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Review: Chelsea Wolfe – Abyss

Review: Chelsea Wolfe – Abyss

Chelsea Wolfe’s sound may not be “heavy” in the traditional sense, but there’s something so abrasive about the arrangements on Abyss that detuned guitars aren’t required to deliver crushing music. Songs like “Iron Moon” mingle sludgy instrumentation and cacophonous noise with Wolfe’s cathartic caterwaul, while the electronic-tinged “Grey Days” adopts a tone as haunting as […]

Review: Lucifer – Lucifer I

Review: Lucifer – Lucifer I

On their debut, Lucifer take the best from the occult rock genre and then amp up the heavy. Ex-Cathedral guitar wizard Gaz Jennings adds his flair to ‘Lucifer I,’ imbuing the heavy rock/proto-metal worship with pure doom/NWOBHM guitar-god glory. The vocals of ex-The Oath singer Johanna Sadonis, meanwhile, do the sultry rock-witch thing with a […]

Review: Cradle of Filth – Hammer of the Witches

Review: Cradle of Filth – Hammer of the Witches

It’s hard to believe that Cradle of Filth have been through heavy line-up changes (guitarist Paul Allender is out, replaced here by not one but two axmen), because on ‘Hammer of the Witches’ the band sounds as strong as ever. On their eleventh studio album, CoF’s schlock-black metal sound is more alive than it has […]

Review: Powerwolf – Blessed & Possessed

Review: Powerwolf – Blessed & Possessed

For more than a decade Powerwolf have mined an earnest brand of symphonic metal imbued with operatic pretensions. So why should anything change now? The German quintet’s sixth studio album is packed with dense, heavy power rock. The arrangements are bombastic and cinematic— from the speed metal propulsion of “Christ & Combat” to the twisting […]

Review: Kissing Candice – Blind Until We Burn

Review: Kissing Candice – Blind Until We Burn

On paper, it seemed like a great idea: Joey Simpson, the best thing about the late, not-exactly-lamented deathcore band Dr. Acula, starts a group of his own—a mask-wearing, gore-happy electro-metal outfit with all the right obsessions: horror movies, Technicolor samples and serial killers. A deftly played mix of heavy-and-poppy, clean-and- screaming, Kissing Candice’s full-length debut […]

Review: Author & Punisher – Melk En Honing

Review: Author & Punisher – Melk En Honing

One-man industrial band Author & Punisher is the work of Tristan Shone, an innovative mechanical engineer who dons his own custom-built aluminum-and-steel sound- generating machines to create a fascinating experience like no other. On ‘Melk En Honing’— Dutch for “Milk and Honey”—Shone saws off a series of heaving, mechanized drones with names like “The Barge,” […]

Review: Mutoid Man – Bleeder

Review: Mutoid Man – Bleeder

When Converge drummer Ben Koller moved to California in late 2013, it looked like the premature end for Mutoid Man, the promising math-metal trio he formed with Cave In frontman Stephen Brodsky. But chemistry was too great to keep the outfit apart. Their first full-length, ‘Bleeder,’ is equal parts musical acrobatics and strong songwriting that […]

Review: Gorgoroth – Instinctus Bestialis

Review: Gorgoroth – Instinctus Bestialis

Returning with their first album of new material in six years, Gorgoroth mastermind Infernus and his devil-worshipping crew deliver a set of black metal bangers that would do Lucifer proud. Infernus seems to want his horned benefactor to know it, too, chanting Satan’s name repeat- edly in opener “Radix Malorum.” ‘Instinctus Bestialis’ also marks the […]

Review: Eskimo Callboy – Crystals

Review: Eskimo Callboy – Crystals

Eskimo Callboy’s third full length finds the band perfecting its signature electronicore sound. The album is a throwback to the metalcore scene of the late 2000s, dominated by keyboards, breakdowns and zany song titles—among the standouts are “Pitch Blease” and “Baby (T.U.M.H.),” the latter a rowdy and phenomenal cover of ‘NSYNC’s “Tearin’ Up My Heart.” […]

Review: Breaking Benjamin – Dark Before Dawn

Review: Breaking Benjamin – Dark Before Dawn

Six years after the release of ‘Dear Agony,’ Pennsylvania rockers Breaking Benjamin—now expanded from a four-piece to a quintet—return with their fifth album, ‘Dark Before Dawn.’ Aided here by a largely new lineup, frontman Benjamin Burnley sings his way through fits of contemplation (“Failure”), rage (“Bury Me Alive”) and true vulnerability (“Ashes of Eden”). Throughout, […]