ANY BANDS/LABELS that want their releases reviewed can send me a promo kit at the following address. Anything sent will be reviewed and posted within 30 days.


PACT/The Dragon Lionage Of Satan (Moribund Records) Oh holy hell does this sucker kill. Riffs and vocals that satan would love. This hits hard and packs a fuckin wallop. Just punishing speedy black metal with some great black metal vocals. I could feel the hate as he screamed out the lyrics. Riffs that are big time catchy and the speed just owned me on this. Production is perfect and I love the guitar sound and just pretty much everything about this. This is black metal at its best pure and simple. Info:

AZAGHAL/Nemesis (Moribund Records) This band has been around for awhile and they return with another punishing black metal release. I love black metal when it is done right and this for sure is done right. Vocals with hate and feeling and music with plenty of speed behind it. This will punish you from note # 1 till the last one. I love the production and the guitar sound is killer. This is like the above band an awesome black metal release and if you’re a fan of black metal this for sure will make you happy. Info:

ABIGAIL WILLIAMS/Becoming (Candlelight Records) This is more black metal and it isn’t bad, but I didn’t think it was as good as the 2 above bands. The vocals aren’t as good as the other 2 bands and to me there is just too much screaming and just growls and there was too much pick riffing at times which made it sound like 5000 other black metal bands I have heard over the years. Don’t get me wrong this doesn’t suck nor is it totally bad, but it just sounds too much like other bands and didn’t blow me away like the 2 above bands, but it isn’t bad, just not mind blowing. Info:

BLUT AUS NORD/777 - The Desanctification (Debemur Morti Productions) This was pretty boring to me. Nothing to get excited about on this. The 1st song almost put me to sleep and it wasn’t even good doom metal. Boring, terrible riffs with some god awful vocals. There was nothing good about this release at all. Just a bunch of mumbo jumbo going on and nothing of value on this. Info:

GOLDEN DAWN/Return to Provenance (Non Serviam Records) This was some melodic black metal believe it or not and it works and won me over. I get sick of all the super-fast pick riffing bands at times and this was a nice change of pace. The vocals are rooted in the black metal style, but hey, you can actually understand what he is saying. The music is rooted in black metal especially in the guitar, but the band also mix in some melodic and slower mid paced parts and it is a cool and different. Riffs were catchy and heavy and there is a few fast parts in the mix too. This sounded fresh to these ears. Info:

GRIFFAR/Manastery (Non Serviam Records) Some decent black metal that again doesn’t have all that pick riffing and playing a million miles an hour all the time. The band mix up the mid paced and speed parts and they don’t sound like a million other bands neither. Vocals are good as the guy screams out the hate and sounds good doing it. Production is good and I like the guitar sound a lot. The band keeps things interesting and this didn’t bore me and this is a good release. Info

Lvcifyre/The Calling Depths (Pulverised Records) This to me is just another one of many, many death metal bands that don’t suck, but this does nothing new and pretty much bored me. Just typical straight forward death metal that I have heard over and over and over and time and time again that doesn’t not a thing for me. Same riffs, same vocals, same everything. Singer sounds like any other 90’s death metal band as does the music. Sorry but to me nothing of value on this at all. Info:

EVERGREY/A Decade And A Half (Steamhammer/SPV) This is some well played heavy metal with bits of prog and power metal mixed in. This is a 2 disc CD as well. Was surprised to learn the band already have 8 albums out as I have never heard of them before. The songs are catchy and heavy with a singer who has a pretty kick ass voice, strong and clean and he fits the music perfectly. The tunes are just powerful heavy metal numbers and don’t have any of that happy thrash and are just solid metal tunes that if you’re a fan of straight forward metal you’ll dig this big time. 2 discs of heavy metal played the right way. Info:

PRIMAL FEAR/Unbreakable (Frontiers) I have always liked this band and they didn’t disappoint with this new one neither. Awesome power metal with kick ass vocals. The riffs are catchy as hell and will have that head banging in no time. The singer has a great set of pipes and he belts out the lyrics with passion and feeling and if you’re into pure heavy metal or power metal this is a release not to miss. Production is right on the money too. Think Judas Priest “Painkiller” era. Info:

BLOOD MORTIZED/Bestial (Chaos Records) 4 tracks of brutal old school death metal that brought a big smile to my face. No jump or nu metal. No Cannibal Corpse clones. No singer screaming and yelling and making no sense. This is 100% death metal in the vein of Dismembered, Entombed and Incantation. Fuckin singer crushes with his death metal vocals and the low tuned guitars and playing absolutely blew me away. 4 tracks was not enough I need more. This band plays death metal the way it was meant to be pure and simple.

Sacrificial Slaughter-Enfuneration Split/American Death Thrash (Horror Pain Gore Death Productions) 5 tunes from each band and I’ll start with Sacrificial Slaughter. S.S. rip out 5 tracks of brutal death metal with some wicked riffs that will have your neck moving in no time. Love the guitar sound too. Enfuneration play death metal in the vein of Autopsy meets Immolation and pretty much kills. Guitar sound is killer and oh the fast parts had my playing air drums. Just 2 great death metal bands for the price of 1.

RIOT/Immortal Soul (Steamhammer/SPV) Oh my god this is one godly release. I have been a fan of this band since “Narita” and wow did this one blow me away. Riffs to die for and vocals from Tony Moore that totally blew me away. Oh he sounds so fuckin good it isn’t funny. He sings the songs with such feeling and passion. The music is power metal meets heavy metal and it that classic 80’s metal sound with some killer double bass drum parts and up tempo parts as well. My head was banging in seconds and this totally knocked me off my chair as this was playing. Riot is back and is back in a BIG way I assure you. Buy for fry. Info:

DEGRADUATION/Juggernaut (Self Released) Some nice old school thrash metal and thank god no moshcore or nu metal crap within this music. Just crunchy balls to the wall thrash the way it is supposed to be played. The singer has a strong voice reminds me of Chuck Billy, which by all means is not a bad thing. Riffs are catchy and the music is full of mid paced and speedy thrash parts that had me smiling. Production is not thick and solid and there is pretty much to complain about this as it is old school thrash played the right way. Info:

