3.0

Texas Murder Crew – Everyone’s Last Breath Review

Texas Murder Crew – Everyone’s Last Breath Review

“Earlier this year, the “Pirate Metal Drinking Crew” cleaned up in ratings and accolades on this blog. Now we’ve got another crew in town – well, state – in the form of Texas Murder Crew. The big draw of this band for those unaware is guitarist Kevin Clark, who played on Devourment’s legendary Molesting the Decapitated. It’s amusing to me that, should I have been tasked with writing about Devourment as a promo guy, describing them as a “Texas Murder Crew” is the best description I would have never thought of.” Everything is deadlier in Texas.

Vassafor – To the Death Review

Vassafor – To the Death Review

“The band sport a Mitochondrion or Adversarial styled take on death/black metal with a thrashy assault-heavy relentlessness combined with eldritch melodies and passages of doomy ominousness. These New Zealanders laid it on thick with 2012’s double LP The Obsidian Codex, expertly balancing relentless blackened death with ritualistic atmosphere and dense doom to create an experience that felt far shorter than its immense hour-and-thirty-five-minute runtime suggested. Enter 2017’s Malediction, which wasn’t… that. While offering a “shorter” listen at fifty-four minutes, it never managed to truly escape the doomy drudgery and wallowed in uneventfulness for nearly an hour. Enter 2020’s To the Death.” Death be not quick.

Onslaught – Generation Antichrist Review

Onslaught – Generation Antichrist Review

“When I selected the promo for Onslaught‘s Generation Antichrist, I initially thought that I was grabbing the latest platter from a relatively modern thrash outfit. But there was something about the British band’s logo that gave me the nagging feeling that I had seen it before. And then it came to me: Onslaught is a band that I’ve often seen listed on those “Best Thrash Albums of All Time” lists. No, not the “Top 10 Thrash Albums of All Time” lists, but the “Top 50 or Top 100 Thrash Albums of All Time” lists.” Generations clash.

High Spirits – Hard to Stop Review

High Spirits – Hard to Stop Review

Hard to Stop seems an apropos title for a new High Spirits platter, as founder and solo performer Chris Black (Dawnbringer, Professor Black, Aktor) cannot easily be dissuaded from his quest to fuse the hard rock playfulness of Thin Lizzy into a metal format. On album number four, he’s once again assembled a collection of high energy rockers built around simple but effective hooks and harmonies.” Never stop never stopping.

Blackballed – Elephant in the Room Review

Blackballed – Elephant in the Room Review

“Standing on my shelf next to other “non-metal” records, like Captain Beyond, Pink Floyd, Johnny Cash, Tom Waits, Waylon Jennings, Blue Öyster Cult, and Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, you’ll find albums from B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Joe Bonamassa, Robert Johnson, and John Lee Hooker. Am I trying to say I’m an expert in the field? Heavens, no. But this would explain my odd selection of (typically) straight-forward, go-nowhere blues/hard rock promos for review. And here’s yet another.” Blues balls.

Katalepsy – Terra Mortus Est Review

Katalepsy – Terra Mortus Est Review

“Ah, death metal, my old nemesis. This style and I have never quite seen eye to eye on things, which I think comes down to me not having an especially high tolerance for prolonged brutality. I like rhyme and reason, order, and all things calm and sane. So given that, you might wonder why I would read the words “Russian brutal death metal masters Katalepsy return with their devastating new record Terra Mortus Est” and think “sounds good to me!” Honestly, I would too.” Insanity and Terra.

Deathstorm – For Dread Shall Reign Review

Deathstorm – For Dread Shall Reign Review

“I’m not sure how many times I’ve referenced Death in my reviews this year — and I’m too lazy to go back and check — but I feel like it’s been more often than would usually be expected. It seems like more and more bands are embracing the unique musical and vocal stylings that Chuck unleashed upon the world during his tragically short life, and I see this growing tribute movement as a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it shows that Schuldiner’s legacy is alive and well, his genius living on as intellectual stardust in the body of work created by his imitators. On the other, it’s hard not to be disappointed when you listen to something that sounds like Death and have it not actually be fucking Death.” Death be not gone.

Primal Fear – Metal Commando Review

Primal Fear – Metal Commando Review

“Anthems, man. Big, beefy, brainless metal anthems. We all love em, and there are some bands born to churn em out. Primal Fear is at the front of that mob, throwing elbows and spilling cheap beer on posers. Unsurprisingly, lucky album 13, the cringe-inducing yet righteously titled Metal Commando is another big ball o’ metal anthems.” Metal forces.

Valgrind – Condemnation Review

Valgrind – Condemnation Review

“Most of us know someone who doesn’t speak often, but when they do, we listen. Case in point: Not long ago, I received a cryptic message from Ferrous Beuller that simply said, “You should pick up the new Valgrind for review.” And that’s all it took.” Iron commands.