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Review: Gentlemans Pistols – Hustler's Row

Review: Gentlemans Pistols – Hustler’s Row

Boasting hot leads courtesy of Carcass shredder Bill Steer, British rockers Gentlemans Pistols (no apostrophe for some reason) have unleashed their third album of ’70s-inspired grooves. With a deft mix of Thin Lizzy twin-guitar action and Skynyrd’s south- ern swing, the Pistols send shout-outs to the ladies (“Personal Fantasy Wonderland,” “Lady Teaser”) and harmonized solos […]

Review: Shining – International Blackjazz Society

Review: Shining – International Blackjazz Society

Following the short, streamlined songs on 2013’s ‘One One One,’ Shining have returned to the more extreme blend of prog, jazz and industrial music they showcased earlier. ‘International Blackjazz Society’ starts off with a sheer blast of free form John Zorn-flavored dissonance before fragmenting in a dozen directions. Instead of providing a series of heterogeneous […]

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, […]