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Review: So Hideous – Laurestine

Review: So Hideous – Laurestine

So Hideous takes its mightiest stab yet at dark orchestral metal on its second full-length, linking its smoldering studio sessions to the sounds of a 30-piece orchestra. Guitarist Brandon Cruz always wanted to score soundtracks, and you get a sense of that through Laurestine’s wide-screen post-metal. On “Relinquish” and “The Keepsake,” spellbinding key- boards, monstrous […]

Review: With the Dead – With the Dead

Review: With the Dead – With the Dead

After severing all ties with Electric Wizard— bassist Tim Bagshaw and drummer Mark Greening teamed up with Cathedral’s Lee Dorrian and formed With the Dead, a lumbering beast that obliterates like nothing since the seminal 2000 Wizard album, ‘Dopethrone.’ Dorrian’s barked, morbid incantations (recorded in a mere two days) perfectly blend with his bandmate’s thunderous […]

Review: Queensrÿche – Condition Hüman

Review: Queensrÿche – Condition Hüman

Talk about a good thing getting better. Queensrÿche’s self-titled 2013 album introduced Todd La Torre as a top-notch operatic replacement for longtime vocalist Geoff Tate, who split acrimoniously with the band the year before. And the prog-metal act’s new 12-track release evokes the classic ’80s and early-’90s ’rÿche even more successfully, blending power and paranoia […]

Review: W.A.S.P. – Golgotha

Review: W.A.S.P. – Golgotha

The SoCal metal stalwarts were more scandalous back in the ’80s, when frontman Blackie Lawless, who had not yet found religion, battled censorship groups while wearing a flaming codpiece. These days, they’ve settled into a solid, almost refined hard rock band. Much has changed (Lawless is a more assured songwriter and impressively powerful singer than […]

Review: Pigs – Wronger

Review: Pigs – Wronger

They’ll forever be known as “Dave Curran from Unsane’s other band,” but New York City’s noise rockers Pigs are proving they’ve got ideas of their own here on their second album, which is considerably more interesting than their debut was. Killer opener, “A Great Blight,” is an instrumental that is both unique and unbelievably hard-hitting. […]

Review: TesseracT – Polaris

Review: TesseracT – Polaris

British djent pioneers TesseracT are famous for churning through frontmen. Their new album marks the return of Daniel Tompkins, their third (and now fifth) vocalist. ‘Polaris’ is, at last, the platonic ideal of a TesseracT album, the one where they get everything just right. It’s drama-bringing, supremely melodic,and riff-heavy, with an emphasis on clean vocals. […]

Review: Gloryhammer – Space 1992: Rise of the Chaos Wizards

Review: Gloryhammer – Space 1992: Rise of the Chaos Wizards

Fans of ludicrous, portentous voiceovers will love the prelude to Gloryhammer’s sophomore effort: “In the distant future of the year 1992, war has returned to the galaxy.” Founded by Alestorm frontman Christopher Bowes, this Scottish power metal quintet delivers over-the-top, poppy fun on the follow-up to 2013’s well-received ‘Tales from the Kingdom of Fife.’ The […]

Review: Crossfaith – Xeno

Review: Crossfaith – Xeno

Four albums in is about the right time for any band to make its big conceptual statement. On ‘Xeno,’ Japan’s multimedia-minded Crossfaith weaves musings on artificial intelligence and emotional angst into a fierce 15-track sensory assault that’s capable of turning any rave floor into a moshpit. The electronics are backburner on this Josh Wilbur-produced set, […]

Review: Christian Mistress – To Your Death

Review: Christian Mistress – To Your Death

Hailing from the Pacific Northwest, Christian Mistress embody the all-too-rare ability to make traditional metal and hard rock feel vital and essential rather than self-indulgent or a caricature of times past. On the heels of the thunderous 2012’s ‘Possession,’ the band’s third full-length ‘To Your Death’ further refines its purist leanings while revealing some of […]

Review: Scale the Summit – V

Review: Scale the Summit – V

No singing—not even a single growl or grunt—can be heard on Scale the Summit’s fifth album. But the instrumentals this prog-metal quartet (which has toured with Dream Theater and Cynic) achieves are bound to blow you away. Chris Letchford and Travis LeVrier deliver soaring solos and roaring riffs, but instead of ending up with mere […]