album reviews

Album Review: Abscess - "Dawn of Inhumanity"

I admit this is not what I thought it would be.

From hearing the description and reading the band’s press release, I truly expected Abscess’ new effort “Dawn of Inhumanity” to be a mess. I thought it would be visceral and unrefined; a slogging pile of steaming metaphor and brutal imagery.

Album Review: Overkill - "Ironbound"

Evaluating an Overkill album is at this point much the same operation as evaluating an AC/DC album. If you like one, you’ll like them all. So for me, it’s more a question of how much I like the album relative to other Overkill efforts. I’m always curious to see what new minor cosmetic tweaks the band has made ever since finding their stride with “The Years of Decay” in 1989. Much the same as their American thrash contemporaries over the past two or so years, Overkill does not disappoint with their newest release, “Ironbound.”

Album Review: HIM - "Screamworks: Love in Theory and Practice, Chapters 1-13"

I could barely get through this.

I was prepared to not like "Screamworks: Love in Theory and Practice," the new album from Finnish "Love Metal" experts HIM, as I was not a fan of their previous works. If nothing else, the band is always well produced and has the capacity to chameleon themselves into whatever shape they want. So, I wanted to give them a puncher's chance.

And they whiffed.

Album Review: Serj Tankian - "Elect the Dead Symphony"

This just didn't work out.

Serj Tankian went to all the trouble of getting his hands on a full orchestra to recreate his solo album "Elect the Dead"...and then didn't have them do anything.

Album Review: Rob Zombie - "Hellbilly Deluxe 2"

At this point, I had no idea what to expect from Rob Zombie. “Hellbilly Deluxe” and “Sinister Urge” were both modern masterpieces, and then “Educated Horses” was a confusing, muddled mess of an album. After a few years away directing movies, out comes “Hellbilly Deluxe 2,” finally debuting after two lengthy delays from the time of recording in 2008.

This new album is several magnitudes of order better than “Educated Horses.” I’m not exactly going out on a limb by saying that, but there it is.

Album Review - Taking Dawn, "Time to Burn"

You know what? I can get behind this.

Four or five years ago, I likely wouldn’t have cared for this album. I’m sure that I would have recoiled at enjoying an album that has this much mainstream appeal, and I certainly would have bristled at the idea of music that practically borders on hair metal revival.

Yet, in the midst of what seems to be an interminable period of mainstream metal that’s turned to doughy, emotional rock, “Time to Burn” is a nice, bombastic party rock album to have in your back pocket.

Album Review: "Volume 4: Songs in the Key of Love and Hate" by Puddle of Mud

First off, a confession. When Puddle of Mudd burst onto the scene in 2001, my first thought as a good nerd was that they were making a reference to the Star Trek character Harry Mudd. Turned out not to be the case. I immediately thought less of the band. They’ve done little to

The Product - "Break the Silence" Review

The Product is an independent band trying to make themselves distinct from the cacophony of endless digestible post-punk influenced rock. It’s a difficult road to walk on, and a long path of hard work lay ahead of them. Still their EP “Break the Silence” shows glimmers of promise toward becoming something more than generic radio filler.

Five Finger Death Punch - "War is the Answer" Review

The first and most important thing about Five Finger Death Punch's album "War is the Answer" is that it is steadfastly honest. There is no dense allegory, no convoluted metaphor, nothing that makes the listener strain to understand the album's intent. This is pure, unadulterated American heavy metal, with no sidebars, no apologies and no layers. This is the album's most redeemable quality and its strongest cornerstone.

Slayer - "World Painted Blood" Review

From 1983 to 1985, the new wave of American thrash kicked off with an explosion of albums. Leading the way were four singular pieces that would dictate the pace for years to come. Metallica's "Kill 'em All," Megadeth's "Killing is My Business...and Business is Good!" Anthrax's "Fistful of Metal," and Slayer's "Show No Mercy."

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