Prong, once caught in a creative vacuum that led to Victor hitting the restart button, sees itself lumbering down a familiar path from which its identity becomes nebulous and dormant.
- Read the full Prong's X - No Absolutes review
A name like Rabid Flesh Eaters suggests "Reign of Terror" is no cupcake. The Texan thrash squad had a close affiliation, both sonically and personally, with the deceased Rigor Mortis, the most anti-cupcake band on the planet.
- Read the full Rabid Flesh Eaters - Reign of Terror review
This is a little split between Coffins and Isla. Both bands have a bit of doom in their loins, although Isla implements some crust influences that are absent in the doom/death metal assault of Coffins.
- Read the full Coffins/Isla Split review
Haken strength is writing detailed tracks which feature multiple musical webs and ideas intertwining to create a singular, complex entity. Half the numbers on "Affinity" perceptively drift away from this texture
- Read the full Haken - Affinity review
Rather than continue milking the formula applied on its predecessor, "Vessels" ventures beyond the set musical perimeter by exploring its inherited musical philosophies.
- Read the full Be'lakor - Vessels review
Valdur delivers a nice package of blasphemous havoc cooked up just the way it sounds. Their riffs are enticing, appearing foul and flagrant over blasts which seldom halt the constant blitzkrieg.
- Read the full Valdur - Pathetic Scum review
Messa lurks on a forlorn edge of haunting doom metal capped off by drone and ambient influences used as means to traverse the instrumental journeys of "Belfry."
- Read the full Messa - Belfry review
Die Choking isn't content to simply rehash itself. "III" expands upon and further ramifies the metal, punk, and hardcore roots which together create the grindcore weed Die Choking is fond of picking
- Read the full Die Choking - III review
This is a flawed record, but has glimmers of potential shining through the stormy skies like a lighthouse's beam on an unseen island. Addressing the issues firsthand may find Sailing to Nowhere reaching somewhere.
- Read the full Sailing to Nowhere - To The Unknown review
Black Anvil bassist and vocalist Paul "P.D." Delaney revealed how Black Anvil wrought its most daring release yet during a stop during his group's latest tour in Washington, D.C.
- Read the full Black Anvil Interview review
Six Feet Under's knack for pissing on timeless classics is almost admirable at this point. "Graveyard Classics" is a tradition of the American death metal squad in which they spice up a variety of notable tunes to fit the Six Feet Under mold
- Read the full Six Feet Under - Graveyard IV The Number of the Priest review
Wildfire is the type of album that will put some hair on your chest, and while Destroyer 666 has released superior records, this is definitely a nice change of pace and a thundering return to the wolf's throne of bones.
- Read the full Destroyer 666 - Wildfire review
A proper Onslaught live album is due at this point, thanks to a frugal reunion and classics in the olden days. The balance of two periods seems to be the theme upon which "Live at the Slaughterhouse" is based
- Read the full Onslaught - Live at the Slaughterhouse review
"Abuse to Suffer" is a Rotten Sound record from A to Z. The grindcore overlords are especially gifted at delivering a malicious sensory overload of nonstop violence.
- Read the full Rotten Sound - Abuse To Suffer review
Venomous Concept's roster of former and current members of Napalm Death et al. should help kindle the musical brushfires as to the direction "Kick Me Silly- VC III" veers upon, but with an edge of raging humor a la Stormtroopers of Death.
- Read the full Venomous Concept - Kick Me Silly: VC III review
An interview with a member of The Great Discord revealed the band half-heartedly refers to their style as 'progressive death pop.' It is a fitting label, despite conjuring an innate sense of disharmony
- Read the full The Great Discord - Duende review
One band that can be likened to Arcana 13 and "Danza Macabra" is Ghost, yet labeling them a copycat or clone is downright absurd. Arcana 13 has the incredible gift of atmosphere to add to the elements of horror and heavy metal they proudly cherish.
- Read the full Arcana 13 - Danza Macabra review
Die Choking's link between the sounds and influences of grindcore remain key to the musical charge, never once putting their feet on the brake. Split that up for six minutes, and try not to die choking.
- Read the full Die Choking - II review
"A Year with No Summer" ends up a mixed bag. The progressive rock structure limits the group creatively, and there are several instances in which the opportunities available to Obsidian Kingdom are squandered.
- Read the full Obsidian Kingdom - A Year With No Summer review
Thy Catafalque is the work of just one man. The world of "Sgurr" feels much more involved than simply a solitary mind at work, though the depth and imagination of some are far greater than others.
- Read the full Thy Catafalque - Sgurr review
Round two of the Denner/Shermann project helmed by the eponymous Mercyful Fate guitar duo takes the agonizing tease of a Mercyful Fate reunion to a whole new level.
- Read the full Denner Shermann - Masters of Evil review
Given Coffin Dust's ties to Exhumed, it's no surprise "Everything is Dead" follows the path bulldozed by the gods of gore metal, but with a mild punk edge I'm attributing to The Misfits and others.
- Read the full Coffin Dust - Everything is Dead review
Vampire lurks among Sweden's shadowy edifice of death/thrash metal bands. "Cimmerian Shade," a four-song platter, sinks in its teeth and drains what it needs without wasting a second.
- Read the full Vampire - Cimmerian Shade review
"Realms of Odoric" is a special kind of dreadful. While it's safe to say few were preparing for Suidakra's finest hour, I don't think anyone was expecting the worst thing to happen to Celtic pride since the Irish Potato Famine
- Read the full Suidakra - Realms of Odoric review
"Titancraft" is predictable in the best possible way, and just another slab of goodness that Iron Savior will proudly archive among its collection of solid albums.
- Read the full Iron Savior - Titancraft review
Chances are blasphemy fanatics will not find themselves shocked at the sound of Satanic chaos emitting from yet another Desaster opus drenched in black/thrash metal blood.
- Read the full Desaster - The Oath Of An Iron Ritual review
I imagine the joy I feel when it comes to digging up and discovering overlooked death metal bands must rival that of a horde of party-hungry lice discovering a public restroom.
- Read the full Derketa - In Death We Meet review
"I Worship Chaos" offered me the unique opportunity to rediscover Children of Bodom. I adored Children of Bodom when I was sixteen, but then I, you know, learned to drive, finally touched a boob, and so on
- Read the full Children of Bodom - I Worship Chaos review
Round two of this name-sharing nonsense sees this version of Rhapsody (the one with THE FIRE) unleashing "Into the Legend," which actually learns from the mistakes of "Dark Wings of Steel"
- Read the full Rhapsody of Fire - Into the Legend review
The EP reeks of the early stages of a group that was trying to figure out what went where and what to do when it went where it belonged, if you know what I mean.
- Read the full Antropomorphia - Necromantic Love Songs review
Hammercult soared to metal stardom when they won the Wacken Metal Battle back in some year nobody remembers because Wacken sucks and their lame awards are for the birds.
- Read the full Hammercult - Built for War review
Vehemence, before splitting up, made the valiant yet futile effort to steer melodic death metal in its intended direction. "Forward Without Motion" picks up where the band left off.
- Read the full Vehemence - Forward Without Motion review
The inevitable Mercyful Fate reunion is the biggest cocktease I've ever experienced. Mercyful Fate is one of my favorite bands, and that's what makes this so painful.
- Read the full Denner-Shermann'sSatan's Tomb review
If Abominable Putridity were to find themselves fleshed out and pumped up, then perhaps the notion of elevating the record to a higher status might make sense. Truth be told, the alleged best of its kind is just a skip above the baseline.
- Read the full Abominable Putridity - The Anomalies of Artificial Origin review
Napalm Death's singular, primal howl against the status quo is still ringing over 35 years after their genesis in Birmingham, England. Vocalist Mark "Barney" Greenway explained the fine line between innovation and integrity.
- Read the full Napalm Death Interview review
Nestled somewhere within the catacombs of metal groups left to dust rests the deceased Decomposed. Not much of a splash was made by the English doom/death metal band during their short run.
- Read the full Decomposed - Hope Finally Died... review
There is not a single reason for a band as talented and dynamic as Dark Moor to release something that loves to shower in its own vapidity and self-congratulatory insolence.
- Read the full Dark Moor - Project X review
"A Century in the Curse of Time" covers a lot of ground, but most of the conquest sounds more like a random draw of influences than the talented craftsmanship of musical wizards
- Read the full Pyogenesis - A Century in the Curse of Time review
"Space 1992: Rise of the Chaos Wizards" takes the Rhapsody of Fire formula and runs with it barefacedly. The effort transcends just stupid worship of a trailblazing band
- Read the full Gloryhammer - Space 1992: Rise of the Chaos Wizards review
Blackie still sounds fine, although the voice that was once a flamethrower now knows its limits, and maybe that's a good thing. "Golgotha" isn't restricted by age, but style. It is a pacified version of this band.
- Read the full W.A.S.P. - Golgotha review
Nuclear is from Chile and plays a Kreator-based style of thrash, and while style points stick them ahead of the pack by an inch, the reality of "Formula for Anarchy" sets them back a mile.
- Read the full Nuclear - Formula for Anarchy review
Witchsorrow rides this cool wavelength that touches on the evil atmosphere of Electric Wizard while brushing against the bluesy drawls of Black Sabbath and the attitude of Cathedral.
- Read the full Witchsorrow - No Light Only Fire review
"Svbversvm" may be something of importance to the RAM catalog as it manages to shed much of the inconsistency that has loitered around the group since the dawn of time.
- Read the full RAM - Svbversvm review
"Sic Lvceat Lvx" is one of those albums that had a chance to be incredible but it sounds like an album that has neither a head nor feet to keep it balanced. Everything in the album lacks pacing, nuance, any sense of resolve
- Read the full Schammasch - Sic Lvceat Lvx review
"Aria of Vernal Tombs" possesses the creative and instrumental poise of one of the boldest records to come out in recent times, barking up the tree of a masterpiece.
- Read the full Obsequiae - Aria of Vernal Tombs review
"Graveward" represents the Sigh we know and love, no derailments. With such quality at hand, it's becoming quite the task to find a group whose unconventional approach to metal discharges such a profound aura.
- Read the full Sigh - Graveward review
Razor manages to sound like Razor; there are seldom surprises. But for a group whose identity had reached fruition early on, "Violent Restitution" brings together a ferocious arsenal of thrash.
- Read the full Classics: Razor - Violent Restitution review
This is the kind of album that requires several rotations to truly grasp, though as calorific as it is, "On Lonely Towers" is a treat, and wouldn't have been as massive had it been trimmed.
- Read the full Barren Earth - On Lonely Towers review
"Until Then... Until the End" gets down to business in ten minutes. It's imprudent to call a two-track 7'' a band's best release, but this stuff makes the case to topple most of what the group has done thus far.
- Read the full Noctum - Until Then... Until The End review
Thrust, a heavy metal group from Chicago, captures without fault the more tedious and uninspiring edge of 80s metal throughout "Fist Held High," released way back in 1984.
- Read the full Thrust - Fist Held High review
"The Valiant Fire" moves beyond what the group demonstrated on "Bringer of Light" by adding more depth and substance without overloading the equation. It's a homerun- "The Valiant Fire" is something special.
- Read the full Damnation Angels - The Valiant Fire review
"In the Shadow of the Inverted Cross" is really the first major release from this cult squad, and while the times have changed, the timelessness of this style has not. Here is a record where magic comes alive.
- Read the full Sorcerer - In the Shadow of the Inverted Cross review
"Shotgun Justice" is yet another notch in the belt of these wild and boisterous Canucks who, as time progressed, merged from the road of speed metal onto the thrash highway.
- Read the full Razor - Shotgun Justice review
Calling the work created by Lee Dorrian and Gaz Jennings over the course of Cathedral's long and incredible run a monumental feat makes sense in more ways than one.
- Read the full Cathedral - In Memoriam review
Razor is a member of a very exclusive club- they are among a rare breed of bands who did not bottom out and suck more than a Hoover after having spent a number of years in the game.
- Read the full Razor - Open Hostility review
My process of dissecting rerecorded albums has become an art without excitement. Interestingly, "Megatropolis 2.0" is packaged clandestinely as a rerelease of Iron Savior's 2007 album of the same name
- Read the full Iron Savior - Megatropolis 2.0 review
The group's ability to expand creatively is augmented by superb musical performances and memorable tracks, which drip with the dark genius of Tribulation.
- Read the full Tribulation - The Children of the Night review
Ancient Rites is a phenomenal group, responsible for creating outstanding opuses of both black metal and symphonic-loaded folk stuff, although rudimentary terms hardly scratch the mystery hiding beneath the surface.
- Read the full Ancient Rites - Laguz review
Not to imply Satan's Wrath has lost its touch, but "Die Evil" feels like a downsizing of what the group originally brewed up with a love for archetypal thrash and just a pinch of blasphemy.
- Read the full Satan's Wrath - Die Evil review
The record is appealing in how it handles the structures of Behemoth-styled death metal while nourishing its knack for a lead guitar devoted to an array of compelling melodies and its magnificent atmosphere.
- Read the full Sulphur Aeon - Gateway to the Antisphere review
The line of thought that a band doing something foreign to a specific sound (e.g., progressive technical death metal with a shoegaze coating) is instantly respectable and worthy of praise is downright stupid.
- Read the full Fallujah - The Flesh Prevails review
The occasional apologist may pop up and call this ahead of its time, but that's a bucket of horsesh*t; there is no redemption here. Long story short, it's "Illud Divinum Insanus," and it's pretty much the worst thing ever.
- Read the full Morbid Angel - Illud Divinum Insanus review
"Child of Darkness," even if the music it contained were not incredible, holds prominence for its historical significance. These are the demo tapes of Bedemon, a squad formed in the 1970s in the pits of Arlington, Virginia.
- Read the full Bedemon - Child of Darkness review
This is a spotty affair that tries hard to conjure the flames of yesteryears, only the spells come out mostly half-assed, occasionally with a shade of splendor.
- Read the full Virgin Steele - Nocturnes of Hellfire & Damnation review
Besides the group nailing a peak level of intensity, the songs are loaded up with devilish riffs and the fetid aura of this primitive brand of black metal soaked in Archgoat's embryonic attack.
- Read the full Archgoat - The Apocalyptic Triumphator review
This "Crypt of the Devil" album is the perfect storm for Six Feet Under, and easily the best work Chris Barnes has had a hand in making since "The Bleeding."
- Read the full Six Feet Under - Crypt of the Devil review
This isn't something to listen to when the summer sun is hot on your head and life feels just peachy- this is for those days when anxiety and misery work their magic to give "Human = Garbage" its real form.
- Read the full Dystopia - Human = Garbage review
The art of rerecording albums is a baffling practice. You'd think after bands like Exodus and Manowar kidnapped their flawless masterpieces and defiled them in unspeakable ways that other groups would get the picture.
- Read the full Exhumed - Gore Metal: A Necrospective review
Starbynary has earned the right to put itself among the top of the class if "Dark Passenger" is any indication to the smart instrumentation and excellent songwriting antics found prowling the band's progressive metal approach.
