heavy metal

Album Review: My Dying Bride - The Manuscript

When last we heard from My Dying Bride, just last year, they were continuing to build their legacy with the very good “ A Map Of All Our Failures”. That record was all things My Dying Bride; heavy, doomy, progressive, and singularly theirs. They are one of those rare bands that have carved out a sound entirely their own, and when you hear it, you know exactly who it is. Not content to let that tome of death/doom gather dust, the band is back already with an EP of songs recorded around the same time, reinforcing everything “A Map Of All Our Failures” brought to the table.

Album Review: Blood Ceremony - "The Eldritch Dark"

During this recent revival of traditional metal, it has become commonplace that any band with blues roots and an analog mentality gets slapped with the label “sounds like Black Sabbath.” While that speaks volumes about the enormity of Black Sabbath’s legacy, it’s also an easy, marketable out for any band that rocks at less than 200 bpm.

Album Review: Starkill - "Fires of Life"

It’s rare to hear of an orchestral-arranged melodic death metal coming from the United States. It’s even rarer to conceive of that band coming from a place like Chicago, which is barely even thought of in heavy metal, much less this style of heavy metal. Yet, armed and dangerous with a ten track debut record “Fires of Life” is Starkill, Chicagoland’s newest heavy metal band, determined to take what is commonly thought of as a European sound and make it their own.

Concert Review: Soilwork

Nine consecutive weeks on tour with only two days off. For those doing the math, that adds up to sixty-one shows in sixty-three days. That’s the type of grueling tour schedule we’re talking about. It’s nearly unprecedented to put together a calendar like that, because who would believe it could be done? Even the most mundane of desk jobs requires more than two days off in a two-month span.

Concert Review: Goatwhore, 3 Inches of Blood

Driving to this show, I had a pretty good idea of what I hoped it would be. With the top of the dance card topped by such names as 3 Inches of Blood and Goatwhore, I earnestly pined for a show that would celebrate all the vast excesses of heavy metal as a play in two acts.

Album Review: Rob Zombie - Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor

Rob Zombie is one of those artists who, through incidental contact, I became a modest fan of. My college years exposed me to his unique take on the rock and metal form, and I was glad for the experience. Many of the songs he conjured up were a fascinating take on what could pass for pop metal, all the while being as thoroughly addictive as anything more sugary artists were putting out. While I don't pull those tracks off the shelf and blow the dust off them very often, they still bring a smile to my face.

Paying the Devil His Due: A Conversation with Steve Janiak

It's been a long career with some personal twits and turns for Steve Janiak, lead singer and hype man for Indianapolis-based metal band Devil to Pay. Over the years, there have been lineup changes, legitimate health scares, and all the other common machinations that prey on bands the world over. Coming through all that stronger than ever, Devil to Pay returns with a fresh deal with Ripple Music and a punchy new album with a new outlook in "Fate Is Your Muse." Steve sat down with me to talk about his band, his life-changing episodes, medically induced comas and the Indianapolis Colts. Read on:
M.DREW: You have a new album out, “Fate Is Your Muse.” Describe how this effort is different from other Devil to Pay records?

Album Review: Arsis - "Unwelcome"

To say that Arsis has had a long, convoluted career path is a wild, reckless understatement. Birthed in California, the band’s career lineup cycle has more twists and turns than your standard daytime soap opera plot. So it’s a testament to the hearty will of frontman James Malone that this new album “Unwelcome” even exists. Arsis continues to try and persevere in the chokes underground universe of technical death metal.

Album Review: The Melvins - "Everybody Loves Sausages"

It is an irrefutable truth when considering any Melvins album that one of the only ways to appropriately discuss the music is to reflexively use the band’s name as an adjective. The Melvins, some twenty years after Kurt Cobain made them a musical household name, have carved themselves an undeniable niche that is populated solely by Buzz Osborne and his band. No one else sounds like this; no one can even being to capture the “throw it all out there and see what takes” attitude and creativity of King Buzzo.

Album Review: Volbeat - "Outlaw Gentlemen and Shady Ladies"

Volbeat is the name on everyone’s lips these days. The hype surrounding this Danish band has been unmatched in this century by nearly anyone. Everyone wants a piece – everyone wants to be on the bandwagon. Ever since Volbeat made their big break by opening for, and being personally endorsed by, Metallica in 2009, Volbeat’s assumed potential has been limitless. Their previous record “Beyond Hell/Above Heaven” was seen as the coming out party, which means pressure is mounted on “Outlaw Gentlemen and Shady Ladies” to be a blockbuster.

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