ALBUM REVIEW: Battle Beast – Circus Of Doom


With seventeen years on the clock and five albums already in the bag, Finnish sextet Battle Beast are back once again with another head-shaking, neck-breaking slab of electrifying European power metal. For those already familiar with the band then their sixth full length release, Circus of Doom (Nuclear Blast), will be like slipping into an old pair of comfortable, sparkly metal boots. For everyone else who may be interested, just strap on the nearest air guitar and prepare to grin stupidly for the next forty gloriously cheesy minutes or so.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Swallow the Sun – Moonflowers


Swallow the Sun is one of those bands that has created a notable amount of music over the years while remaining true to their own unique sound. They have managed to consistently innovate their thoughtful voice while maintaining their originality. For over twenty years, this Finnish act has been a wheel and stern to the Doom Metal genre. They have steered their ship into the darker depths of this vast category and beyond. It has only been two years since we were given their last album, When a Shadow is Forced into the Light (Century Media Records), yet the founder and writer for the band, Juha Raivio still has a lot to say. The group’s eighth full-length record, Moonflowers (Century Media Records) is coming out to expose their deeper levels of heartache and affliction. Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Khemmis – Deceiver – Nuclear Blast


Hailing from Denver, Khemmis is a blossoming band that has been turning heads since they began to jam in 2012. They cultivated their own little corner in the extensive genre of Doom Metal by creating a strong, unique voice among the other hopeful hordes and wannabes. The success from their second full-length, Hunted (20 Buck Spin) released in 2016, gave them a spotlight and they have been thriving in its beam ever since. Now these fellas are trimmed down to three members, have signed a new record deal, and are getting ready to release their fourth full-length album, Deceiver (Nuclear Blast). The raw, artistic depths that this group can reach with their heaviness is tunneling even deeper on this new record. By intensifying their emotional provocation and sound, Khemmis has struck gold. Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Thrice – Horizons-East


Two decades after their debut, the ever-evolving rock quartet Thrice have finely crafted a dynamic set of songs that are not only sonically pleasing, but lyrically awakening. Their eleventh (Self-Released) studio album, Horizons/East, is an eclectic collection of songs that practices extensive experimentation while maintaining the rawness of previous releases.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Jinjer – Walflowers


Jinjer is a Ukrainian four-piece act that has captivated and charmed varying music scenes all around the world. Just over a decade ago, the band started to make waves in their own country and around Europe when they released their EP Inhale, Don’t Breath. The vibrancy and viciousness of their Modern Metal sound stood out and has led them to be one of the most noteworthy bands in the genre. Now they are getting ready to release their fourth full-length album, Wallflowers (Napalm Records) and the expectations are high. Their determination, creativity, and uniqueness has many wondering if this new album can be a crown on top of the quartet’s budding stardom.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Times of Grace – Songs of Loss and Separation


Nearly fifteen years ago, current Killswitch Engage members Jesse Leach and Adam Dutkiewicz teamed up to birth the collaborative project Times of Grace. This dynamic duo pushed their creative boundaries by conjuring a fresh take on the heavy-yet-melodic sound. They delivered their debut album, The Hymn of a Broken Man (Roadrunner Records) in 2011. The gloom and aggression let loose on that record was ignited by the brutally honest songwriting. The themes of struggle, heartbreak, and hope were potently delivered with a real and plaintive spirit. These two brought forth a discovery of powerful melancholy and now ten years later, they are offering a sequel to that revelation. Their second full-length Songs of Loss and Separation (Wicked Good Records) is carrying on the melodic mournfulness, yet wonderfully wholesome sound that is Times of Grace.

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ALBUM REVIEW: At The Gates – The Nightmare of Being


At The Gates is a household name to every Melodic Death Metal fan out there. Formed over thirty years ago, this group of guys invigorated the scene by gifting the people with their unruly and extreme proclamations. Along with several other eager acts from their hometown, like Dark Tranquility and In Flames, ATG bolstered what is now defined as Gothenburg Melodic Death Metal. The signature sound that they captured still storms the scene today, showing off the band’s Swedish roots with a grim and wistful flourish. They continue on to profess their dark truths on their new seventh full-length record, The Nightmare of Being (Century Media Records).

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EP REVIEW: Crobot – Rat Child


June 2021 sees the return of the beardos in Crobot with their latest EP Rat Child (Mascot Label Group), a mix of pieces that could have appeared on Motherbrain in an alternate universe and products of the pandemic and long distance friendships. You’re lucky if I bother to actually put on pants, much less try to engage in any kind of creative endeavor over Zoom/Skype/smoke signal so I have to give credit where credit is due.

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ALBUM REVIEW – Boss Keloid – Family The Smiling Thrush


Following up a breakthrough album, such as Boss Keloid’s last opus Melted On The Inch (Holy Roar) which finished at #4 in Ghost Cult’s Album of the Year poll in 2018, is a challenging proposition. Stray too far from the magic formula and you risk undoing that giant stride taken forwards (even without being a band that has always taken efforts to ensure development and evolution of their sound is a given); repeat the previous approach and accusations of diminishing returns, or playing it safe, abound along with an invariably inferior product. Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Vreid – Wild North West


Black metal connoisseurs rejoice!

The latest Vreid record is an homage to the classic black metal sound the members helped create way back in the days of Windir while simultaneously experimenting with bold new soundscapes and storytelling. Wild North West (Season of Mist) is a pounding cataclysm of power and fury, yet it does so with a style and panache in a way that only these Norwegian black metal stalwarts could deliver. They offer a fresh take on the traditional black metal tropes while cutting the growls and blast beats with a melody that keeps your head banging and your mind racing, like on the hypnotic “Dazed and Reduced” and the ominous tone-setting title track.

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