album review

Album Review: Hopes Die Last - "Trust No One"

Hopes Die Last wants to grab your attention and not let go. The first vision of the band most people encounter will be their cover art, which is wonderfully grisly and disturbing and gory all at the same time. The album behind that image is a mixed bag of emotions, tempos and styling, built upon an intentionally rocky foundation to keep the listener engaged in the same manner that a high-speed car chase does. Whatever is around the bend remains a mystery until the album is right directly on top of it.

Album Review: Caliban - "I Am Nemesis"

After fifteen years, German heavy metal heavy hitters Caliban are still going strong and beginning a new album cycle with “I Am Nemesis.” This album sees Caliban mixing more diverse inspirations into their music and experimenting with mixing in more gang vocals and mosh pit mayhem.

Album Review: Nothnegal - "Decadence"

Nothnegal’s debut LP “Decadence” is proof positive that the technological revolution of music sharing has made world a significantly smaller place. Originating in the Maldives, a tiny island nation off the coast of the Indian sub-continent, Nothnegal comes from a land of only three hundred thousand people, and no discernable history of heavy metal.

Album Review: Desaster - "The Arts of Destruction"

To call German black metal band Desaster “veteran” is to not be nearly descriptive enough. Desaster, and by extension their iconically idiomatic misspelling, are veterans in the sense that Ray Bourque was a veteran when he finally won the Stanley Cup with Colorado. Desaster has toiled in obscurity, experienced the highs and lows of success and marginalization, the tumult of frequent and varied roster changes, the dedication of valued fans and the prosecution by those who fail to understand, and, in short, has been around the block.

Album Review: Cocaine Mustache - "On the Mirror"

Cocaine Mustache is a hard partying, devil may care, free spirited rock and roll band bordering on metal and high on amps and distortion. The band endeavors to bring the listener a brand of music that is dirty and unrefined; party music for the sake of party music. Despite being a one-speed album, their effort “On the Mirror” is not a flank speed ahead affair. Rather, it is an album designed to plod forward at a sludgy pace, and makes up the difference in speed for size, appearing gigantic and impending over the horizon.

Album Review: The Devastated - "The Devil's Messenger"

Century Media records signed The Devasted based on a two-song demo. That is an incredible roll of the dice by an established music industry veteran, and a gamble that leaves little middle ground – it will either pay off handsomely, or result in the termination of the label’s association with the band.

Album Review: Pilgrim - "Misery Wizard"

Pilgrim’s “Misery Wizard” is an album that pays tribute to doom metal by concentrating solely on the singular root of the genre. Where modern doom metal acts like Candlemass, Type O Negative or Crowbar have injected fantasy, blues or visceral attitude to twist the genre to their liking, Pilgrim has added none of those embellishments.

Album Review: Lacuna Coil - "Dark Adrenaline"

"Dark Adrenaline" seems to find Lacuna Coil firmly back in old headspace What we see here is a collection of songs that is extremely smooth, slick with the oil of arranged writing and refined production. This would lead cynics to argue that the band has given themselves headlong to their perceived homogenization with radio alternative metal. Not only has that criticism always been largely unfounded, but “Dark Adrenaline” sees Lacuna Coil deviate back toward the idiom that made “Karmacode” a success.

Album Review: Ringo Starr - "Ringo 2012"

Travel with me to a place less soaked with entrails and not nearly as dominated by despair. This place is full of legendary legacies and the tenets of breezy, feel-good rock and roll. This latter Elysiam is the easy going land of Ringo Starr.

Album Review: Goatwhore - "Blood for the Master"

I really thought I would hate this album. Goatwhore had done next to nothing for me along the entirety of their career, aside from occupying the conversational space where I would say to people, "well, if you can get by their name...they're not the worst band ever." Hardly gleaming praise.

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