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Album Review: The Casualties - "Resistance"

In 1990, The Casualties formed to resurrect the sound of true street punk, a sound that they thought was abandoned in the mid eighties. It’s an important task that the band took on, attempting to keep alive the spiritual successor to the Ramones and Black Flag, the sound that laid the foundation for much of American rock and metal during and after the Cold War. To that end, The Casualties are on a one band crusade to keep that image alive and they’re returned with another studio album of to-the-core gritty punk called “Resistance.”

Album Review: Prototype - "Catalyst"

Prototype and their album “Catalyst” exist in a curious space, and it’s no accident. The band, over the course of their career, set out to provide material for two very different and heretofore unrelated metal fanbases: the base who wants up-tempo, minute to minute musical gratification, and the base who wants their music to be an aural experience. It’s a unique mix, one that ends up with “Catalyst” akin to John Bush’s later Anthrax records sprinkled with just a little bit of Rush’s wandering spirit.

Album Review: Witchcraft - "Legend"

For a band that’s been around more than a dozen years, there’s precious little information available about Witchcraft. Allmusic offers only a couple of paragraphs, Wikipedia offers those same paragraphs, the band’s website is more or less an order form and Encyclopedia Metallum barely makes the distinction between two different Swedish bands named Witchcraft. Hell, the band’s digital press release that comes with the album from Nuclear Blast doesn’t even have the band members’ names on it. So who is Witchcraft, and what are we doing here?

Concert Review: Kreator, Accept

Walking into the venue for Kreator and Accept, there was a feeling that washed over the entire experience. To quote Henry Rollins, it felt like “another Saturday night in old Deutschland.” There was everything one would expect from a tour trumpeting two of Germany’s most prominent and standard-bearing thrash bands; high-speed metal revival, fans who haven’t had a haircut since the Berlin Wall came down, and very few women. Fewer than normal at a metal show, and that’s saying something.

Album Review: Hammer Fight - "Hammer Fight"

There’s nothing spectacular about Hammer Fight’s new CD “Hammer Fight.” But, there’s nothing wrong with it, either. Their album blows through town in a hurry, able to be listened to twice in the time it takes to listen to most albums once.

Album Review: Just Like Vinyl - "Black Mass"

Just Like Vinyl’s “Black Mass” can’t quite decide what it wants to be. The album is caught in the void between acid-wash screamo punk and jagged-edged alternative metal. The record aims for the middle, shooting for a cut-with-scissors feel in the vein of At The Drive-In. While “Black Mass: successfully replicates the feel of those too-long-gone college radio classics, that’s all it does; replicate.

Album Review: Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell - "Don't Hear It...Fear It!"

Throughout human history, whenever a cultural force rises to prominence, there is inevitably a counter-movement that rises to meet it. The Roman Empire had the numerous Gothic tribes, Persia was met by the Mongols, the British Empire squared off with various revolutionaries over the centuries, and the New England Patriots are seemingly opposed (and thankfully stymied,) by the New York Giants. Such is the irresistible yin and yang of the universe, the powerful but delicate balancing act of nature.

Album Review: Dublin Death Patrol - "Death Sentence"

Bay Area super team-up Dublin Death Patrol, that singular commiseration of well-known thrash superstars, has produced a second album to follow up their debut “DDP 4 Life.” Beginning with Testament vocalist Chuck Billy and former Exodus lead singer Steve Souza, this heady collaboration has presented the world with “Death Sentence.”

Album Review: Dragony - "Legends"

Originally founded in 2007 under the verbose name “Dragonslayer Project,” Austrian metallers Dragony shortened their title, tightened up their operation and released their debut album “Legends.” It promises the pitch-perfect escapism we’ve all come to expect from symphonic power metal, complete with the standard tankard-swinging anthems and finely tuned lore.

Album Review: Texas Hippie Coalition - "Peacemaker"

In a world of heavy metal gone mad with technical proficiency and absolute mandatory perfection of style, craft and cadence, there survives the Texas Hippie Coalition. Thriving in the far too often overlooked splinter genre of southern metal, THC has spent the last few years dropping one record of feel-good, high octane metal after another. Defying trend by surviving on notes that go for a roll in a pile of distortion hay, Texas Hippie Coalition proves that grit and swagger can be just as effective as technique. Thus, their new record, “Peacemaker.”

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