Horrendous/The Chills (Dark Descent Records) Just classic balls to the wall death metal here. Thank god more and more bands are going back to the roots of death metal and this is another band doing just that. None of this silly screaming and clean vocals. This is heart pounding slice your throat death metal played in a brutal, vicious style my friends. Vocals are sick growls of death and the music just cuts and slices through your body. If you’re into quality death metal then this is your band and trust me this won’t disappoint. Info:

VORE/Gravehammer (Self Released) This pretty much bored me as it is faceless death metal that has been done to death and then some. Just typical 90’s death metal with tired overplayed riffs and same ole death metal vocals that really didn’t have much feeling or power behind it to my ears. This is just worn out and overplayed stuff and I can’t recommend it. Info:

IRON SAVIOR/The Landing (AFM Records) God some of these new releases are great and here is another one. Great power metal with shouted and chanting vocals and I am usually not a big fan of that, but with this band it works and it works out great. I friggin love the power metal style on this and oh man oh man do they rip out some crushing riffs that had my neck doing as workout in seconds. The singer has a big thick voice and he fits the band like a tight glove. Great production and I love the guitar sound and this is one of the best power metal bands making the rounds these days. Info:

VIRGIN STEELE/Age Of Consent (Steamhammer/SPV) This is a re-release from this band that originally came out in 1988. This is a double disc with plenty of bonus stuff on here to boot. I gave this a couple listens and it kind of sounds outdated to me. Yeah I know it is from 1988, but the tunes just didn’t fly with me and the songs kind of bored me. The music is straight ahead heavy metal, but the tunes just didn’t reach out and grab me and it kind of reminded me of the Judas Priest “Turbo Lover” period and that in my book is not a good thing. That is just the vibe I got listening to this. Just didn’t click with me. Info:

IMMOLITH/Stormdragon (Metalhit) Typical black metal with the same pick riffing I have heard a million times and those screamed/shouted black metal vocals making this band sound like the 1000’s before them and they all sound the same and there is nothing new or fresh here at all. This band sounds like every other typical black metal band and there is nothing of value here at all. Info:

WITCHAVEN/Terrorstorm (Metalhit) This wasn’t so good neither. A band trying to mix thrash and black metal with some awful vocals. The songs were flat and had nothing behind them and when you mix that with pure awful vocals you have nothing but a bad band and I found nothing exciting or good on this at all. Info:

BRUTAL TRUTH/Walking Corpse EP (Relapse Records) 2 new tunes from this death/grind band and both new tracks sounded good to these ears. Raw death/grind with some awesome vocals by Kevin. This band easily creates the best of both worlds and these 2 songs are as good as anything the band has put out and they show on this there is now slowing this band down. Info:

ABYSMAL DAWN/From Ashes (Relapse) This is a re-issue of this with 3 bonus tracks. I remember the band name and this is a pretty solid slab of death metal. There is hints here and there of black metal, but for the most part this is 100% death metal straight on down the line. Vocals are strong and the band has a really thick guitar sound and they sound tight as balls on this. Production is solid as well and if you missed this the 1st time around here is a chance to pick it up again and you get 3 bonus tracks to boot. Info:

POISON IDEA/Darby Crashes Again: The Early Years (Southern Lord) Oh big time thanks to this label for re-issuing this stuff. The label is putting out some of the bands early stuff and if you don’t know Poison Idea was a great hardcore band way back in the 80’s and just hearing this stuff gave me goosebumps. The 1st release is 2 of the bands demos and a live radio recording and there are 29 tracks on this and some of this is from 1981 and 1982! The original tapes have been mastered and I tell you this shit still crushes and kills and blows away most of the wanna be bands from today. This shit is raw and grimey and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Pure shouted into the mic hardcore vocals over some fast, raw, hardcore music. Short songs and this band just totally blew me away and this stuff was all previously unreleased! If your into old DRI, COC, etc then you know this band and it easily a must have. Info:

CROSSING THE DELAWARE/Breathe (Self Released) This is yet another one of those modern nu metal bands that feel the need to sound like every other nu metal band and wow lo and behold they use the same shouted and clean death metal vocals that every other band uses. This band adds nothing new to an already way overcrowded underground music scene and the 4 tunes on this are easily forgettable and don’t sound any different from any other jump metal band. Complete garbage. Info:

CRYPTIC INFECTION/Haruspication (Self Released) 6 tracks of Cannibal Corpse/Suffocation style death metal. Actually for the style thy play, this is much better than a lot of the bands doing this style. The vocals aren’t super low and the band crank out some good riffs and it is not all a million miles and hour and the band slow it down to some good solid mid paced stuff and then blast off into hyper speed. The production is good and if your into the 2 bands I mentioned above well you’ll love this and it is much better than most of the bands trying to this style. Info: or

PETER TINARI/Embrace The Darkness (Architectonic Music) This is an all instrumental release with guest guitar player Derek Sherinian. The tunes here are very haunting and just set a mood sort of like watching a horror movie at times. It would be like being in an old house at 3am and all the lights are out and this is what is playing. None of the songs are boring and actually are quite good and just set a mood and it is very atmospheric and not in a goth way. Lack of vocals did not hurt this in any way. Songs are good riffs and just set a mood and was a very different release. Info:

OVLO/The difference Between Excuse & Reason (Self Released) TO me this is just another nu metal band with the same breakdown mosh riffs and tough guy vocals as all the rest. I found this quite boring and lo and behold they use clean vocals as well. What I don’t get or understand is why all these bands want to sound like the same bands that play jump metal. This is no different than say System of a Down or bands of that nature. This pretty much sounds all the same as the bands before them and the bands before them sucked. Info:

GROUND ZERO SYSTEM/Counter Culture (Self Released) Another groove metal band with all the nu metal jump riffs down pat. Bands like this to me are a dime a dozen and aren’t any good at all. To be fair, as I always am, this band is better than most of this other jump metal crap. Again another thing this band uses is the clean vocals, I want to hear clean vocals I’ll play my Journey Cds dammit. The singer actually isn’t as bad as some of these other bands and a few riffs here and there weren’t bad, but this was another case of heard it all before and the bands before them sucked.

