Reviews
Valient Thorr - Old Salt

Even on album #7, Valient Thorr has a pretty raw, unpolished sound that livens up the store-brand rock'n'roll. The band's unexpected attitude may certainly catch the listener off-guard long enough to plant the seeds of appreciation; at the end of the day, that attitude makes for a lot of Old Salt's appeal.

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Posted: 27.09.2016 by ScreamingSteelUS | Comments (0)

Reviews
Charred Walls Of The Damned - Creatures Watching Over The Dead

I was *this* close to binning Creatures Watching Over The Dead. I could never really crack open Cold Winds On Timeless Days, and after five years of trying, I've determined that it's because there is nothing to "get" about that album. When I found Creatures Watching Over The Dead similarly difficult to dive into at first listen, I assumed that it was also devoid of deeper value; after multiple sessions, however, it seems that Charred Walls Of The Damned has actually succeeded in releasing an album that challenges the listener to do more than simply wait until the boredom ends.

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Posted: 25.09.2016 by ScreamingSteelUS | Comments (7)

Reviews
Devin Townsend - Transcendence

"Transcendence" is not a big enough word to describe this album. Transcendence is the first true collaboration between Devin and the rest of the Project, featuring songwriting contributions from the stellar cast of musicians that has helped bring Devin's machinations to life over the course of several releases. Not only that, but Transcendence also returns Devin to his throne as a much more personal album than DTP's last few offerings and the strongest musical statement he has made in quite a few years.

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Posted: 22.09.2016 by ScreamingSteelUS | Comments (40)

Reviews
Sumerlands - Sumerlands

This isn't tight jeans, big hair, "coke off a stripper's ass" heavy metal. But it'll blow your mind in the same way without you really realizing quite what's happening. No, this is "walk softly and carry a big stick" heavy metal.

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Posted: 16.09.2016 by Susan | Comments (5)

Reviews
Twilight Force - Heroes Of Mighty Magic

Join Twilight Force, young girls and boys, on this great quest! Together with brethren such as Gloryhammer and Fairyland, they will defend the Twilight Kingdom against the dark lords of serious metal! Ride with our heroes on colorful dragons to the barren lands of evil, harsh metals, and battle the enemy with weapons such as sing-a-long choruses, lush orchestrations, and pure happiness! The quest will be long, exactly 12 tracks, but the energy will remain high with catchy tune after catchy tune to inspire your fellowship. Grab your enchanted sword, head to the wizard for blessings of mighty magic; we ride at sunrise. (Must provide own sword and unicorn.)

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Posted: 15.09.2016 by Susan | Comments (15)

Reviews
Chariots Of The Gods - Ages Unsung

Chariots Of The Gods made quite a statement with their 2013 debut LP, Tides Of War. We were granted a glimpse of highly atmospheric, expertly performed, metalcore-laden, guitar-driven melodic death metal, which launched the band in some impressive directions. In addition to several tours across Canada and myriad festivals, they became the first Canadian metal band to tour Cuba.

What made Chariots Of The Gods stand out previously was 1) their amazing guitarwork and 2) their ability to infuse great straightforward metal with substantial atmosphere. After some significant line-up changes (including a new drummer, rhythm guitarist, and vocalist) I'm happy to report that the amazing guitarwork is still very much present, though regarding point #2, the atmosphere is mostly gone. What we're left with is just... straightforward.

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Posted: 14.09.2016 by Susan | Comments (1)

Reviews
Bloody Hammers - Lovely Sort Of Death

Lovely Sort Of Death is a lovely sort of album. Bloody Hammers fits in with New Wave and old school goth rock much more than with Black Sabbath, whose essence the imagery on the cover clearly invokes, and I've admittedly found it hard to detach from my expectations of something heavier and doomier, but Bloody Hammers has an addicting sound of its own.

