album review

Night in Gales’ “Five Scars” touts itself as one of this year’s finest efforts in melodic death metal. That’s both true and not true.

Where “Five Scars” succeeds is in precision. Every note is timed perfectly, the measures attaching together like links of a long, unified chain. The drums of “This Neon Grave” alone should serve as testament to the band’s dedication to timed perfection.

To observe Glorior Belli's album "The Great Southern Darkness" objectively is to examine what seems like a collection of unaffiliated styles and locales. Bubbling up from the outskirts of Paris, the band carries a blend of extreme metal, black metal and late 90's-bred desert rock.

Crowned By Fire's "Prone to Destroy" is an album that makes connections with all the touchstones of basic, straight up heavy metal. No flowery dalliances, no tangential expositions, no long, emotive complexities. Just guitar, bass, drums and vocals, all locked together with a growling attitude and a blues-backed sensibility.

There’s a fair chance that much of this review will seem like a paraphrased version of our journey through Warbringer’s “Waking Into Nightmares” in 2009. That’s probably fairly accurate, but it stems from the fact that refreshingly little has changed about Warbringer.

And here we are. After a twisting, turning, practically soap-opera-plot sojourn, Anthrax’s long awaited “Worship Music” is finally available to the masses in the form that the band intended. Or at least, intended for the third time. In any event, we’re pretty sure this is it for revisions to the wayward, prodigal album of thrash metal’s recent cycle.

I was first introduced to Edguy during my college years, when "Mandrake" was the band's signature album. That album was possessed of fire and heart, armed with a devil-may-care attitude and a new age power metal swagger.

Gather round, fans of Fates Warning! Jim Matheos and former vocalist John Arch have put together a six-cut record of entirely new progressive metal material under the banner of brand new side project Arch/Matheos. "Sympathetic Resonance" lies somewhere between EP and full album, and was rendered from material that Matheos had written with preconceptions of another Fates Warning album. The musician goes on to say that he and Arch began working the songs one at a time, never really intending a full-length debut, but arriving at that destination in time.

First and foremost, “Inner Monster Out” is not Brazilian heavy metal as we traditionally think of it. Loaded with melodic artistry and accessible structures, Shadowside ignores the looming legacy and idiomatic trappings of their countrymen such as Sepultura or Torture Squad. What is left in place is a sound more akin to a cross between Lacuna Coil and not-quite-Iron-Maiden. That comparison has surprisingly little to do with the fact that Shadowside, like Lacuna Coil, has a female lead singer.

Emerging from Wales, Anterior arrived on the scene in 2007 with their debut album "This Age of Silence." Critics worldwide credited the band's acumen, and heavy metal pundits were now watching Anterior closely on radar. Widespread touring in support of acts like The Black Dahlia Murder, DevilDriver and Dragonforce increased the band's notoriety, all underscored by their affiliation with Metal Blade Records.

Cover songs can be a tremendously difficult wire to walk. This is even more true when covering songs that are beloved in the eyes of the general public in their original incarnation.