Reviews

Avantasia – The Flying Opera (Nuclear Blast Records)

Now the main focus of pint-sized dynamo Tobias Sammet (also of Edguy), Avantasia are getting the live album treatment by way of The Flying Opera. Recorded during various portions of the band’s 2008 Read more […]

Switchtense – Switchtense (Rastilho Records)

A name that is clearly the product of a band with English as their second (or possibly third) language, Portgual’s Switchtense are able to work around this odd word pairing for a nice round of brisk Read more […]

Chaos Frame – Another Life (Self-Released)

A tip of the cap to Datis Alaee of the Warriors Of Metal Festival/Farvahar Records for recommending this recent progressive metal four piece to my ears. Another Life is the debut album from this St. Read more […]

Earth Crisis – Neutralize the Threat (Century Media Records)

This is a tough one, only because Earth Crisis used to be the most feared hardcore band going, with a message as meaningful as its music. Granted, that was in the late 90’s, and the band still sounds Read more […]

Draconian – A Rose For the Apocalypse (Napalm Records)

A band that is criminally underrated and overlooked in the Goth metal scene, Sweden’s Draconian have emerged as one of Goth’s most dependable bands. Their track record has no real blip, with albums Read more […]

Tyr – The Lay of Thrym (Napalm Records)

Sure, we have a total hard-on for Tyr, going all the way back to their killer Ragnarok album from 2006, but they’re an awfully easy band to like. With the imitable Heri Joensen leading the way with Read more […]

Death – Human Reissue (Relapse Records)

I choked on a piece of steak and nearly died the day I bought Death’s Human. How’s that for an intro? Thanks to the fast-actions of one Jim Gehlke (my older brother, who performed the Heimlich), Read more […]

Pain – You Only Live Twice (Nuclear Blast Records)

The reason why Hypocrisy has been so inactive is because of Pain. Across the pond, Pain outsells Hypocrisy and is a commercially-viable act, which means we won’t fault main Pain/Hypocrisy-dude Peter Read more […]

The Black Dahlia Murder – Ritual (Metal Blade Records)

With the number of memorable songs on 2009’s Deflorate being less than one, Black Dahlia Murder have wised-up and gotten back to their roots on Ritual. The album carves things up with melodic splendor, Read more […]

A Pale Horse Named Death – And Hell Will Follow Me (SPV Records)

The loss of Type O Negative has left a void for many, and while it’s admirable for ex-Type O members to step up to the plate, imitating the band’s lush and sordid Goth metal sound is easier said than Read more […]

Shakra – Back On Track (AFM Records)

Sucker for a good hook we are at Blistering, and even though the bulk of Shakra’s Back On Track is as dated as a Dodge Pinto, there’s something to be said for a band that knows how to get down to Read more […]

Job For A Cowboy – Gloom EP (Metal Blade Records)

Once the poster boys for “Myspace death metal,” Job For A Cowboy have managed to survive a swell of scene policing, deathcore, and lineup changes since their 2003 inception. And while they’re not Read more […]

Autopsy – Macabre Eternal (Peaceville Records)

With their career effectively built off their classic Severed Survival debut from 1989, it can’t be easy being Autopsy. Purists will lambaste the band for trying to mooch of their legacy; long-time Read more […]

Heavenwood – Abyss Masterpiece (Listenable Records)

“Heavenwood” sounds like a retirement village, and a morbid one at that if you really think about it. In this case, it’s the name of a long-standing Portuguese Goth metal band who are releasing their Read more […]

Nader Sadek – In the Flesh (Season of Mist)

Egyptian conceptual artist Nader Sadek must be one persuasive fella, able to rope in some of death metal’s most known figures to perform his material. It’s a pretty neat concept; a bit like a director, Read more […]

Bleeding Fist – Devil’s Ferox (Moribund Records)

Funny how there’s a segment of bands that will do everything they can to sound as flawless as possible, while others are perfectly happy with a 1986 production job. Indeed there are zero production value Read more […]

Voivod – Warriors of Ice (Sonic Unyon)

Voivod playing with another guitar player other than Piggy is like Pantera playing without Dimebag. That’s how much Denis D’Amour (aka “Piggy”) meant to the band. Of course, there’s a fraction Read more […]

Hammerfall – Infected (Nuclear Blast Records)

Has it really been 15 years since Glory to the Brave? For a band that many thought would burn out as fast as they came, Hammerfall have managed to hang around, dominating the Euro festival circuit, all Read more […]

Iron Maiden – From Fear To Eternity: The Best of 1990 – 2010 (Universal Music)

Perhaps no band leverages their back catalog more than Iron Maiden. You’d do it too if you had 15 studio albums and a handful of live albums to your (untarnished) name. But man, the 90’s were not kind Read more […]

Arch Enemy – Khaos Legions (Century Media Records)

Arch Enemy can’t do much else with their sound, except for a total dumbing-down of it, but the Amott’s are too smart (and self-aware) to do something like that. Khaos Legions reads like any one of Read more […]

Krallice – Diotma (Profound Lore Records)

No one riffs in black metal like Krallice, and while calling them “black metal” might be a sore spot for some, their ability to manipulate riffs and guitar constructs are sometimes jaw-dropping. On Read more […]

Degradead – A World Destroyer (Metalville Records)

Nothing like a trip around the ‘ole melodic death metal block, eh? On Degradead’s third album A World Destroyer, the once-vaunted melodic death metal sound of the early 00’s is on full display, Read more […]

Lake of Tears – Illwill (AFM Records)

Gotta be the album cover of the year, eh? Seriously…that’s a stark image, which makes sense – Lake of Tears aren’t about to start singing about sunshine and lollipops. On Illwill, the Swedes dole Read more […]

Marduk – Iron Dawn EP (Regain Records)

Around the time of 1999’s Panzer Division Marduk, there was little debate as to who the fastest black metal band on the planet was. It was Marduk, obviously, Given that the album in question had literally all Read more […]

Faces of Bayon – Heart of the Fire (Ragnarok Records)

Watching the development of this doom/drone metal trio has been exciting. Attending their first show, you could sense the Worcester, MA metal act would level all listeners with a thick, bottom-heavy sound, Read more […]

Portrait – Crimen Laesae Majestatis Divinae (Metal Blade Records)

Man, deciding between Ghost, In Solitude, and Portrait for best Mercyful Fate knock-off is tough. Notwithstanding Blistering’s affinity for MF (and King Diamond), there is some solace in the fact that Read more […]

Winterus – In Carbon Mysticism (Lifeforce Records)

A bit jumbled this one, probably because Winterus aren’t even two years old and when bands are in such a nascent stage, mistakes are bound to be made. A label as well-respected as Lifeforce should have Read more […]

Symphony X – Iconoclast (Nuclear Blast Records)

New Jersey’s Symphony X may have spent the first half of their career locked out of becoming a viable touring band due to record label politics, but over the past three studio albums have more than made Read more […]

Novembers Doom – Aphotic (The End Records)

Since 2005’s excellent Pale Haunt Departure, Novembers Doom have settled into their dark death/doom sound like one would while getting comfortable on a couch. Not to say ND is too comfortable with Read more […]

Bloodbound – Unholy Cross (AFM Records)

Nothing like a good power metal anthem to get the blood pumping, eh? Such is the case for “Moria,” the opening cut on Bloodbound’s third effort,Unholy Cross. “Moria” is basically a song most Read more […]