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Review: Ministry — From Beer to Eternity

Review: Ministry — From Beer to Eternity

As anyone who’s followed Ministry’s career (or read Al Jourgensen’s recent autobiography) can tell you, Uncle Al has threatened to scupper his groundbreaking industrial-metal project many times before, only to unexpectedly revive it again. But coming in the wake of longtime guitarist Mike Scaccia’s tragic death last December, this particular “final album” is probably the […]

Review: Rise Against — Long Forgotten Songs: B-Sides & Covers 2000-2013

Review: Rise Against — Long Forgotten Songs: B-Sides & Covers 2000-2013

If six Rise Against studio albums don’t sate you, here’s the rest of the story: 26 extras and specials that have populated tribute albums, soundtracks, iTunes exclusives, and Guitar Hero bundles. It’s a surprisingly cohesive treasure trove, too, with worthwhile originals such as “Death Blossoms,” “Voice of Dissent” and the acoustic “Everchanging,” plus a slew […]

Review: The Ultra Electric Mega Galactic — The Ultra Electric Mega Galactic

Review: The Ultra Electric Mega Galactic — The Ultra Electric Mega Galactic

Monster Magnet guitarist Ed Mundell may be a stoner, but he’s no slacker. In addition to cutting his main band’s new platter, he also recently recorded the self-titled debut from his side project The Ultra Electric Mega Galactic. That group—rounded out by Otep session player Collyn McCoy (on bass and sitar), and Sasquatch’s Rick Ferrante […]

Review: Crossfaith – Apocalyze

Review: Crossfaith – Apocalyze

On their third full-length, these Japanese rockers and 2013 Warped Tourees continues to develop their brand of electronica-influenced metalcore, blending synth riffs, eerie atmospherics, and grimy dubstep with pummeling breakdowns. While the formula may sound intriguing, lackluster songwriting makes much of the record sound repetitive and uninspired. Only two standouts tracks, “Counting Stars” and “Burning […]

Review: Scorpion Child – Scorpion Child

Review: Scorpion Child – Scorpion Child

If David Coverdale-era Deep Purple jammed with Rainbow, or Robert Plant bedded Fastway, you might get Austin, Texas’ Scorpion Child. The band’s self-titled debut takes listeners back to the good times, good vibes, and great music of the hard-rocking ’70s. Right from the opening track, “Kings Highway,” the album is all killer, no filler. The […]

Review: SOiL – Whole

Review: SOiL – Whole

SOiL haven’t been the same since frontman Ryan McCombs left after singing on the group’s first three albums including 2001’s hit-laden Scars, so his return here is a welcome one. The 11-song set finds the Windy City group in hard-hitting, tight-riffing form, stomping through the likes of “Loaded Gun” and “My Time” with an audibly […]

Review: Primitive Man – Scorn

Review: Primitive Man – Scorn

It takes balls to open your debut album with an 11-minute sludge epic (the title track no less), but that’s precisely what this Denver blackened doom trio brings to the table—gigantic, filthy, scarred, and quite-possibly-diseased balls. Primitive Man’s sound is heavy and almost hypnotic in its feedback-swaddled darkness, and Ethan Lee McCarthy growls like a […]

Review: O’Brother – Disillusion

Review: O’Brother – Disillusion

Genre-bending rockers O’Brother beat the sophomore slump on Disillusion, an album as complex and textured as it is loud. Think Deftones meet Radiohead meet Alice in Chains. From distorted, sludgy guitars (there’s three of them in the band!) to frontman Tanner Merritt’s haunting vocals, this is an album with a beginning, middle, and end—each song […]

Review: Walking Papers – Walking Papers

Review: Walking Papers – Walking Papers

The presence of Duff McKagan (Guns N’ Roses/Velvet Revolver) and Barrett Martin (Screaming Trees/Mad Season) is the hook for this Seattle “supergroup,” but the voice and songs of Jeff Angell are the focus of this bluesy, after-hours affair. Unfortunately, Angell often sounds like Buckcherry’s Josh Todd trying to take a walk on the Tom Waits […]

Review: Norma Jean – Wrongdoers

Review: Norma Jean – Wrongdoers

Norma Jean proved they had a sense of humor when they released the lyric video for six-second joke song “Ahh! Shark Bite! Ahh!” in the lead-up to this album. But when it comes to the substance of its sixth full-length, the band isn’t goofing around. Wrongdoers may not be groundbreaking, but it’s certainly up to […]