JIM PETERIK & WORLD STAGE – Tigress – Women Who Rock the World

RELEASE YEAR: 2021BAND URL: https://www.facebook.com/officialjimpeterik     Renowned songwriter and Pride of Lions mastermind Jim Peterik is probably most known for crafting Survivor’s immortal anthem “Eye of the Tiger”, but as evidenced by the latest entry in his World Stage discography, there is so much more to the legend than infectiously catchy AOR tunes with an…

BLOODY FALLS – Burn the Witch

RELEASE YEAR: 2021  BAND URL: https://www.facebook.com/BloodyFalls     Finnish act Bloody Falls dabble in groove metal with prominent overtones of thrash metal and melodic death metal to it. Rumbling and aggressive but always with a keen focus on weaving appealing melodies into the mix, this ten-track effort by the Finnish quintet shows potential and hints at…

DARKEST MIND – Oracle of Death

RELEASE YEAR: 2021BAND URL: https://smarturl.it/Oracleofdeath Released late last year by Immortal Frost Productions, “Oracle of death” by the Belgian melodic black metal act Darkest Mind is a muscular-sounding collection of deftly executed epics that sound remarkably triumphant. What amazes me is the fact that this one is merely the group’s debut offering (they released a…

ZELBO – In My Dreams

RELEASE YEAR: 2021BAND URL: https://www.facebook.com/ZELBOtheBAND/   The Norwegian outfit known as Zelbo is a new addition to the scene but comprised of seasoned veterans and more or less spearheaded by the talented Dag Selboskar who has trod the boards with the band Da Vinci. What exactly does “In My Dreams” have to offer other than its…

HELMET – Live and Rare

RELEASE YEAR: 2021 BAND URL: https://www.helmetmusic.com/   “Live and Rare” captures Helmet in all their raw glory in New York (1990) and Australia (1993), and there is an unbridled enthusiasm and a huge sense of joy permeating these two shows that makes for an entertaining listen. The 1990 concert from the legendary CBGB is the most…

INFERNAL HATE – The Order of the Black Kestrel

RELEASE YEAR: 2021 BAND URL: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Infernal-Hate/189959921028828   Pulverizing death metal that reminds me of Krisiun and to a much lesser extent Behemoth around the time of “Thelema.6” is what we have here, and the Spanish horde known as Infernal Hate has unleashed a brutal slab of music that is as catchy as it is crushing. Although…

ZAHN – Zahn

RELEASE YEAR: 2021 BAND URL: Zahn | ZAHN (bandcamp.com)   Released a few months ago via Crazysane Records and consisting of members from Heads, this German act is something out of the ordinary and offers a dynamic mixture of post-rock, noise rock, sludge, avantgarde music, and experimental ambient. Deeply unsettling at times (check the eerie tracks…

ANTI RITUAL – Expel The Leeches

  RELEASE YEAR: 2021 BAND URL: https://indisciplinarian.bandcamp.com/album/anti-ritual   Look at that beautiful cover – do you think these guys sing love songs on “Expel The Leeches”? Indeed, the music of this 30 minute recording is as crude, ugly and brutal as the guillotine on its cover, a hardcore punk crust with generous helpings of death…

MERCURY X – Imprisoned

RELEASE YEAR: 2021 BAND URL: https://www.facebook.com/MercuryXofficial   This talented Swedish quartet offers an interesting take on prog metal and delivers an impressively heavy slab of colorful and dynamic music that is anything but short on emotional intensity and passion. While there are obvious parallels between Mercury X and Dream Theater, the former is a much more…

AGARTHIC – The Inner Side

RELEASE YEAR: 2021 BAND URL: https://www.facebook.com/Agarthic   The majestic-sounding “The Inner Side” by the Italian symphonic metallers known as Agarthic was a most positive surprise to these ears and a fascinating, well-composed offering that possesses depth and plenty of colorful nuances with respect to layers, textures, and details. While epic in scope and somewhat bombastic in…