- Read the full Starbynary - Dark Passenger review
Ered is a nice find for those craving the cold and abominable ways of Necrophobic and others. "Night of Eternal Doom" pitches few surprises, but it's fantastic for what it is
- Read the full Ered - Night of Eternal Doom review
"Kyrr" is to "Earth Blood Magic" what a spelling test is to the GRE. While there are shared similarities, the differences between the two can be picked out with little effort.
- Read the full Kontinuum - Kyrr review
Matt Hensch recently sat down with Garry Jennings to discuss the reissue of Cathedral's "In Memoriam". They also discussed Lucifer's debut album, the status of Septic Tank, the progress on a new Death Penalty album and more.
- Read the full Garry Jennings (ex-Cathedral, Death Penalty, Lucifer) Interview review
"Live at the Final Frontier" nails the requisites for a live recording to excel. The mix brings enough crunch to the guitars to give off the traditional Iron Savior bite without shoving the rhythm section out of the picture.
- Read the full Iron Savior - Live at the Final Frontier review
Not too much to gripe about when it comes down to the meat and potatoes of "Apex Predator - Easy Meat," as the Napalm Death enterprise once more proves itself satisfactory.
- Read the full Napalm Death - Apex Predator - Easy Meat review
There is plenty to admire in how the group operates while diving headlong into the chaos which follows the subgenre ruled by Napalm Death and others, but the experimental elements are a wonderful touch.
- Read the full Antigama - The Insolent review
It would make sense for Lovecraftian horrors to first invade California when the thin membrane of reality collapses and gives way to eternal suffering and enslavement at the hands of the Great Old Ones.
- Read the full Temple of Dagon - Revelations of the Spirit review
Whyzdom is playing familiar territory here, though on a dwindling source of bewilderment. There is a new vocalist-traded out between albums in typical Whyzdom fashion, as though singer swaps happen at the rate of oil changes.
- Read the full Whyzdom - Symphony For a Hopeless God review
Necrowretch's take on the death/black metal scheme is superior to others attempting the union due in part to the band's ability to take the evil and the filth of both sounds and make them seemingly one and the same.
- Read the full Necrowretch - With Serpents Scourge review
Lance King sounds tremendous, and the instrumental competency of the group is outstanding, but the songs drop and rise at a pace that is too erratic to make "My Misanthropia" the album it could have been.
- Read the full Ilium - My Misanthropia review
The routine here runs on basic heavy metal, despite catering to the notion that this is somehow a continuation of "In Search of Sanity" given the band name and the members involved, all of whom once had a stint in Onslaught.
- Read the full The Sanity Days - Evil Beyond Belief review
As tremendous as it is, "Gods of War - At War" was built to come out triumphant and epic, but not plumped up to its eyeballs in unnecessary additives, which, these days, is a rare feat. 10 out of 10!
- Read the full Macabre Omen - Gods of War - At War review
The courteous and honorable men of Kamelot showed the world they still had more than enough in the tank to continue pounding out top-tier opuses of power metal on "Silverthorn," which was an astounding achievement.
- Read the full Kamelot - Haven review
The four-song "Black Flesh Redemption" EP does the usual Demonical shindig, delivering a summary of the band's style in just a hair over seventeen minutes.
- Read the full Demonical - Black Flesh Redemption review
Don't let this wonderful surprise, no doubt one of 2015's finest records, slip away under the tidal wave of vapid metal albums pretending to have a tenth of the quality of "Vessel."
- Read the full Trial - Vessel review
Riddle of Steel" is something extraordinary. Sons of Crom, this Swedish duo taking after the gods of epic heavy metal, is to this current age of metal what The Aeneid is to Fifty Shades of Grey.
- Read the full Sons of Crom - Riddle of Steel review
Morgoth joins countless death metal bands that were once dead but now walk the earth as revenants. The least I can say about "Ungod" is that it does not suck.
- Read the full Morgoth - Ungod review
I don't need to consult Dr. Phil to understand why I adore Ranger's "Where Evil Dwells." This type of raw, ravishing speed metal drools with feverish riffs and psychotic intensity through vocals which gnaw with wild tenacity.
- Read the full Ranger - Where Evil Dwells review
Overall, "Maximum Overload" is a Dragonforce album without the dumb fun or the sugary goodness of some of their other works. Instead, it's a snapshot of a band that is out of ideas and whose creativity has mostly devoured itself.
- Read the full Dragonforce - Maximum Overload review
I'm certain there is research in an esteemed academic journal somewhere indicating a strong correlation between newfangled thrash metal bands and keeling over on a piece of furniture out of sheer boredom.
- Read the full Angelus Apatrida - Hidden Evolution review
Trident is able to back up its talk on this four-song EP of authentic, grade-A blasphemy. "Shadows" is a rare piece of death/black metal that knows what it is and what it wants to be.
- Read the full Trident - Shadows review
Both bands give equal performances to make this split a winner. Neither group makes a case to be outrageously bold, nor do the songs throw a creative curveball at the listener, but the substance is here, and nothing else matters
- Read the full Agathocles and Satanic Malfuctions Split review
"Expectancy" features a variety of parts and measures to add to the group's lyrical journey from depression to anger, which is sort of reflected by the growls and the melancholy vocals.
- Read the full Tantal - Expectancy review
"Power from the Universe" is a swell piece of rock-orientated NWOBHM that holds a significant place in Battleaxe's role in British heavy metal lore. This is admirable stuff with the voltage of classic heavy metal alive and well
- Read the full Battleaxe - Power From the Universe Reissue review
There is much to admire throughout "The Revenant King," as the traits of metallic juggernauts ranging from Battleroar to Manilla Road are echoed in its hour-long voyage of steely glory.
- Read the full Visigoth - The Revenant King review
Moonspell are an esoteric bunch in the slyest of ways, and that is what makes "Extinct" a foreseeable surprise. I don't recall this much of a goth rock foundation used on any of the band's prior offerings.
- Read the full Moonspell - Extinct review
"Suspended in the Brume of Eos" is something of towering significance among the ordinary clusters of metal groups that mostly rehash classic albums or pander to trends.
- Read the full Obqsequiae - Suspended in the Brume of Eos review
Melodic black metal cooked under Dissection's secret blend of spices is an infallible recipe. Thulcandra's style takes the frozen tremolo picking and melodically-charged black metal riffs and drives them to a land forlorn.
- Read the full Thulcandra - Ascension Lost review
To call "Dawn of the 5th Era" consistently capable of surpassing expectations would be giving it too much credit, however. Mors Principium Est's efforts define the sacred art of the frequency distribution
- Read the full Mors Principium Est - Dawn of the Fifth Era review
Downfall of Gaia's second album did not catch my attention until 2015 but if were to create a list of my favorite albums of 2014, I would give it the glorious honor of having a place on my list.
- Read the full Downfall of Gaia - Aeon Unveils the Thrones of Decay review
Every issue I had with the first Voices album has been cleared up-the blast beats have been reduced, the guitar work has more variety, the vocal styles are more effective. This is exceptional work.
- Read the full Voices - London review
"Psychogenocide" impresses on the outside, what with its complex moments and the absolute elasticity within the band, but fails to shake free of its underwhelming chains.
- Read the full Nervecell - Psychogenocide review
The tragic and untimely passing of Mike Scaccia marked the end of Rigor Mortis- consider "Slaves to the Grave" the parting gift. The riffs are excellent, the vocals are ruthless, the sound quality is loud and intense.
- Read the full Rigor Mortis - Slaves to the Grave review
Pointing out that Venom zoomed past the last exit to relevancy years ago is like telling your neighbor he can save fifteen percent or more on his car insurance by switching to GEICO-- everybody knows that.
- Read the full Venom - From the Very Depths review
Mekong Delta has been an eccentric exception to the rule, traversing progressive landscapes on which twisting and turning pages honor their enduring works. "In a Mirror Darkly," too, is warped like the mind of a mad genius.
- Read the full Mekong Delta - In A Mirror Darkly review
"Inked in Blood" is solid as a rock, but with the incredible extras added, I am now completely on the side of crowdfunding. Thank you, Obituary, for giving the fans what they want.
- Read the full Obituary - Inked in Blood review
Consider me one of those vociferous twats who felt it necessary to tell the world that my impotence towards technical death metal had been partly alleviated by Beyond Creation's "The Aura."
- Read the full Beyond Creation - Earthborn Evolution review
Led by one Kommander L., this aptly-named Lithuanian band is a barrage of black metal/crossover in the vein of Carpathian Forest, Darkthrone, and Hellhammer with some various influences on the side
- Read the full F*** Off And Die - Anti All review
It took some big cojones for the surviving parts of Riot to carry on after Mark Reale, the band's founder and its only consistent member throughout its multiple decades of heavy metal, tragically passed away.
- Read the full Riot V - Unleash the Fire review
Death Penalty's self-titled record is a brazen slab of doom, big enough to make even the most frustrated Cathedral lamenter feel at least marginally better.
- Read the full Death Penalty - Death Penalty review
Perhaps the most egregious blunder here is the production, which helps "Death Is Not Dead" become utterly gutless. The flat guitar tone and weak drum sound make the mix an ineffective channel to transmit songs of any quality
- Read the full The Crown - Death Is Not Dead review
"Ritually Abused" marked the debut of Num Skull's short run. For a period when thrash was alive and death metal's stillborn corpse had been wiggling its way out into the world, "Ritually Abused" is a child of its time.
- Read the full Num Skull - Ritually Abused (Reissue) review
Anaal Nathrakh has aged gracefully (if one finds cause to call a group whose sonic assault burns in a little-kids-forced-to-bathe-in-napalm kind of way graceful).
- Read the full Anaal Nathrakh - Desideratum review
The world of melodic death metal the guys of At The Gates helped create has moved on. Only now, with the return of its master, they've shown up a day late and a dollar short
- Read the full At The Gates - At War With Reality review
Sixteen years it took for Soulburn to return, and they have done a magnificent job. This album is a bombing balance of impious death/black metal in the vein of Necrophobic or Unanimated and authentic Asphyx-grade grooves that could doom one to death.
- Read the full Soulburn - The Suffocating Darkness review
The EP covers a lot of ground in presenting the many angles and motifs of Haken during its run of thirty-four minutes. They are, of course, quite seamless in their collective execution
- Read the full Haken - Restoration review
'Under Command' makes Portrait and RAM go head to head. Both bands on the six-cut split contribute a new song and a cover paying tribute to an idol of their choosing, but also a reinterpretation of a track written and performed by the other group.
- Read the full RAM and Portrait - Under Command Split review
Brief sampler of Necrowretch's 'With Serpents Scourge' in the form of a two-song EP. From France this Necrowretch hails, a vile band whose brand of death metal strikes up similarities to old Death, Grotesque, Autopsy, other acts of sickness.
- Read the full Necrowretch - Even Death May Die review
Amulet is genuinely influenced by NWOBHM, a classic brand of heavy metal whose influence has, unfortunately, dwindled down to a trickle compared to the Slayer tribute bands and Machine Head clones running amok.
- Read the full Amulet - The First review
'Stormborn' has rekindled the Bloodbound charm and conjured up some nice power metal customs a la Helloween, which coincide agreeably next to the Mystic Prophecy-esque hammerings.
- Read the full Bloodbound - Stormborn review
Sodom's 'Sacred Warpath' EP comes a year and some change after Tom Angelripper and company pulverized a fair number of balls on the long-running faction's fourteenth full-length album called 'Epitome of Torture.'
- Read the full Sodom - Sacred Warpath review
Stacked up next to the near-decade it took "Portal of I" to see the light of day, "Citadel" was chalked up and heaved out fast enough to make Mike Portnoy's head spin.
- Read the full Ne Obliviscaris - Citadel review
Matt Hensch recently caught up with Corrosion of Conformity's Reed Mullin as the band tour with Gwar in support of their new album "IX". Read Matt's review of the album and full interview with Reed.
- Read the full Corrosion of Conformity Interview and IX Review review
These hymns of triumphant grandeur are among the most motivating and spirited within the massive Celtic folk/black metal panorama that is Primordial's wonderful catalog.
- Read the full Primordial - Where Greater Men Have Fallen review
"Necrocracy" caters mostly to the energy and expertise of the band while presenting memorable, authentic slabs of death metal with no shortage of striking riffs or intricate situations.
- Read the full Exhumed - Necrocracy review
"The Divination of Antiquity" is the first of Winterfylleth's albums to create a dominating presence, crushing expectations and shattering creative barriers that had slightly impeded the band's journey on "The Threnody of Triumph."
- Read the full Winterfylleth - The Divination of Antiquity review
The second part of Virgin Steele's rightfully-lauded "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell" epic is not only the finest cut of the group's excellent zenith, but a timeless classic whose obscurity among the herd is unpardonable.
- Read the full Classics: Virgin Steele - The Marriage of Heaven and Hell - Part 2 review
"Melana Chasmata" is profoundly deep and compelling, for darkness itself is mysterious and unpredictable, and if it had a soundtrack, it would look upon Triptykon and look no further.
- Read the full Triptykon - Melana Chasmata review
Eight albums released since 1990 marked the band's legacy of authentic Swedish death metal before the ninth fetus wiggled its way into the world and marked the return of Centinex after nearly a decade in the hole.
- Read the full Centinex - Redeeming Filth review
"The 7 Deadly Sins" is, needless to say, as tight and fulfilling a record as Necrodeath's knowledge and abilities within the sector of their black/death/thrash metal style will allow.
- Read the full Necrodeath - The 7 Deadly Sins review
A staunch continuation of the Nevermore sound, this is a fairly underwhelming experience that adds just a smidge of relevancy to the Sanctuary brand, an album based more on a few prime moments than its actual songs.
- Read the full Sanctuary - The Year The Sun Died review
Quality records have been the law for Anubis Gate. Silently and without much to-do they have coughed up a number of enjoyable releases without dropping the ball over singer swaps and the general grind of time.
- Read the full Anubis Gate - Horizons review
Riffs that churn slowly are recurrently strewn over strange black metal parts lurking deep in the chasm of "Oblique to All Paths," while samples and feedback augment this forlorn world to make it feel uneasy and calamitous.
- Read the full Culted - Oblique to All Paths review
"World of Tombs" is perfectly listenable, sure. The problem I have with it is that it is so conservative, so foreseeable, so willing to take the easy way out when things get hairy.
- Read the full Horned Almighty - World of Tombs review
Is the last bite as good as the first? Well, "Invictus" has the decency to rightfully accept its place as the weakest chapter in Virgin Steele's three-part "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell" saga.
- Read the full Virgin Steele - Invictus review
The style and general execution are commonplace, but Striker's focus is on unloading a good time of heavy metal without trend-whoring their dignity to death. "City of Gold" is solid as steel, nothing like the run-of-the-mill plastic crap.
- Read the full Striker - City of Gold review
"Esoteric Warfare" is in its own little world-one owned by Mayhem, of course. The big elephant in the room is the departure of Blasphemer, who proved to be an integral part in the band's creative avenues during his tenor.
- Read the full Mayhem - Esoteric Warfare review
"Part One" is a masterpiece, no debate. And you know what? This isn't even Virgin Steele's best album. From its whispers to its screams, "Part One" is as good as it gets.
