Staff picks


Three - The End Is Begun
15.04.2011 | Prog Rock/Prog Metal/Prog Something

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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Dane Train
Ivor, Introspekrieg
Appearance Of Nothing - All Gods Are Gone
13.04.2011 | Progressive Metal

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.
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Introspekrieg
Ag Fox, BloodTears
Deafheaven - Roads To Judah
10.04.2011 | Atmospheric black metal / shoegaze
Bandcamp music player

Finally a worthwhile blackgaze album that doesn't feature Neige! Deafheaven's debut is as beautiful as it is barbaric, adding in some majestic post-metal ambience for the sake of a truly depressive, majestic journey. Highly recommended for fans of Alcest and company.

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Troy Gallant
DerRozzengarten, Introspekrieg, Mr. Doctor
Maruta - Forward Into Regression
10.04.2011 | Grindcore
Bandcamp music player

A challenger for the best neck-breaking grindcore album of 2011 appears... Seriously, this is the kind of killer shit that is guaranteed to rip you at least one new asshole.

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Thryce
Collin, Troy Gallant, White Winter Sun, wormdrink414, Mr. Doctor
OSI - Free
08.04.2011 | Progressive metal

When Fates Warning's guitar mastermind Jim Matheos and ex-Dream Theater Kevin Moore unite, we have musical sparks. These sparks will burn you to the core with corrosive lyrics, bursts of heavy riffs, electronic soundscapes and weird noises. Some of these songs are like magnets, you can't help but being drawn to them. Expect musical "freedom", tasteful progressive metal and creative melodies.

OSI will release their new album later this year, so maybe we'll get some of that magic again. If you are in the mood for something different, give it a go.
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BloodTears
Fat & Sassy!, Introspekrieg, Dane Train, Milena, Ag Fox
Stolen Babies - There Be Squabbles Ahead
06.04.2011 | Avant-garde metal

If over the last four years, you somehow managed to miss this fun little trip to a macabre fairy tale about the twisted circus of your dreams... I don't actually know what to tell you besides that you've failed me as a friend. This album is a catchy ice metal sundae made up of a delicious blend of dark cabaret music, Oingo Boingo, Mr. Bungle, nuts and chocolate syrup, all topped off with a lightly flavored black/thrash metal cherry. Take your time. Enjoy it... but you should probably finish it before they (hopefully) dish out their new album this year.

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Fat & Sassy!
Doc Godin, jupitreas, Ag Fox, Mr. Doctor, Darkside Momo
Aaskereia - Dort, wo das alte Böse ruht
05.04.2011 | Pagan Black Metal

A lot of people were perturbed by Aaskereia's rather nifty 'Mit Raben und Wölfen' record due to the unusually wail-y vocals present, despite being a top notch display of ultra catchy pagan black metal. Regardless, returneth they do with their first full length in over 7 years and they haven't lost it, in fact they've grown in maturity exponentially. While the shrieks are still present they're combined with a veritable amada of other vocals styles from dramatic cleans, deathly growls and even a hint of Attila inspired insanity - Grim (yes Grim) is an extremely versatile vocalist. All serve exceptionally well to the driving, melody drenched black metal akin at times to Nagelfar's indomitable 'Hünengrab im Herbst' record.

Quality crap.
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!J.O.O.E.!
Troy Gallant, Mr. Doctor, Collin, Promonex
Heavenwood - Abyss Masterpiece
04.04.2011 | Gothic Death type thing

Great riffs, great melodies, epic synths, and plenty of variety out the wazzoo. An incredibly deep sounding album no matter how you slice it. A must-hear for anyone who is looking for some top-notch 2011 releases.

Fun for the whole family.

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Doc Godin
Ag Fox, DerRozzengarten
Born Of Osiris - The Discovery
03.04.2011 | Progressive Deathcore

Born Of Osiris was never the easiest thing to "get". But this album really shows a band on top of its game.
If you ever needed a good reason to check out Born Of Osiris, here it is!

