Reviews

When the Deadbolt Breaks – Drifting Towards the Ends of the Earth (FuzzTown Records)

At first glance, When the Deadbolt Breaks poses as a wordy label, but like their music, it is expansively artistic. When spoken, the name drifts with its poetic consonance; and when contemplated, the image Read more […]

Harm – Cadaver Christi (F.D.A. Rekotz)

Harm is giving this writer a serious case of deja-vu.  German-based old school death metal?  Check.  Released through FDA Rekotz?  Check.  Buzzsaw guitars and a mix of Autopsy, Dismember, and Celtic Read more […]

Corrections House – Last City Zero (Neurot Recordings)

There must be another rebellion on the rise, and if not, there will be when the masses hear this end-all or instigate-all riot. Invigorating rhythms, destructive industrial beats, and dictating spoken-word Read more […]

Rhapsody of Fire – Dark Wings of Steel (AFM)

Power metal eventually caught up to Rhapsody of Fire’s overblown, “Hollywood” theatrics, rendering the band a unique commodity no more. The dual versions of the band doesn’t help much either, especially Read more […]

CODE – Augur Nox (Agonia Records)

Despite the rigid ideals of many of its pioneers, black metal is an incredibly malleable template from which to forge a unique sound. The past half-decade has seen an absurd amount of variation come forth Read more […]

Slaughterday – Nightmare Vortex (F.D.A. Rekotz)

Toss some Dismember, Autopsy, Celtic Frost, and add just a smidge of older Hypocrisy together in a blender and you’ll be saying TGI-Slaughterday!  Slaughterday’s debut, Nightmare Vortex states that Read more […]

Handful of Hate – To Perdition (Code666 Records)

Italian black metal band Handful of Hate has been in existence since 1993, released its first album in 1997, and has since released five subsequent albums.  This most current album, To Perdition, sees Read more […]

Black Sabbath – Live…Gathered In Their Masses DVD (Republic)

Sabbath, unfortunately, is crawling to the finish line, broken down, splintered, and with a new album that hasn’t floated too well with the real metal hard-asses. Their 2013 round of touring has been Read more […]

Immortal Bird – Akrasia (Closed Casket Recordings)

Despite the awkward and slightly goofy name, Immortal Bird’s debut is anything but.  Started by Rae Amitay (Thrawsunblat) as a way to get out from behind the drum kit, she’s joined by Evan Berry (of Read more […]

Cursed 13 – Triumf (Carnal)

As the story goes, the early 90’s Stockholm bands (Nihilist, Dismember, Unleashed, et al) would get together on a Saturday, head down the local subway, set up camp, drink, and blast metal all through Read more […]

Untimely Demise – Systematic Eradication (Punishment 18 Records)

Thrash bands always use the most literal interpretations for their album covers. As in, if someone is getting killed, mauled, or in this case, “eradicated,” it will show up on the cover. Maybe it dovetails Read more […]

blackQueen – March of the Obsidian Triumvirate (Self Released)

After an absence of nearly a decade, blackQueen return from a long hiatus with their third release, March of the Obsidian Triumvirate. Founded in San Francisco during the late 90’s, blackQueen released Read more […]

J.J. Hrubovcak – Death Metal Christmas: Hellish Renditions of Christmas Classics (Self Released)

To the hardened metal fan, Christmas music has never mixed well with our abrasive form of music.  There have been some attempts, but they mostly fall into the ‘listen to it once’ and chuckle at the Read more […]

So Hideous – Last Poem/First Light (Self-Released)

Though running a bit behind on this one, the impact is no less enormous. Though clipping off (for the better) half of the band name and refining their sound since their last release, So Hideous has produced Read more […]

Cult of Erinyes – Blessed Extinction (Code666 Records)

As winter approaches and most of the upper hemisphere is wrapped in the frigid embrace of the end-year (though admittedly here in Central California it’s still quite mild), the mood shifts to a want Read more […]

