ALBUM REVIEW: King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – Chunky Shrapnel

If you clicked the link to read this review is because somehow you have heard about King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, or because the name was too odd for you to pass on discovering what the hell Is a band called liked that being covered in a Metal magazine, well let me first tell you that this band with the weird name released the critically acclaimed Thrash Metal album Infest the Rats’ Nest (Flightless Records) in 2019 which added a new genre in their vast catalog of albums that include a wide range of genres that go from psychedelic to garage, to progressive rock, among others. On the other hand, if you have heard King Gizz, you know exactly what I’m talking about and you probably agree with me that this band is one of the most creative musical acts in the world at this moment. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Bleed From Within – Fracture

Glasgow may not be considered a heavy metal hub, but the band Bleed From Within proves that Scotland can produce some pretty extreme musicians. Formed fifteen years ago, this young, charged-up group of guys sought to make a spectacle of aggression and severity. Their early works took on a very vengeful edge that was mainly categorized under the Deathcore genre. Now, these fresh-faced Scots present a more sophisticated take on the ‘Core’ genres while merging it with Modern Metal on their new fifth full-length album, Fracture (Century Media Records). Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Colossloth – Plague Alone

In the world of Ambient Industrial music, the UK has some rather notable exponents. It’s a proud standard, maintained by – among others – ‘Wooly’ Woolaston, the sole member of Leicestershire’s magnificently-named Colossloth. His fifth album Plague Alone (Cold Spring Records) was devised prior to the heinous virus presently shrouding the world and in retrospect seems strangely prophetic rather than historical or imaginary. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Many Blessings – Emanation Body

Ethan McCarthy‘s myriad recordings under his classification of ‘Noise’ are what many of us might name Harsh Ambient or Ambient Drone. Dystopian, disturbian, yet with elements of clarity that break through the crushing sound (and occasional soundbites of sex), many fans will have encountered these often challenging passages through his work with Primitive Man and here with his solo project Many Blessings. Sophomore album Emanation Body (Translation Loss Records) embraces more atmospheric airs whilst retaining much of that visceral anger. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Red Mesa – The Path to the Deathless – Desert Records

While The Path to the Deathless (Desert Records) continues down the psychedelic stoner journey that Red Mesa put forth with 2018’s The Devil and the Desert, its execution is grittier. The atmosphere carries hints of desolation within its imagery of open desert plains and the grainy guitar tone has a certain nastiness even when it isn’t overtly aggressive. There’s also not much emphasis on acoustic playing this time around, and even the tracks that do feature it come with a more noticeably somber air.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Xibalba – Años en Infierno

Despite the intense hostility of Californian Death / Hardcore bruisers Xibalba, the Hispanic heritage of most of its members, coupled with predominantly Latin lyrics, give a sense of mystique – some may say fatal romanticism – to the music that adds to the magnetism. Fourth album Años en Infierno (Southern Lord Recordings) sees the band delve further into its more brutal side for what is rumoured to be its last album for some time, if not ever. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEWS: Alestorm – Curse Of The Crystal Coconut – Napalm Records

We’re only here to have fun, get drunk and make loads of money!”. Thus begins the admirably honest chorus to ‘Treasure Chest Party Quest’ the latest Alestorm party anthem, which opens latest album Curse of the Crystal Coconut (Napalm Records). Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Okkultokrati – La Ilden Lyse

Most reviews and articles concerning Norwegian dark hearts Okkultokrati seem to contain slightly differing classifications of the band’s sound. I’m no different: if you’re going to mould the likes of Motörhead, Emperor, and Sex Pistols into a ball of spewing hate, you’re playing Punk / Black ‘n’ Roll as far as I’m concerned. Anyone care? Of course not. More interesting is the decision of certain band members to change their stage names in a move that seems purely designed for new album La Ilden Lyse (Southern Lord Recordings), and which corresponds with a further evolution of the sextet’s direction. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Grave Digger – Fields of Blood

Marking the 40th anniversary of the band, the latest Grave Digger album is a serious return to form and arguably their best release since the glory days of the eighties. Delivering a fresh injection of power metal straight from the highlands of Scotland (where some of the album was even recorded), Fields of Blood (Napalm Records) is a strong statement from a band who have appear to have been taking some of their cues from military-obsessed Swedes Sabaton. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Tyrant – Hereafter 

Tyrant’s long-awaited fourth album, Hereafter (ShadowKingdom Records),  has come out under some rather interesting circumstances. In addition to serving as the Pasadena veterans’ first full-length since 1996’s King of Kings, Hereafter sees journeyman vocalist Robert Lowe at the helm in place of Glen May. The prospects of this collaboration are certainly intriguing, especially as a fan of Lowe’s work with Solitude Aeturnus and Candlemass. I wouldn’t go so far as to think of it as Tyrant gone doom, but it approaches their established sound from a noticeably different angle.

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