Therion – Beloved Antichrist (Nuclear Blast)

Quite hard to score this one, only because Therion leader Christofer Johnsson has freely admitted the release of his Beloved Antichrist rock opera should have been preceded by the actual intended stage Read more […]

Mournspire – Liminals of Profound Loss (Self-Released)

Just looking at everything that surrounds Mournspire, from their name to the title to the dark cover, should tell you that this is not a feel-good type of album. Those initial perceptions are quite dead Read more […]

Lycanthrope – Chapters (Self-Released)

Metalcore – the mere mention of it in 2018 is enough to make some metal fans run screaming through the hills. While some look at it as a dying/dead format, due to it being utterly beaten to death in Read more […]

Saxon – Thunderbolt (Militia Guard/Silver Lining Music)

Busy times for traditional metal veterans Saxon indeed. Adept to the changing revenue models of global touring to sustain a living, the band continue to gain relevance for their position in the NWOBHM Read more […]

Frozen Crown – The Fallen King (Scarlet)

Early Sonata Arctica was once described to this scribe as being similar to “a bunch of Kindergartners running wild during playtime.” Such was the level of saccharine in their sound. The Finns have Read more […]

Tortharry – Sinister Species (MetalGate Records)

Releasing a steady stream of death metal albums since 1994, Czech act Tortharry have certainly seen the years go by and trends come and go. After the longest absence in their career (5 years), the band Read more […]

Portal – Ion (Profound Lore)

If there’s one metal band that seems to define unsettling over the recent years, it’s Portal. Their off-the-beaten-path approach to death metal is usually known for it’s Lovecraftian eeriness, perhaps Read more […]

Extremities – Gaia (Painted Bass Records)

It’s always interesting to see how certain sounds evolve and progress as they move from one generation to the next. Arguably, groovy progressive (djent) bands started by taking from the altar of Meshuggah, Read more […]

Anialator – Rise to Supremacy (Xtreem Music)

This Texas thrash act first came on the scene during the early mail order years of Wild Rags, a California distribution company who had a store front and sold many a demo tape and fanzine back in the day. Read more […]

Bloodshot Dawn – Reanimation (Hostile Media)

When it comes to hardened, riff-forward melodic death metal, Bloodshot Dawn have always been one of the up-and-comers. Entirely brutal and never really succumbing to the trends that many peers have fallen Read more […]

Porcelain Helmet – Porcelain Helmet (Self-Released)

Another Hudson Valley, New York entry, Porcelain Helmet are a quartet aiming to put their own stake in the crossover thrash platform through this self-titled debut album. Originally forming in the summer Read more […]

Maladie – Of Harm and Salvation (Apostasy)

Concept and exploration over execution…such is the battle for German mondo-progressive metal act Maladie. Their 2016 effort Symptoms proved to be a bit of a bog in that it had too many conflicting ideas Read more […]

Arkona – Khram (Napalm)

Russian pagan/folk metal act Arkona has never really stopped along the way of their evolution. The balance displayed between black, folk, and pagan influences always seems to vary with each new release, Read more […]

Sonic Prophecy – Savage Gods (Rockshots Records)

People may forget that although the power metal genre possesses European roots and immense popularity there and abroad, that America has had its own power take through the 1980’s on up. Jag Panzer, Liege Read more […]

Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals – Choosing Mental Illness as a Virtue (Housecore)

With nowhere near the expectations of his first “solo” outing, 2013’s craggy Walk Through Exits Only, Philip H. Anselmo, best known as Pantera’s indomitable frontman and Down’s out-front-guy, Read more […]

Alterbeast – Feast (Unique Leader)

With some significant moving and shaking since their debut Immortal, back in 2014, Alterbeast has finally returned with their follow-up release. Joining Andrew Lamb, the only remaining member from said Read more […]

Accuser – The Mastery (Metal Blade)

An 80’s thrash proponent on their first go around for six full-lengths on various, smaller European labels, Accuser broke up in 1996 only to resurrect in 2008 with a stronger, wider array of influences. Read more […]

Savage Annihilation – Quand s’abaisse la croix du blaspheme (Xenokorp)

Always makes life a little easier going in when you can tell right away what the band is going for by their name alone. The name Savage Annihilation says it all – this French act isn’t going to beat Read more […]

Orphaned Land – Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs (Century Media)

The reigning champions of Oriental prog and purveyors of peace through metal may take some time between each album, but it does manage to create a spectacle each time one is released. Their last album, Read more […]

Hamferð – Támsins likam (Metal Blade)

Although also birthed from the Faroe Islands, just like folk metal warriors Týr, Hamferð is a different sort of metal band entirely. Gripped by melancholy and doom, there’s a haunting and bleak approach Read more […]

Abigor – Höllenzwang (Chronicles of Perdition) (Avantgarde)

At one point — probably the late ’90s — Abigor was the face of Austrian black metal. Such a feat doesn’t carry the same weight as being the face of Norwegian or Finnish black metal, but point being, Read more […]

Audrey Horne – Blackout (Napalm)

Now six releases into their career, Norway’s Audrey Horne are certainly a standby when it comes to classic hard rock. With some established names in the scene for far heavier acts (Enslaved, Gorgoroth), Read more […]

Mammoth Grinder – Cosmic Crypt (Relapse)

Some credible dudes hold it down in Mammoth Grinder: Power Trip bassist Chris Ulsh, current Iron Reagan and former Darkest Hour drummer Ryan Parrish and his IR bandmate Mark Bronzino, who handles guitars. Read more […]

Lechery – We Are All Born Evil (Bleeding Music Records)

Featuring early ex-Arch Enemy bassist Martin Bengtsson (he played on the Stigmata album) in a guitarist/vocalist role here, Lechery deliver a traditional form of heavy metal reminiscent of the 80’s heydays Read more […]

Tankard – Hymns for the Drunk (AFM)

Not the biggest, but certainly the most lovable out of the “Teutonic Four” that also includes Destruction, Kreator and Sodom, Tankard have carved an indelible niche playing “beer metal.” (“Alcohol Read more […]

Dark Hound – Dawning (Rampant Struggle Records)

Music City, USA – better known as Nashville, Tennessee – carries cache with the country music fans of the world, but isn’t well-known for spawning much in the metal realm. Metal Blade thrash band Read more […]

Gravestone – Sickening (Raw Skull Recordz)

Swedish death metal, straight from the source. No frills, no extras, no fluff. That’s what you get with Gravestone’s full-length debut, Sickening. A fresh face upon the rotten scene, they’ve only Read more […]

Phantom Elite – Wasteland (Self-Released)

It’s still amazing sometimes, how you can find bands in the present day. Phantom Elite is the first band this scribe can state that was personally discovered from using Instagram (going back to 2016 Read more […]

Cruentator – Ain’t War Hell? (Xtreem Music)

Starting a band in late 2015 after playing together in the brutal gore band Bowel Stew, guitarist Omar and drummer Riccardo felt the need to express their abrasive old school thrash affinity in a newer Read more […]

Harms Way – Posthuman (Metal Blade)

Tough metallic hardcore, not necessarily tough-guy metallic hardcore, although you’d like to think the Harms Way gents can throw down when they need to. That’s where the line is drawn — is this bonehead Read more […]