album review

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.

Album Review: Van Halen - "A Different Kind of Truth"

Approximately 11 trillion words have already been written in anticipation of, and response to, Van Halen's new album, "A Different Kind of Truth." Those words have ranged between an instant haranguing under the guise of the album being far too late, and an automatic sterling review as a revival of one of the signature bands of rock and roll's arguably best era.

Album Review: Hopes Die Last - "Trust No One"

Hopes Die Last wants to grab your attention and not let go. The first vision of the band most people encounter will be their cover art, which is wonderfully grisly and disturbing and gory all at the same time. The album behind that image is a mixed bag of emotions, tempos and styling, built upon an intentionally rocky foundation to keep the listener engaged in the same manner that a high-speed car chase does. Whatever is around the bend remains a mystery until the album is right directly on top of it.

Album Review: Caliban - "I Am Nemesis"

After fifteen years, German heavy metal heavy hitters Caliban are still going strong and beginning a new album cycle with “I Am Nemesis.” This album sees Caliban mixing more diverse inspirations into their music and experimenting with mixing in more gang vocals and mosh pit mayhem.

Album Review: Nothnegal - "Decadence"

Nothnegal’s debut LP “Decadence” is proof positive that the technological revolution of music sharing has made world a significantly smaller place. Originating in the Maldives, a tiny island nation off the coast of the Indian sub-continent, Nothnegal comes from a land of only three hundred thousand people, and no discernable history of heavy metal.

Album Review: Desaster - "The Arts of Destruction"

To call German black metal band Desaster “veteran” is to not be nearly descriptive enough. Desaster, and by extension their iconically idiomatic misspelling, are veterans in the sense that Ray Bourque was a veteran when he finally won the Stanley Cup with Colorado. Desaster has toiled in obscurity, experienced the highs and lows of success and marginalization, the tumult of frequent and varied roster changes, the dedication of valued fans and the prosecution by those who fail to understand, and, in short, has been around the block.

Album Review: Cocaine Mustache - "On the Mirror"

Cocaine Mustache is a hard partying, devil may care, free spirited rock and roll band bordering on metal and high on amps and distortion. The band endeavors to bring the listener a brand of music that is dirty and unrefined; party music for the sake of party music. Despite being a one-speed album, their effort “On the Mirror” is not a flank speed ahead affair. Rather, it is an album designed to plod forward at a sludgy pace, and makes up the difference in speed for size, appearing gigantic and impending over the horizon.

Album Review: The Devastated - "The Devil's Messenger"

Century Media records signed The Devasted based on a two-song demo. That is an incredible roll of the dice by an established music industry veteran, and a gamble that leaves little middle ground – it will either pay off handsomely, or result in the termination of the label’s association with the band.

Album Review: Pilgrim - "Misery Wizard"

Pilgrim’s “Misery Wizard” is an album that pays tribute to doom metal by concentrating solely on the singular root of the genre. Where modern doom metal acts like Candlemass, Type O Negative or Crowbar have injected fantasy, blues or visceral attitude to twist the genre to their liking, Pilgrim has added none of those embellishments.

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