Steel Druhm

Feel the wengeance
Death Angel – Relentless Retribution Review

Death Angel – Relentless Retribution Review

When California sons Death Angel came from nowhere and dropped their classic debut The Ultra-Violence on the metal world in 1987, yours truly was blown away in a pretty major way. That album, along with a handful of others, defined my metal youth and I still listen to it regularly to this day. Sadly, the minds behind that classic release could never record its equal and the albums that followed were always somewhat of a mixed bag. Nowhere has this trend been more evident than on release number six, Relentless Retribution.

Spiritual Beggars – Return to Zero Review

Spiritual Beggars – Return to Zero Review

A wise and Angry Metal Guy once said (earlier this week) that “retro is the new new,” and the trends in the angry metal world are surely proving those prophetic words true. We are up to our collective arses in retro thrash, retro power and retro retro. While new is always great, even the “new” new can be mighty fine, as with the latest release from Sahg and this wicked mother, Return to Zero from Sweden’s own Spiritual Beggars. This is the seventh full length from Michael Amott’s long running side project and respite from the melodic death metal world and although it’s as retro as retro gets, this is one slamming, jamming slab of heavy stoner/doom rock n roll.

Abigail Williams –  In the Absence of Light Review

Abigail Williams – In the Absence of Light Review

Symphonic black metal, a genre fraught with many a trap, snare and pitfall awaiting the unwary band that wants to go down this grim and icy road. Overproduction, bloating, too much keyboard, not enough keyboard, all can bring the metallic symphony to a halt faster than a black metal miser can frown. Even if one avoids all these dangers, the music must be interesting and compelling at its core or trouble ensues. It’s that last nagging little issue that drags down In the Absence of Light, the sophomore album by New York’s own Abigail Williams.

Accept – Blood of Nations Review

Accept – Blood of Nations Review

And “THEY’RE BACK!! The teutonic terrors responsible for such classic metal albums as Breaker, Restless and Wild, Balls to the Wall have reformed to deliver one humdinger of a comeback ass whipping and one of the best metal albums of 2010 in the process. Blood of Nations is the first slab of new Accept material since 1996’s Predator and to say they are back with a vengeance is quite an understatement indeed. Yes, it’s sad but true, original and uber distinctive frontman Udo Dirkschneider is not onboard for this reunion crusade, but fear not, Accept manages quite nicely without his unique services and no one is more surprised than yours truly about that one.

Bonded by Blood – Exiled to Earth Review

Bonded by Blood – Exiled to Earth Review

Here comes another entry into the retro-thrash movement, for better or worse. Exiled to Earth is the second album by California thrashers Bonded by Blood and much like their debut, it’s firmly rooted in the 80’s thrash movement. Back in the days of the original thrash invasion, for every top-notch band like Slayer or Exodus, there were ten sub-par, generic clones like Atrophy, Devastation and Gothic Slam. Sadly, this release falls closer to the latter category.

Interment – Into the Crypts of Blasphemy Review

Interment – Into the Crypts of Blasphemy Review

Here we go again. I have in front of me the new album Into the Crypts of Blasphemy by long, LONG time members of the old school Swedish death metal scene, Interment. These guys existed in the late 80s/early 90s alongside the forefathers of the genre like Entombed, Grave and Dismember, but other than a few demos and such, this is their first real release. So where are we going again exactly? Bear with me and all will be revealed.

And Hell Followed With – Proprioception Review

And Hell Followed With – Proprioception Review

Steel Druhm likes NOT this whole “deathcore thing.” There, I said it! Now, all you deathcore teen weenies can pull your collective jaws off the floor and prepare to dismiss the following review as biased, or perhaps, “reviewed in bad faith,” whatever the fuck that means. However, before you do so, kindly consider that the reason for my dislike of Proprioception, the second album by Michigan’s And Hell Followed With is way more because of how bland and average the material is and less because of its regrettable deathcore style. Sadly, this material isn’t good regardless of the genre.

Mose Giganticus – Gift Horse Review

Mose Giganticus – Gift Horse Review

Every now and then, a band comes along and I’m utterly at a loss for how to classify them in the official Steel Druhm Book O™ Metal [That’s what you get for not using the Angry Book o’ Metal Classifications, n00b. – AMG]. Generally, this causes me anger and vexation, but I always give a nod of appreciation for the bands that resist easy classification. The latest recipient of the nod is Gift Horse, the second album by Mose Giganticus, for they have truly baffled my considerable pigeonholing acumen. They have forced even me to admit I’m stumped. Mose Giganticus is apparently a one-man entity created by Matthew Garfield, a staple of the Philly punk rock scene for some time. While some of that punk ethos is apparent on Gift Horse, this isn’t exactly a punk album. What is it then? Good question!! Let’s try to piece this puzzle together shall we.

Allegaeon – Fragments of Form and Function Review

Allegaeon – Fragments of Form and Function Review

I read somewhere recently that music reviewers who cite to other bands as a means to explain what an album sounds like do a disservice to themselves as writers by taking shortcuts and a greater disservice to the band by depriving them of individual creative identity. Upon reading this, I felt anger, then shame, then finally, acceptance. I pledged my very next review would be entirely devoid of such pathetic comparisons and my writing would thereby ascend to new heights of greatness. Then I listened to my assigned album and that went out the fucking window. Before me I have the debut album Fragments of Form and Function by Colorado’s own Allegaeon. It’s very good and I like it plenty. However, there is no way I get through this review without the crutch of comparison and I apologize to all who read this forevermore.

Diabolic – Excisions of Exorcisms Review

Diabolic – Excisions of Exorcisms Review

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, no matter how immersed one becomes in a specific music scene, you simply can’t be aware of every band in that scene and part of the fun in life is discovering new bands and eagerly delving into their discography. I was unfamiliar with the work of Diabolic although they have been cranking out extreme death metal since 1998 in relative obscurity. Around that timeframe, I was in my “all death is good death” stage so I’m surprised these guys got under the radar, but, so be it. After a four year absence since their last platter, Diabolic now unleashes their fifth album, Excisions of Exorcisms and with this album, I’m getting onboard the Diabolic bandwagon, although not necessarily due to this album. Allow me to explain.