ALBUM REVIEW: Skillet – Dominion


Eleven albums deep and showing no signs of slowing down, alternative metal tour de force Skillet enter their twenty-sixth year of existence with Dominion (WMG / Atlantic), a collection of big rocking tunes, expertly polished and produced, which continues in their now trademark vein. We get the arena stompers, the WWE PPV-ready (or premium live event as they seem to now be known as) montage accompaniers, the saccharine reflective synth and strings ballad, and the chirpy up-tempo deeper cuts.

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ALBUM REVIEW – Fit For An Autopsy – Oh What The Future Holds


The levels of frustration felt by New Jersey HEAVY Metalcore merchants Fit For An Autopsy can only be guessed at, though it doesn’t take much to speculate that by the time they were heading into the studio in 2021 they were feeling pretty hard done by. With worldwide high-profile touring and festival slots planned on the back of the universally acclaimed and sound-perfecting opus The Sea Of Tragic Beasts (Nuclear Blast), instead of riding a tidal wave of riffs and show-stealing gigs, a COVID enforced grounding put the shackles on plans if not for world domination, then a serious amount of scaling up.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Wiegedood – There’s Always Blood At The End Of The Road


 

The 2020’s has seen a process of metamorphosis for the Church of Ra and its members, and an evolution of its two leading artists. First Amenra abandoned the Mass honorific after six chapters for their excellent and bruising De doorn, their first full length for Relapse. Similarly, Belgian Black Metal visionaries Wiegedood have ripped themselves from the titling convention of the De Doden Hebben Het Goed series for their fourth full-length, the ominously titled There’s Always Blood At The End Of The Road (Century Media).

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ALBUM REVIEW: At The Movies – The Soundtrack of Your Life Vol II


I think we have to be clear from the start… At The Movies will not be for all of you. Mastermind behind this all-star Heavy Metal film soundtrack covers machine (yes, for the uninitiated, this really is a collective who work remotely together to re-do songs from Hollywood soundtracks) Chris Laney, guitarist of The Pretty Maids, is very clear that the purpose of ATM was a group of friends “looking for something to have some fun with (during lockdown)… asking ourselves all the time… can we get away with this?”

And so they set about reinterpreting hit songs from movies. But not the rockier songs, for where would be the fun and bile-induction in that? While Volume I – re-released at the same time to partner its sister act (#SorryNotSorry) – focused on the eighties, The Soundtrack Of Your Life Volume II (Atomic Fire) bites the bullet and rolls down its jacket sleeves, musses up its hair a little and steps into the world of the Hugh Grant RomCom and takes on some of the nineties movie megahits. For better or for worse. Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Power Paladin – With The Magic Of Wyndfyre Steel


Iceland is not the first location you think of when considering the legacy of traditional or melodic metal, and would probably not be amongst the first (hundred) places you would go if you were searching for the next great Heavy Metal band. Indeed, brooding, expansive post-Rock; emotive, atmospheric Black Metal; twisted traditional folk are all styles that you’d more instantly connect with the volcanic, expansive, open landscapes of the western-most point of Scandinavia. So, I think it is fair to say that you would have got fairly long odds on the first release for the metal industry-shaking new label giants Atomic Fire being the debut album of a brand new Power Metal band from Iceland.

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Ghost Cult’s Top Death Metal Albums of 2021


It had been coming for a while… the underground has been festering and bubbling under for the last few years. A new breed of leaders, including Blood Incantation (who have definitely already influenced many of their peers), Tomb Mold, Gatecreeper, Necrot and Undeath, among others, have taken on the mantle from the old titans; the lava has been flowing molten and in 2021 the subterranean erupted. Barely a week went by without at least one brain-melting addition to the pile of bodies…Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Eternity’s End – Embers of War


2021 has not been a good year for Power Metal. Whether that is genre-leaders Gloryhammer undertaking significant acts of self-sabotage and unforgivable prickery, or just the product itself – only Beast In Black‘s Eurovision bops came anywhere near denting our Album of the Year chart, causing a light scratch in the outer realms, with perhaps a dead cat bouncing Rhapsody of Fire with any legitimate claim to unfair treatment. Continue reading


Ghost Cult Albums of the Year Part 3 (20 – 1)


And so attention turns to the Ghost Cult Top 20. The albums of the year, as voted (democratically) for by the writers, crew, contributors, alumni and just cool as fuck people that make up the establishment here at Castle Ghost Cult.Continue reading


PODCAST: Episode 147: Ghost Cult’s 2021 Album of The Year Countdown Part 2 (30-21) – with Senior Editor Steve Tovey


Ghost Cult continues our 2021 Album of the Year Countdown! Chief editor Keefy is joined by Senior Editor Steve Tovey! In part two of a series of four episodes, we run down the albums from 30-21 on our list! Be on the lookout for the corresponding blog post at www.ghostcultmag.com. All in all, 253 albums were considered and voted on by our staff of worldwide contributors: writers, correspondents, photographers, and more. Check back here for the full list soon! Part 3 of the AOTY podcast series is coming tomorrow!

ALBUM REVIEW: Der Weg einer Freiheit – Noktvrn


As the familiar strains that launch Noktvrn harken back to a theme from predecessor Finisterre (both Season of Mist), it is a fitting acknowledgement of an integral part in the ascension of Der Weg einer Freiheit that was played with the release of their 2017 masterpiece in establishing the band as a serious artist of note. It also serves to guide us into the slow-building and considered unveiling of first track proper ‘Monument’, preparing us for the fact that we are taking part in a procession, a conscious movement from one state in an evolution to another.

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