October celebrates the return of cooler weather, overpriced pumpkin-flavored beverages, and everything spooky. This October is extra special as the Duke of Spook, Wednesday 13 returns to the land of the living with a brand new album, Horrifier (Napalm Records), just in time to set the mood for Halloween.
How to best describe what Armed for Apocalypse’s Ritual Violence (Candlelight Records) sounds like? While I’ve never had the pleasure, I imagine it’s much like jamming a knife into an electrical outlet. Not sure if that analogy will work for everyone. Well, it’s like witnessing the centerpiece car wreck from Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof. Shit, barely anyone saw that movie. Just know that it’s abrasive and the average listener should approach with upmost caution.
At this stage in their career, Lamb of God can pretty much do what they want, when they want. And the Virginianatives have found a winning formula with their sound, which has been honed over nearly thirty years since they began life as Burn The Priest. Since the name change at the beginning of the millennium, Lamb of Godhave proven themselves as one of the premier contemporary metal bands, progressing from their earlier more death metal style, into the kings of modern groove metal, which has seen multiple Grammy nominations and some almighty tours including this year’s monster outing with Megadeth, Trivium and In Flames, which they are about to follow up with the likes of Killswitch Engage, Baroness, Spiritboxand Suicide Silence in support. (Read our reviews here and here).
Canadian quartet Monster Truck have returned with new album Warriors (BMG). This is their fourth record and the title track kicks things off in fine fashion – it is a bouncy number with retro, eighties-era Iron Maiden guitar harmonies provided by guest axeman Dave Baksh of Sum 41 fame. This track sticks to Truckers tried and tested formula, fuzz drenched southern rock with chunky riffs, catchy choruses and chant along backing vocals that do not outstay their welcome.
This recipe served them well on 2018 predecessor True Rocker and the same is true here, as the propulsive, no nonsense boogie of ‘Golden Women’ shows. Perhaps the best taster of this is ‘Fuzz Mountain’, a Black Sabbath inspired chugger which is helped along by the insistent background hum of keys.
Stormland is a one-man Death Metal project that bills itself as “Gundam Metal.” I’m not as hip to Gundam as I am to Transformers, but I love the approach. What’s more metal than giant fucking fighting robots?
The concepts and the all too real, bleak experiences of mental hardships and loss of loved ones will be well known to many people and additionally to many people we know. For Stake, these have been the fuel for the band since their inception (previously under the Steak Number Eight moniker), a vehicle for vocalist/guitarist Brent Vanneste’s grief and anxiety.
In 2010 following the death of his father, Paradise Lost’sfounding guitar player and principle songwriter Gregor Mackintosh formed Vallenfyre with Hamish Glencross (ex-My Dying Bride). The aim was to provide an outlet for his grief by recording the heavier black / death metal-influenced music he had been writing, with Gregoralso on vocal duties, a role he had never performed in Paradise Lost. In 2018 after three albums Gregor announced the project had come to a close, but from the ashes rose Strigoi, formed with Vallenfyrebassist Chris Casket (Devilment, exExtreme Noise Terror), which would continue in a similar veinwith 2019’s debut album Abandon All Faith.
It’s probably fair to say that when Venom Inc. released full-length “debut”, Avé in 2017, expectations weren’t too high. Formed by guitarist Mantas (aka Jeff Dunn) and frontman Tony “Demolition Man” Dolan in the wake of the duo’s former band M:Pire of Evil, Venom Inc. appeared to some as a simple rebranding. A change of name with little hope of successfully rekindling past glories. They were wrong.
Warforged is one of those bands that has eight and a half million labels used to describe their music. From black metal, technical, death to proggy, I think each and every promo notification I received for this band labeled the band with something different. The multitude of labels are actually appropriate as not a single track on The Grove | Sundial(The Artisan Era), the band’s second album, sounds the same on this album.
Portugal’s finest mercurial sons Moonspell‘s knack for reinvention while still holding true to their core elements is scarcely paralleled in all of dark music; a master class in constant growth. They have always deserved to be considered one of the most important world metal bands. “Metal” however is also too limiting a boundary for them, even though it is in the blood which beats through their lycanthropic hearts.