Amorphis – Magic and Mayhem – Tales From the Early Years (Nuclear Blast Records)

A stopgap release for the Finns, who are coming off yet another barnburner of an album in the form of Skyforger, Magic and Mayhem – Tales From the Early Years is a 13-song re-working of the band’s Read more […]

Meleschesh – The Epigenesis (Nuclear Blast Records)

If the band Melechesh remains an unknown quantity, than a mighty amount of shame shall be bestowed upon you. They are easily one of the most unique, powerful, and talented bands in existence. In the era Read more […]

Krieg – The Isolationist (Candlelight Records)

Four years after Blue Miasma, crucial USBM one-man band Krieg have returned with The Isolationist. While the Candlelight Records banner may run against the band’s long-standing rep in necro BM circles, The Read more […]

Holy Grail – Crisis In Utopia (Prosthetic Records)

California consistently produces a boatload of musicians hoping to turn the music industry upside-down and carry their songwriting and performance wares to all sides of the globe. Holy Grail from Pasadena Read more […]

Circle II Circle – Consequence of Power (AFM Records)

If pondering the output of Savatage members in the 2000’s, one could argue that Zak Stevens and his group Circle II Circle has been the most productive as well as adhering to his emotional, confident Read more […]

Helloween – 7 Sinners (The End Records/Sony)

This may only matter to anal-retentive scribes like yours truly, but 7 Sinners is a heavily-penned Andi Deris Helloween album, which for those who live and die by the Keeper albums, is a different Read more […]

Mr Death – Death Suits You EP (Agonia Records)

Album cover of the year. Hands down. Like, why can’t more death metal covers be this classy, non-gory, and have such a great play on words? And it’s not that complicated – death metal bands just Read more […]

Dimmu Borgir – Abrahadabra (Nuclear Blast Records)

Much better than the half-assed In Sorte Diaboli, Dimmu, in spite of shedding half its line-up has managed to bring their overly-symphonic sound into the new decade, drawing an instant parallel to its Read more […]

War From A Harlot’s Mouth – MMX (Lifeforce Records)

German metalcore instantly evokes the brutal, but heavily Gothenburg-infused musings of Caliban, Heaven Shall Burn, Maroon, etc. They’re all pretty close cousins, interchangeable and frankly, not at Read more […]

Kylesa – Spiral Shadow (Season of Mist Records)

Wasting little time after last year’s totally killer Static Tensions, Georgia’s Kylesa return with the not-as-awesome Spiral Shadow. Whereas its predecessor was practically gift-wrapped with a handful Read more […]

Dawnbringer – Nucleus (Profound Lore Records)

Since Dawnbringer mainman Chris Black has his foot in several camps (Nachtmystium, Pharaoh, High Spirits, to name a few), it’s not a reach to find that Nucleus dips from a similar, wide-sized pool. Read more […]

Blood of Kingu – Sun in the House of the Scorpion (Candlelight Records)

If you’re familiar with the band Drudkh, you should be in the know about Blood of Kingu. After all, three of the four current members of said Ukrainian black metal group are in this band, as well as Read more […]

Nightfall – Astron Black and the Thirty Tyrants (Metal Blade Records)

For those unfamiliar with Nightfall, they’re one of the more important bands that have risen from the Greek scene. The band has been around since 1991, and has seen many incarnations – both in style Read more […]

Star One – Victims of the Modern Age (InsideOut Music)

When Star One first hit in 2002, it was a near-revelation, mainly because us journalistic-types got all excited about “space metal,” which frankly, sounds really dumb now, but hey, we’re still the Read more […]

Angra – Aqua (SPV Records)

Boy, 2006’s Aurora Consurgens feels old, doesn’t it? And since it didn’t have the flair of its predecessor Temple of Shadows, Angra suddenly isn’t the enticing, 3rd World power metal prospect Read more […]

Enslaved – Axioma Ethica Odini (Nuclear Blast Records)

Going heavier after 2008’s very progressive, Pink Floyd-intensive Vertebrae was easily the smartest move Enslaved could have made. Then again, the band have been all about making smart decisions for Read more […]

Dawn of Ashes – Genocide Chapters (Metal Blade Records)

Dawn of Ashes’ scary/horror-inspired/highly cinematic blend of black and death metal has fallen out of favor for more primitive means of late, which explains why the band’s third album, Genocide Chapters comes Read more […]

Blood Revolt – Indoctrine (Profound Lore)

Best known for his totally unique wails, howls, pleas for order, love for nature, etc., Primordial’s Alan Nemtheanga Averill sounds every bit as tortured against the backdrop of sloppy, buzzing primal Read more […]

Kamelot – Poetry For the Poisoned (KMG Recordings)

Ninth album for this veteran dark power metal act, who have reached headline status the world over thanks to the charismatic vocal presence of Roy Khan, the unyielding work ethic and vision of guitarist Read more […]

Woe – Quietly, Undramatically (Candlelight Records)

A natural sounding snare drum…can’t deal with it. It’s so passé to play extreme metal of any form without some type of triggering that when something like Woe comes along, it throws the ears for Read more […]

Firewind – Days of Defiance (Century Media Records)

All eyes are on Gus G., especially from the casual mainstream heavy music follower who probably just discovered this axe-slinger’s skill set taking over for Zakk Wylde as Ozzy Osbourne’s guitar man. Read more […]

The Absence – Enemy Unbound (Metal Blade Records)

Gothenburg worship can only get one so far, and if you’re The Absence, it’s time for a detour. Their 2005 debut From Your Grave had a fair amount of spunk, even if it totally crossed into Black Dahlia Read more […]

Mar de Grises – Streams Inwards (Season of Mist Records)

Streams Inwards reveals the same thing about Chile’s Mar de Grises that their previous album Draining the Waterheart did: the band isn’t quite there yet. One would be a fool to not be drawn to the Read more […]

Death Angel – Relentless Retribution (Nuclear Blast Records)

Many have gotten in the habit of stacking all of the old-school, Bay Area thrash bands up against one another, which isn’t all that surprising – it’s probably what happened during the 80’s too. Read more […]

Rattlehead – Tales From the Gutter (Self-Released)

The second generation of thrash seems to have as much impact on audiences worldwide as the first one I grew up savoring. As long as the passion and talent focus on the songwriting and less about writing Read more […]

System Divide – The Conscious Sedation (Metal Blade Records)

A multi-national act that dips into Israel (of all places) thanks to singer Miri Milman’s (ex-Distorted) involvement, System Divide is decidedly American-sounding, rife with pummelling deathcore chugs Read more […]

The Crown – Doomsday King (Century Media Records)

Hard to fuck with The Crown, you know? They ended things a bit too early in 2004 after years of slugging it away on the death metal club circuit, broke, destitute, and oft-overlooked. ‘Tis a crime, actually, Read more […]

Otargos – No God, No Satan (Season of Mist Records)


Raunchy – A Discord Electric (Lifeforce Records)

It’s easy to forget just how poppy and utterly non-metal Raunchy can be. After making significant headway with 2004’ s excellent Confusion Bay, the Danes have gradually settled into a niche few want Read more […]

King of Asgard – Fi’mbulvintr (Metal Blade Records)

All has been relatively quiet this year on the epic/Pagan metal front (thank you, sweet Odin), which could be why King of Asgard’s relatively by-the-book take on said style works in spades. It’s the Read more […]