Staff picks


Krallice - Diotima
30.04.2011 | black
Bandcamp music player

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.
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BitterCOld
Fat & Sassy!, Marcel Hubregtse, Troy Gallant, Ag Fox, Introspekrieg, Mr. Doctor
Wormrot - Dirge
28.04.2011 | Grindcore

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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Troy Gallant
Thryce, wormdrink414, Mr. Doctor
Ulver - Wars Of The Roses
21.04.2011 | ulverrific
Bandcamp music player

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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BitterCOld
Introspekrieg, Darkside Momo, Mr. Doctor
The Human Abstract - Digital Veil
17.04.2011 | Progressive Metalcore

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!
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Thryce
Dane Train, jupitreas, BloodTears, White Winter Sun
Obsidian - Point Of Infinity
16.04.2011 | Progressive Death Metal

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?
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Ag Fox
Marcel Hubregtse, BloodTears
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