Mar17

Nightrage – The Venomous Review

Nightrage – The Venomous Review

“Sometimes, context is everything. Take Greek/Swedish melodeath stalwarts Nightrage and their 2005 release, Descent into Chaos. During a time when our digital voraciousness was yet gestating, the general availability of music limited, and my taste still fully receptive of Gothenburg metal, the subjective value of that objectively passable album became immense. Great riffs and melodies, catchy hooks, and an innate sort of aggressiveness bedazzled me. Listening to it today, it sounds good, if unremarkable and most certainly not at the level of some of the classics of the genre. Context, like I said, matters the most.” Nostalgia has limits.

Katakomb – Chained to a Wolf Review

Katakomb – Chained to a Wolf Review

“I love progressive metal fusions. To name just a few: Opeth, Cormorant, and Ne Obliviscaris are among my favorite bands. So the prospect of getting on board with a young and allegedly progressive black metal band early was certainly enticing. I say allegedly as our promo-meisters have been known to be deceptively liberal with genre labeling in the past, but I cut them some slack and acquired Chained to a Wolf by Katakomb with interest.” Wolves, chains and intrigue.

Troubled Horse – Revolution on Repeat Review

Troubled Horse – Revolution on Repeat Review

“Informal poll: who here is getting tired of the whole “retro rock” scene? It seems everyone and their dog wants to be in a retro band — especially those pesky Scandinavians. Whether it’s the proto-metal stylings of Sweden’s Saturn or the Survivor-core of Finland’s Brother Firetribe, or a litany of other bands flying the retro-core banner these days, retro seems to be the flavor of the month. Troubled Horse looks to add their crest to the mix with Revolution on Repeat.” Isn’t a troubled horse just a unicorn?

Repulsive Vision – Look Past the Gore and See the Art Review

Repulsive Vision – Look Past the Gore and See the Art Review

“I have a complicated relationship with standard death metal; that is to say, the old school, cave-your-skull-in-with-a-cinder-block variety. I love the style, but you don’t need access to our promo bin to realize how much and how often the stuff is churned out (i.e. oh, so goddamn much), and as a result, I rarely go hunting for undiscovered gems so much as I stick to what I know and cherish. However, I found myself with a hankerin’ for a hunt last week and my search resulted in an album that seemed no-frills enough to get me by.” If you seek death you will find it.

Body Count – Bloodlust Review

Body Count – Bloodlust Review

“As longtime readers may know, I have a special place in my heart for L.A. street metal combo Body Count. Their debut album is an indisputable cult classic, and follow-ups Born Dead and Violent Demise were equally essential to the soundtrack of my misanthropic youth. 2014’s Manslaughter seems to have been the comeback the band needed, and now Ice-T and co. are making a case for modern metal legitimacy with Bloodlust.” There goes the neighborhood…again.

Stormage – Dead of Night Review

Stormage – Dead of Night Review

“I recently read an article stating cheese is good for you. Immediately I called up our promo list for March and scoured the piles of black metal releases for some suitable power metal. With Cellador spoken for (and spoken of), I grabbed what I hoped would be the next best thing: Dead of Night, the third album (but first in ten years, thus their anonymity) from Germanic power metallers Stormage. Which I pronounce the same way I say fromage, which of course is French for cheese.” When cheddar attacks.

Invidia – As the Sun Sleeps Review

Invidia – As the Sun Sleeps Review

“We all did dumb stuff when we were 14. We overate on candy without remembering how much we puked last time, we lost teeth to concrete trying to nail the stupidest stunts, and we tried and failed horribly at being cool enough for that one girl that kick-started our hormone production the summer before. One of the (un)cool things we did was listen to what passed as edgy at the time, and considering this would be 2003 for me, that would be Mudvayne and Static-X. Now I have a brand new nu-metal promo by Invidia, a supergroup featuring members from Skinlab, Five Finger Death Punch and In This Moment, colliding all of the above with such heroes as Godsmack, a manure-filled dump truck and a frat house full of drunk jocks.” Ah, to never be young again.