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Review: He Is Legend — Heavy Fruit

Review: He Is Legend — Heavy Fruit

After a five-year hiatus from songwriting, North Carolina sludge-rock quintet He Is Legend craft an unusually satisfying blend of styles on their fourth album, building on their previous records. “No Visitors” starts the album off with a bang, with powerful melodic choruses spliced between groovy southern riffs. This dynamic recurs throughout ‘Heavy Fruit,’ and what […]

Review: Opeth — Pale Communion

Review: Opeth — Pale Communion

Having already veered hard towards the shoals of early ’70s-style progressive rock on 2011’s ‘Heritage,’ Mikael Åkerfeldt practically runs the good ship Opeth aground with a prog-intensive album that often sounds closer to soggy Jethro Tull outtakes than anything in his band’s mighty back catalog. The playing is impeccable as always, and Åkerfeldt has certainly […]

Review: Damona Waits — Eschatology

Review: Damona Waits — Eschatology

“Eschatology” may be the theological study of end time beliefs, but don’t come to this album expecting death-metal sturm und drang. Instead, the sound this quartet delivers is more along the lines of Tool’s approach: moody and intricate, full of carefully manicured guitar textures, evocative vocal melodies, and thoughtfully modulated rhythmic shifts. The album occasionally […]

Review: Heartist — Feeding Fiction

Review: Heartist — Feeding Fiction

Heartist is all over the heavy-rock map on its full-length debut: Rousing, chorus-filled anthems combine with chunky metalcore, while electro-synth flourishes mash with a melodic leanings reminiscent of Blink-182 and Linkin Park. It could have been an all-out train wreck, but Heartist manage to turn ‘Feeding Fiction’ into a cohesive and infectious outing as Bryce […]

Review: Belphegor — Conjuring The Dead

Review: Belphegor — Conjuring The Dead

Furious. Relentless. Punishing. These are the adjectives that come to mind as Belphegor’s 10th album blasts through the speakers. It’s the band’s first since vocalist-guitarist Helmuth contracted a typhus infection that almost killed him in 2011. To say that he and his Austrian black-death crew are back with a vengeance is an understatement at best, […]

Review: Eluveitie — Origins

Review: Eluveitie — Origins

For a band whose focus is the forgotten life of the ancient Swiss, Eluveitie is pretty exciting. Marrying death-metal aggression with Celtic folk lilt, the music weaves shredding guitar and skirling bagpipe into a cohesive and engaging fabric. It helps if you’re enough into creative anachronism to recognize a hurdy-gurdy or appreciate lyrics sung in […]

Review: Godsmack — 1000hp

Review: Godsmack — 1000hp

It’s been four years since Godsmack released ‘The Oracle,’ their most recent studio album. Which isn’t exactly an eternity, but when taken into account that their album prior to that, ‘IV,’ was separated by another four year gap, it starts to feel like new music from the Boston-area bruisers doesn’t come too often. This makes […]

Review: Entombed A.D. — Back to the Front

Review: Entombed A.D. — Back to the Front

After Entombed’s LG Petrov and Alex Hellid—the Swedish death-metal pioneers’ original vocalist and guitarist, respectively—went their separate ways last year, Petrov announced that the band he continues to front would go by the moniker Entombed A.D. Name aside, the group’s debut, ‘Back to the Front,’ is a rumbling combination of the kind of grit, groove, […]

Review: Capture the Crown — Reign of Terror

Review: Capture the Crown — Reign of Terror

Australia’s Capture the Crown bring a heavy dose of straightforward metalcore aggression on this, their second LP. The album contains far fewer electronic elements—and harmonic riffs—than their synth-laden 2012 release, ‘Til Death,’ underscoring the scene’s shift toward a more authentic hardcore sound. The result is an intense, if repetitive and less original, breakdown-infused sound, spruced […]

Review: Theory of a Deadman — Savages

Review: Theory of a Deadman — Savages

Theory of a Deadman is still out to be all, or at least, most things to all people. At its heart, the Canadian quartet hits hard on dark, angsty tracks such as “Drown,” “Heavy,” and “Panic Room,” while Alice Cooper guests on the thrashy title track. It would be interesting to hear the group go […]