The Gathering – The West Pole (Season of Mist Records)

The majesty of Mandylion and Nighttime Birds seem so far off that The Gathering feels like a different band. Well, they are, obviously and that’s both with the departure of longtime singer Anneke Read more […]

Pelican – Ephemeral EP (Southern Lord Records)

A stop-gap EP before the next full-length (due sometime later this year or early 2010), Ephemeral is merely a snippet of what Pelican (far and away the best instrumental metal band of the last decade) Read more […]

Obituary – Darkest Day (Candlelight Records)

Now three albums deep into their reformation (wow…already?), legendary Floridian death metallers Obituary have come through in the clutch yet again with Darkest Day. It’s more of the same, and since Read more […]

Glorior Belli – Meet Us At the Southern Sign (Candlelight Records)

Anytime anyone deviates from the norm in black metal, you run the risk of it working or falling flat on its face. Black metal may forever be out of its fully-experimental phase that occurred earlier this Read more […]

Suffocation – Blood Oath (Nuclear Blast Records)

The age-old question: “How do you keep brutal death metal interesting over the course of 10 songs?” is a tricky one. It’s a bit maddening really; you take music so rhythmically pummeling and brutal Read more […]

Jungle Rot – What Horrors Await (Napalm Records)

For those of you who like your death metal devoid of cliché then the cover of Jungle Rot’s latest release, What Horrors Await is going to be immediately off-putting. Once you get beyond that though, Read more […]

Magrudergrind – Magrudergrind (Willowtip Records)

Opening with a sustained burst of feedback and slowly building noise, Magrudergrind are back, ready to tear off faces with the aptly-titled “The Protocols Of Anti-Sound.” It’s both a statement of Read more […]

Ex Deo – Romulus (Nuclear Blast Records)

A lazy person would dub Ex Deo as “Kataklysm without the hyper-blasts,” but it’s not that way at all, dude. Sure, all four current members of Montreal-based DM mongrels comprise Ex Deo, yet this Read more […]

Tyr – By the Light of the Northern Star (Napalm Records)

We’re barely a year removed from the quite excellent Land and here comes the even more excellent By the Light of the Northern Star. It’s no coincidence that Tyr are perhaps the preeminent Viking/folk/Pagan/whatever Read more […]

Alestorm – Black Sails At Midnight (Napalm Records)

Avast, this be pirate metal of the highest order mateys. Hang on, of the highest order? Anyway you get the gist. You’re not going to get anything groundbreaking or too mentally challenging with Alestorm, Read more […]

Entwine – Painstained (Spinefarm Records)

Entwine’s 2005 effort DiEversity remains a pop Goth metal hit in the Gehlke household, a domicile that is usually not very forgiving of such meanderings. Then again, those luscious, seductive hooks Read more […]

Amorphis – Skyforger (Nuclear Blast Records)

Is Eclipse not the best “return-to-form” album of the past decade? It is, right? Seriously, Amorphis’ 2006 opus has proven to have more staying power than most albums with that “hey, we’re Read more […]

Battlefields – Thresholds of Imbalance (Translation Loss)

A boggy, almost stagnant doom concoction, Battlefields are yet another in a long line of sludge doom bands that like to make impatient people (read: me) wait for good things to develop. More often than Read more […]

Stratovarius – Polaris (Armoury Records)

A Tolkki-less Strato, eh? That’s like a Mustaine-less Megadeth or a Schaffer-less Iced Earth (which might be a good thing). Now finally beyond the soap opera that led to the axeman’s apparent dissolution Read more […]

Trail of Tears – Bloodstained Endurance (Napalm Records)

It’s not like we throw a 9/10 rating around here every day, but the unbridled vitriol and contrasts on Bloodstained Endurance practically begged for this mark. All this, after Trail of Tears nearly Read more […]

Endstille – Verfuhrer (Regain Records)

Lots of blasting here, almost too much, even for an album with nine songs. Being one-dimensional is not necessarily a band thing in black metal, but with variety not being Endstille’s forte, Verfuhrer bogs Read more […]

Success Will Write Apocalypse Across the Sky – The Grand Partition and the Abrogation of Idolatry (Nuclear Blast Records)

It would be wise to keep SWAATS (sorry, we’re not spelling that name out again) away from the whole new-jack, deathcore nonsense. Clearly, they’re not playing that game, but when you have a moniker Read more […]

Ministry – Adios DVD/CD (Thirteenth Planet/Megaforce Records)

The final salvo from Al Jourgensen and co., Adios celebrates the self-imposed end of Ministry, whose long-running career has endured tremendous highs and multiple lows. A CD/DVD (there are two) of various Read more […]

Nahemah – A New Constellation (Lifeforce Records)

Falling in line with the numerous Opeth-infused/inspired bands, Spain’s Nahemah have quite the quirky, but charming creation on their hands with A New Constellation. It’s not direct Opeth worship Read more […]

Hull – Sole Lord (The End Records)

Despite getting off to a doomy start and progressing onto some definite Baroness-style southern-ish metal, this album by Brooklyn five-piece Hull fails to strike the mark on many levels. Despite drawing Read more […]

Sons of Seasons – Gods of Vermin (Napalm Records)

Mixing European prog-ish metal, big windswept symphonic songsand you’d imagine a top hat or pencil mustache at the very least Oliver Palotai (Doro, Kamelot) certainly hasn’t strayed too far from Read more […]

Devin Townsend Project – Ki (Inside Out Music)

Now fully relegated to being a studio musician (blame the burnout from Strapping Young Lad and this thing called “starting a family), Devin Townsend has shifted focus to building his solo name once Read more […]

Hacride – Lazarus (Listenable Records)

Lots to wrestle and grapple with on this one…Hacride, as described by their bio as a mix of Gojira, Meshuggah, and Neurosis (nice one) have found themselves in that transient cyber-metal void that not Read more […]

Isis – Wavering Radiant (Ipecac Records)

Crucial, vital, explosive Isis…that’s what we’re getting with Wavering Radiant. Sure, there was a bit of letdown with 2006’s In the Absence of Truth, but fact of the matter is the band could Read more […]

Cauldron – Chained to the Nite (Earache Records)

Formed after the demise of Goat Horn (one of Toronto’s most revered metal bands), Cauldron slides ever-so-nicely into the classic metal pantheon.Chained to the Nite takes a nice little side-swipe at Read more […]

Nadja – When I See the Sun Always Shines On TV (The End Records)

Having put out numerous albums, splits and EPs since their inception in 2003, along with touring, this Canadian duo don’t deserve to take any harsh criticism for putting out a covers record. The thing Read more […]

Old Man’s Child – Slaves of the World (Century Media Records)

With Dimmu Borgir in the throes of yet another lengthy break (talk about your momentum killers…) lead guitarist Galder returns with the seventh Old Man’s Child album in the form of Slaves of the Read more […]

Daath – The Concealers (Roadrunner/Century Media Records)

Very interesting, this union between metal label heavyweights Roadrunner and Century Media. Has the industry really shrunk this much? God help us all if it has… Anyway, this label partnership should Read more […]

Candlemass – Death Magic Doom (Nuclear Blast Records)

By all accounts, this is not the best Candlemass album since Nightfall, contrary to what Leif Edling says, but it’s still a marvel, jam-packed with classic doom goodies that go on and on. The second Read more […]

Arise – The Reckoning (Regain Records)

Ah, melodic death metal done right. We’re quickly running out of bands like Arise, who while following the melo-death playbook play-for-play, are equally as competent, if not jarringly memorable. In Read more […]