ALBUM REVIEW: Bleed From Within – Fracture

Glasgow may not be considered a heavy metal hub, but the band Bleed From Within proves that Scotland can produce some pretty extreme musicians. Formed fifteen years ago, this young, charged-up group of guys sought to make a spectacle of aggression and severity. Their early works took on a very vengeful edge that was mainly categorized under the Deathcore genre. Now, these fresh-faced Scots present a more sophisticated take on the ‘Core’ genres while merging it with Modern Metal on their new fifth full-length album, Fracture (Century Media Records). Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Grave Digger – Fields of Blood

Marking the 40th anniversary of the band, the latest Grave Digger album is a serious return to form and arguably their best release since the glory days of the eighties. Delivering a fresh injection of power metal straight from the highlands of Scotland (where some of the album was even recorded), Fields of Blood (Napalm Records) is a strong statement from a band who have appear to have been taking some of their cues from military-obsessed Swedes Sabaton. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Tyrant – Hereafter 

Tyrant’s long-awaited fourth album, Hereafter (ShadowKingdom Records),  has come out under some rather interesting circumstances. In addition to serving as the Pasadena veterans’ first full-length since 1996’s King of Kings, Hereafter sees journeyman vocalist Robert Lowe at the helm in place of Glen May. The prospects of this collaboration are certainly intriguing, especially as a fan of Lowe’s work with Solitude Aeturnus and Candlemass. I wouldn’t go so far as to think of it as Tyrant gone doom, but it approaches their established sound from a noticeably different angle.

Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Paradise Lost – Obsidian

Many consider the British band, Paradise Lost to be the fathers of the Gothic Metal genre. Formed in 1988, four out of the five members have been there since the beginning. This tight-knit group of guys is a prime example of a hard-working band who knows how to stay creative and original. The exploration and determination of this act has led them down some unique roads over the years. After experimenting on albums like One Second (Music for Nations)  and Believe In Nothing (EMI), Paradise Lost got back to their roots in 2015. They embraced their Death Metal background with the release of The Plague Within (Century Media Records) and 2017’s Medusa (Nuclear Blast). Now with the release of their sixteenth record,  Obsidian (Nuclear Blast), their heaviness is being fleshed out with even more distinct devastation.   Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Voodoo Gods – The Divinity of Blood

Just over a decade ago, the supergroup Voodoo Gods was created. Though the birthplace is in Florida, the lineup consists of international musicians from around the globe. The diversely skilled and experienced members came together under one banner to generate some very heavy and very hostile music. In 2014, the band exchanged one epic vocalist for another. Seasoned frontman George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher from Cannibal Corpse replaced Adam “Nergal” Darski from Behemoth as the co-vocalist and soon the group released their first full-length, Anticipation For Blood Leveled in Darkness (Saturnal Records). Though it’s been six years since their last record, the band’s heat and hatred has not cooled down. Their recently released second album, The Divinity of Blood (Reaper Entertainment) wreaks havoc in a forceful, yet slightly monotonous way. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Winterfylleth – The Reckoning Dawn

In the realm that is black metal, fans are usually treated to anti-religious themed lyrics, a heavy dose of blast beats, and at times, cookie-cutter guitar riffs. However, as black metal has evolved throughout the years, we now get more atmospheric-centric style music with lyrics that tell stories of nature, history, or just simply life itself. Winterfylleth falls into the second category especially with their latest release, The Reckoning Dawn (Candlelight/Spinefarm). Spanning across the entire album are memorable guitar licks, thunderous drumming, backing chants, and accompanying synth work that really ties the complete sound package together. It may not be a visual painting to look at, but the UK outfit certainly put together a fine piece of art.

Continue reading

PODCAST: Episode 89: Jacob Bannon (Converge) on Umbra Vitae Band and Debut Album

Ghost Cult was honored to chat with musician and artist Jacob Bannon of Converge, Wear Your Wounds, and his new band Umbra Vitae. That group just released their debut album, Shadow of Life, (read our review here), a brutal, OSDM flavored album created by Jacob and a group of master musicians and friends such as Mike McKenzie (The Red Chord, WYW) and Sean Martin (Twitching Tongues, ex Hatebreed, WYW) Greg Weeks (The Red Chord, Labor Hex) and Jon Rice (Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, Job For A Cowboy). In a frank discussion with our editor Keefy, Jacob discussed the impact coronavirus has had on the music world and more specifically his bands and his label Deathwish Inc., what are the Death Metal inspirations of the group, how Umbra Vitae came together, how this is a full band and not side-project, the poem that inspired the band name and the entire album, an update on new Converge and WYW music, and much more. Jacob is working to stay focused and creative during the pandemic to keep his bands and Deathwish Inc. alive in all of this and if you can, please support his music, art activities at these links.

Buy the album here https://orcd.co/umbravitae

Support all of Jacob here:

https://jacobbannon.com/

Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Umbra Vitae – Shadow of Life

Converge is one of the lucky Hardcore/Punk bands that has seen notable success over the years. Though they have flirted with the metal genre on some of their albums like The Poacher Diaries (Relapse Records) and You Fail Me (Epitaph Records), frontman Jason Bannon has been itching to make something heavier. This veteran vocalist loves his celebrated children Converge and Wear Your Wounds, but is now really exposing his heart for ferocity with his new Death Metal project, Umbra Vitae. Along with some other experienced and eager members, Bannon has just released the band’s debut LP, Shadows of Life on his own label, Deathwish Inc.

Continue reading

CLASSIC ALBUMS REVISITED: Black Sabbath’s “Heaven And Hell” Turns 40

Black Sabbath, one of the greatest bands ever, was an act in transition as it entered the 1980s. Less than a year earlier they sacked their legendary lead singer Ozzy Osbourne and replaced him with equally great Ronnie James Dio, previously of Rainbow. The flailing former greats and the hungry vocalist reignited each others passion for Heavy Metal to create something incredible in Heaven and Hell (Vertigo/Warner Bros) The album not only gave the band a shot in the arm, but it also launched their second era with a bang, one their fans would never forget. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Azusa – Loop of Yesterdays

As we are stuck at home wondering what to do with all this unprecedented free time, I believe that we should invest our time to catch up with all the releases that have come out this year. Actually, I have to get into that myself, there are a lot of releases that I have missed so far this year and Azusa’s Loop of Yesterdays (Solid State Records) was one of them. I’m glad I listened to this album though, it has a very interesting balance between really heavy Melodic Death Metal riffs and progressive/experimental segments that present big ambient soundscapes.

Continue reading