Album Reviews Archive

ALBUM REVIEWS

Black Breath – Heavy Breathing        10

Off to a great start with “Black Sin (Spit On The Cross).” I am digging this already. Nice neo-thrash vibe. Extremely aggressive vocals. I am loving the shit out of that lead guitar work. Very catchy and melodic all the way through. I love the heavily distorted tune being kicked out. Fucking awesome. “Eat The Witch” offers the same level of aggression plus extra melody. This song has some pretty gnarly lyrics. This song is so sexual, it’s outrageous, yet I fucking love it. A lot of creativity went into the making of this. The solo right before the 3:00 mark is pretty nice. Musically, I think I could compare these guys to Municipal Waste. A little. Maybe. Who knows. All I can say is I dig it. “Escape From Death” seems, to me, to have a some hints of black metal, as have a few tracks previous. Not just in-your-face obvious, just little bits here and there. This sound moves at 900 miles per hour and with perfect execution. Shredding guitars that absolutely kill. Amazingly powerful vocals and a drummer that knows how to kill his kit. I really love the chugging riff that is evident throughout this track. The lead guitar work is spectacular and the lead is equally as gnarly. Yet another great track. “I Am Beyond” automatically makes me think of Lair of The Minotaur. Nice, chunky, grooving guitars that maintain melody through the mounds of distortion. The riffing is unbelievably catchy on this track. I am also really loving the drum patterns. The breakdown around 2:45 is amazing. Superb song. “Virus” is a hefty track filled with catchy riffing and NOS-injected drumming. The chorus is shouted like an anthem for the depraved. Very melodic with a gracious mixture of chugging riffs and outstanding lead guitar work. Fucking amazing old-school-inspired solo towards the end of the track really gets your blood pumping. Hooray! The title track “Heavy Breathing” puts out a doom-y feel with nice lead guitar laid over it. This song puts off a rather creepy vibe that sends a chill down my spine. Very memorable riffing on this track. I really like this a lot. A lot of progressive influences here. “Children of The Horn” Sounds like old school thrash with a lot of modern influences. Nice driving riffs with a hardcore punk vibe. Mix all of that with these amazingly strong vocals and what do you have? A fucking killer band who call themselves Black Breath. Throughout this album, I’ve been trying to compare this band to someone. I said Municipal Waste, and while that still stands on some tracks, Toxic Holocaust comes to mind as well, so yeah, this band is as good as that sounds. “Fallen” opens with a nice, distorted monster of a chugga riff. It’s heavy and dirty, but at the same time beautiful and fluffy. Yes, I just called a riff ‘fluffy.’ Nice steady tempo on this track. Not extremely fast, but not doom-y. The lead guitar still has that old school vibe to it and it still sounds good. The drumming on this track is off the chain. Simply put, this dude kills it. 100%. And it’s not just him, this entire band puts everything into their music to produce a fantastic piece of music over and over again. I am loving the intro to “Unholy Virgin.” It is so chunky and heavy and melodic that it is breath taking. I love how the verse is lead by that killer bass line. This is a straight up face-smashing, head banging track. The lead guitar work on this song is some of the best on the album.  The soloing is fucking epic. This song is turning out to be my personal favorite. “Wewhocannotbenamed” opens with some great riffing leading into the best guitar lead on the album. When the song finally hits, I can say it is like Slayer and Earth Crisis had an child and beat it into success. Every second of this track is unrelenting. Hammering strings and amazing vocals. This album is fucking killer. Yes. Killer. Rated G and placed onto my Year End list.

Svart Crown – Witnessing The Fall        9

“Where The Light Ends” has a good tune right off. I am interested within the first 20 seconds. Good going. Nice guitar work and drumming. Not bad for an intro. “Collosseum” opens with shredding guitars and machine gun drumming topped only by the evil-as-fuck vocals. Pretty fucking killer. The tempo varies from time to time. I like that. Switches from grinding black metal to full-on black metal with some nice melodic elements. This is some pretty sick shit. Gnarly likes. “Dogs of Gods” continues the grinding fury with the return of those monstrous vocals. I’m loving the lead guitar work. Something that is often left out of black metal is the usage of leads and solos. I love when bands bring that shit in to up the wow factor. A lot of more mellow parts just right for a steady head bang. Some pretty nice drum rolls before the song burst back with a vengeance. I do hear a lot of black metal influence in this, but that’s not the only thing. Hints of death metal and grindcore loom around. The blast beats are fantastic. Amazing track. “Nahash The Temptator” begins with with ambient guitar for a few seconds then hits with a nice steady riff bordering on math/noisecore shit. This band offers a lot more than the usual every day black metal band. Vocals are again menacing, guitar are sawing and the drummer is pummeling that bass drum like a zombie’s skull. I love the chugging around the 3:38 mark. This is epic shit. I love it. One thing I really like about this band is the fact that their songs are not mind-numbingly long. A few are even under 3:00. Pretty super-duper. “Here Comes Your Salvation” reminds me of a lot of death metal that’s been coming out recently musically. Decrepitaph and the likes. Very good. Nice chugging with fantastic lead guitar work. Vocals are more in vein of death metal as well with more growls than screams. The solo at the 2:17 mark is pretty killer. This is one of the best tracks on the album. This band keeps you on your toes for sure. Every song has different elements blended together. “Into A Demential Sea” is chock-full of extraordinary grinding riffage. This is on the same note as the previous song as being more death metal. This  song is even more so than “Here Comes Your Salvation.” The blast beat drumming is of epic proportions. The bass stands out just enough to make it known. When the song chills out, it has a melancholic vibe to it. It picks back up towards the end of the song and brings back the monstrosity of a metal attack that has stood out so well on this album. “An Eternal Descent” opens with killer chugging guitar riff. I love this already (0:14 in). When the drums kick in, it is a melee of masterful musicianship. This song mixes every genre I’ve mentioned throughout this review into one powerful 6:00 beast. I love some good chugging guitars. I’m not sure why, but they draw me in and make me want more. This song is full of them overlaid with beautifully melodic lead guitar parts. The solo is mesmerizing. This song has to be the best on the album. It is certainly my favorite. “Strength Higher Than Justice” is yet another death-inspired grinding fury. More fabulous chugging riffs and outstanding vocals. I am reminded a little of Goatwhore on this track. This track is evil and brutal and still remains melodic and overall memorable. This track slowly evolves from death metal to a more black metal style with melodic parts. A short clip opens the black metal beauty that is “Incestuous Breath.” This song touches more on the songs at the beginning of the album, where more black metal styling is present than death metal or any other genre I’ve mentioned. This song reminds me of Averse Sefira for the most part. The riffing from 2:50-3:30 is fucking killer. The vocals are still evil and superb. “Of Sulphur and Fire” opens with an ambient guitar part similar to that in “Where The Light Ends.” Very gloomy and creepy. At 1:10 the song turns into a full-on doom metal track. This album is extremely eclectic. There is all kinds of shit to be enjoyed here. This is probably one of the most diverse albums I’ve heard. The song picks up after a while, but there are still very strong touches of doom in this track. Nice lead guitar work throughout the song. Sickening drum rolls. This track is fantastic. This album is amazing. Ross’ Verdict: Fucking gnarly. A definite late entry on my “Best Of” list. Bravo, Svart Crown. Bravo.

Haarp – The Filth        7

Off to a very good start. The opening song, “The Rise, The Fall” is extremely heavy and grooving. Vocals are amazing. Very strong growls that are intelligible. This is brutal doom/death at it’s best. How I have gone this long without hearing this band is unforgivable. This band utilizes some of the greatest elements in doom metal I’ve heard. That long scream right before the 4:00 mark is amazing. “All, Alone” picks up the pace a bit. Keeping the basic song structure in tact, but upping the tempo quite a bit for the first thirty seconds. After that point the band breaks into the typical doom fashion, only executed so fucking well that it is mind blowing. This vocalist has a good range of highs and lows and is very good at transitioning between the two. The song picks up again for a bit.  Buzzsaw guitar work sounds fantastic. This band has a sound that works upon so many different genres of music that they really make their own sound. This song, changing tempos and all, gives of a very melancholic vibe. “The New Reign” is ushered in with one of the most distorted bass lines I have ever heard in my many years of metal. After almost forty seconds, the rest of the band chimes in with a slow, mournful chugging. I have been trying to think of a band to compare Haarp to, and so far the closest thing I can think of would be Hooded Menace, but that’s not exactly spot on. I don’t know of any band that sounds exactly like Haarp, which is a good thing. That means this band is very groundbreaking in their approach to death/doom. The riffing on this song is fantastic, slow and grooving. The vocals are executed perfectly. Very melodic riffing around the 6:00 mark signals a change in the mood of the overall song. “The Blue Chamber Painted Red” has a very ’90s death metal feel to it mixed with guttural-as-fuck vocals. Vocal delivery is perfect. The down-tuned guitar shredding is spectacular. This is straight up head banging madness. I find it great that this guy can growl so low and still be able to enunciate so well. Nice, creepy guitar lead around the 3:30 mark. Has a rather odd sound to it. A strange little section occurs right before the 7:00 mark. Weird. A fucking amazing guitar solo opens up “Peerless.” I am loving this right from the start. This song seems much more upbeat, for the first minute at least. This band has a way of leading me on, it seems. Every time I get into a song that is chugging along, they go and break into the doom. It’s not bad, like I said, it’s just misleading. This song has pretty much the same structuring as those previous to it. Melodic chugging guitars and great vocals. “Minutia” seems kinda like just a filler track. It sounds to me like a just a jam session in which not much was accomplished. This contains just drums and bass. I don’t really see the point in tracks like these, but oh well. I bet the scream at the beginning of “Here In The Dark” was Phil Anselmo’s idea. That seems like a very Phil thing to do. This song actually picks up pace for a bit. I like it. I hate to say it, but this album is beginning to blur together at this point. I’m not saying it’s bad, it’s a great album, but every song is starting to sound the same. This seems to be my problem with a lot of doom albums, after a while, I begin to lose interest after six minutes or so. This is not a result of the album being bad, it’s just my short attention span. Back to the review: Nice chugging riff really curves this song into something interesting. Not as doom-y as it is progressive death metal. Over all, I think this could be my favorite track on the album. It has a superb sound to it as a whole. Very nice. “Plurimus Humilus Ciacco” opens with major feedback followed by a nice little bass run. The riffing in this reminds me of Hooded Menace again. Well, all except the vocals. When this band picks up the pace and hammers down this more death metal-influenced jam, it’s fucking killer. I’m pretty into this song. It gives me the same feeling as the previous for the most part. Nice melodic riffing gives this song a nice overall sound. The riffing on “The Fall, The Rise” is a step above the droning doom riffs that have been ever-so-present on this album, but still not straight up death metal. It does have a pretty killer sound to it, however. Vocal structure is great. Mid-paced and extremely powerful. Good song. Good album. Haarp, you pass the gnar test. Congrats.

NAILS – Unsilent Death        10

“Conform” contains some of the fastest, most brutal fucking grind I’ve heard in a good while. It soars by with lightning speed and tears ear drums and anything else in it’s path to shreds. The song leads right into the next, “Scum Will Rise” which responds with a more melodic approach to grinding. Fucking amazing track. With songs so short, it is hard for some to describe grindcore albums in more than a paragraph or two. I however wish to tell you the impact this album will have on you. Imagine taking your brains from your skull and putting them into a blender on frappe. You then freeze the remains into a large ice block, carry it into the backyard and smash it with a mallet. Yes. It is frozen-brain-shattering. Yes it is. “Your God” goes  back to the formula of “Conform” as being an insanely fast and heavy track. It does however manage to maintain melody throughout the entire 33 seconds. A nice drum roll introduces us to the groove-grinding of “Suffering Soul.” The chorus of this song rings out like an anthem for the depraved. The vocals are pure and simple. A gut-wrenching yell with tremendous emotion. Nice grooving guitar riff towards the end of the song in which the song as a whole hits the slow-down-button. Nice old school death metal riffing on the title track, “Unsilent Death.” This shows that this band has a very wide range influences that make this band rather hard to categorize. This whole song takes me back to the mid 1990s in death metal. Fucking “A.” A lot of feed back for what I would assume you would consider a breakdown. The song then returns to that fantastic groove. “Traitor” touches back on some previous songs (“Conform” and “Your God”) but with odd, varying timing. Grind one second and a chord-hanging doom riff. Very odd, but I love it. “I Will Not Follow” is as punishing as the rest of the album. Fast and furious yet filled with melody. Nice chugging guitar riffing. Nice doom-death riffing around the 1:00 mark. This band has an amazing sound that will definitely keep them going for many years to come. “No Servant” is another melo-grind face-smasher with a great guitar soloing. Oddly timed, but that’s the best kind. These guys are killing it. “Scapegoat” has some of the best guitar shredding on the album. It still has that old school death metal feel, especially around the 0:40 mark and leading all the way into “Depths” which marks the last track on the album. This is also the longest song on the album, maxing out at almost four minutes! The song doom/drones along at the beginning before bursting into another extraordinary death-groove shred-marathon. Another odd solo pops up at 1:36. This entire band is extremely tight while keeping the music superbly crusty and filthy. The song breaks down around the 2:05 mark and dooms it for a while. Nice pinch harmonics coming through very clear. This bands wide range of sound keeps me guessing what is around every turn. I never know what I am going to hear next: grindcore, death metal, doom, polka. Who knows? I do, however know that this album just plopped a spot very high up on my “Best of 2010″ list which will be posted December 1st.  This album is fucking amazing. Definitely go check it out. Immediately.

As They Sleep – Dynasty        9

“Oracle of the Dead” opens into an extremely technical melee of slamming death metal.  Great vocal variations. This band reminds me of something I heard a while back but for the life of me I cannot think of whom. Necrophagist maybe? I dunno. Back to the review. Great melodic riffing throughout the song. Every thing is very well layered and structured. Great track. Brutal from start to finish. “To The Republic” contains one of the catchiest riffs I’ve ever heard. This band doesn’t have to focus on basic chugging riffs because they have all kinds of shit going for them. The band as a whole are extremely tight and complex beyond belief. Vocals on this track are top notch. Aaron really has a great growl/scream. Another amazing track. “The Third Reich” opens with more fantastic riffing. These dudes riff-ment will be stuck in my head for a long time. That is for sure. Everything is super catchy and memorable. Vocals are again very well done. This drummer is a fucking machine. Every thing is spot on. I like that this band doesn’t employ any bullshit into their songs. Everything is to the point. The songs are not long and do not drag. That, on top of superb melody and superb technicality, makes this band extraordinary in my book. “Bedlam At The Nile” is a great, down-tuned, lead-guitar killing track. Vocals are the lowest I’ve heard so far on the album. Reminds me of a mix between Mohammed of Necrophagist and Glen Benton from Deicide. Nice melodic chugging breakdown.  I really like the structuring of the vocals. Every single word lays perfectly over the musical composition. “The Darkest Ages” almost reminds me of Earth Crisis. I’m not sure why, just something about it. This is quite possibly my favorite riffing on the album. Nice chugga-riffing. The speed that this band commits itself to is utterly mesmerizing. The songs remain technical without being chaotic. The guitar solo is very well done. Reminds me of something Zakk Wyldd would have done. Short but sweet. Great fucking track. “Ritual” contains a rather creepy guitar section and even creepier chanting. The lead guitar work is fucking fantastic, however. Nice. Interesting to say the least. “The Offering” brings back the funk, so to speak. Vocals are brutal as can be imagined. Even more so than “Bedlam At The Nile.” Nice chugging riffing with great leads. I love this band. Yes, seven songs in and I am already sold on this band. Their music is captivating. This album is fantastic. “Attila” is fast, heavy and straight to the point. No bullshitting. Just full on, aggressive death metal. The breakdown has elements like “Ritual” before hitting on one of the most amazingly technical solos I’ve ever heard. Although the song is 3:00 long, it soars by with fantastic effort. “Poseidon” has a lot of metalcore elements in it. A lot of melodic lead guitar riffing mixed with nice chugga riffing. This song reminds me of old All That Remains, only heavier. Great shit. Vocals are evil as fuck. This track is sure to get your head banging muscles going. Another amazing solo. I am loving the chorus on this track. This is, for sure, one of my favorite tracks. “God Of War” is just what a lot of newer death metal bands are attempting: fast, heavy, catchy and fucking off the wall. Great high pitched screams by Aaron. This kid has some seriously amazing vocal transition skills. Nice melodic breakdown. I am glad this band doesn’t go over the top with breakdowns like a lot of bands do. As They Sleep use breakdowns when they are necessary and that’s great. Doesn’t make their songs over-complicated. Fantastic riffing on “The Unseen.” Duh. Haven’t I said that throughout this entire album? If you haven’t began listening to this band by this time, I don’t know what could possibly be more important. Oh yeah. My review. Sorry. Lost my head for a minute. I got really into this track. Love the chugga riffing. It makes me want to… chugg. The breakdown just blew my mind to shit. All together, what did I think of this album? Fucking amazing. As They Sleep have put together an unbelievable concept album about the rise and fall of empires throughout history. I think they did a great job. That’s that. Rated G.

