Updates - reviews


Reviews
Vallenfyre - Fear Those Who Fear Him

Long story short: Vallenfyre were formed back in 2010 by Greg Mackintosh (Paradise Lost) as an outlet to actively deal with the death of his father, with Hamish Glencross (ex-My Dying Bride) as co-founding member. The band has already released two acclaimed albums and Fear Those Who Fear Him is their highly anticipated successor, so let's dive into Vallenfyre's bottomless pit and listen to the music.

Read more ››
Posted: 21.06.2017 by nikarg | Comments (4)

Reviews
Overkill - The Grinding Wheel

Overkill is back! In fact this is the 18th album in a career that is now nearing four decades, meaning that this band has been around for more years than most of the people reading this review have been walking on this planet. The New Jersey thrashers made an impressive comeback in 2010 with Ironbound and since then they have sworn to leave us speechless every time they put out something new. The band is clearly going through its second prime and The Grinding Wheel is here to prove it.

Read more ››
Posted: 19.06.2017 by nikarg | Comments (7)

Reviews
Fargo Rock City: A Heavy Metal Odyssey In Rural Nörth Daköta

Chuck Klosterman's semiautobiographical account of glam metal history and his own youthful experiences with it is now 16 years old, meaning that not only is the book right smack in the target demographic for these bands, but we are now farther removed from the book's advent than it was from the distant years of L.A.-based hedonism it chronicled on its publication. You must be thinking that Metal Storm is wildly behind the times when it comes to printed metal, and given that our last book review was published over four years ago (and covered a book published in 2007), you're probably correct. A generous coworker recently passed this book along to me after acquiring it through means that were probably not the death-defying heist movie acrobatics I like to imagine, and since it was a short book and a quick read, I knocked it out in between refinishing Star Wars: The New Jedi Order and restarting Star Wars: The Dark Nest Trilogy. Various and sundry emotions flickered back and forth through my head as I read this book, and I think I came out of it feeling more contentious than enlightened most of the time, but after all is said and done, I'm glad I read it and I would recommend that others do so, particularly metal fans of my generation (that is, the generation that was too young to understand why The Phantom Menace was so gut-emulsifyingly awful at the time).

Read more ››
Posted: 16.06.2017 by ScreamingSteelUS | Comments (10)

Reviews
Gravetemple - Impassable Fears

With my drone adventurism for the current year, up til this point I had been coming across some pretty good releases, but none that seriously knocked my socks off. Then Gravetemple entered the picture.

Read more ››
Posted: 10.06.2017 by Apothecary | Comments (11)

Reviews
Iced Earth - Incorruptible

Incorruptible, like Plagues Of Babylon, lacks the visceral, unrelenting songwriting and crips production of Dystopia; it doesn't hit as hard or as immediately. While that's a hard claim to back up when "Great Heathen Army" kicks off the album with Stu Block screeching, "VALHALLA!" at the top of his lungs, the first half of the album is more of a slow burn. It's the second half of the album - the folk-influenced instrumental whirlwind of "Ghost Dance," the earnest and moving tribute to camaraderie in "Brothers," and the second strike of epic lightning in "Clear The Way" - that really takes off from the moment of first contact.

Read more ››
Posted: 10.06.2017 by ScreamingSteelUS | Comments (5)

Reviews
Succumb - Succumb

Death metal has made quite the impressive comeback in the 2010s. Though still present, the wave of grandpa metaller bands trying to replicate what worked for the genre 20 years ago, as well as the widdly diddly tech death wankers, are finally starting to die down. In their place we're now seeing a slew of bands that... are just better, really. Bands that either smash down every conceivable boundary in their way, like Chaos Echs, or even ones that might not be all that original but still deliver a hard hitting sound with an unquestionably modern update (Obliteration, Gatecreeper, etc). Bands like Succumb.

Read more ››
Posted: 08.06.2017 by Apothecary | Comments (24)

Reviews
Saturndust - RLC

When you sit back and think about it, there really are quite a lot of ways that you can die in space. You could, for example, have your ship's radar malfunction and fly straight into an asteroid field. A solar flare from a nearby star could wipe out your electronics, leaving you stranded and slowly starving to death. And there are always those pesky Xenomorphs to worry about as well. Truly, it's a realm where you have a high likelihood of meeting your doom. Doom like Saturndust.

Read more ››
Posted: 02.06.2017 by Apothecary | Comments (12)

Reviews
Disperse - Foreword

Poland's Disperse have made one of the more diverse progressive rock records in recent memory. Foreword is a precise blend of post-rock's delicate guitar lines, prog rock's complicated song structures, and metal music's forceful wall of sound when it needs to be. Yes, I know, fans of their last album are probably wondering why I didn't include djent in the genre descriptions. That's because most of the djent from Living Mirrors has evaporated and Disperse have changed gears.

Read more ››
Posted: 30.05.2017 by tea[m]ster | Comments (9)

Reviews
The Obsessed - Sacred

The Obsessed's first album in 23 years is also the first in the band's discography that I feel any desire to continue listening to, but at the same time Sacred confirms to me that The Obsessed just isn't my kind of doom.

Read more ››
Posted: 29.05.2017 by ScreamingSteelUS | Comments (2)

Reviews
Alestorm - No Grave But The Sea

Alestorm has developed a taste for songwriting that weighs heavily on party-style dance-metal tunes that could fly in any nightclub if they didn't smell so strongly of marine life, and No Grave But The Sea delivers the hearty "Mexico" and heavily hardcore "Alestorm" to follow up "Magnetic North" and the cover of Taio Cruz's "Hangover." It's good to see the band embrace such a fun, high-energy, and catchy style, especially because the strictly traditional folk metal sea shanties have begun to sound a little formulaic. I don't know if Alestorm could in good faith abandon its "serious" metal roots entirely and become a purely party band, but it's a shame they don't at least do so more often.

Read more ››
Posted: 24.05.2017 by ScreamingSteelUS | Comments (4)

Reviews
The Ruins Of Beverast - Exuvia

I am not going to hide my bias. Alexander Von Meilenwald is a crafter of some of the finest blackened doom metal on the planet, and I am most definitely a fanboy for The Ruins Of Beverast. Having been somewhat disappointed, however, with the project's previous Blood Vaults effort, I went into 2017's Exuvia with some pretty high hopes of the music redeeming itself. And by the grace of Nyarlathotep, those hopes have been met.

Read more ››
Posted: 09.05.2017 by Apothecary | Comments (16)

Reviews
Distillator - Summoning The Malicious

Thrash power trios don't come along very often, unless you count the four-piece bands that utterly disregard their bassists (which is most of them). Distillator is a rare band whose members seem to be in perfect harmony; Summoning The Malicious is one of the best-mixed albums I've heard from the modern thrash movement, and there is something truly energizing about being able to hear all the instruments working in tandem. Guitar is still king, but Frankie Suim's bass playing is often the most interesting thing on this album, and Distillator were smart to make it audible.

Read more ››
Posted: 02.05.2017 by ScreamingSteelUS | Comments (4)

Reviews
Mastodon - Emperor Of Sand

Emperor Of Sand follows after Once More 'Round The Sun and The Hunter before it as a mixture of streamlined hard rock and periodic bursts of classic Mastodon fury, with a psychedelic alt-rock haze seeping into a few riffs. As with any Mastodon album, Emperor Of Sand houses some inspired musicianship now and then, especially from Brann Dailor, but in keeping with the band's recent trend, the album centers around less kinetic displays and aims for commercial heaviness.

Read more ››
Posted: 30.04.2017 by ScreamingSteelUS | Comments (26)