album review

Album Review: Kreator - "Phantom Antichrist"

As Kreator hovers around thirty years in the game, it's tough to have new commentary about their efforts. What can be said about Kreator that hasn't been said before? The corollary question to all of this is "is there anything new that needs to be said?"

Album Review: Whitechapel - "Whitechapel"

This is not your father's heavy metal band. Whitechapel has always been labeled as a deathcore band, but there's more to it than that. They stem from a short-lived but extremely popular splinter of heavy metal that recalls the kind of brassy, grinding sound that dominated the years immediately following the change of millennium. This splinter gave rise to a burst of musicians such as The Red Chord, Nile and Converge, but then sank back into the background.

Album Review: Grand Magus & Electric Wizard Reissues

Having just released the excellent "The Hunt", Grand Magus sees two of their critically-acclaimed previous released reissued for fans who may have missed out on the band as they ascended to the top of the traditional metal ranks. The climb started with "Wolf's Return", the album that started to build a buzz around the band. Mixing elements of doom into a traditional metal framework, the album straddles the line between crushing riffs and the sound that would expand their horizons.

Album Review: The Product - "So Alive" EP

Since the release of their debut “Break the Silence,” we’ve seen independent (not to be confused with “indie,”) band The Product come a long way. Their debut was high on effort but not entirely a finished product (pardon the pun.) This new EP finds the band at a greater stage of maturity and musical evolution, more befitting a band in this modern rock revolution.

Album Review: Ulver - Childhood's End

I've often wondered how much our experiences color the way we look at the music we love, whether the time in our lives we encounter certain sounds will forever define the impact certain records will have on us. I ponder this because of Ulver's collection of psychedelic covers, “Childhood's End”. Here we have an album of sounds lifted straight from the 60's and 70's scene, where the music served as a soundtrack to acid trips and other forms of mental alteration.

Album Review: Fates Warning - Inside Out [Reissue]

Fates Warning has earned a spot on the Mount Rushmore of progressive metal. Embracing the spirit of progression perhaps more than any other band of their ilk, Fates Warning has continually pushed the boundaries of what progressive metal can be, as well as the boundaries of who they are as a band. Though not as dramatic or publicized as the shifts in sound and style bands like Metallica and Iron Maiden have undergone, the continued evolution of Fates Warning is a hallmark in true progressiveness.

Album Review: The Cory Smoot Experiment - "When Worlds Collide"

Cory Smoot's untimely and unexpected death was just another blow to a heavy metal community that had struggled through the deaths of James "The Rev" Sullivan, Peter Steele, Paul Gray and Ronnie James Dio. The loss of GWAR's most prominent axe-man caused the holding of breath, the first truly serious press releases from Dave Brockie in recent memory and ultimately the retirement of the Flattus Maximus character, a heretofore untold step in the pantheon of GWAR's fictional story and real-life history.

Album Review: Grand Magus - The Hunt

Objects in the rear-view mirror are closer than they appear. So says the disclaimer as you look to see how close the approaching headlights are while you speed through the dark. You may think you can, but the past cannot be outrun. It is in this spirit that Grand Magus catches me. One of the more interesting developments, to me, of recent years has been the growth of traditional metal. There are more bare-bones, stripped-down metal bands churning out the kind of music that filled the early 80's than at any point since the days of big riffs and even bigger hair.

Album Review: Miseration - "Tragedy Has Spoken"

Miseration's new album "Tragedy Has Spoken" makes me feel like the old cop in a Frankie Avalon movie who pulls over the young feller in his new red convertible GTO and gives him a stern but fatherly warning: "Whoa, where's the fire? Slow down, son, you'll get yourself hurt, and then you can't go to the beach party with your combustion engines and your rock music and your make-out parties." I think we may have gotten off on a tangent there, but you get the idea.

Album Review: Sabaton - Carolus Rex

Power metal has always been the red-headed step-child of the metal world, largely because of its reputation for being anything but heavy. The major-key riffs, high vocals, and songwriting that isn't obsessed with death gave rise to a slew of critics who think 'flower metal' is too embarrassing to be classified as metal. What they miss, aside from the very spirit of inclusion and open-mindedness metal is supposed to be about, is a wave of power metal that doesn't play by the old blueprint. Many bands use big melodies and bigger choruses to wrap up messages that are as heavy as any other.

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