Raider – Guardian of the Fire (Self-Released)

Waterloo, Canada is home to Raider – a five-piece outfit together since 2017 who have released a demo in 2018 Urge to Kill setting the stage for this full-length Guardian of the Fire. Finally securing Read more […]

Cabal – Drag Me Down (Long Branch Records)

Back in 2018, Cabal released their first full-length, Mark of Rot. While the Danes could provide something that was intensely heavy, it also felt rather one-dimensional in tone. It relied on that super Read more […]

Ivanhoe – Blood and Gold (Massacre Records)

Throwing listeners a curve ball, German progressive metal act Ivanhoe for their eighth studio album Blood and Gold decide to keep things very short and sweet in terms of their songwriting and performances. Read more […]

White Stones – Kuarahy (Nuclear Blast)

The bassist for Opeth, Martin Mendez, comes front and center with White Stones. Given Opeth’s turn towards progressive rock over the years, White Stones allows Mendez (and company) to shift things back Read more […]

Ihsahn – Telemark (Candlelight/Spinefarm)

Ihsahn still gets pelted with questions — 19 years and seven solo albums after the fact — of a possible new Emperor studio album. The man is so calm and understanding about the whole thing; it’s Read more […]

Myrkur – Folkesange (Relapse)

Not one to really keep to the black metal boundaries and traditions, it’s probably less surprising to hear that Myrkur is going into the ‘total folk’ waters for her latest release Folkesange than Read more […]

Master Boot Record – Floppy Disk Overdrive (Metal Blade)

There’s a part of this scribe that sees the cover and thinks, “There are some young-uns reading this site that probably don’t even know what a floppy disk is.” But then again, for those people, Read more […]

Grindpad – Violence (Iron Shield Records)

Dutch for ‘gravel path’, Grindpad are a quintet of musicians that straddle the crossover thrash/death style – together since 2006 and releasing four previous EP’s from 2008-2017 before finally Read more […]

Awenden – Golden Hour (Self-Released)

One of my great longings as 2019 drew to a close was the palpable dearth of new entries in the Cascadian fold. The genre featured heavily in my summary of the 2010s and if the present album is any indication, Read more […]

Irist – Order of the Mind (Nuclear Blast)

Not sure how they keep doing it lately, but Nuclear Blast has been doing a bang-up job of finding fresh bands that move things in a fresh direction for metal – who are also releasing their first material Read more […]

Igorrr – Spirituality and Distortion (Metal Blade)

Those familiar with the name Igorrr already know that it’s wise to expect the unexpected. The nature of the music itself, as evidenced with their last album Savage Sinusoid, is that it will hop all Read more […]

Kvaen – The Funeral Pyre (Black Lion)

Kvaen, the one-man project of The Duskfall and Autumn Death’s Jakob Björnfot, is like Deströyer 666 and Dissection speeding down a highway on their motorcycles, each armed with scythes, rifles and Read more […]

Izthmi – The Arrows of Our Ways (Within the Mind Records)

One of the hallmarks of the metal landscape across the 2010s was the regular and surprising combining of old forms into, if not entirely new, somewhat new ways. Behind all the genre revivals was the regular Read more […]

Black Phantom – Zero Hour Is Now (Punishment 18 Records)

A solo project of Mesmerize bassist Andrea Tito, Black Phantom blossomed into a five-piece outfit and delivered their debut album Better Beware! in 2017. The follow-up Zero Hour is Now contains nine tracks Read more […]

Fluisteraars – Bloem (Eisenwald)

Flowers on a black metal album cover is like George “Corpsegrinder” Fischer wearing JNCO jeans. They’re unlikely, if not frowned upon bedfellows. (Anyone who was a serious metalhead in the 1990s Read more […]

Imonolith – State of Being (Self-Released)

Considering the involvement of so many top tier musicians involved in Imonolith (RVP and Beav from Devin Townsend Project and Jon Howard of Threat Signal, among others), it’s easy to see why the modern Read more […]

Wake – Devouring Ruin (Translation Loss Records)

Wake’s new LP Devouring Ruin is straight-up filthy. The band blurs the the lines of genre pigeonholing by taking bits from grind, death metal, to blackgaze and arranges them in unpredictable ways. “Dissolve Read more […]

Death the Leveller – II (Cruz Del Sur Music)

Back in 2017 this Irish epic doom metal band Death the Leveller came out with a self-titled EP of crushing material – combining elements of Primordial, Grand Magus, and Solitude Aeturnus beyond aspects Read more […]

Lurker of Chalice – Tellurian Slaked Furnace (Nuclear War Now! Productions)

Despite a fond history with Leviathan, my own history with Jef Whitehead’s other seminal project is filled with a litany of mistakes. I do believe I looked the Lurker of Chalice LP in the face a dozen Read more […]

Hemotoxin – Restructure the Molded Mind (Unspeakable Axe Records)

Hailing from the Bay Area, Hemotoxin have already made quite the impression through their first two full-lengths Between Forever…and the End from 2013 and its follow-up Biological Enslavement in 2016. Read more […]

Brain Stem – Symptoms of Annihilation: Stage 2 (Self-Released)

The sound of Canada’s Brain Stem might not be the first thing that you think of in terms of death metal. While the country may be known for the more techy stuff, Brain Stem own much of their sound to Read more […]

Heaven Shall Burn – Of Truth and Sacrifice (Century Media)

The double album format can have both its strengths and weaknesses on display for a particular band. On the one hand, you are getting two releases worth of material at once, and there’s plenty to dive Read more […]

DeadRisen – DeadRisen (AFM Records)

The brainchild of guitarist Rod Rivera and Symphony X bassist Mike LePond, DeadRisen is a new five-piece outfit determined to put their stamp on the scene through their progressive power metal style. Rounding Read more […]

Lucifer – III (Century Media)

2018 brought about Lucifer II and the songwriting team of Johanna Sadonis and Nicke Andersson, effectively putting a nice twist on the formula that started from the first album and brought the band away Read more […]

Smoulder – Dream Quest Ends (Cruz Del Sur Music)

In preparation for many prime festival appearances across Europe this spring, Smoulder release a new six-song EP Dream Quest Ends that consists of two new songs, a Manilla Road cover, and three cuts from Read more […]

The Animal in Me – Running from the Noise (Self-Released)

As much as some may chagrin at the mere notion, there’s a lot of potential for metal acts that are willing to spruce up their sound with non-metal influences – particularly when it comes to the electronic Read more […]

Dexter Ward – III (No Remorse Records)

Splitting members between Greece and Italy, Dexter Ward hold the flag for traditional 80’s-oriented metal with epic strains high on their aptly titled third studio album III. Currently sharing two members Read more […]

O ZORN! – Your Killer (Seeing Red Records)

Destroyed. Demise. Death. Slain. There are so many synonyms for destruction but there’s always room for more. Enter the word “Zorn”, taken from the Lapine language of the rabbits in Watership Down. The Read more […]

Ross the Boss – Born of Fire (AFM Records)

Brand equity is so important in metal these days. Credibility to giving standard material professional execution – especially in the live sector – is what continues to develop a following and keep Read more […]

Aronious – Perspicacity (The Artisan Era)

To this scribe, the ‘more is more’ approach is typically one that gets associated with symphonic metal, in terms of the arrangements and trying to squeeze in as many layers as possible. But in the Read more […]

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