ALBUM REVIEW: Hellripper – The Affair of the Poisons


The reignited interest in distinctly eighties-sounding metal styles, and more specifically, the thrash revival of the 2000s, has brought with it a handful of blistering new acts, alongside a slew of respectable releases from its originators. However, as a general scene, it has also suffered from a lack of innovation and compositional creativity. Often bands of this scene are perfectly content to just emulate classic sounds long-established by Sodom, Kreator, Venom, Bathory, and Slayer. Oftentimes, I find it a dull guessing game of which thrash bands are being ripped off whenever I listen to these bands. But there are nevertheless a handful of acts that in addition to paying tribute to the old guard’s sound manage to capture that fury, excitement, and blasphemous spirit of heavy music during the proto-extreme metal era. James McBain, the singular creative force behind Hellripper, clearly loves the style of first wave black metal and Teutonic thrash but is also creative enough to blend them to create something that sounds completely fresh. The result here is The Affair of the Poisons (Peaceville Records), a sophomore effort to the more straightforward Coagulating Darkness, and a release of blackened thrash/speed metal fury that will leave you yearning even more for a destructive live experience in 2020.Continue reading


PODCAST: Episode 107: Hydraform Talks Thrash Metal and Their New EP


Denver Thrashers Hydraform just dropped their new self-titled EP, their first new music since their last full-length album, Dark Adder! The band was just wrapping up a tour with Overkill and Exhorder when the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic hit, sending them home early. We talked to the entire band over zoom all about their formation, new music, opening for legends, scary stories from the road, and a hilarious story involving Bobby Blitz and Dave Linsk. Purchase and stream the new Hydraform EP now!

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ALBUM REVIEW: Havok – V


Judging by its title, the latest release by US thrashers Havok is either a bold, singular statement about this being their fifth full-length studio release, or, rather less plausibly, that it’s actually a concept album based on the 1980s sci-fi series about alien lizard people who wear big red jumpsuits. Sadly, it is, in fact, the rather more mundane first option, but that doesn’t stop V (Century Media) from being bigger and almost as frightening than the hairstyles on that show.Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Trivium – What The Dead Men Say


There was a time when it looked like Trivium were going to be huge. Seriously huge. Arriving on the scene with two critically acclaimed albums, they rose fast, eventually exploding onto the international platform with a career-defining performance at Download Festival in 2005. Continue reading


Jason Bowld of Bullet For My Valentine Talks Fan Reaction To “Gravity” and Staying Sane On Tour


Ghost Cult caught up Bullet for My Valentine on the road in New Jersey a while back for an interview. The UK rock and metal band have been to the USA three times in the last year supporting their 2018 release Gravity (Spinefarm). We chatted with drummer Jason Bowld about the fan reaction to Gravity, being at peace with your choices as an artist, touring with Avenged Sevenfold, We Came As Romans, Spotify his approach to drumming live in amphitheaters and festivals, staying sane and fit on the road, and more. Interview by Keefy with videography by Omar Cordy of OJC Photography. Assisted by Paul Coughlan. Continue reading


Trivium – The Sin And The Sentence


 

Eight albums into their illustrious career, Trivium have this veteran band stuff down pat. With almost 20 years in as a band, and over 15 with recorded output, long in the rear-view is the time when they were the very young upstarts in the jaded metal world. Trivium are not trying to reinvent the wheel, unveil a jarring new genre influence, or convert fans from the latest fad of the month at Hot Topic. Nope. Trivium keeps on chugging album after album, with their blend of neo-thrash love, metalcore breakdowns, shreddy solos, and their NWOBHM-inspired catchiness. Their new album The Sin And the Sentence (Roadrunner) has all those things in place. Continue reading