Reviews
Skuggsjá - A Piece For Mind & Mirror

Folk music and, more specifically, music played with locally traditional instruments has a long and colourful history in metal. It is probably the most tolerant subgenre when it comes to the acceptance of bands that aren't actually heavy in any way or don't use electric instruments. When we're speaking of Skuggsjá today, it's safe to say that their debut album, A Piece For Mind & Mirror, contains about half-electric and half-acoustic music, while not all the electric stuff can be considered metal, too. However, in recent years many bands showed that this can come out well, and Skuggsjá are not an exception to this.

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Posted: 30.04.2016 by Windrider | Comments (5)

Reviews
Glorior Belli - Sundown (The Flock That Welcomes)

Glorior Belli: purveyors of what can only be described, quite simply, as Southern fried black metal. Ever since their 2009 output Meet Us At The Southern sign, the band have been putting forth quite a peculiar sound, demonstrating a willingness to fuse black metal together with a bluesy, groovy Southern rock twist. 7 years and three albums later, Sundown sees the band returning to their roots in a sense, but also demonstrates that they've learned a few tricks from their Southern flirtations as well.

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Posted: 30.04.2016 by Apothecary | Comments (0)

Reviews
Haken - Affinity

My, my, my! Where to begin? Let's start with the obvious. Haken are a progressive metal band from the UK who aren't afraid to try new things as their previous works have shown. The Mountain was their breakthrough album and gathered considerable praise, and for good reason. Their newest opus, Affinity, is an interesting concept as it brings listeners back to the 1980s with throwback samples, sounds, melodies, even the artwork and packaging, marketing materials were all designed with that decade in mind. You know, when chatting involved a corded phone and music was recorded on tape.

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Posted: 29.04.2016 by Demonic Tutor | Comments (4)

Reviews
Atomikylä - Keräily

There is something potent looming on the horizon, a deadly haze of radiation. Beware the Atomic Village.

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Posted: 26.04.2016 by Apothecary | Comments (6)

Reviews
Fallujah - Dreamless

The Flesh Prevails marked an extraordinary change in Fallujah. Soaring leaps and bounds beyond the confines of genres and all preconceived assessments of the band's potential, Fallujah created a true masterpiece that fused atmosphere, heaviness, and technicality seamlessly. Had Fallujah crafted a successor that mimicked The Flesh Prevails perfectly, no one would have complained, but The Flesh Prevails itself proved that this band has no desire to rest on its laurels. Dreamless diverges enough from its predecessor to demonstrate the band's further development, but nevertheless lives up to the impossibly high standard that Fallujah set back in 2014.

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Posted: 23.04.2016 by ScreamingSteelUS | Comments (9)

Reviews
October Tide - Winged Waltz

Under the moniker October Tide, Fredrik Norman and Jonas Renkse released two iconic albums in the mid-1990s. Both had a dark connotation and created a parallel musical path from their main band Katatonia. While the latter band and Renkse have moved on, piling album after album of quality gothic rock since the departure of the influential Norman brothers in 2009, October Tide and Norman have retained the gritty death doom metal sound that most people identify with Sweden despite a 10-year hiatus and many lineup changes. In 2012, after the release of A Thin Shell, gone were Tobias Netzell and Pierre Stam, both from In Mourning. Alexander Högbom took over on vocals while Fredrik's younger brother Mattias filled in on bass. After 2013's Tunnel of No Light, now gone is drummer Robin Bergh replaced by Jocke Wallgren. October Tide's fifth studio album is entitled Winged Waltz.

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Posted: 22.04.2016 by Demonic Tutor | Comments (5)

Reviews
Entombed A.D. - Dead Dawn

Entombed lives.

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Posted: 20.04.2016 by ScreamingSteelUS | Comments (1)

Reviews
The SLoT - Septima

Aside from the time they literally made the same album twice, The SLoT has never made the same album twice. Even 14 years in, Cache and ID still have new ways to challenge themselves and their bandmates into broaching new territory. Now officially nine-for-nine, The SLoT once more answers the question of how perfection can be improved upon.