Cloudkicker – Beacons        10

“We Are Going To Invert” is a looping of a weird guitar riff. Interesting. I am slowly being drawn in. “Here, Wait A Minute! Damn It!” is amazingly heavy and superbly technical. This track is very melodic and instantly makes me love this band/guy. Whatever. This is some of the best instrumetal I’ve ever come across. Relatively short song, though. “We’re Goin’ In. We’re Going Down.” opens with a heavily distorted looped guitar riff before clearing it up and turning it into one of the most beautiful riffs I have ever heard. I am having an extremely hard time trying to find the words to describe this music. Frank over at Metal Injection was right. This album is a fucking godsend. Everything. And I mean everything is perfectly structured and placed just right. It’s awe-inspiring. The riffing in this song is so complex and well executed it’s fucking brilliant. I love the melody during the… well I guess you’d call it a breakdown. Daaaaamn. “Oh, God.” opens with a nice steady drumming. Guitars fade in with more gain and aggression than the previous track. The riffing is very prog metal. In the vein on newer Mastodon. This song has a very simplistic, yet complex feel to it all at the same time. Around 2:13, things change. The breakdown is eerie and melancholic. When that lead guitar line hit, I almost flipped. This album is utterly fan-fucking-tastic. I love how everything flows so well together. DIY techniques have truly given this band/guy a sound all it’s own. No arguing over songs or waiting on someone to write a lick. Just do it yourself and wreck shop. A very creepy guitar line and steady drum tempo lead into “We Were All Scared.” Slowly all of the instruments become apparent and the band begins to take shape. Very dreary vibe from this song, but the structure of it is quite beautiful. The synths or whatever at the end lead right into “Push It Way Up” which is a barrage of memorable riffing and groove-laden drumming. This song is definitely more positive. This song is putting off amazing emotional vibes. I can only dream about what this band would sound like with vocals thrown into the mix. I think, however that it sounds perfect. Adding anything else would possibly compromise the over all premise of the song. Nice juicy bass lines that stand out oh-so-well. There are some really odd sounds going on in this song. I am still loving the basic rhythm-based guitar work. The song is very up-tempo, but the vibe that resonates from it is very gloomy. “…It’s Just Wide-Open Field.” opens with a very nice acoustic riff that leads into a great melodic embodiment. This song is very moving. Still keeps the context of the album as a whole, but takes a different step. “It’s Bad. We’re Hit, Man, We Are Hit.” has a terrific sound right off. Great chugging riffs with spectacular lead guitar lines laid over them. Drumming is simplistic but very effective. This is what I like to call an “onion song.” The reason for that being that there are just so many different layers in this song that build it up to an amazing piece of music. There are many different elements in play in the 6 minutes this song runs and none of them make me lose my attention. A very nice progressive breakdown at the 3:30 mark. Right before the 5:00 mark, the song bursts back into that melodic groove that introduced it. This is such a great song. Definitely my favorite on the album, although the entire album is gold. The intro to “Amy, I Love You.” is kind of odd. A very indie guitar riff before encasing it with a distorted, chunky riff filled with zest. This song, like a few prior, is rather gloomy, but this one is almost symphonic in nature of how everything is put together. There is a lot of emotion behind this song. I can sense that much. This song contains a high level of atmosphere in the music. Every thing is so clear and clean. This album is over all fucking amazing. I loved every minute of it. Rated G.

Gwar -  Bloody Pit of Horror        8

The albums opener, “Zombies March” has juicy, thick guitar licks. Oderus’ vocals are as epic as ever. This song is fast-as-fuck. It’s amazing how Oderus’ gruff vocals can turn into such nice sounding high pitched singing. The solo is amazing. Listening to this, I want to watch Zombieland. Or play Dead Rising. Or something like that. Nice. “Come the Carnivor” opens with a shitload of gain and feedback tomfoolery. Hah. How often does someone get to say that in an album review? This song is very doom-y and depressing. Reminds me of My Dying Bride which is something I would have NEVER compared Gwar too. It has a good sound to it, don’t get me wrong. Just a little different. Odd, if you will. “A Gathering of Ghouls” is more like it. Epic chugging and nice, melodic lead lines. Vocals are flying out like pea soup on the set of The Exorcist. Another amazing solo. “Storm Is Coming” is dark, devious and fucking terrific. The chorus is extremely catchy. Superb lead guitar lines laid over amazing chugga riffs. The end of the song is fucking killer. Chugga-chugga-chugga-stop. Repeat. Gnarly. Love it. “Tick-Tits” has a nice riff and tempo, but I have to say, I think the vocals are a little overpowering and they seem a little awkward with the rest of the instruments. I don’t know, probably just me. Some gruesomely awesome lyrics, though. “Beat You To Death” opens with a fucking amazingly brutal lead guitar line. Vocals are very old school hardcore-esque. This song has a nice, face-smashing groove. Very odd time signatures, but I like it. Great lyrics. Really makes me want to beat up some scene kids. That would make me happy. The breakdown is spectacular. Great track. Upon seeing the title “You Are My Meat,” I had an uneasy feeling in my stomach. Upon hitting the play button, I was confused. This song’s beginning is even more off than “Come The Carnivor.” The rest of the song is really gloomy and again odd for me. These lyrics are fucking insane. Very creepy shit. I have to say, I love when the song hits. Fantastic lead guitar lines. “Hail, Genocide!” breaks down a big wall and begins blazing killer riffs and easily memorable lyrics. This is one of my favorite tracks. While being heavy-as-fuck in the classic Gwar fashion, it gives off a very lighthearted vibe. “KZ Necromancer” instantly makes me think of Dillinger Escape Plan before breaking into a hefty groove. Some of the vocals are more sing-song. Not my favorite on the album, but not bad. This is a good head banging track. Possibly a nice pitting track. This track is very brutal and still a fun song. “The Litany of the Slain” begins and the vocals almost make me laugh. Not the lyrics, just the execution of said lyrics. It just seems a little odd. The slower, doom-y, breakdown, singing section is very nice. I really like this song. This is my favorite song on the album. For sure. Riffing is off the charts. Vocals are amazing. Gotta love that screeching guitar solo. I know I do. The lyrics are fucking hilarious. “Paris Hilton fucks a donkey!” I mean, come one. Fucking brilliance. “Sick and Twisted” has another super-duper, chunky guitar sound. More greatly written lyrics. I love Gwar. Not only can I enjoy a laugh, I can head bang while I’m doing it. More screechy guitar leads. Good vocal execution. I liked this album. I did. But honestly, I think I could pick and choose song that I would listen to a lot more than others. Great, gnarly, hilarious job, guys.

Helloween – 7 Sinners        9

“Where The Sinners Go” Opens with some awesome riffing. Drums sound great. Very tight musically. I’m already digging this. Helloween are always a great band. Vocals are classic. Unmistakable. The main riff is very well done while the solo kicks so much ass, it’s almost unnecessary. This song is extremely catchy and uplifting. It’s a breath of fresh air. Weird synths introduce “Are You Metal?” and kicks into utter heaviness. Melodic chugga riffing and bombing drums. This song is an anthem to all things heavy. I get an amazing vibe from this song. Helloween is one power metal band that I have loved since first hearing them and have never gotten old. They are like a fine wine, they have only gotten better over time. This song is proof of the stunning power that is Helloween. “Who Is Mr. Madman?” begins with an interesting synth and spoken word. When the song hits, I am automatically drawn in. This song grooves along in the best way. Amazing lead guitar work laid with melodic chugging and tempo changes make this song stand out. The guitar solo is fucking amazing. Powerful and extremely well structured. This album makes me think of Charred Walls of the Damned’s debut, which is a very good thing. A great chugging riff opens “Raise The Noise.” This is good, old school power metal… but new. You know what I mean? Vocals are great. They soar over the rest of the instruments perfectly. The lead guitar work is exquisite. A flute solo! Wow, that’s kind of odd. Not really sure how I feel about that. After that odd piece of music, the rest of the song is killer. Heavy and powerful as fuck. Listening to this album, I feel like I should be playing World of Warcraft. I dunno. Just a feeling. “World of Fantasy” has a great epic intro. When the verse starts, it breaks down into a more mellow metal ballad. Makes me think of DragonForce, only, you know, slower. Musicianship is very tight and complex on this track. The solo is of unbelievably remarkable proportions. Very nice. “Long Live The King” opens with a barrage of killer riffing. Fast as fuck with an extreme fury. This is probably the most brutal track I’ve heard yet. Fucking amazing. Lead guitar work is godly. Helloween sure as hell know how to grind shit out. Twenty-five years and they are still slaying this shit. A pretty intro on “The Smile of The Sun.” This song is a long way from “Long Live The King.” Not even close to matching in speed. It does have a very melodious vibe to it, but it just seems a little out of place. I’m not into this song as much as the rest of the album. When the song is heavy, it’s not bad, it just seems more like a filler track. No disrespect. “You Stupid Mankind” is more like it. Musically, I’d say this was bordering melodic death metal. Vocally, not even close. Haha. Ferocious, shredding guitars, lightning fast drumming and sinister vocals make this track a fucking staple. I love the vocal harmonies. That really gives the song something special. Spices up the pie, if you get my metaphor. Red hot guitar solo that damn near ripped my face off. “If A Mountain Could Talk” is another track full of scorching, melodic riffing and blast beat drumming. I haven’t mentioned the synths in a while, but they are playing a nice role in this song. Subtle, but nice. No hold barred track for sure. Not quite as brutal as “You Stupid Mankind,” but still heavy-as-fuck with another gnarly guitar solo. I love the chorus in this song. It’s going to be stuck in my fucking head for weeks because it repeats 27 fucking times at the end of the song. “The Sage, The Fool, The Sinner” has a definite thrash-y feel to it at the beginning. Not so much when the verse begins. This song does have infectious melody and easily memorable lyrics. This song has weird time signatures. My head nodding is getting off beat. I don’t like it. The head banging, not the song. The song is great.It often hits back on that thrash feeling I mentioned. When “My Sacrifice” came on, I had to make sure I was still listening to Helloween and not Cradle of Filth. That is until the vocals started. I fucking love this song right from the beginning. Amazingly well executed. The lead guitar is fucking my shit up as I type. I keep getting lost in how melodic and brutal this is. Symphonic, grooving and heavy. This is an amazing song. “Not Yet Today” is an extremely creepy track composed of dude singing a cappella. Wow. This is kinda like that flute solo. I just don’t know what to think. Odd. “Far In The Future” signals the final track on this amazingly metallic album. Nice chugging guitars, steady drumming and echoed vocals. It hits with a force so powerful the Jedi have no idea what it is. The song, sadly drags for a little while before smashing back into that loud, superb hammering metal that Helloween call home. Very nice guitar solo, of course. All in all, Helloween have put together an amazing album. Great job, guys!

Cradle of Filth – Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa 9

“The Cult of Venus Aversa” begins in true Cradle fashion. Spoken word by Lilith herself. It then kicks into high gear as the rest of the band lets loose a fury of melodic riffing and some of the most brutal drumming I’ve heard in a while. Dani’s voice seems a little different to me. Not bad, just different. He seems to be focusing more on his high pitches. The music has an amazing sound to it. Not too much has changed with Cradle over the course of the last few albums other than Dani’s vocals, which have been slowly evolving over the years anyway. The synths are pretty creepy. I like it. Nice synths and chanting leading the intro for “One Foul Step From The Abyss.” It hits with melody and brutality that we know of Cradle of Filth of old. Great riffing and more machine gun drumming. This song is extremely close to the style from Nymphetamine. The synths are more symphonic than in previous releases by the band. Dani’s vocals are still different, more creepy than what I’ve heard before. I love the musicianship on this song, everything flows with such symmetry and melody that it is evident Cradle has outdone themselves on this album as a whole. “The Nun With The Astral Habit” starts off with a brute force of melody and harsh vocals. The synths are amazing in this song. Riffing is also top notch, but what else can be expected? I feel like I hear a hint of hardcore punk in Dani’s vocal influences on this. I doubt it, but the vocal styling seem like it to me. The breakdown is an epic experience. a mix of complex drumming patterns and melodic chugging that highly please me. Fantastic guitar solo. Dani’s patented high scream. I’ve been waiting for it. “Retreat of the Sacred Heart” contains some superb chugga riffs and great lead guitar lines. The drums hammer along as usual, with a gnarly, quick drum solo. Dani’s vocals are still a little weird, but they are growing on me. Reminds me of some of the older European death metal vocalist at times. Other times he’s just good ole’ Dani. “The Persecution Song” has a very alluring sound to it. Fantastic piano into, steady chugga and amazing lead guitar work. Vocals are laid perfectly. This song is structured so well, it’s amazing. So melodic and catchy. Definitely my favorite track thus far. It has that flare that is old Cradle of Filth with a new mix thrown in. Nice tempo change towards the end of the song before bursting back into that mega-groove that this song executes so well. “Deceiving Eyes” opens with a very catchy, up-beat groove which again brings hardcore punk to mind. Again with nice chugga work and superb lead guitar lines. Synths and choir vocal really bring the mood of the song into focus. Breakdown makes me think of one of Jack’s sonnets from A Nightmare Before Christmas. Nice. The lyrics on this album really put the concept story into context. Cradle really have put everything into the songwriting of this album. “Lilith Immaculate” opens with a fury of shredding guitars and blast beats. Female vocals are very creepy in this song. They fit perfectly and pull the song together. This song is slower in pace at parts and has a completely different mood to it. Dani always seems to do well with female accompaniment in songs. “Nymphetamine” for example. However, when hearing her sing a little past the halfway mark, I am reminded of the musical “Annie.” That was odd. I think it’s just the vocal structuring. Very nice solo towards the end of the song. “The Spawn of Love and War” is structured a lot like the previous song. Guitars are doing fantastic work and the drums are blazing but neither lack the over all melody. There are a lot of emotions behind the vocals in this song. Dani really seems to be putting everything into it. The breakdown puts a very cryptic mood into the song. I love the end of this song. Every instrument is playing an equal part. No one falls behind anyone else. “Harlot on a Pedestal” opens with some of the fastest guitar playing I’ve ever heard Cradle incorporate. This song is punishing. It is melodic but the pure brutality overwhelms. Constant tempo changes are nice. Fucking amazing, face melting solo. These are some of my favorite lyrics on the album. I can envision the story. “Forgive Me Father (I Have Sinned)” opens with a blistering lead guitar line and Dani doing his impression of clean vocals. Creepy. Very creepy. Nice, steady chugga rhythm and slamming double bass. Dani’s vocals take me back to older Cradle albums. Female vocals, again fit nicely. I love the lead guitar line. This whole song is super catchy.  Sickening guitar solo. Epic in execution. “Beyond Eleventh Hour” opens with a nice piano and another spoken word by Lilith.. Another very memorable riff. Dani’s vocals remind me, yet again of some form of hardcore. I’m still not sure why. Chugga riffing amazing, instantly begging to be head banged to. Another astonishing solo.  The musicianship on this album has been extraordinary. Cradle are tighter, heavier and faster than ever. They have clearly smashed the mold and built an evil Cthulu temple (reference to Paul Allender interview). I cannot believe how much I like this album. Amazing job, guys.

