ALBUM REVIEW: Oceans Of Slumber – Oceans Of Slumber

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

ALBUM REVIEW: Necrot – Mortal – Tankcrimes

What’s the best strategy when it comes time to record a follow-up to a critically acclaimed album like 2017’s Blood Offerings? Well, for Necrot it seems as simple as following the course. Yes, that approach on paper does come across a little reductionist and it may imply that Mortal (Tankcrimes) is merely a rehash. But while Necrot may not be reimagining the genre on Mortal they are serving up some of the most satisfying Death Metal today. 

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ALBUM REVIEW: Anthrax – Persistence of Time Reissue

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

REVIEW: Howling Giant and Sergeant Thunderhoof  – Turned To Stone Chapter 2: Masamune & Muramasa 

 

Splits are a pretty great tool for cross-promotion with the power to introduce different bands to each other’s audiences, but they can also foster a competitive spirit. While such intentions are normally limited to fans debating which band is better, Ripple Music intentionally fans the flames with the second chapter in their Turned To Stone series. This particular split sees two rising stars Howling Giant and Sergeant Thunderhoof putting their Stoner Prog Metal skills to the test on Turn To Stone Chapter 2, as they depict a battle of wits between two legendary Japanese swordsmen.  It’s certainly one of the more intriguing ideas for a split I’ve seen in a good while, reminding me of a similar treatment that Thorr-Axe and Archarus gave The Hobbit in 2017.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Brimstone Coven – The Woes Of A Mortal Earth

Having successfully reinvented themselves as a power trio on 2018’s What Was And What Shall Be, Brimstone Coven, doubles down on the template with The Woes Of A Mortal Earth (Ripple Music). The style remains rooted in Seventies-flavored Occult Rock with the songs largely being driven by simple guitar/bass grooves and wafting vocal harmonies. The atmosphere and drawn-out pacing further reinforce a trancelike mood that is relaxing, yet esoteric.   Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Butterfly – Doorways Of Time

Butterfly’s full-length debut isn’t the least bit shy about its Seventies Rock inspirations. That is made immediately apparent with the cover art contrasting Vikings and a mystical title with an innocuous band name, but the music plays out like a grab-bag of Montrose, Uriah Heep, and Budgie among others. Its free-spirited attitude is comparable to their contemporaries in Freeways and one can occasionally detect hints of otherworldly haziness in line with Tanith and Brimstone Coven. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Constellatia – The Language of Limbs – Season of Mist

South African post-Black outfit Constellatia arrived just two short years ago, and already last year’s debut album The Language of Limbs (Season of Mist) has earned a power-label reissue. A blast of atmospheric harshness and aching melody with a touch of doomed romance, its four tracks are a paean to the outer edges of Emotion. Continue reading

PODCAST: Episode 100: Bobby Blitz and Mark Menghi Talk BPMD, Covers, and American Rock Bands

For our 100th Episode of the Ghost Cult Podcast, Keefy interviewed Bobby Blitz (Overkill) and Mark Menghi (Metal Allegiance, also interviewed in podcast #2) about their new band BPMD, and their debut album of covers American Made out now on Napalm Records. We talked to the guys about how the new supergroup, also featuring Mike Portnoy and Phil Demmel came together, why they chose to cover only American bands, how they chose deep cuts over popular songs, how BPMD is different than other bands that come together to create covers, what the music industry might look like after the coronavirus, whether the band will ever perform live or not and more! You can buy American Made at this link and hear our chat right now!

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ALBUM REVIEW: BPMD – American Made

Named after the four members, Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth, Mike Portnoy, Mark Menghi, and Phil Demmel, supergroup BPMD is here with their debut release, a covers album by the name of American Made (Napalm Records). As the title suggests, every cut on the record was originally recorded by an American artist, and each revitalised track sounds nothing short of tremendous. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Wailin’ Storms – Rattle

Having originally formed in Texas, Doom/Punk quartet Wailin’ Storms relocated to North Carolina and it’s possible that both areas may be contributing to the band’s thick soup of rebellion and a life in the darkness. Third album Rattle (Gilead Media) sees the band incorporate a Grungey, swamp-drenched edge to that sound, further uniting related yet disparate genres. Continue reading