Appearance Of Nothing - All Gods Are Gone

Progressive Metal 13.04.2011

Coming from relative obscurity, this Swiss progressive metal group's album came as a pleasant surprise. While it doesn't hurt to get a little help from Dan Swanö and Devon Graves, these guys do "quite alright" in their own right. There are excellent compositions that keep you interested and some great melodies/ideas throughout for a very consistent album. This isn't cookie-cutter prog metal either, with some unpredictable diversions into power, heavy, folk and electronica for added zest. The songs evoke straightforward feelings of anger and despair that will connect more strongly with the listener than the more convoluted tendencies common in prog bands. Recommended for fans of Ayreon, Pagan's Mind, Scar Symmetry, and/or Vanden Plas.
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Introspekrieg
Ag Fox, BloodTears



Deafheaven - Roads To Judah

Atmospheric black metal / shoegaze 10.04.2011

Finally a worthwhile blackgaze album that doesn't feature Neige! Deafheaven's debut is as beautiful as it is barbaric, adding in some majestic post-metal ambience for the sake of a truly depressive, majestic journey. Highly recommended for fans of Alcest and company.

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Maruta - Forward Into Regression

Grindcore 10.04.2011

A challenger for the best neck-breaking grindcore album of 2011 appears... Seriously, this is the kind of killer shit that is guaranteed to rip you at least one new asshole.

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OSI - Free

Progressive metal 08.04.2011

When Fates Warning's guitar mastermind Jim Matheos and ex-Dream Theater Kevin Moore unite, we have musical sparks. These sparks will burn you to the core with corrosive lyrics, bursts of heavy riffs, electronic soundscapes and weird noises. Some of these songs are like magnets, you can't help but being drawn to them. Expect musical "freedom", tasteful progressive metal and creative melodies.

OSI will release their new album later this year, so maybe we'll get some of that magic again. If you are in the mood for something different, give it a go.



Stolen Babies - There Be Squabbles Ahead

Avant-garde metal 06.04.2011

If over the last four years, you somehow managed to miss this fun little trip to a macabre fairy tale about the twisted circus of your dreams... I don't actually know what to tell you besides that you've failed me as a friend. This album is a catchy ice metal sundae made up of a delicious blend of dark cabaret music, Oingo Boingo, Mr. Bungle, nuts and chocolate syrup, all topped off with a lightly flavored black/thrash metal cherry. Take your time. Enjoy it... but you should probably finish it before they (hopefully) dish out their new album this year.

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Aaskereia - Dort, wo das alte Böse ruht

Pagan Black Metal 05.04.2011

A lot of people were perturbed by Aaskereia's rather nifty 'Mit Raben und Wölfen' record due to the unusually wail-y vocals present, despite being a top notch display of ultra catchy pagan black metal. Regardless, returneth they do with their first full length in over 7 years and they haven't lost it, in fact they've grown in maturity exponentially. While the shrieks are still present they're combined with a veritable amada of other vocals styles from dramatic cleans, deathly growls and even a hint of Attila inspired insanity - Grim (yes Grim) is an extremely versatile vocalist. All serve exceptionally well to the driving, melody drenched black metal akin at times to Nagelfar's indomitable 'Hünengrab im Herbst' record.

Quality crap.



Heavenwood - Abyss Masterpiece

Gothic Death type thing 04.04.2011

Great riffs, great melodies, epic synths, and plenty of variety out the wazzoo. An incredibly deep sounding album no matter how you slice it. A must-hear for anyone who is looking for some top-notch 2011 releases.

Fun for the whole family.

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Doc Godin
Ag Fox, DerRozzengarten



Born Of Osiris - The Discovery

Progressive Deathcore 03.04.2011

Born Of Osiris was never the easiest thing to "get". But this album really shows a band on top of its game.
If you ever needed a good reason to check out Born Of Osiris, here it is!

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Nervecell - Psychogenocide

Death Metal 03.04.2011

Arabian death metallers Nervecell have returned to attack our senses with this, their second full length album entitled 'Psychogenocide'.

