Black Sabbath

Unruly – Unruly Review

Unruly – Unruly Review

“Look, I’m not saying I judge books records by their covers but, come on, everyone likes nice artwork, right? When I’m plumbing the murkier depths of Bandcamp, a cool cover can lure me into that one extra purchase that I swore I wasn’t going to make. It’s just as well for Te Whanganui a Tara, Aotearoa (or Wellington, New Zealand) trio Unruly then, that I didn’t see the cover of their self-titled debut before I hauled it out of the promo pit.” Ugly is as Unruly does.

Yer Metal Is Olde: Black Sabbath – Heaven and Hell

Yer Metal Is Olde: Black Sabbath – Heaven and Hell

“Hello, controversy! In all of metal, one of the most controversial topics is Black Sabbath with and without Ozzy. Passions are inflamed and regrettable words are spewed in both directions any time this debate comes up. Being a human completely lacking in emotion or empathy, I don’t care about it. I want good albums period, and let’s be honest, this record’s predecessor was Never Say Die!, undoubtedly one of the band’s least finest moments, with or without their infamous leading man. No matter what came next, it was a low bar.” Vintage evil.

Pale Divine – Consequence of Time Review

Pale Divine – Consequence of Time Review

“Generally speaking, bands don’t wait until their 25th year in existence to hit their peak. Don’t tell that to Pale Divine though. Pennsylvania’s best kept secret has been quietly churning out beefy classic doom albums since the turn of the century, basing their sound around Trouble, Black Sabbath and Pentagram, with a gritty biker rock edge making everything feel sturdy and muscular.” Time has been good to some of us.

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.

Curse the Son – Excruciation Review

Curse the Son – Excruciation Review

“Character, they say, is forged in adversity. Or at least that’s what management tells me every time I see myself rostered for yet another shift in the AMG Skull Pit™. Curse the Son know all about adversity, having had a constantly rotating line-up since the band formed in 2008. In addition, bassist Brendan O’Keefe suffered extensive injuries after a motorcycle accident in November 2018, necessitating a long road back to recovery. Basically, a lot of shit has happened to the band since the release of 2017’s Isolator, and Curse the Son is ready to tell you all about it.” Tough truckin’.

Greyhawk – Keepers of the Flame Review

Greyhawk – Keepers of the Flame Review

“The other day, I was eating lunch with my 6-year-old son Ezkaton, and I swear to God, he gazed out the window with a thousand-yard stare and said the following without any prompting and without any music playing in the background: “Dad, I don’t know why I like Greyhawk so much. I don’t even try to like them, but they just make me like them.”” Sons of iron.

Kryptograf – Kryptograf Review

Kryptograf – Kryptograf Review

Kryptograf cite influences that include Witchcraft, Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats and Black Sabbath, and it all fits. Between the band lineup—two guitarists, three vocalists, plus bass and drums—and a healthy helping of fuzz that permeates without overpowering, Kryptograf wears its ‘60s influences loudly and proudly.” Fuzzy navel gazing.

Mountain Witch – Extinct Cults Review

Mountain Witch – Extinct Cults Review

“A band’s swan song can often be a masterpiece, an emotional rollercoaster, or a dud. When a band knows they’re calling it quits for a while, most often they will pour their hearts into that final album. That’s what I hoped for when I grabbed Extinct Cults, the latest (and last, prior to what is described as a long hiatus) from German proto-rockers Mountain Witch.” Went witching.

Sorcerer – Lamenting of the Innocent Review

Sorcerer – Lamenting of the Innocent Review

“Sweden’s Sorcerer has had a bouncy ride through the ages. They released a series of demos I really enjoyed back in the early 90s and then completely vanished from the metal scene for some 20-plus years. They reappeared in 2015 with a comeback album I slept on, then knocked me flat, silly and senseless with 2017s stupendous The Crowning of the Fire King. That album’s expertly crafted blend of traditional and doom metal was impossible to resist and Fire King seized my Record o’ the Year glory easily. Naturally I was quite stoked to receive the followup, Lamenting of the Innocent. With a concept based around the Inquisition and witch trials, all signs and omens pointed to another big dose of classy metal with hooks by the boatload.” No one expects the Swedish Inquisition!

Tyrant – Hereafter Review

Tyrant – Hereafter Review

“Aside from the enigmatic Brocas Helm, Tyrant may be one of the least prolific American metal bands ever. Starting out in 1978, the band dropped their Legions of the Dead debut in 85, followed by their best known, most respected work, 87s Too Late to Pray. After Too Late they went radio silent and I forgot about them in the fullness of time. Apparently they released a comeback album in 96 which I only just found out about because they’re attempting a brand new comeback, the result of which was just hauled out of the promo sump like a waterlogged carcass.” Once and future Tyrant.