While the world continues to try and resume some sense of normalcy, the world of extreme music continues to grind through what a terrible year 2020 has become. Gorgatron, deathgrind vets from Fargo (don’t cha know?), have dropped their third grimy release on this Earth in the form of Pathogenic Automation (Self-Released). The record does a great job of smashing your skull into obscurity over a forty-minute period but without overkill causing any harm to itself. Trying to save yourself from blowing your neck out is futile as there are no moments to catch your breath across the entire recording. Continue reading
Relative newcomers to the scene, Detroit’s Plague Years follow up their independently released 2018 debut EP with their first full-length offering, Circle of Darkness (eOne Music). Continue reading
With All Them Witches recently becoming a power trio after five albums as a quartet, it’s easy to imagine that their sixth full-length would reflect a changed dynamic. But for the most part, the Nashvillians’ vision is largely undeterred on Nothing As The Ideal (New West Records). The overall runtime may be the band’s shortest to date at only forty-three minutes long, but their signature mix of Fuzz Blues, Americana, and tripped out ambiance allows for plenty of exploration. Not much has changed on the surface but there are certainly ways to show off the more straightforward approach.
All good things come to those who wait, and if there ‘s one thing Bay Area thrashers Heathen believe in, it’s making people wait. With a four year gap from their 1987 debut to the follow-up, followed by a nineteen year-long hiatus, a decade has now passed since The Evolution of Chaos (Mascot Records), so make the most of new album Empire of the Blind (Nuclear Blast Records) because who knows how long it will take for another one to appear. Continue reading
At first impression of Uniform’s latest LP Shame (Sacred Bones) the impression I’m left with is that this is a strange album, if not group. And don’t confuse strange for off-putting, quite the contrary actually. Song after song I’m legitimately curious as to how the next slab of noise and guitars is going to render out. Shame doesn’t come across as musicians playing in unison as much as an A.I. becoming aware of what music is and taking a stab at it. Continue reading
Sacramento thrashers Psychosomatic pile on the riffs with their sixth full-length studio album The Invisible Prison (Nefarious Industries). Formed in 1988 by bassist/vocalist and sole remaining original member, Jeff Salgado, the current line up is completed by guitarists Daniel Mills and Viktor Hansen, and the returning Toby Swope on drums. Continue reading
Oceans Of Slumber is still exercising their now-signature Progressive/Gothic Metal style but their fourth album comes with a noticeably different attitude. The music is still eclectic and dynamic though the structural shifts aren’t as abrupt as before. The themes and delivery are still driven by heavy emotions but feel more grounded than the overbearing urgency that came with 2018’s The Banished Heart. This is a decidedly more mature execution, which goes along well with the decision to release this album as a self-titled affair. Continue reading
It’s oddly satisfying when an album’s title is also an accurate descriptor for the music it contains. This is more or less the case with Old Blood’s second full-length album, Acid Doom (DHU Records/Metal Assault Records). While the group’s style may not be crushing in the traditional sense, their brand of Heavy Psych has a dark sultriness that should sit well with fans of groups like Uncle Acid and Blood Ceremony. And considering the four-year gap since their self-titled debut, it’s fair to say that things have only gotten more off-the-wall in that time.
As strange as it may seem, 1988 stands as the only year where each member of the “The Big Four” all released new studio albums. Go on, check if you want. I’ll wait.
With Anthrax, Slayer, Megadeth, and Metallica having pulled significantly away from the rest of the pack with those 1988 releases, the beginning of the ’90s gave each of them the chance to reaffirm their place at the top of the thrash metal food chain. Along with the likes of Testament, Exodus, and Kreator, 1990 opened the new decade in a blaze of glory while also becoming arguably the last truly great year for the genre. Continue reading
The pride of Sweden’s elite metal scene, Avatar has returned to open a new chapter in their storybook. After bidding a final goodbye to Avatar Country, guitarist Jonas Jarlsby hung up his crown in exchange for leather gauntlets. And so, the Hunter Gatherer (eOne Records) era has begun. Continue reading