REVIEWS ROUND-UP: ft. Amaranthe – Blackberry Smoke – Bokassa – Shooting Daggers

When Swedish Europop-metalcore (they’re a difficult band to put a tag on considering how distinct their sound is!) sextet Amaranthe announced their arrival with 2011’s self-titled semi-classic album, it was hard to imagine them, as great as their first shot was, still being around thirteen years later. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes – Dark Rainbow

If every action has an equal and opposite reaction (or some such other attempt to pretend I paid attention in Science class all those years ago), it is no surprise that Dark Rainbow (International Death Cult) thinks where Sticky bounded in head-first, that it shows vulnerability where its predecessor presented a larger-than-life gregarious face.

Fifth dance for Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, Dark Rainbow sees Frank and partner-in-crime Dean Richardson continue their approach of creating a sound and style for each album that, while it has definable elements that ensures that despite any skin that is shed the remaining vipers are undeniably “Rattlesnakes”, sets each release apart from it’s siblings. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: New Model Army – Unbroken

Not unlike their Parliamentarian namesakes, Bradford’s New Model Army have tenaciously hung on to their libertarian left-wing hopes of a new “utopian” society, fusing Punk, Folk, and their own twisted brand of progressive Pop along the way.

The band’s latest full length, Unbroken (earMUSIC) marks their forty-fourth year, and this record brings exactly the experience fans of the band will be looking for.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Emil Bulls – Love Will Fix It

For a band like Emil Bulls, who have been slavishly grinding away at their music for coming up to three decades now, it is a wonder that their latest album Love Will Fix It (Arising Empire), is the first collection of original music to come from the band in over five years. Having come through various waves of metal and hard rock, whilst bringing plenty along for the ride into their own unique sound, it’s truly curious how much they’ll have taken in their stride since the release of their previous album, Kill Your Demons. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Magnum – Here Comes The Rain

This review was submitted before the sad news of the passing of guitarist and band leader Tony Clarkin. Our condolences and best wishes to Tony’s family, friends, and the members of the band.

It only takes a few moments of opener “Run Into The Shadows” to be welcomed with open arms back into Magnum’s world, as the opening guitar motif intertwines with the dancing keyboards and Bob Catley’s distinctive storyteller-cum-favourite-uncle’s-croon transports us into the kingdom of madness once more, forty-six years after Catley and Tony Clarkin recorded the band’s debut album, a fantastic record that laid the groundwork for a marvellous career.

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Ghost Cult’s Album of the Year Countdown 2023: Part 1 (75-41)


2013 saw Ghost Cult crown Surgical Steel (Carcass) as our inaugural Album of the Year in a democratic aggregated vote process, untouched by editorial hands (other than the sliding of the abacus balls from one side to the other – or rather the logging of votes and the use of a rather rudimentary spreadsheet), a format we continue to utilise as the years pass, and the seasons grey. Our dedicated team of writers, editors, photographers make their submissions on demand following a month of much wringing-of-hands and profanities being aimed into the editorial mailbox.Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Duff McKagan – Lighthouse


Duff McKagan is an interesting character. Having released his first solo album in 1993, a big gap followed till 2019’s Tenderness, with Lighthouse (BFD Records /Orchard/Sony) his third. This of course is but a fraction of McKagan’s musical story. Consistently coming across as the most likeable out of the classic Guns N’ Roses lineup (in which he played bass and for his part was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame), such a rock pedigree is already more than most mere mortals would ever get a sniff at.

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EP REVIEW: The Callous Daoboys – God Smiles Upon The Callous Daoboys


Much like the Atlanta band’s name is a mocking twist on the Dallas Cowboys, their take on metalcore is a mocking twist on the genre. Normally this sort of thing is not my personal taste, and I write it off as MySpace metal, however these guys have perverted in such a manner that it appeals to me. They are aggressive yet highly skilled in the mathematics of their contorted riffing.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Black Stone Cherry – Screamin’ At The Sky


When your first two albums are such bonafide classics as to not only launch you to rock fame but also firmly establish your sound and style in everyone’s conscience, it can be difficult to find the space to grow amongst the weeds and weight of expectation, particularly when your third album saw some of the earnestness and depth not quite sacrificed at the altar of “the commercial gamble” (one that paid off, whether or not you choose to blame it on the Boom Boom), but tempered in exchange for slick, rock arena fillers.

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ALBUM REVIEW: With Honor – Boundless


In an astoundingly potent year for hardcore that is seeing beautiful and passionate efforts from so many bands from Gel to Fiddlehead to the upcoming Filth Is Eternal release, the return of Connecticut hardcore band With Honor is still a cause to celebrate.

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