Dawn of Ashes – Genocide Chapters 10

“Conjuration of the Maskim’s Black Blood” opens with amazing riffing and unfathomable drumming. The vocals are other worldly. Right off, I got a creepy vibe from this band. Not sure if it’s their image or their music, both amaze me and both make me want to jam this shit ’til the cows come home and turn inside out. Synths give off a very chilling vibe. This band, while remaining in the black metal vein, has branched out and incorporated melodic death and symphonic elements that really set this band apart from anything I have heard before. Fantastic opening track. “Nyarlathotep’s Children of the Void” opens with a riff that reminds me of some ’90s death metal. The vocals are fucking epic. I don’t know what kind of influences or childhood repressed memories this dude has, but they are seriously working in his advantage. Very old school riffing remains along with blast beat drumming and constant tempo changes. One second it’s melodic black metal, then doom. It’s crazy. Vocalist switches up. You can understand him, actually. And to tell the truth, now that I can hear the lyrics, I am kind of afraid of this band. I love that the tracks don’t drag along like a lot of black metal bands do. DOA are straightforward, to the point and killer. “Seething the Flesh in the River of Phlegethon” opens with a fucking fantastic lead guitar line. The eerie synths are back and giving off a creepy, sinister vibe about the song already. The band utilized chugga riffs, which I like. This band is really setting the bar high as fuck. Very unique and quite capable of genre bending, as they are doing so well. Nice solo. I don’t get to say that enough in black metal related subjects, but I’m glad I can now. I think the main reason I love this band is the fact that no two songs sound alike. Every song adds something different to the table. The big, horrible, scary, evil table. You may have seen the utterly disturbing video for “Transformation within Fictional Mutation.” If not, I’d suggest you do so. Really gave me an idea of what DOA were about. And I am seriously worried about crossing these guys in a dark alley. The synths remind me of Cradle of Filth around the Nymphetamine era. Very nice chugga riffing. Not just bullshit. There is a lot of melody in there. Great lead guitar work. Vocals are again sickening. The keyboard solo is fantastic. Might seem a little out of place, but that’s what makes it great. Very creepy guitar solo. Very. “The Ancient Draining Room” opens with another great riff job. Still has a sort of old school vibe to it. The song structure is about the same in all of the songs, but still none sound alike. Great solo. This band is very tight as a whole. They don’t fuck around, they take all of this very serious. And I gathered that all over the coarse of a few songs. “Reanimation of the Dark Ages” picks right up from the end of the previous song. Water running, creepy synths, symbols. Seems like an intro for a Dimmu album to me. Weird.
“London’s Anthem for the Pleasure of Mutilation” is a fucking fury of death metal mastery. This song is ripping me a new asshole as I type. Lead guitar… No, not just the lead guitar, the entire band’s musician ship is off the charts. Superb guitar solo. This band is world-destroying. I hope they are proud. Extremity hits the fucking fan when the track nears the end. The vocalist put everything he had behind the last minute of this track. “Sacrilegious Reflection” also has great guitar work, both lead and chugga-chugga rhythm. Vocalist is reminding me of Nergal at times. I am running out of ways to describe how awesome this band is. Seriously, I am. I used up all of my mannerisms. The lead guitar keeps a steady, eerie sound flowing nicely along with the synth. The sheer brutality right from the get go of “God-Like-Demon” should be enough to get any metal head up and swinging his noggin. If that’s no enough, the evil-as-fuck vocals should do it. I can’t even imagine a live version of this song. It’s so catchy and evil and fucking amazing. Definitely my favorite track. Amazing, sawing guitars, machine gun drumming, it’s like Kataklysm addicted to Mayhem. Nice old school chugging riffs top this track off and make it even better. Riffing around the 4:14 mark reminds me of Hooded Menace’s “Fulfilling The Curse” which is amazing, seeing as I fucking love that track. Damn it, that was an epic experience. “Carnal Consummation in the Empty Space” opens with a nice, apocalyptic sound to it before crushing everything in it’s path in order to make way for the fucking beast that is Dawn of Ashes. This riff is very memorable and catchy as well. Reminds of Heaven Shall Burn a little. Nice melodic riff-based breakdown. This entire album has beckoned head banging. This is one of the best albums I have heard, not just this year, but in my entire time listening to metal. I wasn’t sure about DOA when I first started hearing the name, but was I wrong. This album is a fucking masterpiece in metal. This band will stick around for years to come. “Beginning of the End (Epilogue)” emerges like a creature from the unholy swamp. Slowly creeping into a doom-based riff overlaid by an amazing lead guitar. This track isn’t that fast or brutal, but it remains DOA all the way through. This just goes to prove even more how diverse a band this truely is. I am falling in love with this lead guitar line. I want to marry it. Musically, I am again reminded of Hooded Menace only faster. The ending is kind of creepy. A weird piano medley fading out into nothingness. And that is Dawn of fucking Ashes. Damn.

TesseracT – Concealing Fate EP 4

“Acceptance” begins with a creepy intro that is very meloncholic. When the song hits, it has a nice progressive yet industrial feel to it. Screamed vocals are nice. Reminds me of someone, just not sure who. Nice chugging riffs keeping with the industrial feel. The clean vocals are good, but I don’t think it’s really my taste. After the heaviness goes away, during the verse, it’s more hard rock than metal. When the song remains in it’s heavy state, I am reminded of Torche, which is good. Guitar work reminds me of mid-era Static-X. This band reminds me a lot of a local act called Deadbird. “Deception” begins with an eerie intro just like “Acceptance” only this time not lasting  as long. I’m loving the drumming and chugga riffing right off. Again reminded of Torche. This band has influences all across the rock/metal spectrum which is cool. It gives them an interesting sound. I wish there was more lead guitar work. It seems kind of bland. Seems like they do nothing but chugg along riffs and use blast beats. They don’t vary up much. Finally some actual riffing. Not bad. “The Impossible” keeps with the fashion of odd intros. It hits right into that hard rock sound I mentioned before. Riffing on this reminds of a cross between Slipknot and Static-X. Not sure if that’s good or not. It’s catchy, but I don’t see it being very memorable. Yelling vocals in the vein of Sevendust. I’m just gonna go ahead and lump this band in with the alt-meta bands of the early to mid-2000s. That’s the best way I can describe the sound. If the guy starts rapping, I hate to say I wouldn’t be at all surprised. After hearing the sample on this band’s MySpace page, I was kind of into it, but now listening to the album, I gotta say I am not as impressed. Yadda-yadda intro to “Perfection.” Straight into the nu-metal musicianship reminding of Disturbed. I was hoping this album would get better from the point at the beginning when I started to notice something was off. It didn’t. It evolved into a mainstream-approved piece of nu-metal. “Epiphany” actually has a pretty catchy riff. Not just chugging, but some actually riffing. Pretty repetitive, though. Not very imaginative. Rather short song, and it’s just an instrumental. Probably one of the best on the album, though. “Origin” is straightforward nu-metal song structure. I hate the vocals on this track. Absolutely horrible, especially when he hits those super high notes. If this band actually worked on good song structure, non-repetitive riffing, improved vocals and tightened up as a band, I think they will produce a good album in the future. Maybe. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

The Rotted – Anarchogram        8

“Drink Myself To Death” has an interesting lead guitar at the beginning. This song has a lot of underlying melody is very well structured. Vocals are great. Nice breakdown with outstanding bass. I kinda wish it lasted longer, but it’s cool. This band reminds me a lot of Six Feet Under. Full of grooving guitar riffs and ledgible vocals that are still heavy-as-fuck. Not too many extras, just enough of every thing to make this band stand out. “Dawn of a New Error” has the same basic structure as the previous song, only the tempo is faster and the vocals are ripping like a bat out of hell. This vocalist, I believe has a lot of NYHC influence. I can sense it in the tone of his scream. Nice grooving riff in this song as well. I’m really into this. I like hearing newer death metal bands that don’t use only blast beat drumming. This drummer knows how to work his way around a kit. This song is a moshing masterpiece for sure. Higher vocals are evil and dark which is a nice change of pace. At times, toward the end of the song, he reminds me of Cronos (Venom) from back in the day. “Iron Fist” is a definite attempt at keeping with the original except for the vocals. Musicianship is great. They made a classic song grittier and heavier than before. Lead guitar work is fucking fantastic. This stays true to the original perhaps better than SFU’s cover song, but still not Motorhead. Good cover though. I’m digging “Propaganda” right from the get-go. I get that heavy Sepultura vibe. Nice grooving riffs, blast beat drumming and the vocalist is amazing. This, to me, is a damn good cover. The style is straight up Sepultura worship and I think they’ve done an amazing job. Solo is fantastic.  Bass run sounds fucking spectacular. I still get that Six Feet Under vibe, though. “Deathcrush” is a it of a stretch seeing as it’s a Mayhem cover. It starts off remarkably well however. If this band ever tires of death metal, I think they could pull of black metal. The low vocals are throwing this off a bit, but not too bad. Once again, the instrumentation is spot on as far as I can tell. I haven’t listened to Deathcrush in a while, but I’m pretty sure that’s the basic idea. Another little bass run before kicking back into the main riff of the song. I get that creepy vibe from this song like I used to when I was first listening to Mayhem, so I guess that is a good thing. Another great cover. Possibly my favorite on the EP. “Out of Hand” is fucking Entombed who are one of my favorite bands and it begins keeping the true nature that is Entombed. Guitars are grooving. Music seems to be pretty much spot on. Vocals are great. This is probably one of the best Entombed covers I’ve heard. The buzzing, grooving guitar makes it clear that these guys wanted to do the best job they could on this cover. All of their covers, really. This band is doing great. I can’t wait for the full length to come out. JESUS CHRIST! LORD OF FLIES! Great EP. Gnar.

Catharsis – Иной        9

The title track begins with a nice piano intro before busting into a melee of chugga riffing and NWOBHM vocals. With the synths mixed in, for some strange reason I am reminded of Children of Bodom. Much like Holy Grail, I don’t usually get into bands like this. Not sure why, but good power metal and neo heavy metal bands to me are few and far between. I have come to love Catharsis since I first heard them, however. There music is powerful and melodic with a great vocalist. True, I speak no Russian and I have no idea what he’s singing about, apparently it is something he feels very strong about. I seem to have a fixation on bands who sing in other languages (i.e. Rammstein). “Детям вольного ветра” begins with another Synth intro leading into a more laid back track with a great tempo. I have a feeling these guys would be amazing live. The main riff in this song is fucking fantastic. This vocalist is the Russian Bruce Dickinson. To me any way. The way he hits those high notes so perfectly clear is amazing. “Волки” is another synth-driven track with outstanding lead guitar work laid over superb chugga riffing. The verses are in the same vein as the previous song, but these songs don’t blend in. Each tells it’s own story. I don’t speak Russian, but I have found myself attempting to mouth the words of the chorus this song on more than one occassion. Эй, волки, волки, Братья волки, Золотые кольца! According to Google Translator, this is something about Wolf Brothers. Not sure how clear that is, but it sounds good! “Крылья” has probably the creepiest intro on this album. And the vocals, I’m not sure if these belong to the man with the amazing singing voice or not, but the growls are fantastic. And the entire song is in English! Hooray for bi-lingual bands! The vocalist is clearly not American be it the same guy (I doubt it) or not. You can hear a strong accent. Still sounds great, though. Lead guitar work is great. The mix of the vocals is a twist considering the rest of the album, but it this is definitely my favorite track on the EP. I can’t wait until the album comes out this month. Fucking fantastic.

The Fucking Wrath – Terra Fire      6

Nice stoner metal vibe right from the beginning. I love how much the bass stands out on this. Lead guitar work is nice and dirty sounding. Reminds me of the Melvins meets The Abominable Iron Sloth. Not sure why TAIS keeps popping up today. Damn. When this band hits, it’s a whole new ballgame. Vocals are real and straight up. This is not your average screaming. These are “hollers” as we call them in the American South. This band obviously has alot of Southern influences. Still loving the guitar work. Nice and melodic with a great sense of rhythm. Nice chugging riffs chock-full of bass and gritty as a rednecks’ britches. “Fangs of God” breaks in with more bass-laden chugga riffing with southern flare. Song structure isn’t too much different from the previous track, but it’s just as gritty and twice as head bang inducing. Nice bass lead during the breakdown. “Don’t Look Back” begins like a Nirvana song before hitting into that same old TFW vibe. Although I do like  this band and their overall vibe, I have to say, all of these songs are starting to sound the same. “Blank Slate” opens with a nice solo with a heavy, down tuned bass line. This song is full of that Southern Metal vibe I mentioned. The lead guitar sits kind of awkwardly against the drums and bass at times. Chugga riffing around the 1:20 mark is probably my favorite part of this song. Nice, throbbing bass lines  and the melodic riffing are making this song grow on me slowly. Nice solo. “Hurricane” opens and makes me think of Clutch automatically. From the music to the vocal style. Nice progressive chugga riffing and good lead work. Although this is all starting to sound the same. Not digging the vocals on this one. Now, I do like this band, the album is okay, it just doesn’t live up to the hype I had heard about it. Good job though, guys.

Iron Thrones – The Wretched Sun      8

I got a really eerie vibe right from the start. “Like a Moth to Flame” has an amazing sound. Melodic and aggressive. Vocals are strong. I’m digging this. Constant tempo changes which I like a lot. Really varies the over all sound quite a  bit. Songs on this album are a bit long for the  most part. But with a great sound like this, that will not be a problem. Outstanding lead guitar work. Very fluid and technical. I am reminded of a blend of older and newer Mastodon. With the heavy crunch sound of “Call of The Mastodon” and the progressive song structure of “Crack The Skye” with more emotionally-driven vocals. Nice little acoustic segment towards the end. Feeds more on that prog-y feel I mentioned. “Ever Flowing” begins with a nice progressive death metal vibe. I am instantly reminded of older Opeth. This song has a good European death metal vibe to it. This vocalist is amazing. The song picks up speed a bit before kicking into an amazing solo. This guitarist is fucking epic. I’m loving this band overall. They have a very strong sound and I am drawn into it. “Against the Grain” digs into that European sound again, this time I sense some black metal influences (especially the drumming). This song is extremely heavy while maintaining the progressive nature. I love the riffing in this song. It’s melodic and actually quite beautiful. Another nice little acoustic section. I love how much the bass is standing out. With so many bands out there today playing amazing music, this band definitely is standing out from the pack. Vocals remind me a little of The Abominable Iron Sloth the more I listen to it. Wow. This dude can sing too. I was not expecting to hear clean vocals, but these are not overwhelming at all. They sit perfectly with the vibe of the song. Very nicely done. Another amazing solo. Damn this is some good metal. “I Once Had the Crown” begins with a great acoustic segment with creepy whispered vocals and mesmerizing guitar work. This reminds me of something, I’m just not sure what. When the song actually hits, I am again reminded of The Abominable Iron Sloth. Nice sludgy riffing with those great vocals. This carries on for a while until the acoustic section resurfaces. God, listening to this, I keep losing track of time, getting dragged into the music. The indistinct vocals make me think of 36 Crazyfists. The song hits again and it is just as powerful and aggressive as ever. This band does not plan to disappoint any time soon. Fantastic lead guitar work. The riffing around 7:30 is fucking magical. I am so glad I heard about this band. Good god. Did 11 minutes really just go by? Damn. “Forever Glowing” is a track full of a creepy piano tune with some other sounds I can’t really make out behind it. Yeah, kinda creepy. Sounds like something that would be played at a funeral in a movie and it leads right up to “And the Sky Came Falling Down” which reminds me, yet again, of TAIS. Sludgy riffs full of melody and tormented vocals. Nice clean vocals over an acoustic section. This band, I am sure, has so many influences flying in from every direction. Around every turn there is a new sound. After the acoustic segment, I am reminded of Opeth again. Nice lead guitar work. Nice vocal range on this song. The song kicks into a sick-as-fuck chugga riff that makes me want to knock someone into a pit and fight for my life. That progressive vibe reminiscent of Mastodon is brought back in and topped off with a healthy solo. Fucking A. This band is fucking amazing and I will praise this album. This is definitely one of the best things I’ve heard this year. Great job, Iron Thrones!

