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Review: Prong – X (No Absolutes)

Review: Prong – X (No Absolutes)

Anybody remember Prong’s hiatus years ago? The trio has certainly come back like a storm, not only with volume (four studio albums in less than five years) but with a potency that makes it sound like the break recharged Prong enough for the next millennium. ‘X (No Absolutes)’ is charged with brawn and brains—thrashy dynamics, […]

Review: Obscura – Akróasis

Review: Obscura – Akróasis

Even by prog standards, Obscura were always among the more virtuosic outfits in modern metal, but since the addition of guitarist Tom Geldschläger (who has now left the group) and fusion drummer Sebastian Lanser to the fold, their chops have reached another level entirely. Not only are the serpentine riffs delivered at dizzying velocity, but […]

Review: Resurrection Kings – Resurrection Kings

Review: Resurrection Kings – Resurrection Kings

Ronnie James Dio’s right-hand man Craig Goldy recruits heavy metal veterans Sean McNabb (Dokken, Great White) and Vinny Appice (Dio, Heaven & Hell) to march forth as Resurrection Kings. Album highlight, “Don’t Have to Fight No More,” is an exciting scorcher of a track and vocalist Chas West (Red Dragon Cartel) belts his heart out. […]

Review: The Black Queen – Fever Daydream

Review: The Black Queen – Fever Daydream

The Black Queen may be fronted by The Dillinger Escape Plan’s Greg Puciato, but their ambient dream pop is the root of TDEP’s calculated chaos. Alongside Steven Alexander and Telefon TelAviv’s Joshua Eustis, the trio wrote, recorded and produced Fever Daydream. Glitchy tracks like “The End Where We Start” sounds like a hybrid between Faith […]

Review: Redemption – The Art of Loss

Review: Redemption – The Art of Loss

Multi-instrumentalist Nick Van Dyk’s prog-metal group returns with its first album since 2011’s ‘This Mortal Coil,’ and the wait was definitely worth it. Unfortunately, ‘The Art of Loss’ doesn’t feature longtime Redemption guitarist Bernie Versailles, who is recovering from an aneurysm. But the band still belts out a superb shred assault—especially with solos on “Damaged,” […]

Review: Primal Fear – Rulebreaker

Review: Primal Fear – Rulebreaker

German power metal veterans Primal Fear consistently crank out quality metal— regardless of lineup changes. ‘Rulebreaker,’ their eleventh studio full-length, swaggeringly incorporates guitarist Tom Naumann—on his third tour of duty with the band—and new drummer Francesco Jovino (ex-U.D.O.). It’s a cauldron bubbling with heroic inspiration. Highlights include loner-on-the-run statements like the title track and the […]

Review: Ketzer – Starless

Review: Ketzer – Starless

For years, Ketzer have held the thrash torch passed on by fellow countrymen Sodom and Destruction, but ‘Starless’ sees the band exchange their old school riffs for a strung-out black metal tone in the vein of Vreid and Watain. On tracks like “When Milk Runs Dry” and “Count to Ten” this shift in sound proves […]

Review: Exumer – The Raging Tides

Review: Exumer – The Raging Tides

Germany’s Exumer have fun history behind them in the form of a couple of mid-’80s thrash albums (with awesome covers) that never got the respect of your Exoduses or Kreators—two of the bands where Exumer’s sound land firmly in between. On album No. 2 of an oddly convincing comeback, the production is thick and the […]

Review: The Shrine – Rare Breed

Review: The Shrine – Rare Breed

On their third album, Venice Beach, C.A. skate-punk rippers The Shrine crank out hot-wired road tunes inspired by bad drugs (“Acid Drop,” “Coming Down Quick”), Vietnam (“The Vulture”) and 1970s New York City gang warfare (“Savage Skulls and Nomads”), among other dangerous detritus from the Me Decade. Led by guitarist/vocalist Josh Landau, the trio indulge […]

Review: Lionheart – Love Don't Live Here

Review: Lionheart – Love Don’t Live Here

‘Love Don’t Live Here’ is a sturdy hardcore record as it’s brazen and to the point. Songs like “Pain,” “Rewind” and the title track spit honest, street tough lyrics and are solid to stomp and throw down to. However, the spirit of ingenuity gets a little lost. While it is clear Lionheart are “still proud […]