Metal Blade Records

Cirith Ungol – Forever Black Review

Cirith Ungol – Forever Black Review

Cirith Ungol. The name looms large in the history of heavy metal. Though the mercurial act released only 4 albums, their impact on the genre was great and long-lasting. Their unusual style influenced everything from doom to traditional and trve metal, and countless bands owe their core sound to albums like King of the Dead and One Foot in Hell. They were one of the most unique, quirky bands in metal history and they’ve always held a special place in my heart ov Steel.” Cirithus Black.

Neaera – Neaera Review

Neaera – Neaera Review

“No matter how hard you try, you can never really escape your past. By day I’m the kvltest of the kvlt, blasting the blakkened fukkin death while wearing a shirt that depicts Jesus getting flogged by a horde of goat demons. But when I curl up at night with my plesiosaurus plush, I know at heart I’m still the same mid-aughts core kid who got his start in the metal world with Killswitch Engage and their ilk. Even today, when the promo teat runs dry, sometimes I find myself returning to where it all began: core.” Damn core kids!

God Dethroned – Illuminati Review

God Dethroned – Illuminati Review

“The unimpeachable philosophy of famed slam poet Robert Conrad Flynn once posited that “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” If we apply the paradigm to extreme metal, the veracity of the statement becomes rather apparent. All of our favorite genres of metal and, indeed, music are fundamentally stale. This isn’t a bitter take, it’s a fact. While we hungrily await the next morsel of genuine innovation, we sate ourselves with interpretations of reliable constants. Dutchmen God Dethroned have been plying our souls with searing melodic death metal for the best part of thirty years. Their oeuvre consists of scorching blackened passages and an adroit use of melody that never sacrifices suffering for seduction.” When consistency attacks.

Blaze of Perdition – The Harrowing of Hearts Review

Blaze of Perdition – The Harrowing of Hearts Review

“Hack comedians, when they have nothing of value to say, pepper their routine with profanity and musings about their genitalia to shock the audience into laughter. Metal bands have, fortunately and unfortunately, far more options. Behemoth’s #ILYAYD disaster, and to a lesser degree the middling and overrated The Satanist, showed a band with nothing to say except “please listen to us, we’re still here and iconoclastic – also, buy our dog food!” I bring up Behemoth because, as someone who disliked their last two bloated bores of records for the poor implementation (instead of the existence) of rock influences, Blaze of Perdition does a similar thing but, fortunately, does it well.” The Rock of Judgment.

Midnight – Rebirth by Blasphemy Review

Midnight – Rebirth by Blasphemy Review

“Few bands paint a picture quite as Midnight does. But, in this case, it’s no ordinary picture. It’s Hell. Even more than the ancient works of Venom, Midnight paints a blood-red scene of violence on a black canvas. I not only can feel it but I can smell it. The flickering reds and oranges burn to the touch and the air is stifling and uncomfortable. The fragrance is a mix of unwashed crotch and dogshit burning in a paper bag. When you pass through the large, creaking door to the back of this stinking asylum, your sweat solidifies to your face. From red hot to freezing cold, Hell’s non-smoking area in the rear is black and brown, with the stench of wet earth and decomposition. Yet, no matter where you are in this underground venue, the walls reverberate with the black rasps, fiery guitars, rumbling bass, and pounding drums of the lone devil, Athenar.” Welcome home.

Angel Witch – Angel of Light Review

Angel Witch – Angel of Light Review

Angel Witch is a name most of you have heard before even if you never actually heard their music. They were one of the earliest of NWoBHM acts, and along with Iron Maiden, Saxon, Diamond Head and others, they helped create a new style of music, launching heavy metal’s popularity to new heights and paving the way for the glorious 80s metal renaissance. Their debut was a quasi-classic in the genre and a fine example of the NWoBHM style, sounding like a a cross between early Def Leppard and Witchfinder General. Followups were more stripped down and rock ready, but the band was quickly overshadowed by several of their contemporaries, and though their output was solid, by 1986 it was all but over for the English rockers.” Old wave in the new age.

Killswitch Engage – Atonement Review

Killswitch Engage – Atonement Review

“All in all, they’ve done a pretty remarkable job of defying AMG‘s Law of Diminishing Records, and yet that very fact made me a bit apprehensive of Atonement. Wouldn’t it be just my luck to score reviewing rights to such a renowned and personally beloved[1. I’ll admit that I’ve cooled on Killswitch and metalcore in general over the years, but they were integral to my dive into the depths ov metal nonetheless, and I say thank ya.] act only for it to be their Cold Lake?” Atone for what?

Destrage – The Chosen One Review

Destrage – The Chosen One Review

“A man walks into a bar after a long day at work. A mushroom sits beside him, a real fun guy. The man orders a Stella Artois from the bartender and asks for it in a two-ounce glass. Perplexed, the bartender knocks eighty percent off the price and does what he is asked. “Bottoms up” says the man to the mushroom, who toasts to feces and personal growth in return. The man sets down the empty glass roughly, which gets the bartender’s attention. “That,” the man says to the bartender, “was some terrible whiskey.” This is how most metalcore reviews read by writers who never could stand the genre to begin with. They want it to be something it’s not, and when it inevitably fails, it faces the wrath of the mighty pen.” Pull up a toadstool.