Reviews

Divine Heresy – Bringer of Plagues (Century Media Records)

Talk about picking the best time to release an album. Bringer of Plagues is going to be released right in the thick over a legal battle of the Fear Factory name, which, depending on one’s perspective, Read more […]

Celesty – Vendetta (Spinefarm Records)

It’s split down the middle: if you’re a Finnish power metal band, you’re going to sound like either Stratovarius or Sonata Arctica. Not like there’s anything inherently wrong with that (is Thunderstone Read more […]

Fairyland – Score To A New Beginning (Napalm Records)

Fairyland, who without question have the worst name in all of power metal, won’t strike fear into anyone in the near future, but Score To A New Beginning has some legs to it. And since there are no Read more […]

Godflesh – Songs Of Love & Hate/Love & Hate In Dub/In All Languages DVD (Earache Records)

Musically, you can’t fault this little box set at all. Originally released back in 1996 Songs Of Love And Hate was a bleak masterpiece that has stood the test of time thanks to it’s powerful product. Read more […]

Ava Inferi – Blood of Bacchus (Season of Mist Records)

Now having fully severed ties with Mayhem, guitarist Rune Eriksen (aka “Blasphemer”) can now turn his focus to Ava Inferi, a far less black metal-tinged outfit with two albums already under its belt Read more […]

Goatwhore – Carving Out the Eyes of God (Metal Blade Records)

God is the target this time out for Goatwhore. Not Hurricane Katrina or the painstaking healing process singer Ben Falgoust endured after a 2003 van accident. It’s a fitting approach for the New Orleans Read more […]

Doro – Fear No Evil (AFM Records)

With 25 years in the business and God knows how many albums under her belt, the legendary Doro is always up to something. Whether it’s cutting the 2009 Wacken theme song, doing some symphony work or Read more […]

Killswitch Engage – Killswitch Engage (Roadrunner Records)

This one really could have gone either way. Having always managed to stay a few steps ahead of the rest of the melodic, metalcore crowd, Killswitch Engage seemed to slip a little with 2006’s As Daylight Read more […]

Ektomorf – What Doesn’t Kill Me… (Regain Records)

These Hungarians usually take a beating from the metal press for obvious reasons. Seriously, who wants to hear a third (world)-rate version of latter-Max era Sepultura and Soulfly? Not very many, eh? Lampooning What Read more […]

Forest Stream – The Crown of Winter (Candlelight Records)

Good enough to open for Katatonia during the Swedes 2007 run in Russia, Forest Stream could be the most visible Russian metal band since Mental Home, who came as fast as they went. While it’s unlikely Read more […]

Pantheon I – Worlds I Create (Candlelight Records)

More than just a step up from 2007’s formidable The Wanderer And His Shadow, Worlds I Create is a gigantic leap for Pantheon I, one that propels this Norwegian quintet into rarely-grazed pastures. Read more […]

Delain – April Rain (Sensory/Roadrunner Records)

Quite the fuss around these Dutchmen (and woman), primarily because of Martjin Westerholt’s (ex Within Temptation) involvement and the fact singer Charlotte Wessels is another in a now very long line Read more […]

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 […]