Slayer

Evil – Possessed by Evil Review

Evil – Possessed by Evil Review

“I’ve got a soft spot for Japanese metal, especially the old-school varieties. It should shock absolutely nobody that Evil come directly from the lineage of Abigail and Sabbat thematically, meaning that they take the “evil” schtick of classic Venom and Bulldozer so far that it exceeds parody and lands in a strange realm of charming innocence and naivete. Evil, on their second album Possessed by Evil, lands feet-first in this realm.” Possession is nine-tenths of witchlaw.

Nervosa – Perpetual Chaos Review

Nervosa – Perpetual Chaos Review

“While at one point it certainly seemed like Nervosa would become another bullet point in a long list of last year’s disasters, the Brazilian thrashers successfully survived 2020. They came out of it wounded like most of the world, sure, but still alive and kicking. If anything, the loss of the rest of her band (bassist and vocalist Fernanda Lira and drummer Luana Dametto) due to cryptic “personal reasons” seems to have viciously reinvigorated the group’s founder and frontwoman Prika Amaral.” Reborn in chaos.

Houkago Grind Time – Bakyunsified (Moe to the Gore) [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

Houkago Grind Time – Bakyunsified (Moe to the Gore) [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

“Far be it from me to let my shit-tier time management fall on Andrew Lee, the one man behind one-man-band Houkago Grind Time (and 2020 death metal standout Ripped to Shreds). Bakyunsified (Moe to the Gore) may house a whole lot of meta anime piss-takes, but don’t let that fool you: this spin is more grind to the core than it has any right to be.” Anime grind had to happen.

Harlott – Detritus of the Final Age Review

Harlott – Detritus of the Final Age Review

“As I mentioned when I wrote 2017’s Extinction review, Harlott isn’t afraid to show love to their influences. Some might say Harlott isn’t afraid of reaching into that box of thrash classics and taking what they like, as well. At any given time, the riffs transition from Exodus to Slayer to Testament, and the vocals mimic Araya, Petrozza, and Dukes/Souza. The guitars can be acoustic at times but prefer to be heavy. The drums blast and fill with no regard for concrete floors, and the bass rattles hardware off the garage door. Harlott may not have a whole lot in the way of originality, but that doesn’t make their fourth album, Detritus of the Final Age, any less solid and nothing short of nostalgic.” Ramming speed.

Mr Bungle – The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny Demo Review

Mr Bungle – The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny Demo Review

“In a year of surprises, mostly of the nasty variety, a new album from Californian experimental legends Mr Bungle seemed an unlikely scenario. Yet here we are, but not as many would have expected. As has been well publicized, rather than pen an album of fresh tunes, the band has continued their streak for delivering the unexpected, revisiting their earliest teenage musical roots, and 1986 cult demo, The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny.” Bunny or die.

Invincible Force – Decomposed Sacramentum Review

Invincible Force – Decomposed Sacramentum Review

“What happens when an invincible force meets a purely lethal object? I’m not sure, but sit down, and I’ll tell you what happens when an Invincible Force meets a big, cuddly, soft-hearted metal reviewer who wouldn’t hurt a fly. Chile’s Invincible Force formed in 2007, and it should come as no surprise that, as a band that took their name from a Destruction track, they initially modeled their sound after the slightly blackened teutonic thrash sound of their heroes. After releasing a host of demos and splits, 2015’s debut full-length saw the band’s sound taking on a more violent approach that verged on death/thrash. Five years later, the promo materials for sophomore effort Decomposed Sacramentum reveal that the band is “leaving behind their early, more scholarly aspirations in favor of something far more sinister.” Force multiplier.

Benediction – Scriptures Review

Benediction – Scriptures Review

“When I first heard Benediction, it was on the indispensable Death…Is Just the Beginning II with “Dark is the Season.” I still get that opening riff stuck in my head from time to time. Many moons ago when I first discovered Anaal Nathrakh, I learned that vocalist Dave Hunt had performed on Benediction’s 2008 release Killing Music, I was rather ambivalent upon hearing it. Sometime around then I heard Bolt Thrower’s underrated Honour Valour Pride, which featured Benediction’s best-known vocalist Dave Ingram, and I loved his performance. Ingram’s stellar performance on the title track of Megascavenger’s At the Plateaus of Leng was a big factor in me picking it up. Scriptures, Benediction’s first release since Killing Music, sees Ingram return to the fold and my expectations measured.” Death… is beginning again.

Lik – Misanthropic Breed Review

Lik – Misanthropic Breed Review

“Critic-bait comes in two forms: pretension and novelty. Critics are often a special mixture of jaded and self-important, so something that appeals to an inflated sense of one’s own intelligence or to that jaded sensibility which dismisses the familiar reflexively, respectively, is what sets the critical heart aflutter. Lik is not critic-bait, but they’ve got this particular critic hook, line, and sinker.” Dismember tomorrow.

Mindwars – The Fourth Turning Review

Mindwars – The Fourth Turning Review

“There hasn’t been much thrash that really grabbed me over the last few years. Coming of age as I did in the 80s and having the opportunity to watch the genre born and reach its golden era made me fairly jaded. I appreciate the retro rethrash movement and enjoy a lot of it, but it’s rare a new thrash platter really blows my doors off. Being as Holy Terror was one of my favorite thrash acts, I hoped Mindwars, the band founded by Holy Terror guitarist Mike Alvord could spark the flame of speed in my rusted metal heart.” Turning the shrew.

Ragehammer – Into Certain Death Review

Ragehammer – Into Certain Death Review

“After the absolute walloping Ragehammer dished out on The Hammer Doctrine, I wanted more Ragehammer but was perfectly content spinning that wonderful little record again and again. Since I avoid social media like the plague vodka-based drinks, I generally don’t know who’s releasing what until I dig through the ol’ promo sump. Seeing Ragehammer was a pleasant surprise, as The Hammer Doctrine still gets regular spins ‘round these parts.” Hammer.