Staff picks


Dark Angel - Time Does Not Heal
19.02.2021 | Progressive thrash metal masterpiece

9 songs, 67 minutes, 246 riffs.
30 years old today. Still brilliant.

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nikarg
RaduP, Daniell
Tau Cross - Messengers Of Deception
15.01.2021 | Metal & Crust

When there is so much drama behind a release, it is usually because the material is not worthwhile. Messengers Of Deception is a staggering exception to this rule. Having been dumped by his label and bandmates, Rob 'The Baron' Miller ditched everything that was written by the departed band members, re-recorded his songs with new musicians and came up with the best crusty heavy metal record of 2020. This album is the product of an imaginary jam between Motörhead, Killing Joke, Amebix, and Primordial. And it is absolutely great.
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nikarg
Starvynth, Mr. Doctor
Motörhead - Bad Magic
28.12.2020 | We are Motörhead and we play rock 'n' roll

Five years without Lemmy. Pour yourself some Jack and coke, and listen to this last one.

"In your life you'll be amazed at all the love you lose
You can never live that life again
The one thing you will never lose is the singing in your head
That will still be with you till the end
"


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nikarg
ScreamingSteelUS, RaduP
Killer Be Killed - Reluctant Hero
07.12.2020 | Greg, Max, Troy, Ben.

A sick line-up originating from the wettest collective dream of millions of metalheads. A supergroup doing justice to the term 'supergroup'. Riffs to break every-fucking-thing that can (or cannot) be broken. Seismic groove to test how much the neck muscles can take. Choruses that dominate the brain's functioning. Killer Be Killed took the myth of the 'difficult second album' and smashed it to little pieces with the sledgehammer that is Reluctant Hero. Crank it up to 11; it's the only way.
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nikarg
RaduP
Saxon - Strong Arm Of The Law
14.11.2020 | British heavy metal thunder

1980 is the year that was generous enough to give us the debut albums / masterpieces by Iron Maiden, Diamond Head and Angel Witch. It was also the time that Saxon released their two (!) greatest records, Wheels Of Steel and Strong Arm Of The Law, thus making 1980 the year that marked the explosion of New Wave of British Heavy Metal. Today is the 40th anniversary of "Heavy Metal Thunder", "20,000 Ft", "Dallas 1PM" and the other five heavy metal anthems of Strong Arm Of The Law, which makes it a great opportunity to blast this all-killer-no-filler album in its entirety.
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nikarg
RaduP
Autonoesis - Autonoesis
17.10.2020 | Prog/tech/melo/death/black thrasher

This debut album by Autonoesis from Canada is a stellar blend of technical thrash metal with progressive and melodic death/black metal, and it is one of these rare cases that the record gets better and better with every listen. Imagine Voivod, Coroner, Death and Dissection jamming together and churning out invigorating and acrobatic riffs, as well as eclectic and emotional melodies, with a strong progressive undertow. This is an independent release so the sound could be improved and the complex character and songwriting calls for a real drummer rather than a drum machine but, frankly, this is a damn great album, especially considering that it came from out of nowhere.

Name your price and get it on Bandcamp right now.
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nikarg
RaduP, Dream Taster, Starvynth, ScreamingSteelUS
Delain - Apocalypse & Chill
04.10.2020 | Pop Metal

Don't judge a book by its cover. Apocalypse & Chill's title is a clear reference to the contemporary 'Netflix and Chill' trend, and the album cover is trying to depict our preoccupation to look gorgeous and take selfies while the world out there is on fire. Great idea, not so great execution. No matter what you think of the album cover and the antithesis it is trying to highlight, the music of Delain's latest is hitting the nail on the head; it takes modern metal guitar hooks that sound really heavy at times and adorns them with keyboards, chorals and symphonic elements in a very balanced manner. Apocalypse & Chill stays strong throughout its runtime, featuring its best material in the second half. Make sure to check out Charlotte's duet with Yannis Papadopoulos (Beast In Black) on "Vengeance", the super heavy "Creatures" with its chorus nodding to Queen's "The Show Must Go On", the absolutely epic "Masters Of Destiny" and the djenty (not joking) instrumental "Combustion".
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nikarg
RaduP, D.T. Metal, Ag Fox, Dream Taster
Megadeth - Rust In Peace
24.09.2020 | Mind-blowing Thrasher / Classic Banger

