The Ocean – Heliocentric (Metal Blade Records)

With broad, ambitious concepts that usually go beyond the atypical focus of the metalgaze genre, Germanys’ The Ocean always set themselves up for failure, yet usually emerged unscathed. The daring Precambrian from Read more […]

Volbeat – Live: Sold Out DVD (Mascot Records)

Only fitting that a DVD released in 2008 is only coming out now, for a band that has been big in Europe and is only catching on in North America…now. Once a part of the mini Danish metal explosion Read more […]

Cathedral – The Guessing Game (Nuclear Blast Records)

So much for The Garden of Unearthly Delights being the last opus from the long-running quasi-British doomsters. It didn’t feel like the right way to go out anyway…what Cathedral needs is that tried-and-true Read more […]

Ludicra – The Tenant (Profound Lore Records)

Like anything coming out of the Bay Area, proper description all but eludes Ludcira. How these guys (and gals) were ever branded as a straight black metal band defies convention and while yes, they do Read more […]

Apostle of Solitude – Last Sunrise (Profound Lore Records)

Fronted by former Gates of Slumber drummer Chuck Brown, Apostle of Solitude do their part in keeping the vaunted doom torch aflame. To their credit, the Indianapolis-based quartet stays out of all-too-lazy Read more […]

Black Breath – Heavy Breathing (Southern Lord Records)

Question: how do you make the D-beat exciting and interesting enough for a full-length? Answer: borrow from Sweden. Fresh off a feisty EP in the form of Razor to Oblivion, Seattle’s Black Breath Read more […]

Imperium Dekadenz – Procella Vadens (Underground Activists/Season of Mist)

Since there is such a preponderance of black metal, it’s becoming easier and easier to disseminate what is good and (as our British friends would say) “utter shite.” In fact, we can tell right off Read more […]

Barren Earth – Curse of the Red River (Peaceville Records)

More supergroups. A supergroup here, a supergroup there, yadda-yadda. This is what happens when musicians get bored – they find similarly bored musicians and take the easy way out by paying homage to Read more […]

Stigma – Concerto for the Undead (Pivotal Recordings)

Sounding like a cross between The Black Dahlia Murder and The Absence (two bands that are virtually identical on some level), Italy’s Stigma don’t play the originality card very well on Concerto for Read more […]

Triptykon – Eparistera Daimones (Prowling Death/Century Media Records)

Essentially Celtic Frost with a new rhythm section (something we’ll hear Tom G. Warrior say repeatedly, no doubt), Triptykon continues in the dark, next-level-of-avant-garde-metal approach that CF took Read more […]

Order of Ennead – An Examination of Being (Earache Records)

Must be a weird scene for Deicide drummer Steve Asheim to work without Glen Benton, a man whose “antics” have probably done more harm than good for the Floridian death metallers. You never know which Read more […]

Flourishing – A Momentary Sense of the Immediate World EP (The Path Less-Traveled Records)

Rare that Blistering gets to hear raw death metal in this form. Since 95% of death metal nowadays chooses to use ProTools as a buffer/mistake-ridder-of, hearing something recorded live and in the flesh Read more […]

Soulfly – Omen (Roadrunner Records)

There was a time when no self-respecting metal fan would touch Soulfly with a 10-foot pole. Being how duped a lot of us were with 1998’s self-titled debut (the Fred Durst guest spot is still unforgivable), Read more […]

Dillinger Escape Plan – Option Paralysis (Party Smasher Inc./Season of Mist)

Quite the odd scene seeing DEP without the Relapse tag next to it. It’s almost like when In Flames jumped from Nuclear Blast in 2006 for Come Clarity. For a lot of people these bands and labels are Read more […]

Landmine Marathon – Sovereign Descent (Prosthetic Records)

In its latest mutation, grind is now of the female-fronted variety. Not like there weren’t any chicks fronting grind bands before this (Nuclear Death comes to mind), but Landmine Marathon is far and Read more […]

