Pantera

Crawling Manifest – Radical Absolution Review

Crawling Manifest – Radical Absolution Review

“I hate to admit it, but I laughed when I first saw the name Crawling Manifest. I immediately had images of babies presenting documentation of the dangerous cargo held within their diapers as they crawl from one location to another pop into my head, and once I saw those images, they were impossible to unsee. My apologies to the band for this, but the strange mind does what the strange mind will do. Radical Absolution is the sophomore record from these Maryland thrashers, coming by way of self-release.” The Manifest is destiny.

Monarch – Future Shock Review

Monarch – Future Shock Review

“Another week, another contest contestant, this time in the form of San Diego thrashers Monarch, winners of the 2019 Wacken Metal Battle USA. That’s better than a Participant ribbon! Led by guitarists Casey Trask and Matt Smith (who also serves as vocalist), Monarch’s style harkens back to the early days of thrash, with plenty of punky attitude and silly subject matter yet loads of technical skill. After 2017’s debut Go Forth…Slaughter, the band played a ton of gigs, honed their songwriting skills, and went into the studio (rather than the debut’s DIY approach) to craft Future Shock, an album they hope is a big step forward.” Born to rule?

Yer Metal is Olde: DOWN – NOLA

Yer Metal is Olde: DOWN – NOLA

“Supergroups. That exciting moment when you learn that members of two or more bands you love are coming together to create … well, if we’re honest with ourselves, usually disappointment. It’s rare that supergroups come close to fulfilling that promise and that’s probably because they can’t. That’s not their fault – expectations are always sky high as a new group coalesces but different fans want different aspects of their favorites to be front and center in the new entity. A rare example, however, of a supergroup not just living up to the hype but downright crushing – at least for this fan – is DOWN.” OLDEA

Ravened – From the Depths Review

Ravened – From the Depths Review

“Rather curiously, the promo material spends quite of bit of time telling me not about Ravened, but about bands that various bandmembers’ relatives — two fathers and an uncle — were in. Since I don’t understand the relevance of that (my failing, I’m sure), I’m going to focus instead on the record and hope that Ravened can step out of the shadow both of their older male relatives and of the various influences they cite.” Blood deep.

Saints of Death – Ascend to the Throne Review

Saints of Death – Ascend to the Throne Review

“Come on, groove metal. I know you can do it. Elitists tend to treat you as the secondary antagonist of metal’s story, behind only to nu-metal, but between genre founders Pantera and the best bits of Machine Head’s discography, there’s still a lot of potential in this particular sound. Hell, I’ve even enjoyed the occasional DevilDriver when craving musical fast-food, which seems to be considered a heinous crime amongst some.” Groove you wrong.

League of Corruption – Something in the Water Review

League of Corruption – Something in the Water Review

“The shadow of the mighty Sabbath looms large over the album’s down and dirty mix of bluesy doom and groove-laden heavy rock. Add some burly gruffness to Black Label Society and Corrosion of Conformity influences, and whiffs of the NOLA school of rock and sludge, and you get a basic idea of what League of Corruption are all about on their debut LP, Something in the Water.” Sumpin’ pumping.

HellgardeN – Making Noise, Living Fast Review

HellgardeN – Making Noise, Living Fast Review

“Dime’s untouchable riffs and solos, Vinnie’s one-of-a-kind kit work, Phil’s forceful presence, and Rex (somehow) pulling it all together. Pantera was a unique beast that survived and grew more popular with their thrashing musical shift with Cowboys from Hell. And, if the local radio station has anything to say about it, they’re still popular enough to throw at least six tracks into the weekday morning mix. But why the lengthy Pantera introduction when this is clearly not a YMIO piece? Because Brazil’s HellgardeN is the closest thing to Pantera‘s reincarnation you’ll ever hear.” Vulgar display of homage.

Demonic Death Judge – The Trail Review

Demonic Death Judge – The Trail Review

“The fantastically named Demonic Death Judge is a sludge/stoner quartet from Kymenlaakso, Finland, having released two EPs and three full-lengths of plodding and hazy dirges since 2009, The Trail being their fourth. Their first two full-lengths were nearly identical to Louisianan Thou‘s gloomy sludge affairs, pitching molasses-thick riffs, blackened rasps, and decidedly bleak themes.” The path unbakened.

Warped Cross – Rumbling Chapel Review

Warped Cross – Rumbling Chapel Review

“I’m about to drop a reality bomb on you that you’re probably already aware of; genre tags, on a collective whole, are oftentimes bullshit. Yes, I’m sure you’ve known that for ages, but when a band is characterized as a particular strain of metal, it’s either because the review writer in question needs some neat, easily identifiable box to put a band into so the listener can gauge whether or not the band is right for them, or said band is vastly stretching the idea of what they sound like to ridiculous lengths.” Rumble bumble.