Reviews

Unfathomable Ruination – Enraged and Unbound (Willowtip)

Now that we are coming towards the end of it, 2019 has been quite a solid year for death metal. A number of bands have really stepped up their game and provided potent examples of how one can be undeniably Read more […]

Dizastra – Elder Sun (Self-Released)

Combining a love of thrash and black metal, Montreal act Dizastra came to fruition in 2014, their namesake derived from Middle French and Old Italian words that mean ‘bad star’ for which ancient civilizations Read more […]

Avatarium – The Fire I Long For (Nuclear Blast)

Vibrant times for doom metal these days. Always lurking beneath the surface during thrash and death metal heydays of the 80’s and 90’s, whether it’s the incessant inspiration of Black Sabbath and Read more […]

Vesperith – Vesperith (Svart)

Music, in all of its forms, is meant to make the listener feel something. In the case of much of the more extreme metal scene, it’s a vehicle for delivering riffs. High-energy material that fuels the Read more […]

Sodom – Out of the Frontline Trench (Steamhammer/SPV)

One of the big three in the Teutonic thrash heydays (Destruction and Kreator helming the other mantles), Sodom are an institution for their militant-oriented lyrical content and equally vicious potency Read more […]

Treasonist/Y-Incision – Mechanical Perdition (Horror Pain Gore Death Productions)

Are you a slave to the grind? If so, you’ll probably be pleased to come across this split of Treasonist and Y-Incision, two grinding death metal bands with some similarities and differences in their Read more […]

Obsequiae – The Palms of Sorrowed Kings (20 Buck Spin)

There is a medieval bent to Minneapolis’s Obsequiae, but, frankly, you sometimes forget it’s there considering how elegant and, dare we say, “overflowing” their guitar melodies are. Formed in 2007, Read more […]

Crystal Viper – Tales of Fire and Ice (AFM Records)

A staple of the Polish heavy metal scene, Crystal Viper arrive at an interesting crossroads with their seventh studio album for Tales of Fire and Ice. Originally delving more into a traditional approach Read more […]

Necronomicon – Unus (Season of Mist)

Necronomicon have been out doing their blackened death metal shtick for over 30 years now – an impressive feat for an act that doesn’t exactly fly on top of every extreme metal fan’s radar. Their Read more […]

Hideous Divinity – Simulacrum (Century Media)

Growing in name as one of Italy’s finest when it comes to extreme metal, Hideous Divinity have been consistently upping their game with each release. Their last album, Adveniens, saw them make good Read more […]

Hanging Garden – Into That Good Night (Lifeforce)

Given that a lot of us writer-types will be in full reflection mode as 2019 and the decade wind down, albums like Hanging Garden’s excellent 2013 At Every Door will come back into view. A hearty, thoroughly Read more […]

R.U.S.T.X – Center of the Universe (Pitch Black Records)

Originally known as Flames in Ice in 2003, Cyprus band R.U.S.T.X have been a live staple ever since – opening performances for acts like Omen, Ross the Boss, and Bonfire as well as performing at festivals Read more […]

Spoil Engine – Renaissance Noire (Arising Empire)

Developing their chops in the 90’s Belgian underground hardcore scene, Spoil Engine are a four-piece act that bridge a heavy, modern aspect to their sound with that hardcore aesthetic plus groove-enhanced Read more […]

Eleine – All Shall Burn (Black Lodge Records)

Eleine left quite an impression with their sophomore effort, Until the End, last year. A rock-solid combination of gothic metal atmosphere, soaring symphonics, and more heaviness than you may have expected Read more […]

Paganizer – The Tower of the Morbid (Transcending Obscurity)

You know what they say, “too much Rogga, not enough time.” Well, maybe not everyone says it, but there’s no doubt that there’s plenty of Rogga Johansson material for those who are hankering for Read more […]

Hyperborea – Umbra (Art Gates Records)

Arising during the government upheaval of the late 90’s, Bulgarian death metal band Hyperborea took influences from their first wave of metal domestic scene along with a love for international death/thrash Read more […]

Second to Sun – Legacy (Self-Released)

Russia’s very prolific Second to Sun (they did record two full-lengths last year alone) are back with a full-length in 2019. If last year’s releases were anything to judge the band by, it’s that Read more […]

Despised Icon – Purgatory (Nuclear Blast)

With 2016’s Beast quickly reestablishing the Canadian pioneers of deathcore as a vital force to be reckoned and a massive comeback in its own right, the band took their time in formulating the follow-up Read more […]

Denner’s Inferno – In Amber (Mighty Music)

There’s no question when it comes to early guitar influencers from the 1980’s, especially in the classic/epic/traditional mold, most are familiar with the work of Michael Denner. His playing/ songwriting Read more […]

Novembers Doom – Nephilim Grove (Prophecy Productions)

Fresh onto newer label pastures with Germany’s Prophecy Productions following a long-run from the mid-2000’s with The End Records, Novembers Doom at this point of their thirty-year career want to continue Read more […]

Esoteric – A Pyrrhic Existence (Season of Mist)

There’s doom, there’s funeral doom, and then there’s Esoteric. A release by the band tends to have the wait (from the last release) and the weight (in content) to nearly register as a major life Read more […]

Ex Libris – ANN – Chapter 3: Anne Frank (Self-Released)

The final portion of Ex Libris’ intensive trilogy following three “Anns” throughout history, this time we come the closest to the present day with that of Anne Frank. Where Anne Boleyn and Anastasia Read more […]

Schammasch – Hearts of No Light (Prosthetic Records)

Dense. Exacting. Crafted to match a well defined vision from which it refuses to waiver. That is the experience Hearts of No Light brings to the table. For Switzerland’s Schammasch, that vision is in Read more […]

Dawn Ray’d – Behold Sedition Plainsong (Prosthetic)

Liverpool’s Dawn Ray’d come with a message and it’s an easy one to grapple with: Down with tyrants, oppressors and holier-than-thou types who try to keep the working man down. It was the signpost Read more […]

CyHra – No Halos in Hell (Nuclear Blast)

Hitting the ground running with their excellent debut Letters to Myself (this scribe’s album of the year for 2017), the band has returned with their sophomore release with new label Nuclear Blast backing Read more […]

Leah – Ancient Winter (Ex Cathedra Records)

What happens when the ‘heavy metal Enya’ decides to drop the more metallic portion of her sound and dives into a holiday-themed album? Ancient Winter is the result in this case, though if you are Read more […]

Year of the Cobra – Ash and Dust (Prophecy Productions)

One of the quickest routes to sludge, apparently, is by foregoing the guitar and having the bass do all of the distortion heavy-lifting. Perhaps Cliff Burton is to blame for all of this: His legendary Read more […]

The Dark Element – Songs the Night Sings (Frontiers)

Featuring the talents of both Jani Liimatainen and Anette Olzon, it was no surprise when in 2017, The Dark Element’s debut full-length landed with explosive force. Modern metal that played to the strengths Read more […]

Immanifest – Macrobial (The Artisan Era)

Sometimes you get to a point where you get discouraged by the volume of bands that simply play to the tropes of a genre. To that end, there’s a lot of ‘filler’ symphonic black/death metal that exists Read more […]

Syr Daria – Tears of a Clown (Sliptrick Records)

Named after a river in Central Asia, Syr Daria actually come from France – a quintet of musicians that have been together since 2007 and released two previous albums in Circus of Life (2011) and Voices Read more […]

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