In this day and age of the deluxe vinyl reissue, few releases are more deserving than ‘Spine of God,’ the debut album from New Jersey Stoner pioneers Monster Magnet. To whet our appetites for a forthcoming studio album later this year, on September 1st the good folks at Napalm Records are releasing ‘Spine of God’ (and its follow-up ‘Tab’) on glorious heavyweight vinyl for the very first time. Finally, this stone-cold classic of the genre can be appreciated in the same way as the Yes and Led Zeppelin classics mentioned in ‘Spine of God’’s Rock-and-Roll-as-Dark-Ritual stomper “Nod Scene;” with “seeds bustin’ up the spine.”
West Virginia hard rockers BOBAFLEX are back with their 8th studio album titled ‘Eloquent Demons’ available now from Thermal Entertainment LLC. BOBAFLEX long has a reputation for being one of the hardest working bands in the business and ‘Eloquent Demons’ is yet another step in the ongoing evolution of the group. The effort will be most remembered for the massive lead single, a cover of the PINK FLOYD classic “Hey You“. In which BOBAFLEX manages to maintain the spirit of the original all the while adding the groove that makes BOBAFLEX, BOBAFLEX.
Few bands have the ability to form the embodiment of an entire genre quite like Ensiferum, a 5 piece Melodic Folk Metal outfit from Helsinki, Finland. The band has released 3 E.P.’s since they formed in 1995, and 6 full length albums since they released their self titled debut in 2001. Ensiferum has undergone few lineup changes since their conception, now charging forward into battle with the current lineup of Markus Toivonen (Guitar/Backing Vocals/Clean Vocals), Petri Lindroos (Harsh Vocals/Guitar), Sami Hinkka (Bass/Clean Vocals), Janne Parviainen (Drums) and Netta Skog (Formerly of Turisas – Digital Accordion/Backing Vocals)- Netta coming in as a tour replacement for long time keyboard-player Emmi Silvennoinen in 2016, before becoming a full fledged member when Emmi (Silvennoinen) decided to part ways with the band. Continue reading →
Louisville, Kentucky’s nu-metal heroes Flaw have been dominating stages since before the release of their debut ‘Through The Eyes’ in 2001. The band is now revived and better than ever. Their comeback release last year ‘Divided We Fall’ proves the band hasn’t lost their touch. Chris Volz and Jay Daunt are the core of the band and have led the charge of a nu-metal resurgence over the past two years. Flaw have toured relentlessly playing both as a supporting act and as a headliner and even made numerous festival appearances including back to back performances at Louder Than Life in their hometown and also Ink In The Clink. Still on the heels of their full length release the band has now finished up a companion EP to ‘Divided We Fall’ and it’s titled ‘United We Stand’. The 6 track EP includes 4 brand new tracks and two live tracks. Both live songs are from the ‘Through The Eyes’ album and include “Payback” and “Only The Strong”. The EP will be released September 1st via Pavement Entertainment. Continue reading →
Gravemind is a six piece Deathcore band originating from Melbourne, Australia. Having formed in 2015, the past two years they have been busy pushing out harsh, in your face content regularly and touring through Australia. Leaving what I can only imagine to be piles of rubble left over from any standing structures that were unlucky enough to have been ground zero for a Gravemind show.
Gravemind managed to get me interested right from the get go. Their music is enough to pull you in and keep you interested and the fact that they write concept albums is very cool if you ask me! Having this be their third release they have only gotten better at honing in on their craft. The Hateful One released back in 2015, featuring five slamming songs. The Death Of Teyolia which is a single song released in 2016. These are definitely worth checking out because they are solid releases and it will somewhat prepare you for ‘The Deathgate’. But trust me…. you won’t be ready for this monster!! Continue reading →
It’s cliche to designate a heavy metal album as “epic.” The raging guitar riffs, thunderous bass, thrashing drums, and high pitch screams all create a sound that’s larger-than-life both sonically and thematically, and this go-big-or-go-home mentality was present at the genre’s inception with Black Sabbath and has continued into modernity with bands like Ghost and Avatar because let’s be honest here, if a metal band isn’t “epic” in some capacity or another then it isn’t worth its salt.
With that said, “epic” is the only proper descriptor that encapsulates my feelings on the wonderfully named symphonic death metal band Septicflesh. Originating from Athens, Greece in the mid 1990s and currently consisting of Seth Siro Anton on bass/vocals, Christos Antonou playing the guitar and writing the orchestrals, Sotiris Anunnaki V providing an additional guitar and clean vocals, and Kerim “Krimh” Lechner on drums, Septicflesh is one of the very few metal bands that can gracefully blend the rough brutality of death metal with the awe-inspiring sound of a sweeping orchestra, and this dark yet beautacious sound is ever-so present on Septicflesh’s 10th and most recent studio album ‘Codex Omega’ which is a more than worthy follow-up to their 2014 LP ‘Titan’ due to it being stunning in its scale and punishing in its ferocity.
