RSSAll Reviews Posts

Review: Wolfheart – Winterborn

Review: Wolfheart – Winterborn

Known for his work with Before the Dawn and Black Sun Aeon, Finnish composer Tuomas Saukkonen disbanded those projects to focus on his new band, Wolfheart. The move has paid off. ‘Winterborn,’ the group’s debut, is fleshed out and focused, as multifaceted as it is melancholy. “The Hunt” begins with folk-metal arpeggios and gradually builds […]

Review: Black Star Riders – The Killer Instinct

Review: Black Star Riders – The Killer Instinct

Pointing out that Black Star Riders sound more than a bit like Thin Lizzy is, well, a compliment – and exactly the band’s intention. Though the quintet, created by former Lizzy guitarist Scott Gorham, wisely chose to adopt a different name, Gorham and Damon Johnson still nail the twin lead guitars that were Lizzy’s trademark […]

Review: War on Women – War on Women

Review: War on Women – War on Women

You can call War On Women a lot of things, but subtle isn’t one of them. The debut full-length from this Baltimore based co-ed punk act incorporate elements of everyone from Aus-Rotten to Bikini Kill into a unique musical amalgam that doesn’t protest patriarchy so much as jam the notion of it down the bloated […]

Review: King Woman – Doubt

Review: King Woman – Doubt

San Francisco’s King Woman began life as the folk-inflected side project of Whirr’s Kristina Esfandiari, and along the way morphed into a full-fledged band with a fondness for shoegaze metal. ‘Doubt,’ the group’s first official EP, is swirling, fuzzy and brief, with four songs clocking in at less than 20 minutes. Featuring sludgy meditations on […]

Review: Primitive Man – Home Is Where the Hatred Is

Review: Primitive Man – Home Is Where the Hatred Is

There’s something to be said for truth in advertising, and this four-song EP from Denver sludge trio Primitive Man certainly matches both its title and the band’s name to the letter. Imagine three Neanderthals on a serious Eyehategod jag, and you’ll get the general musical approach; now imagine some kind of putrid demon growling unspeakably […]

Review: Night Riots – Howl

Review: Night Riots – Howl

California emo-pop startups Night Riots pine and pulsate throughout their six-song ‘Howl’ EP. Eardrum-infesting single “Contagious” conjures a nostalgic new wave atmosphere, while frontman Travis Hawley’s tortured croon impressively integrates the soaring approach of Bono with the vulnerability of the The Cure’s Robert Smith. But there are blemishes poking through the glittery retro sheen: The […]

Review: Visigoth — The Revenant King

Review: Visigoth — The Revenant King

In an age when heavy metal has been nearly subgenred to death, it’s refreshing as hell to hear a young band playing straight-up metal with no narrow- minded qualifiers or categories in earshot. On their full-length debut, Salt Lake City’s Visigoth deliver the real-deal old-school goods with power and swagger to spare, invoking the likes […]

Review: Blind Guardian — Beyond the Red Mirror

Review: Blind Guardian — Beyond the Red Mirror

Not ones to let four years go to waste, symphonic-metal veterans Blind Guardian go all out on this first album since 2010’s At the Edge of Time, enlisting three classical choirs (from Prague, Budapest, and Boston) and two 90-musician orchestras to help harness the story of a young protagonist. Sure, Beyond the Red Mirror could […]

Review: The German Panzer – Send Them All to Hell

Review: The German Panzer – Send Them All to Hell

The new project from guitarist Herman Frank and drummer Stefan Schwarzmann finds the veteran German musicians in thrashier-than-usual territory—a notable point given that their former main band, Accept, helped to pioneer speed metal with 1982’s “Fast As a Shark.” The German Panzer is an unrepentantly balls-to-the-wall trio, with Destruction’s Schmier providing abrasive vocals and bass […]

Review: Tear Out The Heart – Dead, Everywhere

Review: Tear Out The Heart – Dead, Everywhere

Tear Out the Heart’s sophomore album is a heavy-hitting, darkly anguished and yet an ultimately fun effort. At times, the St. Louis, Missouri quintet’s blend of As I Lay Dying-like metalcore, Marilyn Manson electro- creepiness and Linkin Park nu-metal can sound a bit messy—like Slipknot all knotted up—and the switch from various shades of roaring […]