Volbeat

Unleash the Archers – Abyss Review

Unleash the Archers – Abyss Review

“Though Unleash the Archers remains the goofy power metal band they’ve always been, Apex was a serious release. Lyrics, story, songwriting—Apex captured the band at their absolute best. Abyss: ‘A deep and seemingly bottomless pit.’ So, a pit, no matter its depth, so scary and hopeless that you wouldn’t follow a hit baseball down it. To follow-up an album called Apex with one called Abyss may be the most condemning thing yet. Is it clever or is the shortest distance between the summit and a hole in the ground straight down?” Highs and lows.

Blackballed – Elephant in the Room Review

Blackballed – Elephant in the Room Review

“Standing on my shelf next to other “non-metal” records, like Captain Beyond, Pink Floyd, Johnny Cash, Tom Waits, Waylon Jennings, Blue Öyster Cult, and Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, you’ll find albums from B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Joe Bonamassa, Robert Johnson, and John Lee Hooker. Am I trying to say I’m an expert in the field? Heavens, no. But this would explain my odd selection of (typically) straight-forward, go-nowhere blues/hard rock promos for review. And here’s yet another.” Blues balls.

Borknagar – True North Review

Borknagar – True North Review

“Calling me a fanboy of Borknagar is an understatement. Because of this, the review of this year’s True North has been one of the toughest yet for ole Grier. That’s why it’s always difficult to trust the opinion of fanboys, starfuckers, or anyone getting financial ‘encouragement’ from a band or label. Wait a second, Grier, did you back yourself into a corner and admit that no one should trust this review? Hell no, plebs. I’m no n00b.” Trve North, trve journalisming.

Void King – Barren Dominion Review

Void King – Barren Dominion Review

Void King is a four-piece stoner doom metal band from Indianapolis and Barren Dominion is their sophomore effort. Paying homage to doom greats like Sleep, Electric Wizard, and Goatsnake, while channeling amp- and pedal-abusing monoliths, these fucking stoners are set to drown listeners in THC-saturated waves of distortion. Do they succeed? Or will they end up only being the bulls-“high” of endless stoner doom puns?” Fuzz bombs.

Thorium – Blasphemy Awakes Review

Thorium – Blasphemy Awakes Review

“What a swell dude Rogga Johansson is. Even though he is getting ever closer to having a band for every letter of the alphabet, he still finds time to assist his buddies with their songwriting troubles. One such buddy is Michael “MHA” Andersen, managing director of Danish label Mighty Music and frontman for death metal band Thorium.” A Rogga for every season.

Against the Grain – Cheated Death Review

Against the Grain – Cheated Death Review

“There’re are few bands in the world that you can look at, or listen to, and say, ‘yeah, those dudes fucking know the road.’ And, while there aren’t many that would trump the almighty Motörhead, there’re those that share the punkish gonads, the old-school blues, and the electrifying energy of Lemmy & Co. Against the Grain know the road and dominate the Midwest.” The road is a grainy place.

Diablo Blvd – Zero Hour Review

Diablo Blvd – Zero Hour Review

“For years, I thought something was wrong with me when I got in the mood for some simple, catchy rock/groove. I mean, there is something wrong with me when I get the urge to listen to Volbeat over Mercyful Fate. But, sometimes, one needs a palette cleansing. And that’s exactly why I feel no guilt when listening to bands like Darkhaus, Ghoultown, A Life Divided, and Diablo Blvd. Week after week of listening to constant doom, black, heavy, thrash (and everything between) can make your brain mush. Not to mention, trying to find the words for the couple selected for review while meeting writing deadlines for a textbook, teaching classes, etc. So, detoxing is necessary.” Cleanse my wounded palette.

Cortez – The Depths Below Review

Cortez – The Depths Below Review

“It’s occurred to me that when I go stoner, more times than not, I tend to lean against bands just west of me. Bands like Kyuss, Sleep, High on Fire—all residing in sunny California. Funny enough, my favorite stoner outfit is all the way out in England. Hell, if you were to look at my stoner collection, you’d think Orange Goblin was an outlier and that stoner metal was an American thing. And my review of Temptation’s Wings newest record wouldn’t challenge that assumption. And now, the stoner bug has bit old Grier once again. I desire something to make my eyes puffy, my ears happy, and chill me the fuck out.” Lead or gold?

Kobra and the Lotus – Prevail I Review

Kobra and the Lotus – Prevail I Review

Kobra and the Lotus is a Canadian melodic power band that first came onto my radar in 2012 with their self-titled debut. Fronted by the actually-legally-named Kobra Paige, the band’s third LP, Prevail I, is on Napalm Records, after releasing the debut on Spinefarm, and 2014’s High Priestess on Titan Music. Prevail I is, apparently, the first of two albums which will be released in quick succession, and it’s being marketed as produced by the guy who produced Amaranthe‘s records, with a debut single squarely marketed at people who like Delain. Since the band’s debut was a solid power metal album, this strategy raises a question for me: three full-lengths (and three labels) into this whole experiment of being named Kobra, how’s the whole thing going?” That’s a very personal question.