GOATVOMIT/Advance-Oh 7 new crushing deadly death metal tracks from this band. Fuckin killer guitar sound and I love the bass sound as well. Vocals are growls from the pits of hell. In other words this is one hell of a release. Mix Autopsy and throw some Pestilence in the mix as well. Riffs that will burn through your body and chop and chop away at you. This is old school death metal and none of that groove crap or any of that garbage. This band hold up nice en high the death metal flag and did a hell of a job on this one. Info:
[email protected]

INQUISITOR/The Quantum Theory Of Id (Self Released) This was a weird CD to review. This band plays black metal with some goth and avant-garde thrown in the mix too. I am not a fan of goth too much so when I popped this in I had no idea what to expect. The band is more black metal than goth and I also will say I have never heard a band like this before. It is weird hearing fast black metal parts with piano and keyboards at the same time. It actually took a bit to get used to, but overall not a bad thing. The vocals are solid black metal style and the band mix up the tempos and the songs are big time long, but, not boring. The production is good and solid and this wasn’t something I would do back flips over only cause I am not a huge goth or avant-garde music fan, but this was cool and refreshing. Info: or or

HATE SQUAD/Katharsis (Massacre Records) This was jump/groove metal and actually wasn’t that bad due to a couple things. The singer doesn’t sing in the tough guy style he has more of a death metal growl and he is actually pretty good. The music has some death metal in it as well. Yeah there is annoying groove style that I hate as well. So this is a mix of 2 styles one I like and one I hate and they mix them together. This is sort of a hit and miss thing with me. On one hand some stuff the band is cool and on the other some stuff they do I am not a fan of. I will say if you’re into the groove thing, if that is your bag, this is a better bag than most. Info:

Hail Spirit/Noir Pneuma (Code 666) This was god awful. Just terrible, terrible attempts at playing black metal with no feeling, style, shitty riffs and god awful vocals. This bad have got to be kidding. They label themselves black progressive, how about shitty awful music that belongs buried in a back yard somewhere. This was easily one of the worst bands I have heard in 5 years so the band can take credit for that. This fuckin sucked my left ball. Info:

FREEDOM CALL/Land Of The Crimson Dawn (Steamhammer/SPV) I am a sucker for a good power metal band and this is an awesome power metal band. You want riffs; this band has riffs out the ass. Godly catchy riffs that will make your head move and neck snap. Great vocals as the singer has a smoking voice that is clear, high and perfect for this type of music. The production on this is top notch and I love the guitar sound and just everything about this. Just a great melodic power metal release that keeps and raises the metal flag nice and high. Info:

UFO/Seven Deadly (Steamhammer/SPV) I am have always been a fan of this band and to me ‘Strangers in the Night” is the best live album ever and they have constantly put out great rock records and this newest release is no exception. I have no idea how this band can deliver the goods time after time and this release is another one. Phil Mogg sounds great on vocals on this as he belts out the lyrics and this release has Vinny Moore whipping out killer riff after killer riff. This is just some great classic hard rock that still stands tall and how this band still delivers great release after another is simply amazing and leaves me with a loss for words. Info:

VENGEANCE/Crystal Eye (Steamhammer/SPV) Solid power metal with some power vocals. This reminded me of some of the power metal outfits of the 80’s like Deadly Blessing. Strong Halford vocals mixed in with some catchy riffs won me over easily as I am a sucker for a good riff and this had plenty of those. Great guitar sound and the production allow everything to shine and this is pretty much a great power metal record and if you’re into the traditional 80’s power metal stuff you’ll def want this. Info:

77/High Decibels (Listenable Records) Oh my god when I heard this I thought I was hearing some unreleased AC/DC with Bon Scott on vocals. Hell the band sound just like Angus and the boys right down to the singer who could pass for Bon Scott big time. The sound and production on this sounds like something off the Powerage album. Hell this band sounds more like AC/DC than Krokus that is for sure. If your into early AC/DC you’ll love this as it sounds just like Bon Scott and the boys. Info:

Temple/Structures in Chaos (Non Serviam Records) This was pretty good old school death metal played fast with a vicious style and wicked riffs. Vocals are none of that tough guy crap and pretty solid death metal growling and screaming. None of that annoying high pitched crap neither. The band also mixes in some black metal to the mix as well and it just comes across as a cool sound. Like the best of both worlds so to speak. Production is good and I like the guitar sound this bands uses, which is more in the black metal style. Cool band. Info:

Inferion/The Desolate (Self Released) Same heard it a million times black metal with the same fast pick riffing and fast drumming along with black metal vocals. This brought nothing new to the table at all and I have heard bands like this over and over until I have been blue in the face and then some. This pretty much bored me.
Corrosion of Conformity/Corrosion of Conformity (Candlelight Records) I had no idea what to expect when I gave this a listen as I loved the bands old stuff. I gave this a few spins and I hated it more with each listen. This also is the 3 piece original line-up from the Animosity days as well. The band rips into a few fast parts here and there and to tell you the truth I wasn’t expecting this to be fast at all. The tunes just roll into a heavy vibe and I probably would have respected the band more if they didn’t call it COC. This was a big disappointment to me as I expected much more from this band and it for sure didn’t deliver. Info:

GRAVEWURM/Netherfiend (Funeral Empire Records) This band has been around for over 20 years and they still deliver the goods. This band shows you how you can play black metal with sounding like every other fast picking black metal band with those same black metal riffs and vocals. This is just devastating black metal played with tons of feeling and emotion. The songs are built around simple, but effective great riffs that just oozed hate and power. I love the raw production the band use and the guitar sound just sets a mood. This is like a soundtrack to a great horror flick. Vocals are black metal style and are sung with emotion and feeling of hate and evil. After 20 years the band still is going strong and delivers the goods. Info: or

SADGIQACEA/GRASS Split (Anthropic Records) Sadgiqacea offer up 2 tracks of sludge metal with some doomy parts and vocals from a dying man. In other words it was some pretty cool stuff. Singer reminded me of Pete Steele a bit in spots and a tad bit of Type O Negative music wise as well, which isn't a bad thing. The doom and gloom sound wore on me and the 2 tracks I heard from this band were good. Grass offer up 2 sludge tracks that I thought were OK. I didn't like them as much as the 1st band as the 2 songs seemed to plod along a bit too much for my liking. They play a similar style to the 1st band, but I just thought the 1st bands vocals and songs were just plain better. Info:

DEATH CONSTRUCTION/Nundus Somniorum (Self Released) 6 tracks of some awesome death metal played in the old school style. Riffs a plenty on this as I was banging my head in no time. These aren't some cheesy riffs neither. Nice and thick and an awesome crunch to them too. Sort of like Autopsy meets Entombed, old Entombed of course. Great death metal growls of death too. Production is right where it needs to be and I can't get over how great the guitar sound on this is. The 6 tracks left me wanting more and more. The band also mix up the speed rather nice with mid paced and speed parts and the speed parts will blow you away. One of the best unsigned bands I have heard in quite some time. Info:
[email protected]

DEATH CONSTRUCTION/Nundus Somniorum (Self Released) 6 tracks of some awesome death metal played in the old school style. Riffs a plenty on this as I was banging my head in no time. These aren't some cheesy riffs neither. Nice and thick and an awesome crunch to them too. Sort of like Autopsy meets Entombed, old Entombed of course. Great death metal growls of death too. Production is right where it needs to be and I can't get over how great the guitar sound on this is. The 6 tracks left me wanting more and more. The band also mix up the speed rather nice with mid paced and speed parts and the speed parts will blow you away. One of the best unsigned bands I have heard in quite some time. Info:
[email protected]

KEVIN THOMAS/Second Life Electric Avatar (Self Released) The bio I got described this music as a progressive rock album and I would say that isn't far off the mark. This is blues rock to me with some nice chops on it. He really plays the tunes with a lot of soul and feeling and that just comes across in the music. His voice really doesn't sound like anybody he has had comparisons to Steve Perry of Journey and I don't hear that and I am a big fan of Journey. His voice just comes across as smooth and soulful and though this is a bit different than all the black and death metal I get, I liked it for what it was and the songs are solid rock numbers with some progressive stuff filling in the mix. Info:

BLUNT FORCE/Trauma (Shattered World Records) This was some awesome old school crossover that I enjoyed big time. Think Agnostic Front, DRI and bands of that nature. Blistering short bursts of hardcore and thrash that brought back many great memories of the 80's. This isn't some nu metal crap neither. Production also has that raw sound and is not overproduced. This is the way it should be done all you nu metal crap bands. Info:

WEDNESDAY 13/Calling Corpses (Self Released) This wasn't so hot in my book. Kinda garbage rock n roll with a bad singer. This kind of reminded me of Marilyn Manson and I think he sucks so that is pretty much what I thought of this. The tunes were flat, the singing not much better and this was pretty much awful. Info:

HUW LLOYD-LANGTON'S LLG/Hard Craft (Self Released) This was a very weird band and CD. Very hard to describe as it is moody and stuff, but not goth or in any normal kind of music way. I would say this is rock with a gloomy sound to it, not doom though. Vocals are pretty good and the singer has a voice of someone in a smoky bar that has had a few drinks and steps up to mic to sing and I don't mean that in a bad way. The songs are long and to me this was like some rock and blues stuff. Not something I would listen to all the time, but good for what it was. Info:

MOSFET/Deathlike Thrash N Roll (Refused Records) They say their music is deathlike thrash and roll what I got out of this was death metal band mixing in groove within their music. The singer actually doesn't use that tough guy style and he is actually quite good as his voice is vicious and he sings with conviction. The music actually isn't bad as yeah they use some groove, but mix it in with some death metal and this band is actually one of the better bands doing this style if you ask me. The songs are catchy and don't sound generic and like I said I am not by any means a big fan of this style, but for the style they are playing they are one of the better bands doing it. Info: or

FAITH OR FEAR/Titanium (Lost and Found Records) Fuckin A does this kill. FOF are back and are back in a big way. Chris's crunching riffs and Tim's vocals are always great to my ears ha ha. FOF for those who don't know released an album on Combat Records many moons ago and then went away and they are back and they sound like the never went away. This band's brand of thrash I have always loved and this just had me grinning from ear to ear as this played on. I was hooked on this within 5 seconds of it playing. God this is good. It is bands like this that keep me going making Metal Core. Pure old school thrash as only this band can play. Eric and Rob on the bass and drums also do one hell of a job and no wonder this is doing well as far as sales go cause it is fuckin great that's why. Look for an interview soon and it is bands such as this that hold the metal flag up and high. FOF are back. Info: or

PILGRIM/Misery Wizard (Metal Blade Records) Just total bone crushing doom from this 3 piece band from R.I. Mixing in a heavy dose of St Vitus with Black Sabbath this just crushes the weak. I love the guitar sound and the vocals are total haunting and fit the music perfectly. This def does not get boring like some doom bands neither. Riffs that will have you banging away and total sadness in the feeling and arrangements of the tunes. This is a doom lovers delight.

OZ/Burning Leather (AFM Records) Some old school fans will remember this band for their “Fire In The Brain” release. Well the band broke up in 1991 and are back with a brand new release. The band has 3 original members and 2 new players. The music to me is classic power/heavy metal style that I know and love. Catchy tunes and great vocals are on this puppy. The band also re-recorded a few of their classics including “Turn The Cross Upside Down”, which sounded good to these ears. Production on this is solid and I do like the guitar sound and overall vibe on this. This band is back and this is no crappy comeback release, this is the real deal. Info:

SAVING OCTOBER/Decades (Dark Harvest Records) Typical groove metal with all the breakdown riffs and the death metal and tough guy vocals mixed in. This to me just sounds like any other of these groove metal bands and this pretty much sucks in my opinion. This is not metal is a bunch of jump metal happy crap that sounds like everybody else and is just pure shit. Info:

MYSTIC PROPHECY/Ravenlord (Massacre Records) This was some straight forward heavy metal with a singer who sounded like Bruce Dickinson at times. To me this was just pretty boring metal. None of the riffs stood out and blew me away. The singer has a decent voice, but when he is backed by some below average music it makes it tough to enjoy. The songs just plodded along and didn’t have any fire or any power behind them and this just didn’t do a thing for me. Info:

VENDETTA/Feed The Extermination (Massacre Records) Old school fans will remember this band and they are back with release # 4. The band are still churning out some wicked thrash I must say. The singer has a nice set of pipes, but unlike the above band, he is backed up with some crushing music and some wicked riffing that will move the neck that is for sure. Production is right on the money and this isn’t all in out speed, but the band mix in mid paced and speedy parts and still retain what they have been all these years. The thrashers are back. Info:

