It is no secret by now that I have a lot ( i mean a fucking lot) of time for Ulcerate. I have been listening to metal for over 30 years now and I am sadly at a time now were very little excites me in the way of new releases. I have over-indulged in the past, trying to consume as many new releases as possible in a given year and just ended up stuffed with underwhelming music that makes no impact on what little hunger of mine still remains for the pursuit of new releases. If I look at the music
Obsequiae established a very well-defined style on their first record, and they've stuck with it ever since. The Palms Of Sorrowed Kings is their third album, and much like the second one, it offers subtle refinements and expansions of their sound, but no big surprises. If you haven't heard them, it's a great place to start; if you have, you know what to expect.
That's not a bad thing at all. If you like what they do, you'll like this album. It's chock full of flowing, triumphant medieval-E
Up until two weeks ago, I hadn't even heard of Mizmor. One look at that cover and I had this record in my ears within thirty seconds. Good album artwork should pull you into a record, give some promise of what lies beneath but then also not give everything away. The songwriting, like the artwork, follows this thesis perfectly. I have listened to this everyday since discovery and I am still learning more and more about it.
'Desert of Absurdity' sets the tone perfectly with its acoustic p
Whichever tier of thrash metal you consigned Sacred Reich back in the 80's/90's they still had their moments. "Ignorance" & "Surf Nicaragura" did a great job of establishing the band, whereas "The American Way" just got a little too comfortable and accessible (the title track grates nowadays) for my ears. A couple more records better left forgotten about and then nothing for twenty three years. 2019 alone has now seen three releases from Phil Rind and co. A live EP, a split EP with Iron
Okay, I am going to be honest. This is my first taste of Memoriam, albeit the release that is purportedly their best; according to the internet at least. Things start well, on the riffing front at least. 'Shell Shock' motors like a fucking tank, being driven with precision through its destructive and relentless path. Similiarly, 'Undefeated' with it's groovy as fuck riff and chopping rhythm continues in a full on attack of the senses. The sophistication and poise both come up a couple of no
Immortal Bird have been on my radar for some time now. Having thoroughly enjoyed their debut full length of 2015, 'Empress/Abscess' (and their debut EP - 'Akrasia' some 2 years earlier) I have been eager to see what their sophomore full length would offer. The label I commonly see applied to the band is of a "blackened crust/sludge metal" description which whilst accurate for the fledgling part of their career does not by any means cover the plethora of styles, genres and sounds explored on 'T
2019 is slowly unveiling some fine releases. With Altarage, Overkill and Candlemass all making me grin thus far in the past three months, despite a slow start and some disappointments (Venom, Queensryche and Legion of the Damned). Naturally, your ears prick up when you hear Flo Mounier, Rune Eriksen and David Vincent have decided to get together and make some unholy communion. Straight away I thought we had potential AOTY material right here given the obvious talent and experience present on
The verdict is in. The jurors have been recalled into the courtroom. The journalists have all sharpened their pencils and the public gallery is filling up with any interested parties still left out there. Let's get the background check out of the way first. This is not the Geoff Tate version of the band that eventually ended up not being called Queensryche. This is the "original" version of Queensryche (albeit with only 3 original members) and one time Crimson Glory crooner Todd la Torre do
Two reviews in one weekend? All work and no play makes Macca a dull boy! Wait a minute...not when I am reviewing top notch releases such as the latest from Overkill and Candlemass. I mean it is like I fell asleep on Thursday night and woke up in the eighties on Friday morning. Like Overkill, the Swedish doom legends are enjoying a new lease of life, this time in the form of Johan Languist (yes,him) who returns to the band after a 32 year gap to ingratiate the memories of anyone with a copy o
Full length number 19 from overkill certainly makes a splash in the energy stakes, I mean there's some modern thrash bands that are a good two decades younger than Overkill who can only hope to achieve the levels of spunk that New Jersey's finest produce here. That in itself is an achievement, for a band of Overkill's stature and reputation to be able to still sound relevant four decades into their career is no mean feat. Even in the albums weaker moments it never gets redundant and the energy
Last Rotting Christ album I enjoyed? "Triarchy of Lost Lovers". Last Rotting Christ album I bothered to listen to upon release? "Aealo". It is fair to say that the Greek stalwarts of the Black Metal scene now have a sound that rarely ventures into the territory so well tread on "Thy Mighty Contract" and "Non Serviam" but it is also fair to say that "The Heretics" sounds from start to finish like a band who firmly stamp themselves on the metal map for 2019. What album number thirteen from Ro
So here I am reviewing the new Drudkh album...oh...wait a minute...no apparently it isn't Drudkh, it is Windswept. A quick look on the internet tells me that Windswept are Drudkh minus keyboards in terms of members. Therefore Windswept is just a less atmospheric version of Drudkh? That's not really a question as I have heard "The Onlooker" and I know it is in fact a statement of truth.
