Reviews
Wolves In The Throne Room - Celestite

Wolves In The Throne Room. That name quite clearly means different things to different people. Upon the announcement that the band's fifth album would have no vocals or drums, and instead be more of an instrumental ambient album, a polarization of sorts occurred among the WITTR fanbase. Many were excited about the idea, but a good percent of others lamented the loss of the band's black metal personality that was to come. I happily planted myself in the former camp, and I'm very delighted to say that the Weaver brothers have exceeded my expectations with Celestite.

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Posted: 24.06.2014 by Apothecary | Comments (28)

Reviews
Tombs - Savage Gold

Brooklyn, New York's Tombs is another "post" labeled metal band that showcase plenty of other details in their music easily making it some of the more ambitious and impressive post metal I've heard this year.

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Posted: 23.06.2014 by tea[m]ster | Comments (6)

Reviews
Armory - Empyrean Realms

Armory, the real outsiders in the 2013 Metal Storm Awards, show us how to actually do powerful prog power metal.

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Posted: 23.06.2014 by R Lewis | Comments (3)

Reviews
Coffinworm - IV.I.VIII

This whole blackened sludge foolishness seems to be developing into a pretty legitimate fusion within metal circles as of late. In case you weren't paying attention, back in 2010 the Americans in Coffinworm carved a pretty fine name for themselves in this emerging scene with When All Became None, which has slowly gained praise as one of the highlight albums of the style. Four years later, we see them following up on that release. Coming off of an album that's been so well received is never an easy task for a band, but in this case Coffinworm are rising to the challenge and triumphing.

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Posted: 22.06.2014 by Apothecary | Comments (5)

Reviews
Killer Be Killed - Killer Be Killed

If bands like Adrenaline Mob, Symfonia, Audioslave, and any of the 300 Anthrax-based supergroups have taught us anything, it's that incredible collaborations have a disappointingly high rate of failure. Fortunately, there are plenty of examples to the contrary, and Killer Be Killed is one of them.

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Posted: 21.06.2014 by ScreamingSteelUS | Comments (7)

Reviews
Emptiness - Nothing But The Whole

There's been a lot of blackened death craziness being served up lately in our beloved metal genre. Within the past two years especially, it seems like the style has been seeing a return to form of sorts, with the likes of Bölzer, Teitanblood, Diocletian and others dishing out albums that are pleasantly old school, yet with a delicious modern twist. Of all these bands, however, it is probably Belgium's Emptiness who stand as the most immersing and emotive of them all. Their 2014 album encapsulates this idea perhaps better than ever before, and is nothing short of excellent.

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Posted: 18.06.2014 by Apothecary | Comments (29)

Reviews
Arch Enemy - War Eternal

Ah… Arch Enemy - the love-it or hate-it band since having a female vocalist who growls. Regardless, most casual listeners of the band would agree that Khaos Legions was one of those forgettable releases that they won't mind putting behind.

Now that Angela Gossow has retreated to the side lines, the band has a chance to start afresh with Alissa White-Gluz. Personally, I usually had no problem with the vocals of Angela, and Alissa sounds like the perfect replacement. Instead, what matters is that the overall aggression and energy is back, so either the band has listened to its critics or Alissa has reinvigorated the sound of the band. The melodies and riffs sound less stale, the cascading solos are quite impressive and the music in general is definitely more head-bangable.

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Posted: 17.06.2014 by Ag Fox | Comments (38)

Reviews
Mayhem - Esoteric Warfare

Seven long years passed since the game-changer that was Ordo Ad Chao got released. It was an extremely complex album with a sound so different from what Mayhem (or any other band for that matter) had done before, that a somewhat mixed reaction was to be expected. I gladly put my tent on the fan camp though. This is why Blasphemer's departure worried me as it turned more difficult to guess how the final product would sound like…

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Posted: 17.06.2014 by Mr. Doctor | Comments (32)

Reviews
Darkest Era - Severance

Severance is the album of a band well on the way to honing their style. Ireland's Darkest Era have ventured away from a strong Primordial influence on their 2011 debut The Last Caress Of Light, to something burgeoning with their own character. This effort is a heavy riff haven for all fans of metal rocking a Celtic charm.

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Posted: 15.06.2014 by R'Vannith | Comments (2)

Reviews
Vainaja - Kadotetut

In case you've been living under a rock, within the past decade, "Finland" and "doom metal" seem to have almost become synonyms for each other. From the funereal howlings of bands like Tyranny and Wormphlegm, to the more bizarre projects like Aarni and Dark Buddha Rising, the country has become notorious lately for sonorous doom echoes from beyond the void of time. Sometimes these echoes can be impressive, and at other times dismissible. This year, Vainaja sit more towards the latter, with a few small sprinkles of the former.

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Posted: 14.06.2014 by Apothecary | Comments (17)

Reviews
FOB - Default

Two years after their first really good CD "Follow The Instructions" FOB, a band that comes from the Czech Republic, is back with their new release "Default". Let me tell you that if you're bored by Melodic Death Metal and wants a good Death, this is probably something for you. On the other hand, have some progressive parts in their music and it's really cool.

If I can say that FOB plays a classic Death Metal I must evidently add that they also play something a bit progressive. It was already the case on the first release and it's definitely the case on their new album too. The result is really interesting because this CD is not so common and if the ones who want real Death will be happy, the ones that want something more will be really happy too.

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Posted: 12.06.2014 by Destroyer_666 | Comments (0)

Reviews
Meadows End - The Sufferwell

Sweden's long running Meadows End manage a considerable feat for melodic death metal with their latest album The Sufferwell, their second full-length effort. It manages to fit symphony to death metal in such a way that it never comes across as grandiose or oversaturated. It's a well written exercise in powerfully swelling melodies.

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Posted: 12.06.2014 by R'Vannith | Comments (6)

Reviews
Portrait - Crossroads

I fully expect Portrait to explosively materialize out of your stereo, grab your flabby face-flaps with their leather-gloved hands, and scream, "WE LOVE MERCYFUL FATE" into your blood-belching eardrums until you give them your Don't Break The Oath vinyl and they finally go away. I mean that in the best way possible.

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Posted: 11.06.2014 by ScreamingSteelUS | Comments (4)

Reviews
Grey Skies Fallen - The Many Sides Of Truth

Grey Skies Fallen are one of those delightful bands that, while probably more death metal than anything else, try their hardest to avoid falling under any one category for too long. Drawing influence from bands like My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost, Opeth, and Porcupine Tree, this American quintet have crafted an exciting and powerful work of inspired metal.

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Posted: 11.06.2014 by ScreamingSteelUS | Comments (1)

Reviews
The Atlas Moth - The Old Believer

In the face of all odds this unusual album won't sit idly in your mind. Seemingly misshapen in delivery, this is atypical of a hybrid of sludge and stoner metal and it leaves a clear and distinctive impression.

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Posted: 10.06.2014 by R'Vannith | Comments (7)

Reviews
Hatriot - Dawn Of The New Centurion

Just like their debut Heroes Of Origin, Hatriot's Dawn Of The New Centurion has Exodus's Tempo Of The Damned written all over it - same sound, different band. It might be no surprise, then, to hear the legendary Steve "Zetro" Souza belting out these driving, unrelenting songs in his cutting, gravelly whine. The obvious similarity is a double-edged sword, as Hatriot can be either a welcome extra dose of Tempo or a mere copycat, depending on your inclination.

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Posted: 10.06.2014 by ScreamingSteelUS | Comments (13)

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