Album Reviews



Review: THUNDERBIRD – ‘S/T’ [Songs Streaming]

Coming fully loaded with heavy artillery of rock, Thunderbird is back with a brand new album. After the success of 2016’s ‘Heavyweight,’ Thunderbird has spent the last two years recording another face melting album. The band showcases Marc Lafrance on vocals, Rob Becker on bass, Kelly Stodola on drums, and Brice Tabish replacing Rod Coogan on guitars due to other commitments. The bands self-titled album, ‘Thunderbird’ is a throwback to the classic days of rock. Thunderbird will be available everywhere digitally April 25, 2019. Continue reading

Review: PERIPHERY – ‘IV: Hail Stan’ [Official Video]

Words By: Masen Smith

For nearly a decade, DC prog metallers and forerunners of Djent; Periphery have been churning out album after album of tasty riffs and inventive songwriting. Few bands in the genre have been able to continuously and fluidly evolve for this long, constantly leaving fans guessing on which direction they’ll take next. No sentiment could be truer regarding their latest record, ‘IV: Hail Stan.’ After shockingly departing from Sumerian Records and subsequently launching their own label 3Dot Recordings, their creativity as a band was allowed to take centre stage. On their revamped writing process, guitarist Jake Bowen explained that this record was unique in that it took an entire year to write- something that the rushed schedule of major labels simply didn’t allow. The result is a polished, purposeful, textured and masterfully crafted album, one that was certainly worth the wait. Continue reading

Review: HIGH N’ HEAVY – ‘Warrior Queen’ [Album Stream]

High n’ Heavy are a four piece instrument of destruction out of New Bedford, Massachusetts. Formed in late 2014 with The Stooges, Black Sabbath, and Motörhead in mind; their sound has evolved to perfectly embody all of their influences. Mostly playing shows in their native New England, High n’ Heavy has been picking up a handful of new fans every time they perform. The following is multiplying not only because of their talented musicianship but also because of their high energy live sets that create fandom simply by word of mouth. Their first 3 albums have shown the band to be at home playing everything from the most brutal of doom to the dirtiest of rock n’ roll. The electric circus that is High n’ Heavy consists of  Kris Fortin on vocals, John Steele on guitar and keys, Mike Dudley on bass, and drummer Nick Perrone. The New Bedford band have now released their 4th album ‘Warrior Queen’ (via Electric Valley Records): An album full of psychedelia, mysticism and killer airfare! ‘Warrior Queen was recorded & engineered by Trevor Vaughan, recorded at The Colosseum and produced by Trevor Vaughan and High n’ Heavy.

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Review: LORD DYING – ‘Mysterium Tremendum’ [Video Stream]

Portland, Oregon’s Lord Dying is set to release their third full-length album ‘Mysterium Tremendum’ on April 26th, 2019 via Entertainment One. Not unlike previous releases, their sludgey roots remain intact while, this time around, the sound has noticeably evolved to welcome a wider range of varying influences. The ever-present prog elements have been kicked up several notches along with some serious genre-hopping style shifts. If you’re a fan of metal in general, and can easily enjoy bands from multiple sub-genres, ‘Mysterium Tremendum’ is the answer to which record to put on when you just can’t decide. This album has it all – from melodic to brutal, and everything in between while delivering a punishing arsenal of inventive riffage. The variation is most evident in the vocals which can, from one moment to the next, alternate stylistically anywhere from the likes of Geoff Tate to Chuck Shuldiner. Like an appetizer sampler platter, ‘Mysterium Tremendum’ offers some of the best of several metal favorites, while helping to define Lord Dying’s signature sound through experimentation. Continue reading

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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