ALBUM REVIEW: coldrain – Nonnegative


 

Fifteen years, and now seven albums into a successful career that has seen them move into both chart success status in their native Japan and mainstream culture by providing the opening theme for Netflix original anime series Bastard, Nagoya five-piece metalcore outfit coldrain are back following the longest gap between releases, with new offering Nonnegative (Warner Japan).

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ALBUM REVIEW: Powerwolf – The Monumental Mass – A Cinematic Metal Event


Although it’s widely accepted that Lockdown was just one massive shitshow for the entertainment industry, it did help create a new method of career survival – live streaming. Artists of all shapes and sizes took to the internet, charging for unique live or pre-recorded shows to help pay the bills. Some were obviously quite small scale, filmed in sweaty little music studios for next to no money while other, larger acts were able to attempt much grander projects, many enhancing the experience further by utilising fancy computer generated special effects and impressive physical sets.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Belphegor – The Devils


You’ve got to hand it to Belphegor. They’ve established and developed a style that is instantly recognizable from the first few notes. The same goes for artwork. The cover to their twelfth studio album depicts a group of demons surrounding the crucifixion set in ominous black and white tones. Haunting and beautifully blasphemous, Belphegor is sonically as sinister as ever.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Pestilence Hex – The Ashen Abhorrence


The Ashen Abhorrence (Debemur Morti Productions) is the debut album from Finnish duo Pestilence Hex, who delivers a full-on blast of heavily old-school Norwegian-influenced black metal. The project brings together vocalist M.Malignant (Corpsessed / Tyranny) and multi-instrumentalist L.Oathe (Desolate Shrine / Convocation) two musicians better known in death/doom circles, but who certainly appear to also know exactly what they’re doing when it comes to the black stuff.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Telekinetic Yeti – Primordial


The fabulously named Iowa-based duo Telekinetic Yeti release Primordial their follow up the rather excellent Abominable on Tee Pee Records, and appropriately it’s a beast.

Notably minimalist in its composition, which serves to emphasize the satisfyingly abrasive low end, title track Primordial kicks off proceedings with a very potent low and slow deep groove. This is made even more impressive by the lack of a bass player.Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Exocrine – The Hybrid Sons


 

Strap yourselves in, folks.

Exocrine, the progressive technical death metal goliaths hailing from France have penned an absolutely earth-shattering colossus that redefines the term “heavy” and wholeheartedly challenged this author to find enough synonyms to accurately depict the sheer destructive chaos The Hybrid Suns (Unique Leader) leaves in its wake.

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EP REVIEW: Volcandra – Border World


Coming out of Louisville, Kentucky is Volcandra with a brand new 4 song EP jam-packed and overflowing with melodic Black Metal fury. Their 2020 debut full-length debut, Into the Azure, was met with tons of fanfare thanks to their science fiction futuristic driven songwriting approach and furious live performances. Border World (Prosthetic) is just enough to satisfy their fan’s appetites until another proper full length can be produced.Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Victorius – Dinosaur Warfare Pt. 2 – The Great Ninja War


Just when you thought things had finally returned to normal after the pandemic, up pop Victorius to make you question your own sanity. Returning with their sixth full-length studio album (or second since going full dino-ninja bonkers) the five German nutters with a Gloryhammer sense of humour and an instant autocorrect for a name thrust Dinosaur Warfare Pt. 2 – The Great Ninja War (Napalm Records) onto an unsuspecting (Jurassic) world.Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Monolith Zero – Monolith Zero


 

Here comes summer.

From the opening strains of Monolith Zero’s Monolith Zero (Noise Machine), ‘Seeker (Noise Machine)’ it feels like a drive up Route 1 with the breeze in your hair, the Pacific to your left and mountains to the right. It’s open and airy, full of swirling shades of blue. Monolith Zero has a forward galloping momentum that is infectious. The album gives you itchy feet, you just want to get out and drive (or run, or ride a horse really fast)!

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ALBUM REVIEW: Municipal Waste – Electrified Brain


The artwork that emblazons Municipal Waste’s Electrified Brain (Nuclear Blast) sets the scene as strongly as anything else could have: a Flying-V guitar violently piercing the left cheek of a skeletal head that’s also being shocked. That’s precisely what the nearly thirty-four-minute attack feels like. It’s a pummeling marathon of fun-loving ire, of bodacious violence. Continue reading