Sep 25, 2012 Metal Blade
You've got to give a round of applause for AS I LAY DYING.  They are very consistent, have never released a bad album, and while each output of theirs is distinctly AS I LAY DYING, I have noticed an improvement in musicianship from album to album.  Their latest Metal Blade release, Awakened, is the AS I LAY DYING with the chops they've always had, but Lambesis and company have a few new twists for you as well.  The AS I LAY DYING anthems start from the get-go on Awakened with the album opener “Cauterize” and the following song “A Greater Foundation”, both of which are filled with memorable melodic metal riffing, a barrage of thumping per... (read more)
Feb 28, 2012 Sumerian Records
VEIL OF MAYA fans are going to love their latest release, Eclipse.  VEIL OF MAYA still sounds like VEIL OF MAYA.  They've kept their core sound, and their musicianship and creativity has only gotten better from album to album, which is what a band is supposed to do, progress, right?  I grew up in Grand Rapids, MI in which I remember VEIL OF MAYA coming around, so I have had the pleasure to see these guys before the Sumerian Records days, and seeing a band back then with the technical chops and unique songwriting ability that they had and still have today, it was a no brainer that these guys were going somewhere. The brutal album opener of “20/200” rem... (read more)
Lingua Franca
Feb 28, 2012 Sumerian Records
T.R.A.M. is Tosin Abasi's latest project, and while his name alone might grab a lot of attention, the other members of this project are just as impressive.  Javier Reyes, Abasi's counterpart in Animals As Leaders (AAL) plays rhythm guitar, while multi-instrumentalist Adrián Terrazas-González (formerly of The Mars Volta) and Eric Moore, the current drummer of Suicidal Tendencies, rounds out the group.  Together, their first names create the acronym T.R.A.M., as each one of them contributes their style and ability to make one cohesive sound. The one thing that I've left out is that T.R.A.M. happens to be a jazz project, which is a style that none of the membe... (read more)
Until I Feel Nothing
Oct 25, 2011 Victory Records
CARNIFEX are a band who has seemed to grow very fast in popularity.  More than likely, you've heard of these guys, but if for some reason you haven't, if you're a fan of The Black Dahlia Murder and Suicide Silence, you should have no problem getting into this band.  Their latest release, Until I Feel Nothing, has its ups and downs, but I do think the band is starting to walk in the right direction. The album opener “Deathwish” is short but sweet.  The whole song is a buildup into a massive breakdown which I wish they would have carried out longer, but I must say, I really dig that breakdown.  After hearing “Deathwish”, I was very exc... (read more)
End Time
Sep 27, 2011 Relapse
BRUTAL TRUTH sure has seemed to up the ante with their latest release, End Time.  One of grindcore's finest acts, these NYC lads is all about ruckus, ruckus, ruckus!  Featuring 21 tracks aimed straight at civilization's imminent implosion, these grindcore veterans have easily pumped out some of their best material to date.  Right now what amazes me is that it has already been roughly 21 years (despite the 6 year hiatus) of BRUTAL TRUTH.  I remember clearly my first listen of Extreme Conditions Demand Extreme Responses (I used to pick up a bunch of the old Earache MOSH cds for $5 a piece at Sam Goody – they were cheap + they never disappointed!), and for my you... (read more)
Worship the Animal (1994 The Lost Recordings)
Oct 11, 2011 Goomba Music
NILE is absolutely mandatory for any metalhead, as they are easily one of the most innovative bands that death metal has ever seen.  I myself have put countless hours into each NILE full length, and thoroughly enjoy every epic piece of it.  So when I learned that our friends at Goomba Music have re-issued their 1994 demo Worship The Animal, I knew I had to give it my mandatory spins.  So far, I've been coming back to play this album quite a bit. While Worship The Animal is moreso a mid-paced album instead of the extreme juggernaut approach you'd hear in more recent NILE (for example, the absolutely mind boggling Those Whom The Gods Detest), the integrity of the... (read more)
This Means War
Jan 17, 2012 Rise Records
