Slayer

Fatal Embrace – The Empires of Inhumanity Review

Fatal Embrace – The Empires of Inhumanity Review

Trends often start off with a good idea or at least a respectable inspiration. However, through imitation and copying, that original idea becomes a trend and the trend gets boring, overdone and ultimately becomes a joke. The retro 80’s power metal trend is in full bloom and many would say the 80’s retro thrash movement has been overdone for years already. As someone who grew up in the 80’s metal era, I may possess more tolerance for this whole “retro” thing since it does this old heart good to hear a quality metal album that truly captures the sound, energy and spirit of a time long gone. Therefore, my review of The Empires of Inhumanity, the new release by German thrashers Fatal Embrace will be more charitable than what it would have received from other angry metal guys. In all fairness, these Teutonic shredders have been around since 1993 so they could rightfully be considered part of the original thrash movement rather than a retro band. Either way though, over four albums Fatal Embrace have demonstrated an unwavering dedication to the 80’s thrash style of Slayer and Sodom while foregoing all modern styles and current trends completely.

Exodus – Exhibit B: The Human Condition Review

Exodus – Exhibit B: The Human Condition Review

Back in the olden days of the original 80’s thrash invasion, it seemed Exodus always got a raw deal and lost out on the respect and exposure as one the top dogs of the movement. While Metallica, Slayer, Medadeth and Anthrax hogged the lion’s share of the limelight, Exodus was always relegated to second tier status. That’s all water under the bridge nowadays and Exodus has been on a serious comeback tear since 2004’s Tempo of the Damned all the way through 2007’s The Atrocity Exhibition – Exhibit A. With this second lease on life, Exodus has essentially surpassed all the former top dogs by virtue of being the last band standing and still releasing quality, worthwhile metal music. Now comes the second part of the Atrocity Exhibition series, Exhibit B: the Human Condition and Exodus seems damned determined to hold onto their newfound position.

Lacrimas Profundere – The Grandiose Nowhere Review

Lacrimas Profundere – The Grandiose Nowhere Review

Alright all you self-loathing, gothic creepozoids and lovers of exquisite pain, step right up and get the perfect soundtrack for stalking your ex. Yes, it’s The Grandiose Nowhere by those Germanic gloom meisters Lacrimas Profundere. Album number nine shows these boys up to their usual dark tricks and giving you some hard charging, gloom infested rock n droll with plenty of misery for those who love the cold grip of melancholia. Lest you think that doesn’t sound like fun, I am thrilled to report this is a mighty rocking and rollicking goth-o-thon that makes you nod your head no matter how badly you want to sit and stare at the ground in misery.

Dark Tranquillity – We Are the Void Review

Dark Tranquillity – We Are the Void Review

Dark Tranquillity is a living legend. Don’t kid yourselves: they’re a band that has managed to maintain their credibility in a scene where many of the bands that have stayed around have lost that credibility (see: In Flames). They have consistently put out good records, even into their less progressive era, that excite their fanbase and and attract new fans with their catchy melodies, creative arrangements and the energy of their music. There are, however, two sides to Dark Tranquillity’s music. The first is a fast, heavy melodic style of thrashy death metal that has long been associated with them and the Gothenburg death metal scene. The second, and the part that has long appealed to us personally, is the blackness and dark emotional content that borders on gothic metal. We Are the Void embodies both of these sides and may be the darkest album the band has produced since the much-maligned Projector.

Marduk – Wormwood Review

Marduk is legendary in the black metal scene for releasing some of the most ground-breaking black metal of its time. Records like Panzer Division Marduk and especially Heaven Shall Burn… When We Are Gathered considered two of the finest black metal albums ever released; the former having been likened to Slayer’s magnum opus Reign in Blood in reference to how it changed black metal by upping the ante. However, like Slayer, few bands get a chance to redefine a genre more than once and Marduk is no different. While Wormwood is an excellent example of the fact that raw black metal can still be made and can still be compelling, Wormwood isn’t a scene defining record. It’s just a very good record.

Evile – Infected Nations Review

Evile – Infected Nations Review

Thrash revival has been a big deal of late. I mean, thrash is the biggest thing since.. well, thrash, in the metal scene right now. Bands from all over the world, particularly in the underground, are donning tight jeans, jean jackets, Kreator and Exodus patches and looking for the next big thrash prodigy. Earache is not the only label releasing thrash revival stuff, it’s coming from everywhere (Candlelight has been particularly prolific with the thrash revival). Evile is on that bandwagon, whether they like it or not, but they have a different take on it. That is: they sound a lot more like the mature Bay Area.

The Black Dahlia Murder – Deflorate Review

The Black Dahlia Murder – Deflorate Review

The Black Dahlia Murder is becoming a veteran band among this new wave of melodic American death metal/metalcore or whatever the hell you want to call it. To get this out of the way right away: I think that The Black Dahlia Murder has been treated unfairly by a metal community sad to see the disappearance of the old school metal guy anywhere except brutal death metal. Modern American metal has come to be dominated by short-haired, tattooed hardcore lookin’ kids who often have super diverse taste in music and have never donned a leather jacket or a goatee in their lives. These hardcore lookin’ dudes put on shows that have an energy that often times metal dudes lack in their own live performances, and they’re gaining notoriety with their blending of brutal death metal and stupid core breakdowns. The Black Dahlia Murder has been lumped in with these guys because of tattoos and plugs, but they are certainly not akin to these bands. No, The Black Dahlia Murder is easily one of the best melodic death metal bands the United States has ever produced and despite them sounding a lot like At The Gates plus blast beats, I think they do it very, very well and very consistently.