Suffokate – No Mercy, No Forgiveness      7

“Constant Urge to Kill” is heavy right from the start. This is move groove oriented than their previous album. Musically this reminds me of Six Feet Under. Vocals make me think of Job For a Cowboy. The mixture of the two, while not being oh so original, it has a good sound. Nice down-tuned chugga riffing. Got me head banging on the first song. Not too shabby. “Force Fed” is another heavy-as-fuck brutal song. Again, this song demands heads to smash into concrete. More sick chugga riffing, which we all know I love. Vocals are pretty epic. Dude has talent with transitioning highs and lows. Great sound. “We Long For Your Blood” has a different sound at first. Utilizing the mixture of chugga riffing mixed in with nice melodic riffing. I think every instrument stands out equally in this. Everything is clearly audible. The first 11 seconds of “While They Sleep” made me check and make sure I wasn’t listening to Unearth by mistake. Then it hit like a nuclear bomb. Heavy with amazing melodic riffing and throat-shredding vocals. The riffing on this is so well executed and catchy. These guys have definitely matured since their last album (which I also loved). “Not The Fallen” blasts in like cannon fire. This is purely aggressive. Love the riffing. These vocals are reminiscent of mid to late 90′s death metal. Nice little breakdown before bursting back into this metal monster. “Holiness Is Next to Filthiness” is another grooving, chugga-riff-laden track. These guys haven’t failed to impress so far. I’m liking this much more than “Oakland.” the beats be blasting. The riffs be chugging. Vocals are definitely a step up. The album pushes on with the brutality in “Power of Submission.” No holds barred fury that hits like a mule kick to the face. Still has that grooving vibe to it as previous songs have had. Nice melodic breakdown with good lead guitar work. “Taking Life” demands that “You will obey.” Some of the same old chugga-chugga but with fantastic tempo variations. “No Purpose In Life” immediately caught my attention based on the blast beat leading it off. The great lead guitar work is also a plus. This song has weird structure and time signatures. I wouldn’t count it as a favorite of mine, but not bad at all. Still loving that lead work during the breakdowns. “Becoming The Nightmare” signals the end of the album. It begins with a strange intro that is kinda hard to describe. Then it hits with a gloomy death/doom groove with more amazing lead guitar work. This could quite possibly be my favorite song on the album. It speeds up a bit around the 2:20 mark before breaking back into that gloom and doom a few seconds later. On the album, the musicianship is great all around. It usually takes bands years and years to find that perfect sound. Some bands may never find it, but Suffokate have. The evolution of this band from “Oakland” to “No Mercy, No Forgiveness” is remarkable.

Holy Grail – Crisis In Utopia      9

Okay, it’s usually hard for me to get into neotraditional metal. I do stumble across some I like, though and Holy Grail is by far one of my favorites. “My Last Attack” is an amazing song filled with melodic, fast guitar work, spectacular drumming and one of the most emotionally powerful voices I’ve ever heard flying over head. The lead guitar work makes me think of Accept or Maiden on speed. This is an extremely catchy track from an insanely crucial band.”Fight To Kill” begins by reminding me, yet again, of Accept until the grooving, hearty takeover of those vocals. Beautiful solo laying perfectly in sync with the heaviness of the song. Some people have compared Holy Grail to White Wizzard, seeing as three (I think it is three) members of Holy Grail are/were with White Wizzard. But with me not listening to much White Wizzard, must say this band is about as genre defining as you can get for neotraditional heavy metal. Not too many bands can pull of what these guys are doing. Many try, but Holy Grail stays true to what has influenced them. “Call of Valhalla” has a much more groove-laden, laid back vibe to it with chugga riffs mixed with more unbelievable lead guitar work and soloing. So far, each song has had it’s own storyline, but I feel it all coming together in one way or another. Whoo! Group vocals done well. Way to go. The title track, “Crisis In Utopia” leads straight off into a fury of machine gun drumming and melodic riffing. Vocals are perfect, of course. I have a feeling this voice is not going to let me down on this album. My favorite solo. It’s fucking fantastic. You must hear it to believe it. I’m digging the subtle growled vocals. It adds a very unique touch to this band’s sound. “Immortal Man” bursts in with yet another guitar bombardment. I love this bands sense of melodic lead guitar and chugga riffs laid equally to create a bordering sound bridging old school and new. “Nocturne in D Minor” seems to be a peaceful celtic influenced track. Very interesting sound to it. Guitar work is calming with a taste of folk rock. And “The Blackest Night” kicks it back into gear with a chugging assault of pure adrenaline. Vocals seem to be more focused and intense than on previous tracks. The solo kicks in and kicks my ass. I am loving this album. An acoustic segment is a change of pace for the album (not counting “Nocturne”). “Chase The Wind” starts off by reminding me of “My Last Attack.” Same exact feel to it. Same menacing guitar work at the beginning. Then a light chugga riff and a slower tempo change the vibe all together. It does pick up and go back to the roots of “My Last Attack.” I don’t feel the vocals are as powerful on this track, though. I do like the riffing, though. “Hollow Ground” begins with another acoustic segment before busting into, that’s right, another fury of magical guitar works. Kind of the same structure as “Chase The Wind” but as I said, every song is different, telling it’s own story. Echoed vocals could be done without. “Requiem” has great chugga riffing going on with a lot of melody and heart put into the song itself. This is a great song with a lot of components blended into a nice piece of metal. “Cherish Disdane” has some of the best riffing on the album. Heavy and melodic as ever. Nice soloing, but judging by the rest of the album, what else would you expect? There are those subtle growls again. I was beginning to wonder if they would pop up again. The guitar work almost reminds me of Dragonforce only with more heart and emotion. Those growls are being put out very nicely. This album is definitely a best of the year. We’ll just have to see where it places. Gnar.

Dirt Cheap Drugs – World Wide Genocide      8

“Ape Shit Bastard” is a lofi crusty piece of cake with a lot of punk influences. The vocals are great, but I feel they may be a little overwhelming. Possibly just the recording, though. “Crooked Cops” is another heavy monstrosity. I wouldn’t exactly call this grind, although I have no idea how to place this. Possibly noisecore or some other obscure genre, as they have a lot of shit going for them. Influences out the ass, I am sure. Vocals are fantastic. “I Hope You Die” is yet another crusty, lofi noisy slab of slamming grooves and larynx ripping vocals. The song structure is definitely grind for this band, but the speed is more hardcore punk-paced. Nice soloing and the growl at the end is disgusting. “I Love Livin’ In The City” is a classic song. This cover is much like any Six Feet Under cover. It doesn’t have to touch base with the original to be fucking amazing. I love obscure covers. The vocals are more distinguishable than on previous tracks. The music, I would say, is spot on. The growled vocals turn this into a whole new ball game, though. “Learn How To Kill” opens with a nice crusty lead guitar and cymbal ping. This song is way more of the death/doom vein for the first part before hitting on that crusty vibe of previous tracks. It goes back to that groove that reminds me of Hooded Menace despite the vocal transition. This is probably one of the most genre bending bands I have ever heard. Every song is something different. “Lethal Injection” touches on a bit of early ’90s death metal with a lot of thrash and hardcore influences. Vocals are insanely versatile. “No Hope” hits with another doomy sounding track. Faster than “Learn How To Kill,” but still gloomy. The mixture of the high pitched screams and death growls laid together bring to mind newer bands like Carnifex or Suffokate. Although the high pitched vocals on this are more of shreiks of pure agony. “No Masters, No Gods” has a great grooving riff with some more hardcore punk influenced crusty noise. “Whiskey and Weed” is a straight up noise/punk/core assualt. This brings to mind an old band I used to hang around with called The Shit Eating Grins. Not sure why, but this songs makes me reminisce on them. SEG is long gone, but Dirt Cheap Drugs are here and they are killing for sure. It is quite obvious by this song what these dudes want. Give them whiskey and weed! Or the singer with eat your heart. “100 Dollar Fine” begins as a doom-laden track and kicks into more of that genre I haven’t decided on yet and the back into the gloom with some of the most tormented vocals I’ve heard on this album. Great album by a great band. DCD are a definite keeper in the local metal circuit.

Kill The Client – Set For Extinction      9

KTC have never ceased to amaze me. Around every turn they are shredding some of the best grind in the last 10 years. These dudes are killing everything in their path, and I love it. “No Leaders” is a fantastic opening track. Vocals are as tortured and powerful as ever and the musicianship is off of the charts amazing. “Questions To A Brick Wall” continues with the pure-as-fuck brutality that this band has to offer. Nothing but the best can be expected. This band remains heavy-as-fuck while maintaining overall melody and structure. “Dig Two Graves” is yet another no-holds-barred, beat with a hammer grind that no only pleases the ear, but the soul as well. This is a perfect example of that melody I mentioned. “As Roaches” has a simple yet heavy and memorable riff. I love the way no instrument is left behind. Every thing is equal. Vocals set perfectly in the midst of the madness. “Pressing The Flesh” is so fast it is almost breaking the sound barrier. “Conflict Within” has a different vibe than the previous tracks. Vocals are more devious than on the previous tracks. They are still keeping that brute force mentality straight into “Pandemic” which begins as a sickening groove-laden death metal track before slamming into a metallic deathtrap of mind blowing grind. Nice break which brings back that nice groove. No. Fucking. Remorse. “Vicious Slaughter” is probably one of the most vocally tormented tracks on the album thus far. It’s oozing with melody and otherworldly brain-busting speed. “Final Days” hits on the same ground as previous tracks. The overall feel of this album has made it one of my favorites of this year so far. “Postmortem Exoneration” has a feel closer to death metal than grind for the first bit, then that classic KTC sound breaks through. It has a nice grooving section that is almost doomy. Morgan’s vocals are unbelievable epic. “Industry of Fear” is an unrelenting, coma-inducing beast of melodic licks and bombing drums. “No Justice, No Peace” has a fantastic groove and overall appeal to it. Possibly my favorite song on the album.  The guitar work is remarkable. “Targets In Straightjackets” also has a nice melodic groove to it while obviously keeping it crusty. “Primetime Dogma” opens with a clip of guys talking about cable. When the music hits, it is like a blow to the head with a 1000lb hammer. It’s so in your face and devastating. That high scream will haunt my dreams later. This song gets very gloomy towards the end. To hell with DragonForce, “Death of Reality” is the real Sonic Beatdown. Brutally insane and overwhelmingly straightforward grind. Vocals on “The Walking Dead” are so fucking guttural, I wasn’t sure I was listening the same bands until Morgan’s signature vocals came in. Those vocals would have given C. Barnes a run for his money back in ’94. “Purveyors of Death” is another straight up, in your face slamming tune. It is quite possible I will be deaf after I am done reviewing this album. “Customer Service” is an amazing song. Vocals are distinguishable and what he claims he wants to do with a stapler. Hah. You’ll just have to see for yourself. This song is full of memorable riffing and overall superb musicianship. This is an amazing track. Hoo-yeah. “Cull The Herd” takes no prisoners with it’s brutality which hits right from the beginning of the song all the way to the end (about 1:30). Vocals are very focused. God damn. This album is fucking amazing. And no, I cannot hear very well now.

Mose Giganticus – Gift Horse      9

This band, right off reminds me of Baroness mixed with Metallica which I like. “Last Resort” is no bullshit. Great chugga sludge riffing. Instantly beckoning head banding. Lead guitar work is amazing. Vocals are clear and strong but not overpowering. Synths are odd, but that could be because I’m not used to listening to many bands like this that use them. I love the opening riff of “The Left Path.” This band has a lot of crazy shit going on, but it definitely sets them apart from most other bands. Vocalist has a lot of emotion in his voice. Back to that riff that is making me fall for this band. I feel a progressive metal feel in vein of Mastodon in this as well. “Demon Tusk” is one of my favorite songs on the album. The riffing is mesmerizing. Again reminding me of Mastodon. The synth sits well in the song. It doesn’t stand out too much or too little. It is a kind of subtle at times. Vocals are heavier than on previous tracks, some group vocals are a nice touch. “Days of Yore” opens with a synth that reminds me of Idiot Pilot for some weird reason. It hits and the synth is clearly audible but the song remains heavy. Very melodic all the way around. Vocals are strong and clear while also remaining heavy. I am still getting used to the synth although I’ve been listening to this album all fucking day. The chugga riff drags me into a head bang from the get go. “The Great Deceiver” is my favorite song on the album. This song reminds me so much of Baroness + synths that it is eerie. To me at least. I love the melody this band maintains throughout the album. Synth makes for a creepy feeling although the guitar work is quite lighthearted. Clear vocals are really creepy. Might just be me, though. The solo is fucking amazing. All around, this song is fucking epic. “White Horse” opens with yet another synth that reminds me of Idiot Pilot. This track is nice vibe from the second the other instruments hit. Clean vocals, once again, sounds kind of creepy, but I’m digging it. Then the vocals that I have been bragging about come in and take over. “The Seventh Seal” has a very ominous sound to it, but it still keeps the sludgy, prog metal sound that I’ve been yapping about. The lead guitar work is great. Solo reminds me of ’90s grunge mixed with today’s prog or even neo-heavy metal. This is a fucking amazing, weird, spectacular, synth-ridden sludge mind bomb. Rated G.

As I Lay Dying – The Powerless Rise      8

Album opens with a nice steady riff. This is As I Lay Dying? Damn. They’ve gotten better over the last few albums. I thought “An Ocean Between Us” was pretty heavy and this is a step up from that. So far at least. Tim’s vocals are much more brutal than before. He can hit those evil, deep growls. Sounds killer. Lead guitar work is fucking fantastic as always. Sick-as-all-get-out chugga. As I Lay Dying have made a big name for themselves and sometime when bands do that, they go downhill or change their sound all together. AILD have changed over the years, but all for the better, as proven with “Anodyne Sea”. They managed to get heavier than ever. More melodic. Even the clean vocals sound better than on the old records. I’m really into this. I’ve always loved AILD’s guitarists. They’ve always played some sick riffs. The breakdown is nicely done. I feel a stronger vibe on these songs, structure-wise than on anything they’ve done previously. “Without Conclusion” is a mad house of brutality. The riffing is heavy and fast. Tim’s classic growls and screams. God, the solos are juicy. The blast beat is pulverizing. Three songs in and I am in love with AILD’s music all over again. Oh, so much melody. It’s actually pretty beautiful towards the end of the song. Still heavy and amazing. “Parallels” holds my favorite AILD riff ever and possibly my favorite song. So far it is, let’s see how the rest of the album plays out. I hear a lot more emotion behind the clean singing on this song than on anything before. There is a lot of feeling behind the words being said throughout any AILD album, but this one has a darker and more personal vibe to me. It still has the amazing lead work of every AILD album. “The Plague” sounds more like straight up death metal than metalcore for a while. The riffing gives it away. Very technical and intricate. Every note is very well emphasized. Nothing in this band gets left behind. Every instrument stands out perfectly. Sweet soloing, but what else would you expect? “Anger And Apathy” is pushing the boundary for my favorite AILD riff now rivaling “Parallels.” The riff is so buttery and smooth. The chorus comes on like a heart attack. No holding back with this band. “Condemned” has it! That’s my favorite riff. Haha. I know that’s the third time I’ve done that, but this is really it. The opening riff is a thing of beauty. The musicianship throughout the song is a no holds barred masterpiece of fucking metal. True fucking metal. This is my favorite song hands down. Damn, AILD have come a long way since “Beneath The Encasing of Ashes.” Another juicy solo. Nice bass line opening up “Upside Down Kingdom.” Something to get the head nodding. Very melodic and well orchestrated harmonized guitars. Steady riffing makes this a very stand out song. Chugga riff FTW. Unless you are brain dead, you must be head banging by this part of the album. I’m loving Tim’s vocals at the moment. The chorus flows so wonderfully. This is a very beautiful song. I like this a lot. “Vacancy” Opens with an amazingly melodic riff. Damn, this is good. Vocals are awesome. Very well done. The lead guitar work is outstanding on this song. Rhythm keeps a pretty steady chugga and the drumming tops it all off. This sounds similar to something AILD would have done in the past, maybe. Great opening riff to “The Only Constant Is Change.” The only constant is the amazement this album has set me in. This will be making my year end list. Without a doubt. This is some great shit. AILD have risen the bar and are worthy of the name they have set for themselves. “The Blinding Of False Light” is the final track of the album and it, of course, has an fantastical riff. This song is more groove oriented and less technical than other, but it has a great vibe to it. This album is amazing. A definite good listen. If you haven’t heard it, do so.