Katatonia – The Longest Year EP (Peaceville Records)

In this day and age, EP’s are pretty worthless. Bonus material gets slapped on the ‘net in a heartbeat, rendering special releases like this null and void. In the case of Katatonia, their swelling Read more […]

Kalmah – 12 Gauge (Spinefarm Records)

After 2008’s dominating, world-beating, universe-owning For the Revolution, Kalmah appears poised to further ascend up the melodic death metal ladder with 12 Gauge. We’ve stated this a handful of Read more […]

Rage – Strings To A Web (Nuclear Blast Records)

Power trios place intense focus on hooks and chemistry. You can’t have a weak link amongst the vocals, guitars, bass or drums, which probably explains the appeal of Rage through the years. Their brand Read more […]

Burzum – Belus (Candlelight Records)

Perhaps the most aped and copied black metal entity, Burzum (rather, everyone’s favorite jailbird Varg Vikernes) finds itself in a precarious position with Belus. On one hand, it’s a welcome sight Read more […]

Gamma Ray – To the Metal (earMusic)

Business as usual for Kai Hansen and co. with To the Metal. Following up the totally excellent Land of the Free Pt 2, To the Metal sees Gamma Ray tone down some of its traditional Euro speed metal Read more […]

Armored Saint – La Raza (Metal Blade Records)

If ever a group of California musicians felt trapped in genre limbo, it would be the mighty Armored Saint. Coming to the forefront of a scene in the early to mid-1980’s with a sound very powerful yet Read more […]

Les Discrets – Septembre et ses dernières Pensées (Prophecy Productions)

Wisely paired with the new Alcest, Septembre et ses dernières Penséesis the full-length debut of French trio Les Discrets, who feature in the ranks former members of the now-defunct Amesouers, who were Read more […]

Unleashed – As Yggdrasil Trembles (Nuclear Blast Records)

During my tape trading heydays of the late 80’s into early 90’s, a special feeling overwhelmed me at the prospect of discovering Swedish death metal. At first my mind struggled to handle the deeper Read more […]

Varg – Blutaar (NoiseArt Records)

Not to be confused with ‘ole Varg Vikernes (we’re probably the 800th publication to make this connection – sorry), Germany’s Varg throw their name into the Pagan/epic metal ring with the bludgeoning Blutaar. Read more […]

Sight of Emptiness – Absolution of Humanity (Self-Released)

Quite the pedigree behind these unsigned Costa Rican melodic death metallers. Winners of the 2007 Bloodstock Open Air contest and the mastering services of in-demand producer Jens Borgen, the band certainly Read more […]

Icarus Witch – Draw Down the Moon (Cleopatra Records)

The new wave of traditional metal revival may have begun in Europe, but I believe there are a slew of American acts worthy of your attention and hard-earned cash. Pennsylvania’s Icarus Witch through Read more […]

Destinity – XI Reasons To See (Lifeforce Records)

Once oh-so-close to entering the upper-echelon of Euro thrash, Sweden’s Destinity have taken an odd step to the side on XI Reasons To See. Many have derided the band for its Hypocrisy-laden sound, something Read more […]

Alcest – Écailles de Lune (Prophecy Productions)

High on the “most anticipated” list for this scribe and several others who were awestruck by the majesty that was 2007’s Souvenirs d’un autre monde, Alcest’s newest Écailles de Lune arrives Read more […]

Mortemia – Misere Mortem (Napalm Records)

Just about a year ago we reviewed Sirenia’s The 13th Floor release. Its bubblegum Goth metal quickly won this scribe over, then vanquished, like any good quick-and-easy form of music should. We only Read more […]

Holy Grail – Improper Burial EP (HG Records)

First it was the retro thrash wave, now it’s the retro, retro metal wave. You gotta love metal: it just keeps on aping itself. When the talent pool is so diluted and the number of veritable, reliable Read more […]