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Review: Sylosis — Dormant Heart

Review: Sylosis — Dormant Heart

On their fourth full-length, this British progressive thrash four-piece doesn’t stray far from the sound they’ve crafted on previous releases, but seem to have nearly perfected the formula this time around. Displaying Sylosis influences like Testament, At the Gates, and Mastodon, ‘Dormant Heart’’s standout cuts include “To Build a Tomb” and the single “Mercy,” which […]

Review: The Crown — Death Is Not Dead

Review: The Crown — Death Is Not Dead

Reunited with their classic Deathrace King lineup after 10 years, Sweden’s The Crown hopes to reclaim its Satanic death-thrash throne. And the band mostly succeeds—tracks like “Headhunter,” “Iblis Bane,” and “Ride to Ruin” channel much of the group’s rollicking battle jacket–clad dark majesty. Parts of the album’s middle leans more towards traditional melodic death metal, […]

Review: Sodom — Sacred Warpath

Review: Sodom — Sacred Warpath

The title track is the lone new song on this fun four-track EP from legendary Teutonic thrashers Sodom, who fill out the rest of these 19 minutes with well-executed live cuts. “Sacred Warpath” is a smoking double-step galloper with an acoustic breakdown pre-solo, then the horses come back for more trotting as the manic polka […]

Review: A Skylit Drive — Rise: Ascension

Review: A Skylit Drive — Rise: Ascension

While bands often record an acoustic rendition of a standout song, these post-hardcore vets decided to cover their entire 2013 album, ‘Rise,’ unplugged style. The result is an oddly satisfying reinterpretation of what was already a solid record. Some of the tracks from ‘Rise’ are particularly well suited for an acoustic playthrough, like the melancholic […]

Review: Ascension — The Dead of the World

Review: Ascension — The Dead of the World

Meat-and-potatoes atmospheric black metal might sound like an oxymoron, but Germany’s Ascension pull it off perfectly. With disharmonious guitar leads and whirlwind blast beats, the band creates a sense of the grandiose and apocalyptic that will satisfy fans of Marduk and Belphegor who are looking for something to scratch their basic itch. While not necessarily […]

Review: Various Artists — Punk Goes Pop Vol. 6

Review: Various Artists — Punk Goes Pop Vol. 6

The sixth iteration of Fearless Records’ popular ‘Punk Goes Pop’ series finds some of the usual suspects and a few new acts covering Billboard topping songs. As on previous releases from this series, the standout tracks tend to dramatically reimagine hit songs whereas less memorable covers merely mimic a radio song we’ve already gotten so […]

Review: Machine Head — Bloodstone & Diamonds

Review: Machine Head — Bloodstone & Diamonds

Oakland metal band Machine Head’s last album, 2011’s ‘Unto the Locust,’ was one of those masterworks that’s only supposed to happen once in a career. But Robb Flynn & Co.’s latest record—and first after the messy departure of founding bassist Adam Duce—isn’t just better, it’s bigger. There’s more melodrama, more tightly-wound hooks, more groove-oriented thrash. […]

Review: Black Veil Brides — Black Veil Brides

Review: Black Veil Brides — Black Veil Brides

When news broke that glamcore rebels Black Veil Brides had aligned themselves with producer Bob Rock—he of the “Black Album” and ‘Dr. Feelgood’—for Album No. 4, most fans likely figured that the results would fall closer to Crüe than Metallica. But to the contrary, this self-titled album is a surprisingly, and satisfyingly, heavy affair that […]

Review: At the Gates — At War with Reality

Review: At the Gates — At War with Reality

Nearly 20 years after the release of their melodic death-metal masterpiece, ‘Slaughter of the Soul,’ At the Gates delivered the rip-roaring comeback album they swore they’d never make. Exploding with razor-sharp riffage courtesy of the ever-prolific Björler twins (bassist Jonas is also in The Haunted; guitarist Anders used to be) and featuring an ambitious, multilayered […]

Review: Abysmal Dawn — Obsolescence

Review: Abysmal Dawn — Obsolescence

One can’t expect to be too surprised by an Abysmal Dawn record. On their fourth full-length, the L.A. death metallers chug forward with their traditional mixture of speed, technicality, and twisted melody, reminiscent of Origin, Gojira, and The Black Dahlia Murder. While the album’s opening cuts sometimes sound similar-bordering-on-repetitive, later tracks like “One Percent Incomplete” […]