AQUILUS – Bellum I

The Australian progressive neofolk black/death metal one man act Aquilus (meaning something male dark-colored and swarthy) has just (December 3rd) released its second full-length, "Bellum I", which comes ten years after the also fantastic if slightly inferior debut, "Griseus"²⁰¹¹. The level of musical genius which had gone into the making of this new masterpiece is…

BARRY ADAMSON – Up Above the City, Down Beneath the Stars

Renowned artist Barry Adamson’s recently published autography is nothing short of a literary revelation. Many fine and hugely memorable memoirs and music-related books have seen the light of day this year, but the evocatively titled "Up Above the City, Down Beneath the Stars" undoubtedly sits at the very top of that list and is simply…

INFRARED – From The Black Swamp

How do you define a perfect thrash metal album in the XXI-st century? Firstly, it helps a lot if your roots go all the way back to the roots of the genre (1985) even if you disappear for 5 and then for 14 years and your first life didn’t result so much as in a…

SIMON GODDARD – Bowie Odyssey 71

The follow-up to the widely acclaimed "Bowie Odyssey 70" by author Simon Goddard was something that yours truly had been looking forward to for quite some time and I am thrilled to report that what we have here is nothing short of a flawless masterpiece. In short, Goddard’s latest excursion into David Bowie’s early years,…

FIVE THE HIEROPHANT – Through Aureate Void

The sinister British ensemble known as Five the Hierophant is something out of the ordinary and this brand-new opus of theirs is a seriously accomplished one and a monument of emotion and atmosphere. What exactly is "Through Aureate Void"? Imagine if renowned composer Angelo Badalamenti decided to join a blackened doom metal outfit and score…

SYD BARRETT AND ROB CHAPMAN – The Lyrics of Syd Barrett

Many marvelous books by or on musicians as well as those chronicling whole movements and styles and whatnot have seen the light of day these past many years, but once in a while you come across something that touches you profoundly; something that moves and inspires you beyond what the written word on the page…

SODOM – Genesis XIX

As of 2022, Germany’s Sodom will officially be 40 years old, with legendary frontman Tom Angelripper a year shy of his 60th birthday. This information, whilst a testament to the band’s longevity, is also mind-boggling when listening to their new album, the absolutely devastating ‘Genesis XIX’, because it has the energy of a band 30…

AC/DC – Power Up

AC/DC sitt 17 album Power Up svikter ikke! Men vi får en vri, en positiv sådan. Det er lett å trekke tråder bakover i tid, og det er det jo. Angus har tatt frem den ene skuffen med gamle ting det ikke ble noe av og jeg elsker det. Jeg er jo kanskje litt inhabil…

NAPALM DEATH – Throes Of Joy In The Jaws Of Defeatism

If there’s one band in the world of extreme metal that needs absolutely no introduction, it is Napalm Death. A band that has, in their 39 years of existence (a phenomenal feat in itself for a band of this level of extremity), both started and stretched the limits of sonic excess, they have found success…

ULCERATE – Stare Into Death And Be Still

Few people who have watched The Shire as depicted in Peter Jackson’s "The Lord Of The Rings" Trilogy motion picture would associate those green picturesque pastures with bleak depressing death metal, yet it is here, in Auckland, New Zealand, that Ulcerate, one of my favorite death metal bands, was born as Bloodwreath in 2000 and…

TRIPTYKON with the Metropole Orkest – Requiem (Live At Roadburn 2019)

There are certain albums that, once you have investigated their origins and delved deep into the recordings, you just know are special and worthy of classic status. When it comes to Thomas Gabriel Fischer, the mastermind behind Switzerland’s Hellhammer, Celtic Frost, and Triptykon (all three projects being HUGELY influential and iconic), every release creates a…

ORANSSI PAZUZU – Mestarin Kynsi

Oranssi Pazuzu is the perfect embodiment of the sub-sub-genre known as ‘psychedelic black metal’. Over the past 13 years and numerous releases, the Finnish legends have taken a cosmic journey that started with a fresh and hugely enjoyable venture into the darker realms and pushed it to extreme lengths. The music is always rooted heavily…

ETERNAL STORM – Come the Tide

On their debut album the Spanish progressive melodic death metallers set a new standard for the genre, comparative to Insomnium, Opeth, Be’lakor, Omnium Gatherum or In Mourning yet built from elements of various genres, with perfect songwriting and perfect execution, for a masterpiece of epic proportions. Let us begin by trying to describe the feelings…

IRON MAIDEN – 2018 Re-masters

Late last year, the amazing ensemble that is Iron Maiden remastered their first four records and issued them via the ever-reliable Parlophone Records, which is fucking great news even if you already have some of the earlier re-masters such as the ones from 1998 somewhere in your collection. Housed in nice albeit simple-looking digipaks, the…

IAN HUNTER – Diary of a Rock ‘N’ Roll Star (2018 Edition)

The living legend that is Mott the Hoople’s Ian Hunter chronicled and documented their tour of the US back in 1972 and as it turned out, his diary notes eventually turned into a literary classic that remains unsurpassed to this very day. I cannot thank the ever-awesome Omnibus Press in the UK enough for reissuing…

REVOCATION – The Outer Ones

Whether as Cryptic Warning (for a one album, "Sanity’s Aberration") since 2000 or as Revocation since 2006 this American outfit always served great seamless technical death/thrash concoction already progressive on Revocation’s second album "Existence Is Futile" which introduced me to them. The third installment "Chaos Of Forms" took the progression to such hights that the…

OMNIUM GATHERUM – The Burning Cold

"New World Shadows" made Omnium Gatherum into one of the stalwarts in melodic death metal. Their sixth album "Beyond" revolutionized the genre by implementing elements of progressive rock of Marillion or Camel while remaining aggressively death metal. The follow-up "Grey Heavens" stripped down that approach rolling back the progressive rock influences while emphasizing and deepening…

DESCEND INTO DESPAIR – Synaptic Veil

Weltschmerz (German: World Pain) is a brooding and ever-looming feeling that physical reality can never fully satisfy the demands of the mind. The Romanian Funeral Doomsters Descend Into Despair, have played with this concept in their masterful, first, double album "Bearer Of All Storms", an album I enthusiastically raved about here and gave the highest…

HIDEOUS DIVINITY – Adveniens

Death metal is a subgenre that constantly changes. Some would have it not move beyond the classic dirty, rotten sound of Obituary or early Death while others can appreciate the more technical progressive aspect of Obscura or Decrepit Birth. One of the bands which found the happy medium is Ulcerate which in turn inspired others…

HATRED REIGNS – Realm: I – Affliction

It’s been said the forefathers of heavy metal, Black Sabbath, had already written all the riffs and that arguably may be true, although it’s always appreciated when a band can come up with the likes of Obituary’s "Body Bag" or Pestilence’s "Out Of Body" or Death’s "Zero Tolerance", truly memorable riffs that have "classic" written…

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