Staff picks


Various Artists - Overgrow To Overthrow
04.07.2020 | Music to fight systemic racism to
Bandcamp music player

Compiling 31 songs from bands such as Chaos Moon, Panopticon, Thou, Obsequiae and Doom, courtesy of Bilderune Recordings, this digital only release donates all proceedings to Black Lives Matter and Life After Hate.

Picked by:
RaduP
Root - Zjevení / The Revelation
26.06.2020 | Goofy First Wave Black Metal

Though I doubt anyone knows when this album's 30th anniversary is exactly, today Withing Hour Productions reissued this album with a whole bunch of extras, so it might be time to remember this overlooked Czech classic. Though I admittedly prefer their compatriots in Master's Hammer, and I do think the cover art and the music is incredibly goofy, it's still a pretty incredible sample of first wave black metal, mid-paced, rooted (no pun intended) in heavy metal, but with an evil doom tone as well. It's incredibly simplistic, and even as goofy as it is, it still manages to feel authentic. Big Boss was in his late 30s when Zjevení was released, so it's never to late to start your own influential black metal band, and he is still fronting Root to this day.

Picked by:
RaduP
Uriah Heep - Very 'eavy... Very 'umble
13.06.2020 | The heaviest organ solo of the 70s

"One day I will go to him
Strong enough to fight and win
The kind of a man
That he'll understand
Aaaaaaaa
*the heaviest organ solo of the 70s*
"
David Byron didn't have Ian Gillan's vocal chops, but damned if he does not give it his all here. Mick Box's guitar does have plenty of great moments here, but I'd be lying if I said that Ken Hensley didn't absolutely steal the show with his organ. While not entirely "'eavy", there's no denying that this album, released 50 years ago today, and starting Uriah Heep's career, deserves its place as an early metal classic, even if just for the opener alone.
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RaduP
nikarg, ScreamingSteelUS
Deep Purple - In Rock
04.06.2020 | Hard Rock

I am fairly sure that the world in 1970, precisely 50 years ago, wasn't ready for Ian Gillan's screams in "Child In Time". Or for most things else in "Child In Time" for that matter. Or for Ritchie Blackmore's galloping guitars in "Hard Lovin' Man". Or Jon Lord setting a new standard for using organ in heavy music. It wasn't the first Deep Purple album, but it was the first in this lineup, the one which is the reason why we even talk about Deep Purple on a metal site. There were hard rock bands before, but none of them, sans the one that literally birthed heavy metal, was as heavy as Deep Purple was on In Rock.

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RaduP
nikarg, ScreamingSteelUS, Apothecary, Dream Taster, Milena, Daniell
Entombed - Left Hand Path
04.06.2020 | The Swede Embrace Of Death

30 years ago today, Entombed taught the world what Boss HM-2 and DS-1 pedals could do to a cheap rig and, by extension, what Sweden could do for death metal. Left Hand Path was not the first death metal album recorded by a Swedish band, nor was it the first recorded by Tomas Skogsberg at the legendary Sunlight Studio, but it was arguably the first Swedish death metal album: with evil-infused hardcore punk riffs, D-beat drums, mid-range harsh vocals, and guitars so distorted they sound like two slabs of concrete being scraped together, Entombed set a trend and heralded the irruption of one of heavy metal's most iconic and influential scenes. Even though they themselves would not stay on the left-hand path for much longer, crossing over into death'n'roll, between this album and Clandestine Entombed are rightfully remembered as death metal legends. Here's to three head-kicking decades of buzzsaw guitars, strangled growls, and dark, crushing Swedeath.

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ScreamingSteelUS
Troy Killjoy, RaduP, Daniell, nikarg, BitterCOld, Abattoir
Witches Hammer - Damnation Is My Salvation
30.04.2020 | Pit riffs
Bandcamp music player

Imagine a band forming in 1984 only to release their debut album in 2020. Witches Hammer throw early Slayer, Possessed and '80s Canadian hardcore punk attitude in the grinder and what comes out is spat on the face of the clean-cut, sweet-smelling, contemporary thrash.

Teenage riot music played by dudes who are well past their teenage years.
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nikarg
Troy Killjoy
Dola - Dola
30.03.2020 | Black metal / Doom
Bandcamp music player

The self-titled debut album of Dola is a fine combination of black metal, doom, drone and even some post-rock. At first sight, nothing new but everything sounds fresh and fun. Definitely an album that will make your quarantine period more pleasant... Poland did it again!