CONDITIONAL CRITICAL/Same (Burned By God Records) 4 tunes of some great thrash on this disc. The 4 tunes are all hard hitting thrash tunes with none of that happy thrash and tough guy vocal crap. Just vicious riffs with some speed in the mix. Riffs are catchy as hell too. Vocals are just sung in a brutal way sort of a mix of death metal and thrash. Production is right where it needs to be and I love the guitar sound and it is great to see some bands keeping the old school style alive. Can’t wait to hear more as these 4 tunes just made me what to hear much more. Info: or

ABSENTIA/Our Bleeding Sun (Malevolence Records) Very poor attempt at black metal with lots of slow almost goth parts that had me bored to tears. The screamed vocals would not make satan happy and they sounded very weak and not sun with much power neither. The songs just dragged and with keyboard parts added to the mix this didn't do a thing for me. Just some below average black metal with no power or feeling and just plodded along. Info:

OBSESCRATION/Seeds Of A Perverted God (SMC Records) Just another Cannibal Corpse death metal band. This band is just another faceless death metal band playing the same old wore out style of death metal and also throw in the cheezy blast beats. The vocals aren't bad, but the music is just there and does nothing to excite me at all. Another minus is the band throwing in those annoying death metal screams from time to time which are completely a waste of time. Info:

PAGAN SPIRIT/The Latent Doctrine (SMC Records) This is some pretty crushing black metal. The band mixes in some keyboards every now and then, but they don't get to the point of annoying and are not used a lot. The music is fast burning black metal with some wicked riffs and vocals are black metal style of course, but sung with feeling and are powerful. The production is good and solid and everything can be heard quite clearly, but don't get me wrong this is not over produced. I am not the biggest fan on black metal, but I know a good band when I hear one and this is a good band. Info:
[email protected]

KOMMANDANT/Sampler 2011 (Self Released) I got a copy of this at the Whiplash/Morbid Saint show and it is 6 tracks from 3 different releases from this band. I reviewed a CD from these guys before and loved it and the 6 tunes on this are all blasts of death and black metal that just about knocked me out of my chair. This band just hits a home run with their blend of black metal with hints of death metal. Oh the fuckin is just on the mark as his voice just spews out the hate. The music is just a wall of fast black metal that will knock you down and not let up. Heck the old stuff on here is as good as the new stuff. Easily one of the best black metal bands making the rounds today. Info:

FORGJORD/Sielunvihollinen (Hammer Of Hate) Whew this is some raw black metal. The band has that razor chainsaw black metal guitar sound and with a singer who literally is screaming his ear off. The band mix up the speed and mid paced parts nicely and when they go into speed mode, look out those parts had me playing air drums. The band play with a ton of feeling and emotion and just listening to the singer gave me chills. Like a classic horror movie. Info:

LOVE'S STORY'S END/Death Doesn't Deserve Me (War Tribe Records) Just another faceless groove metal band with the jump and down riffs and tough guy vocals. Bands like this one are a dime a dozen and I hate all the happy moshcore riffs and signing. Just another faceless band to my ears. Info:

ON TOP/Top Heavy (HPGD Productions) This was some solid straight ahead heavy metal with a very good singer, who has a nice set of pipes and he fits the music well. I would compare this to bands like Riot or Raven. Just solid metal riffs with a powerful lead singer. Production is good and the riffs are catchy and heavy and none of this modern rock and groove metal shit neither. Just an honest to goodness metal band playing metal with head banging riffs and a singer with a set of pipes that works before for this band. Hey they are from Phila, PA so that is a plus as well. Info:

INVERTICRUX/Virgin Reaper (Self Released) On one hand I liked this and on the other I didn’t. The good was the music was solid doom metal with lots of heavy doomy riffs that are heavy as hell and not boring and catchy and not catchy in a groove sort of way. I am sure you get the picture. The production is good as well. The bad is the vocals. They go off in many directions and not many good. There are clean vocals, there is doomy like vocals and then there is almost like funny vocals like I would hear in a car commercial or something in that vein. It’s not that bad as most of the time they are sung decent, but when they trail off in the other veins, it is a turn off to me. The band should just sing in one style and lose the other styles as they would be much better off in doing that. Info: or

NATTFOG/Mustan Auringon Riitti (Hammer of Hate) This for sure is not just another fast black metal band. Actually the band plays a slow style and combines that with absolutely crushing riffs full of feeling and emotion and top that off with some hellish black metal vocals that are pure hate, you got quite a winner here. Riffs that will chug through your head and vocals that satan would love. Production is a perfect raw sound and that guitar and vocal combo just buries me. Songs are long and not boring at all. Info:

SCARSIC//Same (Self Titled) Dear god another faceless metal band that mixes in clean and tough guy vocals. This style of singing has been done to death and then some. This sounds like any modern rock band, just pick a name say Nickleback and throw in clean and tough vocals and this is what ya got. Yes there are the ole groove metal riffs too and this was just completely awful and nothing on this at all impressed me whatsoever. Info:
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TREPID/And They Call It Revolution (Self Released) This is a hard rock band with a female singer. The music has a bit of Alice in Chains in them at times at least that is what my ears heard. She has a good voice and thank god she doesn’t do any of that clean vocals crap and she has a nice set of pipes. I like the guitar tone the bands gets as it is sludgy and heavy at the same time. Production is right where it needs to be and this was a good solid band that plays metal with a grunge feel at times. Info:

DOMAIN OF DREAMS/Same (Self Released) This is a progressive metal band who have some long songs and a singer with a nice set of pipes too and his vocals fit the band well too. The band that pops in my mind is Dream Theatre when this plays. The band incorporates many time changes and that is good as it keeps the songs from getting boring. Thank god no groove or any of that crap is on this. The songs on this didn’t bore me and if you’re in the D.T. boys then you’ll love this. Info:

FORESHADOW/The Stranger End Of Death (Self Released) 8 tracks here with 2 being live. This band play a mix of thrash and some death metal and I like the guitar sound and tone and just the way the songs are played out. This isn’t some typical heard all before a million times type of band. The riffs sound like they have some thought behind them and are catchy and don’t sound like a million other bands neither. The singer is more in the death metal mode of a singer and that is OK as he growls and spits out the lyrics. Production is fine and dandy and this is just a cool band that is doing something a bit different than the norm and it works. Info:

ROYAL BLISS/Waiting Out The Storm (Self Released) This is a modern rock band and for once I hear a band like this that delivers the goods. The singer has an incredible voice and his voice fits the music perfect and he sings the songs with a ton of passion and feeling. The music is modern rock with lots of great catchy riffs that had my head bobbing. Thank god no groove or tough guy crap or groove on this. Just kick ass modern rock n roll with great hooks and singing. Info:

