EP REVIEW: Midnight Dice – Hypnotized – Underground Power Records

Coming off a self-titled demo in 2019, Midnight Dice’s first EP, Hypnotized (Underground Power Records/Hoove Child Records), sees the Chicagoans continuing to build their momentum. Comparisons to the musicians’ previous band Satan’s Hallow remain inevitable as Hypnotized rides on a similarly anthemic Classic Metal style. However, there are also developments that show the band beginning to carve out a more distinct identity. Continue reading

SPLIT RELEASE: Shrieking / Puddleglum Split

2020 has already been a busy year for San Diego electronic darkheart Shrieking. Debut album Let the Galaxy Burn (Self-Release) was released in January; a single, Truth About Demons (Self-Release) appeared at the beginning of May, and is closely followed by this Split (Self-Release) with St. Louis Dungeon Synth project Puddleglum. It’s a curious and enticing prospect, enhanced by both bands weighing in with a healthy representation of the material. Continue reading

EP REVIEW: Wretched Empires – Bloom EP

I hadn’t registered so much as a whisper of St Louis trio Wretched Empires…until I learned that vocalist Tom Ballard was also the frontman for UK Sludge-Doomers Allfather. THEN my ears pricked up. Debut EP Bloom (Independent Release) shows the new outfit to be of a Blackened persuasion, which is even more of a surprise upon realising that the other two members of the unit were formerly part of Alt-Indie sextet Redbait. Curious indeed… Continue reading

EP REVIEWS: The Acacia Strain – D and E EPs – Rise Records

In these very strange, unprecedented times for the world over (and not just the music world) it must make a few of us uneasy in terms of when does “new music” stop coming out thanks to the pandemic. Well, the good news is the music we are getting right now is simply fantastic! The Acacia Strain have dropped two EPs this year after a surprise full release at the end of 2019. These new EPs entitled, simply, D and E (Rise Records) are certainly under the “short but sweet” category. Each EP only has two tracks apiece, however, this only helps in getting listeners to want more.

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EP REVIEW: Destroyer of Light – Generational Warfare

There’s no denying Destroyer of Light‘s prolific sense of adventure. The Austin, Texas quartet’s first release was a live set and in the eight years since, the band has let loose three albums, three EPs and a split with Tucson Doom monsters Godhunter. The latest of those EPs, Generational Warfare (Heavy Friends Records), is more of a ‘double-A side’: a two-song blast of mournful energy. Continue reading

EP REVIEW: Razor Candy – Razor Candy

I like to think I am a tough nut to crack, an enigma, if you will, shrouded in a mystical cloud of mystery. My editor proved to me that when it comes to my musical tastes he has me all figured out. Case in point, the new self-titled EP by Razor Candy (Sensory Recordings). My editor said I would really dig the newly released profoundly immoral brainchild of Paul Wiley (Marilyn Manson, Deveraux) and Chad Cherry (The Last Vegas, The Claws) and he was not wrong. I may be a self-described metalhead, but I am also a self-described lover of musical ingenuity and raw talent, which Razor Candy not only possesses but showcases in an eloquently macabre way. The EP contains five tracks that are available in all streaming formats, but for you vinyl loving freaks (myself included) there is a bonus track included only on vinyl, how fanfreakingtastical is that? Continue reading

EP REVIEW: Meth Fetish – Meth Fetish EP

For the fortieth release of its cruel, fetid existence, Dry Cough Records has chosen to issue forth another slab of tortured hate, this time from intentional duo Meth Fetish. The band, another project from the farm of Pissboiler and Droneologist whizzkid Karl Jonas Wijk, throw myriad nasty ingredients into debut EP Meth Fetish (Dry Cough Records) and as a result, have surfaced with something of a brute. The crushing riff and protesting squeal combo kicking off opener ‘Blinded To The Suffering’ is absolutely brutal, yet possesses the slowest, most muscular groove which twists the guts in joyous fashion. Long-time cohort Damien Sharrock‘s horrific vocal scour is the perfect accompaniment to this pummelling racket, slow medieval torture with the diseased larynx of a religious zealot dripping pure enmity into the victim’s face. Continue reading

EP REVIEW – Astaroth Incarnate – Ascendance

It used to be easy, doing the devil’s good work. A pentagram here or there, maybe an inverted cross on the forehead, and audiences would cower at your brimstone-summoning bravura. But the competition for our evil-seeking dollar and download has grown to unspeakable proportions. Just ask Sam Astaroth, vocalist for Toronto-based death metal gurus Astaroth Incarnate about the demands of wickedness in 2019. A Mephisto-summoning moniker doesn’t go far enough, even housed in a thorny, nigh-unreadable font. Add a few bullet-belted warlocks crawling from the backwoods with pointy guitars, not to mention Sam’s own demon warpaint. Yet, these hellacious Canadians are still restless and wild. Continue reading

EP REVIEW: Black Talon – Existential

Formed in 2010, Edinburgh thrashers Black Talon follow up their 2015 debut Endless Realities (Wasted State Records) with independently released five-track EP Existential. Sounding like a modern Scottish version of the 1980s Bay Area, this short release is replete with riffs and melodies similar to the likes of Forbidden, Testament and Dark Angel with vocals owing a debt to Vio-Lence and UK thrashmonkeys Acid Reign. Continue reading

EP REVIEW: Municipal Waste – The Last Rager

You know the old idiom, “you can’t judge a book by its cover”? Yeah, well, it’s nonsense. Just take one quick look at the cover to The Last Rager (Nuclear Blast), the new EP from Virginian beermonsters Municipal Waste and judge to your heart’s content. Continue reading