Not so long ago Attack Attack! were the laughing stock of the ‘metal' community.   There was the infamous “Stick Stickley” video that spawned the tongue-in-cheek crab-core title, and then the interview with now ex-vocalist Nick Barham showing his complete lack of knowledge of his scene and music in general.  Add the neon colored merchandise, and we have the recipe for some pretty aggressive hostility.  The sad part of all of this is that it has anything to do with the music.  Don't get me wrong, the music was as generic as it got, but the band did not deserve the level of hatred that they received (at least on a musical level). Today, the... (read more)
Don't Forget Your Roots
Nov 21, 2011 Bridge Nine Records
Hands down, one of my favorite bands of ALL FUCKING TIME is H20.  In my eyes, they are the definition of music with a message, and how music can be your best friend who's always there for you in either good or bad times.  After hearing their classic Nothing To Prove album, it was love at first sight.  These guys knew how to craft catchy, energetic, and meaningful songs, and it all came so naturally.  After that monumental moment in my life first hearing Nothing To Prove, I knew H20 was going to be one of those bands I had to get my hands on anything and everything H20, and I continue to do so.  Easily one of the defining bands of the melodic hardcore genre, a... (read more)
Jul 12, 2011 Nuclear Blast America
I'm a weird SEPULTURA listener you could say.  While many people seem to pick Roots as the best SEPULTURA album, mine is Chaos AD as that album was heavy as fuck in its own original way.  While many people get quite the kick out of all the groovy percussion and tribal vibes heard on Roots or Against, I head straight for the thrash insanity on Beneath The Remains and Arise.  Not to create any kind of debates (though you are welcome to comment of course!), but all of the aforementioned albums were Max Cavalera-era albums, and all of them stood out in their own respective ways.  Yes, I understand that the band isn't as good without Max Cavalera, but SEPULTURA didn't... (read more)
Awaken to the Suffering
Sep 13, 2011 Victory Records
PATHOLOGY should have made an EP.  Their latest release Awaken To The Suffering still sounds like PATHOLOGY, but each song sounds pretty much the same.  That's not necessarily a bad thing, but my interest level went from high to low fairly quickly with this one because this is a case where variation is much needed.  PATHOLOGY's last album Legacy of The Ancients was good, but after a few songs in of Awaken To The Suffering, I'll simply put it - it just got boring.  There is just way to many filler songs vs. the moments that I really dug on Awaken To The Suffering.  For the most part, the album does stick to the code of brutal death metal, but sadly takes on a... (read more)
Mosh N Roll
Sep 13, 2011 MEDIASKARE
The big announcement was made earlier this year that Mat Bruso has rejoined BURY YOUR DEAD, and I'd like to say that their latest Mediaskare release Mosh ‘N' Roll is one of the better comebacks of 2011.  I'll give you a quick timeline.  Previous Bruso-era albums like Cover Your Tracks and Beauty And The Breakdown were priceless with their undeniable brutality and catchy hooks, and at that time, BURY YOUR DEAD easily created some of the most crushing albums in mosh hardcore.  These 2 albums in their prime made BURY YOUR DEAD the talk of the town.  But staying relevant is a tricky thing in today's music industry.  Bruso soon left the band to become a scho... (read more)
Mar 29, 2011 Relapse
2011 is a good year for progressive technical death metal.  So many excellent releases, and you can easily add German progressive tech metal virtuosos OBSCURA to that list.  It seems whenever anyone in OBSCURA touches an instrument, their midas touch turns a composition into gold.  Such flawless execution, razorsharp riffing, tight musicianship, and aesthetically, their latest 2011 Relapse Records release Omnivium is absolutely gorgeous.  The band knows how to do a little bit of everything.  You could label them as technical, complex, brutal, math, progressive, experimental, extreme, intelligent - OBSCURA are a rather unique outfit.  If you've been living und... (read more)
Gates of Punishment
Sep 27, 2011 Metal Blade
Most deathcore bands (and modern death metal bands for that matter) focus on being the fastest, or the heaviest, or the most sinister band that they can be, but that doesn't always result in a very listenable experience.  It all starts to bleed together.  In fact, rather than a full LP, I feel that EPs are the most effective way of going about releasing most metal, because the music can be so abrasive that by track five or six track, you lose interest.  A listener can only take so many blastbeats and breakdowns.  With their latest offering Gates of Punishment, Rose Funeral doesn't come close to reinventing the wheel, but they implement little breathers into... (read more)