- Read the full Virgin Steele - The Marriage of Heaven and Hell - Part One review
The Swedes know how to do heavy metal-no big secret there. "Crossroads" is heavy metal at its absolute best and a superb moment in the evolution of this wonderful band. A masterpiece? You better believe it.
- Read the full Portrait - Crossroads review
"The Pagan Manifesto," in some ways, changes the game for Elvenking. I'm not going to call the record a masterpiece, because it's not, but clearly there were huge improvements in nearly every category that needed work.
- Read the full Elvenking - The Pagan Manifesto review
"God is Evil" lives up to its name. Eight minutes of solid, wicked, blitzing death metal cooked to bring out some serious neck injury and old-school carnage. A nice sample, but we want the whole meal!
- Read the full Morgoth - God is Evil 7 Inch review
Big on the thrash metal/crossover motifs of Suicidal Tendencies, Cro-Mags, D.R.I., and Cryptic Slaughter, "Split Image" created ample room for Excel to stand up next to the big boys
- Read the full Excel - Split Image review
Three brilliant songs and unnecessarily redone oldies. That's the story of "A Fallen Temple": from excellent to excessive, debatably redundant; a bit of a weird one. Nice Paradise Lost cover, though.
- Read the full Septicflesh - A Fallen Temple review
Plodding, monotonous doom numbers crammed alongside FOUR useless instrumental tunes stack up to almost forty-five minutes of these American doomsters asleep at the wheel.
- Read the full Pilgrim - II: Void Worship review
The great thing about "Leprosy" is that it's not necessarily the seminal Death album, but for several reasons the seminal Death album of a certain era of the group when the band was undoubtedly at its peak.
- Read the full Death - Leprosy review
Lightning strikes twice for these Greek magicians, and I'm rather fond of visiting the land of "Oi Magoi," where the non sequiturs make a frightening amount of sense and the cogs of perdition tick, tick, tick on clocks.
- Read the full Hail Spirit Noir - Oi Magoi review
"A Skeletal Domain" sounds exactly how any death metal journeymen will picture it, and it comes away winning over the carved-out hearts. An abattoir's delight.
- Read the full Cannibal Corpse - A Skeletal Domain review
Titan" gets its dagger in the heart through mundane songwriting and lethargic performances that have absolutely nothing to say or show on their own and instead lean on the huge symphony to carry the weight.
- Read the full Septicflesh - Titan review
"Ruining Lives" deserves neither a trophy nor a fistful of egg to its face, but it's clearly a depreciated version of the records that came before it-take that how you will.
- Read the full Prong - Ruining Lives review
A ballistic barrage of heavy metal goodness but better than "Glory of Chaos," which was better than "The King of Hell," which was an impressive yet contemporary return from one of heavy metal's darlings
- Read the full Helstar - This Wicked Nest review
The EP best captures the group identifying its unique surroundings while implementing what is the most 'primitive' sounding foundation of the Septicflesh epic.
- Read the full Septicflesh - Temple of the Lost Race review
It's an essential piece of death metal history for enthusiasts hunting for the great classics of a bygone era and another guaranteed snapshot of the superiority of one of the most astonishing metal scenes to ever grace the world.
- Read the full God Macabre - The Winterlong review
The performances, songwriting, sound quality, and other vital facets of the musical experience are refined but undeniably marked by the Freedom Call stamp. Credit is earned when credit is due- "Beyond" isn't too shabby.
- Read the full Freedom Call - Beyond review
This album is pretty much the completion of Cynic's conversion over to the progressive rock station. It seems in a lot of ways that the ethereal ingenuity and complex algorithms of Cynic's yesteryears have gone from a million screaming spirits to a feeble creative whisper.
- Read the full Cynic - Kindly Bent to Free Us review
The fact that Grave Digger is sixteen albums deep and they can create twelve fiery tracks and have not one of them be disposable is pretty outstanding. Consistent and brazen, "Return of the Reaper" is everything one could ask for in a Grave Digger record.
- Read the full Grave Digger - Return of the Reaper review
Bombs of Hades members were once involved with a handful of Swedish death metal bands that are historically legendary to the development and spread of the genre during its formative years-important factions like God Macabre, Abhoth, Utumno.
- Read the full Bombs of Hades - Atomic Temples review
At first I really, really enjoyed "All Hell's Martyrs," because it's an epic, colossal display of stomps and dark atmosphere. However, subsequent listens have not been too kind.
- Read the full Dread Sovereign - All Hell's Martyrs review
Below is a fitting name for this Swedish doom metal export. Sweden has established itself the capital of classic heavy metal worship, as high levels of quality continue to pour out of bands like Portrait and In Solitude.
- Read the full Below - Across the Dark River review
These Canucks play a nifty style of heavy/speed metal, which is cool, but that's all that can be said about the group's music, frankly. It's cool. It's fun. It's energetic and frenzied. But truth be told Skull Fist is a one-trick pony.
- Read the full Skull Fist - Chasing the Dream review
Like the bulk of the revivalist refugees trying to illegally cross over into Thrashistan, Suicidal Angels' outings have been mostly unremarkable-typical worship of Slayer, Exodus, Kreator, and so on.
- Read the full Suicidal Angels - Divide and Conquer review
"Empire of the Undead" is Gamma Ray's "The X Factor" (the Iron Maiden album for the unacquainted). I'm not being facetious: the similarities are striking.
- Read the full Gamma Ray - Empire of the Undead review
There's a lot here that gives the Slough Feg moniker justice, but a huge chunk of the album holds little substance and sounds like a band hinged to its sound because that's just what people expect: "Digital Resistance" is Slough Feg's "Death Magnetic."
- Read the full Slough Feg - Digital Resistance review
"Empyrean Realms" sounds like Armory breaking out of its shell and soaring high above the clouds, proudly dynamic and boasting explosive, mighty feathers of elegance and poignancy.
- Read the full Armory - Empyrean Realms review
Iron Savior is like a dog that can only do one trick, but that trick happens to be the ability to throw up titanic power metal covered in crispy riffs, bombastic choruses, and an authentic degree of raw sound quality.
- Read the full Iron Savior - Rise of the Hero review
The Satanist is the portal into which Behemoths evolution, trials, tribulations, and triumphs all remain in dark meditation. The Satanist is just fantastic from start to finish- it is Behemoths finest endeavor. (5 stars)
- Read the full Behemoth - The Satanist review
"Darkness Unbound" is enough death metal destruction to whisk away even the blackest of hearts and make them blasphemous, profane warriors in the order of Demonical's eternal army of doom. No need to fix what's not broken.
- Read the full Demonical - Darkness Unbound review
The demolition of Hail of Bullets makes "III: The Rommel Chronicles" a surefire product of noisome, wreckful, annihilative death metal cooked up by the most credible musicians around.
- Read the full Hail of Bullets - III: The Rommel Chronicles review
"Possession" isn't much more than another slab of heavy metal goodness. Crystal Viper is still awesome, and the band's fifth full-length record lives up to the quality standard of the Crystal Viper brand with the same harsh bite and brawn.
- Read the full Crystal Viper - Possession review
"Obsideo" mostly has the right idea and overrides many of the issues that plagued "Doctrine," but Pestilence is still caught up in an accustomed arduousness which ultimately makes "Obsideo" a wash.
- Read the full Pestilence - Obsideo review
It occasionally provides a tune greater than the sum of its parts, but the whole package generally leaves the local yokels feeling disappointed, like a Sunday without a case of Busch Light.
- Read the full Glorior Belli - Gators Rumble, Chaos Unfurls review
Often regarded as one of the most important metal bands to have ever hailed from Chile and South America in their underground circuits, Pentagram lived and died in the arms of old-school thrash/death metal.
- Read the full Pentagram Chile - The Malefice review
Most of "Legions" delivers multitudes of admirable guitar work with an unparalleled power of thrashing heavy metal goodness. This isn't a wasteful investment or redundant in the least- Artillery lives up to the hype.
- Read the full Artillery - Legions review
"VI" is actually a fairly decent album, and I'm thrilled to see a thrash band from the early 1980s like Onslaught make a slab of atrocity this homicidal and savage. A winner in my book.
- Read the full Onslaught - VI review
Listening to "Obscure Verses for the Multiverse" shows Inquisition sticking to the band's main strengths, a superb effort as expected. Inquisition's modus operandi often soars between imaginative black metal riffs, sudden slow lurches, and atypical vocals that, when meshed together, create a great whirlpool of dark atmosphere.
- Read the full Inquisition - Obscure Verses for the Multiverse review
Dark forces must have approved of "Galloping Blasphemy," because just over a year later the entity of Satan's Wrath had grown from a two-piece to a full quintet and released "Aeons of Satan's Reign" without batting an eye.
- Read the full Satan's Wrath - Aeons of Satan's Reign review
Barring "Dark Wings of Steel," Rhapsody of Fire had done a pretty solid job intertwining the passion of classical arrangements with the intensity and energy of power metal. The straightforward direction of their tenth full-length album frequently gains velocity yet never truly soars beyond its horizons.
- Read the full Rhapsody of Fire - Dark Wings of Steel review
Lonewolf simply does not have enough zest to its brand of heavy metal to make the band remotely entertaining or memorable in a setting such as this. Even during its finest moments, "The Fourth and Final Horseman" looks pointlessly blatant and utterly forgettable.
- Read the full Lonewolf - The Fourth and Final Horseman review
The atmosphere of "Ophidian Wheel" feels mystical and enlightened, as if flying beyond the heavens and understanding the roots and miracles of the universe.
- Read the full Septicflesh - Ophidian Wheel review
Borrowed Time's debut album delivers the most authentic slab of traditional metal around, rooted deeply in the works of Manilla Road and Angel Witch with an Iron Maiden-ish twist.
- Read the full Borrowed Time review
In tradition of the others, "Serpents Unleashed" features short tracks that sizzle and burn for just a handful of minutes before subsiding, never overflowing with needless crap or additives. Skeletonwitch keeps it simple.
- Read the full Skeletonwitch - Serpents Unleashed review
Death metal without Gorguts seemed like a shotgun wedding without the alcoholism. The greatest quality of "Colored Sands" is that it continues the Gorguts blueprint with a clarity untouched by the hands of time.
- Read the full Gorguts - Colored Sands review
Noctum have few tricks they can call their own, and "Final Sacrifice," though decent, is little more than a band of dudes wearing I <3 MERCYFUL FATE shirts with the occasional minor rock touch.
- Read the full Noctum - Final Sacrifice review
Twilight of the Gods is a side-project based on the works of Bathory and Manowar, led by many veterans of the black metal sphere. Former and current members of Primordial, Mayhem, Lock Up and others make a bold journey of metallic glory throughout "Fire on the Mountain" despite the musical shift to traditional ground.
- Read the full Twilight of the Gods - Fire on the Mountain review
"Fifth Son of Winterdoom" is too much and too lacking. It's not a horrible experience by any stretch of the imagination, as the gentlemen of Iron Mask are completely capable of creating adequate material, yet the album is poorly fragmented and inconsistent.
- Read the full Iron Mask - Fifth Son of Winterdoom review
Lunar Explosion's style is a bit more combustible and punchy than the fluffy, keyboard-orientated approach used by many of their kind. However, the band's efforts often reek of amateurism and underdeveloped ideas that retrace the same patterns over and over again.
- Read the full Lunar Explosion review
Every aspect of the bands attack has been redefined and sharpened to the point of pure excellence, as this is definitely their best release and one of the finest of 2013. (4.5 stars)
- Read the full In Solitude - Sister review
Mephistopheles has countered the norm with a brand of technical death metal that paves its own path rather than following the monumentally boring perplexities of the groups cohorts. A nice surprise. (4 stars)
- Read the full Mephistopheles - Sounds of the End review
"C.O.D." is the black sheep of Saint Vitus' discography and often considered the band's weakest moment. To be honest, this is actually a fairly decent product, miles away from a bed-sh*tting abomination like "Risk" or the like.
- Read the full Saint Vitus - C.O.D. review
Necrophobic is falling apart here. They are creatively retracing their former works without validating the previous greatness of yesteryears, coming off instead as a band that is completely out of ideas and passion.
- Read the full Necrophobic - Womb of Lilithu review
Saint Vitus funeral march is easily one of the best records these doom veterans ever released, pretty much on par with the bands classic offerings, and one of the most authentic doom metal albums around. (4.5 stars)
- Read the full Saint Vitus - Die Healing review
"Resilient" teeters on the brink of going completely bankrupt on artistic and creative spectrums. "Resilient" sounds harmless during its best moments, but there sadly is not enough fire or passion to truly reignite the inferno of Running Wild.
- Read the full Running Wild - Resilient review
Voices features ex-Akercocke members and musicians who'd had at least some role in the group before the British progressive death/black metal project fell off the face of the earth. It hurts knowing Akercocke is in limbo...
- Read the full Voices - From the Human Forest Create a Fugue of Imaginary Rain review
Sinheresy's target audience will enjoy "Paint the World," but this is definitely something to avoid if the symphonic heavy/power metal idea with commercialism in mind has little value in your eyes.
- Read the full Sinheresy - Paint the World review
"Oscillation" is quite ordinary and disappointing, however: it comes off as a standard gothic metal release carrying symphonic/orchestral elements in its pockets. In other words, nothing this type of genre hasn't produced before.
- Read the full Trail of Tears - Oscillation review
"Preachers of the Night" is stuffed to the brim with the usual flash, but almost relentlessly devoid of substance barring a handful of tracks. Don't bother unless you can't get enough of this band. Maybe someone put a bar of silver in their food bowls?
- Read the full Powerwolf - Preachers of the Night review
Scattered Horizons is the closest thing to a female-fronted Symphony X that the world will ever see. Fronted by one Katarina Bilak, Scattered Horizons makes the grass a little greener, the wings of tragedy a bit more divine. (4.5 stars)
- Read the full Siren's Cry - Scattered Horizons review
With so many fantastic records preaching individualism and intelligence already under the hand of this faction, Vermis shows evolution through pain, the iconoclastic clattering of a group at its apex. Terrific effort, one of the finest of 2013. (5 stars)
- Read the full 5 Stars: Ulcerate - Vermis review
Damnation Angels proves itself to be a very diverse and talented faction throughout "Bringer of Light," musically driving home a point built upon power and purpose. In a world of shadows, they bring the light.
- Read the full Damnation Angels - Bringer of Life review
It's like stumbling upon Lovecraft's nameless city, only to find its mortifying race of reptilian monsters bickering about their favorite Kardashians and sporting Hoobastank merch. Disappointing? Yeah, a little.
- Read the full Necronomicon - Rise of the Elder Ones review
"The Immoral Compass" tries its earnest to look abstract and transcendental, masquerading its poor substance in style, hoping no one will notice the ugliness underneath the layers and layers of gloss and illumination.
- Read the full Eibon La Furies - The Immoral Compass review
Beyond Creation and "The Aura" both deserve praise for doing what everyone else is doing, yet doing it better than everyone else. If Doomsday killed Superman, then who does Beyond Creation kill? Maybe they're better suited to be Hugo Strange.
