Category Metal

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Lucifer- Lucifer I

Lucifer– Lucifer I Rise Above Records Release date: 2015Jun09 Rating: 5/5 Lucifer is the newest project of vocalist Johanna Sedonis, formerly of The Oath. Whereas the latter took influence from NWOBHM (Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, et al), the former are described as “heavy rock”. “Morning Star” is heavily influenced by Black Sabbath with excellent guitar/bass interplay. […]

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The Exploding Eyes Orchestra- I

The Exploding Eyes Orchestra– I Svart Records Release date: 2015Jun12 Rating: 5/5 I can’t heap enough praise upon the amazing debut from The Exploding Eyes Orchestra, which features five of the seven members of Jess and the Ancient Ones. “The Smoke” opens with a dose of mystic blues-tinged rock. “Crazy Heart” showcases soft-spoken vocals that […]

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ROYAL THUNDER – Crooked Doors

Royal Thunder – Crooked Doors Release Date: April 7, 2015 Label: Relapse FCC OK Try: Any of the first 8 tracks I hate to start on a tangent, but Royal Thunder‘s CVI was easily one of the best albums of 2012–a perfect coalescence of the promises hinted upon throughout their self-titled debut EP: an updated […]

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PRONG – Songs from the Black Hole

Prong – Songs from the Black Hole Release Date: March 25, 2015 Label: eOne FCC: 2, 3, 6 Try: 1, 5, 8, 9 Prong has seen some kind of renaissance in the last decade, releasing a slew of studio albums, a live record, and now a collection of covers. They eschew expectations across the board, […]

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A FOREST OF STARS – Beware the Sword You Cannot See

A Forest of Stars – Beware the Sword You Cannot See Release Date: February 27, 2015 Label: Prophecy Productions / Lupus Lounge FCC: 1, 3, 5 Try: 2, 4, and 6 thru 11 when feeling adventurous You don’t go around saying bands are basically the spiritual cousin to Sleepytime Gorilla Museum all willy-nilly-like; proper analogs […]

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Mammoth Mammoth – Volume IV: Hammered Again

Mammoth Mammoth– Volume IV: Hammered Again Release date: 2015Mar27 Label: Napalm Records Rating: 4/5 Australian stoners Mammoth Mammoth return with 10 dabs of hard rock insanity. “Life’s A Bitch” and “Lookin’ Down The Barrel” demonstrate two different sides (punk and hair metal) with the latter taking on a strong Guns N Roses feel.“Electric Sunshine” plays […]

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Acid King – Middle of Nowhere, Center of Everywhere

Acid King– Middle of Nowhere, Center of Everywhere Release date: 2015Apr18 Label: Svart Records Rating: 3.5/5 Acid King was formed in 1993 in San Francisco, CA. Middle of Nowhere, Center of Everywhere is their first release since 2005’s III. “Intro” plods along with smokey hooks and flourishes. A primer for what’s to come. “Silent Pictures” delves […]

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Valkyrie – Shadows

Valkyrie– Shadows Release date: 2015May12 Label: Relapse Rating: 5/5 Valkryie is a four-piece formed in 2002 featuring Alan Fary (bass), Warren Hawkins (drums), Peter Adams (guitar/vox) and Jake Adams (guitar/vox). “Mountain Stomp” opens with solid organic hooks that channel Black Sabbath. “Golden Age” is the yin to the yang of “Shadow of Reality”, the former […]

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Burnt Books – Where There’s Smoke, There’s Fire

Burnt Books– Where’s There’s Smoke, There’s Fire Release date: 2015Mar20 Label: Retro-Futurist Records Rating: 3.5/5 Burnt Books hail from Columbia, SC with a blend of hardcore, post-punk and sludge. “Shadow I Cast” is an old-school melodic stomper, followed by the wall of breakdowns on “Useless Emotions”. “Those Arms” lowers the pace to a sinister crawl […]

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Luna Sol – Blood Moon

Luna Sol- Blood Moon Rise Release date: 2015o420 Label: Slushfund Recordings Rating: 4.5/5 Luna Sol hail from Denver and are comprised of David Angstrom (Hermano, Supafuzz), Shannon Fahnestock (Swindlers), Shanda Kolberg (Swanks) and Pat Gill (Feds). “Bridges” starts off with a spacey opening riff, breaking into desert sludge. “December” follows the lead with the perfect balance […]

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Amaranthe – Massive Addictive

Amaranthe – Massive Addictive Release Date: October 21, 2014 Label: Spinefarm Records FCC OK Try: 4, 7, 11 Although Amaranthe have only been around for 5 years or so, the Swedish–Danish power pop metal sextet feels like their pedigree extends further. It could be that guitarist/keyboardist Olaf Mörck has been a part of the Gothenburg’s […]

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Alice in Chains – The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here

Alice in Chains – The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here Release Date: May 28, 2013 Label: Capitol Records FCC OK Try:  2, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11 After a 14-year wait, 2009’s Black Gives Way to Blue was a welcome return for Alice in Chains, which showed the reformed band had fresh vigor and was still […]

