ALBUM REVIEW: Evergrey – A Heartless Portrait (The Orphean Testament)


Good story telling is key to engaging a listener. Everygrey captures the listener with both words and music with their newest album A Heartless Portrait (The Orphean Testament) (Napalm Records). The lyrics tell a coherent story that is augmented by the composition; both what is played and in the silence in between. The album runs like a play; it has a first, second, and third act clearly delineated. There is rising action, a climax, falling action, and a denouement; a tragedy in 10 parts. Everygrey’s A Heartless Portrait (The Orphean Testament) creates an impression of being an open love letter to Vittorio de Sica.

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CONCERT REVIEW: Tech Trek V Tour with Archspire – Entheos – Inferi – Vulvodynia – Live at Brooklyn Monarch


Although initially scheduled to play The Kingsland, popular demand upgraded this stacked metal lineup to the fabulous new and much larger Brooklyn Monarch.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Malevolence – Malicious Intent


The very title of Malevolence’s new record should tell you all you need to know about what to expect.

Malicious Intent (Nuclear Blast) is the third full-length release from the groove-meets-metalcore five-piece outfit hailing from the UK and follows up 2017’s Self Supremacy. Boasting all original members, Malevolence has returned with a vengeance, though one that is tempered.Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: James LaBrie – Beautiful Shade of Grey


Having amassed a discography of over twenty albums as the lead vocalist (of which this is the fifth solely under his own name), and nearly two dozen guest appearances across a thirty year professional recording career, you could have forgiven James LaBrie for taking some overdue and well-earned time off when the 2020 Dream Theater world tour was halted. Instead, he and Eden’s Curse (whose Trinity album was adorned by his distinctive a glorious pipes) guitarist Paul Logue began trading the musical ideas that would grow into Beautiful Shade of Gray (InsideOut Music).

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ALBUM REVIEW: Cave In – Heavy Pendulum


Released some twenty-five years into a career that saw them burst out of the east-coast hardcore scene in the mid nineties, Heavy Pendulum (Relapse Records) is Cave In’s seventh album, and is a landmark release for the band who sadly lost their bass player Caleb Schofield to a car accident in 2018. Schofield also provided many of Cave In’s heavier vocals, and his role in the band is assumed by close friend Nate Newton (Converge, Deathriders), and who also has a mean voice himself.

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EP REVIEW: Primitive Man – Insurmountable


The three-man deathsludge machine, known simply as Primitive Man, has dropped four new blistering tracks in the form of an EP entitled Insurmountable (Closed Casket Activities). Mixing funeral doom, black metal, and harsh noise elements, this powerhouse from Denver, Colorado is one of the most abrasive, yet satisfying bands out there. After thirty-eight minutes, any first listeners will certainly start working on the rest of the group’s discography.Continue reading


CONCERT REVIEW: The Bay Strikes Back Tour: Testament – Exodus – Death Angel live at Newport Music Hall.


The Bay Strikes Back Tour – Testament, Exodus, and Death Angel – brought a massive dose of thrash to the edge of the Ohio State University campus on Wednesday night with their stop at the Newport Music Hall. The tour celebrates the origins of thrash metal stretching back to the late 1970s and early 1980s. It is incredible that these three bands are still standing on the stage and belting out their music for long-time and new fans alike.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Septicflesh – Modern Primitive


It’s hard to believe that influential Greek symphonic death metal outfit Septicflesh are now into their fourth decade. Even when people of a certain age [Happy big birthday yourself, Gaz! – Reviews Ed] try to improve matters by subtracting the four years of inactivity during the mid-2000s, the reality still sits unavoidably close to that same disconcerting landmark.Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Florence and The Machine – Dance Fever – Polydor Records


Like a lot of us out there, the lockdowns during the pandemic gave Florence Welch a lot of spare time to kill. When reading about the UK during the middle ages, Welch discovered ‘choreomania’ or dancing to exhaustion or even death, and thus became the soul theme to the band’s fifth album Dance Fever (Polydor Records). Now, some thirteen years since the act’s debut album, Lungs, Florence and The Machine have become a household name, having headlined grand festivals such as Glastonbury, and the real question is where can the group go from here.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Tzompantli – Tlazcaltiliztil


I love it when something new and different comes down the pipeline. Tlazcaltiliztil (20 Buck Spin), the new offering from Tzompantli brings much to the proverbial table. To start off I really dig the tribal vibe. Their approach blends some killer death metal and doom with awesome ambiance and tasty instrumentation. Continue reading