- Read the full Beyond Creation - The Aura review
Like many of Septicflesh's primordial releases, "Esoptron" has only just begun to receive the respect it deserves after years of hiding in the dust-filled vaults of obscurity.
- Read the full Septicflesh - Esoptron review
The Italians returned with "The Last Embrace to Humanity," and while it's not on the same godly plateau as their original effort, it's still a nice collection of above-average progressive metal boasting an abundance of coherent songwriting and instrumental flexibility.
- Read the full Odd Dimension - The Last Embrace to Humanity review
From whirlwind riffs to concrete-smashing grooves and even a cover tune cooked superbly, "Unnatural Selection" is a winner. They're a versatile bunch with a lot of performing power and chemistry
- Read the full Havok - Unnatural Selection review
"Dead Calm Chaos" picks up the scraps left by the Swedish hurricane known as Evocation and the storm's original gust of ravenous death metal titled "Tales from the Tomb."
- Read the full Evocation - Dead Calm Chaos review
Control Human Delete pretty much runs with a strict, myopic formula that carefully places predictable black metal riffs with little progressive rhythms over basic extreme metal percussion and harsh vocals.
- Read the full Control Human Delete - The Prime Mover review
It's doom metal that's completely untainted by watered-down modernism and the false nonsense of so many other bands. Someone will find Jimmy Hoffa's body before Church of Misery begins sucking the big one.
- Read the full Church of Misery - Thy Kingdom Scum review
The rotten, maggot-filled style of sickening death metal shown throughout "The Fleshland" strongly contradicts the squeaky-clean production values and digestible songwriting of groups like Amon Amarth or Kataklysm.
- Read the full Coffins - The Fleshland review
"ReEvolution" has its head in the right place, and it's definitely something not to squander if you enjoyed "DeEvolution." Shame that it isn't as hot as the first Cynthesis record, but how many sequels are worthwhile in general?
- Read the full Cynthesis - ReEvolution review
Instead of being somewhat of a noteworthy offering within this brand of death metal, Entrails seems to have stereotyped itself through the record's poor demonstration of doing what has been done before
- Read the full Entrails - Raging Death review
To begin to describe how unbelievably tedious and vapid this is would require listening to Soul of Steel's second album once more, and that would require about twelve pots of coffee and a kick in the nuts every fifteen minutes.
- Read the full Soul of Steel - Journey to Infinity review
It's no factual amplification to dub Sonderkommando not only The Meads of Asphodels finest opus, but also one of the best releases born in 2013. Lyrically majestic and musically entrancing, this is not to be missed. (5 stars)
- Read the full The Meads of Asphodel - Sonderkommando review
Both accessible and complicated, Antigama deserves praise for keeping its feet firmly planted into the soil of its influences while simultaneously branching out into brave territory often ignored or labeled inappropriate by most.
- Read the full Antigama - Meteor review
A passable release by a sludge/stoner metal tribe that dabbles into realms both decent and lacking. If 45 minutes of muddy sludge is on your to-do list, this shall fill your heart's desire. Not much else can be said about "Lovelessness," though.
- Read the full Bison B.C. - Lovelessness review
A fine staple of death/doom metal that sounds like butchering madness and somehow manages to appear even better in its real form. "Effigies of Evil" is the real deal, and you haven't been exposed to true heaviness unless you've heard Hooded Menace, no joke.
- Read the full Hooded Menace - Effigies of Evil review
Evocation is another cultural export from Sweden that enjoys gnawing on flesh and killing indiscriminately, and that's pretty much the name of the game when dealing with "Tales from the Tomb." No tricks or unexpected stops come from the work of Evocation.
- Read the full Evocation - Tales from the Tomb review
"Barbarian Winter" is a perfect example of a release that starts incredibly strong and then completely looses its balance and capsizes. Metal Blade scooped up this epic heavy/doom metal squad into their ranks and released this album after many years of spotty activity.
- Read the full Raven Black Night - Barbarian Winter review
Victorius savagely explores power metal at a magnitude the likes of which can crack the solar system, combined with the conviction to prove they're alive and hungry and driven beyond the realms of reality.
- Read the full Victorius - The Awakening review
"Flies Will Starve" sounds like a vile rampage of death. Mumakil is no stranger to the world of grindcore or how it operates- the band has built quite the following on playing an abrasive, sadistic style of grind which Mumakil has apparently dubbed "blastcore."
- Read the full Mumakil - Flies Will Starve review
I wouldn't place the efforts of Cnoc An Tursa up to the same echelon as Cruachan's or Primordial's, yet there's enough promise here to proclaim "The Giants of Auld" a very enjoyable and proper release from a band that has nothing to hide.
- Read the full Cnoc An Tursa - The Giants of Auld review
I wouldn't have had the amazing opportunity to witness Baroness perform most of this album live had that very serious bus accident, which halted the band's activity for many months back in 2012, brought permanent woes to Baroness.
- Read the full Baroness - Yellow & Green review
Some of the elements are undeveloped and myopic, but most of the album shows Sister Sin feeling around the edges and warming up to the long and endearing world of heavy metal. Good stuff.
- Read the full Sister Sin - Dance of the Wicked review
Circle of Silence has had somewhat of an opportunity to really bring their style of vicious power metal to the masses after similar bands like Iced Earth and Mystic Prophecy have been blessed with tremendous success and undying loyalty from hungry fans.
- Read the full Circle of Silence - The Rise of Resistance review
"Evangelivm Nekromantia" is a confused and conflicted record that knows what it wants but executes its bold and ambitious ideas inadequately. The album is both unique and expected: seldom does Antropomorphia deviate from its genuine approach
- Read the full Antropomorphia - Evangelivm Nekromantia review
Edenbridge, no stranger to their brand of symphonic power metal, acts like a deer in the headlights here, almost clueless and certainly not living up to the experience of a group with seven opuses behind it. They could've done better.
- Read the full Edenbridge - The Bonding review
A sudden oasis in an asphyxiating wasteland, "Of Breath and Bone" has summoned Be'lakor into the royal court of melodic death metal. It's a long way to the throne, but we all have to start somewhere, right?
- Read the full Be'lakor - Of Breath and Bone review
It took Spain's Wormed a whole decade to write another chapter in the band's novella of a discography, which, up to "Exodromos," only had included a handful of minor releases and one full-length album.
- Read the full Wormed - Exodromos review
Memory Garden has a handful of fantastic numbers within the album that are its only means for support, and the rest are like photographs of Memory Garden sleepwalking through their power/doom metal performance.
- Read the full Memory Garden - Doomain review
Power metal and Brazil go together like chicken and waffles, peanut butter and jelly, misery and working full-time. "The Sniper" is Scelerata's third record, a novel example of a power metal band that knows how to get things done right.
- Read the full Scelerata - The Sniper review
The most interesting part of "Feed on Your Misery" is its artwork: it's a giant newspaper background with the song titles acting as headlines and some chick sucking blue liquid off her hand, or something boner-inducing like that.
- Read the full Divided Multitude - Feed on Your Misery review
"Last Century," Kruna's first album, is done up strictly by the numbers. I guess they sound like The Black Dahlia Murder, or At The Gates circa 1994 or so, so they at least have that going for them.
- Read the full Kruna - Last Century review
Dark Moor has flown under the radars of the power metal scanning systems for years. Their efforts, often compared to the likes of Rhapsody of Fire and Blind Guardian, are mostly fresh, riveting pieces of fantastic power metal.
- Read the full Dark Moor - Ars Musica review
"Down Among the Deadmen" is an astounding masterpiece in every regard, a true example of a timeless heavy metal classic. It is the pinnacle of Slough Feg's songwriting, artistic ability, and likeability. It is to metal what Breaking Bad is to network television.
- Read the full Slough Feg - Down Among the Deadmen review
This is Rotten Sound. They play a technical style of keyboard-based epic symphonic rock that's completely melodic and accessible, and conjures images of dragons and warriors fighting to save a princess. Maybe in Bizarro World.
- Read the full Rotten Sound - Species of War review
"The Emptiness Within" can't be pigeonholed into a specific genre, although what De Profundis does here is technically extreme metal cooked up with progressive elements, hence the elaborate equation resulting in "extreme progressive metal.
- Read the full De Profundis - The Emptiness Within review
"Epitome of Torture," album number fourteen for Tom Angelripper and his troops of Sodom, finds itself comfortable among the sort of outputs cronies like Exodus and Destruction have manufactured years beyond their primes.
- Read the full Sodom - Epitome of Torture review
The kind of Celtic-fused heavy metal they produced here is certainly one of the more attractive aspects of the band, and although the record has some duds and misfires, "Twilight of the Idols" is a successful yet silly record on more levels than one.
- Read the full Slough Feg - Twilight of the Idols review
My Soliloquy does a glorious job doing precisely nothing interesting here. Even if you enjoy Threshold or have a huge tolerance for lame music, you'll be doing yourself a grand favor by avoiding "The Interpreter" entirely.
- Read the full My Soliloquy - The Interpreter review
Matt Hensch caught up with Michael Keene of the Faceless while the band was touring with the Dillinger Escape Plan and Royal Thunder to discuss their latest album, Autotheism, the evolution of the band and their upcoming covers album project.
- Read the full The Faceless Interview review
It's ironic that a tour featuring heavy metal greats Death is so focused on life. This year's Death to All tour celebrates Death's founder Chuck Schuldiner. Created as a tribute to his vast legacy, Death to All reunites Death's classic lineup and attempts filling Schuldiner's absence.
- Read the full Death, Exhumed and Anciients Live review
Cathedral's end has come. "The Last Spire" is the final album released by this legendary congress of British doom metal, and I must say it's somewhat of a whirlwind of bittersweet emotions reviewing this mammoth.
- Read the full Cathedral - The Last Spire review
Dull moments do not exist throughout "The Gravity of Impermanence." If the band is ever lacking in its musical assault, there are enough interesting processes flying around to entertain even the most highbrow stiffs around.
- Read the full Azure Emote - The Gravity of Impermanence review
Tellus Requiem hails from Norway and yields a progressive power metal mold very similar to that of Symphony X's. The band's efforts throughout "Invictus (The 11th Hour)," however valiant they may be, are ultimately lacking and sub-par.
- Read the full Tellus Requiem - Invictus (The 11th Hour) review
What do bats, wheels, and long roads to nowhere have in common? The three of them boil up the title of the third album by Switzerland's sludgy maestros known 'round here as Zatokrev.
- Read the full Zatokrev - The Bat, The Wheel, And a Long Road to Nowhere review
Mark Hensch had the chance to recently speak with Holy Grail vocalist James-Paul Luna while the band is on their current tour. They talked about the past, present and future of his band's heavy music
- Read the full Holy Grail Interview review
If heavy metal has an essence, it's thrash. Pure thrash requires that perfect mix of chaos, violence and speed for success. It's a fact proving itself wildly apparent on the aptly-named Metal Alliance Tour thus far.
- Read the full Anthrax, Exodus, Municipal Waste, Shadows Fall and Holy Grail Live review
Whatever they are or intend to be, Slough Feg is unlike anything in the realm of heavy metal. They've survived countless years marching onwards with a small yet loyal following through many hardships and several releases.
- Read the full Slough Feg - Traveller review
It has the best sound quality, songwriting, attitude, intensity, and vigor than any other Six Feet Under manifesto in their discography. Chris Barnes and co have shown Six Feet Under's rejuvenation is not due to chance: they are officially statistically significant.
- Read the full Six Feet Under - Unborn review
Listening to Circle II Circle crawl back and forth like a slug is like downing a bottle of horse tranquillizers and watching a Pawn Stars marathon- it's the same junk regurgitated in a tiring, lifeless circle (hurr hurr).
- Read the full Circle II Circle - Seasons Will Fall review
If "The Last Spire" is the funeral of Cathedral, "Anniversary" is its final celebration of life. The title of the first and last live album from Cathedral marks twenty years in the business of delivering doom to your doorstep
- Read the full Cathedral - Anniversary review
While traditional factors of death metal are important to "Mystic Places of Dawn," Septicflesh manufactured an identity shrouded in folklore and atmosphere, appearing to paint a premonition of ancient civilizations and perverse rituals of lust and indulgence and sacrifice to formless idols long since buried in the decaying sands of time.
- Read the full Septicflesh - Mystic Places of Dawn review
Nine Covens is (supposedly) a collaboration of several black metal musicians (supposedly) hailing from the UK, and they (supposedly) are all about doing the black metal thing, basing it on philosophical lyrics that are (supposedly) about mankind and religion and fire and a bunch of other black metal rhetoric, supposedly.
- Read the full Nine Covens - On The Dawning of Light review
In Solitude's self-titled album sounds real. The production has an edge of grit underneath the whole product that pumps blood and life into the cold, haunting atmosphere of classic heavy metal In Solitude is just captivating at capturing.
- Read the full In Solitude review
Exit Cryptopsy, enter Rage Nuceaire. For Lord Worm, grotesque vocalist/lyricist of the aforementioned god of technical death metal, the musical departure into black metal isn't an uncomfortable shift.
- Read the full Rage Nucleaire - Unrelenting F**king Hatred review
The basis of "Eugenics" is a cyclone of unlimited depravity that scoops nuclear fallout out of irradiated wastelands and distributes the poison over every part of the planet, leaving no vegetation or life untainted.
- Read the full Malignancy - Eugenics review
"The Invocation" is mainly an appealing listen because of its similarities to Mercyful Fate and King Diamond, which is somewhat of a double-edged sword: it showcases just how dependent Attic really is.
- Read the full Attic - The Invocation review
"Honor Found in Decay" sounds like an atypical album from Neurosis, so paradoxically it sounds like Neurosis. Fragments of metal, hardcore, sludge, ambient, progressive, and tribal elements bolster the machine which has bound this excellent band together, all entwined in a cohesively natural sound
- Read the full Neurosis - Honor Found in Decay review
"Widowmaker" is a very strange and prodigious album, and yes, only a chosen few will truly understand its words, but "Widowmaker" goes beyond "Hatred for Mankind" and pushes Dragged Into Sunlight's abysmal vision into realms past utter misery.
- Read the full Dragged Into Sunlight - Widowmaker review
While some of Kontinuum's antics suffer from a type of inconsistency that cuts the album in near-perfect portions and completely forgettable sections, the true essence of "Earth Blood Magic" often shines brightly in its dim, bleak slab of introspective black metal seared over Kontinuum's own unique colors.
- Read the full Kontinuum - Earth Blood Magic review
"Eye For An Eye" simply isn't an enjoyable album. It sounds sloppy, juvenile, erratic, spastic, tangled, and muted. Granted, some of these qualities might have validity elsewhere (taking for instance a band like Venom or some of COC's punk gods into account), but not so much here.
- Read the full Corrosion of Conformity - Eye For An Eye review
It's a schizophrenic thrill ride see-sawing between soaring highs and crushing lows. Much like life itself, it's messy and unpredictable. As a record, it works only because every moment is delivered with the same raw vulnerability.
- Read the full Converge - All We Love We Leave Behind review
Weapon struts along a fine fiber of blasphemous blackened death metal akin to God Dethroned or Belphegor that cuts and slices like a razor-sharp katana with intensity that cracks the heavens in two.
