Power Quest – Master of Illusion (Napalm Records)

You know, there was a time when being anything but menacing in metal was a rather large no-no. No smiles, no good times, and definitely, definitely not any ‘fun’ tunes. That all changed when Helloween Read more […]

Withered – Folie Circulaire (Prosthetic Records)

The “wall of sound” is a term often bandied about when discussing the rash of post-metal/hardcore/whatever bands that are currently inundating the underground. While excellent bands like Isis, Rosetta, Read more […]

Daylight Dies – Lost To the Living (Candlelight Records)

The missing link between the vaunted classic-era Katatonia sound and modern, morose dark metal, North Carolina’s Daylight Dies are now the full-blown torchbearers of all things doom and gloom. There Read more […]

Heidevolk – Walhalla Wacht (Napalm Records)

Keeping with the theme thus far for 2008 that folk/epic/whatever metal has set up camp in our collective pysche’s, here comes Heidevolk, a band that no doubt are the bottom-dwellers of this style. If Read more […]

Desaster – 666 Satan’s Soldiers Syndicate (Metal Blade Records)

Kinda like throwback thrash, primitive churn-and-burn BM can be pumped out fairly easily. Not to say bands like Impaled Nazarene or the band in question, Germany’s Desaster are without merit, it’s Read more […]

Deicide – Till Death Do Us Part (Earache Records)

If this really is the last Deicide album (as Glen Benton has hinted in several interviews), then consider the band having come full circle. Naturally, there were some significant road bumps and career Read more […]

Belphegor – Bondage Goat Zombie (Nuclear Blast Records)

Last year’s Pestapocalypse IV from this Austrian duo was all-in-all, underwhelming. For a band that has made its work in the black/death realm, said album tapered off pretty quickly, so off went Belphegor Read more […]

Neaera – Armamentarium (Metal Blade Records)

At long last, the German metalcore scene is shedding its uniform and copycat image. For a short time, say two or three years ago, Maroon, Heaven Shall Burn, Neaera, Fear My Thoughts, and Caliban all came Read more […]

Ihsahn – angL (Candlelight Records)

With both Emperor and Peccatum in the rear-view mirror, Ihsahn’s immense talent wingspan can now fully blanket the black metal and avant-garde metal realms. His first solo album, 2006’s The Adversary was Read more […]

Moonspell – Night Eternal (SPV)

Since their rediscovery of the Wolfheart-era sound, Portugal’s Moonspell have enjoyed a career revitalization that is both surprising and deserving. Fact of the matter is, Fernando Ribeiro and co. have Read more […]

Testament – The Formation of Damnation (Nuclear Blast Records)

It seemed like this would never come. Testament have taken almost a decade to produce the follow-up to 1999’s mammoth The Gathering, having endured a cancer scare for Chuck Billy, some lineup shuffles, Read more […]

Zero Hour – Dark Deceiver (Sensory)

A great idea on paper: the combination of over-the-top tech metal ala Cynic, Atheist, et al, with clean, progressive vocals, Zero Hour are now coming dangerously close to perfecting their own indelible Read more […]

Septicflesh – Communion (Season of Mist Records)

The holy godfathers of the Greek metal scene (Rotting Christ is a very close second), Sepeticflesh return after a short breakup with Communion. As far as natural dark metal bands go, few are more invigorating Read more […]

Distorted – Voices From Within (Candlelight Records)

Oddly reminiscent of Amaran, a now-defunct melodic death metal band with clean female vox, Israel’s Distorted are a cool mix of the aforementioned sound and haunting Goth metal. Distorted is a bit more Read more […]

Midnattsol – Nordlys (Napalm Records)

erhaps best known for featuring Carmen Elise Espenaeas, the sister of Leaves Eyes’ Liv Kristine, Midnattsol (that’s “midnight sun” in case you were wondering), return after a three year layoff Read more […]

Mourning Beloveth – A New Disease For the Ages (Prophecy/Grau)

One of the pillars of the slo-mo doom style, Ireland’s Mourning Beloveth return with A New Disease For the Ages, a vast improvement over the inconsistent A Murderous Circus. Rife with prolonged, sobbing Read more […]

Farmakon – Robin (Candlelight Records)

You know, there are rip-offs, and there are rip-offs. Our Finnish friends Farmakon make little or no effort to prove they are anything but an Opeth tribute band in hiding, with Robin being the ill-begotten Read more […]

Warrel Dane – Praises to the War Machine (Century Media Records)

Essentially “Nevermore-light,” which for all intents and purposes would be their first, self-titled album, Praises to the War Machine bears the unmistakable mark of one of metal’s last true voices, Read more […]

Arsis – We Are the Nightmare (Nuclear Blast Records)

Arsis may not quite be Death yet, but if anyone can lay claim to the neo progressive death metal tag for this generation, it would be James Malone and co. Their previous two efforts, 2004’s A Celebration Read more […]

Firewind – The Premonition (Century Media)

All-star guitarist Gus G.’s burst of productivity has carried over into ’08, barely a year after Allegiance was released. Sorta surprising why more bandsdon’t do this – it was commonplace in Read more […]

Kreator – At the Pulse of Katipulation DVD (SPV)

Kreator. Pre Coma of Souls, post Berlin Wall. Shot in early 1990, right after the fall of Communism, At the Pulse of Katipulation shows a very hungry and inspired Kreator, who were just getting ready Read more […]

Engel – Absolute Design (SPV)

Static-X and several key players from the Swedish metal scene just don’t mix. It won’t work in Sweden, Germany, and definitely not in the States, where boneheaded Nu-metal is on the outs for the time Read more […]

Burzum – Lord of Darkness: Anthology (Candlelight Records)

Ole Varg is still hanging around some jail in Norway, as his sentence for slaying Euronymous has been extended thanks to a failed escape in ’03 that saw our Pagan lunatic brandish a bazooka and other Read more […]

Children of Bodom – Blooddrunk (Spinefarm/Universal)

Three years removed from one of ’05 best albums in Are You Dead Yet?Alexi and his boys of Bodom return with Blooddrunk, yet another high-profile Euro metal album to hit the shelves for April. In relation Read more […]

Indian – Sights and Abuse/The Sycophant (Seventh Rule)

More or less a watered-down version of Mastodon and any other well-serving sludgy doom band, Chicago’s Indian don’t appeal on a whole lot of levels outside of the fact they make a lot of noise and Read more […]

In Flames – A Sense of Purpose (Koch Entertainment)

Few can polarize like In Flames; the band’s once flawless underground pedigree has been smeared via a handful of less-challenging and ‘true’ albums, the result of the band growing tired with the Read more […]

Unearth – Alive From the Apocalypse DVD (Metal Blade Records)

Not your run-of-the-mill DVD release, Alive From the Apocalypse is a two-disc set featuring a live set and a cool documentary that takes us from Unearth’s beginnings in the Massachusetts metalcore Read more […]

Farsot – IIII (Lupus Lounge/Prophecy)

Previously known for covering “I Break” by Katatonia for a recent tribute album (yep, Katatonia rules all in this house), Germany’s Farsot have a bit of an unconventional approach to modern black Read more […]

Helrunar – Baldr Ok Iss (Lupus Lounge/Prophecy)

A formula that is as proven as any in metal, epic black metal can do little wrong when performed with the type of care and dare we say, “honor” that it rightly deserves. The marriage of atmospheric Read more […]

Meshuggah – obZen (Nuclear Blast Records)

Early reports had obZen marking a return to the unbridled fury of 1998’s Chaosphere, but instead, it’s more of a combination of Nothing, Catch Thirty-Three and the aforementioned sonic maelstrom Read more […]