Khaos Legions
Jun 7, 2011 Century Media
ARCH ENEMY are almost like a cult - they have quite a loyal fanbase awaiting their every move.  They are also a perfect beginner metal band for those who all of a sudden want to be a metalhead but are blind to the amazing metal underground scene; yet still don't want to be ridiculed for secretly listening to Attack Attack.  The Amott brothers (Michael and Christopher) have and will always be fretboard wizards, and they are the main selling point to ARCH ENEMY, though many will argue that Angela Gossow is because of her activist way of life.  The way I see it: there's plenty of metal musicians trying to make a positive impact, and if Angela was a dude with a dude nam... (read more)
Darkness in the Light
Jul 5, 2011 Metal Blade
What can I say about the new UNEARTH?  Well... it sounds like any other UNEARTH album for the most part, but that's not a bad thing at all.  UNEARTH has pretty much stuck by their guns, but if you listen closely, there is some very slight variation from album to album.  The slight variation this time is UNEARTH guitarists Buz McGrath and Ken Susi have added some progressive metal elements this time around with their latest, Darkness In The Light, and with this new strength in the fold, I'd like to say that this is their strongest album since The Oncoming Storm.  I like how they still use a ton of traditional metal riffing, worshiping the Iron Maiden... (read more)
Sounds of a Playground Fading
Jun 21, 2011 Century Media
p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 10.0px 0.0px; font: 11.0px Arial} span.s1 {font: 11.0px 'Lucida Grande'} IN FLAMES is a band I'll always give a full listen to because of their respective status in metal.  While I know many fans like me would love to see another Whoracle, Jester Race, or Colony, in all reality, the band has changed and there's not too much we can do about it.  I do like each respective IN FLAMES release, and while their newer material may not be even near on par with the 3 aforementioned albums or in other words anything pre-2002, the band has always been able to lay down a few pretty good tracks on each release.  Leading us into their latest, So... (read more)
Legions Of Bastards
Apr 26, 2011 Century Media
Hands down to one of the funnest releases of the year from one of the funnest bands ever, Swedish heavy metallers, WOLF!  You better bet I've got each respective WOLF release, and I was more than stoked to check out Legions Of Bastards, which is out now via our good friends at Century Media.  Vocalist Niklas Stalvind has such a strong and commanding vocal wail, and WOLF's instrumentals are heavy metal approved, like always!  WOLF has always been a band that has a place in my metal heart.  I grew up on the heavy metal of Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, and Accept, so when a band comes along and takes influence from the metal gods themselves, I'm either ... (read more)
Jun 28, 2011 Sumerian Records
Evan Brewer is a veteran in the metal community, but for those who haven't seen his resume, I'll give you a quick rundown.  He paid his dues playing with the now-defunct bands Animosity and Reflux, and recently, he has taken over as The Faceless' current bass player.  Apparently, playing for one of the sickest metal acts out there wasn't enough for Brewer, because he now presents us with his debut solo effort, appropriately titled Alone.  People may be anticipating this record to be the ‘bass' counterpart of Animals as Leaders' debut album, but that simply isn't true.  Sure there are obvious comparisons but for those with a trained ear, y... (read more)
Mar 22, 2011 Century Media
 Djent.  Some people love it, suggesting that it's the future of metal, and others absolutely loathe it, believing it's just a trend that will die out in the near future.  If I was to fall on one side of the fence, I would go with those who favor the new movement, but I would be much nearer to the fence compared to many of my peers.  I am not completely for it, because I think there is a little too much saturation and not enough true pioneers of the movement.  It seems like everyone's copying everyone else.  The reason I don't entirely dismiss djent is because compared to metal's last big movement (deathcore), djent is a breathe of fresh ... (read more)
May 17, 2011 Century Media
