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Review: Alter Bridge — Fortress

Review: Alter Bridge — Fortress

Having spent much of the last three years touring with their “other” bands (Creed, Slash, Projected), it’s no wonder the members of Alter Bridge have tried to make their fourth album special. They’ve got angst-laced balladry (“Lover”), hell-for-leather rockers (“Cry a River”), and sweeping, suite-style songwriting (“Fortress”), alongside the usual helpings of inhumanly tight unison […]

Review: Soulfly — Savages

Review: Soulfly — Savages

With a new drummer—main man Max Cavalera’s son Zyon—wielding especially heavy beats, and a fresh fascination with cannibalism, Soulfly show no signs of softening on this ninth album. Cavalera’s Brazilian posse chomp into “Cannibal Holocaust” with a gnarly thrash assault, but the real fun comes during “El Comegente,” an eight-minute, eardrum-eater sung in Portuguese and […]

Review: Vulture Industries — The Tower

Review: Vulture Industries — The Tower

Norway’s Vulture Industries describe themselves as “avant-garde metallers,” which sounds about right. The Tower (only their third full-length, though they’ve existed in various forms for 20 years) is a tightly coiled, often ambitious exercise in weirdly cheery-sounding, prog-leaning metal. It’s bookended by two exceptional tracks: the title track, a soaring and showy materialism takedown (“Each […]

Review: Broken Hope — Omen of Disease

Review: Broken Hope — Omen of Disease

More than 10 years have passed since Chicago’s Broken Hope released the last of five blood-spattered slabs of death metal. The band’s comeback, Omen of Disease, is both a reinvention and a striking return to form. Original guitarist Jeremy Wagner is flanked by members of Dirge Within, who create a trenchant mix of skewed mid-paced […]

Review: Touché Amoré — Is Survived By

Review: Touché Amoré — Is Survived By

Touché Amoré are hardly your typical hardcore band, as they demonstrate once again with album No. 3. Instead of rehashing “stabbed in the back” clichés, songs like “Just Exist” and the title track see frontman Jeremy Bolm exploring his own existential doubt over a wall of controlled catharsis where even blast beats sound melodic. And […]

Review: Dream Theater — Dream Theater

Review: Dream Theater — Dream Theater

Pity the poor prog vocalist. Everywhere else in rock, singers are the center of the show; in prog, they’re regularly upstaged by the accompaniment. That’s particularly the case with Dream Theater, and not just because of the band’s fondness for semi-symphonic interludes and convoluted instrumental breaks. Even when singer James Labrie has the melody, it’s […]

Review: Týr — Valkyrja

Review: Týr — Valkyrja

Týr’s seventh studio full-length finds the folk-metal veterans attacking with renewed confidence. This 13-track concept album about a Viking battling to win a Valkyrie’s favour is as martial and authentic as anything the Faeroe Islanders have ever delivered. The opening number, “Blood of Heroes,” features a majestic chorus atop a charging riff reminiscent of Judas […]

Review: Eyes Set to Kill — Masks

Review: Eyes Set to Kill — Masks

According to singer-guitarist Alexia Rodriguez, the title of Eyes Set to Kill’s new album is a reference to her feeling that the screamo act had been trying out different “masks” over its career, but that now the bandmates have found themselves. And indeed, while the successes of ESTK’s fifth LP—their strongest, heaviest, and most cohesive […]

Review: The Devil Wears Prada — 8:18

Review: The Devil Wears Prada — 8:18

Christian metalcore band The Devil Wears Prada have never shied away from preaching, but this is the first time they’ve named an album after a Bible verse. Romans 8:18: “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” It’s […]

Review: Modern Life Is War — Fever Hunting

Review: Modern Life Is War — Fever Hunting

After splitting up in 2008—less than a year after releasing the acclaimed Midnight in America—reunited Iowa punks Modern Life Is War have unveiled an unexpected fourth full-length. Fever Hunting catapults the listener back to the all-ages matinees of the ’90s, when bands like Fugazi, Quicksand, and Handsome forged the melodic post-hardcore that lurked on the […]