ALBUM REVIEW: Razor – Cycle of Contempt


 

It’s been over 25 years since Canadian thrashers Razor’s last album. Since then the band has reformed and played a string of shows here and there. In recent years Relapse Records reissued some of the band’s earlier material, Violent Restitution, Shotgun Justice and Open Hospitality. A new generation seemed to discover or rediscover Razor and they were hungry for new material. This was just the push those old thrashers needed.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Venom Inc – There’s Only Black


 

It’s probably fair to say that when Venom Inc. released full-length “debut”, Avé in 2017, expectations weren’t too high. Formed by guitarist Mantas (aka Jeff Dunn) and frontman Tony “Demolition Man” Dolan in the wake of the duo’s former band M:Pire of Evil, Venom Inc. appeared to some as a simple rebranding. A change of name with little hope of successfully rekindling past glories. They were wrong.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Revocation – Netherheaven


 

To say that Revocation has another banger on deck seems a bit obvious, right?

Speaking only from this author’s perspective this Boston unit has never fumbled the ball on a studio album. Dispute that amongst yourselves in the comment section, just don’t tag me along in your spirited debates. Last thing I need are more notifications via my phone. So, the point is Netherheaven (Metal Blade) may as well be subtitled “Revocation continues to be awesome and David Davidson is more talented than you, will never run out of riffs and can make out with your special lady friend whenever they like”.Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Blind Guardian – The God Machine


 

2019’s fully orchestral concept album Legacy of the Dark Lands aside, it’s been seven long years since Blind Guardian‘s last proper full-length release. Seven years, which more recently included a global pandemic and lockdown periods that for much of the music industry meant nothing but frustration and turmoil, but actually afforded the German power metal act time to concentrate on where to head nextContinue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Megadeth – The Sick, The Dying… And The Dead


 

Whether you want it to or not, once a nickname is acquired, it sticks. Sometimes for life. For almost as long as the band has existed itself, Californian speed metal legends Megadeth have been known by fans as Megadave. A purely affectionate nickname for sure, but one which grew out of frontman Dave Mustaine‘s often brutal and cold-blooded approach to personnel management. The singular constant in a revolving door of band members, make no mistake. Mustaine is Megadeth. Always was, always will be.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Eruption – Tellurian Rupture


The early eighties Bay Area Thrash scene may be one of the most successful and influential metal scenes of all time. Their waves of influence are still felt today even in the far-off land of Slovenia. Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Arch Enemy – Deceivers


Okay, so how do I go about this? Well, here’s the dive into the iciest part of the pool. Arch Enemy has been tiptoeing for quite some time now. Yeah, War Eternal, Will to Power and their latest effort Deceivers (Century Media) are all above the standard metal release, but with all due respect, this lineup of power players should be standing head and shoulders above the competition. I’m thinking what Metallica was compared to the average Thrash Metal act back in 1988. Continue reading


EP REVIEW: Bloodletter – Malignancy


 

A re-recording of their independently released 2014 EP, Illinois-based thrashers Bloodletter unleash Malignancy (Wise Blood Records) once again, but this time with a leaner production, sharper guitars, and tighter, more improved performances.Continue reading


ALBUM RE-ISSUES BOXSET REVIEW: Voivod – Forgotten In Space


 

One of the most influential thrash metal acts of the eighties, progressive Canadians Voivod have never been content with sitting back and churning out the same record over and over again. A constant desire for change and reinvention has meant the quartet from Jonquière, Quebec has had to endure much unnecessary and often ludicrous pigeon-holing over the years. Post-Thrash. Punk. Speed. Proto-Industrial. Avant-Garde. Progressive. And even Nuclear Metal (whatever that is).

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ALBUM REVIEW: Wake – Thought Form Descent


Since their earlier days as a formidable and unmistakable grindcore act, the evolution of Calgary, Alberta’s Wake has been an absolutely joyous spectacle to witness. Expanding their sound with wider influences and tones on later releases, the culmination up until this point was 2020’s spectacular Devouring Ruin which, whilst utterly furious and feral also conjured further expansiveness and intrigue to their sound. It was a truly exciting work that deservedly generated high expectations for what was next (as well as signing to Metal Blade Records). Expectations that have, staggeringly, been surpassed.Continue reading