album review

Album Review: Silencer - The Great Bear

It's one of the inherent truisms about metal that when a band needs a shot of attention, or want to prove they are more artistic than merely a group of guys bashing loud instruments, the concept album is the end result. There's something about a story set to music that piques interest in a way a regular collection of songs doesn't. The strength of a concept, hitting at just the right time, is enough to elevate a set of songs and turn them into something we will always remember, no matter what the actual merit of the music.

Album Review: Enslaved - RIITIIR

The downfall of extreme metal is the overemphasis on the word 'extreme'. So often, bands become obsess with making sure their music is extreme, which ends up taking it so far away from the core of songwriting that little is left but a shell of noise. Listening to those kinds of records can be exhilarating, if in the right frame of mind, but for people who don't fall into the category of angry young men, extreme metal comes off as a parody.

Album Review: Mongrel - Reclamation

Boston’s Mongrel is a band that has toiled for years in the under-the-radar lights of sweaty clubs and foul-smelling basement venues, gritting out one night of punk-infused heavy metal after another, building a reputation in the difficult world of underground metal. All of that fury and hard work has been tempered in the fires of lyrics and music, then pressed into their new release, “Reclamation.”

Album Review: Pathology - "The Time of Great Purification"

Brace yourselves. What you are about to read are words that I never, ever, in a lifetime of music reviews, thought I would say about an album. It is Pathology's new record "The Time of Great Purification" which brings me to this astounding, heretofore thought impossible revelation.

You know, this album reminds me a little of the old band Cock and Ball Torture.

Album Review: Holy Knights - Between Daylight And Pain

In what has been a quiet year for traditional power metal, there's a gaping hole waiting for someone to step through and become the next big thing. The mainstay bands are either in between albums, or have moved too far away from the core sound for purists, which sets the stage for someone to claim this as their time. One thing we have learned over the years is that power metal is never going to go away, no matter how much it is looked down upon by the masses.

Album Review: As I Lay Dying - Awakened

The struggle between brutality and melody is something that has come to define much of the modern metal movement. On one hand, there are the bands that don't believe any interplay is necessary, choosing instead to treat their listeners as punching bags, pounding song after song of relentless heaviness until they decide to retire. It's an approach that seems to be gathering more and more followers, one I would contend does nothing to help the cause of metal.

Album Review: The Casualties - "Resistance"

In 1990, The Casualties formed to resurrect the sound of true street punk, a sound that they thought was abandoned in the mid eighties. It’s an important task that the band took on, attempting to keep alive the spiritual successor to the Ramones and Black Flag, the sound that laid the foundation for much of American rock and metal during and after the Cold War. To that end, The Casualties are on a one band crusade to keep that image alive and they’re returned with another studio album of to-the-core gritty punk called “Resistance.”

Album Review: Prototype - "Catalyst"

Prototype and their album “Catalyst” exist in a curious space, and it’s no accident. The band, over the course of their career, set out to provide material for two very different and heretofore unrelated metal fanbases: the base who wants up-tempo, minute to minute musical gratification, and the base who wants their music to be an aural experience. It’s a unique mix, one that ends up with “Catalyst” akin to John Bush’s later Anthrax records sprinkled with just a little bit of Rush’s wandering spirit.

Album Review: Hellwell - Beyond The Boundaries Of Sin

Even with a fractured landscape, there are bands that persevere for ages without gaining the acclaim many believe is deserved. Though hyper-categorized, too many bands fall under each label for all of them to make an impact. It's unfortunate, but reality cannot be denied. Certain artists, no matter how many albums they make, no matter how much influence they wield, will always be legends of the underground.

Album Review: Witchcraft - "Legend"

For a band that’s been around more than a dozen years, there’s precious little information available about Witchcraft. Allmusic offers only a couple of paragraphs, Wikipedia offers those same paragraphs, the band’s website is more or less an order form and Encyclopedia Metallum barely makes the distinction between two different Swedish bands named Witchcraft. Hell, the band’s digital press release that comes with the album from Nuclear Blast doesn’t even have the band members’ names on it. So who is Witchcraft, and what are we doing here?

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