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Reviews
Suffocation - Of The Dark Light

Four years after Pinnacle Of Bedlam and with two new additions in the line-up, drummer Eric Morotti and guitarist Charlie Errigo, Suffocation are back with a new album. The expectations from a band that has shown remarkable consistency in its output quality and has played an important part in shaping much of what death metal is today are always high. The question is if Of The Dark Light meets these expectations.

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Posted: Today by nikarg | Comments (0)

Reviews
Schammasch - The Maldoror Chants: Hermaphrodite

When bands that have won themselves a sizable following through the employment of a certain sound suddenly change their sound radically with a new release and piss off a good portion of their fanbase, I love it. Why? Because it shows the band in question doesn't care about pleasing fans by recycling a certain formula, and that a lot of fans are a lot less about "let the band do what they want" than they'd lead you to believe. This is inevitably going to be the case with this new EP from Schammasch.

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Posted: 17.07.2017 by Apothecary | Comments (12)

Reviews
Wormwood - Ghostlands - Wounds From A Bleeding Earth

It is a common experience that some albums need time to sink in and grow on you, sounding better and better after every listen. On other occasions comes an album that gets you hooked from the very beginning and the more you spin it, the more you are left flabbergasted by the sheer brilliance of it. Ghostlands - Wounds From A Bleeding Earth belongs to the latter kind.

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Posted: 15.07.2017 by nikarg | Comments (15)

Reviews
Descend Into Despair - Synaptic Veil

Funeral doom really seems to have two main denominations, the dark, evil, and abysmal kind, and a "lighter," more melodic brand that focuses on conjuring the melancholic vibes from a different angle. In recent years there's been more of an emergence of the latter type, from the likes of Bell Witch, Below The Sun, Chrch, and others. Others such as the Romanian Descend Into Despair.

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Posted: 14.07.2017 by Apothecary | Comments (0)

Reviews
Battle Hag - Tongue Of The Earth

The monastic intonations and ethereal, Middle Eastern guitar leads that introduce Battle Hag's debut are so auspicious that I wondered if they weren't preparing to overstep their advertised sludge/stoner boundaries. That proves not to be the case for the most part, as Tongue Of The Earth is avowedly stoner doom, but there are a few more touches of personality from time to time - and in any case there's something to be said for just doing one thing really well.

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Posted: 12.07.2017 by ScreamingSteelUS | Comments (1)

Reviews
Warbringer - Woe To The Vanquished

Warbringer, one of the most prominent representatives of the last decade's thrash resurgence, is back with a new album, four long years after the more experimental and definitely underrated IV: Empires Collapse. The band's latest output, Woe To The Vanquished, doesn't sound much like its predecessor, being more straightforward and risk-free.

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Posted: 05.07.2017 by nikarg | Comments (10)

Reviews
Vallenfyre - Fear Those Who Fear Him

Long story short: Vallenfyre were formed back in 2010 by Greg Mackintosh (Paradise Lost) as an outlet to actively deal with the death of his father, with Hamish Glencross (ex-My Dying Bride) as co-founding member. The band has already released two acclaimed albums and Fear Those Who Fear Him is their highly anticipated successor, so let's dive into Vallenfyre's bottomless pit and listen to the music.

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Posted: 21.06.2017 by nikarg | Comments (9)

Reviews
Overkill - The Grinding Wheel

Overkill is back! In fact this is the 18th album in a career that is now nearing four decades, meaning that this band has been around for more years than most of the people reading this review have been walking on this planet. The New Jersey thrashers made an impressive comeback in 2010 with Ironbound and since then they have sworn to leave us speechless every time they put out something new. The band is clearly going through its second prime and The Grinding Wheel is here to prove it.

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Posted: 19.06.2017 by nikarg | Comments (11)

Reviews
Fargo Rock City: A Heavy Metal Odyssey In Rural Nörth Daköta

Chuck Klosterman's semiautobiographical account of glam metal history and his own youthful experiences with it is now 16 years old, meaning that not only is the book right smack in the target demographic for these bands, but we are now farther removed from the book's advent than it was from the distant years of L.A.-based hedonism it chronicled on its publication. You must be thinking that Metal Storm is wildly behind the times when it comes to printed metal, and given that our last book review was published over four years ago (and covered a book published in 2007), you're probably correct. A generous coworker recently passed this book along to me after acquiring it through means that were probably not the death-defying heist movie acrobatics I like to imagine, and since it was a short book and a quick read, I knocked it out in between refinishing Star Wars: The New Jedi Order and restarting Star Wars: The Dark Nest Trilogy. Various and sundry emotions flickered back and forth through my head as I read this book, and I think I came out of it feeling more contentious than enlightened most of the time, but after all is said and done, I'm glad I read it and I would recommend that others do so, particularly metal fans of my generation (that is, the generation that was too young to understand why The Phantom Menace was so gut-emulsifyingly awful at the time).