I don't get it. If I want to hear a Drudkh record I will just put one on. Similarly, if I was a membe
When it comes to death/doom, variety is not necessarily top of the average listener's appeal list. Usually when I review such a release I find myself typing "doesn't reinvent the wheel but does the genre justice with this solid offering" or words to that effect. Ossuarium's debut full length falls under that banner most definitely. Nobody is fucking around here with a saxophone to make the offering standout with some eclectic and unnecessary deviation from tradition. If you like your death m
The roar has always been approaching. As far back as three years ago when Altarage dropped their debut full length 'Nihl', this scribe could already hear the threat of their ability, feel the menace of their presence from over hills far away and sense the nefarious intent as the raw fury howled over my skin. Sophomore effort 'Endinghent' further cemented the prowess of these blackened death metal Basque country residents. Although slightly less of an impact than the opening salvo of 'Nihl' it
There's life in the old dog yet it seems. In terms of original members only Phil Fasciana remains in the ranks of Malevolent Creation now and after the passing of Brett Hoffman last year you could almost forgive fans for thinking the curtain had fallen on Malevolent Creation. The fact is that whilst "The 13th Beast" reinvents no wheels it does exhibit the sound of a band in the throes of something of a regeneration phase. There's nothing tired sounding here, no dull interludes to build unnece
Variety is the spice of life, so they say. Someone might want to mention this to Legion of the Damned. Picking up right were Venom left off last week in the the generic stakes, "Slaves of the Shadow Realm" churns out largely unvaried, unremarkable and unmemorable thrash metal with the odd splash of death and black metal smatterings here and there. To give you some idea of how hard going this is I have to wait three whole tracks to here a lead guitar! I love good chug fest as much as the next
So, my first review of 2019 is of the latest offering from UK legends Venom. 37 years after the debut full length and the band are still active, albeit as a much changed line up from that which recorded "Welcome to Hell". I'll be honest, I haven't bothered with Venom beyond "At War With Satan", so I really had a blank slate in terms of expectations when I put "Storm The Gates" on this afternoon.
To say it is generic is something of an understatement. Each track just morphs into the next
It was 2014 when Corpsessed released their debut full length and mighty fucking good it was too. Some 4+ years later and it is time for the sophomore release to land in my music stream and seek my attention. When I say seek I actually mean possess my attention. Although the album is by no means perfect, this record grabs hold of you by your very soul, dragging it off on a journey littered with horror, darkness and crushing heaviness to boot. One of its main successes is the atmosphere that i
Surprises are nice aren't they? I mean, not socks for Xmas type surprises. Not even tax rebate on your birthday-esque proportions either. I am more concerned with those times in your life where you tell yourself you will hate something before you even get round to trying it, convincing yourself in the process this unheard, untasted, unseen or unfelt thing would be a waste of your time. When you eventually throw caution to the wind and give it go you find no repulsion, no bile in your throat
The first song I heard ahead of the full 2014 release ("The Satanist") from Behemoth was "Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel". It immediately peaked my interest, setting the tone nicely for what was to become one of my favoured full lengths of that year. This time around I heard "God = Dog" (which I think means the band are more cat people?). It sounded blunted and frankly restrained. Yes, there was a brief passage of some interesting string work towards the end but generally it just passed me by.
Glen Benton is 51. Fuck I feel old now too. Deicide are 30 years old (32 if we count the Amon era). Album number 12 from the fathers of Florida death metal is a strong effort considering yet another change of personnel has occurred. It is bye-bye Jack Owen, hello Mark English of Monstosity fame taking up guitar duties and ironically I like "Overtures of Blasphemy " a lot more than Monstrosity's effort this year.
Whilst it can never make the "beast of a DM record" title I would give to t
I have heard a lot of metal over my 29 years of listening to little else genre wise. I have seen the birth and death of genres and sub genres and even witnessed things come back full circle as the twenty teens (?) churn out the likes of Visigoth with their traditional take of heavy metal that was the audible catalyst for me at 13 years of age to go down this route as a fan.
Khemmis are a band that embrace that "older" or more "traditional" feel to metal in 2018 that has been popular over t
Behind every great man, there's a great woman. Behind every camped up, shape throwing, garrulous Black Metal vocalist there's a great song writer. Both of these statements are true, except the second one actually does not commend Abbath as being the imaginative, creative and artistic driving force behind Immortal. This is blatantly obvious if you have heard his solo pop/rock record of a couple of years ago.
What "Northern Chaos Gods" does is essentially pull off one of the best tattoo re
Okay, so I will admit that the prospect of an acoustic only Winterfylleth album didn't exactly fill me with joy. The pagan, black metallers have long existed on the fringes of my radar but never somehow managed to make much more than a fleeting blip historically.
The fact is that this is one of the most heartfelt records I have listened to in quite a while. I have more than once found myself stood stock still, completely captivated by the atmospheric beauty of what I have heard on this r
I invite you to come with me to a time before 2008. It may surprise you to learn that at this point, Circle II Circle was actually a pretty damn good band. They did eventually become prog Godsmack, as history will record with bitter regret chronicling the storied tale of Savatage. For now, however, let’s make like boomers and complain about how things used to be better.
Burden of Truth sounds like sentimentalism, at times. It feels rather like Skid Row filtered through Phantom of the Opera,