Album Reviews



Roni’s Review of Old Scratch’s “Feral”

***** Review by Roni *****

Old Scratch is:

Jeff Worley – Guitar/Vocals

Nick Sheppard – Drums

Rahsaan Lacey – Bass

Lyrics & Music by Jeff Worley

There’s something exhilarating about listening to new music that just grabs you and has you jamming within moments. Fun, fast paced and high energy all describe the debut album Feral by Old Scratch. Guitarist Jeff Worley was the last man standing in Charlotte, NC with the previous version of Old Scratch and it’s rebirth began in January of 2016 as he along with Nick Sheppard on drums and Rahsaan Lacey on bass played their first gig together. I, for one, am grateful that they did so, because just over a year later…I’m getting whiplash from banging my head so hard to their debut album.

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Review: EARTH ROT – ‘Renascentia’

Formed in only 2014, Earth Rot has really made their mark in the underground scene. The Australian death metal band has released an EP titled ‘Dirt’ in the same year of their formation. A short 6 months later they blew up the underground scene with their first full length LP titled ‘The Black Smoke’. This band offers a black and death metal mix not many bands can pull off with such seamless transition from one to the other. Now the band is back with their new album ‘Renascentia’ just one year after they released their debut album. Earth Rot has evolved and sharpened the craft of blackened death metal and this album shows that. Continue reading

Review: THE LAND OF THE SNOW – ‘Paths of Chaos’ [Album Stream]

Cover Art by Petulia Mattioli

The Land of the Snow is a new doom/experimental solo project from Switzerland mastermind Joel Gilardini. He has released several 4-6 song records including ‘Blizzards From The Edge Of A Stage’ (2013). They have played shows with bands like Dysrhythmia, Signorina ?Alos, and Bruital Orgasme.The new record ‘Paths of Chaos was released last week via Taxi Driver Records on February 28th. Cover art was created by Petulia Mattioli. The album was mixed by Eraldo Bernocchi  (Sigillum S, Obake, Metallic Taste Of Blood) and featured Jacopo Pierazzuoli on drums. Gilardini does all the guitars, drum programming, and electronics. The album takes you on a journey through music that makes the mind ascend to a higher state. You can buy the new album here or stream it below. Continue reading

Review Of RoadkillSoda’s “Space Echo & Time”

***** Review by Roni *****

RoadkillSoda is:

Mircea Petrescu “Hothshot Eagle” – vocals and rhythm guitar.

Mihnea Ferezan “Panda Elixir” – guitars and crazy solo’s

Victor Ferezan “Vava” – bass and low end

Mihai Nicolau “Baby Jesus” – drums.

Music by RoadkillSoda.

Lyrics by Mircea Petrescu with “Freebird” lyrics by Mihai Nicolau

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Review: IBYSS – ‘Hate Speech’ (Album Stream)

 

IBYSS is two guys. Two guitars, riffs for days, melodic and harsh vocal tones, programmed drums that are on point, and distorted bass. The band was founded at the beginning of 2012 by guitarist Jens (Chord Of Souls) and guitarist Nihil (PaPerCuts). This duo is taking Industrial-Metal back to its underground roots, the German duo celebrates an assault on the progressive-sound-complex of today´s metal world. Rudimental and raw. The band includes echoes and reverb in their sound to make the listener feel as if they were stuck in a cold dark cave, instead of listening to the usual music in the cozy surroundings. IBYSS wants you to feel uncomfortable, they want their music to move you and it’s something that few bands put effort into. The bands first release ‘Obsidian’ was self produced and released in 2014. Since that album the band has released 2 remixed tracks and the single “Monolith” that included the original track and 2 remixed versions in 2015. IBYSS has now released their latest work of art on January 31, 2017. The release was again self recorded and produced by the band and mixed and mastered by Ben Blutzukker. The album’s title has caused sort of an uproar in the bands home country of Germany. The EP titled ‘Hate Speech’ has been refused coverage from most German webzines and even leading print magazines. Refusing to publish any news about the release or even review it because they think our title is too “problematic” or “provocative”. I can easily go back into the metal vaults and find 1000’s of iconic albums that have far more offensive titles. Honestly, the fact that these outlets aren’t covering this album gives it that taboo effect and makes fans want to check it out even more. The title of this EP isn’t the main point here, this band absolutely dominates in their own style, bare witness to all that is IBYSS Continue reading

Nova Collective Stun With Their Debut, “The Further Side”

Nova Collective is:


Richard Henshall – Guitar
Dan Briggs – Bass
Pete Jones – Keyboards
Matt Lynch – Drums

So. What happens when you take the talents of ranking members of three, very heavy hitting Progressive Metal bands, like say, Between the Buried and Me, Haken and Cynic and throw them in the blender with the Modern Jazz sounds of a band like, oh I don’t know, Trioscapes? To sweeten the deal even more, add the engineering wizardry of Jamie King (for readers that follow my musings, I seem to end up covering just about everything this man produces and needs no introduction from me) and have everything mixed by Rich Mouser (Neal Morse, Transatlantic). Guesses? Honestly, I would have guessed something very technical and heavy in a minor key that drive on 7ths instead of strictly 5ths, done on extended range guitars and maybe a fretless bass. Nope. Not even close! What you get is a supergroup that call themselves Nova Collective and they are about to release their debut album entitled The Further Side on the Metal Blade record label March 10th, 2017. Upon receiving this pre-release, I was on this thing like white on rice! Oh man, what an absolute treat these guys have for everyone!

