ALBUM REVIEW: Dropdead – Dropdead 2020

Punk music continues to be the most outspoken genre of heavy music in terms of political/social issues. This is no different from the hardcore punk/grindcore outfit known simply as Dropdead. Formed back at the beginning of 1991 and has released many recordings over the years, this is only the third studio album, however, it has come about in perfect timing. Simply titled Dropdead 2020 (Armageddon), is a twenty-four-minute sonic attack on all things evil such as the ever-growing right-wing extremists, animal abuse, and overall human stupidity.

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ALBUM REVIEW:  Various Artists – Dirt Redux

Alice in Chains, when spoken out loud, is understood by all in earshot. Love them or not, every person who says they enjoy rock music in some format knows who they are. One of their finest works was the 1992 classic, Dirt (Columbia Records), which spawned five radio hits, peaked at number six on the Billboard charts, and has sold over five million copies worldwide. Now, twenty-eight years later, the next generation of rock stars have paid tribute to a timeless classic by each taking on a track to cover however they want; thus, was born, Dirt Redux (Magnetic Eye Records). 

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ALBUM REVIEW: Gorgatron – Pathogenic Automation

While the world continues to try and resume some sense of normalcy, the world of extreme music continues to grind through what a terrible year 2020 has become. Gorgatron, deathgrind vets from Fargo (don’t cha know?), have dropped their third grimy release on this Earth in the form of Pathogenic Automation (Self-Released). The record does a great job of smashing your skull into obscurity over a forty-minute period but without overkill causing any harm to itself. Trying to save yourself from blowing your neck out is futile as there are no moments to catch your breath across the entire recording. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Winterfylleth – The Reckoning Dawn

In the realm that is black metal, fans are usually treated to anti-religious themed lyrics, a heavy dose of blast beats, and at times, cookie-cutter guitar riffs. However, as black metal has evolved throughout the years, we now get more atmospheric-centric style music with lyrics that tell stories of nature, history, or just simply life itself. Winterfylleth falls into the second category especially with their latest release, The Reckoning Dawn (Candlelight/Spinefarm). Spanning across the entire album are memorable guitar licks, thunderous drumming, backing chants, and accompanying synth work that really ties the complete sound package together. It may not be a visual painting to look at, but the UK outfit certainly put together a fine piece of art.

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EP REVIEWS: The Acacia Strain – D and E EPs – Rise Records

In these very strange, unprecedented times for the world over (and not just the music world) it must make a few of us uneasy in terms of when does “new music” stop coming out thanks to the pandemic. Well, the good news is the music we are getting right now is simply fantastic! The Acacia Strain have dropped two EPs this year after a surprise full release at the end of 2019. These new EPs entitled, simply, D and E (Rise Records) are certainly under the “short but sweet” category. Each EP only has two tracks apiece, however, this only helps in getting listeners to want more.

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The Contortionist – Our Bones EP

Midwestern progressive metal act, The Contortionist, return with another chapter in their transformation story. This particular collection of tracks making up a quick, yet most satisfying, EP is entitled Our Bones (eOne Music). While the group has moved on from their deathcore character, harsh vocals return to this release that brings some promise for future releases as well. Continue reading

Thy Art is Murder – Human Target

Australia’s top extreme metal act, Thy Art is Murder, has returned in another aggressive deathcore release, Human Target (Nuclear Blast). This record is audible adrenaline up through the closing seconds and is the perfect length at thirty-eight minutes for ten tracks. The most rewarding part of this album, however, is that each track does enough differently to keep your attention. Continue reading

Wormed – Metaportal

Something about EP releases in the past few years have left a bigger impact on me as a listener than full releases. The latest EP release from tech-death veterans Wormed, entitled Metaportal (Season of Mist), is no different in this regard. Four tracks spanning roughly sixteen minutes is a perfect “shock to the system” that is sure to bring in some new fans and turn them on to the rest of the band’s back catalog. Continue reading

Bokassa – Crimson Riders

In the glorious months of summer, some get excited for barbeque season or even the light-colored beers that are brewed by local craft breweries. I am a bit more inclusive as I enjoy a good barbeque, a cold beer, and upbeat music adding in some atmosphere. Fortunately, Bokassa has returned with their sophomore release in Crimson Riders (MVKA) and it perfectly compliments the summer mindset. Do not get it twisted though, this album is still a collection of heavy music so your backyard party will quickly turn into a rager. Continue reading

Death Angel – Humanicide

Bay Area Thrash veterans, Death Angel, have returned with their latest and some of their greatest collection of bangers in the form of Humanicide (Nuclear Blast Records). From start to finish, this album keeps the intensity maxed out and does not let up. For this reason, having just ten tracks is the perfect length so as not to tire out the listener. Let’s be honest for a moment here, having your heart rate up for over an hour with eighteen tracks can be tiresome. No worries here though as this record is sure to please even the pickiest thrash fans. Continue reading