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 […]

Finnr’s Cane – Wanderlust (Prophecy Productions)

Right in the wheelhouse of Agalloch, Ontario’s Finnr’s Cane are a fresh addition to the swelling “wood” metal ranks. With the expected array of chilled acoustic guitars, dark passages, and minimal Read more […]

Core Device – What I’ve Become (Heaven and Hell Records)

A New Jersey power/progressive metal band who seemed to have slipped off the radar following their 2004 Our Fellowship Eternal debut album, produced by Symphony X guitarist Michael Romeo. Touring the Read more […]

Anaal Nathrakh – Passion (Candlelight Records)

Those who have yet to bear witness to Anaal Nathrakh’s “explosive” (there’s really no other word to describe it) brand of extreme metal are missing out. The pair of Mick Kenney and Dave Hunt have Read more […]

Pagan’s Mind – Heavenly Ecstasy (SPV Records)

Long one of power/progressive metal’s best-kept secrets, Pagan’s Mind should be able to ditch such a tag now that they’re hooked up with SPV. Of course, being on SPV today is a lot different than Read more […]

Ancient Creation – Moonlight Monument (Heaven And Hell Records)

Independent record labels pride themselves on building up the profile of artists. I applaud people in today’s instantaneous/download-driven demographics who sign bands they believe in – irrespective Read more […]

While Heaven Wept – Fear of Infinity (Nuclear Blast Records)

While Heaven Wept’s 2009 Vast Oceans Lachymose was the full and unabashed portrayal of “epic” metal. Not power or doom, just flat out epic fucking metal, and it produced one of the best songs in Read more […]

Winds of Plague – Against the World (Century Media Records)

The bottom of the barrel has been scraped and broken through by Winds of Plague, who on their fourth album Against the World further accentuate the notion of just how pointless deathcore is. The band’s Read more […]

Volture – Shocking Its Prey (Heavy Artillery Records)

A record that’s totally indicative of the retro metal boom that still has legs, Shocking Its Prey, the debut album from Richmond’s Volture is as expected, a freewheeling, substance-less good time. Read more […]

Cypherseer – Origins (Nightmare Records)

Can’t fault us Yankees for chasing down the Euro sound – it’s quite easy to do, and it lends itself to more possibilities than the standard meat and potatoes American metal front. In the case of Read more […]

The Sign of the Southern Cross – I Carry the Fire EP (Season of Mist Records)

Name-lifting is tolerable in metal – everyone at some point will have to do it since all of the good names are taken, but blatant sound hi-jacking is simply not tolerable…and it never will be. Asheville, Read more […]

Before the Dawn – Deathstar Rising (Nuclear Blast Records)

Largely an unknown quantity outside of Finnish metal circles, Before the Dawn is poised to change that with the release of their sixth album, Deathstar Rising. Not unlike classic Amorphis, or Sentenced Read more […]

Pentagram – Last Rites (Metal Blade Records)

Always some type of hub-bub about how Pentagram singer Bobby Liebling is lucky to be alive, is finally clean, etc., and so on, so much so, that it nearly overshadows his music. Amazing how some people Read more […]