Arsonists Get All of the Girls (AGATG) has a lot in common with fellow metallers, The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza.  Not only do they both get ridiculed because of their longwinded and outlandish band names but they also both take an unconventional approach to metal; you never know what to expect from either band and in an ever increasingly stale genre. These new directions should be embraced with open arms but unfortunately both of these bands aren't getting the reception that they deserve.  Hopefully with Motherland, AGATG gets some well deserved recognition and the metal community should really take them seriously because this is no longer the joke ban... (read more)
No Secret Revealed
Nov 30, 2010 Bullet Tooth
The more I listen to AFFIANCE, the more I am really getting to enjoy this band.  AFFIANCE is a metalcore band that takes the melodies of an early day Still Remains, the song structure of a later day Killswitch Engage, the guitar counterattacks you'd hear in maybe an As I Lay Dying or an Unearth, and the passion that you'd hear in a Story Of The Year.  Their debut full length No Secret Revealed released by our friends at Bullet Tooth is a very fun release, and the star of this album is easily vocalist Dennis Tvrdik.  He sure knows how to seal the deal with a powerful chorus.  I get numb sometimes when I hear me some falsetto, and the man hits some qu... (read more)
Fake History
Apr 12, 2011 Epitaph
p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 12.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Arial} span.s1 {font: 10.0px Arial} span.Apple-tab-span {white-space:pre}             In today's music scene, kids in basements have shown no signs of slowing when it comes to creating a new sub-genre or figuring out how to fuse a new aspect into an existing sub-genre, in hopes of creating something completely unique. This couldn't be more evident in the realm of combined singing and screaming vocals. The list is endless when it comes to styles; from a pop-punk/metalcore fusion like A Day to Remember, to a Screamo/Post-hardcore conjunction like Underoath, to a classic melodic ... (read more)
Lost In Motion [Explicit]
Apr 26, 2011 Bullet Tooth
 Recently, France has been a great birthplace for metal.  For many people, when they think of French metal, they think of Gojira, and while the band deserves all of the praise that they get, there is a batch of smaller French acts that deserve some recognition. Such is the case for the newly signed NightShade.  On their debut Lost in Motion, the band combines the speed of traditional metalcore, the heaviness of death metal, and influences of modern electronic music to create a unique sound that should catapult them onto the tips of everyone's tongues. The album opens with an intro track that leads directly into “Rebellion”, which shows ... (read more)
Mar 22, 2011 Sumerian Records
 While I don't know the true meaning behind the The Discovery, I'm going to interpret it as a statement saying that with this album, Born of Osiris has truly “discovered” how to be the band that they've been striving to be.   On this record, you'll see that they've combined the more chaotic and groovy aspects of The New Reign with the refined melody and experimentation of A Higher Place, all the while creating a sound that's completely refreshing. One aspect of this record that has been vastly improved is the recording quality.  On A Higher Place, there wasn't much punch where it needed it, and because of that, many people had a hard t... (read more)
Digital Veil
Mar 8, 2011 Entertainment One Music
 This has to be one of the greatest success stories of the year.  After an uneven sophomore release, The Human Abstract are back and they are stronger than they've ever been.  A.J. Minette has returned to show everyone how properly write riffs and Travis Richter has become the frontman that the band has needed. “Elegiac” is the perfect way to start off the album.  The intro allows the band to show off their neo-classical roots, a trait that more metal bands should take notice at, because not only do these dudes know how to write riffs, they know how to correctly structure their songs.  The track expands, and soars to the end, set... (read more)
Mar 22, 2011 Vagrant Records
p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px} span.s1 {letter-spacing: 0.0px} Protest the Hero is a tricky band to pin down.  They seem like a band you can party with, but at the same time, their musical talents should be reserved exclusively for those who sacrifice a social life to be able to  hone their craft.  It almost seems too easy for these fun-loving dudes; they love creating music that requires multiple listens to fully get your head around. But this time around, they should have maybe buckled down a little harder, because Scurrilous doesn't quite hi... (read more)
Downtown Battle Mountain II
Mar 8, 2011 Rise