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Posted: 17.04.2016 by ScreamingSteelUS | Comments (17)

Reviews
Sinbreed - Master Creator

Sinbreed, now short one Marcus Siepen, breaks off another chunk of that heavy-speed-power freight train it has been farming for years. Master Creator offers no divergence from its predecessors - startlingly little, in fact, to the point that the tracklists of all three albums are fairly interchangeable. Unlike Shadows or When Worlds Collide, however, Master Creator lacks strong singles to anchor the album and drive it home.

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Posted: 13.04.2016 by ScreamingSteelUS | Comments (3)

Reviews
The Foreshadowing - Seven Heads, Ten Horns

The Roman band The Foreshadowing has had enough success since its inception to be touring with the likes of Moonspell and Swallow The Sun. With three solid albums, they have endeared themselves to gothic metal aficionados worldwide. When they announced the departure of long-time drummer Jonah Padella in 2013, I was concerned. But then the same announcement mentioned that their close friend and producer Giuseppe Orlando of Novembre fame was taking over. Immediately I knew their next album would be something special. After two years of silence, their new opus entitled Seven Heads, Ten Horns will be available this week.

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Posted: 11.04.2016 by Demonic Tutor | Comments (8)

Reviews
Camel Of Doom - Terrestrial

Hailing from the UK, the wonderfully named Camel Of Doom hammer, bash and spit out, as their name implies, doom. Like the sands of the Sahara, a slow-moving crushing wave that will slowly engulf all… except the camels which traverse them. Or something.

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Posted: 09.04.2016 by BitterCOld | Comments (5)

Reviews
Textures - Phenotype

The way I see it, there are two variants of math metal. There's the relatively subdued kind that's easily deciphered within a few listens and compatible with headbanging. Then there's the kind that always seems to purposely go out of the way to seem random and continues to feel that way irrespective of the number of times you spin it. Textures is a band very familiar with walking that fine line. With their latest release, Phenotype, they have decided to put their fans' numeracy to the test.

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Posted: 09.04.2016 by LeKiwi | Comments (9)

Reviews
Babymetal - Metal Resistance

Is it possible to review a band like this without becoming mired interminably in the comically astronomical depths of controversy that dog any and all assessments of them? No, I suppose it isn't. Babymetal are not reviled - they are super infinity-plus-one polarizing to a degree that defies precedent, enough to make dimethyl sulfoxide look like hexane. But now that we've acknowledged as much, let's discuss this album like adults, shall we?

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Posted: 01.04.2016 by ScreamingSteelUS | Comments (107)

Reviews
Moonsorrow - Jumalten Aika

Sharpen your wooden spear and brush your bear pelt, epic heathen metal is making a comeback with the return of one of the most famous Finnish bands out there, Moonsorrow. It has been five years already since the dark sonic haunts of Varjoina Kuljemme Kuolleiden Maassa so the release of Jumalten Aika does feel like a return in earnest. Meaning "The Age of Gods", their latest offering is a true rebirth of that larger-than-life pagan metal sound.

With a steady lineup and a winning formula, the Helsinki natives didn't need to reinvent the wheel. And they haven't. So if you were hoping for an evolution, this album is not providing it. You could say the band stayed true to form. With 5 tracks for a running time of 67 minutes, you know you are in for the renowned Moonsorrow experience. My first impressions were that this could pass as Verisäkeet Part II. And that vibe holds strong and true through many listens. Intrigued? You should be.

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Posted: 27.03.2016 by Demonic Tutor | Comments (15)

Reviews
Amon Amarth - Jomsviking

Ever since With Oden On Our Side, Amon Amarth has been steadily succumbing to softer production and less inventive songwriting, each successive album lacking something more. I can't say that Jomsviking reverses this trend, but Amon Amarth has pulled out some new tricks so as to at least slow its descent and plateau into tepid stability.

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Posted: 26.03.2016 by ScreamingSteelUS | Comments (20)

Reviews
New Keepers Of The Water Towers - Infernal Machine

A modern shaman once firmly told us that psychedelics are not illegal because compassionate governments are concerned about you jumping out windows when you're too high, but rather because they open you up to questioning and the possibility that everything you've been told is wrong. But we all know that's a load of crap. It's really because no feds want mischief makers like New Keepers Of The Water Towers tripped out all day recording silly tributes to the Sun God when they could instead be active, productive members of the labor force. But I certainly don't mind it.

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Posted: 23.03.2016 by Apothecary | Comments (11)

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