Album Reviews



Review: WHITECHAPEL – ‘The Valley’ [Album Review & Video Stream]

 

Since their inception in 2007, Whitechapel have embraced darkness unlike many other bands have been able to do, and their forthcoming seventh studio release, The Valley, is no different. Let’s set the record straight for a second, though. There aren’t many, “happy,” things about their music to start with, but when you start to dig deeper than the music and the lyrics, and begin to strike a personal connection with the stories they tell, you begin to feel like you’re one with the grim tales that they narrate in their music. For frontman Phil Bozeman, this is as personal of an album as ever, giving you an inside look at events that he went through as a child growing up in Knoxville, Tennessee, with a new perspective on life and how his childhood traumas have molded him into the human being he is now. From his putrid relationship with his step father, to diving deep into analyzing his mother’s multiple personality syndromes, it is nothing short of a lyrical masterpiece that exceeds any and all expectations from a modern Deathcore band in today’s music scene. The Valley, based on true events by Whitechapel, is an overwhelming, emotional, and cut-throat look into the darkest side of a person’s mind.

The album begins with the opening track, When A Demon Defiles A Witch, a song that Bozeman wrote about his mother’s personal demon. A gruesome tale that properly sets the mood for the unrelenting and over the top musical onslaught that you will face when listening to this album. To make things perfectly clear, this song has nothing to do with his stepfather, but it is about a demon by the name of, “Mycar,” that used to haunt her in their home. Bozeman’s mother had journals that she kept writings in of all the things that she experienced with this being, and these journals actually contained lines and phrases that Bozeman would use as lyrics for the track in certain places, (“Burn the bed, burn everything, it’s a lie anyway.”) the original writings of the journal concur that she referred to herself as a witch, and talk about how the demon would sexually assault her in her bed. Continue reading

Review: IRON GRIFFIN – ‘Curse Of The Sky’ [Album Stream]

Iron Griffin, the throwback/retro metal band from Finland are set to release ‘Curse of the Sky’ on March 22nd via Gates of Hell Records. Like the self-titled debut, Oskari Rasanen handles all the instrumentation himself! Joining him on vocals, however, is Maija Tiljander whose previous experience included singing power metal covers in Finnish bars and clubs. Continue reading

Review: TESLA – ‘Shock’ [Official Album Teaser]

Sacramento, California’s classic rockers Tesla return with their eighth studio album ‘Shock.’ Classic rock is a term that may not be desired, despite being earned. Tesla has been running from unwarranted labels from day one, so this is likely nothing new. They were labeled early on as a “hair band” or even as a “glam band,” despite clearly being way more of a center of the road, straight-ahead rock band. Tesla’s lineup has relatively remained the same over the years, with only minor changes, and it shows in the songs. The album is chock-full of classic Tesla that not only held my attention but made me revisit some of my favorite Tesla tunes after spinning it. See: “Mama’s Fool” from 1995’s ‘Bust a Nut.’ Continue reading

Review: “HAIR I GO AGAIN” Documentary [Official Trailer]

Hair I Go Again” is the story of director Steve McClure and longtime friend Kyle Kruger’s journey to reunite their 25-years defunct, eighties hair metal band Tryxx in hopes to achieve commercial success today. The now middle-aged Steve and Kyle have already done the unthinkable and quit their day jobs in order to pursue the possibility of finally making their rock star dreams come true, but is it too late? Continue reading

Breathe In BLACK LUNG’S ‘Ancients’ [Album Preview Video]

Doom three-piece Black Lung have returned with their new record, Ancients, via Ripple Music. Formed in Baltimore during the winter of 2014 by Adam Bufano and Elias Schutzman (founding members of The Flying Eyes) with multi-instrumentalist Dave Cavalier (Snakefeast). Creating a loud, effects-driven sound, they used their doom influences with touches of palatable melody. After the release of their self-titled album, they were named Best New Band by the Baltimore City Paper in 2015. In that same year, they went across the pond to Europe, playing Rockpalast Crossroads Festival (which was broadcast on German television), Freak Valley, and Desertfest Belgium. This is where they shared the stage with doomsters Graveyard, Dead Meadow, and All Them Witches. In 2016, they came back with a second full-release, See The Enemy, an album that put them on the map as a rising band. Now with more songs written, they went into the studio with Frank “The Punisher” Marchand (The Obsessed, Borracho) and came out with a sharper tuned-up sound.

Right off the bat, I am glad that they did not use distorted vocals on this album. Although I do enjoy distorted reverb vocals from stoner rock/metal and alternative artists occasionally, I think it can limit the songs. Dave Cavalier does great vocal work on this album, without making it sound like they are playing in a tin can. It feels cleaner, and it’s refreshing. That’s not to say I don’t love the guitar tone created by effects for this album. “Mother of the Sun” was an inviting first track with an intro that acts almost as an introductory track, without becoming too exhausting. The title track is really groovy and has a partnership between riff and chorus that will get in your head (in a good way, not a Bachman-Turner Overdrive kind of way). “Gone” is a fun track that has solos woven in and out of it, blended with another catchy riff. The album slows down with the heavier tone of “Badlands”, a song that radiates a Spaghetti Western aesthetic. Just when you think the track is ending, it pans out into an atmospheric jam. This album is a nice turn for Black Lung, making their sound a little more accessible without still being very heavy in the right places. I would recommend this to any hard rock fan who was looking for something heavier, as a stepping stone even heavier music.

