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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 […]

Review: Babymetal – Babymetal

Review: Babymetal – Babymetal

he Japanese can make anything cute, even death metal. Consider Babymetal, the pioneer of kawaiimetaru, or “cute metal.” The formula is simple— three girlish idoru singing and dancing in front of an anonymously competent thrash combo—but the execution is exquisite, as it not only disinters the hooks buried deep in the death metal vocabulary, but […]

Review: Steve ‘N’ Seagulls – Farm Machine

Review: Steve ‘N’ Seagulls – Farm Machine

This ain’t no Hayseed Dixie. The Finnish five-piece Steve ‘N’ Seagulls aren’t just genre-bending with their bluegrassy remakes of AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck,” Led Zeppelin’s “Black Dog” and Iron Maiden’s “Run to the Hills”—they’re actively reinterpreting the tunes, finding fresh ideas instead of merely twanging up familiar refrains. In their hands, some of these songs sound as […]

Review: Prurient – Frozen Niagara Falls

Review: Prurient – Frozen Niagara Falls

Prurient is the project of Dominick Fernow, an experimental composer who has released dozens of genre-crossing recordings. As Prurient, Fernow alchemizes harsh electronica and industrial into textures that question the foundations and potential of noise music. With his staggering double LP, ‘Frozen Niagara Falls,’ Fernow steps further into the void, pursuing untapped terrain through atmospheres […]

Review: Kamelot – Haven

Review: Kamelot – Haven

Kamelot’s eleventh opus is a magnificent, if sometimes indiscernible, soundscape, blending relentless drumming with gorgeous guitar melodies (courtesy of founder Thomas Youngblood) and the impressive vocals of more recent addition Tommy Karevik. The disc also features some standout guest spots: Arch Enemy’s Alissa White-Gluz electrifies “Liar Liar (Wasteland Monarchy),” while the exquisite “Under Grey Skies” […]

Review: Ash – Kablammo!

Review: Ash – Kablammo!

In the early 2000s, Northern Ireland’s Ash recorded chart-topping alt-rock albums and appeared in high-profile video games and on soundtracks. Then, after 2007’s ‘Twilight of the Innocents,’ the band ceased making records and dropped off the map. To resurrect their career with a bang, they’ve turned off the keyboards and turned up the amps on […]

Review: Iwrestledabearonce – Hail Mary

Review: Iwrestledabearonce – Hail Mary

On their fourth album, Iwrestledabearonce attempt to deviate from their past releases by incorporating new technical aspects into their already spastic sound. Adding in elements such as messy polyrhythms on “Gift of Death,” blistering traditional guitar solos on “Doomed to Fail Pt. 1,” and a melodic scream-less vocal performance from Courtney LaPlante on “Doomed to […]

Review: Apocalyptica – Shadowmaker

Review: Apocalyptica – Shadowmaker

Apocalyptica is best known for its cello-driven Metallica covers, but the outfit, while still exceling with instrumentals, has also diversified its sound since debuting in 1993. On their eighth studio full-length, producer Nick Raskulinecz (Mastodon, Ghost B.C.) showcases their current blend of classical riffs, modern rock melancholy and manic rhythms. The pulsating “Cold Blood” lets […]

Review: Annisokay – Enigmatic Smile

Review: Annisokay – Enigmatic Smile

Annisokay’s sophomore effort finds the German quintet honing their straight- forward metalcore sound. Helmed by producer extraordinaire Joey Sturgis, the record blends dark, deathcore influenced riffs with melodic singing and atmospherics. Standouts like the rhythmic, thrashing “Snowblind” show off the wide vocal range of clean singer and guitarist Christoph Wieczorek, though overall the band isn’t […]