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BLACK PUSSY/On Blonde (Stoner Sound Records) This is a sludgy grunge style of band and it was pretty cool. The riffs are heavy and groggy and catchy all at the same time. The singer has a cool voice and it fits the style of the band. Think of White Zombie meets grunge, but like Nirvana, but more like Alice in Chains. I love the guitar sound as it is heavy as a ton of bricks and also has that grungy garage like feel and the production on this is great as it sounds perfect. There is not many bands around at least to my knowledge doing this sort thing now and to me it sounded fresh and was quite good.

AS YET UNTITLED/Doggie White (Metal Mind Productions) Holy shit is this some serious great hard rock. This guy was the singer when Ritchie Blackmore reformed Rainbow and after hearing him sing I can see why. He has an incredible voice and he sings the songs with such passion and feeling it isn’t funny. The tunes on this are just great hard rock tunes with tons of riffs that will have you head nodding and your toes tapping. This is a cross between AC/DC meets AOR rock with some of the best vocals I have heard in a long time. Just an incredible release that any fan of classic hard rock or metal would easily get into big time. Info:

MR FAZ/Crazy Times (Self Titled) This is an all instrumental release and even though I am not into this sort of thing on a big level, but this isn’t bad though. The guitar player on this, Marco Fazzini, has some nice chops on this and this also has some bass grooves to it and the songs are pretty easy to get into. Does lack of vocals hurt this? Yeah to me it does to a degree. If he does get a good singer I could really see him doing some damage as he has the chops and the music part down pat. Check em out for yourself. Info;

FYRNASK/Blustar (Self Released) This to me was just like all the other fast pick riffing black metal bands I have heard over and over. Same screaming black metal vocals and same black metal style of music. I mean some of it is decent and all, but to me a lot of this all sounds the same and I couldn’t tell the different between this band and the 1000 other black metal bands I have reviewed over say the past 10 years. Same guitar sound and same production and pretty much the same everything. Some may think this is great, but to me this is yet another case of heard it all before and then some. Info:

BITCHES SIN/The Rapture (Self Released) This band has been around a long time and here is a new CD of the band along with a new singer. Wow I was blown away at how this was. I thought it was gonna be a decent a little above average metal release, but I would this way above that and put it in the great category. New singer David Mills sounds great on this bashing out the lyrics with passion and emotion and feeling. The music is a pure heavy metal dream and the “Sounds of Silence” cover tune is cool and the band make it their own as well. Great riffs on this and the songs just flow like a waterstream that never ends. This is pure heavy metal heaven and glad to see a band like this still delivering the goods and helping hold the heavy metal banner high up in the air. Info:

SICKTRUST/Same (Self Released) This band is from nearby Phila, PA and were formed from the ashes of several other bands they were in. This to me I didn’t like very much. The band play a boring mid paced style that mixes hardcore and metal and I just found it boring. The singer I didn’t like his tough guy rough hardcore style voice. The music was just full of too many mid paced parts and the riffs just didn’t have that killer hook that I was waiting for. The songs sounded flat and deflated in my book. The production was good and all, but the songs just lacked any power and anything catchy and this was something I didn’t get into on any level. Info:

IRON LAMB/The Original Sin (Pulverised Records) This is a cool band and it features members from a bunch of different bands including Dismember, Generay Surgery and Repugnant. The best way to describe this is punk rock meets Motorhead. They even do a Motorhead cover on this to boot. The singer has a down and dirty punky voice that fits the music perfectly. Raw production and I love the guitar sound and just the whole attitude of this. This was like a breath of fresh air in some ways at it is different from all the other stuff out there. Def check this band out I am sure you won't be disappointed. Info:

FALLOCH/Where Distant Spirits Remain (Candlelight Records) I wasn't a fan of this as the band do a lot of the clean vocal stuff and atmospheric type of music that I am not into. The songs are long and they just bored me as there was no guitar hooks to lock me in and again clean vocals to me just don't belong in underground metal. Some may love this and good for them, but not my cup of tea.

WOLFPAKK/Same (AFM Records) This is the brain child of 2 guys and they have over 30 other musicians that guest on this as well. A pretty impressive list of names, way too many to mention, but a couple are Tim "Ripper Owens and Paul Di'anno. The music I felt was flat and kinda weak. The project/band play a mix of heavy metal and rock and I didn't like many of the riffs as they just didn't catch my ear and the keyboards that were used on this were just plain awful. To me I need a catchy or good riff to hold my attention and this had little of them. To me this was just a bad heavy metal release and with all these great players, I expected something way better than this. Info:

CYCO MIKO/The Mad Mad Muir Musical Tour (Suicidal Records) This is Mike from Suicidal Tendencies band that features some songs from them and some unreleased Infectious Grooves tracks as well. This I wasn't into musicwise as there was too much of a groove sound to the music. Not as bad as some of that nu metal, but just too much of that happy core sound that I hate. Mike sounds great on vocals and thank god none of that tough guy vocal crap makes it way onto this. I was really hoping I would like this, but I am sorry give me old Suicidal over this any day. Too much groove for Mr Forbes. Info:

BRAND NEW SIN/United Music (Gommba Music) This was some cool down and dirty rock n roll. Finally a band that writes and plays good riffs and no nu metal crap, no groove, no let's sound like a million other bands, etc. This is nasty down in the dirt rock roll and I loved it. The singer has a nice strong voice and he sings the songs with passion and feeling and he fits the band really well. Great production and guitar sound and I was easily nodding along to each and every song on this. Finally some rock n roll that doesn't follow trends and kicks ass plain and simple. Info:

NILE/Worship The Animal-1994 The Lost Recordings (Goomba Music) This is some old Nile stuff that I assume was recorded before they put their 1st album out a few moons ago. I am a fan of this band, but I didn’t go bonkers over hearing this stuff as it is mostly mid paced stuff and not much in the way of brutal speed and the band would go on to become after album # 1 was released. The songs on here aren’t very good and there is no killer riffs to them or any speed or anything of good really. The songs plod along and I would guess there was a reason this wasn’t released way back when cause the band knew this material wasn’t strong and I would pass on this if you’re a Nile fan. Info:

SALIGIA/Sic Transit Gloria Mundi (Barghest Records) This is def not your typical fast pick riffing black metal band. The music does get fast, but is not that heard it a million times before fast picking riffing, screamed back metal vocals. The vocals are sung sort of like black metal as they are passionate and screamed in spots, but def not typical. The music is a mix of slower parts that capture you and suck you in and are quite long, but never boring. There are also some faster parts and this pretty much never got boring. This was different and still retains the black metal sound. Info:

CRAFT/Void (Southern Lord) Crushing black metal that hit home fast and hard. To me black metal is about feeling and emotion and hate of course. This had it all. Riffs that got me going, vocals from the pits of hell and a vicious and ferocious music behind some of the hellish vocals. Great production on this and I just feel the hate ooze out as this played on. To me this was not some generic black metal band trying to be all evil and signing about satan and pretending to be evil. This just sucked me and kept me there with riffs that are catchy and fast too. Very solid release. Info:

THE HOUSE OF CAPRICORN/In The Devil’s Days (Self Released) The band call themselves devil rock and call them crap. This was 10 tracks of some god awful music. To me it sounded like Danzig and I hate his music. No catchy and solid riffs and some awful singing made me put my fingers to my ears rather quick. The songs had nothing to hook me and just plodded along and this to me was just plain bad. There was no substance to the songs and just none of the riffs or song parts moved me at all. I kept waiting and I felt nothing. Info:

MR DEATH/Descending Through Ashes (Agonia Records) Awful death metal with a putrid singer and some not so good music. The singer just plods and growls through the lyrics with no passion or feeling. The music is went on and on with no killer riffs or song structures at all. The singer has that groaning old man style of vocals that were beyond bad. Music just didn’t to a thing for me and this was pretty much boring from start to finish and trust me I didn’t finish. I ended the torture soon.

THIN LIZZY/Live in London Hammersmith Apollo (Four Worlds Media) This was recorded last year and I am a big Thin Lizzy fan and had hoped this would be good and Live and Dangerous is one of the greatest live albums ever. OK first off Phil was an incredible singer and musician and while this isn’t as good as that classic line-up, this kicks some major ass. Whoever is singing does a hell of a job and 18 classic tracks from the Lizzy boys are present here. The live sound is great and how the hell can you go wrong with The Cowboy Song, Jailbreak, Still in Love With You, Rosalie, etc. An instant live classic rock release that is not to be missed. Still in Love With You sent shivers down my spine. This is an incredible CD and a must buy for any fan of classic rock n roll. Info:

SVARTTJERN/Towards The Ultimate (Agonia Records) More heard it all many times before black/death metal with the same death metal vocals and fast pick riffing that has been done to death and then some. The guys just screams and growls into the mic and doesn’t do a thing for me. The music actually isn’t too bad, but again I have heard it over so many times before I was just bored with this. I didn’t find anything very interesting or exciting about this band whatsoever. Info:

CROSSPLANE/High Speed Operation (Self Released) Some really killer Motorhead inspired metal here. Heck the singer even has that Lemmy like sound on the vocals too. This is just straight ahead metal with no groove or nu metal crap thrown in. The songs have killer riffs and great vocals and I was diggin this from note # 1 till the last note faded away. I love the guitar sound this band gets, it is like down and dirty rock n roll with metal mixed in. The production just has that nitty gritty sound that I also love as well. 7 tunes on this and all pretty much kick ass. Nasty down n dirty metal the way I like it. Info: or

NIGHT BIRDS/The Other Side Of Darkness (Grave Mistake Records) Oh my fuckin god I thought I was back at City Gardens In Trenton, NJ in 1987 when this popped on. This is fuckin incredible hardcore/punk that I was bowing down to. Just rip roaring hardcore like riffing and singing as well. Not this tough guy fake hardcore shit, this was the real deal, as you can understand what he is saying, but he sings it in a aggressive way. If you were around back then, you'll know what I mean. Production is nice en dark and dirty which is perfect for this style of music. Think D.O.A., D.I., Circle Jerks and bands of that style. Just hardcore the way it used to be and the way it should be. Pretty much a perfect band. Info:

REGARDLESS OF ME/Pleasures And Fear (Unexploded Records) Complete and utter nu metal garbage. Wow tough guy vocals and clean female vocals and some god awful music that sounded like 5000 other bands doing this style. Nothing new here at all and no wonder there is so few good undergrounds bands left esp when you got this garbage making the rounds. Info:

PAGAN RITES/Preachers From Hell (Unexploded Records) Wow these guys have been around a damn long time and they are still kicking ass. This is crushing real black metal that had me on my knees bowing. Real black metal vocals that spew hate and lust and I can just feel the hate and pain and emotion as the lyrics spew from his lips. Oh the guitar sound on this is crippling and fuckin raw to the bone. The speed is still there and the band have catchy riffs too and not just a bunch of mombo jumbo stuff flying all over the place. Easily still one of the best black metal bands making the rounds and after all these years too. Horns up for this band and release. Info:

GUT BUCKET/Shattering Your Faith (Reject Records) Low tunes death metal meets crust punk is how I would describe this. The music is some wicked low tunes death metal that I enjoyed along with bits of pieces of some punk and even crust injected into the mix. Vocals are more in the punk style and that was fine by me. Production is raw and with a band like this that can only be better not worse. The 4 tunes I heard were good and I’d like to hear more. Info:

VANGOUGH/Kingdom Of Ruin (Nightmare Records) I totally hated this. From the boring attempt at prog music to the clean female vocals and the clean male vocals that once in a blue moon go to almost death metal vocals. The music is boring as hell and the vocals only make it worse. Nothing catchy at all on this and it was just plain awful. Nuff said.

LOST ROCKS/The Hangmen (Acetate Records) I have never heard this group, but this CD is like a best of the group with 3 unreleased demo tracks from the mid 80’s. Well after listening to this they gained a new fan. This is raw, down n dirty stripped down rock n roll with a punk flavor on top of it that had some catchy as fuck riffs and a great singer who fits the music perfectly. All the tunes on this kick major ass and I would say this is like a combo of the Circle Jerks meets old AC/DC in a back alley. The 18 tunes here will have you smiling for over an hour. Great stuff. Info:

STEMM/Crossroads (MVD Entertainment) This is just another one of these modern rock bands that inject a little metal in their sound with some of the tough guy vocals and more normal sounding vocals. Bands like this are a dime a dozen and to me this just like Nickleback and bands of that nature. This didn’t appeal to me at all as to me they just sound the same as all these other bands doing this style and nothing stood out or was different in my eyes. Info:

MICHAEL SCHENKER/Temple Of Rock (Inakustik) I am a huge fan of UFO and esp of the stuff with Schenker so I was looking forward to popping this baby in. The music is pretty much what I expected with some just some solid hard rock with a singer with a nice set of pipes. Michael shreds on this with that exploding guitar sound he has and the tunes had my neck moving by the 2nd song. 13 tunes of this disc and all are just solid hard rock tunes and none of that modern rock shit, this is solid CLASSIC rock the way rock should be. There is also track # 14 which is a 3 generations guitar battle that you will have to hear for yourself. Michael Voss is the singer on this and his vocals are great and fit the music quite well. I was not let down in any way with this and any fan of rock or UFO will love this. Info:

ENID/Munsalvaesche (Aural Music) This you will have to be very open minded to like. I was not into a whole lot, but it was different and cool in some spots and ways. The music is very emotion minded as it has elements of classical and black metal and medieval type of stuff. I guess since I am getting a bit older I can kinda deal with this cause if I was reviewing this when I was 20 I would have buried it. This is something you will get into when you really just need to focus on music or you want something soothing to relax. You be the judge. I thought this was OK. Info:

ORDO OBSIDIUM/Orbis Tertius (Eisenwald) To me this is just another faceless black metal band with the same black metal vocals and the fast picking riffing that a million other bands have used before them. The singer screams and yells like every other black metal singer and I just found little value in this as I have heard it over and over and then some.

ENORMICON/Storm Of Swords (Self Released) This didn’t do much for me and it sounded like some 70’s rock band trying to mix a bit of the modern metal style. The singer isn’t bad, but the songs just didn’t jive with me. I could see this band selling some serious records as they play a style I think people would be into, but I just sound the tunes on this plodding along and no catchy riffs did me in.

SALIGIA/Sic Transit Gloria Mundi (Bafghest) This was some awful black metal with a bad singer and more awful music. There was not one riff I found interesting and the singer just growls out the lyrics with no feeling or emotion at least to my ears. All this band did was bore me to tears. A very bad band.

THRALL/Vermin To the Earth (Moribund Records) Bone crushing black metal that melted me. Real black metal vocals that were pure evil and haunting and I love this guy’s voice. Music is just a whirlwind of hate and passion and the fast parts melted me. Production on this is right on the money and this just has some much feeling and emotion it isn’t funny. This is a perfect example of the way black metal should be played. Nasty, raw, and to the core. This will put you on your knees. Great band. Info:

THRONE OF KATARSIS/Ved Graven (Candlelight Records) Wow more crippling black metal that is played the right way. Vocals from the pits of hell that Satan would approve of and some wicked black metal that is played slow and fast and with tons of feeling and emotion and of course speed and power. Geez the riffs and sound this band get in so fuckin insane. This will totally knock you for a loop and then some. This isn’t some fly by night power black metal band neither. This, like the above band, play the real deal of black metal. Check these guys out as well. A must for any black metal fan. Info:

FUCK THE FACTS/Die Miserable (Relapse Records) This was some warped death metal. Vocals that I can’t even begin to describe they are so off the wall and the music isn’t far behind. I would say he sounds a bit like Martin from Pestilence. The music is a mix of death metal and a bit of grind and it totally off the way and it make take you a few spins to get into this as it is very different. The guitar sound is warped and almost has a Voivod feel at times along with good ole death metal. I liked this and it is very different that is for sure. Info:

BOBAFLEX/Hell In My Heart (BFX Records) This band play metal in with a groove nu metal style and 99% of the time I hate that style cause it all sounds the same, but this band brought something else to the table. They brought some killer riffs and not just a bunch of jump metal stuff with tough guy vocals. Oh the singer has a strong ass voice and just doesn’t sing in the tough guy style like all these other nu metal bands. The band also have a melodic side to them that actually works in their favor too. I liked the songs, got into them and I am a fan. If you like any of that nu metal stuff, just buy this and forget the rest. Info:

GADI CAPLAN/Opposite Views (Self Released) This is some mellow music I must say. It’s not bad for what it is as well. The music is soothing almost jazz like at time with some neat guitar parts. The production isn’t bad and this would be something I might pop in when I want to relax with a good book. The guitar riffs were cool on this and the music never bored me. Not bad. Info:

THE WOUNDED KINGS/In The Chapel Of The Black Hand (I Hate) Totally crushing doom that will have you on your hands and knees bowing at the altar of doom. Riffs that as fuckin heavy as hell and catchy too. Think the 1st couple Sabbath albums. The singer is a female and she has a great haunting voice and no clean shit neither. She fits the music perfectly as her vocals are evil and just plain haunting. Production will have you feel like your in an old house with just the candle burning bright. The songs are long and will take you on a journey you won’t so forget. Info:

MEMORY DRIVEN/Animus (I Hate) This was another doom metal band and I wasn’t too into this like the above band. The riffs and songs just kinda plodded along and the singer had a decent voice, but the songs just didn’t click with me. Again the music is in the early Sabbath vein, but without strong riffs and I didn’t think much of this. Info:

TORMENTED/Rotten Death (Listenable Records) Crushing death metal with a great death metal singer and riffs and speed to drive you fuckin batty. No clean vocal crap and no let’s sound like every other death metal band out there neither. This is just total old school death metal with some of most vicious and lethal riffs I have heard in a long time. They just sliced through me and then some. I love the singer his voice just destroys me and spews out the lyrics with a passion and fury. The production on this is perfect and the guitar sound totally melted me. Swedish death metal played the only way it should be, brutal, fast and heavy with riffs of death. Info:

MUTANT SUPREMACY/Infinite Suffering (Self Released) Ah a band that does metal the way is should be. Brutal riffs without the groove and played with power, speed and force and with feeling. No clean vocals and vocals that don't sound like they are being sung so low that it is just grunting. The tunes are speedy numbers that any fan of true death metal will appreciate. Think Morbid Angel meeting Asphyx with some Immolation thrown in for good measure. This band is by no means a clone of those bands I am just saying they play in that vein of death metal. The more I listened to this, the more I liked it. I love the singer's voice as he is an awesome death metal singer and the riffs on this are great as they are catchy and fast and this band I would not be surprised if a label is smart and snatches them up. Info:

THE HORDE/Thy Blackened Reign (Stormspell Records) This was a decent old school thrash metal band, but I didn’t think the vocals were up to par with the music. The music is crushing old school thrash that will have your neck moving, but the singer just has a voice I didn’t like much and it took away a bit from this band. The music is 80’s old school razor sharp thrash riffs as only this band can play. The singer reminds me of Chuck Billy in spots, but nowhere near as good. There was just something about the vocals I didn’t like. Some will find this a killer band. They are in some ways. Info:

MIDNIGHT/Satanic Royalty (Hells Headbangers) This is raw punk meets sleazy metal and it is fucking great. Riffs that ooze sleaze along with a down and dirty metal and rock n roll style to boot. The singer growls and screams out the lyrics with big time passion and sounded to me like G.G. Allen in his prime. I love his voice and he fits the music like a blonde in tight jeans. The production is nice and raw and this is like the garage band next door and they make your house shake. Really cool and different band here and the songs are catchy as hell too. Simply a great release. Info:

SPEEDWOLF/Ride With Death (Hells Headbangers) This is another band that mixes in punk and metal and it also works for them. While I feel the above band is better, this is still pretty damn good. The band mix in Motorhead meets Sex Pistols. The singer has a more of a punkish style of a voice and he just grunts and pounds out the lyrics. This band also injects a bit of thrash in the music as well. So think Motorhead with a punk type of singer. Again something fresh and not sounding like everybody else. Thank god for that. Info:

EMBALMED/Exalt The Imperial Beast (Hells Headbangers) The music on this was some solid raw death metal played the old school way, but the singing on this left a lot to be desired. All the guy did was just growl and scream into the mic and I didn’t feel it and it was just like “ug” to me. The music was just old school late 80’s death metal that was anything new or ground breaking, but nevertheless was still enjoyable. The singer to me drags this band down a few notches. Nothing special here. Info:

VLADIMIRS/The Late Hours (Hells Headbangers) Damn another punk/metal band and another good one from this label. Total old school punk too. This reminded me of bands like DOA and the Circle Jerks from the riffs and vocals. Production sounded to me like something out of the 80’s too. Riffs that are catchy and still have that raw punk sound from yesteryear. If your into punk era stuff from the 80’s, you’ll eat this stuff up. Info:

SANGUIS IMPERIUM/In Glory We March, Towards Our Doom (Hells Headbangers) Oh this I some crushing death metal that fried what little brain I had left. Low tunes downed guitars and blasting drums had my neck moving in mere seconds. The riffs are catchy too and you’ll be playing air guitar in no time. Vocals from the depths of hell itself and I love his voice and he spews out the hate and violence with tons of feeling and emotion. Put it this way if you love bands like Immolation and Incantation you’ll be doing backflips over this. Info:

EVIL UNITED/Same (MVD Audio) This band features Jason McMaster on vocals (Watchtower, Dangerous Toys) and this is some really well played thrash metal. The music is sort of Pantera to a point with the thick guitars and drum style, but by no means is this some Pantera clone. The production is great on this and I love the guitar sound as well. Jason’s vocals are out of this world and sound like no other. He screams and yells out the words with big time passion and fury too. This is a perfect mix of thrash and heavy metal and is easily one of the best new bands I have heard this year and blows away all those so called nu metal bands and groove metal crap. Info:

DEUS OTIOSUS/Muderer (FDA American Line) Oh my god does this rip, kill and totally destroy. One of the best death metal bands I have heard in years. Crushing guitars with a godly heavy sound and riffs that had my neck moving in seconds. Vocals are some of the best death metal vocals I have heard in a long time as well. Vocals that are brutal, low, sung with passion and emotion and feeling. The music I got the same vibe with as well. Production is perfect, raw, but still heavy and has that old school underground vibe. 8 tunes of some of the best death metal I have heard in the past 2 years easily. Buy this and forget about all the pretenders. Info:

FLESH ENGINE/Walking The Aether (Self Released) Some really strong thrash from this Phila, PA band. Lots of thick, thrashy riffs with no nu metal or groove to be found. This is more along the lines of late 80’s thrash and I am not complaining at all. This is like a cross between the 1st Machine Head album (which killed) and Sacred Reich. I say Sacred Reich because the singer sounds like Phil a lot to me. The music is just classic thrash with a really good production and this is riffs you can get into and stuff as well. 15 tunes on this puppy and over an hour of quality old school thrash with no groove thank god. Info:

ECHINDA/Dawn Of The Sociopath (Rastilho Records) Some very nice thrash metal played on this with a touch of death metal (more in the vocals than the music) thrown in the mix as well. Chopping thrashy riffs mixed in with wicked speed parts had me smiling. No tough guy vocals and any of that shitty groove metal crap neither. Production lets everything flow rather well and I was playing air guitar and air drums in no time. A very killer band that blows away most of the other bands trying to play thrash nowadays. Info:

MORTA SKULD/Through The Eyes Of Death: The Early Demos (Relapse Records) This is 2 different demos from this band that came out around 1990 and 1991. I remember the band putting out a release or something maybe it was on Grindcore Records or some small label that is now out of business. Well onto these 2 demos, which are some pretty crushing slabs of death metal. The songs are straight ahead death metal with just bone crushing riffs and pure death metal vocals. Sort of have that Entombed sound to them as a lot of bands in the 90’s were using that sound. For demos, the sound quality is quite good and the songs still hold up today. Hell I’d say this stuff is better than over 90% of the crap that is coming out now ha ha. Do yourself a favor and buy this and listen to some real death metal. Info:

WE ARE KILLING OURSELVES/The Road Of Awareness (Rastilho Records) Typical groove metal with the tough guy vocals that sound like every other band doing this style and it is nothing new or exciting. This style bores me to death and yeah there is a decent band here and there doing this, but this for sure is not one of them. Info:

THE ROTTED/Ad Nauseam (Candlelight Records) Another death metal that just bored me. The singer had a horrible voice and the music had no decent riffs and even had some of that groove crap that I can’t stand. This was almost like death metal with groove riffs and some god awful singing. The songs lacked any power and speed and just had me yawning. Nothing good on this at all. There was a song on her called “Put Me Out Of My Misery” and I put myself out of misery and when I shut this shit off. Info:

THE HOUSE OF CAPRICORN/In The Devil’s Days (Swamp Of One Tree Hill) Cmon this is some god awful punk rock meets modern rock n roll. Terrible riffs and a bad singer equal god awful songs. Nothing catchy about them and this had me yawning within seconds and by track 2 I was ready to hit the panic button. The bands bio calls this stoner rock and doom, well this for sure put me to sleep cause it sucks big time. Info:

THOUSAND YEAR WAR/Tyrants & Men (Abyss Records) Finally some hard hitting death metal played the right way. Bone crushing riffs that are catchy, heavy and fast. A singer that sounds like a death metal should sound like as he belts out the lyrics with passion and fury and deep growls and never sounds generic or forced. Production is good and this is just a good solid death metal release. The band also add some melody within the songs, but still retain that death metal edge and this just kills. Info:

DEMENTED DREAM STATES/Same (Self Released) I got 4 songs of groove style thrash with the tough guy vocals. This isn’t too bad and I like the raw production and the guitar sound is mean and dirty, but the songs are all mid paced and stuff and the band should add a few faster parts to their music. They are much better than a lot of the bands doing this style and even the singer isn’t bad as he has a little death metal anger in his voice and he doesn’t come across as some generic fool like a lot of other bands I have heard in the past 2 years. The band are off to a promising start and if they tweek a few things here and there they might turn into something special. Info:

DEPRIVATION/Amalgam (Self Released) To me all this was was a poor man’s Pantera. The band try to sound just like them from the music right down to the vocals. All I kept thinking to myself is this is like a worship Pantera band. The funny thing the music is actually not bad, but the big problem I have is if I want to hear Pantera, who I do like a lot, I will go pop them on. I don’t need Pantera Jr. Look AC/DC is my favorite band of all time, but I hate Dirty Looks because they sounded just like AC/DC. Why have a copycat when you can have the real thing. This is fast thrash with the Phil vocals right down to a T. Sorry I just can’t get into a band that just sound like 98% of another band. I know it is hard to be original and it is OK taking bits and pieces, but guys try and work on your own sound ok. Info:

RECRUCIDE/Blood Divine (Australia Records) This is more of that groove thrash/death metal with a mix of tough guy and some death metal screams as well. To me this just bored me as while the songs were quite heavy and fast, the tunes just didn’t excite me. Actually the music isn’t bad as the band rip into some killer riffs at times and the fast parts are pretty brutal and after listening to a few tunes and hearing them again I found out why I didn’t like this. The vocals. All the guy does is yell and growl and I just wasn’t feeling it. A guy yelling and growling into a mic doesn’t to it for me. And he uses a lot of that tough guy death metal style which has been done to death and then some. So this won me over musicwise I just didn’t like the vocals. The music actually crushes, but the singer needs to work more on less tough guy shit. The music is easily a plus 8 or 9, but the vocals just dragged this down for me. Info;

CRUXITER/Same (Self Released) There is only 2 tunes I have here to judge, but the 2 songs on this are fist banging metal tunes that left me wanting way more. This is more geared towards mid 80’s pure heavy metal and I for one couldn’t be happier. The singer has a great powerful voice and he sings in a clean, but aggressive style sort of style. This band reminded me of bands like Helstar and the like. Great crunchy metal riffs that will have you head moving, I know mine was. Glad to see metal bands have not forgot what it is to play REAL heavy metal not all that nu metal shit. Great 2 songs here guys, keep it up. Info:

ILENKUS/Ruled By Thieves (Self Released) I thought this was gonna be another one of those nu metal bands, but after about 2 minutes I was wrong. This band does have a bit of the nu metal style, but they don’t overdue it and actually threw me for a loop in left field with some of the riffs and song structures, which I thought fuckin ruled. The band rely on crunching riffs that have a tad of the nu metal style, but also have wicked riffs that are big time original and are heavy and weird in a way. The singer mixes in death metal vocals with some weird screams and all I know is that this was quite damn good and easily held my attention and the monster riffs were the best part of this. Finally a band that plays with the newer metal style and is actually original and just doesn’t what has been done death and then some. What a noble idea. Info:

RAINS/Stories (Sounds & Sights) This is a rock band and they are a pretty good one. Strong songs and riffs and a singer with a good voice for the style of music the band is playing. The tunes are well crafted rock tunes with a singer singing the songs with some passion and this didn’t come across like some generic rock band trying to sound like all the other bands out there. In my eyes there is a handful of bands doing this style that are any good and this is another one you can out in the pile as most of the bands doing this sort of thing I am not into due to them all sounding like everybody else. Info:

ADAKAIN/Silhouette Of Lies (Self Released) This is an alternative band with a female singer. Now for me that usually means I am gonna hate it, but I keep an open mind and this EP was actually not that bad. The band reminded me of the sadly missed Sapphic Ode at times. The female singer has a solid voice and thank god no clean singing crap and she belts out the lyrics with some passion and fury which won me over. The music is also not too over the top, but is also catchy and doesn’t sound like a million other bands so in closing this was a solid release and one of the better alternative bands I have heard. Info:

THE THINGS THEY CARRIED/There’s Something I Can’t Tell Anyone (Self Released) Oh my god the same ole heard it a million times nu metal shit that pollutes the underground to its core. Wow this is so great. Clean female vocals and tough guy nu metal death metal growls done at the same time along with some of the worst nu metal music that I have heard. This band is 100% what is wrong with the underground and why there is so few good bands nowadays. They sound like 50 million others. Nothing new, original or good about this band. Guys and gals why not try and create your own sound and not sound like the 50 million others before you. Info

SINGLE BULLET THEORY/IV (Goomba Music) More happy thrash with the tough guy vocals. God when will this ever end. Bands like this are a time a dozen and oh even better the band use clean and tough guy vocals over each other. Wow now that is original. Another case of heard it a million times and then some. In other words, this sucks my big donkey dick.

BASTARD PRIEST/Ghouls Of The Endless Night (Pulverised Records) This wasn’t bad as the mix in a raw punkish sound with death metal. Don’t ask me how, but it works. The music is wicked fast and I love the raw sound the band uses on this with the chainsaw pouding drums and guitars too. This sounds like something that might have come out in 1985, but it is 2011. Vocals are sick growls of death metal and sounded good to me ears. Finally a band trying to be a bit different not trying to sound like all the rest. Info:

CYNIC/Carbon Based Anatomy (Seasons of Mist) Some of you might remember this band from way back when they released an album called “Focus” that was very different and wasn’t your typical death metal release. The guys in the band were almost hailed as a super group of sorts if my brain remembers correctly. Now after listening to this, I was not impressed. I went and popped in “Focus” and I am sorry this is not the Cynic I remember. I am not saying they should be a carbon copy of the band from yesteryear, but if your going to carry on the name, then you should at least try to sound a bit like the band Cynic. This basically sucked. Female vocals, slow spoken word parts, no power in the music, the songs dragged, the songs bored me, no power in any of them. Total junk and don’t waste a penny on this shit trying to pass itself off as Cynic. Not even close and of course not all original members in the band. I wouldn’t even call this metal. Easily one of the worst releases of the year.

SERPENT WOLVES/Raised By Wolves (Listenable Records) The songs on this 4 track EP for me take too long to develop. The songs are long, but they drag out too much. The band would be better off without these long boring almost like intros to the songs and just start off with the tunes hitting their stride. As I was listening I kept waiting for the drums and guitars and vocals to kick in, but all I got was a few notes here and a few notes there for several minutes and that to me was a big turn off. On one song I can live with, but heck it was that way with song 2 and song 3 as the last song as well. Geez what a joke that is. I gave up on this and actually this is one of the worst releases I have heard as the songs are way too long and just drag on and I gave up on this long before this was done. Beyond awful. Info:

THE EMPIRE SHALL FALL/Volume One: Solar Plexus (Angel Side Side) Just what the world needs another happy thrash/hardcore band with the tough guy shouted vocals and all those neat breakdown riffs to create mega huge mosh pits. This is a fuckin joke this band is. This band sounds like the 1000’s before them and sounds no different from the breakdown riffs to the shouted tough guy vocals. Bands like this are a time a dozen and this really sucked.

Diabolos Dust/Ruins Of Mankind (Massacre Records) Thank god this wasn’t more of that modern thrash, which I call happy thrash. This is good ole thrash the way I remember it and the way it should be played. The riffs are fairly catchy and wow a singer that doesn’t sing with a tough guy style. The band rely on just catchy, but heavy riffs to make their mark. The singer sounds like Chuck Billy in spots, not that, that is a bad thing. I would say this is like a mix of Testament and the new Anthrax release and it is solid thrash metal with lots of riffs to bang away at. Info:

WIDOW/Life’s Blood (Pure Steel Records) Wicked cool power metal that had me banging my heads in mere seconds. Oh what tasteful riffs that are catchy as hell and heavy to boot. None of this nu metal crap, this is down and dirty 80’s style power metal with a singer with a set of pipes too. He cranks out the lyrics with plenty of passion and fury and reminds me of Joey from Anthrax at times. Production is good on this as everything is clear and I love the guitar sound the band uses on this. If your into power metal this is pretty much a must have. Info:

HARPOON/Deception Among Birds (Seventh Rule Recordings) This to me was just a bunch of noise with a guy screaming and yelling into the mic. The songs had no sense of anything as it was just wishy washy stuff that had a lot of boring parts. I couldn’t get into any of the songs as they just were kinda there and with a singer that to me just screams and yells, I would say this is pretty bad. Info:

NUNFUCKRITUAL/In Bondage To the Serpent (Debemur Morti Productions) This sounds like something that crawled out of a sewer with blood, shit, and everything else under the sun on it. Total sludge like doom that just completely destroyed me. This is unlike anything you thought you have heard before. Riffs that will have you head spinning, vocals from the firey pits of hell itself. The raw production and guitar sound is unholy and is like nothing I have heard in quite some time. This is not some typical doom metal band, oh no, it is much more than that. This is the music your mother warned you about as a kid and then some. This is not something for the weak and lays to waste most. Info:

SATAN’S HOST/Celebration For The Love Of Satan 25th Anniversary (Moribund Records) With the band’s original singer returning to the fold the band went and recorded 2 new tunes as well as a bunch of old tunes that they rerecorded for this release. This opens with a new tune, “For The Love of Satan and wow what a tune it is. Soaring vocals and a killer riff and speed to boot. I was playing air guitar and my head was getting a workout at the same time. Production on this is right on the money with everything sounding great and I had not really heard this band before, but was aware of the name from many moons ago. The singer belts out these tunes with a passion and fury not matched by many as I could just feel it as the lyrics were being sung. This is almost a mix of power and speed metal a times and it sounded great to these ole ears. Easily one of the best releases of 2011. Info:

STREAMS OF BLOOD/The Descent Of The Sourge Of Disorder (Ketzer Records) Some decent black metal that didn’t just have a bunch of pick riffing and some guy screaming about satan. The tunes on this aren’t just all speed and have some melody to them and also they are quite catchy too. The singer has like that old man dying style mixed in with black metal signing and it sounded cool to these ears. The band also have a pretty wicked guitar sound that sounded great to these ears. A solid release of better than average black metal and a band that is trying to do something a bit different. Info:

ENCOFFINATION/O’Hell, Shine In Thy Whited Sepulchres (Selfmadegod Records) I absolutely loved this bands last release and was hoping this would be as equally good as that debut. Well no worries as this was some of the most vile, slow, doomy, crushing music this side of the Atlantic. Riffs that will crush your brain to pieces and vocals from hell itself. Production is nice and garage like and with a band like this you need it to be like that. This is not boring doom neither as the riffs are catchy, but trust me are as heavy as a 2 ton truck. This is like being in a funeral home and it is your funeral. Like the perfect horror movie soundtrack with Vincent Price and Bela Lugosi. This is doom/death metal at its finest. Info:

INFERNAL LEGIONS/The Spear Of Longinus (Moribund Records) Death metal in the vein of Immolation and Incantation. This was good and all, but didn’t blow me away completely as this is just another band that plays brutal death metal that I have heard many times over in this style. Oh if I was 18 years old this would have blown me to pieces. This is fast as fuck death metal played the right way and no female singers, no goth, no nu metal crap, just death metal the way it was meant to be and should be played. Vocals are solid and the guy growls his balls off. The music is vicious fast riffing and drumming and actually the more I listened to this, the more I was digging it. The music is total speed and just never lets up except for a few parts here and there and heck that was one of the reasons this is so good. If your looking for some solid fast played death metal and want something that is different from the 99% of shit out there, here ya go. Info:

ROUGH ANGEL/Hear The Angels Rock (Rock N Growl Records) This was an old school rock and metal band played in the vein of some of the 80’s heavy metal bands, but not that hair metal shit though. One band that comes to mind is Krank, who put an album on Metal Blade many moons ago. The singer has a high octane voice and he sings the shit out of these 4 tunes on here and he does have quite a set of pipes. The music is in the vein of bands like Savatage and The Rods, etc. I liked it as it is a nice change of pace from all the crap out there and I grew up in the 80’s where you had all the thrash metal, the hair metal and then the pure heavy metal bands all around and not many bands doing this style now and I enjoyed the 4 metal tunes on this. Look forward to hearing the bands next release. Info:

TOX-SICK/Wasteland (Self Released) 12 tracks of some well crafted metal tunes with a bit of thrash metal thrown in the mix. Heck the singer reminds me of the guy from Wargasm. The tunes are mid paced metal tunes with some heavy, catchy riffing. The production isn’t bad and I do love the guitar sound the band use, which is a 2 piece band. Some solid stuff on this disc and I look forward to hearing more from these 2 in the future. Info:

TERRORDOME/We’ll Show You Mosh Bitch (Defense Records) The band bill themselves as crossover thrash and damned if they aren’t far off the mark. The singer has a punkish type of voice sort of similar to Billy Milano in spots. The music is godly crossover short bursts of thrash and punk and I was smiling from ear to ear. Music is fast rip roaring in the vein of Violence meets Cryptic Slaughter with some older Slayer thrown in the mix. Production is perfect and the singer his voice fits the band perfectly as he growls/shouts over the music was awesome. I had never heard of this band before, but I am fuckin glad this got sent to me. 13 tracks of old school crossover thrash that needs to be heard and guys you way the old school metal flag with pride. Hopefully an interview will follow this review. Info: or or

CASTTROFATE III/IHuman (Self Released) Some really good thrash metal here. Real thrash metal not that nu metal groove shit that trys to pass itself off as thrash or modern thrash metal. Fuck that shit. The band remind of of Metallica “Master of Puppets” era in some spots. The singer has a nice solid voice and he belts out the lyrics with aggression, not no death metal or tough guy vocals. He sings with aggression and power, but none of that trendy crap. The music is mid paced and fast thrash metal built around riffs and more riffs and hell if the riffs weren’t catchy and the fast parts had me playing air drums. This is only a 2 man band and it is quite the 2 man band. Solid release. Info:

CASTRO FATE IV/Systematic Suicide (Self Released) This is the band’s newest release and it is chock full of more classic thrash that I enjoyed a lot. Monster riffs that will have that head moving and smash pounding drums that will have your hands playing air drums. This is thrash the way it should be with a Metallica or Testament vibe to it. Production is good and solid and the monster guitar sound and riffs will easily have you smiling. This, like the bands other release they sent me is thrash metal played the right way and is worth getting. Info:

FUNERUS/Reduced To Sludge (I Bex Moon Records) Ball crushing doom/death metal with low tuned guitars and real death metal vocals. None of this stupid low growls that go nowhere, this is the real deal and with John Mcentee and his wife in the band how can you go wrong. The band mix in some speed now and then to keep this from getting repetive as well. This is just solid death metal played the right way and the true way. Love the guitar sound and production too. Info:

PTAHIL/For His Majesty’s Glory (Wraith Productions) This didn’t do much for me. The band try and mix punk and black metal and it just came across to me as a bunch of mumbo jumbo music that went nowhere. The songs weren’t strong at all and the vocals didn’t do much for me neither. This was one of those bands that kinda just plodded along and just left me with an empty feeling. Info:

THE LAST VEGAS/The Other Side EP (Self Released) I got 3 songs on this from a release that will be a full length in 2012. At first I was not sure what to expect and the 3 tunes on this weren’t bad. It is sort of a mix of Skid Row meets AC/DC. I love the singer’s voice as he fits the music perfect. The riffs are catchy as hell and sucked me in big time. Just ass kickin rock n roll that has been missing in the rock scene for a long time. Looking forward to hearing the full length. Info:

UNHAILOED/Memoir Of A Dying World (Self Released) This is yet another typical band with all the break down jump metal riffs and typical low growl death metal vocals that I have heard from 1000’s of other bands that have been doing this same thing since the 90’s. I just found nothing new or nothing of value on this as it is something I have heard over and over and then over again. I am just burned out bands sounding exactly like other death metal bands. You could take Suffocation and Cannibal Corpse and throw in some nu metal band and this is what you would get. Not good at all and the bands need to work on at least trying to be a little original and not be a copycat band. Info: or

COALESCE/Give Them Rope (2 CD re-issue) (Relapse Records) Originally this came out in 1997 and to me just sounds like another nu metal or groove metal band with vocals that can’t be understood and just fall into that tough guy vein. This has a 2nd disc of something that the band recorded in 2004 and extensive liner notes. The music actually isn’t too bad as they mix in some hardcore and death metal at times, but the vocals just didn’t cut it with my ears. I will say this for all these groove metal bands, this is easily one of the better ones doing that sort of style and at least is tolerable. Getting a bonus disc is cool as you get 2 discs for the price of one. If your into a lot of the nu metal or groove stuff, forget all the crap and get something that is at least tolerable. Info:

THE OBJEX/Reservations For Debauchery (Self Released) This is one of those modern rock/punk bands and you know they are easily the best band I have heard doing this style in years. An awesome female singer with a set of shall I say it balls and singing with a fury and the band back her up with some catchy and heavy riffs. Songs are catchy and riffs that I totally got into big time. Songs aren’t long and not a dull track on this puppy. Awesome band and great singing to boot. Info:

MAUSOLEUM/Back From The Funeral (Razorback Records) Just punishing death and doom metal that will dull your senses. Riffs so heavy that are like a ton of lead being lifted and hey real death metal vocals sung with hate and fury. Production is awesome and the thick, heavy, low tuned guitar sound is mint. Tune after punishing tune of deep dark death metal with doom mixed in makes quite a treat for a fan of real underground metal. Buy it and see. Info: or

PHANTOM LIMB/Mors Ontologica (Self Released) This band plays progressive death metal at least that is what my ears heard when I was listening to the band. The material didn't go over my head and actually is was fresh and for once a band that branches out and is doing something a bit different and not trying to sound like every other band before them. The singer almost mixes a thrashy, death metal sort of vocal approach and I liked him as well as he doesn't sound like your typical singer. The production on this is solid and I like the guitar sound as it is also different and not like some generic death metal band. The songs were strong and catchy and like I said before the progressive parts didn't go over my head like some bands. Solid riffs are what catches my ear 1st and this had plenty of good ones. Info: or!phantomlimbmetal

KEY DRAGON/Mychical (Self Released) This band didn't impress me at all and I'll tell you why. RIffs, song structures and worst of the vocals. The singer on this is beyond awful from the clean female vocals used in parts to his growls and grunts his voice basically sucks and robs this band of being anything good at all. The songs suck and are flat and where is the catchy riffs? I heard none at all on this and the songs just drag on like a bad movie. This band claim to be goth and I didn't hear much goth, what I heard were some bad songs. Heck I worked and managed a band called Sapphic Ode who had a female singer and some goth in their sound and they were a million times better than this. Info:

OCEANS OF NIGHT/Domain (Ambient Records) I am not a huge fan of progressive music, however when it is done right such as Dream Theatre's Images and Words release, I can get into it.This is another such release. Some songs are breathtaking long such as the opening track which clocks in at almost 18 minutes, but took me on a journey that I didn't want to get off. The singer has a great soulful voice that is perfect for this kind of music. The music such sets such a mood and then sucks you in and this never gets boring as the music never went over my head. This is easily the best progressive band I have heard in years and it pretty much blew my mind. Info: or

GUT BUCKET/Shattering Your Faith (Self Released) Some really cool old school death metal with some grind parts thrown in the mix. 16 tracks of some low tunes death metal like Autopsy mixed in with grind sounds of such bands of Impetigo. I love the guitar sound and the low tunes bass sound as well. Vocals are screamed and growled perfectly and the production on this puppy works for me too. This band isn't doing nothing I haven't heard before, however, they are damn good at what they are doing and are not some copycat band neither. The tunes on this were very enjoyable to me and the bands music was a welcome enjoyment from all that dance metal crap I have been getting and all that generic death metal and nu metal crap too. Info:

MIDNITE HELLION/Self Titled (Self Released) Oh 4 great tracks of thrash and heavy metal that had me thinking I was at Lamour's in Brooklyn, NY. Also a cool cover of Iron Maiden's "Invaders" is on here as well. The band just play honest to goodness straight ahead heavy metal with some old school thrash metal thrown in. Sort of take bands like Armored Saint, Running Wild and throw them in with Anvil and Raven and throw some Wargasm in as well. The singer has a cool voice as he belts out the lyrics and the guitar crunch is there too as I was banging along with the 4 tunes on this. The 4 tunes on this are very good and I hope to a full length form these guys is in the future. Info:

SARIGON/In Contempt (Old Cemetery Records) Just plain ass kickin death metal the way it was meant to be played. Great riffs, total wicked speed and vocals from hell. I love the guitar sound this band uses and also they don't sound like every other death metal band out there and I also hear a bit of thrash in there here and there which was fine by me. My head was moving to this big time and this is one band that id easily carrying the death metal flag and it is nice and high my friends. Info: