ALBUM REVIEW: Stake – Love, Death and Decay


 

The concepts and the all too real, bleak experiences of mental hardships and loss of loved ones will be well known to many people and additionally to many people we know. For Stake, these have been the fuel for the band since their inception (previously under the Steak Number Eight moniker), a vehicle for vocalist/guitarist Brent Vanneste’s grief and anxiety.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Oceans of Slumber – Starlight and Ash


 

Patience is a virtue. And, no, this isn’t some flippant or patronising reference to Oceans of Slumber “finally fulfilling the potential shown on their first album”, because they fulfilled that already from the off and especially on their third / self-titled release a couple of years ago. I mention it because the benefits and, yes, virtues of Starlight and Ash (Century Media) may not be immediately apparent. Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: The Ever Living – Artificial Devices


The contradictions of crafting an album using the very technologies and processes the band had previously railed against are but one small element of the complicated and interesting layers that make up Artificial Devices, the self-released second full-length composition of London duo Andrei Alan (guitars/bass/programming) and Chris Bevan Lee (keys/vocals/programming) collectively known as The Ever Living (I promised myself no Mumm-ra comments, but here I am in the intro… I can’t help it, every time I see the band name…).

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FESTIVAL REVIEW: Pure Filth Festival at Sharkey’s Event Center, Liverpool, New York


 

Sharkey’s Event Center in Liverpool, New York hosted the Pure Filth Festival, a one-day outdoor festival featuring both new and legendary metal bands, with a focus on Thrash Metal in particular. The roster included Exodus, Municipal Waste, Voivod, Integrity, and five more bands.Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Greylotus – Dawnfall


Trying to crack the shell that is Greylotus is like the struggle of explaining the inner workings of the Holy Roman Empire in three sentences.Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: LaMacchia – Thunderheads


For every rush of adrenaline there’s the eventual lull. For each euphoric high there’s the comedown to follow. Thunderheads (Aqualamb Recordings) — the debut record of LaMacchia — plays like the 3am winding down of a night of excess. Thrills and sensual desires wedded to a shadow of sadness and introspection.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Marillion – An Hour Before It’s Dark


Those who stumble across the hallowed pages of Ghost Cult with any degree of regularity, or have had the misfortune to know me and feel obliged to read my writings on any recurring basis, will know that I am not a fan of writers breaking the fourth wall. However, honesty is such a core tenet of Marillion that I feel that starting this review off with full disclosure is not only the best option, but probably the only one.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Star One – Revel In Time


It’s been twelve years since composer Arjen Lucassen released 2010’s Victims Of The Modern Age under the Star One banner, which in itself was eight years removed from 2002’s Space Metal. Fortunately, the project’s vision remains intact despite its sporadic output with all the tropes that fans have come to expect out in full force on Revel In Time (InsideOut Music). There’s plenty of cheesy Prog goodness to go around informed by Power Metal tempos, crunchy guitars, bombastic keyboards, and a slew of vocalists delivering pop culture Sci-Fi lyrics in over-the-top fashion.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Billy Talent – Crisis of Faith


If a change is as good as a rest, is a rest as good as a change? It has been over five years since the undistinguished Afraid of Heights (Warner Music) and over two years since the first single from this album, ‘Forgiveness I + II’. While delays could be justifiable and chalked up to the pandemic, the question is, on their sixth album and first for Spinefarm, are Canadian punk troupe Billy Talent facing their own Crisis of Faith and confidence?

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