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Review: The Word Alive — Real

Review: The Word Alive — Real

On their third full-length, Phoenix metalcore veterans The Word Alive perfect the sound they’ve crafted since their formation in 2008. The first track “Play the Victim” captures the album’s many strengths: heavy rhythms, tasty riffs, well-crafted arrangements, and the soaring vocals of Tyler “Telle” Smith. Other standouts include “Never Forget” and “Glass Castle,” which both […]

Review: October File — The Application of Loneliness, Ignorance, Misery, Love and Despair…

Review: October File — The Application of Loneliness, Ignorance, Misery, Love and Despair…

In 2014, it’s hard to find many bands championing industrial metal, but October File are defending the faith. On their verbosely titled seventh album (which also includes the subtitle: An Introspective of Human Condition), the British post-punks go full bore, creating a driving, mechanized assault of fuzzy guitars and scathing emotional lyrics. At times, the […]

Review: Buzz Osborne — This Machine Kills Artists

Review: Buzz Osborne — This Machine Kills Artists

Melvins mastermind Buzz Osborne says he has “no interest in sounding like a crappy version of James Taylor or a half-assed version of Woody Guthrie,” on his acoustic solo debut. Sure enough, This Machine Kills Artists is neither crappy nor half-assed, though the title does reference the famous words Guthrie painted on his guitar in […]

Review: Marty Friedman — Inferno

Review: Marty Friedman — Inferno

After longtime Megadeth guitarist Marty Friedman quit the band in 2000, he moved to Japan, became a TV celebrity, and released many eclectic solo albums. His latest, Inferno, is his most back-to-basics offering, packed with trenchant, off-kilter melodic thrash riffs and virtuosic solos. Guest stars provide extra firepower: Danko Jones and Children of Bodom’s Alexi […]

Review: Misery Index — The Killing Gods

Review: Misery Index — The Killing Gods

On their fifth full-length album, Baltimore’s premiere death-metal crew display symptoms of progression, the nonstop assault of their previous efforts replaced with moments of atmosphere and melancholy. Sure, tracks like “Gallows Humor” and “Sentinels” bring the relentless pounding metalheads expect from Jason Netherton & Co., but the first five tracks—each, one movement of a single […]

Review: Crobot — Crobot

Review: Crobot — Crobot

The only complaint we have about Crobot’s new EP is that it’s not enough. Just a few years old, the central Pennsylvania quartet stomps through these four songs with the authority of a group that’s been around for decades, weaving together the deep grooves of stoner rock with grunge, blues, and metal influences. “Legend of […]

Review: Avatar — Hail the Apocalypse

Review: Avatar — Hail the Apocalypse

From the crushing riffage of their new album’s eponymous opening track, Avatar take listeners on a rollicking ride through a nightmarish fun house befitting the group’s carnivalesque image. The band’s demented clown/ringleader/frontman, Johannes Eckerström, leads the way, unleashing a vocal range that spans the roar of Lamb of God’s Randy Blythe to Marilyn Manson-like growls […]

Review: Black Stone Cherry — Magic Mountain

Review: Black Stone Cherry — Magic Mountain

Kentucky hellraisers Black Stone Cherry soar a mile high with this fourth full-length. Raucous and honest, this album rocks with their trademark down-home stoner swagger. Unapologetically heavy swamp anthems “Bad Luck & Hard Love” and “Fiesta del Fuego” sound destined for radio play, while vocalist and lead guitarist Chris Robertson shines on the stripped-down “Sometimes” […]

Review: The Graviators — Motherload

Review: The Graviators — Motherload

After years spent toiling in Swedish obscurity, The Graviators put themselves on the international stoner/doom map with their 2012 single “Häxagram,” the infectious stomp-rocker centerpiece of their second album, Evil Deeds. Stuffed with bong-rattling grooves, heavy ’70s guitar action, and vintage organ riffs, Motherload doesn’t deliver anything quite as catchy as “Häxagram,” but it’s still […]

Review: Pyrrhon — The Mother of Virtues

Review: Pyrrhon — The Mother of Virtues

Forget brutality–Pyrrhon deal in ugliness. On their second album, the Brooklyn quartet bioengineers a hybrid of death metal, grindcore, and noise that channels The Dillinger Escape Plan, Cobalt, and even early God Forbid. Seasick guitar leads dance dizzingly around patches of crushing, steady riffage, accompanied by frenetic drumming and vomited vocals that range from malevolent […]