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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 […]

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” […]