heavy metal

There’s something about German power metal that sets it wide apart from all other manifestations of heavy metal; it is even different than the power metal from other European nations.

Defining a band's legacy is always a difficult thing. In the case of the Indestructible Noise Command, that's made doubly difficult by a rise to seeming prominence followed by a label failure and then a more than two decade hiatus. Now, 2011 finds the INC back in business, a resurrected agent of a gone era faced with a new metal reality. I sat down with guitarist and creative force Erik Barath for some honest Q and A about being back, and what it took to get back.

If you thought Crowbar’s “Sever the Wicked Hand” was the shoe-in champ for “Most Vicious American Metal Album of 2011,” you might be well served by staying your judgment for a moment and taking a listen to this.

In the muddled quagmire of up-and-coming bands that is crowded with acts like Black Veil Brides and Motionless in White, there stands Lazarus A.D, an increasingly rare embodiment of the original tenets of American metal.

SoulMotor’s album “Wrong Place at the Right Time” is a studied, skillful blending of time-tested themes. One part hedonistic strip club fodder, one part sludge-drenched metal fugue and one part classic rock homage, the album is then dipped in a candy coating of pulp fiction and biker babes.

Now, this is what we like to see. As Unearth gets older, they seem to be learning more and more about how to become the best band they can be. Each album from the metalcore sentinels has been better than the previous, and “Darkness in the Light” continues that impressive trend.

Expanding on what we were talking about last week, this album from “World Under Blood” hits closer to the proper death metal mark.

All Shall Perish’s new effort “This is Where it Ends,” leaves one without many words. Not because it is so unspeakably awful as to defy description, nor because it is so perfect that the clumsy words of mortals would fail to describe it.

The long running and yet on-again-off-again musical creation known as PAIN has twisted, turned, bent, changed, morphed and changed again over the years. The constant is frontman/guitar player Peter Tägtgren, who remains focused on turning PAIN into a household name.

Oddly enough, for an album that packs so much into the time allotted, there’s not a lot to say about Lock Up’s new album “Necropolis Transparent.” The super extreme grindcore supergroup, consisting of Tomas Lindberg (At the Gates,) Shane Embury (Napalm Death,) Nicholas Barker (ex-Cradle of Filth