Galloping bass riffs, driving percussion and rock-solid guitars have taken their spot at the vanguard of PORTRAIT’s new sound; – and it’s most certainly a fresh one. For almost two years now the Swedish heavy metal group have been working incredibly hard on their newest studio LP, titled ‘Burn the World’, which has finally been released as of 25 August via Metal Blade Records. PORTRAIT as a group have consistently drawn up mixed opinions since their formation, with some bestowing great critical acclaim and others merely citing them as “KING DIAMOND copyists” – but is the latter statement really the case? Originally, perhaps so, but I really think after this album hits the stores those earlier comparisons will cease to exist. Long gone are the eerie undertones that plunged 2011’s ‘Crimen Laesae Majestatis Divinae’ release and there’s very little tapping into the realms of conceptual horror. What you get here is a somewhat unlikely product consisting of numerous foot-tapping thrash-influenced songs categorized by exceptional percussion. Continue reading →
When light and shade combine it’s more often than not that you experience some very interesting results. Album ‘M’ by blossoming Danish artist Myrkur (aka Amalie Bruun) has now passed its two-year anniversary and throughout the course of those two years has managed to receive some very positive responses. Released on August 21 2015 via Relapse Records, the album has proved itself to be a very evocative one which showcase the extraordinary talents of Myrkur from both a songwriting and technical perspective. The solo artist isn’t only shining beacon of talent in M’s ensemble, however. Other important contributing members to the project include Teloch of Mayhem on bass / additional guitars and Øyvind Myrvoll of Nidingr on drums. The album was produced by Garm of Ulver fame and other noteworthy guest appearances include Criss Amott of Arch Enemy. Continue reading →
Paradise Lost are an eclectic bunch. Sure, the metal outfit originating from West Yorkshire, UK has consistently released melancholic and depressive doom metal with a bleak nihilistic worldview that allows the listener to ponder the fruitlessness of their own existence (It’s wonderful!), but Paradise Lost have never been afraid to fuse disparate subgenres such as death metal, goth, symphonic black metal, and even electronic dark pop with their Black Sabbath inspired sound.
Indeed, Paradise Lost’s sonic flexibility has ensured every album in their discography sounds fresh and is easy to differentiate from one another, and this was definitely the case with their previous album ‘The Plague Within’ which was a critically acclaimed beast of an LP that ended up being my favorite album of 2015.
However, despite the rave reviews, Paradise Lost only basked in the praise for a limited amount of time before they embarked on the unenviable task of crafting a dynamic and worthy follow-up. Consisting of vocalist Nick Holmes, guitarists Greg Mackintosh and Aaron Aedy, bassist Steve Edmondsen, and new drummer Finn Walttery Vayrynen, Paradise Lost have created a more than worthy successor in their 15th album ‘Medusa’ which is an LP where the band has decided to strip the symphonic black metal elements that were present in ‘The Plague Within’ in favor of focusing on the doom and sludge sound that made the band so successful in the first place, and with the aid of producer Jaime Gomez Arellano, ‘Medusa’ is a great album with crushing riffs that wallop the listener akin to a strike from a ten ton hammer. Continue reading →
IWKC or I Will Kill Chita (the band’s name jokingly refers to fraternal tensions between members in the past) was formed in 2008 in Russia when the Samarin brothers, Nikita and Nikolai started a chaotic punk-garage band. The search for their own style as well as competent partner-performers has continued through almost three years. After some years spent experimenting with the sound and line-up the band consolidated finally as a septet of Nikolai Samarin (keyboards, guitars), Nikita Samarin (drums, electronics), Andrei Silin (keyboards, electronics), Alexander Ivanov (bass), and Artem Litvakovsky (cello), Denis Smirnov (french horn), Ksenia Pluzhnikova (violin). The band released their 3 track debut EP ‘Better Days’ in December of 2010. The following year they released another EP titled ‘Not A Dream’. On January 28, 2012 the band released their first full length ‘Urban Fears’. It was a conceptual album dedicated to Moscow’s industrial outskirts and was uniquely recorded in an abandoned industrial building in Moscow Suburbs. Since that time the band has has 5 additional releases and a brand new release ‘Hladikarna’ which dropped on May 2, 2017 . The album was recorded & mixed by Nick Samarin @ Orange Studio, produced by IWKC & Vlad “Smack” Ponomarenko and mastered by Vlad “Smack” Ponomarenko. The album also includes a vast amount of guest vocalists Valentin Berezin, Roman Karandaev (extreme vocals), Julia Mityashova, Nicolas Perrault (German vocals), Vlad “Smack” Ponomarenko & Smackapella Choir, Gennadiy Lavrentiev (tabla), Khyung Nagpo (Gyuke voices), Shonchulai Hovenmei, Medved Boris (Full Power), these are in addition of course to the vocals by guitarist and keyboardist Nick Samarin. The band has been formed almost a decade and has more releases than most average bands that have been formed the same amount of time. IWKC doesn’t sit around, they are constantly creating music, and ‘Hladikarna’ is just the latest creative output by the band.