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Chicago Open Air Spotlight/Album Review: BLACK MAP – ‘In Droves’

*Every Thursday from now until Chicago Open Air gets here we will be releasing an article about a band playing the festival to get you familiar with them.*

Our first artist is Black Map!

Black Map will be taking the Chicago Open Air stage on July 15th this year at Toyota Park and we couldn’t be more excited. This will be the first Danny Wimmer Presents festival that Black Map will be a part of . We are kicking off the artist spotlight in a special way as we also include an album review of their new release: ‘In Droves’. The alt metal trio unleashed their first songs in 2014. First, their 4-song EP titled ‘Driver’ was released in February and all 4 songs were included later on that year on their first full length album ‘…And We Explode’.  They put off a heavy 90s rock vibe with huge, blasting riffs and raw emotion all packed into one punch. Last year the band made a large breakthrough with the premiere of a new song “Run Rabbit Run”.  This song took the airwaves by storm and told us to get ready for 2017 because Black Map is quickly on their way to the top. ‘In Droves’ will drop across the US on March 10th via eOne Music. The album was produced by Aaron Hellam at Hellman Sound. You can pre-order ‘In Droves’ here on the band’s website. Continue reading

Review: Within The Ruins ‘Halfway Human’

Within The Ruins is a metal band based out of Westfield, Massachusetts. They have a new album coming out March 3rd 2017 via eOne Music, titled ‘Halfway Human. When the band was talking about the writing process for this record, they touched upon the fact that they usually rush out music and jump into the studio. Within The Ruins collectively decided they were sick of the same old formula and wanted to try something new and take the time write a great record. Within The Ruins has stated they took the time to review their older material and have tried to make something different sounding. With the time, patience and research they have put into their new album ‘Halfway Human’ I’m sure most will be impressed by what Within The Ruins has done on their 5th studio record. Continue reading

Review: DARKEST HOUR – ‘Godless Prophets And The Migrant Flora’ [Song Stream]

Artwork by Shaun Beaudry

Melodeath/Metalcore band Darkest Hour has made a return to form with their new release titled ‘Godless Prophets and the Migrant Flora’. The band’s ninth studio album drops on March 10th via Southern Lord Records. It was recorded in Salem, MA at Godcity Studio with producer/engineer Kurt Ballou (guitarist of Converge) and mastered by Alan Douches at West West Side Music. The cover art by created by Shaun Beaudry. This release returns all band members from the previous self-titled record released via Sumerian Records in 2014. The Washington D.C. quintet have put together a killer release that will appeal to the old school fans that loved the early albums. ‘Godless Prophets and the Migrant Flora’ is an absolutely relentless, marvelous clash of uncompromising riffs and utter domination on the vocals. The band is currently on tour with Ringworm, Rivers of Nihil, Rotten Sound, and Tombs, dates can be viewed below. You can pre-order the upcoming album here. Continue reading

Review: HATE UNBOUND – ‘Plague’

The Motor City’s HATE UNBOUND are like a high performance engine that keeps cranking. The band are the sonic equivalent of a booze fueled fist fight among friends. The band heralds a do it yourself attitude that has allowed them to lead the charge in defining today’s heavy metal landscape. Singer Art Giammarra, guitarist Daryl Mitchell, guitarist William Cundiff, bassist Sean Demura, and drummer Franklin “Foot” Hannah have a range of influences like Death and Lamb Of God. The members equally collaborate together to create their unique sound. After their formation in 2013 the band has performed along side acts like Beyond Creation, Rivers of Nihil, Warbringer, Havok, and Belphegor. HATE UNBOUND have made a name for themselves due to their energetic live performances. HATE UNBOUND released 3 track demo in July of 2015 and now things are about to heat up even more for the band. Their debut album ‘Plague’ was just released on February 17th via Inverse Records. ‘Plague’ was recorded, mixed and mastered during the spring and summer of 2016 at Elaire Studios in Detroit, Michigan. The process was delayed so HATE UNBOUND could perform at the New Jersey Metal Fest and Full Terror Assault festivals in the summer of 2016. Putting their album on hold shows to perform live shows the respect and admiration they have for their fans, and they do not disappoint when they take the stage either. HATE UNBOUND aren’t just another metal band, they are the keepers of all that is heavy. Continue reading