Black Label Society

League of Corruption – Something in the Water Review

League of Corruption – Something in the Water Review

“The shadow of the mighty Sabbath looms large over the album’s down and dirty mix of bluesy doom and groove-laden heavy rock. Add some burly gruffness to Black Label Society and Corrosion of Conformity influences, and whiffs of the NOLA school of rock and sludge, and you get a basic idea of what League of Corruption are all about on their debut LP, Something in the Water.” Sumpin’ pumping.

The Offering – Home Review

The Offering – Home Review

“In 2017, Boston band The Offering dropped a self-titled—and killer—EP that got them noticed by Century Media. Well, it’s time to check out their debut full-length Home, so grab something olde, something nü, something growled, and something blues, because today we’ll be haunting the chapel to see if the band can successfully marry an unhealthy number of musical influences into a cohesive whole.” Holy headlock!

Michael Romeo – War of the Worlds Review, Pt. 1

Michael Romeo – War of the Worlds Review, Pt. 1

Michael Romeo is one of prog/power’s finest genii and is deservedly renowned for his day job as the guitarist and primary composer in Symphony X. Little known, however, is that Romeo released a solo album called The Dark Chapter in 1995. Only available on YouTube, the album is a mind-blowing display of, on the one hand, Romeo’s virtuoso talent and, on the other hand, just how far recording has come in the 23 years since its release. The Dark Chapter‘s first followup record is entitled War of the Worlds, Part 1 and on the surface, these two albums have little in common.

Slayer – Repentless Review

Slayer – Repentless Review

“If you’re reading this site, then I’m sure you’re aware that Slayer has been through a couple of changes in recent years. At the moment, only vocalist/bassist Tom Araya and guitarist Kerry King remain from the band’s original lineup, augmented by returning drummer Paul Bostaph and touring guitarist Gary Holt (Exodus).” The Kerry King Road Show pulls into town and they have Jägermeister.

Newsted – Heavy Metal Music Review

Newsted – Heavy Metal Music Review

“By now most of you are familiar with the dysfunctional soap opera that led Jason Newsted to jump ship from Metallica prior to their execrable St. Anger album. Anyone who watched the shockumentary Some Kind of Monster can see why he bailed and most probably wonder why he didn’t beat copious amounts of Danish ass and kick over the Hetfield Table™ on his way out the door. Since his exodus, Jason has shown himself to be a productive and versatile musician’s musician, recording with Voivod, playing with Ozzy Osbourne, keeping his Echobrain project running and finding time to launch his eponymous solo project Newsted.” Jason Newsted has this solo thing going on and finally released the debut album. Steel Druhm gives you the lowdown as Lars and James download it illegally out of spite.

Victor Griffin’s In-Graved Review

Victor Griffin’s In-Graved Review

“As a long time fan of American doom pioneers Pentagram, I’ve been an admirer of Victor Griffin’s playing and his bluesy, but street tough style. Sure, he borrowed a lot of his sound from Tony Iommi, but he made it his own by mixing it with the sound of Cream-era Clapton and a touch of Hendrix. When he left Pentagram, their stock dropped precipitously, and when he returned for their Last Rites opus, everything was right in the doom world again. I enjoyed most of the material from his Place of Skulls outing, so when I heard of the new Victor Griffin’s In-Graved project, I expected solid results, which this delivered, along with a few surprises.” Doomy biker rock? Does Steel Druhm need to say more? Well, he will anyway because he’s wordy!

Adrenaline Mob – Omerta

Adrenaline Mob – Omerta

I’m a Russell Allen fanboy. I sing his praises every chance I get because he’s one of the best vocalists to ever grace the metal genre. Whether its his work with Symphony X, Allen/Lande or Star One, his vocals make good music great and great music stupendous. It was only a matter of time however, until we found out what his vocals could do for average or bad music.

Ghost Brigade – Until Fear No Longer Defines Us

Ghost Brigade – Until Fear No Longer Defines Us

Another depressive, bleak band from Finland? What a surprise! Although they don’t seem to a band on everyone’s lips yet, Ghost Brigade have staked out their own little corner in the doom rock genre. Their first two albums were entertaining platters of doomy metal with a notable rock/post-rock edge and nods to death metal. Some lauded 2009’s Isolation Songs as a genre defining classic. I wouldn’t go quite that far but it had some great moments of downcast unhappiness. Along comes Until Fear No Longer Defines Us and they’ve really outdone themselves and reached a whole new level. Featuring a more laid back (but still highly morose) sound, Ghost Brigade drifts away from the heavier aspects of their sound and toward a more moody, rock-based style. Now, these guys were never what I would call knuckle smashing heavy to begin with. Sure they would toss in some deathy snarls and some heavy riffing but the focus was always on sullen, despondent vibes with enough rock sensibility to keep things moving. That hasn’t changed here, just reached a more effective, accessible phase. At times they sound similar to recent Katatonia, Rapture and the less deathy moments of Swallow the Sun. Does it work? Absolutely it does and most of Until is a testament to what quality songwriting will do for a band.

Chrome Division – 3rd Round Knockout Review

Chrome Division – 3rd Round Knockout Review

Have you ever wondered what a group of Norwegian black metal musicians might sound like if they played greasy biker rock? Well wonder no more, just hunker down with a case of brews and Chrome Division. Featuring Shagrath (Dimmu Borgir) on guitar and members of Old Man’s Child and Ringnevond, Chrome Division delivers something like a drunken mixture of ZZ Top, The Misfits, Venom and Lynyrd Skynyrd. There’s nary a cold, icy riff to be found on their new album 3rd Round Knockout and instead you get rowdy, raucous, ribald and very adolescent rock/metal that’s actually exceedingly well done. This is well written, catchy, fun and highly addictive stuff and it even leaves behind much of the Motorhead worship found on their earlier albums. Its an alcohol fueled party album that virtually forces you to pop open a cold one as you listen. How can anything that drives you to drink be bad?

Crowbar – Sever the Wicked Hand Review

Crowbar – Sever the Wicked Hand Review

So I’m super unqualified to review this record because I a) don’t like sludge and b) have never listened to Crowbar before this moment. Sure, I’m sure I should have heard them, but I gotta be honest with you, I’ve been sort of busy. There are plenty of scenes that have developed since the 1990s and the slow, southern rock post-thrash stuff has never been my thing. Name bands from south of the Mason-Dixie line and I probably don’t like them unless they’re Kris Kristofferson. Always hated Down, didn’t think Corrosion of Conformity was terribly special (and this one’ll really burn your ass), I never liked Pantera or its postbellum incarnations. (Oh and I don’t like Black Label Society because they want to be a southern band even though Zakk Wylde is from fucking NEW JERSEY.) Given all of that, then, I was pretty fucking stoked that listening to this record wasn’t torture! In fact, it was really enjoyable. Let me regale you with the tale.