Anyone familiar with Dance Gavin Dance knows of the drama surrounding the band, especially all of the news about frontman, Jonny Craig.  He was kicked out of the band after their first album, Downtown Battle Mountain, and he joined Emarosa, where he appeared to clean up his act.  While Craig found success with a different band, DGD marched on, putting together makeshift lineups after makeship lineups, and creating two more albums that were good, but neither the press nor the fans enjoyed them as much of the band's debut effort. In 2010, the band did the unexpected and announced that the original lineup was going to get back together (besides Sean O'Sullivan, w... (read more)
Genocide Chapters
Sep 14, 2010 Metal Blade
p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; line-height: 17.0px; font: 15.0px Calibri} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; line-height: 17.0px; font: 15.0px Calibri; min-height: 18.0px} DAWN OF ASHES are now into their next musical transformation.  Previously a dark industrial band all together, DAWN OF ASHES completely switched it up and ventured into the heavier side of the musical spectrum.  These LA immortals with their latest Metal Blade release, Genocide Chapters, now create a murderous vision of extreme black metal / dark industrial metal, with plenty of blood and gore.  The band recently landed a huge tour with Dimmu Borgir, Enslaved, and Blood Red Thro... (read more)
The Hymn Of A Broken Man
Jan 18, 2011 Roadrunner Records
  It's about time some good quality metalcore has emerged into the oversaturated metal scene.  Sure there have been a handful of decent acts recently, but I just feel that the quality craftsmanship wasn't there.  Enter now TIMES OF GRACE.  Featuring 2 of metalcore's pioneers, Jesse Leech (former Killswitch Engage vocalist) and Adam Dutkiewicz (current Killswitch Engage guitarist), the chemistry of TIMES OF GRACE without a doubt clicks from the duo's past experience together.  Dutkiewicz also gets to show the world his multi instrumentalist skills, as he plays all instruments for the band.  TIMES OF GRACE to simply put it sounds like Kill... (read more)
Aug 31, 2010 Victory Records
  Here's Victory Records' version of Sumeriancore.  WITHIN THE RUINS is a technical death metal juggernaut with hints of progressive metal hailing from North Carolina, and their latest Victory Records release, Invade, does show improvement in the band.  Their debut Creature was fairly solid (which they toured the fuck outta that release, these guys are DIY beasts!), and fans of the old should have no problem getting into the new material, because they literally almost sound the same, even within the complexity.  There are some parts on Invade in my eyes that stick out above others, so here they are. “Versus” shows the band in their... (read more)
In War & Pieces
Jan 11, 2011 Steamhammer / SPV
  The almighty SODOM is still thrashing away and their latest battle cry, In War And Pieces, is another solid SODOM album for your collection, and it also happens to be their most versatile work to date.  Hailed as one of the big 3 in German heavy metal (alongside Kreator and Destruction), SODOM shows you that they can still shred the strings right off an electric guitar, even almost 30 years later!  Quite the accomplishment indeed, but it's too bad that these guys often get overlooked.  Sure, a metalhead is going to dig some SODOM, but when thrash is brought up in a conversation, SODOM never really becomes a main topic, rather, it's usually the,... (read more)
Silence Is Betrayal (Deluxe Edition) [Explicit]
Nov 9, 2010 Bullet Tooth
p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 16.0px 'Times New Roman'} First Blood comes out with all guns blazing with their newest release Silence Is Betrayal. From start to finish it throws hardcore as what we know it back in our faces and brings us back to reality. Stocked full of political messages and standing for what you believe in, it's a calling card for a youth revolution. It seems that every hardcore release this year has gone back to the passion that was once prevalent in hardcore. Now I really do love Silence Is Betrayal, it's a wake up call for everyone that enjoys hardcore and the message that it portrays. Granted there is not much different music... (read more)
Jul 27, 2010 Nuclear Blast Americ