DEATH ANGEL – The Bastard Tracks

RELEASE YEAR: 2021 BAND URL: https://www.deathangel.us/   Også i Coronaens 3. år ruller Thrash maskineriet Death Angel ufortrødent videre. Siste fullengder “Humanicide kom ut i 2019, og EP’en “Under pressure (Queen/Bowie versjonen)  kom i 2020. Sist gang undertegnede så gruppa live, reiste de på turne med felles thrash kompanjonger Testament og Exodus. Årets utgivelse, The…

THREE DEAD FINGERS – All Worlds Apart

RELEASE YEAR: 2021 BAND URL: https://www.facebook.com/threedeadfingers/   What we have here is relatively modern-sounding thrash metal (with a few metalcore and melodic death metal touches to it) that recalls The Haunted and Reclusion to a certain extent – only that Three Dead Fingers sound slightly filthier and rawer than the two aforementioned outfits, that is. If…

THE DESIGN ABSTRACT – Metemtechnosis

RELEASE YEAR: 2021BAND URL: https://facebook.com/thedesignabstract/   “Technotheism”, The Design Abstract’s third and Voiicide’s (vocals, bass, scoring, sampling, programming) and Logan Mayhem’s (guitars, modular synthesis) fourth album (previously as Design) was good if a very flawed effort suffering from overwhelming form over content and, specifically, the techno synth and keyboard elements overwhelming both the death metal…

THE DESIGN ABSTRACT – Technotheism

RELEASE YEAR: 2021 BAND URL: https://facebook.com/thedesignabstract/   When Fear Factory had released their groundbreaking second album “Demanufacture”¹⁹⁹⁵ they have inadvertently spawned a whole slew of imitators, although, Initially, only the known acts such as Darkane and Soilwork started incorporating the clean/growl dynamics in their sound but soon brand new outfits cropped up, Scar Symmetry and…

BLOODRIDE – Idiocracy

RELEASE YEAR: 2021 BAND URL: https://bloodride.bandcamp.com/album/idiocracy   Released a few months ago via the ever-reliable Great Dane Records, Bloodride’s latest opus is a no-holds-barred thrash metal onslaught capable of pummeling you to death and burning your house down. These skilled Finns have a great knack for crafting memorable hooks, and from a purely musical perspective…

OBSCURA – A Valediction

RELEASE YEAR: 2021BAND URL: https://realmofobscura.com/ I’m probably going to be called a contrarian for saying this but I don’t consider this German progressive technical melodic death metal act a revelation it seems to be so universally regarded. True, the first two albums: “Retribution”²⁰⁰⁶ and “Cosmogenesis”²⁰⁰⁹ had borne a promise of the “we may have a…

CRYPTOBIOSIS – Chainsaw Crucifixion

RELEASE YEAR:  2021 BAND URL: https://www.facebook.com/cryptobiosismetal/   The German squadron known as Cryptobiosis deliver sharp, punishing death metal with a good melodic flair to it and this 12-track effort of theirs named “Chainsaw Crucifixion” is some pretty enjoyable stuff thanks in large part to the strong riffs and the utterly aggressive vocals that are all…

ADVENT OF FIRE – Verikaste

Dark, rumbling, and raw death from the murky depths of Finland is what we are dealing with here and this is my first encounter with quintet but given that the band is relatively new and have only released a number of demos prior to this ugly 9-track effort of theirs, that is perhaps understandable. Anyway,…

SHY, LOW – Snake Behind the Sun

The US quartet known as Shy, Low released this utterly intriguing post-rock gem of theirs just a couple of months ago and this is undoubtedly one of the most captivating releases that I have come across lately. Given that the term post-rock is rather diffuse, let me merely state that these guys conjure up uniquely…

PERFECT PLAN – Live at Sharpener’s House

I am quite fond of "All Rise" and "Time for a Miracle" by Swedish AOR/melodic rock outfit Perfect Plan and although one might question whether this live offering of theirs (or rather live in the studio during the pandemic) is essential as such, let me just say that it is primarily one for the fans.…

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