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Review: Polar – No Cure No Saviour

Review: Polar – No Cure No Saviour

Polar make no apologies for their brand of gigantic hardcore. On its third full-length album, the band fills every available moment with big bludgeoning riffs and emotional screamalong choruses. At times, this can become a little tedious; there are only so many heartache-fueled breakdowns one person can take. But the band’s melodic moments throw enough […]

Review: Dynazty – Titanic Mass

Review: Dynazty – Titanic Mass

Imagine if Ratt or Cinderella decided to become Dream Theater or Symphony X. Swedish hard rockers Dynazty began that kind of metamorphosis on 2014’s ‘Renatus,’ and it continues successfully on ‘Titanic Mass,’ their fifth studio full-length. The album balances complex, proggy riffage with the melodic sweetness of ’80s pop- metal. Nils Molin’s soaring, Dio-esque vocals […]

Review: Devour the Day – S.O.A.R.

Review: Devour the Day – S.O.A.R.

If 2014’s ‘Time & Pressure’ was an attention-getting calling card, its successor truly soars past it. The band is clearly more confident and conceptually-centered this time around, with 10 tracks of industrial-strength electro metal driven by angsty fury, intricate dynamics and gloriously dense sonics. ‘S.O.A.R.’ stands for Suffer.Overcome. And.Recover, and rest assured there’s more S […]

Review: Black Stone Cherry – Kentucky

Review: Black Stone Cherry – Kentucky

Southern hard-rock establishment Black Stone Cherry pen a love letter to their home state with their fifth album, ‘Kentucky.’ Vocalist and lead guitarist Chris Robertson spins tales of love, hope, disaster, and magic with a voice cut from the same cloth as the legendary Ronnie James Dio. Titanic riffs and a torrential rhythm section propel […]

Review: Metal Church – XI

Review: Metal Church – XI

This is one that truly has us at hello—or at least at “Reset,” the opening track of Metal Church’s first album with singer Mike Howe since 1993’s ‘Hanging in the Balance.’ His tones are as sinister and quasi-demonic as they were two decades ago, while guitarist and group leader Kurdt Vanderhoof is playing at the […]

Review: American Head Charge – Tango Umbrella

Review: American Head Charge – Tango Umbrella

A decade after the release of their last full-length album, American Head Charge has returned to bring chugging NWOAHM back to the masses. But while the Minneapolis sextet reach for the stars on ‘Tango Umbrella,’ incorporating elements of nu-metal, industrial, and grunge into the mix, the result doesn’t always hit the mark. Tracks like “Sacred” […]

Review: Cobalt – Slow Forever

Review: Cobalt – Slow Forever

After enduring a very public falling out with former vocalist Phil McSorley, Cobalt mastermind Erik Wunder has reappeared with a double album that might be the Colorado-based metal outfit’s most crucial and devastating record yet. As usual, all instruments are handled by Wunder, who then enlisted former Lord Mantis frontman Charlie Fell to lend his […]

Review: Rotten Sound – Abuse to Suffer

Review: Rotten Sound – Abuse to Suffer

Kicking off their seventh album with a 77-second riff avalanche called “Lazy Asses,” Finnish grind act Rotten Sound are anything but. Blasting faces in the extremely extreme tradition of genre progenitors Napalm Death and late Swedish masters Nasum, guitar punisher Mika Aalto and his squad of cider-swilling speed dealers occasionally slow things down to an […]

Review: Circus Maximus – Havoc

Review: Circus Maximus – Havoc

Between the semi-symphonic synths, the exquisite detail in the arrangements, and the soaring, heroic heft of Michael Eriksen’s vocals, Circus Maximus could easily fall prey to the self-satisfaction that undid pompous prog-rockers of the past. What keeps these young Norwegians safe is that no matter how rapturously melodic their music gets, the guitars are always […]

Review: Almanac – Tsar

Review: Almanac – Tsar

It’s a wonder no metal band has made a concept album about Russian history before now. It’s all there: Endless wars fought on unforgiving wastelands, rampaging Mongol hordes, Ivan the Terrible. Victor Smolski, former guitarist for the German metal band Rage, has cobbled together a cast of vocalists, musicians and orchestra players under the name […]