- Read the full Weapon - Embers and Revelations review
The gentlemen of Italy's Vision Divine deliver a slab of power/progressive metal somewhat in the same circle as Rhapsody of Fire, Secret Sphere, Angra, some others too.
- Read the full Vision Divine - Destination Set to Nowhere review
A slab of raw emotion tied to joy, love, hate and death, told by one of metal's finest tribes, and a rejuvenation that ascends high above the cloudy skies. Best album of 2012.
- Read the full Kamelot - Silverthorn review
While other bands pretend to be extreme, Anaal Nathrakh IS the poster child of extreme. "Vanitas" is as riotous and flammable as they come, and it further gives testament to the blazing path of unrelenting chaos birthed from the womb of Anaal Nathrakh.
- Read the full Anaal Nathrakh - Vanitas review
Many bands try to resurrect the early sounds of our wonderful genre, when founding fathers like Black Sabbath and Pentagram were starting to unveil the portrait of what would become heavy metal. Some make the cut and others do not.
- Read the full Witchcraft - The Alchemist review
Few years in recent memory have produced as much quality heavy metal as 2012. The last 12 months hit that rare equilibrium between powerful debuts, glorious comebacks and brilliant work by elite bands.
- Read the full Top Ten Heavy Metal Albums of 2012 review
Satan's Wrath is not about acting chintzy or flashy to appeal to some feeble trend or second-rate formula. It's evil, dark, crazy, intense, and metal to the bone, and sometimes those additives make a listening experience totally relevant.
- Read the full Satan's Wrath - Galloping Blasphemy review
"Era" is not the group's best album, but it has a noticeable stint of validity. Sure, there are times when I secretly wish they'd whip out a tune totally immersed in the sound of "Heathenreel," but we all can't get what we want.
- Read the full Elvenking - Era review
It always surprises me when something so standard emerges from the not-so-standard progressive death metal sub-genre. One would think the limitless gardens of innovation stemming from this colorful niche would prompt a band like Over Your Threshold to release something dizzyingly creative..
- Read the full Over Your Threshold - Facticity review
Thrashpit's Matt Hensch recently spoke with Cancer Bats frontman Liam Cormier about their current anf future touring plans as well as their latest album 'Dead Set On Living.'
- Read the full Cancer Bats' Liam Cormier Interview review
Thrashpit's Matt Hensch recently caught up with Scott Hendrick from Skeletonwitch
- Read the full Skeletonwitch Interview review
Thrashpit's Matt Hensch recently caught up with David Sanchez and Reese Scruggs from Havok to talk about their currently touring and what they have in store next.
- Read the full Havok Interview review
Some may call "Emerald Forest and the Blackbird" a towering magnum opus, or perhaps a creative descent akin to the backsliding interests of a disheartened soul struggling to break free from the tentacles of reality, but it's a Swallow The Sun album above all else.
- Read the full Swallow The Sun - Emerald Forest And The Blackbird review
Symphonic elements and orchestration have become somewhat commonplace within the metal community with groups like Kamelot, Dimmu Borgir, Therion or Rhapsody of Fire taking advantage of classical influences. Whyzdom, born and raised in France, fits into this perplexing equation through a variety of individualistic mediums which are frequently represented in similar projects, but amplified here in intriguing ways.
- Read the full Whyzdom - Blind? review
Crystal Viper undoubtedly shows imprints of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Running Wild in case you were wondering. That isn't to group them into a certain niche or sound, because these folks are pretty much in a league of their own.
- Read the full Crystal Viper - Crimen Expecta review
With four of the eight pieces acting as segues and the remaining half photocopying Khors' bloodline, it feels like "Wisdom of Centuries" is merely Khors at half-capacity.
- Read the full Khors - Wisdom of Centuries review
There are times when Shining Of listens like Harvey Dent in the studio: equal parts death metal and avant-garde, yet always entertaining stuff.
- Read the full Shining Of - Convicted By Sin review
All of Symphony X's releases have replay value, but this one seems to be the true magnum opus heralded as the undisputed champion among fans, critics, even the band itself. Nothing here deserves banishment; every song is a stand-alone testament to its instrumental magic.
- Read the full Symphony X - The Divine Wings of Tragedy review
In essence, "Shadows of Lothadruin" listens like an inexperienced band trying to stomach a huge piece of glory that was too big to bite off, and like Andre Nosik and the Holy Stromboli, actions as such often have dire consequences.
- Read the full Wind Rose - Shadows Over Lothadruin review
With "The Threnody of Triumph," Winterfylleth’s pristine magic dwindles a bit. Anomalies that strongly contradict the band's gospel on "The Ghost of Heritage" or the continued purge into folk-infused black metal throughout "The Mercian Sphere" are completely invisible
- Read the full Winterfylleth - The Threnody of Triumph review
"Immortalia" is a total rush of symphonic bliss, a carefully calculated opus of majestic instrumentation delivered through top-notch performances and a pristine medium of artistic brilliance that easily rivals cohorts like Rhapsody of Fire
- Read the full Sound Storm - Immortalia review
"God Curse Us" is only the second album from this British trio, but the doom metal magic they conjure throughout this harrowing opus honors the vision of black-robed sorcerers encompassing a human sacrifice, summoning auras of an occult atmosphere.
- Read the full Witchsorrow - God Curse Us review
Sophicide's approach acts as a counterpoint to the sub-genre's dire dependency on incoherent instrumental masturbation frequently deemed acceptable for technical death metal. They hate stupidity so much they've attacked it on both ends!
- Read the full Sophicide - Perdition of the Sublime review
You know, I really don't think this is half-bad. Coming from the band that made the megaton crap sandwich that is "Dimensions," Freedom Call deserves a medal for their efforts throughout "Land of the Crimson Dawn."
- Read the full Freedom Call - Land of the Crimson Dawn review
Even if you depend on Cynic's essence for survival, "The Portal Tapes" is merely an artifact that will sit on your shelf and collect dust. You'll occasionally look at it, give it another whirl, and realize it belongs next to other colorful decorations
- Read the full Cynic - The Portal Tapes review
Walking into Washington D.C.'s Ras Restaurant & Lounge Sunday, Sept. 16 was like tumbling into a time warp. The crowd could have fit in at a 1987 metal gig – all wore denim and leather, patches and spikes, black on black.
- Read the full Vektor- Battlemaster- Midnight Eye- Worn Out Live review
The great thing about "The Serpent's Redemption" is its honesty. No nonsense whatsoever. "The Serpent's Redemption" is all about filthy death metal riding on the remnants of primitive guitar licks and totally old-school processes.
- Read the full Bombs of Hades - The Serpent's Redemption" review
Its legacy lacks the universal stability and fame of many essential progressive death metal albums, yet "World of Myths" remains intact. Time itself has buried the works of Crypt of Kerberos deep within the sands of obscurity, but now, thanks to building interest and a timely re-release, it has a second chance.
- Read the full Crypt of Kerberos - World of Myth review
Holy Knights started playing the power metal game back in 1998 and eventually released an album in 2002 that was, until now, the band's only full-length release. Holy Knights returned ten years after their debut with "Between Daylight and Pain."
- Read the full Holy Knights - Between Daylight and Pain review
This here is quite an abhorrent piece of wasted space. "Captive Breeding," another album from Germany's Perzonal War, seems to carry with it a label often citing territory between the lands of power metal and thrash.
- Read the full Perzonal War - Captive Breeding review
"Legends" is utterly pointless and dull, a testament to the lack of imagination and its obvious woes bestowed upon Dragony. Paarthurnax and Daenerys Targaryen agree: Dragony sucks the fun out of our favorite fire-breathing friends.
- Read the full Dragony - Legends review
Reaper's Consecration" is nothing more than Zombiefication sucking brains out of cracked craniums because they worship a bunch of Swedish cannibals. Nothing remarkable is truly captured within its pint-sized running time
- Read the full Zombiefication - Reaper's Consecration review
A definite purchase if you can't handle real death metal or find yourself always enjoying the lowest common denominator of music.
- Read the full Darkness By Oath - Near Death Experience review
Mark conducted an e-mail interview with noise sampler Blake Harrison about what it takes feeding such frenzy. Pig Destroyer's resident audio assaulter gave him the scoop on what it's like playing for one of extreme music's most ferocious acts.
- Read the full Pig Destroyer Interview review
Given the harrowing nature and its premium representation of classic doom metal done right, no sane man, woman, child, beast, witch, orc, or necromancer could rightfully look at "Misery Wizard" and gawk in disgust
- Read the full Pilgrim - Misery Wizard review
Spawn of Possession avoids falling into a pit of typecasting based on their specific abilities to forge substantial anthems and makes their listeners absolutely stunned at the overall product, yet without losing sight of coherent, flexible songwriting.
- Read the full Spawn of Possession - Incurso review
Syn Ze Sase Tri's "Sub Semnul Lupului" feels like a viper in darkness waiting for its time, and it knows the world's hourglass is running dangerously low from the fatal strike of its blasphemous fangs.
- Read the full Syn Ze Sase Tri - Sub Semnul Lupului review
"The Ghost of Heritage," the band's first full-length release, justifies its black metal roots with Winterfylleth's sonic malevolence, somewhat layered in the vein of fellow countrymen Wodensthrone and others.
- Read the full Winterfylleth - The Ghost of Heritage review
Grand Magus' brand of heavy/doom metal is simplistic at its core, but only a handful of squads can match the honest integrity and passion they streamline right into the golden heart of their work.
- Read the full Grand Magus - Wolf's Return review
It's difficult to articulate just how perplexing "Portal of I" really is without hearing it first, but I find it to be an exceptional experience which sweats a vigorous amount of life into the extreme side of progressive metal.
- Read the full Ne Obliviscaris - Portal of I review
It's fitting that Kunvuk comes from the same continent as the Outback. Much like that vast wasteland, the Sydney trio's sound is as gritty and unforgiving as desert sand. Mark spoke with vocalist/guitarist David Hart about topics ranging from heavy metal to modern societal ills.
- Read the full Kunvuk Interview review
Really can't go wrong with Electric Wizard. With "Witchcult Today," we see Electric Wizard attempting their most comfortable album ever. There's no deep agenda to deeply reinvent doom/stoner metal or turn the band's uprising on its bum.
- Read the full Electric Wizard - Witchcult Today review
The faction's introspective, meaningful purge into this melancholic sense of progressive metal adds meat to the bones of "Inside Out" and resonates properly within the band's discography despite showing the innate signs of decline.
- Read the full Fates Warning - Inside Out review
Throughout "Facing Your Enemy," it feels like At Vance is lacking the ingenuity of previous releases and just wanted to heave an album without much care.
- Read the full At Vance - Facing Your Enemy review
Grand Magus can take heavy/doom metal and stuff it with an illegal amount of voltage, and "Iron Will" is a monolithic landmark to the poignant and dynamic material wallowing in this wonderful faction.
- Read the full Grand Magus - Iron Will review
Dying Fetus needs no introduction. Chances are you, oh valued reader, have stumbled upon these revolutionary death metal maniacs during your many travels into the twisted realm of death metal.
- Read the full Dying Fetus - Reign Supreme review
Virgin Steele is epic, smoldering, divine, and proudly tests the very essence of the gods with bravery and might; however, they were fragile and confused during this brief period in the group's crusade, thankfully just a bump before greatness, but a big one at that.
- Read the full Virgin Steele - Life Among The Ruins review
DiGiorgio's talents are lost somewhere in Tiso's infinite swarm of jazz-laden riffs crawling in useless mid-paced circles, and Minnemann really doesn't do anything relevant or exceptionally noteworthy.
- Read the full Ephel Duath - On Death And Cosmos review
Matt Hensh caught up with Tim Charles (violin, clean vocals) from Ne Obliviscaris to discuss their latest album, Portal of I, their recent touring and plans for the future.
- Read the full Ne Obliviscaris Interview
The sonic pictures painted by these wild and wacky maniacs remain some of the most elegantly twisted and perplexing pieces of insanity the world has ever known.
- Read the full Sigh - In Somniphobia review
"Spectrum of Death" is the definition of an obscure classic. You will never experience totally intensity until "Spectrum of Death" has shattered your eardrums, and you will listen to it. Satan demands it!
- Read the full Morbid Saint - Spectrum of Death review
In contradiction to the consistency of Virgin Steele, "The Black Light Bacchanalia" fails miserably at its desired objective, and I hereby state this is the band's worst full-length release since "Life Among the Ruins," easily.
- Read the full Virgin Steele - The Black Light Bacchanalia review
RAM delivers on an inconsistent basis. They sometimes add amazing, zesty tunes loaded with stellar musicianship, but they also fall flat every few songs or so, and the overall flow is not too appealing.
- Read the full RAM - Death review
Rome's Hour of Penance reigns supreme in the death metal arena this year. Their latest album, Sedition, should stand tall as the genre's fastest, most ferocious 2012 release. Speaking with lead guitarist Giulio Moschini via Skype, Mark got the scoop on Hour of Penance's current heavy metal crusade.
- Read the full Hour of Penance Interview
Forever Abomination finds Skeletonwitch casting their most powerful spell yet. Lean and mean, it pairs relentless aggression with fiendish accessibility. The end result is enchanting, and through dark magic Skeletonwitch has crafted their most caustic, catchy record yet.
- Read the full Skeletonwitch - Forever Abomination review
We can officially fit progressive metal into Italy's valuable exports, somewhere next to The Aeneid and Olive Garden. "Walkabout" will be an essential grab for Dream Theater nuts and Fates Warning followers or those looking for a fresh product inside progressive
- Read the full Mirrormaze - Walkabout review
Dyscarnate, an English death metal squad, heave a sadistic triangle of technical frenzies, groove-laden madness, and plenty of slamming sections which fully encircle the band's efforts here, and as you could guess, it's quite the violent experience.
- Read the full Dyscarnate - And So It Came To Pass review
Without diving into cliches about the highly improbable happening, "Undead" is a fairly enjoyable effort from the notorious and shunned Six Feet Under.
- Read the full Six Feet Under - Undead review
Musically, "The Lost Album" finds itself swindling a neat Thanatos-driven smorgasbord which occasionally dips into punk touches and other mild remedies that inspired their collective niche, so to speak.
- Read the full Deathamphetamine - The Lost Album review
Exumer, like many of its cohorts, returned after twenty-five big ones of inactivity with "Fire & Damnation," the band's first full-length album since 1987, which is quite the gap if I may say so.
- Read the full Exumer - Fire & Damnation review
"Carved Into Stone" is the best Prong release since "Cleansing," and maybe the band's finest record to date. In essence, the album's color collects an impressive smorgasbord of almost every era of the group's adventures, only now the kinks or minor complaints are tweaked and ready to roll.
- Read the full Prong - Carved Into Stone review
Thanks to the work of legitimate record labels and informed metalheads, buried artifacts like "Inside the Unreal" are awakened from their timeless slumber, ready to feast and maul on fools that dare investigate the hidden chambers of death metal's forgotten creed.
- Read the full Electrocution - Inside the Unreal review
Bejelit have a remarkably satisfying chemistry which smoothly breaks down and reconstructs numerous techniques and traits into genuine pieces which easily soar above the status quo of power metal's norms and expectations.