The Browning – Hypernova (Earache/Century Media)

Is it wrong to say that “electronicacore” is more interesting than plain old deathcore? Are we going to start pining for metal-on-electronic unions like in 1997 when all sorts of bands hooked up for Read more […]

Down Among the Dead Men – Down Among the Dead Men (Cyclone Empire)

This is a prime example of how some feel there are no ideas to left in death metal. The apparent supergroup of former Benediction/Bolt Thrower vocalist Dave Ingram and ubiquitous Rogga Johansson (no use Read more […]

Nightwish – Showtime, Storytime DVD (Nuclear Blast)

At this point, Nightwish would enjoy nothing more than some stability and normalcy. Come to think of if, when was the last time things were easy-breezy in their camp? Around 2002 for Century Child maybe? Read more […]

The Ruins of Beverast – Blood Vaults – The Blazing Gospel of Heinrich Kramer (Ván Records)

The Ruins of Beverast is the music of multi-instrumentalist Alexander Von Meilenwald, ex-Nagelfar drummer, and prophet of the blackest doom.  Here he assumes the role of the infamous Inquisitor of the Read more […]

Lake of Blood – Omnipotens Tyrannus (Cult of Melancholia Records)

Since forming in 2007, Lake of Blood made great progress on developing their robust and transcendent sounds. “He Who Becomes” and “In Wells of Shadow” were previously released as an EP titled The Read more […]

Iron Mask – Fifth Son of Winterdoom (AFM Records)

The life of a neo-classical power metal guitarist can be a tenuous one. Too much excessive technical display and you could only gain appeal with the musically inclined, Berklee college masses – too little Read more […]

Mortician – Chainsaw Dismemberment (Hell’s Headbangers)

Mortician’s Chainsaw Dismemberment originally saw the light of day back in 1999 but Hell’s Headbangers recently saw fit to re-issue it as a 2LP with a gatefold cover.  Mortician has always been a Read more […]

Wolfheart – Winterborn (Self-Released)

Tuomas Saukkonen is one busy guy, and the metal world is a better place for it.  This prolific multi-instrumentalist, songwriter-composer and all-out metal bad-ass has been kicking out the jams since Read more […]

Wolves in the Throne Room – BBC Session 2011 Anno Domini (Southern Lord Records)

Metal cannot get much more naturally raw, radical, and intense to the root than this. Though they rather not classify themselves within any particular subgenre, Wolves in the Throne Room identifies with Read more […]

Saxon – Unplugged and Strung Up (UDR Music)

Just look at these cagey veteran bands work it…it’s like, why ever retire? As long as these lads are still functional (read: able to stand), why would they give it up? Since they’re able to defy Read more […]

Celeste – ANIMALE(S) (Denovali Records)

The perpetual and grinding dark, a persistent terror for many in the world but channeled effortlessly here by French blackened hardcore (insertwhateverhereitisawesome) group Celeste on this, their fourth Read more […]

Cryogen – Continuum (Dark Millenium Records)

With many established European melodic death bands going the commercial route, “evolving” their sound into that cliché heavy verse/soft chorus pattern that many have tired of years ago, there have Read more […]

Artillery – Legions (Metal Blade)

Peel back all of layers from 80’s thrash and somewhere sits Denmark’s Artillery. Mainly a cult quantity here in the States, the band is best known for 1990’s By Inheritance; beyond that, they’re Read more […]

Cronian – Erathems (Season of Mist/Underground Activists)

Almost one of those “Do we really need this?” type of albums and/or projects, the Cronian offshoot of Borknagar has made it to album #3 with Erathems. Designed as the vehicle for full-on collaboration Read more […]

Ovid’s Withering – Scryers of the Ibis (Subliminal Groove Records)

While the deathcore subgenre is one littered with copycats and bandwagon jumpers, occasionally there is a diamond within the rough to be discovered.  Earlier this year, Fit For An Autopsy’s Hellbound Read more […]