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 […]

Vastum – Carnal Law (20 Buck Spin)

Simple death metal is usually the best kind of death metal. It doesn’t work in modern metal when things are simple because it sounds dumb, and it doesn’t work in power metal because it sounds contrived, Read more […]

U.D.O. – Rev-Raptor (AFM Records)

For obvious reasons, many are curious to see how Rev-Raptor is going to match up against Accept’s Blood of the Nations. It’s U.D.O. verses Wolf Hoffman in a battle of who really was the brains behind Read more […]

Anvil – Juggernaut of Justice (The End Records)

Lovable yet predictable, one would be hard-pressed to find fault with the tenacious nature of Anvil. Since the release of their documentary (Anvil: The Story of Anvil) in 2009, the Canucks have ascended Read more […]

Gamma Ray – Skeletons & Majesties MCD (Armoury Records)

Must be nice being Gamma Ray. Because of their long-standing status as power metal progenitors, they’re now afforded to do fun projects as Skeletons & Majesties, which is a mini-album of the band’s Read more […]

Misery – Evil Is Crowned (Super Metal/Megaforce Records)

A slight improvement over their 2009 Fifteen Years of Aggression effort (which if our memory serves us correctly, Blistering didn’t fancy), Misery’s Evil Is Crowned is another attempt at flogging Read more […]

In Flames – Sounds Of A Playground Fading (Century Media Records)

When a band blossoms into an international phenomenon, many of the early people who savor and nurture their every move leave the nest. Often these acts outgrow their initial underground appeal and commercialize Read more […]

Hell – Human Remains (Nuclear Blast Records)

Talk about dusting off the cobwebs, eh? Hell are a long-forgotten NWOBHM band (that’s “New Wave of British Heavy Metal”) that have been given a new lease on life thanks to hot-shot producer Andy Read more […]

Forgotten Tomb – Under Saturn Retrograde (Agonia Records)

Totally cult and vastly underrated, Italy’s Forgotten Tomb have quietly carved out an impressive career based on miserable, but aggressive doom metal and the occasional flirtation with black metal. Underneath Read more […]

Aerial Ruin – Valleys of the Earth (Vendlus Records)

A man and his acoustic guitar. A sad man (we think) and his (equally) sad acoustic guitar. This shit will claw at you, which must be the MO for Erik Moggridge and his project, Aerial Ruin. On Valleys Read more […]

Sign of the Jackal – The Beyond EP (Heavy Artillery Records)

Because the English language is essentially a must for anyone outside of black metal, hearing someone tackle the King’s Language when it’s their second tongue can be a real treat. It makes us wonder Read more […]

The Gates of Slumber – The Wretch (Rise Above/Metal Blade Records)

Just when you think Indiana’s The Gates of Slumber are going to move into one direction, they spin a curve headlong back to their doom metal roots with their fifth full length studio sojourn The Wretch. Read more […]

Ana Kefr – The Burial Tree (Musesick Records)

Long championed by our own Sara Heitman (much in the same way some of us on the staff are gonzo for Katatonia, Mono, Suidakra, etc.), Los Angeles-based Ana Kefr run smack-dab in the hodgepodge of metal Read more […]

Within Temptation – The Unforgiving (Roadrunner Records)

Still a few pegs below Nightwish, Within Temptation have gradually distanced themselves from their halcyon Goth metal days and it shows on their fifth album, The Unforgiving. Fronted by Sharon den Adel Read more […]

Scale the Summit – The Collective (Prosthetic Records)

Considering the musical chops within the Scale the Summit ranks, it would be easy for them to go off on endless wanking sojourns. You’d do it if you could play this well. Yet, the Houston-based all instrumental Read more […]

Agnostic Front – My Life My Way (Nuclear Blast Records)

Roger Miret and pals are still standing, still relevant, and most of all, street-ready. That’s the main takeaway from My Life My Way, which is the band’s astounding 15th studio album, not counting Read more […]

Satan’s Host – By the Hands of the Devil (Moribund Records)

Talk about a coup. Re-enlisting current Jag Panzer singer Harry “The Tyrant” Conklin in the Satan’s Host ranks was a stroke of genius, making an already potent band, even more potent. Indeed Conklin Read more […]

Endstille – Infektion 1813 (Season of Mist Records)

Like Dark Funeral, Endstille doesn’t know how to do much else than roll out those tremolo-picked riffs, frazzled chords, and vast helpings of blast beats, but on Infektion 1813, the German black metal Read more […]

Cynthesis – DeEvolution (Sensory)

With Zero Hour on ice for the foreseeable future, the brothers Tipton (Jasun and Troy) made the wise move to re-align with original ZH singer Erik Rosvold in Cynthesis, which by all intents and purposes, Read more […]

Amorphis – The Beginning of Times (Nuclear Blast Records)

Evolution has been a constant in this Finnish melancholic rock/metal group. Morphing from their death metal beginnings, they would introduce native traditional poetry in their lyrics and folk elements Read more […]

Primordial – Redemption At the Puritan’s Hand (Metal Blade Records)

The face of Irish metal, Primordial are coming off a rare spell of inactivity, with Redemption At the Puritan’s Hand being their first proper full-length since 2007’s To the Nameless Dead. Not like Read more […]

Twisted Tower Dire – Make It Dark (Cruz del Sur Music)

One of the long-standing bands on the “true” American metal scene, North Carolina’s Twisted Tower Dire have been able to exist for so long (read: over 15 years) because of their steadfast commitment Read more […]

Of Legends – Stranded (Season of Mist Records)

Can’t hurt to have Ben Weinman of Dillinger Escape Plan in one’s corner, which is the case for Of Legends, who get an instant dose of credibility from the DEP guitarist (who co-manages the band). On Read more […]

Diabolical – Ars Vitae (Abyss Records)

One of those mid-level Swedish death metal bands that are routinely lost in the shuffle, Diabolical have a lot going for themselves, as their un-derivative sound (think Hypocrisy, minus the melody and Read more […]