3.5

Ihsahn – After Review

Ihsahn – After Review

Easily one of the most anticipated records of 2010 for me has been Ihsahn’s new offering. While I was a passing Emperor fan, really just a fan of In the Nightside Eclipse and Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk-era, I was taken by Ihsahn’s solo stuff. The Adversary felt fresh, progressive enough, a step away from the later Emperor material of which I wasn’t a fan, and it captured the sonic styles and textures that he was never quite allowed to explore while in Emperor. The record didn’t stick with me as I had hoped, while I listened to it occasionally it didn’t hold a steadfast position in my discography. On the other hand, angL blew me away. Probably the finest record of 2008, angL has maintained a steady place in the rotation and is a record that I’ve showed to dozens of people. Perfectly produced, perfectly composed and smartly written, angL contained everything that I wanted out of a new progressive metal record. So, of course, when I heard that Ihsahn would be releasing a new record in 2010, I became justifiably excited.

Three – Revisions Review

Three – Revisions Review

Progressive rock and metal have been looking for a new band to update the genre with something new and original for a long time. While the progressive metal sub-genre has expanded outward, it seems like progressive rock has been left to whiny emo kids and their pretentious and totally incomprehensible space odysseys. Though in recent times bands like The Dear Hunter have started to appear, they tend to be far more eclectic, and rock oriented than I think many fans of progressive guitar rock are really looking for. So when Three burst onto the scene a few years back and was, really, the first band to do something new and interesting with progressive rock since the mid-90s, they began getting some well-deserved attention.

Nile – Those Whom the Gods Detest Review

Nile – Those Whom the Gods Detest Review

Nile has long been one of the few brutal death metal bands, in that sort of Hate Eternal vein that I’ve ever been a real big fan of. They have, probably due to the judicious use of their musical talent, been able to make a type of brutal death metal that is interesting and varied enough that it doesn’t feel like a waste of time to listen to. Actually, that’s the understatement of the year. These masters of grindy death metal have produced some of the most memorable death metal albums of the modern death metal era starting in earnest with their classic record Black Seeds of Vengeance in 2000, but continuing through to today. 2007’s masterpiece Ithyphallic made my top 10 list and I have been greatly anticipating my chance to listen to the new opus, entitled Those Whom the Gods Detest.

Gorgoroth – Quantos Possunt Ad Satanitatem Trahunt Review

Gorgoroth – Quantos Possunt Ad Satanitatem Trahunt Review

Gorgoroth is almost more infamous than famous these days. Known for the extremity of its members, its outrageous and genuinely evil and offensive stage shows and, most recently, its law suit, the band has gained the respect of the black metal scene in recent years for moving ahead of the pack with a calculated but extremely raw sound. 2003’s Twilight of the Idols and the band’s 2006 release Ad Majorem Sathanas Gloriam had seen the band slipping from the hands of the former primary writer into the hands of King ov Hell. With that, the sound of Gorgoroth became far more aggressive, blasty and chaotic. Of course, with the split, Gorgoroth reverted to Infernus who wasted no time in producing a new ode to Satan: Quantos Possunt Ad Satanitatem Trahunt.

Hypocrisy – A Taste of Extreme Divinity

Hypocrisy – A Taste of Extreme Divinity

Hypocrisy – A Taste of Extreme Divinity Rating: 3.5/5.0 Label: Nuclear Blast (EU | USA) Website(s): hypocrisy.tv | myspace.com/hypocrisy Release Date(s): USA: 11.3.2009 | EU: 23.10.2009 Hypocrisy is a band that should need no introduction in the world of modern death metal. But, surprisingly to me, many in the American scene still are not aware […]

Epica – Design Your Universe Review

Epica – Design Your Universe Review

Epica is a symphonic power metal/gothic metal band from the Netherlands that has really taken the scene and the world by storm since their founding in 2002 due to the amazing voice of their mezzo-soprano vocalist (who also happens to be a hotty, there are no coincidences in metal) Simone Simons and the epic *cough* nature of their music. Design Your Universe is the band’s fifth album, and honestly, the first one I’ve ever sat through assuming the band would be like a mix of old Theatre of Tragedy and Nightwish.

Belphegor – Walpurgis Rites Review

Belphegor – Walpurgis Rites Review

Austria’s Belphegor are evil. Really, really evil. They have long been the darlings of the underground for a lot of people and had a reputation for being that old school brand of blackened death metal that was raw and evil as hell. Of course, as big evil pissing contests have never been my thing personally, Belphegor is a band that I have no personal experience with. This is actually the first album I’ve heard from these guys and so I’m coming at this from the perspective a total n00b. That’s right, I used the word n00b in my blog.

Austrian Death Machine – Double Brutal Review

Austrian Death Machine – Double Brutal Review

Austrian Death Machine is a joke. It’s even a funny joke. With Arnold being the governor of California as well as the cheesiest movie star of our times, if not all-time, as well as a huge internet sensation, it is not at ALL a surprise that someone is doing this. (Though, according to Wikipedia there is another band that has been doing this for 7 years longer than Austrian Death Machine.)

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.