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Review: KEN Mode – Success

Review: KEN Mode – Success

On their sixth album, Canada-based KEN Mode have scrapped much of their hardcore leanings in favor of the abrasive noise-rock of Jesus Lizard and Big Black (whose frontman, Steve Albini, produced ‘Success’). From the first note, the album throbs to the beat of its own diseased heart, barreling forward with percussive riffs, lunging beats and […]

Review: Fight Amp – Constantly Off

Review: Fight Amp – Constantly Off

Philly noise-rock trio Fight Amp have stocked up on all the finest Amphetamine Reptile titles—The Melvins, Unsane, Jesus Lizard, etc.—and studied them thoroughly. No maniacal drum nuance, deep bass crevasse or thunderously detuned riff escapes inspection. Thus empowered, vocalist-guitarist Mike McGinnis and his shock troops proceed to crank out delirious sludge-punk anthems with titles like […]

Review: Tremonti – Cauterize

Review: Tremonti – Cauterize

Even for those who have always professed to hate Creed and Alter Bridge, guitarist Mark Tremonti’s second solo album should manage to convert many new believers to a different outlook. Like 2012’s ‘All I Was,’ ‘Cauterize’ is another successful fusion of thrash metal, soaring solos and Tremonti’s powerful post-grunge vocals (“Another Heart”). Fattening the bottom […]

Review: Paradise Lost – The Plague Within

Review: Paradise Lost – The Plague Within

Most bands wilt long before they near the 30-year mark. Not so for British doom overlords Paradise Lost. Their fourteenth album, ‘The Plague Within,’ sees multifaceted vocalist Nick Holmes and his crew solidifying their already sterling reputation for thunderous and memorable gothic metal. Produced by Jaime Gomez Arellano—who recorded Ghost’s first one and Cathedral’s last […]

Review: Born Cages – I’m Glad I’m Not Me

Review: Born Cages – I’m Glad I’m Not Me

N.Y.C.-based Born Cages’s LP is valiant, if not particularly groundbreaking. The band shines on standout track “Caiti” where self-referencing lyrics from frontman Vlad Holiday (“I’ve been putting off writing you a song, when I met you I wanted to start a band. I wrote that melody to get that big advance from the record company”) […]

Review: TesseracT – Odyssey

Review: TesseracT – Odyssey

Recorded in locations throughout Europe and Russia during their 2014 Altered State World Tour, Odyssey offers up choice cuts from TesseracT’s two studio albums and showcases the band’s intricate songwriting and impressive technical chops (see “Singularity” and “Perfection/ Epiphany”) In spite of their complexity, the songs here are crisp and executed just about flawlessly—especially impressive […]

Review: Valkyrie – Shadows

Review: Valkyrie – Shadows

It’s been seven years since the last album from Virginia doom purveyors Valkyrie, a delay likely attributable to the fact that Pete Adams (who shares vocal and guitar duties with his brother Jake) has also been playing with Baroness since 2009. But Shadows, the band’s third full-length, was clearly worth the wait, with the band […]

Review: Silverstein – I Am Alive in Everything I Touch

Review: Silverstein – I Am Alive in Everything I Touch

Most post-hardcore bands that formed 15 years ago are now resigned to playing reunion tours. But the secret to Silverstein’s success has always been their ability to merge heavier influences into the pop paradigm, without allowing either side to seem out of place. As such, on their eighth album, radio-friendly rocker like “Je Me Souviens” […]

Review: Korpiklaani – Noita

Review: Korpiklaani – Noita

On their ninth studio album, Finnish folk metal journeymen Korpiklaani deliver more of their signature blend of lively melodies and ever prominent accordion and fiddle colorings. Standout tracks include “Sahti,” a fast-moving thrasher highlighted by aggressive accordion licks that sounds fit for a bar brawl, and “Luontoni,” which features a soaring chorus complemented by a […]

Review: Kings Destroy – Kings Destroy

Review: Kings Destroy – Kings Destroy

On their third album, the Brooklyn doom crew Kings Destroy rock harder and more directly than on 2013’s ‘A Time of Hunting.’ There’s Pentagram homage all over cuts like the amazing “Mr. O,” while the grooves and hooks on opener “Smokey Robinson” are doom-rock majesty the likes of which don’t come around often enough. The […]