Ihsahn – Das Seelenbreche – Music Stream

April 28, 2014

With last year’s release, there are now more Ihsahn solo records than there were Emperor records, so I think it’s safe to say the former Emperor frontman is committed to this new life of relentless experimentation.

Devin Townsend Project – The Retinal Circus – Music Stream

April 11, 2014

It was only a matter of time before mad scientist Devin Townsend filmed a rock opera. His solo material often soars into operatic territory, then divebombs, roaring vocal hellfire and shrieking metallic death from the skies. He and his merry band of pranksters are as comfortable with gospel choirs as blastbeats, life-affirming, glowing choruses, and deathy bellows of Satan’s worst toothache.

Legion Of The Damned – Ravenous Plague – Music Stream

April 7, 2014

Head-down, serious thrash from the Netherlands. “Summon All Hate” sounds like a long lost Kreator song title, and even if the meat-and-potatoes thrash of the song itself isn’t distinctive enough to draw sonic comparisons to the German masters, it’s reliably solid nonetheless.

Falling In Reverse – Fashionably Late – Music Stream

April 4, 2014

Ronnie Radke has many skills, but making smart musical choices is not among them. While able to layer his voice beautifully, and write catchy choruses most pop metal and pop punk bands would kill for, he writes some of the worst lyrics you’ll ever try to scrub from memory, and he believes in his statements so earnestly, it’s really embarrassing.

Def-Con-One – II – Music Stream

April 2, 2014

Pure opening-act mediocrity from the UK. Def-Con-One is a throwback to scores of second stage Ozzfest bands from the late ’90s-early ’00s, many of whom were charming in their ability to aggressively move a crowd without any particularly inspiring material.

Letlive – The Blackest Beautiful – Music Stream

March 31, 2014

Pop raps (remember 311? No?) and Linkin Park clean vocals offset with screaming and metal groove are a mix bound to sell. While the lyrics sound like high school notebook scribbles, the production and style of “Banshee (Ghost Fame)” is darn addictive.

Eldritch – Tasting The Tears – Music Stream

March 20, 2014

Intriguing, moody power metal from Italy. Incredibly (for this genre), the singer doesn’t overplay it, so the recitation of the song title doesn’t sound like whining nor like he’s trying to pierce the heavens like the second coming of Tim Owens.

Behemoth – The Satanist – Music Stream

January 31, 2014

Behemoth frontman Nergal (not Nermal, Garfield’s nemesis) has defeated leukemia and hosted a Polish version of The Voice talent show, all while creating brutal death metal in his spare time, so it’s kind of hard not to root for the guy.

Satan’s Wrath – Aeons of Satan’s Reign – Music Stream

January 29, 2014

These dudes from Greece may have the black metal Satanist thing down cold (“666” appears twice in their – truly evil – Facebook address), but the sound of Satan’s Wrath is actually much closer to traditional heavy metal than it is to the storms of the antichrist that Watain or others kick up.

Weekend Nachos – Still – Music Stream

January 28, 2014

These 90 seconds of hate go by fast, but “Satan Sucker” still manages to cram in an unsettling intro, a freight train midsection, and a lurching, menacing outro before you can come up for air.

Dream Theater – Music Stream

January 6, 2014

It’s great to report that “Along for the Ride” from their 2013 self-titled record (and second with new drummer Mike Mangini) is along the lines of their classic early work.

Powerwolf – Preachers of the Night – Music Stream

December 11, 2013

If this is running with Witchery’s cheeky takes on classic metal titles, adapting Kiss’ Creatures of the Night to Preachers of the Night, that’s funny. Or, if it’s serious and straightforward, it’s kinda dopey. But Powerwolf is multilayered powermetal, so neither’d surprise anyone.

In Solitude – Sister – Music Stream

December 6, 2013

Sister is an incredible step forward for these up-and-comers, and they already had their traditional, Mercyful Fate-inspired heavy metal down pretty cold on their last album. The first five seconds of the title track will tell you everything you need to know: This is an instant classic.

Paradise Lost – Tragic Illusion 25 – Music Stream

November 13, 2013

These doom legends have been on a Kreator-like career resurgence since 2009’s excellent Faith Divides Us, Death Unites Us, culminating with strong sales of last year’s similarly fine Tragic Idol. So I guess someone decided it was time to shake out an album’s worth of b-sides and rarities.

Nachtblut – Dogma – Music Stream

November 13, 2013

This German black metal crew forgoes the traditional wall of Satanic sound approach for something more mid-paced and symphonic. There are definitely hints of Cradle of Filth’s rock-ier moments on “Ich trinke Blut,” a cut from their 2012 album Dogma.

Tyr – Valkyrja – Music Stream

November 6, 2013

I was hoping that the Faroese folk metallers in Tyr were going to have some badass music to back up the badass cover art of their latest, Valkyrja. Luckily, they deliver.

Gwar – Battle Maximus – Music Stream

November 5, 2013

“Madness at the Core of Time” is a cut above their standard thrash-fodder, featuring an impassioned delivery from Oderus Urungus. Just think of the horrors your eyes will witness when they play this live (mid-set) in your town.

Armed For Apocalypse – The Road Will End – Music Stream

November 4, 2013

This young Northern California metal crew endorses circle pits and hair whips, and declares: All we want to do is rock.” Modest goals to be sure, and ones that seem in reach based on the chunky, meat-and-potatoes modern metal that these guys trade in.

Ayreon – The Theory of Everything – Music Stream

October 29, 2013

Ayreon is essentially a one-man band from the Netherlands, and their Wiki describes their sound as “rock opera, prog metal, prog rock, space rock, symphonic metal, folk metal, and power metal.” Uh, is that it?

In This Moment – Blood – Music Stream

October 23, 2013

In This Moment’s metal attack lives and dies by the energy of singer Maria Brink, so luckily she’s in an especially cathartic mood on “Blood,” from the album of the same name.

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