Mstr

About Mstr

Greetings, fellow metal fam! I go by Mstr, a weirdo anomaly born and raised in the hills of eastern Kentucky. A walking contradiction, I am everything you’d expect and nothing you'd imagine. Music is LIFE, and I've always had a soft spot for metal and it's various sub-genres. I'm always listening, sometimes writing, about all the things that make life worth living as well as what makes it a dumpster fire. Horns up!

Manchester’s COLD FELL Offer Up Full Length Debut [Album Review] [Album Stream]

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Manchester, England, a city that exploded around the turn of the Industrial Revolution, has served as a backdrop and inspiration of metal musicians of all ranges.  No small wonder, either, given the social issues created once the trappings of the industrial exploitation machinations were set into play. Workers were often forced into inhumane working conditions and eventually, periods of civil unrest between the working poor and the bourgeois erupted, leaving behind inauspiciousness in it’s wake. From these circumstances, and similar in cities such as Birmingham, the bubblings of metal sprung forth to unleash upon the world an especially dreadful perspective.  The natives Cold Fell (so named for a mountain in the North Pennines, a spine, if you will, that weaves throughout northwestern English countryside) have finally gotten the opportunity to add their own voice to the offerings, four years after the release of their first EP. Comprised of Laurence Taylor (of Caina) on vox, Karl Sveinsson and Giovanni Infantino on lead and rhythm guitar, Callum Cox pounding on the drums, and Oliver Edward Turner on bass, Cold Fell evidently put the gap time after their initial EP to good use as 2017 has been gifted with one smoking full length debut. 

“Irwell” is both the name that christens their Argento Records release and a river valley nestled in (you guessed it) northwestern England.  Coming in with eight tracks, “Irwell” is a solid monster of a proper debut which bares it’s teeth from the opening, snapping fierce jaws within instrumental passages so you, the listener, do not escape it’s mighty grasp.  The band members here have an excellent chemistry which is evident in the ways in which each track has been composed.  There’s not a superfluous time change, solo or angry vocal howl throughout the album that I could find; these guys were on a mission of craft and on “Irwell” they absolutely bring the pain.  Peppered throughout each of the songs, one can easily see the influence that classic black metal and contemporary bands of the same genre have had on the members, and rather than setting out to exploit those genres or relying on a more avant garde/experimental approach, CF pay homage to those before and current in black metal by efficiently utilizing the core sounds, topped with their own personal flavor. Take, for instance, ‘Folly (Health & the Glory)’  which opens with a nicely fat bass thrum underlying the assault unleashed by the typical frontrunners of guitar and drums.  Densely atmospheric in the right places, the track pummels along, punctuated with howling guitar shrieks that eerily mimic a female’s screams in places, while ‘Bone Ceiling’ bites and snarls in its own right, featuring a nice addition of fist pump worthy chants that will surely be as appreciated during a live performance as it is on record. My overall album pick, though (and it’s surely a close call to make), is narrowly the doom and gloom served up by ‘The Whip (Armed to the Teeth): furious skin work where appropriate with some nicely bitter slower tempo drops, some skillful lead guitar that helps pull the beat back from the mire and cohesive and spot on instrumental passages.  The album closer, ‘Dream of Seppuku’, is a wholly appropriate one that fits like a glove.  Seppuku refers to the Japanese act of suicide by disembowelment, and this track moves in thematically appropriate ways until it fades into a more somber tone sprinkled with some piano keys.  While not necessarily a game changer (and not that it had such ambitions in the first place), “Irwell” delivers a solid album sure to catch the attentions of the black metal scene, and gives just enough to keep us wanting more.

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Unearthing An ACID DEATH Album, A Quarter Century’s Past [Teaser Video And Stream]

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The classical Roman poet Virgil wrote in ‘Aeneid’, one of his most well known epics, to “be wary of Greeks bearing gifts”.  Of course, Virgil was referring to the historically significant delivery of the subterfuge Trojan horse by the Greeks in order to gain access inside the fortified walls of the Trojan stronghold in the midst of a ten year siege. Ol’ Virgil, though, never could have, in all his poetic grace, imagined the Greeks handing the metal world the offerings of Hellenic Acid Death.  Floga Records announced on March 10th that they were releasing the long buried first album from the legendary death/thrash/prog/tech metal collective known to the world as Acid Death. This album is finally seeing the light of day after a quarter of a century (25 years!) of staying in the shadows of someone’s long forgotten stash.  The band originally formed in 1989, and “Balance Of Power” was recorded in 1992 by the fledgling group who would go on to release several albums: “Pieces Of Mankind” (1997), “Random’s Manifest” (2000), “Eidolon” (2012), and most recently “Hall Of Mirrors” (2015).  The gorgeous grounds of Greece spawned this apocalyptic philosophical quartet, apropos, considering the rich history of the country. Comprised of Savvas Betinis (ex-Brainfade and ex-Kinetic) on vox and bass, Kostas Alexakis (ex-Braindfade and ex-Kinetic) keeping the beats busting on drums, John Anagnoston (ex-Released Anger and ex-The Crucifier) on rhythm guitar and last but certainly not least is axe slinger Dennis Kostopoulus (ex-Infidel) on the lead.  Despite some breaks over the years, the band returns to its’ core roots more often than not and have firmly cemented themselves as one of the major innovators and mainstays of the Greek metal scene.  Acid Death have shared the stage with such titans as KREATOR, THE HAUNTED, IMPALED NAZARENE, CHILDREN OF BODOM, ROTTING CHRIST, MAYHEM, PESTILENCE, and SEPTIC FLESH over the years, alongside some epic and raved about performances on the festival circuit.    Continue reading

