Queensryche – Dedicated To Chaos (Roadrunner/Loud & Proud)

As expected, Dedicated To Chaos couldn’t be a further cry from Queensryche’s hardened cerebral metal days. They’re not interested in that anymore, especially singer Geoff Tate who hates metal Read more […]

Barn Burner – Bangers II: Scum of the Earth (Metal Blade Records)

With no real desire to score highly on the cerebral scale with songtitles like “Keg Stand and Deliver” and “Skid Marks the Spot,” Barn Burner prove that one can get away with humorous-sounding songs if Read more […]

Seven Witches – Call Upon the Wicked (FrostByte Music)

One of the more noted purveyors of traditional metal in North America, guitarist Jack Frost (Blistering has always wondered if that’s his real name) and Seven Witches return with their eighth album, Call Read more […]

Gallhammer – The End (Peaceville Records)

We’ll take “feel” over go-for-broke technicality any day of the week, but somewhere you gotta draw the line, and that line is with Gallhammer’s third album, The End. Reduced to a duo after the Read more […]

Book of Black Earth – The Cold Testament (Prosthetic Records)

There’s a slew of bands that would be better served to make plays like the one Book of Black Earth make on their third album, The Cold Testament. And by “plays” we mean not trying to trick anyone. Read more […]

Stream of Passion – Darker Days (Napalm Records)

Stream of Passion’s sophomore album The Flame Within was quite the winner, having racked up mondo points from the press (including this scribe) for its unabashed portrayal of swooning, sultry, symphonic Read more […]

Unearth – Darkness In the Light (Metal Blade Records)

A much harder sell than they used to be, Unearth prove that on Darkness In the Light that they’re perfectly happy with coloring in between the lines, thus crapping out their fifth album of All-American Read more […]

August Burns Red – Leveler (Solid State Records)

A rather standard and predictable band, something must be in the August Burns Red brew, ‘cause they’re racking impressive sales figures (at least by 2011 standards) and primo concert tours. We’ll Read more […]

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 […]