DECREPIT BIRTH is a riff crazy technical death metal band, and these guys really stand out with what they're doing.  With an abundance technical metal bands out there right now, you could say that many of them are “over-the-top” - which is fine sometimes, but in the end of all the tech / math frenzy, the “metal” factor almost appears to be lost within the bpm.  DECREPIT BIRTH adds in more of the “metal” factor than most of these other technical death metal bands.  They have a bunch of infectious Swedish death metal, and have more than enough shredding guitar solos for any metal guitar fanatic to be pleased.  Their l... (read more)
Punk Goes Pop Volume 3
Nov 2, 2010 Fearless Records
Hmmm, why do I love these PUNK GOES POP compilations so much?  And this is coming from a metalhead, btw!  Maybe it's because I have a secret love for some top 40 pop singles?  Maybe it's because I used to work at Hollister (don't hate, it paid me money at the time, and was actually really fun!) and PUNK GOES POP was constantly (and mandatory to be) playing at full volume in the store?  Or maybe it's because I like some of the bands on these compilations, and I want to follow them?  I think in a nutshell, it's because these albums are so fun, so catchy, easy to sing-a-long to, and these songs can really put you in a good mood! When it comes to cove... (read more)
Between The Lies
Nov 2, 2010 Bullet Tooth
MEMPHIS MAY FIRE is back with something to say on their latest Bullet Tooth EP, Between The Lies.  It's almost as if we almost have a whole new band here, but recognizable enough for longtime fans to know that this is still that same, fun loving MEMPHIS MAY FIRE.  The first thing I realized is how much heavier this release is than any of their previous releases, and how polished this new sound is of theirs.  Fans of last year's Sleepwalking are still going to love Between The Lies, and the band's new twists and turns. That hearty dose of southern screamo / post hardcore is still present, and vocalist Matty Mullins still has his distinctive vocal tone and d... (read more)
Speak Up / You're Not Alone
Aug 24, 2010 Bullet Tooth
North Carolina's DECEPTION OF A GHOST is about to take the metal scene by storm.  But to label the band as just metal would be injustice.  DECEPTION OF A GHOST also has a ton of great pop sensibilities, a rocking attitude, an eclectic side with some great clean guitar rhythms, and a ton of character throughout their Bullet Tooth debut, Speak Up, You're Not Alone.  To best describe, think the catchier moments of Killswitch Engage, the heavier side of As I Lay Dying, and the deathcore of For The Fallen Dreams, with a ton of catchy and powerful hooks.  DECEPTION OF A GHOST's guitar tones are great, their harmony is spot on, and I must say the guita... (read more)
Songs Of Ill Hope And Desperation
Jun 8, 2010 Prosthetic Records
   CLINGING TO THE TREES OF A FOREST FIRE (we'll just call them CTTTOAFF in this review) are a grindcore / down tempo driven band from Denver, CO, and their latest release, Songs Of Hope And Desperation, is absolutely chaotic, no matter what pace it takes!  I'm a fan of grindcore, but it really takes a crazy ass band to knock me on my ass for me to dig.  CTTTOAFF does that, and with authority.  Think older Napalm Death, Extreme Noise Terror, Weekend Nachos, maybe some Gaza, and mix in modern production, and you've got a damn good grindcore band with a sharp edge to it!  But wait, they do more than just grind your faces off!  Add in ... (read more)
7 Sinners
Nov 9, 2010 The End Records
  Oh power metal, the genre every metalhead should have some kind of spot in their heart for.  To be honest, I'm not the biggest power metal nerd in the world, but for those who play it right, I'm down for all the cheddar I can get.  I love the cheese!  One such legendary act from Germany has always intrigued me, and they go by the name of HELLOWEEN.  Kids, please listen.  If you like Dragonforce, please do your homework and check out the HELLOWEEN discography.  HELLOWEEN has all the necessary shred, and they've always expanded their sound and pushed the boundaries in some quite mysterious ways, unlike Dragonforce, who has a on... (read more)
For We Are Many
Oct 12, 2010 Razor & Tie
Remember when the metalcore movement boosted metal to an all-time high in popularity?  Remember how most of that metalcore movement seemed to be Boston-based: bands like Shadows Fall, Killswitch Engage, Unearth, and ALL THAT REMAINS were the big players in that league.  While each respective band is great, ALL THAT REMAINS in my eyes is the best.  They've been the most consistent with putting out a quality album each time (though it's a very debatable subject, so leave us comments here!), and while many of you complain about their more pop / commercial driven approach over the years, when the band gets heavy, they get HEAVY, and easily help me even the od... (read more)
Lucky Me
Nov 23, 2010 Deathwish Inc.
