M. Drew's blog

Album Review: Selfish Needy Creatures - "The Hard Way"

Selfish Needy Creatures’ “The Hard Way” is an album born in the shadowy, dodgy margins of the road less traveled. The efficient eight-cut record is a straight-forward runaway freight train of reckless abandon and raw, virile authority.

Not at all given to subtlety or restraint, “The Hard Way” is a punishing experience that might as well be the soundtrack to a street fight. Far more focused than the band’s previous EP (and it’s odd to use the word “focused” in reference to something so unrefined,) “The Hard Way” is a rolling diatribe of high-strung, muscled pulverization.

Album Review: Sepultura - "Kairos"

Probably the last thing that the current lineup of Sepultura wants is to be compared to the classic Sepultura lineup that ran five albums from 1985-96. Yet, heavy metal is a genre terribly stamped by the “what have you done for me lately?” attitude, and to that end, many of the fans of old Sepultura have eyed any of the post-Max Cavalera material with a wary eye.

Jane's Addiction Prepping New Album, Plus More!

*Icons of alternative and rock Jane's Addiction are prepping their new album, "The Great Escape Artist." The album will be the first studio material from the band in eight years, and features the iconic trio of Perry Farrell, Dave Navarro and Stephen Perkins (notice the lack of Eric Avery...evidently that bridge couldn't be rebuilt.) While there's no cement release date, the album is anticipated for a late summer arrival.

Album Review: Limp Bizkit - "Gold Cobra"

As a reviewer and music journalist, sometimes the toughest task is to remain impartial and objective about a new project that slides across your desk. I’ve run into this conundrum a handful of times, where I thought I already knew that a band would be great or reprehensible; it’s hard to stifle your natural inclination and judge something on its own merits.

Album Review: Arch Enemy - "Khaos Legions"

After the release of the comparatively successful “Root of All Evil,” it became evident from the fans’ clawing that they wanted new material from Arch Enemy, and they wanted it fast. That album’s re-recordings of early AE songs was a fun romp, but only served to whet the crowd’s appetite.

So, “Khaos Legions” comes barreling out of the din, the first new studio material from the band since 2007’s “Rise of the Tyrant” which landed to generally positive but ultimately mixed reviews.

Album Review: Graveyard - "Hisingen Blues"

Under normal circumstances, when someone hears the words “Swedish band” and “graveyard” used in conjunction, it generally portends a musical world of spiked bracelets, corpse paint and songs about demons.

In this case, that summary estimation couldn’t be farther from the truth. Graveyard’s debut “Hisingen Blues” is one of the finest blues-rock albums this year, despite coming from perhaps the least likely source.

Album Review: Autopsy - "Macabre Eternal"

Over all the years, projects, lineups, albums and EPs, Chris Reifert has become nothing if not the picture of consistency. Reunited with original Autopsy members Danny Coralles and Eric Cutler, and joined by Joe Trevisano of Abscess, Autopsy has released “Macabre Eternal,” the band’s latest unapologetic assault on musical convention, trend and quite possibly good taste.

Album Review: Gallhammer - "The End"

Huh. *shrug*

That’s my reaction to Gallhammer’s new album, “The End.” Cut down from three members to two after the departure of Mika Penetrator, the all-girl Japanese metal band has set out to try and push the boundaries of black and doom metal.

What’s become clear about Gallhammer over their existence is that front woman Vivian Slaughter does not give a damn about image, convention or traditional roles. She and the band are much more preoccupied with musical atmosphere and trolling the deep corners and shadowy depths of doom metal.

Album Review: Red Fang - Murder the Mountains

Red Fang’s sophomore effort “Murder the Mountains” is a wonderfully experimental, anything-goes affair that approaches the mores of kick-ass rock and roll with open eyes and robust vitality.

A product of musically oft-overlooked Portland, Oregon, Red Fang inked a deal with reprise Records, and was immediately paired with known producer Chris Funk. Funk’s previous experience with the Decemberists raises some eyebrows, but his steady hand makes a difference on the overall consistency of “Murder the Mountains” without changing the music’s intent.

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