Brutal, thrashy & progressive yet refined, this album is a natural progression from 2008's 'Preaching Venom' and stands out as one of the best death metal releases of 2011 so far.

Featuring traditional arabic instruments such as the 'Oud', arabic & english lyrics (a rarity in extreme metal), fantastic guitar work and a guest appearance by none other than Karl Sanders from Nile, this is an album that all death metal fans should check out and is a nice example of what talent there is to be found in the Arabian metal scene.

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Nefarious
Troy Gallant, wormdrink414



Uriah Heep - Wake The Sleeper

Hard rock 03.04.2011

In two weeks, the legendary Uriah Heep will release Into The Wild, their 22nd studio album. Wake The Sleeper is the band's last effort from 2008, which itself was their first in a decade, and is an amazing hard rock album that can be compared to their greats from the 70's. You'll be doing yourself a great injustice by not checking them out.

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Baz Anderson
Fat & Sassy!



Forty-Two Tits - The Probability Theory Proven Wrong

Nu-Metric Numeric Metal 01.04.2011

Founded by a couple of girls obsessed with numbers, Forty-Two Tits might just be one of the craziest new bands of the last decade. This precisely calculated piece of music, filled with allusions to famous mathematicians and maths problems, as well as the question how much boob is enough boob, is a masterpiece in its own right.

Their music is definitely not playing by numbers, actually stating that they squared their originality is an understatement. Mixing their brilliance with an equal amount of sexuality and computations approaching infinity, this is the must-hear album of the year!



Buzzov•en - ...At A Loss

sludge 28.03.2011

Horrible music for horrible people... "At A Loss" is raw, visceral, angry, throbbing, raging sludge. The most pleasant thing about this album are the moribund movie clips that signal the start of virtually every song on this album. The music is a harsh blend of the energy of hard core punk with the misanthropy of black metal and the overall vibe of doom. The worst of all worlds. Have some fun and blare their cover of "Don't Bring Me Down" for the ELO fan in your life... it will bring them down, down, down, down, down... ooh-oh-hooo.

And be sure to catch these guys pitch a Whiskey Fit at Hellfest this year.
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BitterCOld
Marcel Hubregtse



40 Watt Sun - The Inside Room

Dooooom metal 27.03.2011

If you have been paying any attention at all, you know that 40 Watt Sun is the reincarnation of the now-defunct Warning (and if you don't even know who Warning is, gtfo). Let me tell you, Patrick Walker once again delivers: the atmosphere is, well, you'll just have to experience for yourself. The mandatory stuff for every self-loathing doom fan.

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Candiria - Kiss The Lie

Technical / Progressive / Jazz / Hardcore 24.03.2011

Here's an album that we all missed when it was first released back in 2009. This is probably because the band only released it on vinyl and as an mp3 bundle on their website. Well, it's a real shame that no real promotion was done for Kiss The Lie because it is a superb little hidden gem, filled to the brim with complex riffs, unorthodox song structures, innovative instrumental virtuosity and some of the best melodies Candiria ever composed.

Note: The version floating around on iTunes is not endorsed by the band since it is unfinished. You need to go to http://risingpulse.com/ to get the real thing.
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jupitreas
BloodTears



Zoroaster - Matador

Psychedelic Doom 20.03.2011

Continuing the annual trend of finding (or in this case re-visiting, more or less, ignored) records that should have found their way onto "Best Of" lists the year after their release Zoroaster, a band I'm largely unfamiliar with, are one of the first objects of retrospective desire. Supposedly denizens of the sludge genre this little beauty seems largely devoid of most of the characteristics that adorn that musical subset, the bludgeoning force still present but wrapped in a veil of a stoned-out, mind melting maelstrom, the closing title track being a particularly delicious exercise in Skullflower-driven dronery. And yes, dronery is a word.

So yeah, don't be a toaster, go grab Zoroaster.

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