Job For a Cowboy – Ruination      8

“Unfurling A Darkened Gospel” opens the album with outright brutality. This is a lot more straightforward death metal than Davy’s other project, Fleshwrought. A lot of old school death influences. This has a very good sound to it. I have not listened to JFAC since their first EP because I didn’t dig their sound, but they have, obviously, matured since The Doom EP. They have truly found a sound to be proud of. Great riffing. Nice blast beats. Davy’s vocals are epic. Great way to start out an album. “Summon The Hounds” opens with an amazing riff that instantly demands head banging. Davy shows off his vocal transition ability. Nice melodic chugga riffs. Overlaid vocals remind me of Deicide. This is purely evil and heavy. Davy’s pretty good at enunciating while growling. “Constitutional Masturbation” is a stunning mass of death metal extravagance. Super catchy and melodic. Davy’s best vocal performance so far on the album. Lead guitar work is pretty sick. “Regurgitated Disinformation” also has a very catchy and memorable riff. Nice chugga going on. Lead guitar work is again amazing. This song is in a running tie with “Constitutional Masturbation” for best song on the album. I really like Davy’s high pitched screams. Great contrast to the down-tuned guitar tone. Breakdown sounds great. “March To Global Enslavement” Is a slower, less chaotic track. Drumming and vocals keep the same vibe as the rest of the album but the guitars have a more groove-laden vibe through the majority of the song. Keeps a nice tempo throughout. I feel a very strong motive behind this song. I also feel a lot of those old school influences are present in this track. “Butchering The Enlightened” smashes the album back into steady, brutal chaos. This song is very thick sounding and keeps the heads nodding. Great guitar work, keeps a nice feeling in such a heavy song. “Lords Of Chaos” is another thick track with great guitar work which is very well complimented by Davy’s vocals. Guitars begin to kinda groove for a minute there before kicking into that intoxicating technicality that is ever so present. “Psychological Immorality” is a nod in the direction of Davy’s Fleshwrought project. More technically inclined. Fast and brutal like the rest of the album, though. This album has really impressed me. I need to check out Genesis. The riff to “To Detonate And Exterminate” reminds me of something Cannibal Corpse would write. Vocals are, again, great. Odd time signatures make this song stand out amongst the others. Breakdown isn’t bad. Good shit. “Ruination” marks the final track of the album. It enters with a dark, doomy riff. This song is way more sludge or doom/death oriented than any other track on the album. They pull it off, though. Some bands that try to go from straightforward death metal into death/doom have a hard time in the transition, but not JFAC. The lead guitar work is mesmerizing. Davy’s vocals do it perfect justice. This album has definitely changed my mind about Job For a Cowboy. Heavy-as-fuck with a lot of influences that compliment their sound. I think this band has found their perfect sound. A sound that will carry them a long way. Great job, guys. Giddy up.

Fleshwrought – Dementia/Dyslexia      8

Right off, I have to say I’m liking this. These two make some sick metal. Like I’ve already stated about this band, it reminds me of Blotted Science. It is extremely heavy and brutal while at the same time melodic and technical. And that’s just the first song! “Inner Thoughts” has an amazing riff. It’s fast and heavy. I don’t really know how else to describe this band other than that. They have a lot going for them. There is a lot more instrumental than vocals. So far any way, which isn’t bad because the guitar work is fucking fantastic. Davy’s vocals are great. A fucking trumpet!? Seriously? I don’t know what the hell is going on now. I can’t tell if I’m into it or not. Okay, now we’re back to the norm. “Programming The Herds” has an eerie intro going for it. Ambient sounds and guitar tapping. Then it opens into that remarkable guitar playing by Koperweis. This song is hitting hard. I’m loving this. Davy’s range really compliments the music. I love the opening riff of “Weeping Hallucinations.” That’s just fucking awesome. Very proggy, but still death metal. This song is already a stand out track to me. That chugga riff is killer. I’m still seeing more focus on the music rather than vocals. A lot of instrumental parts throughout the songs. Like I said, though, it’s still gnarly. Wow. Weird kinda… I’m not really sure what the hell this is.. It comes in around the 3:30 mark. Kinda random like the trumpets in the second track. But the weird sounds flow right into “Conceptual Hallucinations” which is a battering ram of brutality. It’s fast, brutal, melodic and catchy. I likes. “State of Desolation” is yet another heavy-as-fuck track. Half-way through this album, I am very pleased. The only parts that have thrown me off have been the odd little tidbits here and there. As far as the rest of the music, it has that touch of newer technical death metal with old school European death metal influences. “Dyslexic Interlude” is one of those weird little tidbits I mentioned. It’s not bad, just different. It’s kind of catchy, but it’s one of those things I think I’ll have to listen to a bit more to enjoy. “Self-Destructive Loathing” is another track filled with blast beat laden, guitar-shredding, larynx-ripping goodness. It keeps a nice groove for a while before the ass-kicking solo steps up and blows me away. This is overall, my favorite song on the album. “Relevant Intoxication” follows suit with the previous track. It is also an extremely heavy piece of metal. I feel this is expressing those old school death metal influences I mentioned before even more. Amazing blast beats. Riffing is fantastic. Of course. I cannot deny these guys have talent. And we reach the final track of the album, “Final Nausea.” It begins with a sample of someone talking/yelling and some feedback. It goes straight into one of the Blotted Science-esque riffs. This is extremely groovy and melodic. Another mind-blowing solo. Davy is still doing an awesome job, vocally. Varying between his highs and lows with ease. More amazing lead guitar work. Another sick solo. This band never fails to impress. I have to say I love this album. A definite to listen to. Jam this shit. Pure, unadulterated gnar.

A  Dozen Furies – A Concept From Fire      8

If the name sounds familiar to you, that might be because A Dozen Furies’ guitarist, Marc was featured on MTV’s Battle For Ozzfest in 2005. From the first time I heard them on the show, I knew these guys would be great. The opening track is an acoustic piece leading to the first real song, “Awake And Lifeless” which comes out how only great metalcore songs do, perfectly executed and melodic. The dudes have a fantastic sound. Nice chugga riffs mixed with amazing lead guitar work and a vocalist with awesome screaming range and a nice clean singing voice. Reminds me a bit of older All That Remains, only I like this a lot more. Nice breakdown, definitely a mosh song. Lead work, again is fantastic. “The Everlasting Grudge” keeps the aggression and melody in tact as the band delivers yet another heavy and amazing track. The guitarists are punishing the hell out of their instruments. Fantastic soloing. This song really makes me wish these guys were still together. I regret not getting to see them live. The opening riff of “Push Away” makes me think of The Dillinger Escape Plan. Just the guitar tone. There goes Bucky with his great singing voice. A great solo during the breakdown before pushing back to that nice chugga-chugga that I love so much. The albums title track, “A Concept From Fire” is unrelenting madness. Catchy and melodic. Bucky mixing in his screams and clean vocals put the finishing touches on an awesome track. Amazing lead guitar laying smoothly over the chugga riff. “An Idea And Some Rope” reminds me of a mix between All That Remains and It Dies Today. It works very well. My head has not ceased motion since the beginning of this album. Another great breakdown. The drummer is killer. “The Cycle” is a groove-laden, face-smashingly good track. This is, possibly the most mosh worthy track on the album. It also happens to be my favorite track. Sometimes metalcore bands will over use the same riffs, but ADF don’t have to, every member of the band plays a key role and that makes them the center of badassery in the metalcore sense. “Into Another Life” has a nice little intro highlighting the drumming and lead guitar work. Both of which are fantastic. This band also doesn’t let up when the clean singing comes in, they remain heavy and on top of shit. Fucking great solo followed by a nice breakdown chock full of chugga. “Lost In A Fantasy” opens with outstanding melody and a slower vibe to it than previous songs. Bucky is focusing more on his clean vocals, which is a nice change of pace that I can dig. There go his superb screams. Amazing soloing and back to that great rhythm I mentioned. “Nightmare Of A Martyr” comes out swinging with pure fucking heaviness. Bucky expands his vocal ability and drops his screams even lower into almost a death growl. The instrumentation, as always is top notch. “138” continues the melee of melody these talented musicians have to offer. Chugga riffing that makes me want to step up and mosh like crazy. Soloing is great as always. A nice slower passage mid-song. “The Ill Will” opens in a slightly creepy fashion. Acoustic guitars and inaudible voices. Slowly fading into a weird sound almost sounding like a chugga riff through a blender. Nothing but crickets and birds until the 3:30 mark when a piano becomes clear. This along with the birds and crickets continue until the end of the album. Final verdict, A Dozen Furies put together an amazing album. Cudos.

Black Anvil – Triumvirate      7

This album is more hardcore influenced than the previous Black Anvil record. It is still black metal, but with the melody and vocal delivery, I can definitely understand these guys background in the NYHC scene. The opening song is a bomb of melodic riffing and searing vocals, of which I am enjoying thoroughly. The Vocalist has a great voice. It is in the black metal sense, but with something else mixed in. Possibly the aforementioned hardcore/punk influence? “Crippling” is an eerie track filled with black metal standard issue ambient sounds. Kind of creepy, to be honest. “The Evil of All Roots” begins with a blistering riff laden with rhythm and vocals soaring overhead. Remains pretty melodic which I am digging, as it gives me something to nod my cranium to. There are a lot of breakdowns, but it’s keeping a steady vibe to the overall song. Lead guitar work is pretty nice. I’m digging it. “Ultimate Reality” has a more ’90s death metal vibe to it. Vocals are a little different and so is the guitar work. A very melancholic, almost doomy atmosphere. “Angels to Dust” returns with the black metal musicianship. Fast and heavy while still being melodic. Vocals are good. A bit of variety, high to not-so-highs. I really like the breakdown around 2:30. It’s long but I can see kids moshing like crazy to it. There’s some nice sludge influence towards the end. Sounds like some The Abominable Iron Sloth shit. Haha. “We Own You” is a doom track with a nice lead. This band is rocking back and forth on black metal and sludge/doom. They are pretty good at genre-jumping. I hate to say, but being over halfway through this album, it is just not impressing me as much as I had hoped. Don’t get me wrong, so far it has been good. I think I just prefer Time Insults The Mind. Another nice breakdown with an interesting tempo change. “Scalping” begins like most of the other black metal-esque tracks. Fast blast beat with melody before the tempo shifts into doom. I still love the vocals, but all of these songs are starting to blend in. The echo vocals are tripping me out. I’m not a big fan of vocals laid over each other like that. For some reason this song seems to be dragging on. “Eliminate” has some weird ambient sounds mixed with pieces of an actual song. Not really doing much for me. “Dead and Left” has my favorite riff on this album and is most likely my personal favorite. It is touching back on that ’90s death metal sound I mentioned before mixed with doom elements. The vocalist still makes me think of The Abominable Iron Sloth. “With Transparent Blood” has the exact same feeling as “Dead and Left,” but with even more of a straight up death metal sound. These seem to be the songs I like on this album. I commend Black Anvil for being so diverse, but there are better and worse songs on this album. “Veadtuck” and I thought I was about to hear “Tom Sawyer.” Seriously, I almost flipped. Nice drum roll. This seems like another death/doom track with awesome lead guitar work. Not bad for an instrumental track. I can dig it. All in all, this was a good album, but I think I prefer Time Insults The Mind. Nothing bad towards the dudes in Black Anvil. They are amazing musicians. Picky fans will be picky fans.

Psychostick – We Couldn’t Think of a Title      7

“Indecision” is an odd little skit in which the guys try to think of an album title. “Scrotal Torment” comes right in with a beautifully executed chugga-chugga riff chock full of melody. I love how the bass really stands out. It’s amazing that I can head bang to a song about an itchy nutsack. This song is a nice example of Nu-Metal that doesn’t suck. “Two Ton Paperweight” was the first Psychostick song I heard and I fell in love from there on. This is a great mix of the aforementioned nu-metal and metalcore. This song shows off Rob’s vocal ability, from his screams, to singing to spoken word passages. I love a good song about a shitty car. This song is the soundtrack to the ’96 Neon I used to have. “Death Burger!” is another skit. I don’t really get what this is about. A dude at a drive in asking for a “Death Burger with cheese!” “No Pun Intended” is a 10 second song about diarrhea. Enough said. I like Rob yelling at Alex at the beginning of “Why, Oh, Why.” Makes me laugh. This track has a very nice melody and over all sound to it. Rob has an amazing singing voice. This song is about his girl leaving him for his best friend, brother, dad and I don’t even know who else, but it comes out so positive. This is one of my favorite tracks on the album. “Pluh” has a great stand-out bass line at the beginning before busting into another face smashing riff. This song shows good examples of the musicianship of every member. I think we all know “Beer!” This track has been played relentlessly pretty much everywhere I’ve been since it came out. It doesn’t matter what kind of music you are into, everyone seems to love this song. It has a great chugga riff during the chorus and the breakdown is sick. Once again, the bass is kicking my ass. “Prozak Milkshake” begins with some nice lead guitar work. This is another slow song. It is very similar to “Why, Oh, Why.” Rob really does have a great voice. The overlaid guitar on this song really does it for me. “Throwin’ Down” begins with a pissed off girlfriend sample. The bass line is fucking epic. Kinda sounds like Rob’s about to snap someone’s neck. “I Hate Doing Laundry” is a 28 second song that is pretty self explanatory. “Return Of The Death Burger!” is pretty much a repeat from the previous “Death Burger” skit. “Largiloquent Dithyramb” I cannot pronounce, but it is heavy as fuck. Amazing riffing and tempo changes. “Lizard Sphere X” is another weird-as-fuck skit. Not really sure what’s going on there. “Orgasm = Love” has a nice feel to it. Reminds me more of Staind than the previous slower tracks. Nice lead work in between verses. I cannot stop laughing at these fucking lyrics. I don’t think I’ve ever heard donkey punching mentioned in a slow song. It’s amazing. “Good Morning” has a 30 second intro before the music hits. And boy does it hit. This track is fucking gnar-heavy. “In A Band To Get Chicks” is a nice groove-oriented track. Rob shows his ability to vary up his vocals again. This is a nice heavy track with nice riffing. “Fake My Own Death And Go Platinum” is an amazing track. Great guitar work, great vocals, great delivery. Great song. Around the 8:00 mark, the band starts playing random shit before going into a mish-mosh of songs from the album. This album is fucking weird. This band is crazy. I love it. Great album.

