Reviews
Axel Rudi Pell - Game Of Sins

To me, Axel Rudi Pell epitomizes generic power metal: trite and nonspecific lyrical content, pleasant (if commonplace) operatic vocals, and songs raised by the Euro-flower hegemony but born of hard rock and the synth-laced pop music of generations past. Game Of Sins does nothing to ameliorate my image of the band, but neither does it contain anything worthy of heavy disparagement.

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Posted: 22.05.2016 by ScreamingSteelUS | Comments (1)

Reviews
Autokrator - The Obedience To Authority

"Autokrator" is a term, Greek in origin, which roughly translates to "self ruler," or "one who rules by self." It is an epithet that conveys raw, unrestrained power and authority. Fittingly then, the sophomore effort from the French Autokrator gives listeners a fine lesson in such authority.

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Posted: 21.05.2016 by Apothecary | Comments (5)

Reviews
Ihsahn - Arktis.

As the solo career of Ihsahn progressed, it seemed as though this versatile multi-instrumentalist was gradually pushing his work more and more towards bolder, unexpected territories. It was a trend that arguably started with After, and that came to a peak with Das Seelenbrechen, an ambitious voyage into dark lands of the surreal and borderline Avantgarde. As a bit of a disappointment, Arktis now comes this year from a much more accessible direction, feeling like something of a ball drop after all that progress.

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Posted: 21.05.2016 by Apothecary | Comments (56)

Reviews
Metal Church - XI

XI proves Metal Church still worthy of its name - perhaps more worthy than it has been in many years.

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Posted: 21.05.2016 by ScreamingSteelUS | Comments (2)

Reviews
Death Angel - The Evil Divide

Too many people out there treat Death Angel as a "really good" thrash band; not enough regard this legend as a truly great thrash band. These guys must have a serious geis on releasing subpar albums.

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Posted: 20.05.2016 by ScreamingSteelUS | Comments (8)

Reviews
In Mourning - Afterglow

Sweden's In Mourning have earned being called a premier band in the field of progressive melodic death. Often stamped as Opeth's successors, even more so since Akerfeld and his revamped horde have veered off into some kind of progressive rock experience, the musicians from the city of Falun are set to unleash Afterglow on the metalsphere. And it is something quite special.

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Posted: 20.05.2016 by Demonic Tutor | Comments (6)

Reviews
Kitties Of Death - Valley Of The Dead

Somewhere along the line, Kitties Of Death made some creative decisions that doomed this album to an untimely death. We'll gloss over the name "Kitties Of Death" for now and just take the issues with that as read. For today, the primary stumbling block with which we must contend is the interesting fact that Kitties Of Death was simply the wrong band to record this album.

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Posted: 15.05.2016 by ScreamingSteelUS | Comments (8)

Reviews
Suidakra - Realms Of Odoric

Arkadius Antonik has been successfully steering the ship of Suidakra for over 20 years. The German band has received plenty of praise for their folk-enriched melodic death metal, especially during the time guitarist Marcel Schoenen was on board. The classic and epic albums The Arcanum and Emprise To Avalon, the more brutal Signs For The Fallen, the more folk-oriented trilogy of Caledonia, Crógacht and Book Of Dowth. And more recently, Eternal Defiance. Three years have passed and Realms Of Odoric shall make its presence know soon through AFM Records.

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Posted: 15.05.2016 by Demonic Tutor | Comments (3)

Reviews
Grand Magus - Sword Songs

Grand Magus's career has always been predicated on the recapitulation of longstanding metal tropes and, occasionally, the search for creative ways in which to achieve that. I'm typically unfazed by the band's obvious indebtedness to so many clichés, and I'd even call the stylistically pedestrian Triumph And Power my favorite Grand Magus work so far. Sword Songs follows similar formulas, though the album does introduce a few atypical elements from time to time.

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Posted: 06.05.2016 by ScreamingSteelUS | Comments (3)

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 (6)

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 (3)

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 (5)

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 (8)

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 (11)

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)

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