album review

Album Review: Blood Ceremony - "The Eldritch Dark"

During this recent revival of traditional metal, it has become commonplace that any band with blues roots and an analog mentality gets slapped with the label “sounds like Black Sabbath.” While that speaks volumes about the enormity of Black Sabbath’s legacy, it’s also an easy, marketable out for any band that rocks at less than 200 bpm.

Album Review: Starkill - "Fires of Life"

It’s rare to hear of an orchestral-arranged melodic death metal coming from the United States. It’s even rarer to conceive of that band coming from a place like Chicago, which is barely even thought of in heavy metal, much less this style of heavy metal. Yet, armed and dangerous with a ten track debut record “Fires of Life” is Starkill, Chicagoland’s newest heavy metal band, determined to take what is commonly thought of as a European sound and make it their own.

Album Review: Lifeforms - Multidimensional

Recent times have been quiet for the burgeoning djent scene. After a rush of releases thrust the fledgling music upon the masses, the stream of releases capturing the zeitgeist of the times has slowed to a trickle. I can't say whether it's a coincidence, or if the recent albums from genre leaders Periphery and grandfathers of all that is djent Meshuggah, may have made many of their followers go back to the drawing board.

Album Review: Purson - The Circle And The Blue Door

As music continues to move further and further toward the outer limits of extremity, and bands struggle to one-up the musical and lyrical brutality Cannibal Corpse spawned, there's a neat little twist in the strain of evolution. Good old fashioned occult rock and roll is making a comeback. Largely carried on the shoulders of the massively popular (for the style) Ghost, bands are starting to rediscover that leaving more to the imagination can be the best course of action.

Album Review: Rob Zombie - Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor

Rob Zombie is one of those artists who, through incidental contact, I became a modest fan of. My college years exposed me to his unique take on the rock and metal form, and I was glad for the experience. Many of the songs he conjured up were a fascinating take on what could pass for pop metal, all the while being as thoroughly addictive as anything more sugary artists were putting out. While I don't pull those tracks off the shelf and blow the dust off them very often, they still bring a smile to my face.

Album Review: Arsis - "Unwelcome"

To say that Arsis has had a long, convoluted career path is a wild, reckless understatement. Birthed in California, the band’s career lineup cycle has more twists and turns than your standard daytime soap opera plot. So it’s a testament to the hearty will of frontman James Malone that this new album “Unwelcome” even exists. Arsis continues to try and persevere in the chokes underground universe of technical death metal.

Album Review: The Melvins - "Everybody Loves Sausages"

It is an irrefutable truth when considering any Melvins album that one of the only ways to appropriately discuss the music is to reflexively use the band’s name as an adjective. The Melvins, some twenty years after Kurt Cobain made them a musical household name, have carved themselves an undeniable niche that is populated solely by Buzz Osborne and his band. No one else sounds like this; no one can even being to capture the “throw it all out there and see what takes” attitude and creativity of King Buzzo.

Album Review: Volbeat - "Outlaw Gentlemen and Shady Ladies"

Volbeat is the name on everyone’s lips these days. The hype surrounding this Danish band has been unmatched in this century by nearly anyone. Everyone wants a piece – everyone wants to be on the bandwagon. Ever since Volbeat made their big break by opening for, and being personally endorsed by, Metallica in 2009, Volbeat’s assumed potential has been limitless. Their previous record “Beyond Hell/Above Heaven” was seen as the coming out party, which means pressure is mounted on “Outlaw Gentlemen and Shady Ladies” to be a blockbuster.

Album Review: Mark Lanegan & Duke Garwood – “Black Pudding”

Mark Lanegan, best known as a founding member of Screaming Trees, was also a member of Queens of the Stone Age for some of their best releases, “Rated R,” “Songs for the Deaf,” and “Lullabies to Paralyze.” Additionally, Lanegan has collaborated with a host of notable artists over the years including Isobel Campbell of Belle and Sebastian, Mad Season, and Melissa Auf der Maur. In short, “Black Pudding” is not Lanegan’s first rodeo; he is a seasoned veteran of the trade, always looking to try something new.

Album Review: Sodom - Epitome Of Torture

One of the things about the thrash renaissance that is most welcome is the remembrance of bands outside the Big Four. While the Bay Area bands, along with the New York scene, did define thrash and contribute countless classic records, the boundaries of the genre weren't compatible with America's. Thrash exploded everywhere, and nowhere more than Germany, which has solidified its legacy as the second home of thrash. In the dark years of heavy metal, when all but the biggest bands seemed forgotten, the German thrash scene was reduced to but a blip on the screen.

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