Reviews
Deus X Machina - X

Deus X Machina's X is power metal with strong heavy metal leanings. These Argentines released a debut that comes out of the gate with mountains of energy to spare, a classic metal influence, and a singer with strong high notes even a dog can't hear. The opening track even reminded me of Hibria's debut Defying The Rules: The Power Metal Version.

The youthful energy here is the main selling point; each listen was exciting and I couldn't help but tap a toe or otherwise move my body for every single note. Yet, they're unpolished here and there and still have a ways to go regarding songwriting. The melodies are good, not great or hugely memorable, and the production is a bit lacking. Overall, keyboards are well used and provide enough support without overwhelming any of you listeners who have keyboard allergies. Vocals are classically performed and stay primarily in the upper range. Because of this, they have potential to get tiresome. This guy sounds like he knows what he's doing, so I'd love to hear him explore his mid- and low-range more next time.

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Posted: Today by Susan | Comments (1)

Reviews
Almøst Human - Ø

In Flames, anybody?

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Posted: 23.11.2014 by R Lewis | Comments (2)

Reviews
Ravenscry - The Attraction Of Opposites

Ravenscry's second full-length takes everything from their debut, improves on it, experiments even more, and offers thirteen songs of absorbing, introverted melodies that have had me returning to the album for months now.

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Posted: 23.11.2014 by dismaleuphony | Comments (3)

Reviews
Bloodtruth - Obedience

I'm tired and angry. I won't make the slightest effort to make this review interesting, or easy to read. Nor will I try to be original. And I certainly won't resort to intricate sentences to make this longer than it has to be. Why would I put more work into this than Bloodtruth did when writing the album?

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Posted: 22.11.2014 by Ilham | Comments (14)

Reviews
Phosphorus - Assassinat

There's really something special about finding a band like this - young, energetic and untainted by over-familiarity. Hearing Phosphorus' full-length debut is akin to hearing Absu or Skeletonwitch for the first time all over again.

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Posted: 22.11.2014 by Doc Godin | Comments (1)

Reviews
Silent Planet - The Night God Slept

The best thing about growing older is not knowing yourself better, but coming to the realisation you actually don't know that much. I never would have thought an album by a Christian metalcore band could actually move the doubtful heart of a hardened atheist such as mine. Silent Planet tamed the cold bitch in me for the short while I needed to write this review. I'll proceed to tell you how.

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Posted: 21.11.2014 by Ilham | Comments (30)

Reviews
Revocation - Deathless

Revocation's self-titled album released in 2013 left me thinking two main things. The first being (aside from "Spastic") it was bad, and the second being despite its badness, the people in this band have the potential to drop a cataclysmic shit-wrecking album that would do the thrash and death genres proper justice.

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Posted: 20.11.2014 by Mattybu | Comments (8)

Reviews
Tengger Cavalry - Ancient Call

I went looking for some great folk metal since none had yet found me this year. In 2012 I took this same journey and found Wilderun on the unlikely shores of Boston; I have again struck folk metal gold in the equally unlikely city of Beijing.

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Posted: 20.11.2014 by Susan | Comments (7)

Reviews
Khold - Til Endes

So decomposed that it starts oozing unidentified fluids, giving off a putrid smell and the insides ready to burst if you press too hard with your finger. That's how I like my French cheese, and that's how I like my Khold.

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Posted: 20.11.2014 by Ilham | Comments (5)

Reviews
Usnea - Random Cosmic Violence

With 21 categories and 10 nominees per category for our annual Metal Storm Awards, it's inevitable that some albums are going to go unnoticed. One that may have missed your glance in this past edition was Usnea's self titled debut, a powerhouse of pounding doom, a dynamic black metal touch, and ensnaring atmosphere. Not even two years later, these Americans are back at it yet again, looking to solidify and expand upon their sound, an effort at which they certainly succeed with Random Cosmic Violence.

