album review

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?

Album Review: Mothlite - Dark Age

There's so much music written, recorded, and released each year that it's impossible for it to all maintain artistic integrity. Music was, at one point, an expression of thoughts and emotions that swirled inside the head of a creator, but as it became a business that has increasingly catered to the whims of fans, a growing proportion of the music we hear is written with the explicit purpose in mind of appealing to as many people as possible.

Album Review: Altar Of Oblivion - Grand Gesture Of Defiance

There are times I wish I had been able to see and experience the development of metal in the 80's firsthand. Being able to follow the genesis and growth of the nascent sound as it started splintering off into the subsets we know today would have been the best of all worlds. To be able to hear everything, but have it still be closely enough rooted to the traditions that started everything is something I admit with sorrow I can never quite understand.

Album Review: Attika 7 - Blood Of My Enemies

Some musical reinventions are necessary, while some of them seem to come out of nowhere. Musicians, for all the time we spend thinking about them in abstract terms, are artists, and they by definition cannot recreate what has already been done. Approximations can be made, but there will always be a different creative spark inciting the next work. No amount of careful copying can perfectly replicate what we've already seen or heard. That means at some point every musician has to accommodate change, whether it be a shift in taste, or simply the process of aging and gaining experience.

Album Review: Revolting - Hymns Of Ghastly Horror

Rogga Johansson is the closest thing we have to a death metal machine. Even in a world where bands swap members at random, and everyone has multiple projects, the amount of projects he has put his name to is staggering. You would think that after enough time has passed, there would come a point where the need and the inspiration to continue making mountains of old-school death metal would wane. The amazing part is that we have yet to reach that point, and we may never will.

Album Review: Hammer Fight - "Hammer Fight"

There’s nothing spectacular about Hammer Fight’s new CD “Hammer Fight.” But, there’s nothing wrong with it, either. Their album blows through town in a hurry, able to be listened to twice in the time it takes to listen to most albums once.

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This week we discuss alchemy, camera technology, a first time guest host joins the show, and we review "As Above, So Below".  

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