Kvelertak – Kvelertak      8

Okay. Seeing as I have never heard of this band before this, I had no clue what I was in for. Right off, the music is very melodic and catchy. Has a punk feel to it. The vocals are in the vein of black metal which is different, but it is all put together amazingly well. Production isn’t raw and crusty like most black metal, either. The drummer is a monster. Nice soloing. “Ulvetid” is a killer track. I’m also going to take a shot in the dark and guess these guys are Norwegian. “Mjød” starts with the same punk sound as the previous track. This is not chaotic at all. Very simple song structure, slower than black metal. Clapping in the background makes Gnarly happy. That was an odd touch, but I like it. “Fossegrim” starts off really simple with mainly vocals and guitars rumbling with the drums keeping a steady tempo in the background. Nice chugga-chugga riff going on. I don’t know who the guitarists are in the band, but I fucking love them. This is so unorthodox for… well, I don’t know what to call this. Black n’ Roll? Well, I guess it’s not that unorthodox after all. The lead guitar work is pretty sick. Most of the songs are relatively short. They don’t get dragged out. Not a dull moment into this album yet. More clapping and catchy riffing opens up “Blodtørst.” Again nice lead work. I’m gonna call these guys the Norwegian Young Brothers. Very simple yet amazingly melodic, memorable riffs. Vocals are still great as well. Strong and a great blend of punk yelling and black metal screaming. Good shit. “Offernatt” has a fantastic start to it. Great opening riff in vein of NWOBHM with a nice chugga to go with it. A great head banging track. Just as melodic as ever and, you know what, all I can say is I fucking love this band. Great soloing a little over the half-way mark. I have to say, so far this is my favorite track. “Sjøhyenar (Havets Herrer)” has an opening riff amazing enough to rival “Offernatt.” This album just keeps getting better and better. I love the lead work and acoustic break down. These guys don’t have to play technical shit with odd time signatures. They have their own thing working perfectly for them. “Sultans of Satan” starts and I think, “Hey! A song title in English!” Also the first track with nice, clean singing. It fits nicely with the song, but stands out a little next to the screams of the rest of the album. Riff is still very melodic, although this track doesn’t stand out as much to me as others on the album. “Nekroskop” has a Ramones vibe to the opening riff. Really simple and catchy with a steady tempo propping it up. More clean vocals, only instead of singing this time, it’s more of a yell. Not bad. This song has nice flow to it. Lead work is nice. This song reminds me of something Gojira would have done around the “Ocean Planet” era nix the vocals. This band is almost orchestral in the way they structure their songs. I hear some possible American blues influence in the lead guitar work nearing the 3:00 mark. “Liktorn” is much faster and more black metal oriented than any of the previous tracks at the beginning. It then starts to sound like something Isis would have done a few years back. Some indie guitar parts before going back to that nice melodic sense as the rest of the album. Instrumentation is great. This vocalist, I just realized, reminds me of someone, I’m just not sure who. Nearing the 4:00 mark you get a taste of that black metal sound that I mentioned before. “Ordsmedar av Rang” starts off reminiscent of 80′s hard rock with shouted vocals. This album is slowly fighting it’s way down the line of my “Best of 2010” list. A nice acoustic break down around the 2:30 mark. Great soloing once again. These guitarists are amazing. “Utrydd dei Svake” makes me sad, seeing as it marks the end of the album. It opens with some feedback and a riff that makes me think of AC/DC. Return of the clean vocals. I don’t know why but they seem very odd and stand-outish here. Not sure why, it just doesn’t seem to fit in right. Vocals range from his scream to the more punk yelling. I have to say, I don’t dig these clean vocals that much. It’s not exactly killing the song for me because the musicianship is still good. Nice lead guitar work, yet again. This song has a kind of Zeppelin groove to it. These guys have to have influences everywhere. All in all, I fucking love this album save for the clean vocals on “Utrydd dei Svake.” I would recommend this band to anyone looking for something different.

Early Graves – Goner      9

Damn. The opening track takes me back to hardcore in the late ’80s, early ’90s musically. Mahk’s vocals are really hard to categorize. Kind of a “on-the-verge-of-fucking-insanity” thing going on. That is the best way I know to describe it. Utterly melodic and catchy. Heavy as fuck, no holds barred. “Faith is Shit” returns fire with an equally heavy mentality. The sound is so dirty and strong, these dudes have their shit on lock down. Mahk’s vocals are off the fucking wall. You can tell he has a lot of different influences all folded into one emotion, screeching voice. On to the third track “Old Bones” and still there is no sign of letting up. Still keeping a crusty melody and Mahk’s mid-era Randy-Blythe-on-speed-esque vocals, Early Graves have earned their way to being one of the best bands of the last few years. “Rot” kicks in and I realize, usually when vocalist keep a steady style, I tend to get bored, but not with this. These vocals keep me hooked like a crackhead. The riff is nice and steady and makes me want to hit some motherfuckers. “May Day” flows straight out of the remains of “Rot” and jump into overdrive as these dudes pick up the pace and hit damn-near-grinding speed. Their songs have so much melody incorporated into them, that it’s amazing how being so distorted can keep this maintained. Every song has kept my head banging in constant motion. Over a fucking minute of feedback. In the middle of the album. Not sure why, but I love it. “Wraiths” begins with a fucking mesmerizing riff that is possibly making this my favorite track. The lead work is very simple, but effectively nicely done. Mahk’s vocals are once more, off the chart amazing. “Trauma” has the same kind of vibe that “May Day” had, which is a good thing. A lot of chugga. I likes me a good chugga. More feedback which leads into the next track. “Give Up” has a pretty gnarly tempo with aggression to match it. Mahk put’s so much feeling and emotion into what he does, it’s fucking outstanding. A steady chant of “I GIVE UP!” before the end of the song. I found myself fighting not to scream along with Mahk and wake up everyone in my house. “Bastard Tears” is another mixture of brutality and melody which makes a beautiful bouquet of fucking gnar. While remaining very uptempo, Early Graves’ music puts of a meloncholic feeling that is kind of hard for me to describe. The final song on the album, “Harm” is a straightforward heavy-cuz-we-fucking-feel-like-it track. Early Graves have just become not only one of my favorite bands as of late, but this album will DEFINETLY be on the best albums of 2010. Amazing album. Rest in peace, Mahk. I regret that I never got a chance to meet you. You will be missed and remembered.

Twilight – Monument To Time End      5

The opening track has a nice gloomy atmosphere but is still pretty melodic for black metal. It has frequent tempo changes and weird time signatures, but it is black metal. I’m liking this a lot. This song has some weird elements to it. I can hear some post-rock blended in with maybe indie and that’s fused into black metal. It’s pretty odd, but I do like a change of pace. Clean vocals add to the indie sound that I mentioned. Not bad at all. This band is every-fucking-where. I bet they would be epic live. The production value of this isn’t as raw as a lot of black metal bands nowadays, but it is not super crisp either. I needed to jump back on the black metal band wagon. I listened to Watain a while ago, but not much since then. I forgot how fucking long songs are. These dudes rocked the shit for almost 10 minutes. “Fall Behind Eternity” has a nice ambient sound to it with the drums keeping a nice steady pace. This has to be the work of Aaron Turner. Has to be. This has Isis written all over it. The growling that came in occasionally sounds like someone gurgling battery acid. When the entire band hits, it’s a full on black metal catastrophe. It’s heavy and evil but still with that eerie basis to it. “8,000 Years” has no intro, just straightforward black metal with fantastic lead guitar work. You can tell all of these guys have different influences and it all blends together so well. No instrument is left behind. Everything is clearly playing an equal part. It’s a beautifully orchestrated evil symphony. Nice melodic break about half-way through the song followed by some more nice lead work. A little chugga-chugga riff to switch things up again. My god this band is fucking amazing. “Convulsions In Wells of Fever” brings upon recollections of 90s black metal with a lot of newer influences mixed in. The song takes a strange turn towards the end, bringing in some of that post-rock guitar work. Then back to the brash, unrelenting black metal goodness. “Decaying Observer” takes no prisoners. This is a great track right off. No bullshitting, just real American black metal. Probably some of the best I have heard. Vocals fall behind the rest of the instruments on this track which bring it down a bit, but not enough to call it a lessening track. It is just as powerful and Earth-shattering as any other song on this album. A lot of distorted vocals and feedback clipping around the 3:20 mark. I hate to say, but it gets kind of old after the first few minutes.. And them BOOM. The metal is back. Evil and furious, it hits like nuclear warhead. “The Catastrophe Exhibition” starts off acoustic. A bit odd, but then a nice, melodic chugga chimes in giving it a sense of the post-rock I mentioned earlier. Then the guitars and vocals burst in. Still very melodic, but with a more technicality then other tracks. Kind of an odd track, as it doesn’t consist of many black metal elements shy of the vocals. It’s more gloom-and-doom metal. “Negative Signal Omega” starts out with a pretty crazy intro. More of the indie guitar work and the black metal vocals. Still an odd track as it, like the previous song, doesn’t carry many black metal characteristics. Not saying it’s a bad track, but the basics of it are very repetitive and I just don’t see this song being the highlight of the album. All in all, this is a very, very good album. I would really like to see these dudes live.

Swashbuckle – Crime Always Pays      7

Well, this album starts off like a fucking Hank Jr. song.. But it’s interesting. It’s got a very folk sound to it. I like the heavy bass. Reminds me of Crimfall a little. Well, that one song I heard by Crimfall. It’s similar. Kinda. I like it. Something new pops in around every turn. “We Are The Storm” picks right up from “Slowly Wept The Sea” and goes into fucking berserk mode. The music is really thrashy with folk influences, but the vocals seem like straight up death metal. I’m loving the mixture. I have only been exposed to Swashbuckle a few time, but I am starting to like what I’m hearing. The lead guitar work is very melodic and well done. Riffing is awesome as well. There’s some thrash vocals. It’s nice to spice up vocals. “This Round’s On You!” makes me want to grab a pint and catch the clap while beating the shit out of some guy with a parrot on his shoulder. The gang-vocals are cool. Not something you hear a lot outside of the hardcore scene or GWAR. Once again, nice riffing. Vocals are fucking gnarly death metal around 2:10. I am digging this shit a lot. This track really makes me want a beer. “Where Victory Is Penned” has a nice opening sound leading into a fantastic thrash riff. These dudes may play “pirate metal,” but this is unlike any other “pirate metal” I’ve heard. Nice little chugga-chugga going on. More gang vocals. Someone hit the “chorus” switch on their pedal board. Oooooh. Back to that amazing riff that I am liking so much. I still love the vocal change up. I think it helps to give this band a custom sound. And there’s that weird ass acoustic tune again. Now there’s a violin. Is this Titanic meets Nightwish? Haha. I kid. “Of Hooks & Hornswogglers” actually isn’t that bad for an acoustic track. It shows that this band still holds down it’s folk influences and that it’s not all “thrash and pillage.” Clocking in at just over 3:00, maybe a bit too long? But I’ll look past it for now. “A Time Of Wooden Ships & Iron Men” kicks right in with a more “Swedish melodic death” sound to everything but the vocals. Vocals keep that steady, harsh thrash tone flowed into the death screaming. Keeps a nice vibe throughout. The title track is an brute force monster to my ears. Fast and heavy as fuck. No fucking around with song. Dude wants to get his point across. This song remains melodic despite the face that it is well, for the lack of a better word, fast. “The Gallow’s Pole Dancer” brings back that SDM sound again. Sounds good on them. These dudes are genre-bending fools. One minute your on the verge of early 90s death metal and the next your hearing elements of neo-thrash. I would like the see these dudes live. I’ve heard they have blow-up palm trees and shit. Okay, “Legacy’s Allure” is starting to push it. Two acoustic tracks was plenty for me. This one seems to keep the same basic idea as the opening track, but I have to say these fillers are starting to bore me. Aside from these, I’m loving this album. “At The Bottom Of A Glass” has possibly my favorite riff off of this album. It’s heavy. It’s melodic. And it’s fucking catchy as hell. The tempo throughout the song keeps me at a steady head bang. I have a feeling this album could cause haemorrhaging. Haha. “You Bring The Cannon, We’ll Bring The Balls” has a more modern death metal sound to the riffing and opening of the track, leading into a more melodic thrashy sense. More gang-vocals. Still digging it. Makes me want to raise my fucking Jolly Roger. “Surf-N-Turf (For Piratical Girth)” has a riff I could hear in an In Flames song. A newer one. You know? But it’s good. Just has that kind of sound. Nice chugga-riffing. The breakdown/spoken word/solo is pretty interesting, considering it combined all three things into one before kicking back up the growls and gang-vocals. Four. Count them: Four acoustic tracks. They all seem to blend together and sound the same, although they are spread out across the album. I was cool with the first two, but two more after that? Just not my vibe, man. Besides the fillers, this album was great. Swashbuckle just gained a scurvy new fan.

Through The Eyes of The Dead – Skepsis      7

 

Simple intro. Nothing too classy or boring. Just simple sounds leading to some feedback leading to the first actual song. “Inherit Obscurity”starts off with a nice straight up death metal vibe. I’m digging this vocalist. He switches between the highs and lows. Similar to Corpsegrinder. Odd time signatures and melody make this song pretty interesting. “Dementia” starts off with a Morbid Angel feel to it. That’s a pretty good thing. I’m still digging this vocalist. I feel a lot of emotion and apathy behind his vocals. They’ve got that chugga-chugga-stop-chugga down along with nice solo work and technicality every now and then. Nice. “No Haven”is very entergetic. It reminds me of Cannibal Corpse. The vocals remind me of Glenn Benton at times. Nice melody but it gives off a gloomy kind of atmosphere. “Perpetual Defilement” seems to move a little slower than other songs on the album. A lot of tech-death riffing. I like the doomy beginning of “Inherit Obscurity.” I bet this band would be sick-as-fuck live. I would definitely check them out. This band has seen more than a few vocalists come and go, but I think this dude tops the death metal cake. Good control and decipherable while still being guttural and brutal. “Defaced Reality” opens with a nice groove-laden riff filled with little pinches of lead guitar tossed in. And back to the chugga-chugga I like so much about this band. That drummer is killing it. It’s nice, really. I have a feeling these kids are still pretty young, but they are pretty damn good. I have no idea what “Siphonaptera From Within” is supposed to mean, but I like it. Fast paced, in-your-face death metal. I don’t know why these dudes are lumped in with the deathcore genre. Maybe because they use breakdowns? Who fucking cares. These dudes are pretty sick. I mean, to me personally, deathcore = pig squeals. Am I right? “Insomnium” comes in with nice techy riffing and leads. I like a sick instrumental track every now and then (and I don’t mean those shitty acoustic filler tracks some bands do). The title track is a no holds barred, brute force attack. No leading into the song, just straight off death metal spree. Riffing is nice and melodic and brutal. I like this album a lot. Will most likely make my “Top Albums of 2010” list. Great album, dudes!

Howl – Full of Hell 8

I have liked this band since I first discovered them (which, to be honest, wasn’t that long ago). They start this album off with a nice sludgy-doom riff with blues influence topped with some of the gnarliest vocals I’ve heard in a while. “Horns of Steel” made me throw up my horns and pledge my eternal allegiance to Howl. “You Jackals Beware” comes in will a very melodic and groovy riff in which you can still hear the blues influence. The tempo picks up a bit when the vocals come in. The vocals, I’d say, are somewhere between black metal and early Mastodon stuff. The riff on this song is really repetitive. Not killing the song though. The solo is very well done. “Gods In Broken Men” is a more straightforward doom track at the beginning and then folds into a more neo-thrash sound. Vocals are well placed. Following the same outstanding rhythm marked by the guitars. “Asherah” has a beautiful guitar-based intro. So melodic and.. well, beautiful sounding. That’s about all I can say. It’s so nicely done. The tempo changes and flows right into “Jezebel.” This song is also more doom death than the rest of the album. Not a lot of tempo changes. Just stripped down to the basic of heavy shit. I really want to see these dudes own the shit live. I know they would kill. There is no doubt about it. “Heavenless” has a nice intro to it leading to more beautifully done guitar work. This song it pretty heavy shit. Nice lead. Steady drumming. It has a really nice sound to it. Solo is fantastic, short, but good. This album has definitely kept the Gnar interested. Although this track follows a mostly doom and gloom atmosphere, every song is different. “Parish of the Obscene” is a clean example. It has that same chugga-chugga but with a nice lead guitar work. Reminds me of something, I’m just not sure what. The album’s final track, “The Day of Rest” starts off with great riffing right off. Nice vibe to it. Not so much doom as the rest of the album. More like Eyehategod sludgy goodness with more melody. Keeps up a really amazing vibe. This song evolves into a well structured and greatly orchestrated piece of music. Amazing album. Rated “G” for Gnar.

