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Review: Kobra And the Lotus — High Priestess

Review: Kobra And the Lotus — High Priestess

Kobra and the Lotus frontwoman Kobra Paige is a classically trained vocalist with a vibrato like a razor and a fiery devotion to the works of her ancestors. Her band’s newest full-length is about as close to a classic Iron Maiden or Judas Priest album as it’s possible to get without actually taking place in 1977. […]

Review: Judas Priest – Redeemer of Souls

Review: Judas Priest – Redeemer of Souls

Whether Judas Priest were consciously aware their next album might be their last and wanted to go out with the power of a firework display, or whether they were trying to redeem themselves in the eyes of the many fans dismayed by their 2008 double-disc rock opera ‘Nostradamus’ is unclear. What’s apparent is that ‘Redeemer […]

Review: The Relapse Symphony — Shadows

Review: The Relapse Symphony — Shadows

On this, their debut full-length, The Relapse Symphony play the sort of brand of glam-inflected metalcore that has been dragged into the spotlight by groups like Black Veil Brides and Asking Alexandria, but the Washington D.C. quintet’s sound is more accessible—and catchy—than those bands’ recent releases. In particular, standout track “Make Your Move” shows strong, […]

Review: The Dead Rabbitts – Shapeshifter

Review: The Dead Rabbitts – Shapeshifter

Phoenix-based metalcore supergroup The Dead Rabbitts formed as the side project of Escape the Fate frontman Craig Mabbitt, and also includes current and former members of Greeley Estates and Alesana. Their latest album is notably heavier than Escape the Fate’s recent hard-rock- and glam-influenced work, packing in plenty of tightly crafted breakdowns and dissonant riffs. […]

Review: Linkin Park – The Hunting Party

Review: Linkin Park – The Hunting Party

Thirteen years after being steeled in the crucible of Ozzfest, and millions of record sales later, Linkin Park have grown into one of America’s biggest rock bands. But now they’re ratcheting the kick-ass up another notch: Their new album, ‘The Hunting Party,’ is not only the hardest and heaviest thing they’ve ever released, but it’s […]

Review: Septicflesh — Titan

Review: Septicflesh — Titan

It’s been six years since Greece’s Septicflesh reinvigorated their sound with the epic Communion, and not much has changed. On Titan, one finds the same mixture of cinematic orchestrals, layered growls, and pneumatic drums. What’s lacking at times is cohesion—often, Septicflesh’s polished, overproduced sound feels haphazard and directionless. Still, tracks like “Order of Dracul” and […]

Review: Trap Them — Blissfucker

Review: Trap Them — Blissfucker

The fourth album from crust/hardcore/sludge/grind outfit Trap Them may contain some of the catchiest songs they’ve ever written—see the smokin’ hot riff of “Gift and Gift Unsteady,” reminiscent of Entombed’s classic “Seeing Red” lick—but it’s just as heavy as always. Heavier, even: The grindcore of late album cut “Former Lining Wide the Walls” (two, maybe […]

Review: Tombs — Savage Gold

Review: Tombs — Savage Gold

2011’s acclaimed Path of Totality set the bar high, but Tombs prove up to the challenge with Savage Gold, which explores even darker, deeper terrain. The first half of the record is mostly harsh and unrelenting, with doomy segues serving as mere breathers between bouts of Morbid Angelesque punishment. With the more hypnotic “Echoes,” however, […]

Review: Hellyeah — Blood for Blood

Review: Hellyeah — Blood for Blood

With the acrimonious departure of longtime members Greg Tribbett and Bob Zilla, Hellyeah have discovered new fuel for the fire. Blood for Blood is punchy and vitriolic, full of unforgiving tracks like “Soul Killer” and “Say When,” the latter featuring Vinnie Paul’s most acrobatic drumming since Pantera. But two of the most powerful cuts are […]

Review: Bloody Hammers — Under Satan’s Sun

Review: Bloody Hammers — Under Satan’s Sun

North Carolina’s Bloody Hammers specialize in gothy, super heavy occult rock that draws its vibe from Goblin and its sound from Queens of the Stone Age, if everyone in that band was a vampire. Most everything here feels familiar: the pile-driving riffs, the insistent hooks, the fact that it sounds like the soundtrack to one […]