ALBUM REVIEW: Cage Fight – Cage Fight


Cage Fight is the new project from James Monteith, guitar wizard for technical / prog metal outfit TesseracT, and is a very different sound from what he delivers in his day job. Initially featuring Jon Reid on bass and Nick Plews on drums, the three-piece produced a number of instrumental demos before drafting in the extraordinary talents of French vocalist Rachel Aspe, formally of the band Eths, after James had seen a Black Dahlia Murder cover that Rachel had posted online. Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Ibaraki – Rashomon


Ibaraki is the new solo project from Trivium’s Matt Heafy, and Rashomon is released through Nuclear Blast, having been over a decade in the making. The name translates as “Wild Trees”, but is also taken from a terrifying Japanese demon of feudal legend, and the concept is a profound affirmation of Heafy’s Japanese-American heritage, incorporating a number of different musical styles. Although the main inspiration clearly sits within the black etal genre, taking influence from the experience of Emperor’s Ihsahn, who co-produced, and whose quirkier ideas from his solo work are peppered throughout the release. Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Fozzy – Boombox


Whether it is due to the day-job of Fozzy frontman Chris Jericho, or their weird roots and route, stumbling into being a “proper band” by evolving from a high-profile covers act formed by former Stuck Mojo six-stringer Rich Ward, rightly or wrongly (and the answer is wrongly, by the way), it took 2017’s breakout anthem ‘Judas’ (from the album of the same name), a bona-fide fists-in-the-air voices-to-the-sky classic anthem, to put a stamp of credibility on the twenty-year labour of musical love of Ward and Jericho and push them headfirst through the glass ceiling and into the next level of mainstream consciousness.

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EP REVIEW: Heriot – Profound Morality


With very little in the way of recorded music released prior to this release but notably a swathe of well received and high profile support slots including recently with Rolo Tomassi; UK metallic hardcore outfit Heriot have forged a scintillating reputation in a short space of time. Now with the eagerly anticipated debut EP Profound Morality (Church Road Records), the band are showing that they are truly living up to expectation by delivering a short but sharp release which reveals surprising depth.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Rammstein – Zeit


Something isn’t quite right here.

A Rammstein record a mere three years after the last one and preceded by no rumbling stories of friction between bandmates or nebulous warnings of permanent disbandment? The last time the Neue Deutsche Härte/industrial act had such a swift turnaround was when Reise Reise was followed by fun leftovers album Rosenrot a year later, so could this quick release (by their standards anyway) mean Rammstein are actually happy or could it be hinting at something more ominous?

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REVIEWS ROUND-UP: Stoner Doom Edition ft. Tenebra, Eric Wagner, Domkraft, Slomatics, Ufomammut


Tenebra – Moongazer (New Heavy Sounds / Seeing Red)

There is something evocative about the retro / occult rock of Italian quartet Tenebra that is encapsulated in a most vigorous way on the third track of Moongazer, ‘Black Lace’. A steady, spacious build from jangled, careful chords that takes its time gives room for the powerful smoke-and-whiskey vocals of Silvia to take centre stage, before a Zeppelin-esque vocal-led coda closes things out. It is not the only, nor possibly even the best, song to do this, but as a drawing together of the best elements of the Tenebra sound perhaps serves as their best showpiece. Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Pyrithe – Monuments to Impermanence


So, we have got to sit down and talk about how subgenre crazy the extreme metal world has become. It seems like with every week that goes by another fresh batch of new “subgenres” enter the metal lexicon. You see Deafheaven can’t be filed under Black Metal because they’re really a Post Existential Crisis Alternative Shoegaze Latte outfit. Ice Nine Kills’ early stuff was metalcore, but nowadays they’ve drifted over to Slasher Showtunes. I wish good luck to whoever has to classify whatever Pyrithe’s Monuments to Impermanence (Gilead Media).

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ALBUM REVIEW: -S- – Dom, w którym mieszkał Wąż (A House Where Dwelled A Snake)


It’s time to enter a very dark place. Poland’s mysterious and enigmatic doom-jazz-post rock-funk project -S- return with their first full-length release since their 2013 untitled debut. Led by composer, bassist, vocalist Patyr, with Grzegorz supplying drums, Dom, w którym mieszkał Wąż (A House Where Dwelled A Snake) (I, Voidhanger) is like nothing else you’re likely to hear, and that includes the group’s debut. The album is four tracks and forty-one minutes of oppressive, threatening, slithering, funky doom. If that sounds like a wild trip, it is.

And don’t forget those clarinets!Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Sentient Horror – Rites Of Gore


This is an adrenaline junkie’s wet dream.

The New Jersey-based necromancing death metallers Sentient Horror break bones and summon the dead on their grueling new album, Rites Of Gore (Redefining Darkness / Testimony). Continue reading