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Thryce
Doc Godin, jupitreas, White Winter Sun, Ag Fox, Mr. Doctor
Nervecell - Psychogenocide
03.04.2011 | Death Metal

Arabian death metallers Nervecell have returned to attack our senses with this, their second full length album entitled 'Psychogenocide'.

Brutal, thrashy & progressive yet refined, this album is a natural progression from 2008's 'Preaching Venom' and stands out as one of the best death metal releases of 2011 so far.

Featuring traditional arabic instruments such as the 'Oud', arabic & english lyrics (a rarity in extreme metal), fantastic guitar work and a guest appearance by none other than Karl Sanders from Nile, this is an album that all death metal fans should check out and is a nice example of what talent there is to be found in the Arabian metal scene.

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Nefarious
Troy Gallant, wormdrink414
Uriah Heep - Wake The Sleeper
03.04.2011 | Hard rock

In two weeks, the legendary Uriah Heep will release Into The Wild, their 22nd studio album. Wake The Sleeper is the band's last effort from 2008, which itself was their first in a decade, and is an amazing hard rock album that can be compared to their greats from the 70's. You'll be doing yourself a great injustice by not checking them out.

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Baz Anderson
Fat & Sassy!
Forty-Two Tits - The Probability Theory Proven Wrong
01.04.2011 | Nu-Metric Numeric Metal

Founded by a couple of girls obsessed with numbers, Forty-Two Tits might just be one of the craziest new bands of the last decade. This precisely calculated piece of music, filled with allusions to famous mathematicians and maths problems, as well as the question how much boob is enough boob, is a masterpiece in its own right.

Their music is definitely not playing by numbers, actually stating that they squared their originality is an understatement. Mixing their brilliance with an equal amount of sexuality and computations approaching infinity, this is the must-hear album of the year!
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Bas
!J.O.O.E.!, Dane Train, Darkside Momo, BloodTears, Angelique, BitterCOld, White Winter Sun, Fat & Sassy!, Troy Gallant, Mr. Doctor, Nefarious, Introspekrieg, Ag Fox
Buzzov•en - ...At A Loss
28.03.2011 | sludge

Horrible music for horrible people... "At A Loss" is raw, visceral, angry, throbbing, raging sludge. The most pleasant thing about this album are the moribund movie clips that signal the start of virtually every song on this album. The music is a harsh blend of the energy of hard core punk with the misanthropy of black metal and the overall vibe of doom. The worst of all worlds. Have some fun and blare their cover of "Don't Bring Me Down" for the ELO fan in your life... it will bring them down, down, down, down, down... ooh-oh-hooo.

And be sure to catch these guys pitch a Whiskey Fit at Hellfest this year.
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BitterCOld
Marcel Hubregtse
40 Watt Sun - The Inside Room
27.03.2011 | Dooooom metal

If you have been paying any attention at all, you know that 40 Watt Sun is the reincarnation of the now-defunct Warning (and if you don't even know who Warning is, gtfo). Let me tell you, Patrick Walker once again delivers: the atmosphere is, well, you'll just have to experience for yourself. The mandatory stuff for every self-loathing doom fan.

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Thryce
Jοe, BitterCOld, Dane Train, White Winter Sun, Marcel Hubregtse, Nefarious, Mr. Doctor, wormdrink414
Candiria - Kiss The Lie
24.03.2011 | Technical / Progressive / Jazz / Hardcore

Here's an album that we all missed when it was first released back in 2009. This is probably because the band only released it on vinyl and as an mp3 bundle on their website. Well, it's a real shame that no real promotion was done for Kiss The Lie because it is a superb little hidden gem, filled to the brim with complex riffs, unorthodox song structures, innovative instrumental virtuosity and some of the best melodies Candiria ever composed.

Note: The version floating around on iTunes is not endorsed by the band since it is unfinished. You need to go to http://risingpulse.com/ to get the real thing.
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jupitreas
BloodTears