Ancients will be released March 8 via Ripple Music (North America, Asia, and Australia) and March 22 on Noisolution (the UK and Europe). To preorder the album go here, and follow Black Lung on Facebook and Bandcamp

Source Returns With “Totality”

Source is:

Ben Gleason: vocals, guitar, piano, keyboards, synthesizers

Justin Mirarck: drums

Riley Selleck: bass

Totality

Release date: 01 March 2019

Source has become a mainstay with past and present members of the Metal Nexus staff. Starting with the first listen to “Memories of Yesterday” when they were first covered as a State of the Art band for Colorado back in April of 2016, through tour coverage, multiple interviews, album reviews, video introductions and King of Strings honors, Source is one of those special bands that we just cannot shake. Their masterpiece debut album Return to Nothing even gleaned top honors for my Best Album of the Year in 2016. There was not even any competition, in my humble opinion, even though my long-time heroes Metal Church dropped their long awaited XI and Aleah Stanbridge’s final album with Trees of Eternity before her untimely passing entitled Hour of the Nightingale were released the same year. Return to Nothing still mesmerizes and moves me, often to tears, depending on the mood. All things considered, it is probably one of my all time favorite albums and has still not grown long in the tooth after three years. It is my sage haven anymore. That said, what about their most recent release Totality? Read on…

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Review: SWORN ENEMY – ‘Gamechanger’ [Official Trailer]


Queens, New York’s Sworn Enemy is set to drop their new album ‘Gamechanger’ via M-Theory Audio on April 5th, 2019. As veterans of the metallic hardcore game, the band consisting of Sal Lococo (vocals), Matt Garzilli (guitar), Mike Pucciarelli (bass), Jeff Cummings (guitar), and Taykwuan Jackson (drums) just celebrated the 15th anniversary of their debut album ‘As Real as It Gets’ last year. The new album, which will mark their eighth full length release, was produced by the one-and-only Robb Flynn (Machine Head) and engineered, mixed, and mastered by Zack Ohren (Suffocation, Fallujah, Warbringer). For fans of bands like Hatebreed, Biohazard, and Madball, ‘Gamechanger’ is an album that offers a similar street-level attitude and testosterone-fueled rage that is sure to quench the bloodthirst of old school loyalists as well as place Sworn Enemy prominently on the radar of new listeners. Continue reading

Review: DEMON HUNTER – War/Peace [Album Stream]

Demon Hunter are back.  The Metal legends from Seattle are back with a huge release. These days, bands tend to put out EPs rather than albums. The Demon gang had a different idea, releasing two albums on the same day, harking back to ‘Use Your Illusion’.  Therefore, 1st March sees ‘War’ and ‘Peace’ come out.

The genius marketing here is that each album is different in its approach.  ‘War’ sees the band go hard with more of a metalcore vibe, whilst ‘Peace’ walks a more melodic Metal path.  Either way, both album is pretty damn impressive!

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Review: THE END MACHINE – ‘The End Machine’ [Official Video]

 

The wait is over, the band that was originally known as Super Stroke, will be releasing their much anticipated album on March 22 via Frontiers. The band finally settled on The EndMachine for the name and kept things simple with the album being self-titled. Frontiers have put together a slew of projects but none of them has had the buzz they have created. When you have a line-up of George Lynch (guitar), Jeff Pilson (bass), Mick Brown (drums), and current vocalist for Warrant Robert Mason, people will start talking. To break it down, your getting Dokken, without Don Dokken, and inserting Mason, or you can look at it as getting the line-up of Lynch Mob in 1992, minus Anthony Esposito, add adding Pilson on bass. Continue reading

Review: BUCKCHERRY – ‘Warpaint’ [Official Videos]

When Buckcherry first burst onto the scene in 1999 with their self titled debut , they were breath of musical fresh air in a time of post grunge, pop punk and nu metal. Here was band that harkened back to the old school sounds of Guns n Roses and AC/DC with an in your face, keep it simple style and plenty of attitude. Their raucous, sleaze anthem “Lit Up” blew up on the radio airwaves becoming their first and only number one hit on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks Chart . Another album followed in 2001 ‘Time Bomb,’ didn’t do quite as well and the band dissolved. Then something unexpected happened. Singer Josh Todd and founding guitarist Keith Nelson reformed the band with a new lineup in 2006 and released arguably their most successful album “15” which contained two of their biggest crossover hits “Crazy Bitch” and “Sorry,” their first Billboard Top 100 single. A series of albums followed starting in 2008 with “Black Butterfly,” all with varying degrees of success and although the chart prowess of the aforementioned songs alluded them they continued to release records and consistently tour remaining a strong draw on the concert circuit. Continue reading