Rotting Christ – Rituals (2016)


Author: Gay For Gary Oldman

Artist: Rotting Christ

Album: Rituals (2016)

Label: Season of Mist



Rotting Christ have always held a particularly notable place in my music library. At the end of my middle school days, after discovering new music and bands primarily through early 2000s horror movie soundtracks, I felt that I had discovered the pinnacle of aggressive and evil music in Lamb of God. Expressing this discovery to another student in the first few weeks of high school, he returned the next day with five CDs. Although nostalgia may play a factor, among them, My Arms, Your Hearse is still my favourite album of all time; Dechristianize is still my favourite death metal album, and Rotting Christ’s Sanctus Diavlos is consistently tied with De Mysteriis and the bands own debut Thy Mighty Contract for my personal peak of black metal. Continue reading

Ecferus – Pangaea (2016)


Author: Crono

Artist: Ecferus

Album: Pangaea

Label: I, Voidhanger Records


Somewhere along the way, black metal bands specifically dealing with space became a thing. I suppose it must have started with Darkspace, but there seems to be a lot more these days: Mare Cognitum, Spectral Lore, Moon, and of course Ecferus. This is their second album, Pangaea. I really enjoyed their first album, Prehistory, for its spacey atmosphere and its cold production values. This time, however, I feel that Ecferus has bumped up the production values a bit more, and it has resulted in an altogether more aggressive sound on Pangaea. Continue reading

Cemetery Filth/Ectovoid/Sabbatory/Trenchrot – 4 Doors to Death (2016)


Author: Goldensundown

Bands: Cemetery Filth/Ectovoid/Sabbatory/Trenchrot

Album: 4 Doors to Death

Label: Unspeakable Axe Records


4 Doors to Death is a 4-way split between four death metal bands – Cemetery Filth, Ectovoid, Sabbatory and Trenchrot, and one in particular I’ve been anticipating since I first heard about it. Trenchrot released easily one of the best DM records in 2014, Sabbatory is quality DM and Unspeakable Axe is a fantastic label, and while I wasn’t aware of Cemetery Filth or Ectovoid prior to this split, a quick listen to both bands’ material did nothing to temper my expectations. So how does this split fare? Continue reading

Dream Theater – The Astonishing (2016)


Author: Bloodshot Grub

Artist: Dream Theater

Album: The Astonishing

Label: Roadrunner Records



It would be hard to overstate the influence that Dream Theater has had on my life. They were one of the first metal bands I discovered, one of my favorite bands through much of my teenage years, and inspired me to become a musician. Despite that, even early on I found them to be a somewhat hit-or-miss affair, and since 2002’s highlight Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence they seemed to be running entirely on autopilot. Their four album run from Train of Thought up through Black Clouds & Silver Linings was never entirely bad, and there’s at least one full album of really excellent prog metal songs between them, but they were nevertheless predictable and formulaic offerings. The infamous drummer shake up seemed to revive them, but only briefly. Continue reading

Deströyer 666 – Wildfire (2016)


Author: Jan Jakobsen

Band: Deströyer 666

Album: Wildfire

Label: Season of Mist


K.K. Warslut and his merry gang of satanic thrash metallers have finally returned with fresh material seven years after the somewhat disappointing fourth album Defiance. We did however get the excellent compilation To the Devil His Due in 2010, but now with Wildfire we get 9 brand new tracks. Let’s make this clear right at the start, Deströyer 666 are one of the finest bands in the entire heavy metal genre and their three first albums are seen as legendary for a reason. The vicious riffing, the pummeling drums and the songwriting in general showcased by the mighty Deströyer 666 serves as a reminder of how mind-bogglingly awesome thrash metal can be. With these superlatives thrown around I expected great things from Wildfire and my hype level reached unfathomable levels after they released their first single, Live and Burn, back in January. It was everything I wanted in a Deströyer 666 song. Continue reading

Begrime Exemious – The Enslavement Conquest (2016)


Author: Brandon

Band: Begrime Exemious

Album: The Enslavement Conquest

Label: Dark Descent

Canadian death metallers Begrime Exemious finally, after four years of EPs (and a split) return with their third studio album, The Enslavement Conquest in March. There have been some changes from the last LP – this time, founding member Derek Orthner is on lead vocals as well as manning one of their two guitar positions for the first time on LP (though he’s done the same on non-album material before now), bassist Alastair Ritoul has returned, and guitarist F. Thibaudeau is for the first time playing on a Begrime LP – and they sound all the better for it. Continue reading

Blacksmith Legacy – Metal Never Dies (2015)


Author: Dave

Band: Blacksmith Legacy

Album: Metal Never Dies

Label: Independent


It’s not any secret that I have a thing for eighties metal. For whatever reason, that sound just resonates with my like no other, and I’m always on the lookout for any new bands that happen to crop up that manage to recreate that sound. Well, the Swedish heavy metal band Blacksmith Legacy is indeed one such band. True, they are hardly the most original project out there, but the fact is that originality isn’t everything. There is plenty of original garbage out there and I would rather have quality music that is derivative than a fresh pile of progressive faeces. Continue reading

Borknagar – Winter Thrice (2016)


Author: Gay For Gary Oldman

Artist: Borknagar

Album: Winter Thrice

Label: Century Media Records


When a Scandinavian band releases a winter-themed album in the middle of their winter, it usually means that my first experience of that record is on a sweltering Australian day, whilst dodging bushfires and dropbears. The real success of the album comes if that music can still transport me to a land of windswept fjords and frost fallen earth. Continue reading

Funeral Fornication – The Lamentation (2016)


Author: Crono

Artist: Funeral Fornication

Album: The Lamentation

Label: Kristallblutrecords


Okay, first of all, let’s just deal with this band name. I have no idea what Funeral Fornication is supposed to mean, but I have two possible guesses: either it’s fornicating with the corpse, or it’s fornicating near the corpse. Regardless, the band name instantly makes me think of some kind of grindcore band, or perhaps a really filthy black metal band. What we have instead is a kind of atmospheric black metal that has some pretty interesting differences separating it from the normal atmoblack sound. The Lamentation is Funeral Fornication’s fifth full length and I have it on good authority that it is their best album to date. Continue reading