heavy metal

Album Review: As I Lay Dying - Awakened

The struggle between brutality and melody is something that has come to define much of the modern metal movement. On one hand, there are the bands that don't believe any interplay is necessary, choosing instead to treat their listeners as punching bags, pounding song after song of relentless heaviness until they decide to retire. It's an approach that seems to be gathering more and more followers, one I would contend does nothing to help the cause of metal.

Album Review: Prototype - "Catalyst"

Prototype and their album “Catalyst” exist in a curious space, and it’s no accident. The band, over the course of their career, set out to provide material for two very different and heretofore unrelated metal fanbases: the base who wants up-tempo, minute to minute musical gratification, and the base who wants their music to be an aural experience. It’s a unique mix, one that ends up with “Catalyst” akin to John Bush’s later Anthrax records sprinkled with just a little bit of Rush’s wandering spirit.

Album Review: Hellwell - Beyond The Boundaries Of Sin

Even with a fractured landscape, there are bands that persevere for ages without gaining the acclaim many believe is deserved. Though hyper-categorized, too many bands fall under each label for all of them to make an impact. It's unfortunate, but reality cannot be denied. Certain artists, no matter how many albums they make, no matter how much influence they wield, will always be legends of the underground.

Album Review: Witchcraft - "Legend"

For a band that’s been around more than a dozen years, there’s precious little information available about Witchcraft. Allmusic offers only a couple of paragraphs, Wikipedia offers those same paragraphs, the band’s website is more or less an order form and Encyclopedia Metallum barely makes the distinction between two different Swedish bands named Witchcraft. Hell, the band’s digital press release that comes with the album from Nuclear Blast doesn’t even have the band members’ names on it. So who is Witchcraft, and what are we doing here?

Between New and Old: The Testament of Chuck Billy

Few names in heavy metal resonate the way Chuck Billy's does. He is and has been one of the fathers of metal, a true-to-form vocalist of remarkable consistency and dedication to craft. Chuck has been a point for fans to rally around, either to carry the banner for metal, to not forget the halcyon days, or even to give cancer the finger. Over roughly thirty years, Chuck and his band Testament have been to hell and back again, surviving the changing times and lineup changes, all the while producing the same high caliber of original Bay Area thrash. We were honored to talk to Chuck Billy about his new album (both of them,) the Big 4, microphone stands and whether or not this legend has ever thought of hanging it up.

Album Review: Altar Of Oblivion - Grand Gesture Of Defiance

There are times I wish I had been able to see and experience the development of metal in the 80's firsthand. Being able to follow the genesis and growth of the nascent sound as it started splintering off into the subsets we know today would have been the best of all worlds. To be able to hear everything, but have it still be closely enough rooted to the traditions that started everything is something I admit with sorrow I can never quite understand.

Concert Review: Kreator, Accept

Walking into the venue for Kreator and Accept, there was a feeling that washed over the entire experience. To quote Henry Rollins, it felt like “another Saturday night in old Deutschland.” There was everything one would expect from a tour trumpeting two of Germany’s most prominent and standard-bearing thrash bands; high-speed metal revival, fans who haven’t had a haircut since the Berlin Wall came down, and very few women. Fewer than normal at a metal show, and that’s saying something.

Album Review: Attika 7 - Blood Of My Enemies

Some musical reinventions are necessary, while some of them seem to come out of nowhere. Musicians, for all the time we spend thinking about them in abstract terms, are artists, and they by definition cannot recreate what has already been done. Approximations can be made, but there will always be a different creative spark inciting the next work. No amount of careful copying can perfectly replicate what we've already seen or heard. That means at some point every musician has to accommodate change, whether it be a shift in taste, or simply the process of aging and gaining experience.

Album Review: Revolting - Hymns Of Ghastly Horror

Rogga Johansson is the closest thing we have to a death metal machine. Even in a world where bands swap members at random, and everyone has multiple projects, the amount of projects he has put his name to is staggering. You would think that after enough time has passed, there would come a point where the need and the inspiration to continue making mountains of old-school death metal would wane. The amazing part is that we have yet to reach that point, and we may never will.

Deeper Than The Average Band: Talking To Monsterworks

Monsterworks is the kind of band you want to root for, a group of underdogs bursting with creativity. Their music blends countless sounds and influences into music that is utterly unique. No one else sounds like Monsterworks, which is a statement fewer bands can make with each passing year. Their latest work, the EP "Man: Instincts", contains three masterful tracks culled from their upcoming "Album Of Man". Singer/Guitarist Jon took time recently to talk about the band, their music, and how it all comes together.
Can you start off by telling people who may not have heard of Monsterworks a bit about the band?
Monsterworks is a London based heavy metal band. It started off in New Zealand in the late 90s but relocated to the UK about 2002. So....as an entity it has been going quite some time now.

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This week we discuss alchemy, camera technology, a first time guest host joins the show, and we review "As Above, So Below".  

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