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Review: One-Eyed Doll – Witches

Review: One-Eyed Doll – Witches

Criminally under-heard Austin duo OED—fronted by Kimberly Freeman, one of this magazine’s Hottest Chicks in Hard Rock perennials—has always done exactly as they please, remaining steadfastly D.I.Y. and focusing on smart, not-necessarily-commercial releases. Their latest is a concept album about the Salem witch trials that toggles between Ren Faire folk, ’90s alt pop and thorny […]

Review: Minsk – The Crash and the Draw

Review: Minsk – The Crash and the Draw

On its first full-length album in six years, this Illinois band still specializes in sprawling post-metal that ebbs, flows and pummels in a Neurosis and Pelican sort of way. Not surprisingly, Minsk goes long on opener “To the Initiate,” a crushing number fueled by Timothy Mead’s spellbinding keyboards. Later, the quintet knocks one out of […]

Review: Three Days Grace – Human

Review: Three Days Grace – Human

The alt-metal band’s longtime frontman Adam Gontier left the band suddenly in 2013 and was replaced by Matt Walst of My Darkest Days. And now their first disc under new leadership actually feels more like a continuation than a reboot. Walst and Gontier are stylistically similar—both specialize in growly/smooth vocals and have a finely-tuned sense […]

Review: Liturgy – The Ark Work

Review: Liturgy – The Ark Work

With 2011’s ‘Aesthetica’—and vocalist-guitarist Hunter Hunt-Hendrix’s accompanying manifesto—Brooklyn black metal experimentalists Liturgy instantly became the most polarizing band in the genre. While the kvlt diehards dismissed Liturgy as pretentious poseurs, the indie crowd embraced them as artistic whiz kids. ‘The Ark Work’ will do absolutely nothing to change the situation. It’s considerably more difficult to […]

Review: Acid King – Middle of Nowhere, Center of Everywhere

Review: Acid King – Middle of Nowhere, Center of Everywhere

With just four full-lengths in 20 years, Acid King won’t be winning “the most prolific doom-metal band” award. But the San Francisco trio, led by singer-guitarist Lori S., has spewed consistently exceptional Sleep and Sabbath-inspired sludge, and this first outing in 10 years is no exception. The group had written much of what’s here during […]

Review: Alkaloid – The Malkuth Grimoire

Review: Alkaloid – The Malkuth Grimoire

Given the combined musical backgrounds of its five members—Necrophagist, Obscura, Noneuclid, and Aborted among others—it’s not surprising that Alkaloid’s approach to death metal is a little unorthodox. But while often bizarre and circuitous, the band’s experimental tendencies generally maintain enough grit and momentum to keep tracks like “Orgonism” and the epic “Funeral for a Continent” […]

Review: Moonspell – Extinct

Review: Moonspell – Extinct

While Extinct features everything fans expect from Portugal’s premiere goth metal merchants—melodic riffs coupled with romantic keyboards, Fernando Ribeiro’s rumbling baritone—Moonspell’s eleventh studio album also showcases the group’s more brutal and experimental tendencies. Tracks like “Breathe (Until We Are No More)” and “Funeral Bloom” smack of Cradle of Filth and Dethklok, while “The Future Is […]

Review: The Midnight Ghost Train – Cold Was the Ground

Review: The Midnight Ghost Train – Cold Was the Ground

The Midnight Ghost Train conjure a warm, intoxicating sound brimming with bite, combining stoner metal groove, southern-rock swagger and Delta- blues heartache with growling, melodic vocals. The Kansas trio’s third album, ‘Cold Was the Ground,’ builds off the boogie and crunch of 2012’s ‘Buffalo,’ but with more diverse arrangements and stronger songs that retain the […]

Review: Falling in Reverse – Just Like You

Review: Falling in Reverse – Just Like You

Falling in Reverse’s controversial 2013 disc, ‘Fashionably Late,’ alienated some fans with its electronica and rap influences. But with their new and third album, ‘Just Like You,’ frontman Ronnie Radke & Co. return to the sound they built their name on, delivering a tour de force effort that is equal parts melody and metallic heaviness. […]

Review: Ensiferum – One Man Army

Review: Ensiferum – One Man Army

Finland’s Ensiferum have long traded in their designation as a “folk metal” group, but on the band’s sixth studio album the metal side of that label is decidedly dominant. And it’s epic metal at that: ‘One Man Army’ blasts forth with symphonic guitar orchestrations, double-time drum gallops, quick-changing dynamics and operatic vocal chorales that would […]