Reviews

Opera Diabolicus – 1614 (Metalville Records)

Big ‘ole production, concept, musicians…big everything, pretty much. That effectively sums up 1614, the debut effort from Sweden’s Opera Diabolicus. The album follows in the grand (and grandiose) Read more […]

Hellsaw – Trist (Napalm Records)

Black metal bands are smarter than we give them credit for. They do a better job of disguising their influences than most; able to mask their variousmusical deficiencies by slapping them together like Read more […]

Beaten to Death – Xes and Strokes (Mas-Kina Recordings)

“Melodic grindcore” isn’t a term we bandy about very often, probably because there’s no precedent for it. Being that most grindcore bands have little or no interest in sounding the slightest bit Read more […]

Napalm Death – Utilitarian (Century Media Records)

So venerable Napalm Death is at this juncture of their career, that doing something wrong would be utterly shocking. Unlike some of their death metal peers (i.e. Morbid Angel, Deicide), Napalm has their Read more […]

Nothnegal – Decadence (Season of Mist Records)

Never thought you’d be reading a review about a metal band from The Maldives, did you? To be truthful, this writer never once thought about even writing about one. It’s enlightening to see just how Read more […]

The Kandidate – Facing the Imminent Prospect of Death (Napalm Records)

The first album by the new band of ex-Hatesphere vocalist Jakob Bredhal, 2010’s Until We Are Outnumbered was a direct and impactful chunk of European thrash. They have returned for a second album, Read more […]

Zombie Inc. – A Dreadful Disease (Massacre Records)

Zombies have long been a point of discussion in metal, often serving as a fail-safe lyrical reference point for bands who aren’t into pouring out their feelings. It’s a very limited subject, of course, Read more […]

Vendetta – Feed the Extermination (Massacre Records)

An early nod for worst song title of the year goes to Vendetta’s “Ovulation Bitch.” There is no way any of these guys have spouses or girlfriends. Or maybe they do and run for cover when “Mother Read more […]

Xandria – Neverworld’s End (Napalm Records)

Not sure if we’ve stumbled across such a unabashed Nightwish clone like Xandria. It’s as if the band studied at the pedestal of Tarja, back when she wore flowing dresses and had a similarly-colored Read more […]

Lay Down Rotten – Mask of Malice (Metal Blade Records)

“Meat and potatoes” death metal should have its own category. Seriously, we use the term enough and it applies to such a high volume of bands, that it should be used as frequently as Norwegian black metal Read more […]

Desaster – The Arts of Destruction (Metal Blade Records)

As an indication of how deep and expansive Metal Blade’s roster is, this scribe totally forgot who Germany’s Desaster were until The Arts of Destuctionpopped up in our digital promo pool. Understandable, Read more […]

Les Discrets – Ariettes Oubliées (Prophecy Productions)

Quite the wonderful world we live in when Alcest and Les Discrets are releasing albums around the same time. The pair have come to define the neo French atmospheric metal sound, with both finding their Read more […]

Pallbearer – Sorrow and Extinction (Profound Lore Records)

Fitting that a band with the Pallbearer moniker would create such murky and doomy death marches. Hailing from Arkansas, Pallbearer plays a brand of doom that is totally behind the beat, but hardly lazy, Read more […]

Amoral – Beneath (The End Records)

A tough sell Amoral has to now be, considering they’re fronted by a Finnish Idol winner (Ari Koivunen) and had a once-promising melodic death metal career now fully in the rear-view. Beneath is the Read more […]

Axel Rudi Pell – Circle of the Oath (SPV Records)

While trends fluctuate in North America, some styles remain constant in other parts of the world. Grunge may have slowed down the guitar heroes of the 70’s and 80’s during the alternative-minded Read more […]

Therapy? – A Brief Crack of Light (Blast Records)

If 2009’s Crooked Timber was Therapy? putting quiet any talk people may have had about them no longer have anything relevant to say then A Brief Crack Of Light is them reinforcing that. Of course Read more […]

Avatar – The Black Waltz (eOne Music)

The Black Waltz, eh? You know, Kalmah has an album with the same title, albeit with a far less goofy cover and far more guitar solos. Not like Sweden’s Avatar know or care (they probably shouldn’t), Read more […]

OZ – Burning Leather (AFM Records)

Essentially a NWOBHM band of the Finnish variety, OZ has been inactive for close to 20 years, with their last release being 1991’s Roll the Dice. Like most of bands of this ilk, reforming has been Read more […]

Azaghal – Nemesis (Moribund Records)

Finland’s Azaghal have been around for quite some time and it’s almost a surprise that Nemesis is already their ninth full-length effort. Rocking a splendid vintage Scandinavian black metal sound Read more […]

Mystic Prophecy – Ravenlord (Massacre Records)

Still known primarily as one of Gus G’s 85 side bands in the mid-00’s, Germany’s Mystic Prophecy are now on their fourth album without the Greekguitar hero, and seventh overall in the form of Ravenlord. Read more […]

Caliban – I Am Nemesis (Century Media Records)

The first line uttered on Caliban’s I Am Nemesis is: You’ve got to be fucking kiddin’ me!” Geez, if this scribe had a dollar every time he uttered that line on Sundays during football season, Read more […]

Savage Messiah – Plague of Conscious (Earache Records)

Seems to be that there’s a legitimate “Big 3” of British thrash brewing, comprising of Evile, Sylosis, and the band in question, Savage Messiah. The trio is close in a lot of facets, especially in Read more […]

God Seed – Live At Wacken (Indie Recordings)

Ah, yes – the infamous Gorgoroth legal battle. Thanks to founding member/guitarist Infernus’ inability (or unwillingness) to write new material last decade, then-bass player King ov Hell and singer Gaahl Read more […]

Eluveitie – Helvetios (Nuclear Blast Records)

Easily the most active epic/folk metal band at the present time, Switzerland’s Eluveitie haven’t been able to match their sterling 2008 Slania, an album that while not the most elaborate body of work Read more […]

Iron Mask – Black As Death (AFM Records)

Anytime a bio boasts about the album in question having “over an hour of the band’s renowned talent,” it’s a big ‘ole red flag. An hour and change worth of power metal is only acceptable if your Read more […]

Ram – Death (Metal Blade Records)

If only more names were as simple as “Ram.” It might even be the easiest name to utter in metal history, and perhaps the Swedes aren’t very fond of syllables, with Death being the title of their Read more […]

Liberteer – Better To Die On Your Feet Than Live Your Knees (Relapse Records)

Politics have always been a favorite topic amongst the grindcore crowd, thus casting them in better-informed (and much smellier) light than the rest of us metal yokels. That could be the case, for the Read more […]

Pharaoh – Bury the Light (Cruz del Sur Music)

Watching the development of American traditional power metal act Pharaoh has been exciting. Casting away initial influences ranging from Germanbands like Rage to the twin harmonies most closely associated Read more […]

Christian Mistress – Possession (Relapse Records)

Do you know what’s annoying? People making a fuss out of rocker chicks. As in, everytime a female comes by wearing a Motorhead shirt with tattoos smelling like cheap whisky is this holy grail for dudes Read more […]

Anguish – Through the Archdemons Head (Dark Descent Records)

A bit surprised that no one has ripped-off Candlemass as much as they should. Granted, such a crime would essentially be ripping off Sabbath in a roundabout way, but the Swedes always had their way of Read more […]