thought Patterns – Manipulation Under Anesthesia (Lifeforce Records)

Instrumental metal albums became in vogue during the Shrapnel Records 80’s heydays, a focus for the guitar shred community who wanted to up the ante as Yngwie Malmsteen added his neo-classical arpeggio Read more […]

Vicious Rumors – Electric Punishment (SPV)

California power metal act Vicious Rumors has always been critical darlings in major metal media publications across Europe, the Far East, and South America, yet struggled to gain any traction in their Read more […]

Avantasia – The Mystery of Time (Nuclear Blast Records)

Tobias Sammet must have been pursuing his Blind Guardian collection when scouting cover ideas for The Mystery of Time. Doesn’t that look like something BG would have done circa 1992? We’ll spare the Read more […]

Revel in Flesh – Manifested Darkness (FDA Rekotz)

Confusion was amok upon viewing the tracklisting for Manifested Darkness. Revel in Flesh (the band) have a song called “Revel in Flesh,” which is the same song title used by Entombed way back in 1990 Read more […]

Powerworld – Cybersteria (SPV)

Fluctuating lineup changes appear to be a constant in today’s metal scene due to the up and down nature of developing consistent income with the changing music marketing model. In the case of melodic Read more […]

Toxic Holocaust – From The Ashes Of Nuclear Destruction (Relapse Records)

Toxic Holocaust, more specifically lone ranger Joel Grind play thrash at its most basic. While they’re not quite at remedial level, Grind’s ideas lean mostly on the simplistic side, which may or may Read more […]

Starkill – Fires of Life (Century Media Records)

Chicago’s Starkill are a bunch of young dudes who can shred, fancy “epic” metal with a black metal twist, write relatively high-wire songs, and cite Dragonforce as an influence. Well, there had to Read more […]

Altar Of Plagues – Teethed Glory And Injury (Profound Lore Records)

Altar Of Plagues have always been a step beyond most of the ilk they shared a sonic template with, the grand-scale melding of black metal and post-rock aesthetics into a caustic and often-times bleak panorama. Read more […]

Shining – One One One (Prosthetic Records)

Whew, three years removed from the exhausting Blackjazz and the Norwegian Shining returns to the fold with a vengeance. The jazz/industrial/metal/holyshitwhat’shappening amalgamation that was Blackjazz Read more […]

The Omega Experiment – The Omega Experiment (Listenable Records)

The current net progressive metal has cast couldn’t be bigger. Where once many said the style had distinct limitations, there doesn’t appear to be much, especially when the likes of Devin Townsend, Read more […]

Atrocity – Okkult (Napalm Records)

This scribe will never forget Atrocity main dude/Leaves’ Eyes sideman Alexandar Krull asking a capacity Cleveland crowd, “How are you doing tonight, Chicago?” Talk about an unintentional, but ironic Spinal Read more […]

Visions of Atlantis – Ethera (Napalm Records)

I’ve said this on countless occasions, but there is a glut of symphonic/power metal bands overcrowding the genre with tons of mediocrity. Fortunately, one such act has been boldly steering the ship away Read more […]

Thy Art is Murder – Hate (Nuclear Blast)

One day, someone with way too much time on their hands (cue the Styx song) will take all of the deathcore bands who parlay the same beatdown, and will do some type of side-by-side comparison on YouTube. Read more […]

Iced Earth – Live In Ancient Kourion (Century Media)

Iced Earth mainmain Jon Schaffer has seen some dark times of late, with the flip-flop of singers, effectively creating a revolving door in that position. Tim Owens walked away from the band after recording Read more […]

October Falls – The Plague of a Coming Age (Debemur Morti Productions)

Ah, ambient metal. How great of a subgenre you are. One such purveyor of this style, October Falls, is a band who has gotten better with every release. Beginning as a mainly acoustic folk act, they’ve Read more […]

Misery Index – Live in Munich (Season of Mist Records)

Surely there is a rather large segment of those out there who have been to a death metal show. And at these shows, the audience is usually called upon to disengage from the traditional arms-crossed/tough Read more […]

Batillus – Concrete Sustain (Seventh Rule Recordings)

Intended to reflect the rust and decay of urban sprawl, Batillus’s Concrete Sustain is an album that is supposed to take a trip back to the short-lived mid-90’s industrial/alternative metal explosion. Read more […]

Centurian – Contra Rationem (Listenable Records)

No matter how you dress it up, generic death metal is just that – generic death metal. Look no further than the last few Nile records to see that no matter how cool the theme, it can’t distract from Read more […]

Purson – The Circle and the Blue Door (Rise Above Records/Metal Blade Records)

I took a ride with London’s Purson recently. Spending several, heady hours wandering through their debut album, The Circle And The Blue Door. I held the wheel to my vehicle, yet, this trip it was clear Read more […]

Cauldron – Tomorrow’s Lost (Earache/Century Media Records)

There’s not really much of an excuse for having a poor-sounding album unless it’s recorded in an intentionally poor manner. Or, if you’re still at nascent stage and don’t have any money in the Read more […]

Artlantica – Across the Seven Seas (SPV/Steamhammer)

I would think the natural inclination is to say Arltantica is a super group when you consider the pedigrees of everyone involved in the project. Vocalist John West has been associated with Artension, Royal Read more […]

Anciients – Heart of Oak (Season of Mist)

Getting really tired of bands not spelling their names properly…it’s not that cute, and frankly, will only serve to confuse those who are more easily confused than we already are. Petty gripes aside, Read more […]

KEN Mode – Entrench (Season of Mist Records)

Short for “Kill everything now,” Canada’s KEN Mode breed vitriol from every pour on Entrench, their fifth album, and first for Season of Mist. The Canucks portray what is now the very typical “angry white Read more […]