Enter To Win Two Free Tix to Decibel Mag’s 2017 Tour!

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Heads up, Metal Nexus followers!  Decibel Magazine’s 2017 Tour is close to kicking off with a lineup featuring metal giants Obituary and Kreator as the headliners!  Stalwart metal label Nuclear Blast USA is sponsoring the tour and the contest via Instagram, and the winners get to pick which show they’d like to attend!  Also on the bill are Midnight and Horrendous with regional support to boot in select markets.  All you have to do is re-post Nuclear Blast‘s post and hashtag it according to the instructions; tagging a friend nets you extra entries!  What are you waiting on?! Get it on this immediately as the tour opens 03/17 in Charlotte, NC! Best of luck to you, and if you win, remember us here at Metal Nexus and let us know by tagging us in a post!

Find Nuclear Blast USA on Instagram here:

For more information about the tour, including show dates, click here:

SARCASM Release Lyric Video Ahead Of 2nd Full Length Album [Lyric Video + Album Review]

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We’ve all heard at least a half dozen or more tropes about preservation, about finishing what we start, and about how anything worth doing is worth doing right, and approximately a thousand variations upon the same and similar themes.  The Swedish death metal band Sarcasm wants you know those important and oh-so-persistent lessons in life did not fall upon their deaf ears.  The core duo of the current quintet, vocalist Heval Vozarslan (also of Third Storm) and Anders Erikson have written and recorded together as Sarcasm since 1994. While an EP appeared in 2000, and along the way a bunch of demos, their material from that time did not see a proper full length release until 2016 on Dark Descent Records.  Yes, you read those last two sentences correctly. Less than a year after their proper debut, Sarcasm rounded out their lineup, bringing back Peter Laitinen on guitar (who previously played with the core in ’94, also of Imperial Domain, The Hidden, ex-Goatworship), and fleshing out the rest with Jonas Soder (Imperial Domain, also ex-Goatworship) thundering along on bass and Matte Modin (Firespawn, The Hidden, and ex-Dark Funeral) taking on the role of beat master.  July of 2016 saw the release of their proper full length release Burial Dimensions’, and, in breakneck speed as if making up for lost time, the sophomore effort Within The Sphere Of Ethereal Minds’ is scheduled to drop on April 28th of this year.   Continue reading

Review: GHOST BATH – ‘Starmourner’ [Single Track Stream]

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The name Ghost Bath refers to the act of committing suicide by being submerged in a tub of water, and given the music this band has brought forth on their previous EP and full length releases, it’s an appropriate one.  Ghost Bath, hailing from the state of North Dakota, play an interesting brand of depressing black metal, chock full of rough, howling vocalizations accompanied by razor sharp instrumental passages that send the listener on a trip through the throes of a depressive mind.  The forthcoming  album, Starmourner’ releases April 21st, 2017, via Nuclear Blast, finds Ghost Bath stretching their wings, much like the angelic theme that threads the album, and exploring old and new territory alike.  Continue reading

Louisville Based Order Of Leviathan Roars To Life With ‘Death Worship’ [Album Stream]

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Quickly: what comes to mind when you think of the state of Kentucky? Hillbillies? Country music? Horses and bourbon? Maybe UK basketball? Whatever it is, I highly doubt that death metal is among what pops up.  Defying what outsiders think they know about the Bluegrass State, Louisville (aka Louis-evil) based Order Of Leviathan has launched an all out assault on convention via an “eternal quest for total darkness through transcendent art.”  Founded in March 2012, these guys pulled the band together not for the promise of fame, but to create art purely for the sake of art. 

Comprised of vocalist Nathan Bowling, Levi Crandell-guitar, Derek Tipton-guitar, Dustin Rawlings-bass, and Mike Hargrave-drums, Order Of Leviathan have released two full albums thus far, and have played with such acts as Cannibal Corpse and Cattle Decapitation.  2013 saw their first full length release, “The Infernal Path To Total Darkness”, an absolute BEAST of a debut, and more recently, the sophomore satanica offering of “Death Worship” in August of 2016.  This band of nihilistic misanthropes are only growing in scope and skill, and with razor sharp intent, they’re hellbent on opening your eyes to ultimate nothingness of life.    Continue reading