ALBUM REVIEW: Altar of Oblivion – In The Cesspit Of Divine Decay


 

Of all the sub-genres journalists tend to get blamed for flourishing, Doom is one of the most easily defined. Its tempo is the most distinguishing feature that separates it from the other metal genres that tend to play at more aggressive speeds. Even Doom has now been divided into other sub-genres, one of these being Traditional  Doom, to which bands like Candlemass, Trouble, and Cathedral are assigned. Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Portrait – The Host


 

For their sixth full-length studio release, Swedish metallers Portrait journey to the land of the concept album in order to conjure up a tale of sword and sorcery set in the seventeenth century. Their first full-blown conceptual release, The Host (Metal Blade) is not an entirely fictional piece but also inspired partly by historic events, with the band imparting the tale of an unnamed protagonist seeking strength after encountering injustice and hypocrisy.
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ALBUM REVIEW: Gatecreeper – Dark Superstition


After a five-year gap between albums, Arizonan quintet Gatecreeper are back with Dark Superstition (Nuclear Blast). Their third album sees their heavy, Death Metal roar wed to more melodic and concise metal. A heavy band embracing melody like this might raise some metalheads’ hackles, afraid their band going soft, but fear not. Their heft and aggression is still alive and kicking, but just married to more accessible metal.   Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Darkthrone – It Beckons Us All


Darkthrone has been long associated with being “True Norweigan Black Metal” but has not made any attempt to adhere to this expectation of them since 2004’s “Sardonic Wrath”. Instead, the band has circled its wagons around crust punk and wandered off Celtic Frost worship. “It Beckons Us All…” (Peaceville Records)  finds the band perfecting the traditional metal path they first embarked on with “The Underground Resistance”. Now 11 years later the duo of Fenriz and Nocturno Culto are done obsessing over their record collection and have focused on writing headbanging anthems that cold a touch of melody and mystery.Continue reading


CONCERT REVIEW: Lucifer – Coven – Early Moods Live at Le Poisson Rouge


The renowned venue Le Poisson Rouge hosted an unholy night of Heavy Metal, in the heart of New York City. A triple bill dubbed “The Satanic Panic Tour” – featured Lucifer, Coven, and Early Moods. It was the perfect environment for this tour. The bands did not disappoint, giving a modern throwback feeling of heavy metal.Continue reading


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 livenation.com. 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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