            Killing The Dream hasn't lost their touch over their years with their newest LP release, Lucky Me. Their fiery passion for music is still present in every second of every song. Lucky Me doesn't carry the same driving force as their earlier releases like In Place Apart or Fractures but instead focuses on the experimental aspect and continually builds with each song. Killing The Dream has been an inspiration with every release that they have came out with and Lucky Me is no different. Their passion, musical drive, inspiration, and willingness to change while keeping true to themselves is shocking and invigorating.  How many bands can ... (read more)
Nov 9, 2010 Solid State
With the last remaining founding member, Aaron Gillespie, leaving the band this year, Underoath begins a new chapter in the career.  His departure leaves the group who has been unified since the band's breakthrough They're Only Chasing Safety without a big key to the band's success.  Gillespie contributed his excellent drumming skills as well as being the main (clean) singer.  Whether you were for or against his departure, you knew one way or another that Underoath was going to be a different band because if it. After the commercially successful They're Only Chasing Safety, the band decided to take a huge departure from the poppy sound that made them... (read more)
The Avarice Of Man [Explicit]
Oct 26, 2010 Mediaskare Records
Australia has really been starting to become a mecca for extreme modern metal.  With the likes of The Amenta, Parkway Drive, Truth Corroded, and some others, you can definitely add THE RED SHORE to the list, and the band is definitely the most all out extreme of the bunch.  There is absolutely nothing pretty about this release, pretty, meaning flowers and shit.  Literally, THE RED SHORE does not slow down once throughout The Avarice Of Man, and the star on this album has got to be new drummer Tim Shearman.  He's on a nonstop marathon of blast beats, machine drum kick assaults, break neck speeds, and some pretty sick drum fills.  The guitars a... (read more)
Dog's Blood
Nov 2, 2010 Vagrant Records (US)
Alexisonfire are one of the premiere bands in metalcore, and to give fans a little taste of what they're working on, they're putting out a four song release, titled Dog's Blood EP.  I'll keep this review short for this short little release. Here's a track-by-track rundown: The first song, “Dog's Blood” is, at its core, a punk song.  It features aggressive drums, and fast riffs.  Many fans will be glad to hear that vocalist George Petit has gone back to his harsh scream that fans fell in love with; replacing the hardcore yell he employed on their last full length, Old Crows/Young Cardinals.  Dallas Green's voice does... (read more)
Lawless Darkness
Jun 8, 2010 Season of Mist
One of black metal's most notorious outfits, the almighty WATAIN, is back for blood.  Their latest release, Lawless Darkness, takes off where their last masterpiece Sworn To The Dark left off 4 years ago.  With exceptionally evil Gorgoroth-esque black metal tones, a ferocious march towards hell, and a middle finger raised, everything you've loved about WATAIN is back again.  WATAIN has been an underground favorite for a while, and since Sworn To The Dark, the band began reaching worldwide success and fame, which is great for them!  They're still keeping things evil, there's no doubt about that.   A big part of their rise in popularity has got to b... (read more)
Plead the Fifth
May 11, 2010 Victory Records
Those of you who are die hard TAPROOT fans are going to love their latest Victory Records release, Plead The Fifth!  Those of you who are keener on TAPROOT's earlier material from Gift, and the Welcome-era are still going to love Plead The Fifth, just maybe not from start to finish.  While many say TAPROOT's debut Gift was the band's prime, my favorite is their follow up to that, Welcome, because of its mysterious atmosphere and pretty damn heavy riffs, and hearing something like that in 2002 was different than what a lot of other nu metal bands were doing – closest comparison at the time would be The Deftones.  I've always been a fan of vocalist Stephan Rich... (read more)
There Is a Hell Believe Me I've Seen It. There Is a Heaven Lets Keep It a Secret.
