album review

Album Review: Raven Black Night - "Barbarian Winter"

Attentive readers have no doubt noticed that my compatriot Chris has been dedicating a lot of words to the notion that this wave of traditional metal which has so captures our attention in the past two years is beginning to play itself out. The idea behind the theory is that in some form, we’ve heard all this before, that these new or resurgent bands need to bring something new to the fold, lest they simply be branded as more of the tired same.

Album Review: Mustasch – “Sounds Like Hell, Looks Like Heaven”

Mustasch, a heavy metal band from Sweden, has been around for a long time; too long, in fact, for them to be not be better known in the rest of the world. After seven albums, tours with the likes of Motörhead, three Swedish Grammy nominations and one victory to the tune of “Metal Album of the Year” in 2008, you would think Mustasch would be about as close to a household name around the world as heavy metal bands get these days. However, despite their Scandinavian success, Mustasch have yet to take the world by storm.

Album Review: Sacred Steel - The Bloodshed Summoning

If you spend enough time listening to a narrow band of music, you will eventually hear everything. Not literally, of course, but you will hear so much music that fits into the same small box of cliches that nothing short of a revolution will be able to catch you off-guard anymore. You can't be surprised by what you hear, nor can you be overwhelmed by what might have, at a different time, been music that would have helped you define yourself. And so it is with any record that crosses my desk these days that isn't concerned with the latest trend.

Album Review: Mothership - "Mothership"

Just read the press release for Mothership and you’ll learn there’s a lot to like about this band. (And for clarity’s sake, let’s get one thing out of the way; this band has nothing to do with George Clinton.) There are the stock-in-trade quotes about what the band is and what they want to be. There are all the conformist comparisons to who the band sounds like and allusions to who inspires their composition.

Album Review: Psychothermia – “Fall to the Rising Sun”

“While there are many bands in the hard rock/metal world that like to play with fire, it requires a certain combination of insanity and balls to douse yourself in it.” This opening line of Psychothermia’s biography from the band’s website is certainly true, but if you’re going to play with real fire during a photo shoot, you better have the music to back up these incredibly unique and powerful images.

Album Review: Gloria Morti - Lateral Constraint

Melodic death metal is one of those things that, if you listen to a purist, will tell you cannot exist. Death metal, they say, is incompatible with the melodic elements other facets of the metal universe take for granted. The music should be uncompromising, focused on nothing but steamrolling the listener with riff after riff of unrelenting brutality. The bands that dared step outside that box and try to make their assaults into what conventional thinkers might consider songs were heretics, and the music they made was cute, but not really death metal.

Album Review: Destruction - "Spiritual Genocide"

Okay kids, gather round. It’s confession time.

Album Review: Focus - X

In many ways, nothing has changed in all the years rock music has been around. Especially in the world of progressive rock, the past is the past, the present, and the future. Several generations of bands have arisen in the wake of the originators, recreating the sounds they grew up loving, all the while many of the first wave of prog rock bands continued to soldier on, making the music that at one time was cutting edge. Focus is one of those bands who have survived, in one form or another, to serve as an elder statesman of prog.

Album Review: Heaven's Basement - "Filthy Empire"

Red Bull has done a phenomenal job of making their name synonymous with “energy” and with Red Bull Records, energy is exactly what listeners receive. Watch five videos of people doing something “extreme” and the odds of one of them using Awolnation’s “Sail” as the soundtrack, which was also released by Red Bull Records, are exceptionally high.

Album Review: Slough Feg Reissues

Cults are bad things, or so we are told. The connotation that comes packaged with the word is one of evil, the occult, and brainwashed minions blindly following their leader. In that last respect, there is a grain of truth to the attachment of that word to certain bands, the ones who inspire a fan-base supremely devoted to their favorite artist. Slough Feg is certainly a cult band, if we put it in those terms.

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