DEATHCULT/Same (Self Released) 2 tracks of tough to really judge a band, but the 2 tracks of this are excellent slabs of death metal played in a big time old school way. Just the sound and feeling I got as I listened to this made me think I was in the late 80’s. I love the guitar sound this band uses and oh does the singer crush me. He sings the 2 songs with a ton of passion and hate and his voice just fits the music perfectly. 2 songs weren’t enough I need more dammit. Info:

IRON CLAW/A Different Game (Ripple Music) Oh now this is what I am talking about. This is the first new music from this band in over 40 years! That in itself is insane. The line-up is 3 out of 4 of the original members, only the singer is new on this and he has left the band to be replaced by another member. On to the music which is just old school rock n roll true and true with no modern sounds at all. Catchy tune after catchy tune of golden old school rock n roll. Tunes are simple riff laden tunes that easily caught my ear and a singer who has a nice set of pipes and will be sadly missed. The production is even old school as it sounds like this could have come out in the 70’s. I have no idea how old the band members are, but who to make an album like this after being away for 40 years is mind blowing to say the least. Holy shit is what I say. Info:

MOLOKEN/Rural (Discouraged Records) This is a doom metal band that also has a sense of melody within the music as well. The highlight for me is track # 5, which is 16 minutes long! Usually a track that long would bore me, but not this one. It will take you on a ride that will have a few ups and downs. The production is not over produced and some doom bands kind of bore after a few tunes, but this one kept my attention and I think that was due to some melody in the tunes. Vocals are like a haunted dying man vocals, which fit the music. This will be something that you will find new quite a few times after you listen to it for the 1st time. Doom with some melody and hope on the train and take the ride. Info:

TERRORTORY/The Seed Left Behind (Discouraged Records) I didn’t find anything special about this band. To me they are just another faceless doom/death metal band with a bad singer. He just growls and screams and I didn’t feel much emotion or feeling when he was belting out the growls or words. The music wasn’t much better as it was almost like melodic death metal, but with or wicked or killer like riffs and the songs plodded along as in the style of a bad doom metal band. The singer just growls and this just didn’t click with me on any level at all. Info:

FAIR WARNING/Best & More (SPV) I have heard a few releases from these guys before and the stuff I heard was quite good and now comes a double disc of goodies from this band. A bunch of unreleased and live stuff is on here as well. The band plays melodic hard rock, but man to those catchy riffs sucks me in. The singer has a great voice too as he sings with quite the passion and I am a sucker for a good hook and this band sure does have a ton of them. And the good thing is this isn’t that modern rock garbage crap, this is just melodic hard rock with catchy tunes and singing. I like what this band is doing and the songs are strong and this blows away a lot of today’s bands doing this sort of style. Info:

LOSS OF REASON/Shark Bites & Lighting Strikes (Dark Descent Records) This was another one of those modern nu metal bands with the tough guy vocals and the happy metal sounds going on. I for the life of me can’t understand why all these bands like this all want to sound like other bands? Bands like this are a dime a dozen and I see no difference from this band and the 100’s of others I have heard. Info:

AXEL RUDI PELI/Circle Of The Oath (SPV) I have several releases from these guys and they return and they deliver the good yet again. Great song structures full of catchy and heavy riffs with some fantastic vocals. This band mix in power metal and straight ahead heavy metal and the combo packs quite a wallop. The production is right on the money and I just love the guitar tone and the riffs on this will have that neck moving big time. The singer doesn’t just have a great set of pipes, he sings the tunes with big time feeling and power and this is just one hella of a release. Info:

CHRISTIAN MISTRESS/Possession (Relapse Records) I had never ever heard this band and was I in for a surprise when this started playing. I never imagined Relapse signing a NWOBHM style of band and they have a female singer to boot. With that out of the way this is some pretty ass kickin music my friends. The singer has a nice strong voice and she sings the song with power and feeling and her voice does not seem out of place on this at all. The music while having traces of the NWOBHM sound, more than stands on its own and heck they sound pretty damn original to these ears. This band is damn good and a pleasant surprise. Check em out. Info:

DEATH/Vivus (Relapse Records) What we have here is a 2 disc live release from 2 different shows featuring the later line-up of Death. One is from LA, CA and the other from the Dynamo Fest. The sound quality is good for both shows. The Dynamo show I like of the better of the 2. My only complaint is not many old songs are on this at all and yes I know Chuck (rip) went off in a different direction after Leprosy so wouldn’t expect him to do many old songs, but I can dream right ha ha. I did like his later stuff even though the first 2 releases I hold deep in my heart. Any fan of the band will want this and you get a bunch of songs on both discs too, liner notes, pics, etc. Info:

SEKTEMTUM/Aut Caesar Aut Nihil (Osmose Productions) Terrible black metal with some of the worst vocals I have heard and the music wasn’t much better. The songs just dragged and there was nothing of value in them. The music had nothing to it at all just no catchy riffs or anything good about the band at all. Not for me. Info:

ZOMBIE INC/A Dreadful Decease (Massacre Records) Oh fuck yeah is this some prime time death metal played the right way. Big time old school sound and production as well. No fuckin groove or female opera vocals, just 100% in your face death metal like it should be. Autopsy, Grave, Entombed, etc. are bands that came to mind as this excellent release played on. I love the guitar sound it crushing heavy and catchy as well. The singer belts out the growls and hate with pure passion as the burning music behinds him plays on. Just a fantastic release. Get it be a poser ha ha. Info:

STRIKEMASTER/Vicious Nightmare (Metal Hit Records) Just total unrelenting old school thrash metal that had me moshing it up like the old days. Razor sharp riffs and no jump metal crap and pure old school thrash metal vocals had me loving this. This came out in 2009 and is very hard to find and this label is putting it back out on the market. Band reminded me of Violence a little bit and some Death Angel as well. I love the razor sharp riffs that had me banging my head as well. Just a great old school thrash metal band and they play thrash the wait it should be played. Info:

SVARTSYN/The True Legend/Agonia Records) I didn’t think was all that special. The band plays black metal and does an OK job with it, but I just wasn’t feeling the riffs and vocals. They at least don’t sound like a million other black metal bands, but the songs just lacked that killer punch and I thought the vocals lacked as well. Nothing on this made me love or it or hate so I give it a score right down the middle.

