CLASSIC ALBUMS REVISITED: Black Sabbath – “Paranoid” Turns 50

 

With bands taking so much time between studio albums these days, it’s astonishing to believe that in the space of just three years, between 1970 and 1973, Brummie icons Black Sabbath released no less than five of the most important records in the annals of heavy metal. 

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ALBUM REVIEW: Toxic Holocaust – Primal Future: 2019

Listen, guys, this opening statement probably isn’t going to be the most logical thing ever said about a Toxic Holocaust album, but Primal Future: 2019‘s biggest issue may just be that it’s stuck in the 1980s. Yeah, I know that love for Reagan era Thrash Metal is the house that Toxic Holocaust has built and resided in since their inception so save your comments. I mean Primal Future: 2019 has more reverence for that decade than Stranger Things, The Goldbergs and Michael J. Fox combined. Continue reading

Negative Wall – Gammagelu

Tommy Stewart, lynchpin of Doom outfits Hallows Eve, Bludy Gyres and Dyrewulf, is not a man to allow moss to sprout betwixt his tootsies. After last year’s mammoth Bludy Gyres contribution to Rope Enough For Two (Black Doomba Records), their split with Dayglo Mourning, comes Negative Wall: a new project formed with long-time cohort Dennis Reid and guitarist Don Cole. Continue reading

Coheed and Cambria – Vaxis – Act I: The Unheavenly Creatures

Last time around, 2015’s The Color Before The Sun (300) saw New York progressive rockers Coheed and Cambria abandon the lavish story arc of their previous seven albums and move away from the polished and heroic approach they had made their own, ploughing a more straightforward alternative rock furrow. Whether it was an attempt to attain new fans, a one-off experiment, or simply a stylistic change that didn’t quite work, nonetheless, long-time supporters of the band will be pleased to hear that the fantasy conceptualists have returned to what they know best. Continue reading

Expander – Endless Computer

In the year 2015, and with Phased Plasma Rifles set cautiously to stun, Austin thrashers Expander announced themselves to the multiverse with a self-titled, independently released single, and their Laws of Power (Night Rhythms Recordings) six-track EP. Now, having woken from cryostasis, and with weapons set firmly to disintegrate, the Texan four-piece return with their full-length début Endless Computer (Nuclear War Now! Productions). Continue reading

3Teeth – shutdown.exe

Industrial music has recently had quite resurgence when it comes to popularity and creative output. The likes of Rammstein and Nine Inch Nails have maintained huge, euphoric fan support throughout their careers (with the latter of course reforming in recent years), whilst the likes of Combichrist have continued to show just how diverse and immediate a style it can be. Whilst not the household name of some of their aforementioned peers, 3Teeth certainly warrant as much praise for flying the Industrial flag into a new generation; having been handpicked to support Tool on the back of their début self-titled album (Artoffact Records); a tour that delayed the workings of a follow-up which only now finally sees the light of day. Continue reading

Ayreon – The Source

2017 will be seen as a monumental year for both Arjen Anthony Lucassen and for Ayreon; the band and its fanatical fan base. Significantly it will mark the first live performances by Ayreon (and a very rare live appearance by the infamously shy and reclusive Lucassen), but also sees a brand new album that revisits the conceptual narrative of one of the band’s most beloved albums, 01011001 (InsideOut). Showing a return to the sci-fi storyline of said album, The Source (Mascot) in fact acts as a prequel piece, and is the most refined and strongest album they have released for some time. Continue reading

Voivod – RRRÖÖÖAAARRR, Killing Technology, Dimension Hatröss RE-MASTERS

It’s hard to believe there was a time when Voivod took top billing above the likes of Soundgarden and Faith No More, but in 1990 that’s exactly what happened. The Canadian Thrash Metal pioneers were at the top of their game and seemed almost unstoppable, their lofty position due in no small part to the trifecta of albums which had preceded the release they were touring at the time – 1989’s Nothingface (MCA); an unholy trio of seminal albums that have been lovingly re-mastered and re-released by BMG. Continue reading

Dodecahedron – Kwintessens

Despite what many conservative fans may argue, as a general rule Black Metal has an ethos that heralds unbridled evolution and progression, harking back to its primary roots and the uniqueness of the original bands that put it on the map. In recent years we have seen just how varied, bold and downright madcap Black Metal bands can be when it comes to pushing, and even downright shattering, genre constraints through the likes of Deathspell Omega and Ihsahn. Continue reading

An Endless Sporadic- Magic Machine

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Formed in 2004 by Zach Gammis and Andy Gentile, An Endless Sporadic have endured a somewhat strange and unique existence thus far. Their brand of vividly obscure instrumental progressive rock has already been featured in high-profile video games, most notably the inclusion of the mind-boggling noodling of “Impulse” on Guitar Hero 3 garnering them some notoriety. Continue reading