Nuclear Blast Records

Accept – Too Mean to Die Review

Accept – Too Mean to Die Review

“The AC/DC of Germanic metal is back! Even lineup changes and a global pandemic couldn’t keep the metal hearts in Accept from beating their 16th album of classic 80s-style metal into life. With a new bassist and a third guitarist in tow, Too Mean to Die finds these ageless vets sitting in a pretty good place with an album’s worth of tried-and-true Teutonic tuneage.” Play nice with the mean, olde men.

Therion – Leviathan Review

Therion – Leviathan Review

“If forced to describe my relationship with Therion over the past 30 years, I would have to call it “complicated.” I was there at the start when they were a simplistic but enjoyable doom death band. I watched with interest as they slowly integrated opera and symphonic orchestration, making them one of the most unique extreme metal acts of the 90s. They had ups and downs over the decades that followed, with the lowest moment coming on 2018s 3-hour, triple album rock opera atrocity, Beloved Antichrist. Now Therion is back with their 17th album, Leviathan.” Opulence as pestilence.

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.

Enslaved – Utgard Review

Enslaved – Utgard Review

“Sometimes a band makes such a drastic change in style that you’re floored by it. Many times upset by it. But Enslaved made it work. Well, at least for a couple more albums. I liked most of RIITIIR, but nothing after. And when E and its saxophone-sucking closer arrived five years later, I had pretty much given up on the band. So, you can imagine the dread I felt when I got the promo for Utgard.” En garde.

Kataklysm – Unconquered Review

Kataklysm – Unconquered Review

“I’ve stuck by Kataklysm for a long time. The Quebecois death metal institution has remained a personal favorite for ages, partly because I grew up with the stuff. I became a fan through great records like Shadows & Dust, Serenity in Fire, In the Arms of Devastation, and the underrated Prevail. One tends to associate the era of a band most formative to their tastes with the sound of that band, which makes sense; that’s what caused them to become a fan, after all. As time takes its toll, things change; we can’t stagnate forever. Sometimes, after an absence, we don’t recognize our friend for a moment. Such was my initial reaction to Unconquered.” Identity crisis.

Almanac – A Discographic Review [Tsar (2016), Kingslayer (2017) and Rush of Death (2020)]

Almanac – A Discographic Review [Tsar (2016), Kingslayer (2017) and Rush of Death (2020)]

“For the last four years, I have been neglecting—and you have been denied my Very Important Opinion™ about—one of the most idiosyncratic voices in metal: Victor Smolski. And so, in a Swallow the Sun-sized act of hubris, I’m writing a discographic review of Victor Smolski’s Almanac.” You can’t spell “Almanac” without MAN!

Primal Fear – Metal Commando Review

Primal Fear – Metal Commando Review

“Anthems, man. Big, beefy, brainless metal anthems. We all love em, and there are some bands born to churn em out. Primal Fear is at the front of that mob, throwing elbows and spilling cheap beer on posers. Unsurprisingly, lucky album 13, the cringe-inducing yet righteously titled Metal Commando is another big ball o’ metal anthems.” Metal forces.

Lamb of God – Lamb of God Review

Lamb of God – Lamb of God Review

“Through impressive early career highs to the middling mehs of some of their later material, Lamb of God have remained committed to their craft amidst tides of turmoil, persevering through some sizable obstacles. Now following a five-year gap between albums, Lamb of God return with their anticipated eighth LP, a self-titled effort.” Lamb-fisted.

Paradise Lost – Obsidian Review

Paradise Lost – Obsidian Review

“I remember when Paradise Lost was hyped up to be “England’s answer to Metallica” in terms of their burgeoning popularity when Icon and Draconian Times saw the Halifax quintet’s star grow in leaps in bounds. It’s also not a stretch to say they shared the same rollercoaster ride in terms of stylistic shifts and quality.” The wild ride continues.