album review

Album Review: The All-American Rejects - "Kids In The Street"

The All-American Rejects make me feel old. As a member of an internet community supporting a not-to-be-named pop band, I was one of the first to come into contact with the then upstart kids. Their independent label first album gained traction and spread among pop-rock fans by word of mouth, building a fan-base before getting the major label treatment. What was evident in that first batch of songs was a knack for writing a hook. Saccharine as any fan of grittier rock music would call it, that debut album was a masterful piece of pop music, considering the youth on display.

Album Review: God Forbid - "Equilibrium"

Almost two years after announcing that a new album was in the works, God Forbid is returned to the land of the living with their new effort "Equilibrium." The album raises curious questions, as the particular splinter of heavy metal and hardcore that God Forbid helped pioneer may be nearing the end of its most effective window.

Album Review: The Veer Union - "Divide the Blackened Sky"

Several years ago, following their debut effort "Against the Grain," I wrote on these very pages that for their future albums, The Veer Union would be facing an ultimate choice. They had the talent to pursue one of the two thrones of modern rock and roll. Either they could chase Nickelback and try to carve a niche in the bloated party rock genre, or pursue the Foo Fighters for dominance in the radio-friendly but still skillful traditional rock and roll paradigm.

Album Review: Cannibal Corpse - "Torture"

I have always had a curious fascination with Cannibal Corpse, the veteran metal band originally formed in 1988. Unfortunately for the band, my fascination with them is largely due to reasons totally beyond their control, and interests that likely do not coincide with their ideals. First and foremost, Cannibal Corpse has always been represented in my life by the nerdiest of metal fans; kids with big, tangled mops of unkempt hair, glasses with thick lenses and arms that have never done a push-up voluntarily, and certainly not in the new millennium.

Album Review: Angel Witch - "As Above, So Below"

A new Angel Witch album? What? This is still happening?

The answer to all of those questions is an unequivocal "yes." Angel Witch is back, still with lead singer and songwriter Kevin Heybourne parlaying his thirst for traditional British heavy metal into an album that introduces the purest form of that genre to a whole new generation. Of course, he's not leaving any of the old faithful (and they are out there,) behind; those who clapped and called along with the memorable chorus "You're, an, angel witch! You're an angel witch!" can feel safe donning their sleeveless denim vest again.

Album Review: Epica - "Requiem for the Indifferent"

In the quickly multiplying and increasingly competitive world of folk metal, bands are given an early choice between two camps, each representing one of the possible idiomatic sounds of the genre. First, you could truly embrace the roots of the music you are channeling, incorporating an increased number of traditional or esoteric instruments and arrangement. The other path, equally valid in the halls of metal, is to bend more towards the melodic death metal trend, using the folk elements as garnish surrounding the main dish of metal being served.

EP Review: DZ Deathrays - "No Sleep"

Somewhere between the rock and roll of the White Stripes, the distorted two-beat fuzz of Nine Inch Nails' last album "The Slip," and the cadences of the Gorillaz lies the "No Sleep" EP from upstart Australian power duo DZ Deathrays.
Now, let's not get carried away too early. While the EP contains elements, that doesn't mean it is equal to the sum of all of them. Rather, the DZ Deathrays pick and choose their moments on this five-cut sampling of their talent

Album Review: Zeroking - "Kings of Self Destruction"

Zeroking touts itself as an all-out rock and roll band, but there's more going on here than just that. Based in West Virginia, the band is heavily influenced by the rock and roll ideal of the West Coast, and uses that as a base to launch their curious and devil-may-care mix of rock, piano and brass (or a close facsimile to them,) and down home country twang.

Blood Ceremony and Church of Misery get Re-released

Re-releases seldom grab my attention, as they are merely regurgitations of past exercises. And yes, I’m aware that I probably make that statement whenever I am about to discuss another re-release.

With that in mind, Metal Blade is distributing for the first time in the United States (take THAT, import fees!) the first album of doom-ish metal band Blood Ceremony, and two other albums from Japanese Black Sabbath idolaters Church of Misery.

Album Review: Knives Out - "Black Mass Hysteria"

Somewhere between dates on the ridiculous, seemingly endless touring schedule of Polkadot Cadaver, three of that band's members joined up with Tom Maxwell (Hellyeah) and Tommy Sickles (ex-Nothingface) to put together an album under the name of "Knives Out." The resulting product, "Black Mass Hysteria," is both an unflinching celebration of metal and a rolling, thunderous ride.

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