- Read the full Bejelit - Emerge review
Something like this is simply inexcusable. How a group like Burning Point that released a cluster of full-length albums and had years to expand on their sound and identity could release something so lifeless and tepid is beyond any reasoning I'm familiar with.
- Read the full Burning Point - The Ignitor review
While not the best piece of melodic death metal available, "Exceptions of the Rebellions" causes an adequate dent in its scene, but not the nuclear devastation it had the potential to make.
- Read the full Assault - Exceptions of the Rebellions review
Jolly Roger rots a little faster now that this has a place in the captain's quarters, and its presence casts a thousand shadows on Running Wild. A thousand rainbow, fruity, dancing shadows.
- Read the full Running Wild - Shadowmaker review
Any thrash band can mirror and replicate a release like "Point of No Return" with little trouble, and that's why I'll stick to "Time is Up" instead of this semi-useless EP.
- Read the full Havok - Point of No Return review
Sedition is like that scene in The Exorcist where a possessed Linda Blair projectile vomits onto a priest. Blasphemous and brutal, it's as in-your-face as death metal gets. More importantly, it marks Hour of Penance's most calculated assault on the senses yet.
- Read the full Hour of Penance - Sedition review
With approval coming from just about every orifice of death, Church of Misery has officially earned an important role in doom metal as its unstoppable badass.
- Read the full Church of Misery - The Second Coming review
Expecting something on par with the self-titled album would be a little much, but fans of the band will no doubt cherish "As Above, So Below" as a warm, fruitful endeavor which excellently portrays the mysticism and might of Angel Witch.
- Read the full Angel Witch - As Above, So Below review
"The Arts of Destruction" has the girth and fire to match Desaster's filling discography and fundamentally represents everything a metal band of this creed should. It's not for the weak or feeble though, so don't think about this if you can't handle a touch of darkness and a little sacrificial rites on the side.
- Read the full Desaster - The Arts of Destruction review
Cannibal Corpse has penned probably the most attractive collection of hacking madness since George Fisher joined the squad. Not only do the songs ride a wider spectrum of originality, the technicality and prose has been upgraded into a psychotic feat of ravenous death metal chewing and gnawing on the severed limbs of the weak.
- Read the full Cannibal Corpse - Torture review
Open your arms to this strange yet bewildering faction and let them take you to another dimension that only Pozoj can visualize.
- Read the full Johann Wolfgang Pozoj - Escape of Pozoj review
"Sympathetic Resonance" is a monument to the consistency and impeccable chemistry of John Arch and Jim Matheos, unified here in sublime grace. You are kicking yourself in the face if you remotely enjoy progressive metal and have not yet been whisked away by the magic of "Sympathetic Resonance."
- Read the full Arch/Matheos - Sympathetic Resonance review
Although Charred Walls of the Damned has established a fantastic identity, this is hardly the work of veteran musicians coming together for something completely unique and perplexing.
- Read the full Charred Walls of the Damned - Cold Winds on Timeless Days review
Essentially, "K2" is just a boring release. It vapidly retraces itself without proving anything relevant or worthwhile, and Adimiron applies a plethora of odd rhythms and sequences to create an interesting product, yet there's little accomplished overall.
- Read the full Adimiron - K2 review
Having made waves around the metal underground from the residue of some successful tours and a few critically-acclaimed releases, Skeletonwitch continues the diabolical madness throughout "Forever Abomination".
- Read the full Skeletonwitch - Forever Abomination review
Overall, this release completely rules by any measure or scale, a true testament to the group's impeccable longevity and originality reaching a new prime over three decades after the conception of what would be Corrosion of Conformity.
- Read the full Corrosion of Conformity review
Just when Uranus thought kids were the worst, his very own Cronus somehow obtained a sickle and severed his testicles in one foul swoop of indecency.
- Read the full Nekromantheon - Rise, Vulcan Spectre review
A long time ago in a heavenly kingdom quite far from our domain, there was a cigarette-smoking angel that was always a little too drunk and vulgar for the inhabitants of paradise. One day, the angel started to play the guitar.
- Read the full Mpire of Evil - Hell to the Holy review
"On the Coming of Darkness" features a few anonymous dudes that apparently belong to some of the best and brightest (sorry, darkest) black metal bands around. Hearing the debut of Nine Covens would unfortunately conjure quite the opposite assumption.
- Read the full Nine Covens - On the Coming of Darkness review
Not a single moment of this glorious piece goes to waste, and time and time again it holds up to consistent standards and demonstrates the prime features of black metal without adding useless influences or traps most of the population falls into.
- Read the full Lord of Pagathorn - Msilihporcen review
When it comes to Mystic Prophecy, you get exactly what you pay for. I bought "Regressus" many moons ago on a random purchase and never looked back; they had me hooked by "Lords of Pain."
- Read the full Mystic Prophecy - Ravenlord review
A vapid demonstration of hard rock/heavy metal grinded down into a piece-by-piece effort that follows all the rules and does its best to be something it clearly isn't.
- Read the full Vengeance - Crystal Eye review
Acherontas comes from the charred remains of Stutthof and they've made quite a name for themselves in the metal underground with their sinister torches of Satan's black flame burning above a moonless gathering of dark souls and chanting robes
- Read the full Acherontas - Vamachara review
The journey is dark and fulfilling, a promising testament of unparalleled dominance crashing against the unconscious droning of evil souls producing evil music with the craziest of intentions.
- Read the full Hail Spirit Noir - Pneuma review
"Decadence" could’ve been a force that completely reinvented melodic death metal into an unstoppable locomotive, but Nothnegal quickly lost their velocity and was desperately running on fumes rather than producing worthwhile substance. Melodic death metal fans might want a slice of this, but expecting the world in a disc would be gravely foolish.
- Read the full Nothnegal - Decadence review
In an ocean of average black/death metal factions, Vomiting Skulls mildly sticks out, perhaps just stalking the feeble prey and waiting for the right time to strike the unsuspecting prowlers of the black/death metal frontier, and that makes Vomiting Skulls' personality that much more attractive in the order of the universe.
- Read the full Vomiting Skulls - Serpents Kill Slowly review
Black metal and southern rock, eh? I'm no expert, but that sounds like mixing vanilla ice cream and Mountain Dew. Known for their universal boldness, French idealists Glorior Belli have established a network of wires running between both sub-genres throughout the appropriately titled "The Great Southern Darkness," and it's actually a very satisfying experience on both ends
- Read the full Glorior Belli - The Great Southern Darkness review
"Age of Consent" sets the stage for what Virgin Steele would eventually accomplish, and that makes it remarkable in its own right.
- Read the full Virgin Steele - Age of Consent review
Most of the information surrounding the band is shady at best, and even their origin (they're French, apparently) is deeply questionable based on a lack of facts produced by empty sources and band members sitting calmly on the informational DL, so to speak.
- Read the full Rex Mundi - IHVH review
So, the apparent quest for gore and guts ultimately led to the members of Gorerotted putting the project to rest and forming a completely different one-known as The Rotted-which instead incorporates an array of influences ranging from the primary focus of death metal to d-beat, punk, and maybe some standardized heavy metal.
- Read the full The Rotted - Ad Nauseam review
I'm fairly impressed with the overall effort provided by these stern veterans of German power metal. "The Landing" worked as an enjoyable introduction into the world of Iron Savior, so give it a shot too if you haven't jumped aboard the cosmic quest with Sielck and friends.
- Read the full Iron Savior - The Landing review
As expected, a name like Vomiting Skulls features a lot of vomit, a lot of skulls, and a lot of skulls that vomit. This Finnish faction thinly balances between the dimensions of black metal and death metal in both songwriting and genetics, an authentic mixture that the band clearly restrains without any sign of struggle.
- Read the full Vomiting Skulls Self-titled Demo review
There are many questionable moments crowding the record, but none can contend with the songwriting. Every song pretty much ignites with mediocre musicianship and some generic guitar work before The Ritual engages in an overload of repulsive, deplorable choruses
- Read the full The Ritual - Beyond the Fragile Horizon review
When I first heard "Aquarius," I was not impressed. After the millionth listen, I was in love. You could call me a fanboy, or one of those annoying dudes mindlessly infiltrating message boards all over the internet, telling you, your friends, and even your dog to listen to Haken- that is a crime in which I am guilty.
- Read the full Haken - Visions review
If you've never heard of Root, you're missing out. Big time. These Czech warlords have traveled a vast path across the musical spectrum, starting out as a prototypical black metal band before eventually coming to this weird nexus of 'dark' metal with a transcendental gloss.
- Read the full Root - Heritage of Satan review
"Circle of 8" might be something to check out if you enjoy Martyr's old albums or feel like investigating a comeback release that somehow sneaked away from the radar, but still, don't be surprised if you find yourself bored beyond belief trying to swim through the mountains of filler occupying so much of this release.
- Read the full Martyr - Circle of 8 review
"Dreamtherapy" is a straightforward purge into Eagleheart's conscious influences, yet the group's compositional skills and passionate augmentations are nonetheless impressive feats from a band rapidly approaching the summit of Everest.
- Read the full Eagleheart - Dreamtherapy review
"Oblivion" is kind of like a Michael Bay film: just a lot of explosions. I know firsthand that nothing beats blowing sh*t up... sometimes, anyway. Their sheer hunger is plenty impressive, but that's not enough to truly justify Noctem’s abandonment of relevancy.
- Read the full Noctem - Oblivion review
Probably the most bothersome facet of "Carbon-Based Anatomy" is its flow and general presentation. You may notice there are six tracks in total, but only three are actual authentic Cynic anthems
- Read the full Cynic - Carbon Based Anatomy review
This album really fails to ignite my curiosity. It’s pretty much progressive rock lightly coated in a metallic skin that embraces the typical qualities of progressive music, and I think that leads to its downfall.
- Read the full Knight Area - Nine Paths review
Venom's Dolan-era material is painfully unknown, like almost to the point of criminal investigation. This EP contains the first two originals penned under the moniker of Mpire of Evil stacked against four classic cover tunes reworked to fit the gritty themes of this enjoyable project, and as I said, it is an absolute slaughter of an EP.
- Read the full Mpire of Evil - Creatures of the Black review
Proudly standing as their tenth full-length child over twenty-five years after the group's abominable birth, the album continues Necrodeath's black/thrash metal mayhem as expected, except there's a major devil in the details: "Idiosyncrasy" is surprisingly only one song.
- Read the full Necrodeath - Idiosyncrasy review
Instead of producing a captivating journey through the imaginations of poets, Old Silver Key bumps on in a calamitous, forgettable sequence of powerless shoegaze/post-rock occasionally locking in Drudkh's black metal lore with little perseverance.
- Read the full Old Silver Key - Tales of Wandering review
Every Gamma Ray record sounds different, sometimes in varying degrees, of course. Well, "Sigh no More" is the band's open-armed dive into generic hard rock/heavy metal, or the let's-jackoff-the-MTV-crowd album, and yea, it blows.
- Read the full Gamma Ray - Sigh No More review
The second album of another conceptual cycle (about occultism) dubs itself "Apzu," another collection of ravenous black metal embracing the same lyrical identities its opening chapter preached back in 2009. In terms of musicality, it is an Absu album: harsh and heavy, bestial and bloody.
- Read the full Absu - Apzu review
I haven't heard a ton of ambient black metal albums in my years of following heavy music, but after hearing Wolves in the Throne Room's latest release Celestial Lineage, that will have to change.
- Read the full Wolves in the Throne Room - Celestial Lineage review
Eternal Gray will forever be known as "that one band that released their album on a flash drive." Yes, this puppy was originally distributed on a flash drive with the album's music files and extra content.
- Read the full Eternal Gray - Your Gods, My Enemies review
There's nothing better than finding an album like "Sleepers of the Rift" that is both sensational on a musical level and stylistically impeccable.
- Read the full Morbus Chron - Sleepers in the Rif review
With the magnetic tidal wave of praise that seems to become stronger and stronger with each and every Anubis Gate release pushing down on the progressive metal scheme, it would only make sense that the Danish philosophers deliver another consistent platter of poignant material.
- Read the full Anubis Gate review
The Aussie-native progressive metal battalion stretches the limits of forward thinking music throughout "The Meaning of I" with substantial qualities of the progressive metal niche gleefully embracing the band's own recipe of melodic metal and pulsing keyboards between the mighty voice of Daniel Estrin.
- Read the full Voyager - The Meaning of I review
"Immortal Soul" is a milestone of all sorts; it is a sophisticated effort based on the time and patience of Riot, not just a wonderful collection of masterful tunes. The album marks five years since "Army of One" and is the group's fourteenth full-length record overall, but that’s not all
- Read the full Riot - Immortal Soul review
This is pretty much an essential purchase if you enjoy this faction and their musical sorrow, but have not yet experienced Mournful Congregation's contributions to the handful of splits scattered throughout the band's career, which is, obviously, the focal point of the release.
- Read the full Mournful Congregation - The Unspoken Hymns review
This album certainly has some moments you’d expect to find on a Poison The Well, Misery Signals, or a Shai Hulud record but it’s blended nicely with traditional rock riffage and hard rock vocals to create a memorable sound
- Read the full Wolves Like Us - Late Love review
Archgoat is the most pleasant band on Earth. They are warm, comforting, and lyrically appropriate for your kids. Nah, I'm just kidding. Archgoat is a vile, maggot-infested masochist
- Read the full Archgoat - Heavenly Vulva (Christ Last's Rites) review
The harbingers of the so-called "post-metal" postulate were riding fairly high on creative wings after Neurosis tossed away the punk theme and shifted into one of the most radical and bloodcurdling identities ever documented.
- Read the full Neurosis - Sovereign review
The Taiwanese black metal group has reached places that most of their geographical partners have not, and in the process of their journey, they've acquired a steady following that reaches way beyond the Far East location.
- Read the full Chthonic - Takasago Army review
In spite of the occasional dip on the musical end, the lyrical concept is actually pretty cool, and there are several samples regarding environmental prophecy and ignorance segueing the cornucopia of songs
- Read the full Eldritch - Gaia's Legacy review
The Axis of Perdition's music creeps, crawls, and goes bump in the night. Begun in 2001, it's a soundtrack to squalor and grime, a last gasp of dying industries and failing societies.
- Read the full The Axis of Perdition - Tenements (Of the Anointed Flesh) review
Floored, amazed, shocked...you name it, that's how I felt when I experienced "As the Truth Appears" for the first time- it stands as a monumental achievement of all sorts, a true rarity amongst the seas, and a sapphire balanced with the perfect amount of professionalism and guile.
- Read the full Divine Ascension - As The Truth Appears review
Few releases of this niche are both daring and creative, but Myrath has successfully drawn their line in the sand and forged a monstrous collection of high-caliber music, which is quite the daring feat, because now we know Tunisia means business, and it might become the world's capital of progressive metal if Myrath can continue this pristine manufacturing. Don't pass up on this.
- Read the full Myrath - Tales of the Sands review
The performances are captivating, the atmosphere powerful, and the vocalists continue to feed Silent Stream of Godless Elegy’s source of life with a pristine edge of elegance. Not perfect, but folk metal usually isn’t this good.
