CULTUM INTERITUM – Sacrum Funeral

RELEASE YEAR: 2023  BAND URL: https://godzovwarproductions.bandcamp.com/album/sacrum-funeral What we have here is a six-track album by the Polish horde named Cultum Interitum that dabbles in murky and unpleasant black metal with a charcoal-stained mood and a grimy vibe to it. The sound is so frigging pitch-black that I am absolutely positive they recorded this sinister musical curse…

MISANTHROPIC WAR – Utter Human Annihilation

RELEASE YEAR: 2023BAND URL: https://godzovwarproductions.bandcamp.com/album/utter-human-annihilation By Odin, this is fucking intense and hateful stuff. Misanthropic War’s take on black/death metal is of the most violent and destructive kind, and listening to Utter Human Annihilation and its thirteen hyper-aggressive tracks is akin to having one’s face torn right off. Everything is there in the title of…

HEAVENS EDGE – Get It Right

RELEASE YEAR: 2023  BAND URL: https://www.facebook.com/heavensedgeband/ The American hard rock act known as Heavens Edge made a name for themselves back in the late eighties and early nineties and released some quality stuff then, but they kind of dropped off the radar shortly after, and I will be the first to admit that I was rather…

CRY OF DAWN – Anthropocene

RELEASE YEAR: 2023  BAND URL: https://www.facebook.com/cryofdawnmusic/ The Swedish melodic rockers known as Cry of Dawn, which is fronted by the talented Göran Edman, serves up eleven catchy and easily digestible tunes that harken back to the 80s and contain more than a cursory nod to AOR ala Journey. This sophomore album of theirs is a well-produced…

ZERO HOUR – Agenda 21

RELEASE YEAR: 2022BAND URL: https://www.facebook.com/zerohourtowers Progressive metallers Zero Hour are back following a long hiatus and knowing that these guys are capable musicians, I was curious as to how this brand-new effort of theirs would sound. After countless spins and listening sessions, I must admit that I find “Agenda 21” somewhat uneven and a bit…

THANATEROS – On Fragile Wings

RELEASE YEAR: 2022  BAND URL: https://thanateros.bandcamp.com/ The German folk-inspired metal outfit known as Thanateros released this twelve-track effort of theirs just a few weeks ago via Echozone and despite not being what one would deem an immersive experience or an enthralling listen, it does have its merits and some rather interesting ideas to it. In truth,…

NIDHOEGGR – Arise

"Arise" by the Swiss act Nidhoeggr, which is their sophomore full-length opus, is a relatively entertaining foray into folk metal with a few touches of pagan metal and death metal added for good measure. Its brisk pace and galloping rhythms add an uplifting feel to its eleven compositions and the melodic death metal influences that…

GAMMA RAY – 30 Years Live Anniversary

This one nearly got away from my pile of stuff to review, and so before I forget, I figured that we should at least write a few short sentences about this nicely packaged 2CD/DVD output by the well-known German power metal outfit Gamma Ray. As its title suggests, what we have here is a live…

FELLED – Intimate Earth

In the onslaught of fantastic releases from Trivium, Carcass, Rage and Aborted I have almost forgotten that it was possible to happen upon an average, that is, a good but not great release. Such are essential to preserve a reviewer’s integrity so for this reason alone I’m glad that I grabbed this debut album from…

GALVANIZER – Prying Sight Of Imperception

I like my death metal furious and at least hook-laden if not melodic. The Finnish death/grind collective has plenty of the former but not too much of the latter, preferring to just overwhelm the listener with their technical prowess and speed rather than offering nuance, ebbs and flows and the likes even though this is…

OBSEQUIAL JOY – Show My Mercy

The obscure entity known as Obsequial Joy, which hails from Taiwan, is an interesting mixture of funeral doom metal, lo-fi dark ambient, and black metal. I have seen the term "post-black metal" being thrown around out there on the web whenever the discussion revolves around this five-track opus, and despite it being a rather vague…

TIMO TOLKKI’S AVALON – The Enigma Birth

"The Enigma Birth" by Timo Tolkki’s Avalon is the fourth album by the project and arguably the most accomplished and musically satisfying one in their discography yet. With an impressive cast of musically gifted people such as James Labrie, Caterina Nix, Fabio Lione, and Marina La Torraca appearing on the record, this is essentially a…

THE MIGHTY ONE – Torch of Rock and Roll

The Mighty One hail from Canada and churn out an energetic mixture of heavy metal and hard rock with groove and grit to it, and the raw affair is suitably unpolished and also sufficiently vibrant to evoke that wonderfully invigorating spirit of rock ‘n’ roll, which is obviously a good thing. In many ways, this…

KREEK – Kreek

The relatively new UK hard rock outfit that is Kreek, which is spearheaded by former Bigfoot vocalist Antony Ellis, recently released this debut offering of theirs via Frontiers Records, and there is a strong emphasis on melodies and harmonies here. Comprised of ten compositions and produced by Daniel Rossall, the album contains its fair share…

HOVERT – OMYT

The Russian entity named Hovert performs slow-to-mid-paced melancholic black metal with a harsh edge to it and is relatively straightforward and easy to absorb. A lot of it is based around simple and morose melodies that are neatly woven together, but although this is a bleak little opus, it is sadly not the most exciting…

HEAVY PETTIN – Best of Heavy Pettin

What we have here is a rather interesting disc by Scottish NWOBHM/hard rock outfit Heavy Pettin and many of the tracks present here are not altogether that different to some of the early Def Leppard classics from the late 70s and early 80s. While the raw and blistering "Hell is Beautiful" displays several trademarks associated…

HULKOFF – Pansarfolk

Swedish folk/Viking metal act Hulkoff recently released this 2CD edition of its latest opus entitled "Pansarfolk", and I can easily see this one appealing greatly to fans of Moonsorrow, Vintersorg, Lumsk, and the likes. In terms of its production and overall presentation, this is a professional-sounding offering that boasts plenty of bombastic tunes with some…

HOLLOW ILLUSION – 2

I distinctly recall listening to and reviewing the Norwegian duo’s predecessor, the self-titled offering from 2016, and I found it only halfway interesting and somewhat mediocre in the overall perspective. Where do we stand with this latest effort of theirs then? Well, “2” does come across as a slightly more focused and musically cohesive record…

SINNER’S BLOOD – The Mirror Star

I was quite looking forward to receiving and reviewing this record by the Chilean melodic (power) metal outfit known as Sinner’s Blood. As it turns out it is a decent and half-way entertaining albeit unremarkable listen. These guys are clearly skilled musicians and this eleven-track offering oozes power and professionalism with respect to the production…

STARMEN – Kiss The Sky

I’ve never got around to hearing the debut album "Welcome To My World" (notabene, released earlier THIS horrible year) but if it was anything like, this here, follow-up (coming out only a few months after the debut), I haven’t lost much. The Stockholm, Swedish quartet, featuring Kristian "Starmen Red" Hermanson (rhythm guitar, vocals), Andreas "Starmen…

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