Tony Danza Tapdance Extravanganza – Danza III      8

These dudes haven’t changed their sound much over the years. You can usually tell a TDTDE song from any other song. Jesse’s vocals are amazing. Powerful and straight up. Every member of the band, while they haven’t changed their sound, have evolved into a much tighter, more focused band. They have the grindage which is obviously present mixed in with some hardcore and mathcore elements. I have always loved their music. Every album has been great and Danza III is no different. “Vicki Mayhem” starts off as a punishing track filled with technicality, brutality and Jesse’s sickly awesome vocals. Crazy time signatures, speed and aggression are all keys that play an important part in TDTDE’s sound. Breakdowns come and go, but with such flow and symmetry. “Yippie-Kay-Yay Motherfucker,” while not only being an awesome title, busts in with unrelenting grind/thrash/tech death mixture that stuns the brain. These dude’s don’t know how to give up. But then again, what southerner does? “I am Sammy Jankis” is my favorite track on this album. Great riffing which keeps technicality, melody and brutality. If it doesn’t make you bang your dome, you must be deaf or a Tim McGraw fan. And I hope neither because this song owns. Wasn’t “Passenger 57” a Wesley Snipes movie? I think it was. Regardless, this is a pretty sick song. Crusty and dirty with a nice chugga riff. Breakdowns, once again, not too bad. The bass line is fucking fantastical on “There’s A Time And Place For Everything.” The entire song is great. I just can’t get past that fucking bass line. I like the little Swedish melodic death metal section. It’s pretty epic. Jesse has a nice vocal range. “Suicide’s Bestfriend” has that good chugga-chugga-stop thing going on. I dig it. This song doesn’t stand out as much as other songs on the album to me. Not a bad song, but there are better ones on here. “Hour of The Time” is a straight up grind attack. No bullshit. Heavy-as-fucking-hell. Still very technical song structure. The breakdown was kind of boring, but not horrible. “12.21.12” is of the same brutal grind as the rest of the album, but something is different. A little more chaotic, maybe? It seems to have it’s moments. The secret song at, like 15 minutes into “12.21.12,” is possibly the heaviest shit on the album. It sounds like Jesse is about to morph into a fucking monster. The whole band is on top of their game. Fucking fantastic album.

Coffinworm – When All Became None      10

I have never heard of this band before a few weeks ago. One of the dudes I interviewed name-dropped them. So far into “Blood Born Doom,” I am liking it. Very eerie atmosphere. Extremely doom, but with a lot of black metal influence. Nice melody to flow along with it. Vocalist is pretty sick. You can actually understand what he is saying, so that’s an interesting and scary change of pace. This isn’t you’re every day black metal shit. This is really unique. Like most black metal bands, the songs are longer, but not bad long (topping at 8:39), but these songs are going by fast. Occasional tempo changes that please me. “Start Saving For Your Funeral” comes in with that melodic doom/sludge sound again. Vocals lay a little behind the other instruments, but in a good way, it helps to keep that eerie vibe I spoke of. This song is also keeping an awesome tempo, changing every now and then, but keeping the basic idea of the song in tact. I like that the vocalist switches up from time to time between high-pitched shrieks and low growls. Nice intro to “Strip Nude For Your Killer.” I would like to talk to whoever writes the lyrics for this band. I want to know what goes through their brain to make them write such amazing, yet questionable songs. I love the riff to this song. Nice, steady vibe. Keeps my head banging. “Putred breath of life, how I hate you.” I love this lyric. Not sure why, but I do. This band is good about keeping that creepy vibe in the way they hang on those notes and let to feedback carry them out. With a song title like “Spitting in Infinity’s Asshole,” how could anyone NOT want to hear this band? Starts out with a nice little Middle Eastern sounding guitar and sound clip. At around 1:40, the entire band slams with stunning brutality. Damn, this band reminds me so much of another band. I just cannot place it.. Oh well, this shit is amazing. I love it and I can’t believe I haven’t heard of these guys before. “The Sadistic Rites of Count Tabernacula” is an entirely new piece of work. A lot faster and closer to Decrepitaph to my ears aside from the vocals. This song is evil, from the guitar work to those other wordly screams to those slow and mourning drums. It slows down a bit to bring that doom sense back into the band. Then it comes back with a nice guitar-driven groove. The album is rated “G” for gnar. I don’t know how else to rate something like this. I love it. Aside from a sick-as-fuck logo, these dudes have cojones the size of watermelons to back up their sound.

Kataklysm – Heaven’s Venom      8

The riff alone has be locked into the opening song. Along with the opening words “once you die, there is no coming back,” I am loving this already. Kataklysm have been pleasing metal ears for damn near two decades. Every album has been fucking fantastic, and so far, so good with “Heaven’s Venom.” Very groove-laden with a lot of melody and Maurizo Iacono’s amazing vocals. Dude has to be one of the best and most memorable vocalists in death metal. I mean, how can he not be? “Determined (Vows of Vengeance)” keeps up that rhythm and melodic nature that haunts Kataklysm’s songs. You can’t get past it. There is always something positive to remember from a Kataklysm song. And so far into this album it has been the awesome riffing. Tempo changes out the ass on this album. But, as stated, what else can you expect from Kataklysm but the most random time signatures? The opening riff for “Hail The Renegade” calls for an immediate head bang. It was almost involuntary. I couldn’t stop myself. More groove, more gnar. This song actually keeps a pretty steady rhythm. Not a lot of variation. Not bad. I like to be surprised. I want to make love to the riff on “At The Edge Of The World.” Or at least make love to it, you know what I mean. Haha. This is my favorite song on this album without a doubt. Amazing melody and outstanding musicianship (not like that was an issue on the rest of the album). It’s just that riff. I’m not sure why, but I am dragged into it. Maurizo’s vocals stand out just enough to make an impact, but not overshadow the rhythm section. “Suicide River” starts off like Iron Maiden on meth. NWOBHM meets Satan and kills him, then burns the world to the ground. Heavy and punishing, this track, of course, calls for head nodding, whether you like it or not. There is just something about Kataklysm that does that to you. This is an amazing album and I am pissed I have yet to see these Canadians live. “Heaven’s Venom” also gets a “G” rating.

Barn Burner – Bangers      2

To start off, these guys aren’t bad, but this sound has been done some many times before. Sounds like Queens of the Stone Age meets The Sword. This seems more like a band that wants to get paid rather than play music for the simple joy of playing music. “Holy Smokes” is an anthem of some kind. These guys can play, but like I said, this is nothing new and, I’m sorry to say I am already beginning to lose interest. “Fast Women” opens like a Wolfmother song, which doesn’t help these guys case thus far. I can see this band being a hit at a football post-game bonfire. I wouldn’t call this so much metal as I would hard rock with maybe some metal influence. Riff are pretty simple and not memorable. The beginning of “Long Arm of the Law” would have been the shit in 1979. But today, that shit is played out. Every guitarist and their grandmother have done it. “Medium Rare” almost starts to sound like Mastodon if not for the vocals coming in and changing the pace of the song until the next breakdown. This has actually been the highlight of this album so far. The breakdowns that is. “Half Passed Haggard” actually has a nice intro to it. Kinda heavy with a nice little solo work. This song actually is better than pretty much every other song on this record. Guitar work is nice. Seems like he knows what he’s doing. A very 1990s metal solo closing into the 2:00 mark. Drummer knows how to pound a kit it seems. And the vocalist even doesn’t sound terrible on this track. Yay! But all good things come to an end. The next few song all melt away into a boring slump of used up riffs and lyrics that no one will bother to memorize. All in all, this band was not original or memorable. I am pretty sure by the end of this week I will have forgotten about Barn Burner.

Brain Drill – Quantum Catastrophe      7

This band has evolved from their first record. They still keep that technicality about their guitar work, but, to me, they are sounding a lot like “Condemned Cathedral”-era Decrepitaph. Why is so much shit making me think of Decrepitaph lately? Vocals are guttural but decipherable. Drummer is pounding that kit like it’s a fat kid in a Yellowcard t-shirt. “Beyond Bludgeoned” doesn’t let up either. These guys are working those fingers to the fucking bone. Solos sound like Super Mario Bros. I likes. Heavy-as-fuck groove with those larynx-ripping vocals makes Gnarly a happy head banger. I would say this album is a big step up from Brain Drill’s previous release. They have become tighter as a band while keeping that technical riffing and rhythm. “Nemesis of Neglect” makes me want to go out and beat the shit out of someone. I love how Dylan Ruskin throws in those high pitched Corpsegrinder-esque screams on occasion. I think new band members did this band good. “Entity of Extinction” is a relentless track filled with face-smashing, corpse-punching goodness. These dudes don’t give up. Drummer reminds me of Martin Maurais (Kataklysm) the way he kills the kit. I like how Brain Drill keeps the bass out in the open unlike a lot of bands that let it fall into the background. And bass solos? I love them. “Mercy To None” is yet another brutal track. I am falling in love with the riffing. This band is owning every slice of death metal goodness they can lay down. Every track so far has been an epic experience. It does tend to blend in together at times, though. The title track, and last track on the album is filled with the same ooey goodness as the rest of the album. Nice technical sections surrounded by melodic grooves, searing vocals and unabridged brutality. With the final track closing out at almost 11 minutes followed by 5 minutes of creepy sounds, the final verdict: This album was almost as good as a girl on girl make-out scene staring Megan Fox. Almost.

Fondlecorpse – Blood and Popcorn EP      7

While watching “Jennifer’s Body” with it’s emo-infested sound track, I decided to listen to something heavier. I thought to myself, Razorback Records has given me a lot of sick bands over the years. Fondlecorpse is one of those bands.These Dutch death metallers are all about gore, death and 80s horror movies. So it seems perfect to listen to while watching a movie where hottie, Megan Fox rips boys apart and eats them. Fondlecorpse embody evil-fucking metal with a mix of Chris Barnes-rivaling guttural growls that are (occasionally) decipherable and haunting grooves. These dudes are a filth-laden masterpiece. “Feral Mutant Attack” is full of nice melody with a sick tempo and those evil fucking vocals. A lot of movie samples, but for a band like this, who gives a shit, right? Although this EP is a few years old, I still love it and will continue to support and love this band. Most of the songs are sweet and too the point (none clocking in at more than 4 minutes). “Halloween (The Night He Came Home)” opens with a nice solo and a doomy rhythm. Then the vocals hit and drag your sorry ass back to hell to have your head ripped off my an army of movie monsters. “What’s In The Basket?” opens with samples of screaming. Gotta love it. Those vocals are so fucking gnarly. Goregnome is fucking amazing. He kills this shit. Vocals like necrophilia, fast and deep. Was that a creepy comparison? Who fucking cares. Sick solo behind yet another movie sample. Very nicely done. “Choppingmall” opens with yet another nice solo. Bas’ guitar work is great. Melody and brutality. Love it. I am very hesitant to recommend Fondlecorpse to people (the same with Decrepitaph and Corpsefucking Art) as I don’t know a lot of sick fucks like me that are into this shit. If you like death, corpses, 80s horror, sci-fi shit and fucking gore, Fondlecorpse is right up your dirty, nasty alley.

Aborted – Coronary Reconstruction EP      7

Aborted were a band I kind of stumbled upon. I was looking at t-shirts one day and came across one with a sick doctor with a hacksaw or something. I left the store and went out and bought “The Saw and Carnage Done” that same day. I am fucking ecstatic I did. That was a great album, but that is not the basis of this review. The basis is Aborted’s latest EP. And it is heavy as shit with possibly more melody and guttural mixed with yelled death metal vocals than it’s predecessors. The title track is killer. Amazing riffing with powerful vocals and slamming drum power. The occasional scream comes out as a pig squeal, which I am not digging, but can handle as long as it doesn’t get out of hand. “From a Tepid Whiff” is of the same melodic base as the previous track with a nice solo and groove-laden riffs. “Grime” comes straight out nice and heavy with an in-your-face kind of brutality. Another nicely done solo. Make that an awesome solo. I’m not sure what’s going on behind the solo, but that’s cool. Staying nice and melodic while keeping the basic idea of what Aborted is. “A Cadaverous Dissertation” keeps up with the rest of the EP, but kind of blends into the end of “Grime.” Wait. Wait. What? What is this? A Entombed cover? Well, well. I fucking loved “Left Hand Path.” That album is a must have for death metal fans. Although this cover is not badly done, I think I will stick with the original. I believe this is Aborted’s second Entombed cover. They do keep the basics of the original, but you can only do Entombed covers so well. I mean, “Left Hand Path” is legendary. All in all, this is a good EP. If you haven’t heard it, check it out. Fast. Brutal. Gnar.

Landmine Marathon – Sovereign Descent      9

The album opens with an amazing riff. “Exist” has me wanting to mosh right off. Grace Perry is not only amazingly beautiful, but her vocals are throat-ripping. She is fucking fantastic. High pitched screams to lower growling yells. The whole band seems to be more focused on this album. Not to talk ill of their previous records, which I loved as well, there just seems to be something stronger here. I fucking love the solo on the opening track. “Shadows Fed to Tyrants” starts off with the same brand of brutality as “Exist,” only a little more crazed and bloodthirsty. Grinding guitars and drums on the verge of destruction, this song is ripping me a new ear hole. Chugga-chugga, yes. “Cruel Policy” opens with a doomy atmosphere and a fucking heavy guitar tone. This song is very melodic and groovy even when it hits. Melodic grind. Is that a genre? Who gives a shit. This fucking song is amazing. Grace’s vocals pierce into my brain like a samurai sword. This riff is one I will remember. No bullshit here, just pure, unadulterated death metal. “Steadfast Hate” has that doomy atmosphere at the beginning too. This one actually doesn’t hit per-say. It just flows right along. The melody is gnartastic. This band knows how to switch shit up. This is a song I would hear on, like, an old My Dying Bride album. Grooving guitars and a Pandora’s Box of tempos. “Flood The Earth” is a straightforward death metal track. Nice riffing right from the get go. I love the solo at the beginning. Then instant grind! That should be made intosome kind of breakfast food. “Landmine Marathon’s Instant Grind.” I’d cook that shit. This album makes Gothika very interesting. Every time Halle Berry opens her mouth, Grace screams. I love it. “Rise With The Tide” opens with, perhaps my favorite riff off of this album. More melodic than a can of microwavable Swedish death metal. Still grind. Still death metal. But with something else mixed in. Something I can’t put my finger on. This album is fucking fantastic. My favorite Landmine Marathon album yet. Great fucking work. Stamped with a “G” rating.

Gaza – He Is Never Coming Back      7

I remember listening to these dudes on MySpace years ago when they were underground. I remember the goat head logo on their page (which is now used on their merch if I’m not mistaken) always made me think about how fucking evil they were. Then “He Is Never Coming Back” pops into my CD player and the dudes still got it. Dark and doomy opening track with the occasional grunt. “The Kicking Legs” is groovy yet grindy. Haha. Vocals are strong and harsh. This guy knows how to get his point across. interlude tracks kill almost always. “The Biologist” is pretty much a bummer track. That’s not good. And then comes “Windowless House.” Back to the grind. As I have said before, I won’t let one bad song ruin an album. Still has that nice groove with a lot of melody to it. I likes. On to the title track (as identified by the screaming solo of “HE IS NEVER COMING BACK!”). I sense a lot more emotion in this than in earlier songs on the album. Notably the long, searing screams that trail off of the words. Are you kidding? Another fucking interlude? Damn. Luckily it’s shorter than the first. I really hope that’s out of the way now so that more metal can seep through. It is. “Tombless” starts off with nice repetitive melodic riff. This seems to be less aggressive (at least instrument-wise) than other tracks. Not bad. And we hit the final track, “Carnivore” which is a beast that hits back. Straightforward, fuck-your-shit metal and nothing less on this track. Final verdict: Not a bad album, but use filler tracks and interludes with caution, as they can ruin an album.