ENTHRONED/Obsidium (Agonia Records) This black metal band has been around for a pretty long time now and this is the bands newest release. This is fast bone crushing black metal that this band has been delivering and this delivery does not disappoint. Vocals from heel and fast riffs that are speedy and catchy and I am a sucker for a good riff. Production is nice and solid and if you’re into black metal you’ll want this in your collection.

MASSIVE ASSAULT/Death Strike (FDA Rekotz Records) Oh if you’re into early Entombed or Dismember you’ll love this puppy. Early Swedish death metal is the ticket on this. Those classic, godly Swedish riffs find their way onto this and there are some catchy riffs too. Production is not over produced and keeps that raw old school sound. Vocals are just growls of death. If you are a fan of old school Swedish death metal add this band to the list.

DEATHHAMMER/Onward To The Pits(Hells Headbangers) Oh am I loving this. A pure onslaught of raw fuckin thrash that I could not get enough of. Oh the sound and feeling that came out as this was playing was second to none. Just slaying riffs played with passion, fury and intensity. The production sounds like something off an album in 1988 and that my friends is a good thing. This is raw unrelenting thrash metal with some speed metal of the highest order. Easily one of the best releases I have heard this year so far. Info:

NECRONOMICON/Invictus (Massacre Records) I am just getting destroyed by all these killer releases and here is another I am going to add to the list. I have a few of this band’s releases and this one doesn’t disappoint. Just balls to the wall godly thrash metal with riffs that had me ready to destroy my house. God my neck is getting quite the workout with all these killer releases that is for sure. Oh man as tune after tune played I was just thrashing in my chair and head banging to the music. Singer has a great thrash metal voice and he fits the music perfectly. Another unholy slab of pure thrash metal done the right way by these guys. WOW. Info:

FUNERAL WHORE/Step Into Damnation (Chaos Records) This wasn’t bad, but wasn’t mind blowing neither. Old school death metal in the vein of Entombed, Grave, Dismember, etc. The band like a few others just lacked that killer punch I need. The vocals are good growls of death metal and the singer puts some passion and power behind the words. The music is good, but nothing mind blowing and it gets a slight thumbs up from me. At least they are playing old school death metal I’ll give them that. Info:

SADISTIK FOREST/Death, Doom Radiation (Violent Journey Records) Oh this had its good and awful points. The good is the music is solid death/thrash metal with killer hooks and some nice speedy parts that I was digging big time. Production is right on the money and the riffs will have the neck moving. The awful is the utter lower than low vocals which totally ruin it for me. Vocals like the Cannibal Corpse style are not brutal and that is fine for C.C, but when other bands do it I can’t stand it and this I could not stand. The vocals suck and ARE NOT brutal. Sorry and they also use some pig squealing ones too. Awful vocals, solid music. Info:

DR LIVING DEAD/Same (Tribunal records) Damn if this isn’t some godly crossover thrash/hardcore music that brought me back to 1987. Just crushing thrash metal with some punk signing and parts as well. Think Suicidal Tendencies meets Municipal Waste and throw some DRI in there too. Shit this wouldn’t sound out of place in 1988 and it sure sounds great to my ears in 2012. The razor sharp riffs will have you moving around in no time and the vocals are more on the punk side of things and just fit the music to a t. I have no idea where Tribunal Records found this band, but they get my horns up for putting this excellent release out. Info:

KING/Forged By Satan’s Doctrine (Deathgasm Records) This was pretty devastating musically, but the Cannibal Corpse like vocals along with the pic vomit squeals ruined this for me. The music is crushing balls to the wall death metal, but when the guy starts with the low death growls it totally turned me off. For me those style of vocals are not brutal at all and may work for Cannibal Corpse, but I don’t need every band having their singer sound like Chris Barnes or Corpsegrinder. This gets a down the middle from me. Info:

STORMCROW/Enslaved in Darkness (Selfmadegod Records) Some low tuned down death metal in the vein of Autopsy. Low putrid vocals top this puppy off and this is the way death metal was meant to be. This is music you would listen to while lying in your coffin waiting to be buried. I love the bass and guitar sound and the vocals are perfect and go quite well with the music. The band mixes up the faster parts with some slower crushing parts and what else can I say except that this is solid death metal that any fan of the underground will love. Info:

HARD RIOT/Living On A Fast Lane (Pitch Black Records) Pure ass kickin rock n roll in the vein of my favorite band AC/DC. The simple, but effective riffs are very catchy and within a minute I was nodding along to the tunes on this. The singer doesn’t have a gruff voice like Brian from AC/DC, he sings with a more clear sound, but oh does he fit the music. This is a 100 times better than all that crappy modern rock I hear on the radio. This is rock n roll the way it is supposed to be played. Info:

LEGION Of The Damned/Malevolent Rapture In Memory Of (Massacre Records) This was a nice mix of thrash and death metal with a singer who doesn’t sound like a million other singers out there. The music is more thrash than death metal. The riffs are speedy catchy riffs and the singer has a growly thrashy sort of vocal style sort of like Chuck Billy in spots. The band doesn’t sound like anybody I can think of and this is not any of that happy thrash crap neither. Sort of At the Gates if they played thrash metal. A very cool and different band and they have found their niche with this mix of thrash and death. Info:

FIST FIGHT IN THE PARKING LOT/Same (Innervenus) This is a modern rock/metal band with a female singer. I would usually not be into stuff like this, but damn if this wasn’t good. The female singer has a nice set of pipes and she sings the songs with passion and aggression and not in like a weak tough girl style neither. The music is catchy rock/metal that didn’t sound generic or like a million other bands out there. The catchy riffs along with a solid singer made this something I did enjoy. I like the production and the guitar sound as well. Info:

MIKE ACERBO/The Search (Self Released) This is something I normally wouldn’t review, but it was sent to me so here goes. I consider myself open minded as I like classic rock, death, thrash, speed, black metal and heck even jazz. This was a very mellow release of like a combo of soft rock and jazz and I tell you for what it I it is excellent. The singer Mike has a great voice that fits the music like a blonde in tight ass jeans. There are violins, cello and all kinds of other instruments. This wouldn’t be something to get you pumped up to go lift weights, but if you wanted to relax and read a good book like the Slyer Diaries then this would be it. Very cool and excellent for what it is.

