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.

Concert Review: Gigantour - Megadeth, Motorhead

Not so different from the halcyon days of Ozzfest or Lollapalooza, Gigantour has become an annual staple in the music community. At the same time, the tour is among the last of a dying breed. The preponderance of festivals and their emerging popularity has caused a sort of death to the travelling circus of large tours. Those that still exist, such as the Mayhem festival and, for those inclined, the Warp tour, have been corporatized and transformed into musical billboard advertisements.

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: 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.

Album Review: Hypno5e - "Acid Mist Tomorrow"

French experimental metal. Those words, placed together, likely strike fear into the hearts of music fans everywhere, as visions of maudlin, costumed performers searching for a solution to their self-serving ennui dance through the frontal lobes.

Album Review: RAM - "Death"

RAM is a band that clings to the belief that heavy metal has been a misguided, wayward genre since the early 1980’s, drifting away from its homeland on unnecessarily blood-soaked tides.

RAM’s third studio album, named simply “Death,” is an album that is very late to heavy metal’s party. It is dressed to the nines in acid wash denim, crunchy guitar hooks, studded jackets and simple, refined beats. To glance at the band’s idiomatic lettering and cover art is to jump into the WABAC machine and gaze at metal’s past come to pulsating life.

Album Review: Candlelight Red - "The Wreckage"

There is no discernible reason I should enjoy this album. There's nothing especially revolutionary about it, no novel innovations of musical genius, no genre-bending composition of elements, no inspired, emotive soliloquies to make one pick up an axe and return to the fray.

Yet, there's an inimitable something about Candlelight Red's can-do album that makes me unable to dislike it.

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