Metallica

Paranorm – Empyrean Review

Paranorm – Empyrean Review

“This may be their debut full-length, but Uppsala’s Paranorm are no spring chickens in the thrash game. According to legend — and the band’s social media accounts — Paranorm was formed by three high school friends on a hot summer night in 2007 to the sound of Megadeth‘s Rust in Peace blasting from the stereo. After an initial run of a demo and a couple EPs, the band has been quiet for the last seven years. What could they possibly have been doing during such a long break from writing? If Empyrean is any indication, they spent the time searching for, discovering, and studying some powerful relic that confers ancient, arcane knowledge of the five magics of metal mastery, because this record is a progressive thrash metal monster.” Paranormal ratings.

Dark Zodiak – Ophiuchus Review

Dark Zodiak – Ophiuchus Review

Dark Zodiak borrow bits of the chunky, militaristic rhythms of Sodom, the scratchy grooves of Kreator and the progressive wanderings of Metallica. The push into heavier death-thrash territory is almost entirely due to a grotesque performance from vocalist Simone Schwarz, who commands the record with guttural roars, dry rasps, sinister narration, and even the occasional pig squeal.” Sign stealing.

Demoniac – So It Goes Review

Demoniac – So It Goes Review

“While Fatal Visions saw Inculter producing exemplary thrash without altering the formula used by many of the genre’s legendary bands, the promo for So It Goes promises that Demoniac is about to take me down “all sorts of wild ‘n’ weird paths.” Now call me old-fashioned, but I don’t usually get excited about “experimental” things when it comes to my metal. So when I pressed play on So It Goes, I did so with more than a few reservations, wondering if I’d be able to appreciate the journey I was about to take.” Strange highways.

Heathen – Empire of the Blind [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

Heathen – Empire of the Blind [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

“Heathen. I’ve got three shirts that say it and nine people that call me that. I liken it to a word like ‘dickhead.’ It’s got great pop and works in all situations. Though it’s maybe more fun to call my mom a ‘dickhead’ rather than a ‘heathen.’ But, I suppose it depends on the day. Speaking of fun, let’s talk about that other Heathen. The one that released Empire of the Blind, and we never got it.” Blind fury.

Genus Ordinis Dei – Glare of Deliverance Review

Genus Ordinis Dei – Glare of Deliverance Review

Genus Ordinis Dei’s last platter, Great Olden Dynasty, was a surprisingly excellent piece of symphonic and melodic death metal. Italian metal is not usually known for its restraint, particularly with symphonics, but while the orchestral textures were as excessive as expected, the songwriting was tight and focused, and the versatile roar of vocalist Niccolò is a fantastic asset to the band. 3 years later, the band’s aspirations have grown.” Inquisition-core.

Yer Metal Is Olde: King Diamond – The Eye

Yer Metal Is Olde: King Diamond – The Eye

“Then there’re examples like Fast Eddie Clarke walking away from Motörhead and the canning of Ozzy Osbourne by Black Sabbath. Anthrax, Exodus, Iron Maiden, and Judas Priest lost their vocalists, who psyched everyone out and returned later anyway. In some cases, end-of-era albums are more like transition pieces—bridging the gap between the band of old and the band of new. Arguably Metallica‘s …And Justice For All fits the bill. It was clear that Justice was different, but it wasn’t until Metallica arrived that everyone saw what Justice really was. King Diamond‘s The Eye is also such an album.” Fading eyesight.

Diamond Head – Lightning to the Nations 2020 Review

Diamond Head – Lightning to the Nations 2020 Review

“I am not a fan of bands rerecording old classic material. But I make an exception in the case of Lightning to the Nations 2020, the latest offering from NWoBHM elders Diamond Head. Why? Because I can kill two birds with one stone: I write my weekly review as well as a Yer Metal Is Olde article at the same time. Now that’s how you maintain high efficiency! The crux if this review won’t be “how good is this album?” We already know Lightning to the Nations is a super album. It will be “do we need this version?” That’s what enquiring minds want to know.”” Lightning strikes twice?

Psychosomatic – The Invisible Prison Review

Psychosomatic – The Invisible Prison Review

“It feels like only yesterday when you all hated me for giving such high praise to Crisix‘s 2018 release, Against the Odds. I understand that everyone thinks Power Trip is god and everyone is getting tired of the Havok/Warbringer sound, so thrash is getting more and more difficult to get into these days. Thrash, with a modern touch, is even harder as it all seems to sound rehashed and repetitive. I’m not sorry I love the fun and upbeat character of Crisix. I’m not sorry ‘Perseverance’ and ‘Xenomorph Blood’ make me lose my shit. I’m not sorry Against the Odds made my list that year. I’m not sorry for my love of thrash. I’m not sorry for having such an exquisite taste. I’m not sorry for anything. OK… I am sorry you’re so dead inside that you can’t enjoy fun things. I’m also sorry for this: thrash veterans Psychosomatic and their newest release, The Invisible Prison.” No regrats.

Deathstorm – For Dread Shall Reign Review

Deathstorm – For Dread Shall Reign Review

“I’m not sure how many times I’ve referenced Death in my reviews this year — and I’m too lazy to go back and check — but I feel like it’s been more often than would usually be expected. It seems like more and more bands are embracing the unique musical and vocal stylings that Chuck unleashed upon the world during his tragically short life, and I see this growing tribute movement as a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it shows that Schuldiner’s legacy is alive and well, his genius living on as intellectual stardust in the body of work created by his imitators. On the other, it’s hard not to be disappointed when you listen to something that sounds like Death and have it not actually be fucking Death.” Death be not gone.

Valgrind – Condemnation Review

Valgrind – Condemnation Review

“Most of us know someone who doesn’t speak often, but when they do, we listen. Case in point: Not long ago, I received a cryptic message from Ferrous Beuller that simply said, “You should pick up the new Valgrind for review.” And that’s all it took.” Iron commands.