Reviews

Record reviews

The Atlas Moth – A Glorified Piece of Blue-Sky Review

The Atlas Moth – A Glorified Piece of Blue-Sky Rating: 3.5/5.0 – A mix of sounds that works very well, but doesn’t stand out for me.. Label: Candlelight Website: theatlasmoth.com Release Date(s): EU: 21.09.2009 | USA: 10.6.2009 Sludge, and many variations thereof, have definitely been working their way into the “mainstream” consciousness of heavy metal […]

Megadeth – Endgame Review

Megadeth – Endgame Review

Megadeth became the coolest thing since Metallica the year that I turned 9. The band’s big mainstream breakthrough Countdown to Extinction was a classic record in many respects, because it took thrash metal that hadn’t been produced by Bob Rock and turned it into a mainstream thing. I still love that record and it’s follow up Youthanasia but I have a long-standing dislike for Dave Mustaine as a person, musician and I’m sure that those of you who know me or have read this blog know how I feel about Megadeth’s discography. If you don’t, I’ll clarify: Megadeth stinks. All-in-all, I think that the band’s discog is totally spotty, the writing has always been mediocre, I think that Friedman was an overrated player and I’m surprised that Megadeth didn’t go away for good after Mustaine’s wrist injury fiasco.

Insomnium – Across the Dark

Insomnium – Across the Dark

Insomnium is one of those bands that rides on the border of melodic death metal and progressive rock, straddling the fence between good, solid heavy music and the proggy stuff that all the sadboy metal guys listen to. Those guys who secretly love The Cure and Depeche Mode and end up making stuff that sounds like newer Katatonia, Anathema or Amorphis. This isn’t really a critique, but it lets you know right off the bat where these Finnish melodic metallers are standing in reference to the never ending “is melody metal” war that seems to be going on these days.

The Black Dahlia Murder – Deflorate Review

The Black Dahlia Murder – Deflorate Review

The Black Dahlia Murder is becoming a veteran band among this new wave of melodic American death metal/metalcore or whatever the hell you want to call it. To get this out of the way right away: I think that The Black Dahlia Murder has been treated unfairly by a metal community sad to see the disappearance of the old school metal guy anywhere except brutal death metal. Modern American metal has come to be dominated by short-haired, tattooed hardcore lookin’ kids who often have super diverse taste in music and have never donned a leather jacket or a goatee in their lives. These hardcore lookin’ dudes put on shows that have an energy that often times metal dudes lack in their own live performances, and they’re gaining notoriety with their blending of brutal death metal and stupid core breakdowns. The Black Dahlia Murder has been lumped in with these guys because of tattoos and plugs, but they are certainly not akin to these bands. No, The Black Dahlia Murder is easily one of the best melodic death metal bands the United States has ever produced and despite them sounding a lot like At The Gates plus blast beats, I think they do it very, very well and very consistently.

Leaves’ Eyes – Njord Review

Leaves’ Eyes – Njord Review

Fame has its benefits. Getting signed immediately after you leave/get fired from your other band is one of those things. Of course, the inevitable problem with fame is that no matter how far away from what you got famous for, you will always be compared to it. And for me, Liv’s voice will live on forever in Theatre of Tragedy’s classic album Velvet Darkness They Fear. Leaves’ Eyes is not Theatre of Tragedy and Njord is definitely not Velvet Darkness They Fear, and while it doesn’t need to be that album all over again for me to like something she’s done, I know it can be better than this.

Amon Amarth – The Crusher (Reissue) Review

Amon Amarth – The Crusher (Reissue) Rating: 4.0/5.0 (Record) – 3.0/5.0 (Reissue) 4.5/5.0 (Live Record) Label: Metal Blade (EU | USA) Website(s): myspace.com/amonamarth | amonamarth.com Release Date(s): USA: 09.01.2009 | EU: 28.08.2009 Amon Amarth is on top of the fucking world right now.  The Thor’s Hammer is the new pentagram and every kid is hailing […]

Havok – Burn Review

Havok – Burn Review

How could Havok be anything but thrash? One doesn’t even have to listen to the band to get an idea of what they sound like when one looks at the coloration and logo of the band’s debut album: Burn. And Havok truly lives up to their predecessors, need I name them? Kill ‘Em All era Metallica, Testament, and so forth.. actually, these guys sound like a re-birth of America’s most famous metal scene of all time: the bay area thrash scene.

Threat Signal – Vigilance

Threat Signal – Vigilance

Three years after their initial release, after being a true Internet success story, Threat Signal is back with a new album called Vigilance. I never got to review the first album, and I must admit that this style is a little bit too sugary sweet for my tastes, but I was pleasantly surprised with what I heard contained within the borders of Vigilance: a band comfortable in their own shell, producing music that skates the fine line between pop metal, metalcore and thrash. This record is sure to bring delight to those among us who aren’t fans of the more heavy hitting, brutal or technical things that are flooding the market these days.

Guilt Machine – On This Perfect Day

Guilt Machine – On This Perfect Day

The modern hero of the progressive rock concept album (that’d be Arjen Lucassen for those not aware) is back with a new project called Guilt Machine and this time, it doesn’t take place in space! I think he’s making steps forward, frankly, because I’ve had some previous experience with Arjen Lucassen. I was never a fan of Star One or Ayreon, despite the fact that many fans of both seem to have objected to many of my critiques. I’m a fan of concept albums, but I’m also a fan of consistent vocals, good melodies and non-embarrassing lyrics: things that do not describe Mr. Lucassen’s past work, in my opinion. Fortunately for the progressive rock/metal world, he’s made up for this with the highly excellent Guilt Machine.

Hackneyed – Burn After Reaping Review

Hackneyed – Burn After Reaping Review

Hackneyed is a bunch of kids. That, apparently, is the selling point for this band. Do not be fooled, you should not buy an album because it’s 16 year-olds who made that record. That’s retarded and should be avoided. That said, Hackneyed should probably be checked out by you for another reason: while the record starts out slowly, Burn After Reaping turns out to be a very good.