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 […]

Orange Goblin – A Eulogy For the Damned (Candlelight Records)

Based on association and geography alone, Orange Goblin are often slotted in with the lazy-as-all-hell stoner/doom scene that in some people’s eyes, begins and ends with Electric Wizard. It’s a mindless Read more […]

Nekromantheon – Rise, Vulcan Spectre (Indie Recordings)

We all listened to a little too much Hell Awaits and Schizophrenia in our time. (Note: If you don’t know the respective bands that recorded these albums, then shame on you) As the precursor albums Read more […]

Corrosion of Conformity – Corrosion of Conformity (Candlelight Records)

No Pepper, no problem. Now functioning as a trio without longtime frontman/guitarist/band “face” Pepper Keenan, Corrosion of Conformity has veered back to their brash punk-on-metal roots for their eighth Read more […]

Riotgod – Invisible Empire (Metalville Records)

The art of rocking. It’s not very well-defined, for anyone can claim “they rock” (or “We Rock,” like Dio did on Last In Line). Now, a lot of metalbands try to include “rocked-out” moments to compensate Read more […]

Everything Went Black – Cycles of Light (Prosthetic Records)

A bit of a dark cloud hangs over Everything Went Black and theirCycles of Light debut, as founding member Brian Kennedy passed away in March of 2011. It’s in these moments when bands usually sink or Read more […]

Alcest – Les Voyages de l’ Ame (Prophecy Productions)

Easy to see why Alcest has gone from one of the underground’s best kept secrets to the brink of high-level billing. These kind of things will happen when a.) you’re original; and b.) there’s substance Read more […]

Freedom Call – Land of the Crimson Dawn (SPV Records)

German power metal has trademarks known far and wide to the international scene. Helloween may have upped the Iron Maiden gallop ante, but in their early years, Freedom Call were well known for their heart-pumping Read more […]

Lacuna Coil – Dark Adrenaline (Century Media Records)

Blistering was off by four years in its prediction that Lacuna Coil would have its “return to form” album by 2016. This claim was made after 2009’s near-disastrous Shallow Life, an effort that saw the Read more […]

Evergrey – A Decade And A Half (SPV Records)

Evergrey always hated the progressive metal tag. They hated it so much that during this scribe’s stint at InsideOut Music in the mid-00’s, the band formally requested that any mention of progressive metal Read more […]

77 – High Decibels (Listenable Records)

“I’m sick to death of people saying we’ve made 11 albums that sound exactly the same. In fact, we’ve made 12 albums that sound exactly the same.” – Angus Young, circa early 90’s. [Best quote ever] We Read more […]

Lamb of God – Resolution (Epic Records)

Perhaps the last “big” metal band America will produce in a long time, Lamb of God is at the stage in their career where they can comfortably put out albums at their own pace, totally oblivious to the Read more […]

Hate Squad – Katharsis (Massacre Records)

German metalcore, as we’ve come to know it, typically runs down the lines of borrowed Gothenburg riffs and on-loan beatdowns. Originality has never been the scene’s long-suit, just ask Maroon, Heaven Read more […]