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Paź
Apothecary, RaduP
Mastodon - Remission
04.02.2020 | Crusher Destroyer

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 10.07.2014 at 02:52

Still their best by miles

Marcel was right once again.
Remission is heavier than tennessine and more infectious than the coronavirus.

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nikarg
BitterCOld, Apothecary, Troy Killjoy, ScreamingSteelUS
Cynic - Focus
26.01.2020 | Masterpiece
Bandcamp music player

In memory of Sean Reinert and Marcel Hubregtse
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 19.01.2018 at 01:43

So superior to anything they did afterwards it isn't even funny anymore.

You're so right, Marcel. Happy to have enjoyed that Hellfest'07 with you!

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Darkside Momo
nikarg, Daniell, ScreamingSteelUS, Mr. Doctor, Milena
Flotsam And Jetsam - Doomsday For The Deceiver
20.01.2020 | Ugly Artwork-core
Bandcamp music player

We all knew Marcel as a doom guy, and that's certainly the first association I have with him, but on this very site you will find a 10.0 review of this here classic thrash album (or at least the 20th anniversary reissue) from none other than Marcel himself. Personally, I've never been the biggest fan of Flotz, but Doomsday For The Deceiver is without a doubt one of the best thrash albums to come out of the 1980s, thanks to its sky-piercing vocals and riffs as monstrous as the cover art. We know which band Jason Newsted really belonged in... but that's another discussion.

The point here is that Flotsam And Jetsam were no hangers-on, but were paving the way for future thrash (and other styles) in ways the Big Four couldn't have imagined, and I paid much closer attention to this album thanks to the affection shown it by Marcel.
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ScreamingSteelUS
Daniell, nikarg, Darkside Momo
Façade - The Eternal Dance
13.01.2020 | Death doom, Marcel doom
Bandcamp music player

Marcel did not get to post his "Best Of 2019" list but The Eternal Dance was one of his favourites and Façade is fronted by his friend (and Phlebotomized's vocalist) Ben de Graaff.

It is a concept album about cycles, inspired by the idea that our lives and everything that surrounds us are just small motions in a larger movement; a never-ending dance that forms the Universe. One motion ends, but a new one follows up to continue the dance. One life ends, but a new life is born.

Bandcamp
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nikarg
BitterCOld, Troy Killjoy, Nefarious
Faal - Abhorrence - Salvation
06.01.2020 | Doom, Marcel Metal

The First "From Dutchland with Doom" package Marcel sent me a dozen years ago contained several tasty treats - Officium Triste, Ortega - and this spicy Blackened-Doom. Immediately caught my ear and along with fellow 2008 release, Esoteric's The Maniacal Vale really opened me up and piqued my interest in the harsher styles of Doom. Basically, half of what I listen to now. A bit raw, as initially a demo, is defo worth a listen.

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BitterCOld
Troy Killjoy, nikarg, Daniell, Nefarious
(EchO) - Below The Cover Of Clouds
15.11.2019 | In doom we trust
Bandcamp music player

The third full-length album by these Italians blends melodic death/doom metal with aerial post-rock and a touch of psychedelia. Combining deep growls with plaintive clean vocals and heavy riffs with atmospheric intersections, it showcases rawness and vulnerability in perfect balance. Mixed and mastered by Esoteric's Greg Chandler, with guest performances by members of Plateau Sigma and cover art done by none other than Costin Chioreanu, Below The Cover Of Clouds ticks all the boxes a doom metal album needs.

Let the clouds cover your dark fantasies at Bandcamp.
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nikarg
Abattoir
Elvenking - Reader Of The Runes - Divination
28.09.2019 | Folkened Power/Empowered Folk/Elf Magic

I reviewed Secrets Of The Magick Grimoire in 2017 and, though I spoke very highly of it at the time, it has since grown even greater in my esteem, not only yielding many staples of my mental power/folk metal canon but also climbing the ranks to become one of my favorite albums of all time. Reader Of The Runes - Divination is already beginning the same ascent, thanks to its unmistakable aura of high fantasy and woodland elven magic. The many, many layers of metal and traditional instrumentation and sweet-sounding vocals build a beautiful atmosphere, and the songs themselves are enchanting. Elvenking is our champion of dense, folk-heavy power metal.
Picked by:
ScreamingSteelUS
Opeth - In Cauda Venenum
27.09.2019 
Bandcamp music player

Don't listen to metal. Listen to music. You'll love this album if you do.

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Daniell
Ivor