- Read the full Silent Stream of Godless Elegy - Navaz review
You may not be aware of Goreaphobia's legacy, but these veterans of old-school death metal have been making sacrifices in the name of Dagon since 1988.
- Read the full Goreaphobia - Apocalyptic Necromancy review
"Sculptured Humans" is a neat piece of obscurity hailing from the wretched bowels of Belgium's netherworld. Oddly enough, I found this record mysteriously rotting in a clearance box at a local record store, sold for a wallet-ripping price of two dollars
- Read the full Infernal Legion - Sculptured Humans review
Regarding "The Inside Room," my opinion has jumped each side of the fence countless times. 40 Watt Sun is the proverbial phoenix rising from the ashes of England's Warning and features both Christian Leitch and Patrick Walker of the cult doom group
- Read the full 40 Watt Sun - The Inside Room review
While conforming to the basic standards of modern metal, Battlecross has at least liquidated the bland qualities of the status quo through stable musicianship and subtle hints of individualism rasping between the group's sharpened brutality and hostile attitude.
- Read the full Battlecross - Pursuit of Honor review
"Black Masses" marks the seventh time Electric Wizard cooked up a mean batch of grade-A weed and molded the classic doom metal pulse into obscure and ritualistic themes of drug-induced destruction from the ashes of psychedelic rock and intoxicated all-nighters.
- Read the full Electric Wizard - Black Masses review
The compositions are far from tricky and lack a sense of sophistication, but Powerwolf has more grabbing riffs, tasty melodies and hooking choruses at their disposable than the average power metal faction that's addicted to excessive keyboards or stereotypical cliches.
- Read the full Powerwolf - Blood of the Saints review
Reunions are typically panned by everyone on an all-encompassing spectrum, including the fans, critics, naysayers, believers, senators and most individuals of any breed. "All Hell Breaks Loose," though, interestingly created a rejoicing period amongst Destruction fans worldwide.
- Read the full Destruction - All Hell Breaks Loose review
Listening to "Hereditas" is not a frighteningly good experience, but Desalmado knows how to bend and twist the grindcore bone even though they lack concrete originality and a degree of sophistication.
- Read the full Desalmado - Hereditas review
Variety doesn't play an important role in Heathendom's crusade, but who cares, really? "The Symbolist" is immaculate material from its exciting beginning to the epic, brooding closer which once again provides a two-faced twist on both power and doom metal- it's such a brilliant mixture that I can't even think of a metaphor to compare it with.
- Read the full Heathendom - The Symbolist review
The one barrier separating Wolverine's "Still" and the long-awaited "Communication Lost" was a five-year stretch that included much waiting and patience, but finally Wolverine's slumber ended and they released what might be their seminal album.
- Read the full Wolverine - Communication Lost review
The one barrier separating Wolverine's "Still" and the long-awaited "Communication Lost" was a five-year stretch that included much waiting and patience, but finally Wolverine's slumber ended and they released what might be their seminal album.
- Read the full Wolverine - Communication Los review
"Tnyribal," the group's debut album, captures a quick hammering of slaughtering brutality that weaves through a pathological nightmare of unrelenting sickness and depravity that most goregrind bands attempt.
- Read the full Squash Bowels - Tyndril review
Anaal Nathrakh's Passion is that rare album which justifies even the most absurd hype behind it. In a mere 36 minutes, it doesn't so much push the envelope of brutality as it does set the standard for it.
- Read the full Anaal Nathrakh - Passion review
This is a prism of unlight. A ruthless, demonic plunge into the cold arms of death, told by the blackest of scribes and channeled through an unhallowed wavelength that makes most black metal bands shiver in fear.
- Read the full Nightbringer - Hierophany of the Open Grave review
"Disensitise" is, at the very least, a proper representation of Discharge thirty years after the British band formed, with none of the nonsense of their traditional metal-era either.
- Read the full Discharge - Disensitise review
Untimely Demise stands on a swinging pillar that primarily leans on the edge of thrash metal but dips into melodic death metal territory ala At The Gates or other seminal bands of the Gothenburg equation on a sequential basis
- Read the full Untimely Demise - City of Steel review
Sure, there are many avant-garde groups that are equally screwy, but the clarity connecting the album is remarkably genuine, definitely matching or maybe surpassing the many works of Einvera's influences. When it comes to avant-garde in metal, Einvera has hit the jackpot. This is not to be ignored!
- Read the full Einvera - In Your Image review
Three reasons why Nader Sadek rules: Steve Tucker, Blasphemer, Flo Mounier. When it comes to Nader Sadek and his troops of doom, you get just what you except, and "In the Flesh" will not disappoint metalheads of any bloodline.
- Read the full Nader Sadek - In the Flesh review
Well, this may be one of those back-to-their-roots efforts, but I mean that in a bad way. I was expecting a progressive metal/rock agenda similar to Pain of Salvation or Dream Theater, but that's apparently not the plan according to Mindflow.
- Read the full Mindflow - With Bare Hands review
The weirdness that follows British stoners End of Level Boss is certainly no act of coincidence. In fact, few bands of the doom/stoner metal niche so openly wallow in the dissonant obscurity which dominates the band's corky blueprint
- Read the full End of Level Boss - Eklectric review
Demonical alternates the album's progression from trademark ruthlessness to other standards often regurgitated in death metal, such as the rolling sequences and simplistic beats of "Return in Flesh" or occasional nods to modern death metal bands like Amon Amarth in some areas as well
- Read the full Demonical - Death Infernal review
Arkan will at least create an unusual and diversified experience overall, but there's still not enough substance to prove the unrelenting strength of Arkan or its testimonies. This one probably depends on taste, but proceed with caution regardless.
- Read the full Arkan - Salam review
Obscura is at least a compelling progressive act which triggers a glowing sense of authentic technicality stacked with more riffs and mesmerizing solos than the Origins or Necrophagists of technical death metal's forefront
- Read the full Obscura - Omnivium review
"The Murder of Jesus the Jew" sees Metatron and The Meads taking the role of the Biography Channel by telling the story of one of the most important figures in human history. The controversial album describes the life and times of Jesus himself through an hour of hallucinating black metal
- Read the full The Meads of Asphodel - The Murder of Jesus The Jew review
"The Age of Fear" won't appeal to everyone, but this underrated group has some killer tunes here, maybe enough to make newer fans realize their favorite band has been hiding somewhere in the hills of Italy.
- Read the full Necrodeath - The Age of Fear review
Leave it to Deceased to come back and totally annihilate the competition with such a shocking, thunderous, bloodcurdling display of authentic, bone-chipping metal. "Surreal Overdose" is an absolute juggernaut of a release.
- Read the full Deceased - Surreal Overdose review
Everything that could have gone right during "Unholy Cross" did. The sound it has, representing a band at their finest, is impeccable, and Johansson fills Breed's shoes as if the pressure which followed was just a dream.
- Read the full Bloodbound - Unholy Cross review
Over twenty years stands in the middle of "Unexpected Fate" and "Neurodeliri," two records from Italian thrash outfit Bulldozer. Yea comebacks happen and comebacks go, but Bulldozer's return to the gridiron conjures the image of a band not just hungry, but one clearly agitated and ready to kill everyone regardless of association
- Read the full Bulldozer - Unexpected Fate review
Want to know what band In Solitude sounds like? Mercyful Fate. Yea, Mercyful Fate. You know, the band that heaved dark classics like "Don't Break the Oath," or maybe the group that put King Diamond's banshee scaring falsettos on the map? The dudes of In Solitude pay gracious tribute to their main influence
- Read the full In Solitude - The World. The Flesh. The Devil review
The Middle East could someday be as renowned as other heavy metal hotspots for its quality of musical output. For now, The Epigenesis towers like a monolith over the competition. Melechesh are the region's ruling regents, and if they keep creating music this worthwhile, it won't be long before they conquer the rest of the world.
- Read the full Melechesh - The Epigenesis review
Blood Ceremony has a formula at hand that really could make for an inspiring and enthralling postulate, but it's the faction's poor application of these atypical ideas and lackluster song writing which ultimately makes "Living with the Ancients" a forgettable, haphazard, inconsistent release.
- Read the full Blood Ceremony - Living With The Ancients review
Everything that could be wrong with the death 'n' roll ideology is. Debauchery puts the alloy of their influences together and it sounds like a total disaster from start to finish. With something so awful, there is no sanctuary.
- Read the full Debauchery - Germany's Next Death Metal review
Eastern Front is a rare breed. Few bands can take the blast-laden black metal approach and force a flame of rejuvenation within. Of course, there are items that outdo "Blood on Snow" in nearly every category, but this isn't bad for a rookie effort
- Read the full Eastern Front - Blood on Snow review
Maybe they just like being lost in a crowd. The kings of background black metal, if you will. Overall, nothing separates "Ashlands" from groups that sound identical to Rev 16:8, and the Swedes still struggle to heave anything relevant
- Read the full Rev 16:8 - Ashlands review
Not a single riff, pattern, song or philosophy breaks out of the mediocre film covering this drawn out staple of fourth-rate black metal. This is the definition of powerlessness in music. Overall a very tepid and forgettable release.
- Read the full Horde of Hel - Likdagg review
This is probably an essential purchase for Riverside fans, and maybe the occasional prog nut, but it's not a mandatory experience. Still maybe an item of interest for the musically ambitious and those considering a brief escape from metal.
- Read the full Riverside - Memories In My Head review
Rotting Christ has towered over the Greek death metal scene for over two decades. Along the way, they've reinvented their style with each subsequent album, adopting a myriad of personas that recalls the chimera of Greek myth.
- Read the full Rotting Christ - Aealo review
Clandestine and ravenous, Ipsissimus proves they are hungry for the blood of angels, and this is definitely an album to check out if you want something both bestial and sophisticated.
- Read the full Ipsissimus - The Way of Descent review
If you're expecting "Consuming Impulse" reshaped and repackaged or a worthy sequel to "Testimony of the Ancients," forget about it. "Doctrine" is just as unexpected and abstractly calculated as any Pestilence album, but unfortunately only in its dire nature and substandard articulations.
- Read the full Pestilence - Doctrine review
Iron Dawn is thus an effective EP but hard truly loving given its teaser status. It's a promising taste of things to come but one that's tantalizing at best. Consider this a well-aimed opening salvo, but one that's part of a bigger, better battle to come.
- Read the full Marduk's Iron Dawn review
"Redemption at the Puritan's Hand" marks another chapter in Primordial's ethereal journey into Celtic-influenced black metal.
- Read the full Primordial - Redemption at the Puritan's Hand review
While "Book of Dowth" is no magnum opus, Suidakra's vivid instrumentality and marching perseverance certainly shows in the long-running, folk-fused death metal of Arkadius and friends, making it the tenth full-length album of the group's career.
- Read the full Suidakra - Book of Dowth review
"A Series of Unfortunate Concurrencies" turns the sound-cramming dial past its threshold, somehow churning loads of influences from progressive rock, gothic metal, doom metal, and maybe a smidge of thrash and groove onto the band's platter of atmospheric metal.
- Read the full Scar of the Sun - A Series of Unfortunate Concurrencies review
"Origins" almost has a cinematic feel to its progression: the album rockets into a handful of blistering power metal tunes before entering an atmospheric, ethereal void of ballads and tracks deeply inspired by progressive movements, and eventually coming full-circle on the album's peculiar themes without missing a beat
- Read the full Shaman - Origins review
Oh boy, here we go again. Remember when melodic death metal in the vein of In Flames or maybe Soilwork wasn't total garbage? Yea, I'm drawing blanks too. Degradead excelled wonderfully at creating an annoying and uninteresting musical fiasco throughout "A World Destroyer," which is destined for the toilet
- Read the full Degradead - A World Destroyer review
This album knocked my socks off; it's an amazing piece from beginning to end. "DeEvolution" reunites vocalist Erik Rosvold with Troy and Jasun Tipton, an important assembly considering the trio was responsible for Zero Hour's "The Towers of Avarice," an undisputed progressive metal classic.
- Read the full Cynthesis - DeEvolution review
This mysterious creature does not have seven heads, nor does it have seven diadems for those seven heads. There isn't a collection of cataclysmic trumpets, nor do bowls of wrath pour upon the world. The Beast of The Apocalypse has, however, emerged from the Earth's bowels.
- Read the full The Beast of The Apocalypse - Henosis review
You know exactly what you get when Udo Dirkschneider comes around, and "Rev Raptor" is certainly no deviation from the dirty, driving machine of metal that the German legend forged from Odin's steel after he parted ways with Accept
- Read the full UDO - Rev Raptor review
"Point of Infinity" mirrors a sense of disappointment, similar to biting into an onion-filled cheeseburger after specifically telling the stupid bastards that made your food to not put onions on your cheeseburger.
- Read the full Obsidian - Point of Infinity review
Amon Amarth's eighth record doesn't present an end in sight for their dominance of melodic death metal. Rather, it shows that after two decades and counting the band's inner fire still burns strong.
- Read the full Amon Amarth - Surtur Rising review
This album is nevertheless a stellar slab of grim, blackened heavy metal that licks the slime off the rotting corpse of Mercyful Fate, and you'll be thrashing away the moment the howling solo which starts "Beast of Fire" sweeps you off your feet and brings you to a devilish land of heavy metal ecstasy.
- Read the full Portrait - Crimen Laesae Majestatis Divinae review
Consider Symfonia Timo Tolkki's self-planned coming-home party back into power metal after the dudes of Stratovarius kicked his ass out and turned Tolkki's vapid gimmicks into sensational music- see "Elysium" for additional information.
- Read the full Symfonia - In Paradisum review
This is one of the most electric acts of relevance you ever find throughout the surging fields of influence caused by old-school metal bands like Iron Maiden or Jag Panzer, now shooting through the heavens with molten flames containing all that is metal.
- Read the full Twisted Tower Dire - Make it Dark review
Consider me a critical ass that has nothing amazing to say about Vomitory. I like some of their material (especially "Revelation Nausea") and enjoy the assault they always deliver without a stutter, but that's always been too much of a double-edge sword for my tastes.
- Read the full Vomitory - Opus Mortis VIII review
"Skeletons and Majesties" is more or less a collection of material which targets longtime fans with the two rerecorded tunes before turning down a road of cliches and hardships that aren't up to par and look directionless and vapid. Die-hards only.
- Read the full Gamma Ray - Skeletons and Majesties review
It would be foolish to disregard Aborym's importance, so definitely check out their earlier works if you aren't familiar with them, but I wouldn't bother with this unless you're a die-hard follower.
- Read the full Aborym - Psychogrotesque review
Most will disregard "The Divine Antithesis" as clattering noise, a claim that isn't completely false by some measures. However, the album has a number of noteworthy moments living within its blasphemous halls that bring the estranged record to a new level of twisted brilliance
- Read the full De Magia Veterum- The Divine Antithesis review
“Blood on the Black Robe” sounds like the magnum opus of beaten bards covered in the blood of enemies, knowing they are outnumbered, outflanked, and on the edge of defeat after battling a stronger opponent for years, yet still they raise their swords knowing death will come before disgrace.
- Read the full Cruachan - Blood on the Black Robe review
I find it really disappointing that "The Great Mass" isn't anything more than acceptable music. A full-blown orchestra? Death metal? Together, like two peas in a pod? Come on Septicflesh, why in the world is this the final product?
- Read the full Septicflesh - The Great Mass review
The bombing never fails to totally bash in humanity's face until its skin becomes ash and nothing remains but a bloody, messy pulp of gore. "Necro Spirituals" kicks bunch of ass, and you'd be an idiot to miss out on this diabolical jaunt.
- Read the full Horned Almighty - Necro Spirituals review
Demonic Resurrection sets the bar to a new low with clean vocals which are so clearly auto-tuned the record might as well been produced by Ke$ha. They should change their name to Demonic Re$urrection and just get it done with.
- Read the full Demonic Resurrection - The Return to Darkness review
In the Absence of Light isn't a perfect record, but it's the best available while Abigail Williams figure themselves out. In the meantime, most listeners will find this marked progress, but still short of the band's potential peak.
- Read the full Abigail Williams - In the Absence of Light review
"Storm Before Calm" rests uncomfortably between Primordial's "Spirit the Earth Aflame" and "The Gathering Wilderness," two opuses often labeled the group's finest hour. "Storm Before Calm" might be considered a step down in terms of substance, yet it's certainly two leaps forward in more regards than one.
- Read the full Primordial - Storm Before Calm review
Saddest thing about Darkest Era? Well, they'll immediately be herded into Primordial's pen by most based on a quick listen. While it's clear Darkest Era takes a lot of influence from their Irish comrades, "The Last Caress of Light" imprints something of a different niche that may catch a lot of listeners off guard
- Read the full Darkest Era - The Last Caress of Light review
Xerath's quantum-molesting calculability brings nothing to 'hook' the listener, while the progressive and orchestral elements hide from the 'djent' madness chugging and carelessly running head-first into odd nonsense.
- Read the full Xerath - II review
Except for the polished production, not a whole lot has changed in the Necrophagia camp, musically, at least. Necrophagia's journey is essentially a mirror of their discography, with simple, crawling riffs hacking like knifes while Killjoy does that raspy shriek-thingy he does.
- Read the full Necrophagia - Deathtrip 69 review
"Concealed" is often considered a landmark release during the "next step" of progressive death metal's lifespan. Augury assembled the brutality of bands like Morbid Angel or Cannibal Corpse and fused it with the frenzied technicality and ethereal progressivism of Atheist and Cynic.
- Read the full Augury - Concealed review
You could consider "A Thin Shell" a standard example of doom/death metal. After all, it kind of is. Nevertheless, October Tide has made a decent return after years in a slumberous state, a feat that hardly occurs.
- Read the full October Tide - A Thin Shell review
Solar Fragment makes no attempt to recreate or bring power metal into some universal sanctum that completely destroys the genre's notions, instead facing the raging bull head-on and grappling the beast to the ground with excellent song writing and a thriving sense of authority.
- Read the full Solar Fragment - In Our Hand review
Roots into the See, provides an epic journey through introspection. Mark e-mailed Alee Karim, one of the band's vocalists as well as its sole guitarist, and got the scoop on all things Atomic Bomb Audition.
- Read the full The Atomic Bomb Audition Interview
So this Nekromantheon band kicks a ton of ass. Chances are you haven't heard of these dudes, but that isn't any reason to pass over the bloodthirsty assault that lives throughout "Divinity of Death."
- Read the full Nekromantheon - Divinity of Death review
"Boundless" will tie you to the ground and break every bone in your face with its volatile, explosive, unrelenting storm of slaughtering riffs which ravenously gnaw and grind like a wolverine's incisors... you really can't ask for more in a metal CD.
- Read the full Assaulter - Boundless review
Sometimes they seem pretentious, inept, and perhaps a trifle miscalculated, but "Afflicting the Dichotomy of Trepid Creation" at least has the stamp of four dudes that aren't afraid to morph the premise of black metal in the midst of weird configurations and spine-chilling freakiness
- Read the full Pale Chalice - Afflicting the Dichotomy of Trepid Creation review
"Bleeding the New Apocalypse" is not a record anyone can easily devour. It requires substantial attention and an acceptance of the coated tunes that slice from here to infinity and stop everywhere in-between- The Project Hate refuses to obey any rules but its own
- Read the full The Project Hate MCMXCIX - Bleeding the New Apocalypse review
There's a wide divide between good and great bands in the heavy metal world. March 9's concert at the Jaxx Nightclub was no exception to this rule, the five bands on the Apostles of Darkness over America tour varying in scope from solid to spectacular.
- Read the full Rotting Christ, Melechesh, Abigail Williams, Lecherous Nocturne, The Ziggurat Live review
Slayer churns out average tripe, Venom releases the same album under a different name, and Exodus falls from attempting to fly on songs that are too redundant and long- consider Onslaught the anomaly.
- Read the full Onslaught - Sounds of Violence review
"Burial Ground" is far from revolutionary and not on the same level as the band's "Into the Grave" record or newer smashes like "Dominion VIII", but it has the riffs and might to keep death metal fans banging their heads for listens to come
- Read the full Grave - Burial Ground review
"Opus Eponymous" is as trippy as it is pleasing, although it's quite surprising to me that so few people bellyache about the group's visible mixture of heavy metal and pop rock.
- Read the full Ghost - Opus Eponymous review
Lightning Swords of Death is so focused on the haphazard side of musical brutality that it siphons the potential out of "The Extra Dimensional Wound" like a slutty chick sucking beer out of a keg, at least until the forty-four minute plod finally (and thankfully) goes into hibernation.
- Read the full Lightning Swords of Death - The Extra Dimensional Wound review
Arkhum would be very noteworthy if the weird sweeping and technical aspects of their music were placed at the forefront of their attack, but sadly, "Anno Universum" isn't as otherworldly as it appears to be.
- Read the full Arkhum - Anno Universum review
I suppose "Pathogen" earns a listenable merit, yet Made of Hate can't justify its content through the constant masturbation and narcissistic qualities emerging from the record's daft formula.
- Read the full Made of Hate - Pathogen review
At some point the release becomes too seasoned for its own good, and likewise flirts with the band's weaknesses instead of resurrecting the faulting project with memorable material. "Pentagrammaton" works for a black metal fix with the riffs and ideals to briefly satisfy the average listener, but not much else.
- Read the full Enthroned - Pentagrammaton review
Saana being Timo Tolkki's estranged dive into the unknown, deserves credit at its appropriate moments and overall theme, but something like this still pushes all the wrong buttons- something like this is just a pursuit into redundancy.
- Read the full Timo Tolkki - Saana-Warrior of the Light, Part 1: Journey to Crystal Mountain review
I really don't entrance myself with female-fronted power metal very often, but I must say Dotma is one of the most exquisite creations to be found in this realm. This is essentially a power metal slew glazed in symphonic and gothic elements much like Epica.
- Read the full Dotma - Sleep Paralyses review
As a progressive metal band trying to gain mass in Italy where the sound seems to be the climaxing cash crop, Odd Dimension comes out of nowhere and unleashes "Symmetrical" like it's an atomic bomb filled with stardust and the Aurora Borealis.
- Read the full Odd Dimension - Symmetrical review
It's pretty damn obvious Havok loves Exodus, Slayer, Megadeth, and the remaining 80s thrash juggernauts so much that a restraining order might not be a bad idea for these legendary bands.
- Read the full Havok - Time is Up review
"Eleven Scars" brings nothing new to the genre, so instead of drowning your sorrows in this vapid soup of banality, do what I do: take some Paxil and kick life in the nuts. Actually, maybe that's just what gothic metal needs to turn its act around.
- Read the full My Inner Burning - Eleven Scars review
Alright demons and witches, grab your steel gauntlets and take cover: Jag Panzer is on the prowl once again. Harbingers of bringing the power back into power metal, Jag Panzer continue their fiery legacy throughout "The Scourge of the Light"
- Read the full Jag Panzer - Scourge of the Light review
"Glorious Collision" firmly stands as a progressive metal opus layered in riffs, keyboards, and choruses as Evergrey have done in the past, but instead documenting an emphasis on strength and incoming credit via new members.
- Read the full Evergrey - Glorious Collision review
Spiral Shadow finds Kylesa wracking (and subsequently repairing) nerves like never before. Mark spoke with guitarist/vocalist Laura Pleasants before Kylesa's Washington D.C. gig and found out what makes these Savannah, Georgia metal titans tick.
- Read the full Kylesa Interview
The Sign of the Southern Cross have a lot more to offer than what meets the eye. I'd say their core strength definitely resides within the southern caverns, but the groove essence they provide is mighty fine too, which really can't be said about many contenders
- Read the full The Sign of the Southern Cross - I Carry The Fire review
Wolf Father thus boasts black metal's defining bleakness, accentuated with death metal's slam and a focus on Norse lore. Mark Hensch e-mailed founding member and guitarist/bassist Teloch and talked about what's next for Nidingr.
- Read the full Nidingr Interview
I'd be willing to guess Astral Doors really like Ronnie James Dio, like almost to criminal measures. "Testament of Rock" is a best-of with fourteen Astral Doors songs that are, well, a lot like Dio anthems, and average ones at that.
- Read the full Astral Doors - Testament of Rock review
The Atomic Bomb Audition have fused film score scope with heavy metal marauding, the culmination being a gripping ride through vistas of sound. Roots into the See worms its way into the mind's eye and stays there, lingering long after its final echoes have been left behind.
- Read the full The Atomic Bomb Audition - Roots into the See review
Hail of Bullets have launched their second aural offensive with On Divine Winds. Thrashpit's Matt Hensch corresponded with Hail of Bullets drummer Ed Warby about death metal's past, present and future.
- Read the full Hail of Bullets Interview
Some old-school metal fans may find "Glory of Chaos" too much like Destruction or Exodus and not enough like Helstar, but that is certainly no reason to completely shun this sensational record; Helstar's demeanor is superb throughout, and certainly one many thrash/power metal fans will crave.
- Read the full Helstar - Glory of Chaos review
The sorcerers who conjured up this album may temporarily remain unknown but their music is powerful magic on its own. Its song-writing casts a spell that isn't quickly shaken, and its malevolent lyrics will frighten even the staunchest listeners.
- Read the full Ghost - Opus Eponymous review
Bloodshot essentially takes the grotesque groove from Six Feet Under, the undedicated aggression of Hatebreed, and some speed akin to Agnostic Front that, in a roundabout way, finds itself face-to-face with overt metalcore influences.
- Read the full Bloodshot - Murder the World review
"The Pestilent Plague" is far from anything original or unique, but the album never lets up in its consistent assault of blackened death metal for even a millisecond.
- Read the full In Aeternum - The Pestilent Plague review
Assaulter is just one kink in a big machine that smolders and churns in the land way down under, and their wonderful debut is definitely something to check out if blackened metal strums a string within the dark abyss of your soul.
- Read the full Assaulter - Salvation Like Destruction review
A lot of things that I believe are fundamentally essential for good death metal are traded away for the genre's run-of-the-mill settlement, so it is with pride that I say their shenanigans are certainly not cheeky and fun.
- Read the full Preludium - Impending Hostility review
Wolf Father is a lean, mean disc that hits with the quickness of a raiding party and the heft of broadswords. It's six songs always go for the jugular, leaving a solid clubbing any time they fall short.
- Read the full Nidingr - Wolf Father review
"A Fragile Mind" isn't Zero Hour's finest hour, but it certainly gives radioactive testament to one of progressive metal's most unique and creative leaders furthering their sullen biography through cryptic measures and a hint of moonstruck magic
- Read the full Zero Hour - A Fragile Mind review
There isn't any reason to deny how amazing and spellbinding the marksmanship of Suidakra is through the group's rich exploration of death metal, melody, and Celtic folk music, which at this point demonstrates a unique three-part junction that leads to heavy metal Valhalla, indeed.
- Read the full Suidakra - Crogacht review
Kylesa headlined a cramped but cathartic show alongside the amp worship of Zoroaster and the punkish provocations of Fight Amp. The resulting gig - held in an expanded warehouse garage - exuded the intimacy and aggression of a bare-knuckle brawl.
- Read the full Kylesa, Zoroaster, Fight Amp Live review
Every time I pick up one of these compilations blessed with old-school death metal demos, I feel like a little kid locked in a candy store. If Swedish groups didn't produce so many great tapes back in the day, what would be the point in releasing this in the first place?
- Read the full Necrophobic - Satanic Blasphemies review
Jupiter is almost too intelligent for its own good and a long shot away from the brilliance of Atheist's youthful grace, yet definitely a solid record representing a plethora of wayward mathematics and the dynamic doldrums that once created some of metal's finest trophies
- Read the full Atheist - Jupiter review
Immolation's new album proves the reigning death metal kings haven't lost their crown. It's a grandiose take on the genre, all stoicism and sincere austerity of purpose. This is must have material, despite its name, there isn't a rotten song on Majesty and Decay.
- Read the full Immolation - Majesty and Decay review
Matador is what hippies would call "far out." For starters, Zoroaster is named after a Persian mystic and philosopher. If that's not trippy enough, the group's distinct mixture of trance-inducing riffs and psychedelics should suffice.
- Read the full Zoroaster - Matador review
While definitely not a masterpiece in any placement, Elvenking thankfully evolved into a respectable faction capable of churning out cheesy (but good!) power metal, and maybe a poignant gem from time to time.
- Read the full Elvenking - Red Silent Tides review
Death Came Through a Phantom Ship slays the sophomore slump with an authority seen in few other bands. The latest from Landgraaf, The Netherlands' Carach Angren, it delivers a ghoulish ghost story backed by chilling orchestral flourishes and crushing heavy metal.
- Read the full Carach Angren - Death Came Through a Phantom Ship review
It's always been a bit strange to me how Marko Tervonen's Angel Blake was secluded in the shadows while the remaining ex-The Crown members were experimenting with other genres and inseminating virgin bands that became somewhat known around certain circles.
- Read the full Angel Blake review
The ten songs on Paracletus are a masterpiece in music and malice. Many have opened the doors to darkness but few have marched past the threshold. Deathspell Omega has gone farther than most, this album setting a benchmark for lesser acts to follow.
- Read the full Deathspell Omega - Paracletus review
The album makes for a sophisticated listen as Conspiracy alone is quite enthralling, yet the idol's shift from loud, crashing fun to an anemic choir of lightless vampirism laced in orchestration and keyboards provides something completely magnetic, albeit seemingly faulted
- Read the full Conspiracy - Irremediable review
DarkBlack's Midnight Wraith sounds like a blast from the past despite making its way into record stores this year. This short but slick EP tackles traditional heavy metal, recalling the glory days when bands like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Thin Lizzy reigned supreme.
- Read the full DarkBlack - Midnight Wraith review
2010 has been an eclectic year in heavy metal. None of the ten bands featured here sound alike, and more importantly, they stick out in heavy metal at a time when the genre is more crowded than ever before.
- Read the full Mark Hensch Picks The Top Heavy Metal Albums of 2010 review