Exactly 30 years ago, on September 24th, Rust In Peace was unleashed upon the world and had the impact of an atomic bomb. Just before thrash metal's demise, Megadeth released a magnificent masterpiece that was at the same time so aggressive yet dexterous, so catchy yet progressive, so melodic yet gritty, that it would be considered groundbreaking even if it was released today. Alongside the two Daves, Rust in Peace was the first Megadeth album to feature lead guitarist Marty Friedman and the late Nick Menza on drums, thus undoubtedly forming the most talented line-up the band ever had. Titles like "Holy Wars... The Punishment Due", "Hangar 18", and "Tornado Of Souls" are carved with golden letters on the Book of Thrash's Legendary Tracks. To be consumed incessantly and irresponsibly until nuclear warfare wipes us off the face of this planet.

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nikarg
RaduP, Starvynth, ScreamingSteelUS, Troy Killjoy, Dream Taster, Darkside Momo, Daniell
Ysengrin - Initiatio
12.08.2020 | Dark metal

Initiatio is unfortunately the final full-length release of Ysengrin but an excellent adieu for the band nonetheless. It is a mystical, occult and avant-garde mid-tempo black metal album blended with doom and death metal, in the vein of Mortuary Drape and Necromantia, mainly due to the use of two basses as the instruments of choice for driving the songs. The sound feels raw and ancient but, most of all, dark and ritualistic. Half of the tracks have reappeared in early demos of the band and are reinterpreted here with new arrangements but always respecting their primitive nature.

Mastered on analog gear and graced with a wonderfully obscure cover art by Luciana Nedelea, Initiatio is Hermeticism in music form.
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nikarg
RaduP, Apothecary
Azure Emote - The Third Perspective
10.07.2020 | Transcending Death Metal

The third album of Azure Emote, the project of Mike Hrubovcak (Monstrosity, Vile) and Ryan Moll (In The Fire, Rumpelstiltskin Grinder), is an avantgarde and progressive take on death metal. Based on inventive riffs and adorned with industrial and electronic sounds, it also incorporates violin by Pete Johansen (ex-Sirenia, ex-Tristania), keyboards by Jonah Weingarten (Pyramaze, Echoterra), as well as the beautiful voice of Melissa Ferlaak (Aesma Daeva, Visions Of Atlantis). A lot of talent gathered to create The Third Perspective, a unique and thoroughly enjoyable metal music offering that comes in two versions; a full one and an instrumental one.
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nikarg
RaduP
Witches Hammer - Damnation Is My Salvation
30.04.2020 | Pit riffs
Bandcamp music player

Imagine a band forming in 1984 only to release their debut album in 2020. Witches Hammer throw early Slayer, Possessed and '80s Canadian hardcore punk attitude in the grinder and what comes out is spat on the face of the clean-cut, sweet-smelling, contemporary thrash.

Teenage riot music played by dudes who are well past their teenage years.
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nikarg
Troy Killjoy
Mastodon - Remission
04.02.2020 | Crusher Destroyer

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 10.07.2014 at 02:52

Still their best by miles

Marcel was right once again.
Remission is heavier than tennessine and more infectious than the coronavirus.

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nikarg
BitterCOld, Apothecary, Troy Killjoy, ScreamingSteelUS, Ag Fox, Mr. Doctor
Façade - The Eternal Dance
13.01.2020 | Death doom, Marcel doom
Bandcamp music player

Marcel did not get to post his "Best Of 2019" list but The Eternal Dance was one of his favourites and Façade is fronted by his friend (and Phlebotomized's vocalist) Ben de Graaff.

It is a concept album about cycles, inspired by the idea that our lives and everything that surrounds us are just small motions in a larger movement; a never-ending dance that forms the Universe. One motion ends, but a new one follows up to continue the dance. One life ends, but a new life is born.

Bandcamp
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nikarg
BitterCOld, Troy Killjoy, Nefarious
(EchO) - Below The Cover Of Clouds
15.11.2019 | In doom we trust
Bandcamp music player

The third full-length album by these Italians blends melodic death/doom metal with aerial post-rock and a touch of psychedelia. Combining deep growls with plaintive clean vocals and heavy riffs with atmospheric intersections, it showcases rawness and vulnerability in perfect balance. Mixed and mastered by Esoteric's Greg Chandler, with guest performances by members of Plateau Sigma and cover art done by none other than Costin Chioreanu, Below The Cover Of Clouds ticks all the boxes a doom metal album needs.

Let the clouds cover your dark fantasies at Bandcamp.
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nikarg
Abattoir