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Posted: 19.11.2014 by Apothecary | Comments (8)

Reviews
Into Orbit - Caverns

Hailing from the land down under… no, not the one with Crocodile Dundee and Men At Work. The other one. The one where all sorts of Hollywood types run around LARPing for the cameras. You know, "Lord of Xena Warrior Princess" stuff..

Oh wow. Train of thought derailed. Oh my god the humanity.

So, Into Orbit are from New Zealand, they play post-metal/rock, and Caverns is probably worth your while.

Fortunately for my poor eardrums they play closer to the Explosions In The Sky style. Eloquent and evocative atmospheric notes sparkle while a basic melody is laid. Tracks slowly build into some degree of crescendo. In the case of Into Orbit these parts aren't simply playing the same riffs and stomping on a distortion pedal. No. They vary and have a rather visceral feel. You can imagine the band physically attacking their instruments. Sometimes with hammered dissonance, other times with the occasional psychedelic surf rock backing rhythm.

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Posted: 19.11.2014 by Xnoybis | Comments (2)

Reviews
Jakob - Sines

8 years is a hell of a long time between releases, and New Zealand's instrumental post rock/metal band Jakob have pulled off a miraculous comeback. I don't think the band was ever on the brink of dissipating, but the fact is life altering occurrences left many in doubt. Freak injuries to all the band members' hands, public relation snafus and what seemed an insurmountable layoff put the band and their highly anticipated album Sines in between a rock and a hard place. Alas, post-fans will be excited to know Jakob sound mightier than ever, like the band I discovered while they were touring with Isis in 2008.

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Posted: 18.11.2014 by tea[m]ster | Comments (4)

Reviews
Krokodil - Nachash

Beards. Moustaches. 20 mm gauges. Tattoo sleeves and sleeveless shirts. Total package. But who cares, seriously? I'm not like a certain woman who judges a whole bunch of people based on looks and stereotypes. So far, I've heard a lot about Krokodil because of its line-up, but no one's ever talked about the actual music. Let's fix that right now.

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Posted: 17.11.2014 by Ilham | Comments (13)

Reviews
Harmony - Theatre Of Redemption

Swedish power metallers Harmony invited guest vocalist Daniel Heiman, formerly of such power metal bands as Lost Horizon, Heed, and Crystal Eyes, to bring his formidable talents to Theatre Of Redemption. It's been several years since this voice graced a metal album and his return is no doubt cause for celebration. Such great power metal music can easily be turned to dust by the wrong voice, or conversely, polished to a mirror shine with the right one.

Despite a somewhat fantasy-related theme, Harmony keeps the vibe very serious. Harmonies on a few tracks bring to mind mid-period Kamelot albums: darkly beautiful yet still very power metal. The key ingredient here is the chosen tempos: ballads never drag, instead they move along with a non-cheesy clip, while the up-tempo songs take us for a wild ride without feeling like the musicians are just proving how fast they can play. The astute performances are serving the well-composed music.

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Posted: 17.11.2014 by Susan | Comments (2)

Reviews
Arcana Coelestia - Nomas

Funeral doom has always seemed to me to be split into two distinctly different camps. On the one hand, you have bands that are absolutely dark, desolate, and ominous with their sound, such as Evoken or Wormphlegm. And then, on the other, you have bands that prefer to take more of a relaxed approach, making things a bit brighter and epic in the process. Bands like Arcana Coelestia.

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Posted: 16.11.2014 by Apothecary | Comments (4)

Reviews
Adimiron - Timelapse

As Doc Godin astutely noted in his review of Adimiron's last album, this Italian quintet has a very distinctly Gojira sludgy-crunchy-grind thing going on. While its predecessor bore the unmistakable air of a band simply trying to ride the coattails of their heroes, Adimiron have really hit the ball out of the park with Timelapse.

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Posted: 16.11.2014 by ScreamingSteelUS | Comments (1)

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