All Hail the Yeti – All Hail the Yeti (AFM Records)

In this scribe’s domicile, only a dark metal band from Sweden, a constantly under-performing football team in the AFC North, and a Japanese Chin are immune to criticism. Everything else is fair game, including Read more […]

Prototype – Catalyst (Nightmare Records)

A slow creative process appears to be part and parcel of Prototype’s career. Formed in 1994 by guitarist Kragen Lum and vocalist/guitarist Vince Levalois, the band released their first full length Cloned as Read more […]

The Chariot – One Wing (eOne Music/Good Fight)

The similarities are inescapable…and uncanny: More than likely, The Chariot didn’t mean to copy the album art for Exodus’ long-overlooked Force of Habit album from 1992. It’s probably Read more […]

Posthum – Lights Out (Indie Recordings)

The cold can be an exacting beast to face or synthesize in new forms. Across all manner of mediums chilly images and wintery ideals have long been associated with themes of isolation, misery, and testaments Read more […]

Black September – Into the Darkness, Into the Void (Prosthetic Records)

Cue old man gripe: The problem with black metal nowadays is that it’s next to impossible to define. Certain bands that think they’re black metal, but they’re not, and a segment of bands claim they’re not Read more […]

Khonsu – Anomalia (Season of Mist Records)

Nepotism isn’t very prevalent in metal, given that, well, there’s room for everybody. And even the slightest of associations seem to work (“So-and-so was an ex member of this and that band,” etc.), yet Read more […]

Katatonia – Dead End Kings (Peaceville Records)

Twenty-plus years removed from their outright origin and sonically evolving with every release, Katatonia makes their very welcome return to us with their ninth album Dead End Kings. Unlike most groups Read more […]

Khors – Wisdom of Centuries (Candlelight Records)

Drudkh – in their infinite and snow-covered mountainous glory – aren’t the only black metal band from the Ukraine worth fussing over. Obviously, Khors is the other and if their countrymen weren’t so imposing Read more […]

Cloudscape – New Era (Nightmare Records)

Band names can definitely make or break a band sometimes. For example, Dew-Scented is a strange moniker for a modern thrash band, as is The Lord Weird Slough Feg for a band that plays 70’s-tinged rock. Read more […]

Zonaria – Arrival of the Red Sun (Listenable Records)

A mid-level Swedish death metal band such as Zonaria could probably make a half-decent career out of hiding behind their homeland’s imposing sound connotations. It doesn’t matter what they do, for some Read more […]

Winterfylleth – The Threnody of Triumph (Candlelight Records)

Though a thought likely to resonate negatively with nekrobeards the world over, we seem to be living in something of a black metal renaissance. It’s slowly been coming together for the past few years Read more […]

Bullet – Full Pull (Nuclear Blast Records)

Anyone who has seen AC/DC singer Brian Johnson live in the last ten years or so could make the appeal that he looks like he’s trying to “pass something” while singing. What that “something” is, we’ll leave Read more […]

Sound Storm – Imortalia (Scarlet Records)

Sound Storm have come a long ways from the days when they gigged in the northwest of Italy playing covers of Iron Maiden, Manowar, Metallica and Savatage. At least during those formative years, they honed Read more […]

Fozzy – Sin and Bones (Century Media Records)

Can’t you picture a high school football team listening to Sin and Bones before the big game? Under the Friday night lights? High-fiving and head-butting one other, picking out which cheerleader they’re Read more […]

Grave Digger – Clash of the Gods (Napalm Records)

Anytime Germany’s Grave Digger releases new material it’s always a major treat. The power metal stalwarts are back with their 16th studio album entitled Clash of the Gods and what we have here is Read more […]

Over Your Threshold – Facticity (Metal Blade Records)

Someone needs to send out a search party for Necrophagist…and fast. The European technical death metal throne they once manned has been toppled by Obscura, thus opening the doors for bands of lesser Read more […]

Blind Stare – The Dividing Line (Inverse Records)

No country does a better job at developing its metal bands than Finland. There’s a bottomless pit of quality acts and each (including the big names) go through the same process of recording a promising, Read more […]

Wodensthrone – Curse (Candlelight Records)

There’s something about black metal from the UK and their tendency toward glorious pagan/ancient themes (Cradle of Filth doesn’t count here) that just brings so much joy to my dorkiest side. All the Read more […]

Texas Hippie Coalition – Peacemaker (Carved Records)

Young bands are always looking for some type of measuring stick. In order to attain one’s goals – lofty or not – a certain barometer must be set or a lowly career playing the bar scene will become Read more […]

Ex Deo – Caligvla (Napalm Records)

This must be a nice little creative retreat for the Kataklysm guys, you know? In their side band Ex Deo, they don’t have to hyper-blast, nor do they have to follow the playbook they’ve so strongly executed Read more […]

Scott Kelly/Steve Von Till/Wino – Songs of Townes Van Zandt (My Proud Mountain/Neurot Recordings)

While they may be more famous for their work with electric guitars and noise the trio of Scott Kelly (Neurosis, Shrinebuilder), Steve Von Till (Neurosis, Harvestman) and Scott ‘Wino’ Weinrich (The Read more […]

Silencer – The Great Bear (Vanity Music Group)

Concept albums can be a mixed bag sometimes. I guess it all depends on the theme and or subject matter to truly make a conceptual piece work as a whole. It worked for Rush on 2112, Iron Maiden’s Seventh Read more […]

The Faceless – Autotheism (Sumerian Records)

As George “Mr. Scary” Lynch once put it, the musical definition of compromise is “doing the music other people want you to do, rather than the music you want to do.” Lynch and his Dokken pals of course, Read more […]

UDO – Celebrator (AFM Records)

It’s been 25 years since Udo Dirkschneider left Accept and started a new musical chapter under his namesake as just UDO. In that amount of years the dynamo singer from Germany has carved out an impressive Read more […]

Ninth Moon Black – Chronophage (Self-Released)

The initial listen of a new piece of music can have a profound impact on how it affects the listener from that point forward. Something is captured in that series of moments and simply lingers with the Read more […]

Grave Digger – Home at Last MCD (Napalm Records)

If the Mayans are correct, then cockroaches, Twinkies, and Grave Digger will be the only things left standing when the apocalypse comes this December. The Germans are virtually indestructible and like Read more […]

Ensiferum – Unsung Heroes (Spinefarm Records)

Ensiferum weren’t necessarily the first band out of the epic/folk gate, but they’re probably the best, or at least the most consistent. One jaunt through 2009’s thoroughly captivating From Afar supports Read more […]

Scott Kelly & The Road Home – The Forgiven Ghost In Me (Neurot Recordings)

For Scott Kelly the last 30 years (or so) have no doubt been dumbfounding in the sheer gravity of the scope and depth they’ve covered. Neurosis’ early hardcore beginnings and transformation over time Read more […]

Reverence – When Darkness Calls (Razar Ice Records)

The obvious sonic limitations and ceiling that vintage melodic metal presents itself with usually spells mediocrity. The bands who fancy this still are often too wrapped up in the time capsule they’re Read more […]

Drone – For Torch and Crown (Metalville Records)

Have you seen the cover to this new release? It’s quite horrific looking and there’s a frantic feeling found in the striking images of an army of insect warriors charging forward in a swarm. I’m Read more […]