album review

Album Review: Megadeth - Super Collider

In the annuls of heavy metal, I don't know if there has been anyone more frustrating to be a fan of than Dave Mustaine. Megadeth's run of early albums established him as one of the mainstays of American metal, but the last twenty years have been a see-saw of highs and lows, continually baffling anyone who tries to get a handle on what Megadeth is, and what they're about to be. Mustaine's injury that led to the disbanding of Megadeth came at a perfect time, as the band had hit rock bottom. The well had run dry, and the fans were ready to give up on the melodic rock Megadeth had become.

Album Review: Evile - "Skull"

Despite all its loudly orated trappings to the contrary, metal is very much a genre that embraces the ideas of tradition and legacy. This really isn’t that surprising; all counter cultures recognize their own, and scrutinize members’ inclusion based on a selection of worthy criteria. In this sense, counter-cultures and underground movements aren’t at all different from the mainstream institutions they rail against, which is a sort of cruel, unyielding irony.

Airbourne – “Black Dog Barking”

Every generation needs an AC/DC. Despite losing their original lead singer, Bon Scott, in 1980, AC/DC has managed to hang around for a few generations thanks to replacement Brian Johnson. However, with guitarist Angus Young getting dangerously close to 60, there’s something about him prancing around in a schoolboy outfit that has lost some of its original appeal. That isn’t to say AC/DC has lost their touch, they’re still one of the most entertaining live acts in the world, but when the time comes to officially pass the torch, no band is better suited for the handoff than Airbourne.

Album Review: The Devil's Blood - III: Tabula Rasa or Death and the Seven Pillars

I have a lot of respect for bands that know when the time is right to walk away. Far too often we see bands that cling onto life, churning out albums and tours for no other reason than because they know no other life. It's an understandable temptation, but it's one of the reasons being a fan is sometimes difficult. We invest our time and our energy in the music, only to find that the bands aren't doing the same. The Devil's Blood has taken the other route, choosing to walk away before the release of this, their third and final album.

Album Review: Kylesa - Ultraviolet

There are a lot of aspects of the current rock and metal scenes that I just don't understand. Unless a band fashions themselves as a throwback to the past, there is a gravitational pull to include ever increasing amounts of extreme elements into what used to be normal rock. Today, bands like Mastodon and Baroness are considered mainstream, when my ears tell me there's nothing inviting about the majority of the sounds they conjure up. The need to scour the songs, to remove any trace of shine from them, is a train of thought I have never been able to board.

Album Review: Age of Taurus – “Desperate Souls of Tortured Times”

In 2009, vocalist and guitarist Toby Wright formed Age of Taurus as a one-man studio project. After self-releasing the demo “In the Days of the Taurean Empire” in 2010, Wright’s project quickly grew in popularity and received numerous stellar reviews. Eventually there was enough interest in Age of Taurus to turn it into a real band. That’s where guitarist Alastair Riddell, bassist Richard Bruce, and drummer Darius Claydon come in.

Album Review: Church of Misery - "Thy Kingdom Scum"

We’ve been talking a lot lately about the revival in traditional metal and the rise of bands that embody the blues-doom spirit. Consequently, we’ve had the conversation about whether it’s fair to constantly make Black Sabbath the default analog for all these bands, or whether that’s simply the lazy way out. In the case of Church of Misery, we see a traditional doom band from Japan who has made it their sole career aspiration to be compared to Sabbath, openly idolizing the Birmingham legends and simultaneously declaring themselves “unworthy” of their metal gods.

Album Review: Queensrÿche - Frequency Unknown

It would have been hard to imagine, not too long ago, that Queensrÿche would once again be one of the biggest stories in the world of metal. Their glory days were well behind them, and they settled comfortably into their place as a band that made new records to satisfy their creative itch, while spending most of their time on the road as a greatest hits package. It's a fate that befalls almost all bands who survive long enough, and even the forward thinking, progressive mindset the band possessed couldn't stop the audience from no longer wanting to hear new music.

Album Review: Black Star Riders – “All Hell Breaks Loose”

You’ve all heard of Thin Lizzy. With hits like “The Boys Are Back in Town” and “Jailbreak,” Thin Lizzy has been in heavy rotation on every Classic Rock radio station since the beginning of Classic Rock radio stations. Many of you have probably even seen Thin Lizzy live in concert despite the band’s last studio record, “Thunder and Lightning,” recently turning thirty.

Album Review: Leprous - Coal

Leprous is one of those bands I should be more familiar with than I am. Their last album, “Bilateral”, won massive acclaim from all around the metal world, but for reasons I'm not sure of, I never got around to listening to it. There was something about the blend of technical progressive metal with more modern influences that didn't sink in with me when I heard a clip or two, at least not in the way a band like Seventh Wonder is able to, so I come into “Coal” with a clean slate and an open mind.

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