Black Sabbath

Sahg – III Review

Sahg – III Review

Retro is the new new, apparently. Everyone and their dog is doing retro bands doing old school things with better (or at least louder) production and with the sensibilities of generations who have listened to a lot of music and decided that it’s time to come back to the thing that really seems to unite them: the 1970s. I, myself, have been listening to a lot of stuff from the 1970s lately, and especially the progressive rock movement that influenced many of the musicians from Scandinavia seems to be rearing its head in an interesting combination of traditional hard rock, heavy metal sensibilities and dudes who used to play black metal. Sahg’s III embodies this movement sonically, and does it very, very well.

Heathens – Oh, Mock the Heavens and Let the Heathens Sing Review

Heathens – Oh, Mock the Heavens and Let the Heathens Sing Review

The bread and butter of a heavy metal is the unsigned band. If you are patient enough to dig through piles and piles and piles and piles and piles and piles and piles and piles of shit, you will find the prototypes of up and coming bands. Bands in their infancy, but who are producing something that is heretofore unheard of. Or maybe they’ll just be doing something old remarkably well. Or maybe it’s a blending of the two, successfully putting together a sound that few have heard and being super kick ass at the derivative stuff. In any case, what I’m trying to say here is this; you’re bound to find a band that stands out after enough time reviewing underground stuff. However, knowing where to look is a bitch. So when I was directed to the South African black metal band Heathens by Lord Doom, I wasn’t sure whether I was going to like the material or not. Fortunately, Lord Doom is a man of impeccable taste.

Grand Magus – Hammer of the North Review

Grand Magus – Hammer of the North Review

It seems a sad fact that when one anticipates something and really looks forward to it, the chance of being disappointed increases exponentially. After Grand Magus unleashed their wildly impressive Iron Will album in 2008 (which was one of my favorite albums that year), I was extremely stoked for a follow up by this cadre of Swedish metal mongers but wondered if they could match or top the quality of that massive platter. Now that I have the anxiously awaited follow up in the form of their fifth album, Hammer of the North, my fears of being let down seem silly, because once again Grand Magus shows that they know how to craft top quality traditional heavy metal songs with a slight doom tinged edge.

Darkthrone – Circle the Wagons Review

Darkthrone – Circle the Wagons Review

This review is late. Nearly three months late in fact. But perhaps it is best to look at Darkthrone’s Circle the Wagons outside of the usual fervor surrounding an iconic band releasing new material, especially one that sets internet message boards alight as much as Darkthrone. Despite being considered the grandfathers of the True Norwegian Black Metal genre, Fenriz and Nocturo Culto have now become one of the more hated bands in extreme metal. Their drastic shift away from the sound that they pioneered; adopting a more crust punk, thrashy, rock ‘n roll influenced approach polarized their fanbase and turned their recent albums into records you will either love or hate.

RIP Ronnie James Dio

RIP Ronnie James Dio

Well fuck. 2010 really blows so far. First, Pete Steele and now Ronnie James Dio who died earlier today, according to Blabbermouth. This time it ain’t a mistake. Wendy Dio, wife/manager of legendary heavy metal singer Ronnie James Dio (DIO, HEAVEN & HELL, BLACK SABBATH, RAINBOW), has released the following statement to BLABBERMOUTH.NET: “Today my […]

Skyforger – Kurbads Review

Skyforger – Kurbads Review

Skyforger is Latvia’s answer to folk metal and they’ve been giving it a go for quite a while. Despite having been around since 1995, however, they’ve not produced a terribly huge discography. In fact, Kurbads is the first Skyforger album since 2003, when they self-released a folk album that was mightily well-received by their fanbase, even, apparently, more so their metal album from the same year Thunderforge. The band, for the record, has also been involved in a bit of controversy surrounding the use of, what the band calls a thundercross, and what the rest of us call a swastika in their logo. But it seems the band has worked very hard to distance themselves from any of the controversy surrounding this and should be approached from a non-political stance.