Mastodon – Crack the Skye (Reprise/Sire)

Lots of derision around this one; Crack the Skye is not the bruiser people were expecting to it be, but if it’s anything, it’s more rich, wide, and built-out than 2006’s Blood Mountain. Those Read more […]

Wolf – Ravenous (Century Media Records)

Wolf is not the first band mentioned when discussion opens on retro metal, but by golly, they’re probably the best throwback metal band going. Starting with 2002’s signpost Black Wings, the Swedes Read more […]

Heaven and Hell – The Devil You Know (Rhino Records)

Heaven And Hell, Black Sabbath, Dio and the boys. Whatever you want to call it, there’s been high anticipation for this release – a tour which absolutely blew away everyone who caught them live, some Read more […]

Altar of Plagues – White Tomb (Profound Lore Records)

At times, White Tomb just floors you. Just like Isis did circa Panopticon or Cult of Luna when they’re not fucking around. Yeah, it drifts into metalgaze territory more than once and that’s fine, Read more […]

October Tide – Rain Without End (Reissue) (Vic Records/Candlelight)

The final missing piece in the vaunted Katatonia-related side project catalog, the reissue of October Tide’s Rain Without End is an absolute must-have. Recorded in 1995 when singer/drummer Jonas Renske Read more […]

Hatesphere – To the Nines (Napalm Records)

Some major turnover going on in the Hatesphere camp, with longtime throat Jacob Bredahl leaving the Danish thrashers in late 2007. Hardly a death-knell, the band has regrouped with razor-lunged Jonathan Read more […]

Saros – Acrid Plains (Profound Lore Records)

We’ll forego any silly metaphors in regards to Acrid Plains and how unbelievably awesome its opening title track is and how the rest of the album pales in comparison. Guess that’s what an opening Read more […]

Therapy? – Crooked Timber (DR2 Records)

Twelve albums in (if you include EP’s Babyteeth and Pleasure Death) and Northern Ireland rockers Therapy? are still going strong. Better than ever actually when you get down to it and really start Read more […]

Wolves In the Throne Room – Black Cascade (Southern Lord Records)

Their stance as nature-worshiping, old-fashioned heathens (the kind, civilized ones) now fully exposed and understood, WITTR proves they are of equal substance and style with Black Cascade. Not like they weren’t before, Read more […]

Khors – Mysticism (Paragon Records)

Hard to peg this one down, something we’ve grown accustomed to when tackling the wide assortment of bands on Paragon Records. Khors call the Ukraine home and claim black metal is their forte, but that Read more […]

My Dying Bride – For Lies I Sire (Peaceville Records)

The violin is back and almost instantly, you can’t help but surrender to its enormous weight and depth. No band has made better use of the instrument (sorry Kansas), so its return from an 11-year absence Read more […]

God Is An Astronaut – God Is An Astronaut (Revive Records)

Okay, so they might not be a metal band in the strictest sense but metal can be a rather malleable substance. If you’ve yet to discover this Irish trio but are a fan of Isis, Red Sparowes, Grails, 65daysofstatic Read more […]

Crimfall – As the Path Unfolds… (Napalm Records)

Good lord, another Pagan/epic metal band. They’re coming out of the woodwork and fast, almost too fast. This stuff is going to burn out pretty quickly, something we mused about last year, but hey, can’t Read more […]

The Agonist – Lullabies For the Dormant Mind (Century Media Records)

Gotta hand it to the Agonist: they’ve taken a now very familiar template (cute female singer + metalcore) and turned it into something more expansive, slightly deranged, far more off-the-cuff than Read more […]

Ignominious Incarceration – Of Winter Born (Earache Records)

Less than three years old as a band, British death metal-heads Ignominious Incarceration are already unleashing their debut album through Earache. That sets the standard pretty high before the play button’s Read more […]

Samael – Above (Nuclear Blast Records)

Did not see this one coming, even with just about every other band from the mid-90’s going through a late-career, old sound discovery. Samael have always done their own thing, whether it be the proto-BM Read more […]

Isole – Silent Ruins (Napalm Records)

Fresh off last year’s melo-doom stroke of brilliance Bliss of Solitude, Swedish doom merchants Isole waste no time in giving us a follow-up in the form of Silent Ruins. Whereas Bliss of Solitude was Read more […]

Kylesa – Static Tensions (Prosthetic Records)

Always a critics choice, Kylesa continue to make us all look good with Static Tensions. The band’s amalgam of stoner, sludge, and doom has become even more formidable, with a batch of songs here that Read more […]

Throne of Katarsis – Helvete – Det Iskalde Mørket (Candlelight Records)

Don’t know about you, but seasonal depression isn’t made any easier with albums like this. The snow, the ice, the wind, the horror…one can only imagine with our friends in Scandinavia have to endure Read more […]

God Forbid – Earthsblood (Century Media Records)

To be frank, Earthsblood rubbed this scribe the wrong way right off the bat. Not by sheer annoyance or anything (we’ll reserve that for any band with “core” in their description), it’s just that Read more […]

Deathspell Omega – Veritas Diaboli Manet in Aeternum – Chaining the Katechon (Anja Offensive)

Fuckin’ reckless, man. That’s the new Deathspell Omega EP for ya. Shunning every idea that black metal is fully controlled entity, the Veritas Diaboli Manet in Aeternum – Chaining the Katechon EP Read more […]

Séance – Awakening of the Gods (Pulverised Records)

A reformation that is long overdue, Swedish death/thrashers Séance are best known for former rhythm guitarist Patrick, who is currently cutting his teeth in the Haunted and Witchery. Since we just mentioned Read more […]

Avantasia – Lost In Space Part 1 & 2 (Nuclear Blast Records)

2008 was a breakout year for Tobias Sammet’s Avantasia project, perhaps forcing the Edguy frontman to put more of an onus on something was considered nothing more than an outlet for Sammet’s extra Read more […]

Edguy – The Singles (Nuclear Blast Records)

Always considered Tobbias Sammet and crew to be the likely successors to the Helloween “happy/goof” metal throne, especially after 2004’s excellent Hellfire Club, but as fate would have it, Edguy Read more […]

Cannibal Corpse – Evisceration Plague (Metal Blade Records)

As quickly as one can sour on brutal death metal, such an affliction has never hit Cannibal Corpse. Granted, they’ve utilized practically the same formula since 1996’s Vile, but where Cannibal Corpse Read more […]

Absu – Absu (Candlelight Records)

From the “Where Are They Now?” file comes Absu. The Texas mythological occult metallers were an underground staple in the late 90’s and early part of this decade, culminating with the dastardly, Read more […]

Iron Fire – To the Grave (Napalm Records)

For a band that’s traditionally been a tough sell to the power metal crowd, Denmark-based Iron Fire appear to have all the right pieces in place: a take-charge vocalist in the form of Martin Steene, Read more […]

Thyrfing – Hels Vite (Regain/Candlelight Records)

Not the first name uttered when discussing the now widespread Pagan/epic metal scene, Sweden’s Thyrfing have been at it since the late 90’s with a batch of wholly respectable albums to their name, Read more […]

Grave Digger – Ballads Of A Hangman (Napalm Records)

Long, long, long-running German power metallers Grave Digger have always been a bit of choice commodity in trad metal circles. The X-factor with the band has always been singer Chris Boltendahl, whose Read more […]

Dimension Zero – He Who Shall Not Bleed (Candlelight Records)

Sure, Dimension Zero’s melodic death metal approach isn’t going to split the world in two. And yeah, they trace over familiar path once tread by At the Gates, In Flames, and the like, but wow, He Read more […]