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Posted: 13.09.2016 by ScreamingSteelUS | Comments (2)

Reviews
Deadlock - Hybris

Hybris makes a powerful opening statement with bludgeoning, thrashy riffs and invigorating screams, but as soon as Margie Gerlitz adds her clean vocals to the mix, all the momentum that Deadlock has succeeded in building up jumps right into the sea. Hybris doesn't close up shop for good after the awkward mess of Beauty & the Beast-style alt/metalcore that takes up the first four minutes, but the album suffers from many similar stops and starts that break the flow and make it difficult to appreciate the sensible decisions and well-written songs present here.

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Posted: 13.09.2016 by ScreamingSteelUS | Comments (1)

Reviews
Triggerman - Atomic Rock Number 79

Trigger Warning: ass-shaking, beer chugging, sing-a-long riff-centric tunes from my favorite raucous Irish party patrol.

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Posted: 12.09.2016 by BitterCOld | Comments (0)

Reviews
Iron Fire - Among The Dead

Despite its thick, grungy opening and more millennial take on aggressive pacing, Iron Fire is a veteran power metal act - and if you weren't paying attention, you'd be excused for thinking that this was all they could ever be. Among The Dead is essentially what I was hoping the new Sinbreed would be - no frills heavy/power with compelling vocals and catchy melodies - but with a lot of elements you aren't likely to find in most bands committed to that archetype. "Hardcore power metal" might be a more fitting description for this sound.

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Posted: 04.09.2016 by ScreamingSteelUS | Comments (5)

Reviews
Nails - You Will Never Be One Of Us

I'm back baby! Sort of. Broken English, some profanity, bad taste in jokes, questionable legitimacy, awesome taste in music. Hence the Nails review. Nothing's changed.

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Posted: 02.09.2016 by Ilham | Comments (3)

Reviews
Inthyflesh - The Flaming Death

The Flaming Death is an incredibly hypnotizing album of raw black metal. Portugal's Inthyflesh shows that you only need the barest of tools to create startling atmosphere, if you know what you're doing. Indeed, they know.

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Posted: 31.08.2016 by Susan | Comments (2)

Reviews
Dust Bolt - Mass Confusion

Some days it seems like thrash is one of the only metal subgenres that refuses to get a grip and evolve, but even in an era of edentulous epigones of Exodus, amidst a surfeit of sweatily-shouted shibboleths swiped from Slayer, bands like Dust Bolt arrive to issue reminders that thrash can still be fun and brash without being self-parodic and obnoxious.

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Posted: 31.08.2016 by ScreamingSteelUS | Comments (2)

Reviews
Evergrey - The Storm Within

The musicians of Evergrey have had a tumultuous and hard-fought career, and even though the band has had many talented members, the current lineup is being rightfully regarded as their best. Following the triumphant combined returns of Henrik Danhage and Jonas Ekdahl in 2014, the album Hymns for the Broken set the new standard for the band. 2016 sees their new offering come to life through AFM Records, bearing the title The Storm Within. So?

So, circle the calendar. The dark poets of progressive power metal have struck gold again.

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Posted: 28.08.2016 by Demonic Tutor | Comments (9)

Reviews
Sabaton - The Last Stand

The hype train for The Last Stand was as swift, powerful, and unstoppable as Jan III Sobieski at the Battle of Vienna. Sabaton and Nuclear Blast ardently touted this album as a new chapter in the band's sonic evolution, a new incarnation of our Swedish pals featuring more experimentation and variation than ever. It's clear that they wanted us to recognize something greater in The Last Stand. But what is it that sets The Last Stand apart?

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Posted: 20.08.2016 by ScreamingSteelUS | Comments (75)

Reviews
Horseback - Dead Ringers

On the morning of August 12, when I went on Bandcamp eager to listen to this new Horseback album in full, I saw a little blurb in the upper right corner that described it as music where "the distorted swagger of Neil Young's Crazy Horse sits at a table next to the haunted dronescapes of Sunn O)))." I burst out laughing then and there at how ridiculously silly this description sounded. But I would later regret it upon entering the realm of Horseback once more, and realizing just how accurate that label truly is.

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Posted: 14.08.2016 by Apothecary | Comments (18)

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