ALBUM REVIEW: Ellefson – No Cover

Cover songs can be tricky. A balancing act that often results in calamity. Lean too far one way and be accused of musical blasphemy; keep things too safe and be reliably informed you shouldn’t have bothered in the first place. So with that in mind, surely an album consisting entirely of cover versions is just asking for trouble, isn’t it? Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Death Dealer – Conquered Lands

Former Manowar guitarist Ross the Boss returns with all guns blazing on Conquered Lands (Steel Cartel), the third full-length release from his subtly named Death Dealer project. In a gloriously predictable manner, the riffs come thick and fast as gods, blood, battles and all other true metal necessities rain down like exploding magma from the skies.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Harlott – Detritus Of The Final Age

Not exactly renowned for being a hotbed of thrash metal, Australia has nevertheless served up some quality bands over the years. Sadistik Exekution, Addictive, and Deströyer 666 all enjoyed relative success along with bigger names such as Hobbs’ Angel of Death, and of course, Sydney’s Mortal Sin, but in more recent years it’s been left to Melbourne act Harlott to fly the Aussie flag of hate.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Accuser – Accuser

If you were on the lookout for quality thrash metal in the 1980s, your next stop after the USA would most likely have been Germany. With Kreator, Destruction, and Sodom leading the way, the so-called “Teutonic Trio” eventually expanded to include legendary beer bastards Tankard, but the country also produced a host of other quality acts. Bands like Deathrow, Paradox, Assassin, Vendetta, and Living Death all flew the flag with pride along with many other deserving names, one of those being underrated Siegen based act Accu§er. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Surma – The Light Within

 

A duo comprising Czechian vocalist Viktorie Surmøvá (Bohemian Metal Rhapsody) and Týr guitarist Heri Joensen, symphonic metal act Surma was formed in 2018 but spent the following year writing and arranging the music for their debut release.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Evildead – United $Tate$ Of Anarchy

A latecomer to the ’80s thrash scene, Californian act Evildead still managed to turn out two fine examples of speed metal riffery before disbanding, another victim of the burgeoning grunge movement. Aside from a single released in 2011, a first reunion proved fruitless, but this time the band includes most of the personnel from their 1989 debut, Annihilation of Civilization (SPV/Steamhammer), with bassist Karlos Medina (who played on the follow-up) completing the new and improved line-up. 

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ALBUM REVIEW: Armored Saint – Punching The Sky

 

Showing no visible signs of wear and tear, classic Los Angeles metallers Armored Saint return with eighth studio album Punching the Sky (Metal Blade). Noted for their consistency in both output and personnel, you have to go all the way back to 1987’s Raising Fear (Chrysalis) to find a studio album with a different line-up. A surprising level of stability considering two lengthy hiatuses and the untimely death of original guitarist Dave Prichard.

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CLASSIC ALBUMS REVISITED: Slayer – Seasons In The Abyss at 30

 

When Reign in Blood (Def Jam) catapulted Californian thrashers Slayer into the big leagues, the 1986 (or 1987 if you lived in the UK) seminal release also created a problem for the band. How exactly do you follow perfection? 

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ALBUM REVIEW: Devildriver – Dealing With Demons I

The first part of a double release (the second half due next year), the latest offering from prolific Californian melodic death metallers DevilDriver finds the band in cathartic form, as each song on the band’s ninth album, Dealing With Demons I (Napalm Records) focuses on a different type of obstacle or demon to be faced and overcome.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Anaal Nathrakh – Endarkenment

Even though the two main members of Anaal Nathrakh Mick “Irrumator” Kenney, and vocalist Dave “V.I.T.R.I.O.L.” Hunt – haven’t actually recorded in the same studio together for around ten years, the pair have still managed to spew more bitterness and agonized rage than can surely be healthy. With over 5,000 miles between them for latest album Endarkenment (Metal Blade), Kenney pushed buttons and twiddled knobs in his California studio, while Hunt recorded his vocals in far less sunny English climes, cathartically venting his spleen a few rooms down from where an S&M porn film was being shot. Continue reading