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Posted: 16.06.2017 by ScreamingSteelUS | Comments (13)

Reviews
Gravetemple - Impassable Fears

With my drone adventurism for the current year, up til this point I had been coming across some pretty good releases, but none that seriously knocked my socks off. Then Gravetemple entered the picture.

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Posted: 10.06.2017 by Apothecary | Comments (11)

Reviews
Iced Earth - Incorruptible

Incorruptible, like Plagues Of Babylon, lacks the visceral, unrelenting songwriting and crisp production of Dystopia; it doesn't hit as hard or as immediately. While that's a hard claim to back up when "Great Heathen Army" kicks off the album with Stu Block screeching, "VALHALLA!" at the top of his lungs, the first half of the album is more of a slow burn. It's the second half of the album - the folk-influenced instrumental whirlwind of "Ghost Dance," the earnest and moving tribute to camaraderie in "Brothers," and the second strike of epic lightning in "Clear The Way" - that really takes off from the moment of first contact.

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Posted: 10.06.2017 by ScreamingSteelUS | Comments (7)

Reviews
Succumb - Succumb

Death metal has made quite the impressive comeback in the 2010s. Though still present, the wave of grandpa metaller bands trying to replicate what worked for the genre 20 years ago, as well as the widdly diddly tech death wankers, are finally starting to die down. In their place we're now seeing a slew of bands that... are just better, really. Bands that either smash down every conceivable boundary in their way, like Chaos Echs, or even ones that might not be all that original but still deliver a hard hitting sound with an unquestionably modern update (Obliteration, Gatecreeper, etc). Bands like Succumb.

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Posted: 08.06.2017 by Apothecary | Comments (24)

Reviews
Saturndust - RLC

When you sit back and think about it, there really are quite a lot of ways that you can die in space. You could, for example, have your ship's radar malfunction and fly straight into an asteroid field. A solar flare from a nearby star could wipe out your electronics, leaving you stranded and slowly starving to death. And there are always those pesky Xenomorphs to worry about as well. Truly, it's a realm where you have a high likelihood of meeting your doom. Doom like Saturndust.

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Posted: 02.06.2017 by Apothecary | Comments (16)

Reviews
Disperse - Foreword

Poland's Disperse have made one of the more diverse progressive rock records in recent memory. Foreword is a precise blend of post-rock's delicate guitar lines, prog rock's complicated song structures, and metal music's forceful wall of sound when it needs to be. Yes, I know, fans of their last album are probably wondering why I didn't include djent in the genre descriptions. That's because most of the djent from Living Mirrors has evaporated and Disperse have changed gears.

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Posted: 30.05.2017 by tea[m]ster | Comments (9)

Reviews
The Obsessed - Sacred

The Obsessed's first album in 23 years is also the first in the band's discography that I feel any desire to continue listening to, but at the same time Sacred confirms to me that The Obsessed just isn't my kind of doom.

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Posted: 29.05.2017 by ScreamingSteelUS | Comments (2)

Reviews
Alestorm - No Grave But The Sea

Alestorm has developed a taste for songwriting that weighs heavily on party-style dance-metal tunes that could fly in any nightclub if they didn't smell so strongly of marine life, and No Grave But The Sea delivers the hearty "Mexico" and heavily hardcore "Alestorm" to follow up "Magnetic North" and the cover of Taio Cruz's "Hangover." It's good to see the band embrace such a fun, high-energy, and catchy style, especially because the strictly traditional folk metal sea shanties have begun to sound a little formulaic. I don't know if Alestorm could in good faith abandon its "serious" metal roots entirely and become a purely party band, but it's a shame they don't at least do so more often.

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Posted: 24.05.2017 by ScreamingSteelUS | Comments (4)