Autopsy – The Tomb Within EP      9

When I first heard that Autopsy were getting back together I stood up and did a jig. Autopsy is one of my favorite band of all time. Chris Reifert’s vocals were always amazing. He is still pretty sick, but his vocals have changed along with the rest of the music. Instead of that shred-to-kill band I remember, they seem to be doing something different. But hell, fifteen years is a long time. The title track is nice and heavy with those doomy parts. I’m liking the opening of “My Corpse Shall Rise.” Got my head banging instantly. As I already mentioned, Chris’ vocals have changed, but I am liking this. A lot better quality than the “Severed Survival” shit I used to air-band to in my bedroom at my Mom’s house. “Seven Skulls” has some crazy kind of riffing going around. “Human Genocide” reminds me so much of the “Severed Survival” shit. I fucking love it. Even in 2010, Autopsy manages to live in the early ’90s. This is the same kind of shit I fell in love with years ago. They have definitely not let the last decade and a half to stop their music. This EP just made it’s way into my “Best Albums of 2010” list without a doubt. Fucking A. Can’t wait for the LP next year.

The Acacia Strain – Wormwood      8

This is some pretty heavy shit. A lot of chugga-chugga-chugga but with melody. I’m diggin’ this and I’m only on the first track. I can see why the band disassociates itself from the Deathcore genre. I hear more hardcore than metalcore. Reminds me a bit of a less-chaotic Hatebreed. “This Hills Have Eyes” starts off with a nice, melodic intro and busts into that chugga-chugga that I like so much. That drummer is pretty sick. I’m loving those little drum rolls. This album is having a kind off “Every other song is dark” vibe going on with “BTM FDR” and parts of “Terminated.” I’m still into the guitar work. Makes me smile for some strange reason. “My Father gave me life, and then he died.” Why did that line make me love this band even more? Is that morbid? Vincent Barrett has a lot of emotion put into his vocals, which makes them pretty straight-up. He doesn’t fuck around. He throws his lyrics in your face like, “listen to me or die.” This band if full of catchy lyrics. “Scream all you want while I rip you to shreds.” Did Chris Barnes give these guys pointers? Haha. “Jonestown” has a really catchy riff and lyrics. Possibly my favorite song on this album. “Say goodbye to your wonderful life!” “Tactical Nuke” has almost a doomy atmosphere to it. Kinda switched it up on me. Which isn’t a bad thing. I like it. I hate to say it, but almost six minutes of nothing but the same riff did get kind of old. But oh well, one good song doesn’t ruin an album. Good album in the long run. Better than a lot of the shit I’ve heard this year. Nice going. Keep it up.

Charred Walls of the Damned – Charred Walls of the Damned      10

Tim Fucking “Ripper” Owens. Dude has always been epic. On this he sounds like a strange mix of Dio and King Diamond. Which is fantastic. NWOBHM/power metal meets melodic thrash. That’s the best I can do to describe this. “Ghost Town” has a very memorable riff and Ripper just soars over it all with that voice. Richard Christi is pounding away like a mad man the whole time. “From The Abyss” started and I though I was listening to Opeth for a few seconds. Then there was Ripper. This shit is so fucking melodic and catchy. I love this album and I’m not even half way through. Solo reminds me of some Maiden shit from back in the day. Every song on this album is slowly etching it’s way into my brain. I have not heard a song yet I have not liked. The riff on “In a World So Cruel” is slower with an amazing tempo. Great for a nice, steady head bang. When it picks up, you can still keep that ‘bang going. It’s never ending. I think I could listen to this album for a year straight and still fucking love every second of it. “Voices Within Walls.” My god. That opening riff and solo made me want to praise the metal gods for laying this masterpiece before me. This is not only going on my “Best Albums of 2010” list, but also as one of my favorite albums of the past decade. “Fear In The Sky” starts out like a fucking death metal song. That was pretty gnarly. Stayed heavy-as-fuck for the remainder of the song. Damn, I don’t want this album to end. I gotta catch these dudes live. This album gets a perfect fucking ten. FUCK YES!

Skinless – Trample the Weak, Hurdle the Dead      8

Off to an extremely brutal start. I hadn’t given this band a listen until about 3 weeks ago. I kicked myself for not listening to them before. Violent, punishing and all around fucking brutal. Gotta love the clip at the beginning of “A Unilateral Disgust” (“War, it’s fantastic!”). While not be just outright technical, yet you can hear the skill this band has to offer. From fast, grinding tracks (“Spoils of the Sycophant”) to slower sections of almost grooving tracks (“Deviation Will Not Be Tolerated”) This is a great album. Skill have definitely impressed me.

Watain – Lawless Darkness      8

Watain have never ceased to amaze me. Every album has been a constant in CD player all over my house. Evil and blacker than black, this album is no different. E’s vocals are so wicked. His larynx must look like a Cannibal Corpse album cover. Production is in the raw vein of black metal, but still all the parts are crystal clear. Loving the chugga-chugga riff on “Malfeitor.” The opening lead for the title track is so eerie and beautiful at the same time. Watain have grown to be one of my favorite black metal bands. Lawless Darkness is a great album from this amazing band.

Abigail Williams – In The Absence of Light      2

You know how there are, like, 1,000,000 bands that sound like Cradle of Filth? And over 98% of those bands suck? Well, this album, to me, is nothing but used up Cradle of Filth riffs with a cheesy vocalist. The vocalist is trying way to hard to be Black Metal. It’s actually pretty annoying. Not very original at all. “The Mysteries That Bind The Flesh” was a decent song. Until the breakdown that is. Seriously, if one of these guys doesn’t have a tattoo of Dani Filth, I will be surprised. All in all. This was a pretty boring album. All of the tracks seemed to blend together after a while. The production is too crisp, even for poser black metal. Sorry. Just not for me.

Bonded By Blood – Exiled To Earth      7

Oh, so thrashy! The vocals are a definite mix of today’s thrash vocals and old school Crossover Thrash. The “Episodes of Aggression” will be stuck in my head for months, now. Bonded by Blood reminds me of Deathrash, whom I have only heard once, but that song was really memorable. This is amazingly strong and straightforward record. I love the technicality of the the title track. The bass is standing out. It’s pretty cool. Dudes can jam. Final verdict: Sick as fuck. This album is great. Crossover is back!

DECREPIT BIRTH – POLARITY      6

I have listened to this album countless times through and through, just to make sure I had taken it all in before writing this review. And while I do like this album quite a bit, it just doesn’t impact me a much as Diminishing Between Worlds. The band seems very tight and possibly more melodic. Don’t get me wrong, there are songs that stand out, “(A Departure Of The Sun) Ignite The Tesla Coil” being a prime example. I can never downplay how technically proficient this band is. They are amazing and Bill Robinson’s vocals remind me of early Suffocation-era stuff merged with newer Death Metal influences. All in all, it is extremely brutal. Great sounding, I just prefer Diminishing. Personal preference, though.

CAPTAIN OVERBOARD–RADIO EARTH – SELF-TITLED      8

This album has a great stasrt. “44 To Go”‘s synths make me think of Rush for some strange reason, which is kinda weird, but I like it. I don’t usually dig bands that mix clean vocals and screams, but Scott has a very grunge-influenced voice that stands out to me. He can melt those clean vocals into his powerful screams with ease. “Not Me Nor Anyone” has a very memorable riff. Very melodic and nice. “The King and His Crown” also has amazing guitar work and some other crazy shit going on behind it. Haha. Every song fits perfect with Scotts voice. I love concept albums as much as I like cover albums. Even more than just a concept album, this is an album that flows completely together (i.e. Meshuggas “Catch 33″). These guys put together a killer record. No doubt this band will be remembered.

INFERNAEON – GENESIS TO NEMESIS      9

The first track threw me off. I had to stop and make sure I wasn’t listening to some symphonic black metal band. “First of the Fallen,” his and I was immediately into this band. It is so damn melodic it’s unbelievable and the vocals lay perfectly with the other instruments. No instrument is left trailing, they all play and important part and are easily distinguished. These riffs are so brutal, yet so catchy. I can tell already this band is going to easily be remembered as a true-to-heart Floridian death metal band. The guitar work on “Legacy of Kane” is one of my favorites on the album. All in all, top-fucking-notch. One of my favorite albums of the year.

WOLVHAMMER – BLACK MARKETEERS OF WORLD WAR III      8

At first, I would have assumed this to be a full-on doom band. But when it hit, it was clear this band had a lot of black metal influences. I have a feeling these guys are American, but I’ll have to look into that. There are a lot of other influences in this band as well. It is really melodic, but still evil. Vocalist is very straightforward and leather-lunged. I get an extremely gloomy feeling from this album. I’m still hearing a lot of doom metal or drone influences. Final verdict: Very melodic and interesting. Kept me wanting to hear more.

FUKPIG – BELIEF IS THE DEATH OF INTELLIGENCE      9

Oh, hell yes. I had heard of this band before, but never gave it a listen. Not until my interview with TJ Cowgill (Book of Black Earth) said that Fukpig were one of the bands he would take out on tour if he could make his dream roster. And let’s face it, dude’s got taste. Definitely grind, but with touches of black and death metal. Vocalist is fucking epic. With song titles such as “Die Bastards,” “One Nation Under One Eye” and, my personal favorite, “All of You are Cunts and I Hope You Fucking Die,” who in their right mind can resist? These dudes are great. Nice and crusty, which is exactly how I like my grindage. If you haven’t heard it. HEAR IT!

DECREPITAPH – CONJURING CHAOS EP      6

I love this band. Condemned Cathedral is in my top 10 albums of all time. This band is so evil and heavy blended in with deep death growls and gut-wrenching screams. The EPs title track draws you in and doesn’t let you go. These guys are so down-tuned and distorted, it’s amazing they can stay the least bit melodic at times. I’ve enjoyed this EP thoroughly. Definitely ranks in as “gnar.”Oh, and a little surprise at the end of it, a Minor Threat cover! And it strays so far away from the bands sound, it’s crazy. Who knew Decrepitaph could play hardcore punk? Love it!

CONVERGE – AXE TO FALL      10

This morning, I was given the privilege to interview someone who has been a huge influence on me and the music that I now know and love. The man’s name is Jacob Bannon and he is the vocalist from the band Converge. Converge are not only an extremely aggressive, tough-as-nails band, they are all masters of their craft. From the musical arrangements to song writing, these guys have been putting out killer shit since 1990. Twenty years is a long time in metal, seeing as the majority of bands, much like marriages, split within the first few years. There are certain occasions on which amazing metal bands have lived up to the two decade mark (i.e. Cannibal Corpse and more recently Kataklysm). But this isn’t about long lived metal bands, just one: Converge. As long as I have been listening to this band, I have yet to find any material they have put out that I have not liked. Every album. Every lyric. Every note. Every scream. These dude’s can deliver the metal that we all know and love. Axe To Fall is no different from any of their previous releases aside from the fact that they managed to push the boundaries and become even heavier (who thought it was possible?). The bluesy riff incorporated into “Worms Will Feed” draw you in to see what else this album has in store. And it never disappoints. With every song comes a new kind of story. And as soon as Jacob opens his mouth, out flies words filled with such passion and feeling that you can almost feel what’s going on in his mind. It is without a doubt this album deserved #2 of Decibel’s ‘Top 40 Extreme Albums of 2009′. Unfortunately, I have yet to see Converge live, although I have often dreamed of such. Band’s like this don’t usually stop around here and that sucks. But you can believe I will find a way to see Converge. I will. I see these guys still blowing the face off of speakers in, kid’s and adult’s, bedrooms for many years to come. Fantastic album, definitely worth your time. And if you don’t have time. Make time.

VITAM ET MORTEM – DEATH METAL 666: INVOKING THE END      4

Upon seeing this record, I was under the influence that this was going to be just another Death Metal band trying to live like it’s 1994. Then I saw the subtext: “For fans of Deicide, Nile and Vital Remains.” Hey, I’m a fan of Deicide, Nile and Vital remains. Suddenly I was intrigued. Then, as I scanned the track listing, what is this I see? A cover of Venom’s “Black Metal?” Well, me being the fan of cover songs (done well or not), this sealed the deal for me. While this is not a horrible record, I did have to check my CD player to make sure it wasn’t on repeat, because the songs seemed to blend together after a while. For personal reasons, I listened to the Venom cover first. I have to say, something I love and hate equally is bands that site Venom (or other bands from a different genre) as influences and when they cover a song it goes off a completely different end of the spectrum (I felt the same with Coalesce covering Led Zeppelin). However, I didn’t hate it. I do hear Glen Benton’s influence in the vocals, but there is something else there I can’t quite put my finger on. All in all, not the worst album of late, but not a landmark in Death Metal either. Keep it up, guys.

Vitam Et Mortem Myspace

BARONESS – BLUE RECORD      10

I have to say, it is not too often I come across an album that I completely fall in love with. An album that makes you go: “Holy shit…” The fact that albums like this come around only so often, fell apart as last year, two albums like this surfaced for me: Mastodon’s “Crack The Skye” and Baroness’s “Blue Record.” Not to say these are the only two great albums to come out last year, but these are the only two that I religiously played for a month each. I ate, slept and screamed with these records on. Unfortunately, this will not be a double review. No, this review is for the Baroness masterpiece, “Blue Record.” From “Bullhead Psalm” I was dragged into a different world, pulled by the reigns of a derranged horseman. Then I stuggle back into reallity only to be torn from everything I know and thrown back into this sick fairy tale by the thunder of guitars signalling “A Horse Called Golgotha.” The opening riff of this song never leaves my mind. It is so catchy and so powerful, it is actually quite beautiful, with it’s majesty only matched by John Baizley’s amazing voice. The rest of this masterpiece plays out like any should. More beautiful guitar work. More abbrasive vocals. More crushing drums. And a whole lot of happy Gnarly. Definitely a great addition to any metal head’s arsenal. Fucking fantastic.

Baroness Myspace

CAPTAIN OVERBOARD–RADIO EARTH! – 4 Song Sample      7

Captain Overboard–Radio Earth! is a band that took me by surprise. When I got their 4 Song Sampler in the mail, I immediately popped it into my car’s CD player. And that was where I got my shock. When “Skullabye” came on, my first instinct was “this is going to end up sounding like everything else I have heard as of late.” And then it hit. And was I wrong. Like a bomb, BANG. Those screams put a fear in your heart and make you feel his emotions. The guitars and drums keep a hearty groove that beckons head banging. The mixture of clean vocals and screaming is not that new to the metal scene, although rarely (in my opinion) is it done this well. It tends to remind me of The-Mourning-After-Era 40 Below Summer and slightly of The Abominable Iron Sloth. I must say, since the day I got this Sampler, it has become a regular of my jams at work. “The Extinction of Suffering” offers a nice groove-oriented yet neo-thrashy feel to the guitar along with the pounding of the drum kit that will send your body into a mosh worthy frenzy. Through and through, I have to say I absolutely love this Sampler and I cannot wait to get my hands on the LP in October. In closing, two last things I love about this band: Custom, hand-drawn artwork looks fantastic compared to the Photoshopped-and-Chopped album covers of most of today’s bands. And the fact that they use Synth and use it well. It doesn’t stand out too much or fall too far behind the other instruments. No doubt, these guys will be a treat to see live. If you haven’t heard them yet, be sure to do so IMMEDIATELY.

Captain Overboard–Radio Earth! Facebook

Captain Overboard–Radio Earth! Myspace

DECREPITAPH – CONJURING CHAOS EP

I love this band. Condemned Cathedral is in my top 10 albums of all time. This band is so evil and heavy blended in with deep death growls and gut-wrenching screams. The EPs title track draws you in and doesn’t let you go. These guys are so down-tuned and distorted, it’s amazing they can stay the least bit melodic at times. I’ve enjoyed this EP thoroughly. Definitely ranks in as “gnar.”Oh, and a little surprise at the end of it, a Minor Threat cover! And it strays so far away from the bands sound, it’s crazy. Who knew Decrepitaph could play hardcore punk? Love it!

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3 thoughts on “Album Reviews Archive”

  1. I don’t know most of these bands but there’s no harm in listening to some unknowns and maybe finding out new artists that will fit my music taste.

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