Phylactery – Necromancy Enthroned

Necromancy Enthroned runs like a thrash and death metal bullet train. The album opener, "Risen Restless Dead," judders for twenty seconds before it fires off on a groove heralded by double-bass drumming. The song battles through a few changes and clings to the rails of its vitriol. Phylactery plays metal very much in the tradition of pioneers … [Read more...]

Madrost – The Essence of Time Matches No Flesh

The songs on The Essence of Time Matches No Flesh practically spring out the speakers. The opener, "Eyes of the Deceit", offers an aggressive, double-bass-heavy drum attack with crisp riffing bookended by moments of reverb-laden guitars. The band's marketing material describes Madrost as progressive thrash, but the opening track points to … [Read more...]

Excommunion – Thronosis

A controlled malevolence stirs in Thronosis, this successful mini-album from Excommunion. This American three-piece band plays death metal laced with hairs of thrash and black metal. The songs are not just double-bass drumming with a couple of guitar players firing on the low string. The tempo changes patiently, the root varies, and scale notes put … [Read more...]

New album from The Unravelling

The Unravelling’s blend of industrial and hard rock reflects the infectious intensity of its creators.  The band were acclaimed for their debut 13 Arcane Hymns until lead vocalist Steve Moore was diagnosed with cancer in 2011. He was forced to spend the next year and a half in surgery and recovery, thus sending his collaborative partnership with … [Read more...]

Juggernaut – Overlooked EP

Juggernaut's sound won me over immediately. So straightforward and mean. Just listen to "Deeper," the first track on the band's latest EP, Overlooked. The song starts with a few brooding, reluctant notes. Then the other instruments join in, and the momentum builds. Fifty-five seconds in, the reluctance is gone and you are faced with heavy, stomping … [Read more...]

Far Beyond The Sunrise – S/T EP

Far Beyond The Sunrise released its full-length album, Oppressor, in 2014. Now comes a self-titled five-track EP from the band. This Bellmawr, New Jersey five-piece band play big-money metalcore. Far Beyond The Sunrise has high production values. Kick drums punctuate all five songs in thick, black ink. The crisp guitar distortion on the low end … [Read more...]

New song from The Unravelling

Calgary, Canada-based industrial/metal/hard rock project The Unravelling, which consists of Steve Moore and Gustavo DeBeauville, has released a 2nd single titled "Master Drone".  The duo was critically lauded for its 2010 debut album, 13 Arcane Hymns.  The Unravelling is back, having bowed 1st single, "Revolt", and now the menacing, forceful, and … [Read more...]

Bleak/Sovereign – split EP

Although the implosion is impressive, "Princip" turns into an overlong event marked by heavy dust and smoke. After the song's obligatory creepy opening audio clip, harmonics herald a wrecking ball of distortion on a Kong-stomp beat. Once this song's initial metal-breakdown business wears thin, we hear some variations and another audio clip. Then … [Read more...]

FIGHTCAST – Siamesian

Metal fan? Try "The Good Tyrant," the tenth track on Siamesian. The riffs on this song are mature, the leads are shameless, the vocals don't grate, and the rhythm punches. I think this is the best offering on FIGHTCAST's new full-length. Sadly, most of the album only sounds half as good. On Siamesian, this inconsistent Italian band often … [Read more...]

When Cities Sleep – What Lies Lay Between Us

On first listen, my gut said this is an over-produced mess. And, yes, the five-piece band named When Cities Sleep throws a lot at you with the eight songs on What Lies Lay Between Us, but parts of the album's production demonstrate fine attention to detail. For example, on track 4, "Life And Lies," the synth accompaniment to the guitar during the … [Read more...]