Dirge - Elysian Magnetic Fields

Atmospheric Sludge/Post-Metal/Pulse-Wave Neocore 16.05.2011

Ok ignore that last classification, that was just a bit of self-indulgence. Then again who knows, it might catch on. This is something that positively vomits underground mass appeal; the kind of thing if more people were aware of they'd be frantically sprinting to the nearest tattooist to get the cover art etched into their forehead. Planet-sized dirges (appropriately enough) that melt into epic cleans and deep ambient nuancing over a monolithic 75 minute journey of dripping atmosphere, texture and melody with the odd Jesu and Cult of Luna inflection.

Quite possibly the only album you'll need this year? Oh yeah, they're French too. Quelle surprise.

Anaal Nathrakh - Passion

Grindcore 15.05.2011

Album number six from these English lunatics offers another helping of the band's anarchic style. Clearly an album that has had its share of attention to detail, Passion comfortably blasts away any competition, breaking the mould once more.

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Indian - Guiltless

sludge-doom 13.05.2011

Guiltless is a wretched platter of doomed sludge (or sludged doom?) with punishing riffs, pounding drums and absolutely vile, hate-filled screeches. This is an ugly album. Enjoy.

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Novembers Doom - Aphotic

doom / melodic death 11.05.2011

It took me about one minute to realize Novembers Doom's latest is a drastic improvement over their previous release. They have found that ideal balance between dark, melodic death and the pulsing, downbeat of doom, and do it with arrangements and production that is assertive yet fluid. For fans of deeply personal lyrics, Paul Kuhr has always been one of the best around, and he's as drastic as ever here. And to top it off, fans of Anneke van Giersbergen will find her doing an excellent guest appearance with Paul as well (and in the available video track)!

Oh, and did I mention how great they are live?
Picked by:
Thumbs up:
Ag Fox

Power Quest - Blood Alliance

Power metal 08.05.2011

With a brand new line-up, these English power metallers have just gone from the bland to the brilliant. Blood Alliance is by far the band's best album with a number of future classics on here. Forget the band's underwhelming past and give this one a go. Seriously.
Picked by:
Thumbs up:
Baz Anderson

Grayceon - All We Destroy

Progressive 03.05.2011

Combining beautiful acoustic pieces with heavy slow progressing guitars, as well as more straightforward murky sections, and vocals ranging from intense growls/screams to clean, the new Grayceon album is a bit of a musical melting pot. Jackie Perez Gratz' chameleonic voice and cello stand out in the mix and add further depth to an already rich album, where some songs reach epic proportions.

Showing convincing quality, well structured songs and innovation, All We Destroy is definitely one of the albums of 2011 worth listening to.

Death Valley Driver - Choke The River

Sludge/Stoner 03.05.2011

Full of groove, and grimy as all hell. It's everything sludge needs to be. I could easily rant about what a punch this album delivers, but it's definitely something that you need to hear for yourself.

...I'm going to go take a shower now.

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Picked by: Doc Godin

Uriah Heep - Into The Wild

Hard rock 01.05.2011

Here it is, album number 22. Into The Wild is another great album from a band that have been doing this for over 40 years. Although not quite topping the band's last few albums, Into The Wild has that unique Uriah Heep sound that has had people addicted for four decades.
Picked by:
Thumbs up:
Baz Anderson
Ag Fox

Krallice - Diotima

black 30.04.2011

This, their third album, continues to showcase their unique approach to black metal. It is an intense wall of sound that is also very cerebral in approach. At times it seems things are about to fall apart and are just barely held together... and at other times the approach is monolithic and overwhelming. Another very good album from a band carving out their own niche in Black Metal.

Wormrot - Dirge

Grindcore 28.04.2011

Singapor...an, Singapor...ite... Wormrot, grindheads from Singapore! It's Abuse 2.0 baby, and it'll rock your socks off!

A word of advice: Try to blink between songs. And don't listen while playing Call of Duty unless you want to buy yourself a new TV. And a controller. Only you realize after that you're at a friend's place. In which case, leave this album behind to make up for the damages. They'll thank you later, because it's that good.

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Picked by:
Thumbs up:
Troy Gallant
Thryce, wormdrink414, Mr. Doctor

Ulver - Wars Of The Roses

ulverrific 21.04.2011

The Wolves are back and their latest represents sort of a culmination of their work in the past dozen years. "SotS" has the loudest (softest?) influence, with this album having the same mellow feel as their last album, as well as the Silence EPs. The album is more sporadic than it's predecessor. Garm gets joined by a female vocalist on a couple songs. Others see 'real' instrumentation, or the occasional cacophonous outburst reminiscent of moments of "Blood Inside". The album closes with the near 15 minute track that is almost a spoken word poem coupled with ambient background noise. Not a wild left turn for the band, but more the culmination of a process.

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The Human Abstract - Digital Veil

Progressive Metalcore 17.04.2011

Progressive Metal(core) that will likely short-circuit your brain. Intelligent, innovative and intriguing, The Human Abstract is all that and much more. Start believing the hype!

Obsidian - Point Of Infinity

Progressive Death Metal 16.04.2011

Most of the time when the label Progressive Death Metal is slapped on, you get people referring to Opeth. It couldn't be more wrong in this case and in fact, if you are in search of something fresh and a bit experimental at the same time without losing the heaviness in metal, this hidden gem from 2010 should be at least be listened to. A fan of Textures? What are you waiting for?
Picked by:
Thumbs up:
Ag Fox
Marcel Hubregtse, BloodTears

Three - The End Is Begun

Prog Rock/Prog Metal/Prog Something 15.04.2011

I first saw this little NY band years ago, opening up for Porcupine Tree, and they blew me away. Ever since, this album has made an almost weekly spin in my life's soundtrack. The End Is Begun is a fun, upbeat, strange record that keeps me coming back for more. Surly not everyone's cup of tea but if you're in search of something different and just plain fun check it out.

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Picked by:
Thumbs up:
Dane Train
Ivor, Introspekrieg

Appearance Of Nothing - All Gods Are Gone

Progressive Metal 13.04.2011

Coming from relative obscurity, this Swiss progressive metal group's album came as a pleasant surprise. While it doesn't hurt to get a little help from Dan Swanö and Devon Graves, these guys do "quite alright" in their own right. There are excellent compositions that keep you interested and some great melodies/ideas throughout for a very consistent album. This isn't cookie-cutter prog metal either, with some unpredictable diversions into power, heavy, folk and electronica for added zest. The songs evoke straightforward feelings of anger and despair that will connect more strongly with the listener than the more convoluted tendencies common in prog bands. Recommended for fans of Ayreon, Pagan's Mind, Scar Symmetry, and/or Vanden Plas.
Picked by:
Thumbs up:
Ag Fox, BloodTears

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