DARK PSYCHOSIS/Same (Self Released) Some solid black metal mixed in with some death metal here. The vocals are black metal in vein and don’t sound bad and he sings in not a super low voice or just screaming about a bunch of nonsense. The music is a mix of fast black metal with some touches of death metal thrown in. Nice production as well and this is one of the better bands I have heard making the rounds these days. Info:

CRUXITER/2 Song Sampler (Heaven and Hell Records) 2 songs if tough to judge a band on, but this is a pure heavy metal band with a clean voice singer. I wasn’t a fan of the singer has to me he sounded like the guy from the band Stryper. The music was just kinda “blah” and really didn’t do much for me. The music lacked power and energy and just kinda plodded along. No catchy riffs at all and the 2 songs on this pretty much bored me. Info:

BITTER END/Have a Nice Death (Metal On Metal Records) I remember these guys in the early days of doing my print zine and now the great folks (read the fantastic interview with them on my interview page) have released both of this band’s demos and some live tracks onto CD. This band was also from Seattle, WA and were around before the big grunge explosion. Listening to this stuff brought back some memories and the band reminds me of the PA Eviction at times. This band wasn’t the fastest or the most brutal, but their brand of thrash metal is pretty damn good. I love the singer, he has a nice intense voice and he has own sound and doesn’t sound like a million other singers out there. The music on here is a mix of mid paced and some fast thrash and kicks ass. The live stuff sounds good too and a huge horns up to Metal on Metal for putting this out. Info:

MELIAH RAGE/Dead To The World (Metal On Metal Records) This thrash band is back with a new record and it is a damn good thrash album. The band has lots of fast double bass drum parts that I liked a lot and they pound out riffs that will have neck moving. The production is solid and not overproduced and the singer has a nice thick voice and he fits the music well. None of this was bad or boring at all and I know this band fell under the wagon when they were on a major label and I always thought they were a good solid band and they deliver the goods again on this. Info:

DOMINIUM/The Incursion (Self Released) 5 tracks of some very good black metal. This didn’t come across as generic or boring at all. The singer has a good black metal style voice and he sings the songs with feeling and hate. The music is a mix of mid paced and fast black metal. The fast parts don’t come across as a blur and just had my playing air drums. While this isn’t by all means super original it is much better than a lot of other black metal bands that just play a million miles an hour and have a singer just scream and screech. This band also writes some wicked riffs as well. If you’re into Immortal, old Bathory, etc. you’ll be into this big time. Info:
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TRISTE/Lonesummer Split CD (AMR Records) Never heard either one of these bands and was hoping this wouldn’t be just fast black metal picking with screamed vocals. I was quite wrong about that. Triste, wow what can I say. This wouldn’t be something I would listen to everyday, but what a vibe and emotion and feeling from this. The music just sucks you in and doesn’t let you out until it is done. Some call this depressive black metal and yeah that term wouldn’t be far off, but this just has such crushing riffs and the feeling and vocals of a dying man totally blew me away. Lonesummer are a complete 180% turn from Triste. This band mix in black metal with almost a dark edge to it. Not much in vocals as this again creates a mood and is slow dark edge music one minute then rips roaring black metal the next. I liked both bands and both bands totally went out on a limb with their music and it different and it works. Info:

KLOR/Same (AMR Records) This was some really raw and punishing black metal. I wasn’t a big fan of the screaming vocals, but the music is a different story. The band mixes up the speed and mid tempo stuff and the wicked riffs and fast parts were pretty damn good to these ears. The band isn’t doing anything new that I haven’t heard before, but they are good at what they do and are better than a lot of the black metals bands I have heard over the past few years. Info:

FASHA/Same (Self Released) This is a rock band and they aren’t bad, but didn’t blow me away neither. Thank god they don’t have the Nickleback sound or do any of that happy groove shit. The singer has a really good voice and he sings the songs with lots of feeling. The music is rock n roll with some good riffs and song structures. As I heard this more and more it grew on me. I would say this is a solid rock band that sounds much better than any of that modern rock shit on the radio. Info:

ELEVENSTORM/Of Rage & War (Inferno Records) Oh yeah baby does this sucker smoke. Great pure all out heavy metal verging on power metal. Pure metal riffs and a female singer who quite a set of pipes on her I must say. The riffs are damn catchy as hell and the songs are upbeat in tempo as they almost crossover into the power and thrash metal side at times. I would say this is a mix of older Accept meets Raven and Running Wild. Production is right on the money as is that guitar sound. Necks be ready for the pounding. Info:

FURYU/Cio Che L’nima Non Dice (Self Released) This was like a mix of Dream theatre meets Rush. The music wasn’t bad and has some nice melody to it and all, but there isn’t much singing on this and by track # 3 there was so lo and behold vocals. The vocals are totally buried in the mix and didn’t sound good at all. The music is really good and heavy, but lack of singing and having a bad singer to boot really hurt this as I enjoyed the mix of Rush (say Hemispheres era) meeting Dream Theatre’s Images & Words”, which is one of my favorite releases of all time. I would say to this band find a good singer and you could take on the world. You got the tunes and the style, just get a great singer. Info:
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LELAHELL/Al Intihar (Self Released) I liked some of the stuff on this and others didn’t fly with me. First the good, the music is solid death metal played in the vein of Immolation, Incantation. The guitar sound is thick and heavy and the speed parts will have you play air drums. They mix up the tempos so you get both mid paced and fast parts. Now onto the singing. For the most part he just growls out the lyrics like most any other good death metal singer, but then he has to go into the lower than low route and then adds in some pig squealing vocals as well. That totally turned me off big time as pig squeal vocals are pretty much as low and as bad as you can get. Now he doesn’t do it a lot though. Overall this was solid death metal that if the band can tinker with the singing would be awesome. Info:

VERMILLION DAYS/In the Warfield (Self Released) Fuck yeah this is just what the doctor ordered. Some damn solid thrash metal that doesn’t have all that new happy thrash shit. No this is the old school gallop type of riffs and speed along with a non tough guy singer. He is quite good as belts out the tunes with his own sound and feeling. Riffs that are catchy and fast and made my neck in for quite a workout. This band captures the old feeling and style of thrash metal the way it should be played. Excellent band. Info: