Metallica

Hell Fire – Reckoning Review

Hell Fire – Reckoning Review

“I vividly remember writing the review for Hell Fire’s 2019 release Mania. I was sitting in a folding chair in my empty, about-to-be-sold house, passing the time while an HVAC person repaired my apparently damaged furnace. I sat there typing with my headphones on, letting the San Francisco band’s beautiful guitar harmonies and journeyman heavy/speed/thrash metal soothe my heart, a heart still aching from an unanticipated $2000 bill. I remember at the time thinking that I might be underrating Mania, wondering if the stress of moving wasn’t affecting my ability to be objective.” Hell bills coming due.

Raptore – Blackfire Review

Raptore – Blackfire Review

“Originating in Argentina, Raptore released one full-length album back in 2016 and have been relatively quiet ever since, with a contribution to a 5-way split being their only other official release. But after moving to Spain in search of the right lineup, founding guitarist and vocalist Nico Cattoni finds his project poised to unleash sophomore record Blackfire upon an unsuspecting trüe metal scene. Single “Prisoner of the Night” demonstrates Raptore’s kitchen-sink approach to writing classic heavy metal tunes by combining bits of early Ozzy with the hair metal swagger of Mötley Crüe and a bit of American power metal.” Angry birds.

Thrashera – Bastardos da Noite Review

Thrashera – Bastardos da Noite Review

For All Drunks ‘n’ Bitches (along with sophomore release, Morte Webbanger) is about as ’80s as it gets—unbridled speed, catchiness, and the filthiest production since Hellhammer. Come 2020, the band upped their game with cleaner production and a smattering of guest appearances from such outfits as Flageladör, Vulcano, and Beyond the Grave. Não Gosto! isn’t exactly a new direction for the band and, honestly, nothing new to the genre. But it’s a tighter, better-structured product than previous releases. Is Não Gosto! but a diamond in the band’s catalog, or will Bastardos da Noite dethrone it?” Bastard of puppets.

Ironflame – Where Madness Dwells Review

Ironflame – Where Madness Dwells Review

“About two and a half years ago, I covered Blood Red Victory, the third full-length album from Ironflame, and I nearly dropped the 4.0hammer™ on it. That record had some incredible traditional anthems on it, and the chorus of “Honor Bound” still runs through my head every so often—usually when I’m forced to deal with a commitment that I regret making. The Ohio-based Ironflame is the brainchild of one Andrew D’Cagna, an artist probably best known for his work as a drummer in blackened bands like Nechochwen and Obsequiae, but this project reveals that D’Cagna’s abilities cannot be contained to just one instrument or just one style of music. When I reviewed Blood Red Victory, I felt like D’Cagna was on the verge of true greatness, and I’m happy to report that follow-up Where Madness Dwells proves that, as usual, I was right.” Iron evens the score.

Demiricous – Chaotic Lethal Review

Demiricous – Chaotic Lethal Review

“When you listen to Demiricous‘ first two records, they clearly didn’t know what sound, style, or production they wanted. One is more At the Gatesy and relatively dynamic in the mix. The other is a Hatesphere punishment that makes your ears scream in pain. Back in the saddle, Demiricous has brought all their death/thrash influences together on Chaotic Lethal.” Chaotic good or chaotic bad?

Wachenfeldt – Faustian Reawakening Review

Wachenfeldt – Faustian Reawakening Review

“Just over three years ago, I lost my damn mind over Wachenfeldt‘s debut album The Interpreter. I gushed so mightily over its symphonic, thrashened, blackened death metal that hazardous material mitigation crews are still working around the clock to clean up the contamination. That record executed its dark mission so well that it eventually became my Album ‘o the Year for 2019, so if I said that its successor was my most anticipated album of 2022, it would be a gargantuan understatement.” Fanboys awaken.

Redshark – Digital Race Review

Redshark – Digital Race Review

“Continuing the trend of covering things I don’t normally cover, I traveled at the speed of light metal to Barcelona, where I encountered an angry, ‘roided-out shark wearing nothing but bullet belts and cargo khakis that barely contained his quads. His name is Fred, but his friends and enemies just call him Red, for short. My first encounter with Red looked much like the scenery depicted to your left. Specifically, there were many explosions, gunshots, cacophonies of glass and cigarette-stained plastic shrapnel, and the sweet sound of skulls succumbing to ruthless whirlwinds of ignited ammunition.” Blood in the mortar.

Abbath – Dread Reaver Review

Abbath – Dread Reaver Review

“As you can see from the atrocious cover art, Abbath continues to prove this is his band. And he’s starting to show that with the same absurd vigor that garners album covers from Yngwie Malmsteen. And when I saw that Abbath chose to mix Dread Reaver himself, my fear factor increased double-fold. And on first listen, I knew Dread Reaver was in trouble.” Bob and reave.

Hyperia – Silhouettes of Horror Review

Hyperia – Silhouettes of Horror Review

“It’s been a long time since I reviewed a thrash metal album. When I stumbled upon Hyperia‘s Silhouettes of Horror in the promo dump, though, I knew I had to have it. First of all, the Canadian quartet touted themselves as “melodic thrash,” then they followed up with an elaboration including attractive attributes like “insanity” and “drinking.” Plus, the album artwork boasts that classic stylized look that graced many a thrash slip cover over the years. It seemed to me that Hyperia had all of their ducks in a row for their second record, and I was eager to pass judgment upon it accordingly.” Duck, duck, moose!

Vicious Knights – Alteration Through Possession Review

Vicious Knights – Alteration Through Possession Review

“‘Vicious’ can be defined as deliberately cruel or violent. Not a term one naturally associates with the popular image of the gallant knight, enduring all sorts of perils and dragons to save—and, if he’s lucky, fondle—the princess. But in what, I suppose, is an effort to invert or undermine conventional images, Vicious Knights is the chosen moniker of this thrash trio from Thessaloniki, Greece. Formed in 2016 and with a demo and an EP under their belt, they scored a deal with German label, Dying Victim Productions, and are now ready to unleash their debut LP.” Knight moves.