Havok

Skeletonwitch – Serpents Unleashed Review

Skeletonwitch – Serpents Unleashed Review

Baroness frontman John Baizley was having drawer’s block. Some Ohio blackened thrash metal band called “Skeletonwitch” had contracted his service for drawing metal album cover art, but when he drew up a draft that depicted a naked woman covered by foliage at the NSFW areas and surrounded by random animals, the band rejected it on grounds of un-creativity. Oh, the nerve of those Southeasterners. What were they expecting to see? Fully-clothed women and machines?” How dare they be art elitists?? Well, I suppose we can’t expect every blackened re-thrash band to be culturally refined, but at least Skeletonwitch knows how to tear your face off.

Ultra-Violence – Privilege to Overcome Review

Ultra-Violence – Privilege to Overcome Review

“Re-thrashers just keep coming through the floorboards and as with roaches, for every one you see, hundreds more lurk just out of sight. Ultra-Violence is a new bug and they hail from Italy of all places. Their Privilege to Overcome debut doesn’t completely reinvent the thrash wheel, but it does offer a dizzyingly schizoid blend of modern thrash, second wave Bay Area style thrash like Defiance and Faith or Fear, Germanic thrash, crossover hardcore like D.R.I. and modern stuff like Machine Head.” If that doesn’t sound like a thick re-thrash stew, nothing does! Join Steel Druhm as he examines if Ultra-Violence has what it takes to kick the requisite amount of buttcheek.

Havok – Unnatural Selection Review

Havok – Unnatural Selection Review

“I couldn’t help it, I had to rescue this review from Mr. Fisting Himself and his mad, imperious rule of giving every rethrash album a 2.0. Why did I have to spare Havok from the dubious rating thrash heap you ask? Because these feisty youngsters strike me as the true vanguard of the rethrash movement and where they go, so goes the retro wave. While Havok brings little in the way of musical innovation to a static, fairly stale style, they’ve staved off tedium on prior albums like Time is Up through sheer youthful exuberance, grit and fancy musicianship.” Steel Druhm may be able to save Havok from Mr. Fisting, but can he save them from themselves?

Pessimist – Death from Above Review

Pessimist – Death from Above Review

“The artwork is so typical and the title, silly and banal as hell. Even a cursory glance at the pointy band logo should immediately hint at which metal sub-genre this band belongs to, but hang on for a second and hold back that derisive snort…” Oh no!? What’s Happy Metal Guy going to say? The suspense has got to be killing you…

Havok – Time is Up Review

Havok – Time is Up Review

A new year is here but the retro-thrash train keeps on rolling like it’s eternally 1988. Apparently it’s as unkillable as cockroaches and metalcore (same difference). At this point in the game, even a vintage, old school thrash enthusiast like myself is feeling the novelty wearing off and that’s saying something folks. Despite my increasing weariness with the second great wave of 80s thrash, I was unable to resist, deny or dislike the second album by Denver retro-heads Havok. Time is Up is an unapologetic ode to all things Bay Area style thrash and draws major influences from the legends of that scene like Exodus, Death Angel, Slayer and Testament. There’s no surprises and no innovation (you can’t innovate much when you’re trying to sound like your shit came out in 1988) but these youngins sound energetic, angry and full of piss, vinegar and cheap beer. Add to that the fact they can really play and this ends up being a pleasant surprise and shows massive improvement from their debut album Burn (which AMG actually liked way more than I did, go figure).

Top 10(ish) of 2009

Top 10(ish) of 2009

Well, everyone else under the sun has been releasing their Top 10 lists, and for those of you faithful readers out there I’m sure you’re also interested in what I’m going to say about the best records of 2009. First, let me say that for the first half of this year I was not indeed Angry Metal Guy, but instead, I was just a normal guy buying my metal and hoping that it was going to be fucking awesome. Now, I’m a bitter critic. As a bitter critic I hear a lot more, but this year has still been characterized by some of the biggest bands on the scene for me. Mainly, Amorphis, who in my opinion have released the finest album of the year, if not the finest album of their very distinguished career. But, let me get to that later. There have been some great records this year, but there has been a lot of mediocre shit. Think of this list as being two-tiered, top 10 and then top 20. The top 10 are the records that I think were really awesome, elite albums, the second 10 are records that I think are great and worth your time and effort. Note that I haven’t heard certain albums that I’d like to hear due to that whole poverty not being offset by stealing music thing. With this, I hope to launch AngryMetalGuy.com into the new year on a new note: one where bands suck less.

Evile – Infected Nations Review

Evile – Infected Nations Review

Thrash revival has been a big deal of late. I mean, thrash is the biggest thing since.. well, thrash, in the metal scene right now. Bands from all over the world, particularly in the underground, are donning tight jeans, jean jackets, Kreator and Exodus patches and looking for the next big thrash prodigy. Earache is not the only label releasing thrash revival stuff, it’s coming from everywhere (Candlelight has been particularly prolific with the thrash revival). Evile is on that bandwagon, whether they like it or not, but they have a different take on it. That is: they sound a lot more like the mature Bay Area.

Angry Metal Guy’s Playlist August 22nd – August 29th

These last couple weeks have been pretty crazy for this Angry Metal Guy.  I’ve moved south from the fair city of UmeÃ¥, to the much bigger (and arguably fairer) city of Uppsala.  While I miss Norrland, I do have to say that I’m quite enjoying certain aspects of the student culture in the city of […]