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Dethklok – Dethalbum III

Dethklok – Dethalbum III Release Date: October 16, 2012 Label: Williams Street Records FCC: 1, 3, 6, 7 Try: 2, 4 , 8, 10, 12 I dig everything Brendan Small has been associated with thus far: the two brilliant animated series Home Movies and Metalocalypse; his solo project Galaktikon; and, of course, the overall phenomenon […]

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Venom – From the Very Depths

Venom – From the Very Depths Release Date: January 26, 2015 Label: Spinefarm FCC: 3, 6, 10 Try: 2, 7, 13, 14 Not many bands make an impact—let alone spawn genres—but Venom can safely tick those off on their bucket list. Album #14 finds the trio settling into the grooves of their latest lineup, with […]

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Apocalyptica – Wagner Reloaded

Apocalyptica – Wagner Reloaded Release Date: November 18, 2013 Label: Sony Music FCC OK (all instrumental, thankfully) Try: ALL …it’s quite good! But faves include 3, 5, 8, 11, 12 Apocalyptica are doubtlessly bar-setting genre-definers. As the first band that claimed to “redefine the cello”, the Finns captured the eyes and ears of the music […]

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2CELLOS – Celloverse

2CELLOS – Celloverse Release Date: January 27, 2015 Label: Sony Music FCC OK (instrumental) Try: 1, 4, 10, 11, 12, 13 Another name now confidently exists in the crossover cello community, as the Croation duo 2Cellos continues to blow up the Youhole with 100M total views—1/3 of which are thanks to their take on AC/DC’s […]

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Marilyn Manson – The Pale Emperor (Hell, etc.)

Three years after Born Villain brought him back to his simpler NiN inspired sounds, Manson returns with a rousing change of pace. Without deviating too much from his stalwart formula, Manson on The Pale Emperor has explored a much blusier side of his psyche. This is Marilyn Manson the Blue edition. Elements of the current wave of blues […]

Between Rock & A Hard Place–Plugged and Unplugged

The title refers to the composer’s seeing the connections between heavy metal and some avant-garde classical pieces. This piece is also performed “unplugged”. Other works are quiet, minimialist. Play! Trks 1-4 suitable for metal/hard rock programming.

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Mastodon – Once More ‘Round the Sun

Mastodon – Once More ‘Round the Sun Release Date: 2014Jun24 Label: Reprise Records FCC: 4, 8 Try: 1, 2, 3, 9 Talk about a band who’s come a long way in 15 years. Mastodon have undergone fearless evolution throughout their history, and to their credit as artists, have released a broad spectrum of tunes across their […]

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Ides of Gemini – Old World | New Wave

Ides of Gemini – Old World | New Wave Release Date: 2014Sep16 Label: Neurot Recordings FCC OK Try: 1, 6, 7 Magical chthonic visions dredged from a fever dream of prophetic undoing. Simultaneously sultry and terrifying, lead lady Sera Timms delivers her most powerful performance to date, in not just Ides of Gemini, but former desolate desert denizens Black Math […]

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Norma Jean – Wrongdoers

Norma Jean – Wrongdoers Release Date: 2013Aug06 Label: Razor & Tie FCC OK Try: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Meridional was one of my surprise favorites of 2012, as Norma Jean figured out how to rein their chaos and write the tightest album of their career for their major label debut. I’m not exactly sure what happened […]

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YOB – Clearing the Path to Ascend

YOB – Clearing the Path to Ascend Release Date: 2014Sep02 Label: Neurot Recordings FCC OK Try: whatever fits in your playlists, but “Marrow” is the giant step YOB was one of the first bands to “wow” me when I first became Metal Director back in 2005 with The Unreal Never Lived. A decade later—through tribulation, evolution, […]

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High on Fire – Spitting Fire Live, Vols. 1 and 2

High on Fire – Spitting Fire Live, Vols. 1 & 2 Release Date: 2014Jun18 Label: E1 Entertainment FCC OK Try: to not get a bangover Solid double set of the thrashing stoner doom juggernaut that is High on Fire. Although impossible to fully capture their live potency, this two-album career retrospective does its damnedest. Culled from their last pair […]

Apostle of Solitude - Of Woe And Wounds (Cover)

Apostle of Solitude- Of Woe and Wounds

Apostle of Solitude– Of Woe and Wounds Release date: 2014Oct31 Label: Cruz del Sur FCC: Check Try: 1,3,4,5,7,9 Rating: 4/5 For reasons unknown, Apostle of Solitude didn’t show up on my radar until now. “Distance and the Cold Heart” serves as a sorrowful intro (and finale). “Whore’s Wings” lashes out with dirty licks. In a […]

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Electric Wizard- Time To Die

Electric Wizard– Time to Die Release date: 2014Sep29 Label: Spinefarm Records FCC: 1,5,8 Try: 1,2,3,5,6,7,9 Rating: 4.5/5 Electric Wizard return with Time To Die. “Incense For the Damned” tears through the listener with angry,demonic riffs accented by wails. The title track taunts the conscience and takes control of the mind. “I Am Nothing” plods and growls […]

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