ALBUM REVIEW: Blue Oyster Cult – The Symbol Remains

After nearly two decades spent exclusively on the live circuit, Blue Oyster Cult returns with their fifteenth full-length album, The Symbol Remains (Frontiers Records Srl). In a way similar to the recent releases by fellow Seventies Rock legend Alice Cooper, the band opts for a kitchen sink songwriting method. The fourteen tracks play out like a career retrospective of sorts, exploring a variety of moods between classic-minded rockers, synth-heavy AOR numbers, and atmospheric occult excursions.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Psychosomatic – The Invisible Prison

 

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

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

Entombed – Clandestine Live

I can’t think of a more perfect way for reunited/reformed Death Metal legends Entombed to return than a live version of one of their most revered albums. Yeah sure Wolverine Blues and Left Hand Path a classics, but I think Clandestine Live (Threeman Recordings) is even better and serves as a timely reminder of just how influential this band is. Continue reading

Fury – Failed Entertainment

I remember hearing Fury for the first time way back when in the dark recesses of time, well 2016 to be exact, look I’m getting old and it all gets a bit blurry, ok!?! Anyway, their debut record Paramount (Triple B Records) was released to little fanfare but quickly grew in popularity in underground circles. Sophomore release Failed Entertainment (Run For Cover Records) is here and to say that it’s long-awaited would be an understatement. Way more outlets are now looking at Fury as a band to watch out for this year. Continue reading

After The Burial – Evergreen

Having already reviewed Whitechapel this year, it seems only fitting that a new After The Burial record would come along so soon after. Whilst not being in the same sphere of musical style at all both bands are at a similar point in their careers. After The Burial much like Whitechapel are also absolute masters of their sound a band that has remained pretty much unrivaled in terms of musicianship and influence. Continue reading

Sworn Amongst – Reclamation

Sworn Amongst are one of the best-kept secrets in UK Metal – there is something familiar yet different to their approach to modern Metalcore. Indeed new EP Reclamation (Famined Records) is full to the brim with newly added strings to their musical bow. Continue reading

Whitechapel – The Valley

Within the Deathcore genre Whitechapel are one of the true originators of the sound and in 2016 they released an album called Mark Of The Blade (Metal Blade). To say it was a divisive album would be an understatement, in a story which has been told many times before the band chose to broaden their creative horizons with a cleaner production and clean vocals. In some corners new album The Valley (also Metal Blade) is being touted as a turning point. Continue reading

Any Given Day – Overpower

Metalcore has been written off that many times in the last few years I honestly lose track. But I think in some quarters the effect of bands like Killswitch Engage and Unearth still reverberate to this day. On the flip side of this though is the very real fact that much that is labelled Metalcore has been watered down to the point of sounding bland and insipid in delivery and message. Continue reading

While She Sleeps – So What?

The phrase “paid their dues” has been applied to so many bands throughout history that it may feel that this notion is now somewhat redundant, though While She Sleeps perhaps more than any other band in the UK fully deserves to have the label applied. There are only a handful of bands that have been as consistent as they have been in recent memory. And so to fourth album So What? (Sleeps Brothers / Spinefarm), and as with their previous albums we simply do not know what to expect. Continue reading