ALBUM REVIEW: Sorcerer – Reign Of The Reaper


Nearly ten years into their career return, Swedish metallers Sorcerer have proven to be a somewhat underappreciated but certainly formidable presence. Perhaps it is down to their sound which sits on the boundaries of traditional and Doom Metal which has hardly been flavour of the month in recent years. It is a timeless and reliable sound however which has seen them with some strong and sturdy releases since their 2015 return. Therefore, things were hardly likely to dramatically shift with a new album; but if Reign Of The Reaper (Metal Blade Records) does anything, it further cements their status.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Cirith Ungol – Dark Parade


Life comes at you fast. Since releasing the details of latest album The Dark Parade (Metal Blade Records) to the world just a few weeks ago, Californian legends Cirith Ungol have already had to make two other major announcements regarding their future. First came the news at the end of September that long serving guitarist Jimmy Barraza was having to leave due to ongoing health issues, and then just a few days ago, the band shared the sad news that they were to be retiring from performing live shows as of next year.

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3 Inches of Blood Books First Show in Almost Ten Years

Trad Metal Flagbeaers 3 Inches of Blood have been much-missed in their almost 10-year hiatus as a working band. After much teasing on social media, the band has announced a one-off comeback show. Unto Others will provide direct support. The show will take place in their hometown of Vancouver Canada on January 13, 2024. The band will come full circle in the same place it ended, at the legendary Commodore Ballroom on Granville Street. Tickets officially go on sale September 15th at 10 am PST at Pre-sale tickets will be available on September 12th at 10:00 am PST. Check out the 3 inches of Blood Instagram and Facebook pages later on for pre-sale code.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Spirit Adrift – Ghost At The Gallows


As the dog-fighting solos of “Give Her To The River” battle across the sunlit horizon between your ears, flurries of shrapnel-barbed melodic notes and runs fired first from one side of your headphones then the other, for those of us who are battle-hardened Heavy Metal warriors it’s hard not to grin and surrender to the glory of the Ghost At The Gallows, for the Spirit Adrift has claimed another champion to its horde.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Celestial Sanctuary- Insatiable Thirst For Torment


In an ever-increasingly rich and exciting underground Death Metal scene in the UK, Celestial Sanctuary have been a prominent standard bearer and the ones most likely to break out to bigger things. 2021’s Soul Diminished was a case of a very strong debut album which also showed strong potential to be realised and was backed up with some feverishly received live outings, with the band maximising their opportunities with the likes of Undeath, so expectations on the follow up were always going to be high. Expectations which have been well and truly smashed with the immensely realised Insatiable Thirst For Torment (Church Road Records).

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ALBUM REVIEW: Wizard Tattoo – Fables of the Damned


Wizard Tattoo are ostensibly a solo outfit from Indianapolis led by multi-instrumentalist Bram the Bard who released a four-track self-titled EP last year which has now been followed up with the Fables of the Damned (Self-Released) full-length debut which I currently have in my possession and am about to review.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Gatekeeper – From Western Shores


To be a gatekeeper in metal is generally frowned upon as elitist these days, to the point where my favorite Awenden / Feminazgul shirt has the phrase “impale the gatekeepers on spears and leave them posted alongside your path as a warning to others” on the back.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Crom – The Era Of Darkness


In the battle for memorable metal, style or substance often battle for dominance. While Germany’s Crom may seem to lean more towards “style” in their sturdy and reliable brand of Trad/Power hybrid metal, the songs on the new release The Era Of Darkness (From The Vaults) also contain a strong measure of strength in the sword arm and fire in the heart.

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ALBUM REVIEWS ROUND-UP: ft. No Devotion – Sumerlands – Smith, Kotzen – Snow Coats – Voyager


No Devotion – No Oblivion (Equal Vision)

With an understated class that is a prevalent trait that underpins the second album from No Devotion, a collective featuring Geoff Rickly (Thursday) and Lee Gaze and Stu Richardson (ex-lostprophets), ‘Starlings’ is the gentle breath of life that ushers the album in; lush swathes of synths underpinning an emotive and earnest chorus that could have been taken from the Deftones more reflective moments. Rickly sets a stall out espousing vulnerable confidence and exceptional quality from the outset, before second track ‘No Oblivion’ shows the other side of the bands arsenal with synth motifs dancing around guitars and quasi-industrial beats, and nods to Nine Inch Nails in one of the more abrasive tunes. Continue reading