ALBUM REVIEW: Wolf King – The Path Of Wrath


 

Neither a sequel to Tiger King nor a thrash metal act usually associated with the region, Californian act Wolf King blasts their way out of the Bay Area with some seriously sick and abrasive blackened hardcore on their second album, The Path of Wrath (Prosthetic Records).

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ALBUM REVIEW: Hellripper – The Affair of the Poisons


The reignited interest in distinctly eighties-sounding metal styles, and more specifically, the thrash revival of the 2000s, has brought with it a handful of blistering new acts, alongside a slew of respectable releases from its originators. However, as a general scene, it has also suffered from a lack of innovation and compositional creativity. Often bands of this scene are perfectly content to just emulate classic sounds long-established by Sodom, Kreator, Venom, Bathory, and Slayer. Oftentimes, I find it a dull guessing game of which thrash bands are being ripped off whenever I listen to these bands. But there are nevertheless a handful of acts that in addition to paying tribute to the old guard’s sound manage to capture that fury, excitement, and blasphemous spirit of heavy music during the proto-extreme metal era. James McBain, the singular creative force behind Hellripper, clearly loves the style of first wave black metal and Teutonic thrash but is also creative enough to blend them to create something that sounds completely fresh. The result here is The Affair of the Poisons (Peaceville Records), a sophomore effort to the more straightforward Coagulating Darkness, and a release of blackened thrash/speed metal fury that will leave you yearning even more for a destructive live experience in 2020.Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Stygian Crown – Stygian Crown


Stygian Crown’s full-length debut sits comfortably within the Epic Doom Metal niche, but their particular style comes from a more aggressive mindset than many of their peers. This is especially apparent with the guitar work, which exhibits a grainy tone and bulldozing riff patterns that are chunkier than the Classic Metal-derived fare of more conventional outfits. It never goes full-on Death/Doom but the band’s declaration of a Candlemass meets Bolt Thrower sound certainly makes sense when viewed through this lens.

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Amon Amarth – Berserker


For metal fans, the subject of Vikings is nothing new. From wondering why no-one seems to like ‘Invaders’ by Iron Maiden, or suddenly bursting into a frighteningly loud rendition of Led Zeppelin‘s ‘Immigrant Song’ at the merest mention of Thor: Ragnarok, those hairy little pillagers have been part and parcel of our music scene for decades.Continue reading


Haze Mage – Chronicle


Much in the same way that Hip Hop is fine as long as you don’t mind blokes who can’t sing and lots of rhyming couplets, so Metal in all its forms is just as fine as long as you don’t mind the… ahem, special vocals. Continue reading


Eluveitie – Ategnatos


Formed in 2002, Swiss Folk Metal act Eluveitie were thrust almost immediately towards the front line of the burgeoning, so-called Viking Metal/Battle Metal scene as it erupted around them during the middle of that decade. Metal inspired by Vikings and Folk music can be traced back to the likes of Bathory and Skyclad, if not before, but such was the explosion of bands around this time, you couldn’t get out of bed for tripping over accordions, fiddles, animal skins and antlers.Continue reading


Lord Of Chaos Film About Norwegian Black Metal Scene To Hit Theaters Soon


Long in the making film Lords of Chaos, based on the popular book about the early history of the original Black Metal scene in Norway will finally hit theaters and On Demand on February 8th 2019. Directed by Swedish filmmaker and one-time Bathory drummer Jonas Åkerlund, also known for videos by Metallica and Rammstein spearheaded the project along with Gunpowder and Sky, and is co-produced by VICE Studios, 20th Century Fox, Scott Free Productions and Insurgent Media. The film premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and currently holds a 91% fresh rating over on Rotten Tomatoes. Watch the trailer below. Continue reading


Einherjer – Norrøne Spor


The first time I crossed swords (!) with Norse warriors Einherjer was shortly after the release of the stellar blackened Viking Metal opus Odin Owns Ye All (Century Media) when they impressed on a bill that included Cradle of Filth and the underrated Old Man’s Child. The next stages of their career, however, were not so kind on the band, as they struggled to establish themselves, or really kick on.Continue reading


Immortal – Northern Chaos Gods


All good things come to an end, and as of March 2015, the legendary Black Metal double act of Abbath Doom Occulta (real name Olve Eikemo) and Demonaz Doom Occulta (real name Harald Nævdal) reached its disappointing and unfortunate conclusion. For years, Demonaz had acted the straight man, a perfect foil for his gurning, crab-walking, tongue-waggling partner, but since the pair went their separate ways, he has now chosen to step forward and take centre stage in what appears to be a more focused and serious vision of Immortal.Continue reading


Aura Noir – Aura Noire


Formed in Norway in 1993, Aura Noir was the brainchild of Ulver and Ved Buens Ende drummer Aggressor (aka Carl-Michael Eide). A project originally created for just himself (he was the sole musician on the band’s initial 1994 demo), Eide was joined by former Lamented Souls bassist Apollyon (aka Ole Jørgen Moe) the same year. Recording a second demo and a six-track EP, the pair recruited legendary Mayhem guitarist Blasphemer (aka Rune Eriksen), and drawing inspiration from the likes of Venom, Slayer, Bathory and Celtic Frost, released their debut album, Black Thrash Attack (Malicious) in 1996.Continue reading