Jag Panzer – The Scourage of the Light (SPV Records)

It’s been an eternity in power metal years since Jag Panzer’s last studio album, 2004’s Casting the Stones, which in retrospect wasn’t the most cohesive top-to-bottom album in their career. Now Read more […]

Onslaught – Sounds of Violence (AFM Records)

Doors aren’t exactly being kicked down over the prospect of Onslaught’s second post-reformation effort, Sounds of Violence. The Brits have always done a good job of blending into the thrash scenery, Read more […]

Ektomorf – Redemption (AFM Records)

Groove metal is a touchy subject with yours truly. This is a genre that has been overrun with a lot of unfavorable bands with awfully dull sounds, with few standing out to be anything of interest. Ektomorf Read more […]

Cauldron – Burning Fortune (Earache Records)

A lot of these fresh throwback metal bands aren’t “faking it” per se, but when stacked up against a band like Cauldron, most of them appear to be severely flawed and in turn, less authentic. When Read more […]

Full Blown Chaos – Full Blown Chaos (Metal Blade Records)

The subject of metalcore is a touchy subject with many. Some embrace it fully, while others treat it is if it’s the next pandemic. In the viewpoint of this writer, there are two directions of which metalcore Read more […]

Negligence – Coordinates of Confusion (Metal Blade Records)

If you are unfamiliar, Negligence is a modern thrash band hailing from Slovenia. There seems to be more new thrash metal bands popping up these days faster than light speed. Yes, they have hit ludicrous Read more […]

Evergrey – Glorious Collision (SPV Records)

This scribe was of the belief Evergrey were going to be massive, or at least an upper-tier band. Of course, this was back when albums like In Search of Truth and Recreation Day were beaming lights Read more […]

Dragged Into Sunlight – Hatred For Mankind (Prosthetic Records)

Good name for a vampire metal band, eh? “Dragged Into Sunlight.” Beats the piss out of Vampires Everywhere!, who now have forever ruined the film The Lost Boys for yours truly. Rest in peace, Corey Read more […]

Darkblack – Midnight Wraith EP (Stormspell Records)

Jesus, who isn’t going back to the late 70s for some Thin Lizzy-action? Darkblack certainly are on Midnight Wraith, a 5-song EP that covers all the necessary proto-metal terrain, rounded out with the Read more […]

Allen/Lande – The Showdown (Frontiers Records)

Two of the premiere power/progressive vocalists circling the globe, Symphony X’s Russell Allen and Masterplan’s Jorn Lande are admired for their passion and their commitment beyond their obvious singing prowess. Read more […]

Psycho – Pain Addict Pigs (Moribund Records)

As the name would suggest, this is not the most polished of recordings, which when taken into account how clean most albums sound these days, is a welcome reprieve. For Singapore’s Psycho, staying firmly Read more […]

Stratovarius – Elysium (Armoury Records)

Not a whole lot of fuss around this one, primarily because Strato’s “comeback” album Polaris has come and gone without the apropos drama now that founder Timo Tolkki (and noted headcase) is well Read more […]

Abacinate – Genesis (Epitome Productions)

Released a few months after the untimely death of singer Jason “Plunger” Sica, Abacinate’s Genesis is a rather competent, but overtly bland mix of death metal and hardcore. And what’s up with Read more […]

Quicksand Dream – Aelin: A Story About Destiny (Planet Metal)

Originally released in the not-so traditional metal friendly climate of 1999, Quicksand Dream’s Aelin: A Story About Destiny has been rescued from obscurity by Planet Metal Records. The back story Read more […]

Electric Wizard – Black Masses (Rise Above/Metal Blade)

Never quite understood the fuss around these guys, probably because they’re more about causing a racket than being cohesive, but methinks Sabbath in their halcyon days didn’t have a clue how to write Read more […]

Sirenia – The Enigma of Life (Nuclear Blast Records)

More poppy (and fluffy) than ever, Sirenia return with another quality display of female-fronted Goth metal with The Enigma of Life. The second album to feature the saccharine talents of singer Ailyn, The Read more […]

Omnium Gatherum – New World Shadows (Lifeforce Records)

If ever a time to make a splash, you might as well go full-force when you switch label deals. Such is the case with Finnish melodic death act Omnium Gatherum, who on their fifth album New World Shadows take Read more […]

Rhapsody of Fire – The Cold Embrace of Fear – A Dark Romantic Symphony EP (Nuclear Blast Records)

Boy, Rhapsody of Fire can spoil a broth pretty quickly, can’t they? Last year’s Frozen Tears of Angels was a total success, with the Italian Hollywood metallers making a triumphant return to the Read more […]

Odd Dimension – Symmetrical (Scarlet Records)

Progressive metal spread like wildfire in Italy thanks to Images And Words from Dream Theater. It appears in the metal musician world, I’m betting you will find more people per capita starting their Read more […]

Korpiklaani – Ukon Wacka (Nuclear Blast Records)

Far and away the first name associated with polka metal, Finland’s Korpiklaani have earned the right to churn out goofy albums at will. Since their 2006 breakout Tales Along this Road, the Finns have Read more […]

Calm Hatchery – Sacrilege of Humanity (Selfmadegod Records)

Over a decade ago, one had to think after Decapitated broke out withWinds of Creation there would be a groundswell of sound-alike’s, or if we want to get cute, another batch of 15 and 16 year-olds playing Read more […]

Belphegor – Black Magick Necromance (Nuclear Blast Records)

Come to think of it, is there a more hard-working band in the extreme metal sphere than Austria’s Belphegor? They put an album out nearly every year, tour their assess off, and there’s nary a dip in Read more […]

Abysmal Dawn – Leveling the Plane of Existence (Relapse Records)

The latest granite chunk of brutal death metal from Los Angeles’ Abysmal Dawn comes in the form of Leveling the Plane of Existence, a crusher of an album and the first solid album of the new year. While Read more […]

Elvenking – Red Silent Tides (AFM Records)

Elvenking’s last “proper” (and by “proper” we mean not acoustic like 2008’s Two Tragedy Poets) studio album The Scythe was a real charmer across the board, the type of modern power metal Read more […]

Hour of 13 – The Ritualist (Earache Records)

The scene changes often as the debate rages forth between the studio versus live experience in the metal realm. As a lifelong admirer of both, there’s something magical when all the elements align to Read more […]

Deadlock – Bizarro World (Lifeforce Records)

Often derided for their use of syrupy female vocals in the context of rather stock melodic metalcore, Germany’s Deadlock appears to have totally figured things out with their fifth album, Bizarro World. Read more […]

To Cast A Shadow – In Memory Of (Kolony Records)

When Gothic metal is on, its glow can be quite domineering. The hallmark works of Paradise Lost, Anathema, and My Dying Bride proved how versatile the sound can be, allowing bands like To Cast A Shadow Read more […]

Khors – Return to Abandoned (Paragon Records)

Not to be confused with the American beer with the same pronunciation (Coors is disgusting, by the way), Ukrainian black metal combo Khors return with the follow-up to 2008’s sturdy Mysticism in the Read more […]

Pristina – The Drought (ov Salt and Sorrow) (Trendkill Recordings)

Pretty big in scope, Pristina’s The Drought (ov Salt and Sorrow)brandishes the big ‘ole flamethrower that is near the likes of Today Is the Day and other metallic, post-hardcore aficionados. Anchored Read more […]

Ghost – Opus Eponymous (Rise Above/Metal Blade Records)

What Witchcraft was to 2006, is what Ghost will be to 2010/2011. Basically, this entails being the “it” band among those in-the-know (read: Fenriz of Darkthrone, various snobby metal journo types, Read more […]