Oct 5, 2010 Epitaph
Bring Me the Horizon, whether it's warranted or not, have gotten a pretty bad rep, caused largely by vocalist Oli Sykes' image.  His sad puppy face rubbed people the wrong way, and the band's huge success with the younger crowds only angered the naysayers even more.  If we ignore the band's image and focus solely on the music, you'll find that BMTH's debut was filled with above average metalcore with a small dab of deathcore.  The band expanded their sound on their second release Suicide Season, but people outside of their fanbase hardly noticed, and the band continued to get dismissed.  BMTH have now just released their third record, and while having an embarras... (read more)
Genesis to Nemesis
Aug 31, 2010 Prosthetic Records
Infernaeon return with their new release entitled, Genesis To Nemesis, from the swamps of Florida to wreck havoc on the metal landscape. Front man Brian Werner replaced all new band members. However he still calls the band Infernaeon instead of the Brian Werner solo project? But I digress. The album starts off with a beautiful yet eerie piano piece entitled “Into The N.O.X.” The song foreshadows what is to come from this album. “Legacy Of Kane,” is the antithesis of this album with pounding syncopated rhythms executed by bassist Mike Poggione and drummer Jeramie King and heavy crunch-crunch guitar work by Taylor Nordberg and Steven Harger along wi... (read more)
Killing. Mourning. Love.
Sep 21, 2010 Bullet Tooth
In 2002, Taking Back Sunday made a huge impact in their scene with their debut, Tell All Your Friends.  Immediately after the album's release, every band tried to emulate what made that album so special.  While many bands failed, many bands succeeded in making comparable albums, and together, they quickly built a scene, popularizing the term “emo”.  Since then, the genre has taken off in a different direction, using the hooks they learned from their predecessors, but leaving behind what made the scene so special to begin with.  While Victory In Numbers doesn't completely stay true to the sound of emo bands of the past, they do a good job of blending t... (read more)
Jul 20, 2010 Prosthetic Records
When I first saw The Acacia Strain in concert in December 2009, singer Vincent Bennet proclaimed, “Who here has had a shitty year? We are very fucking negative people!” … I couldn't agree more. Everyone emerge yourself from your windowless rooms and wear your “Ride Skateboards Not Dicks” t-shirts and be proud! The opus starts off with an eerie droning guitar riff that sets the stage for the rest of the album with the introductory track “The Beast.” “My life is a shooting rang,” exclaims Bennet with every breath in his being. The single track off of Wormwood, “The Hills Have Eyes,” with ambient guitar work play... (read more)
Legacy of the Ancients
Jul 6, 2010 Victory Records
PATHOLOGY is a brutal death metal band easily creating one of the most brutal offerings within this genre.  Featuring an all star lineup of Matti Way (Disgorge, Liturgy) on vocals and Dave Astor (Cattle Decapitation, Locust) on drums, the two combine to create the brutal monster that is PATHOLOGY.  Influentially, I hear some old school Cannibal Corpse, Dying Fetus, and other like minded brutal death metal like Devourment.  Call this music brutal death metal, call it slamz metal, call it whatever, but there is no doubt that PATHOLOGY is a heavy, heavy band.  Furthering this subject, I know a lot of you metalheads hate the abundance of breakdowns in yo... (read more)
May 25, 2010 Prosthetic Records
Germany's DEW-SCENTED is a death metal / thrash titan, and their balance between the two fits just right.  Seriously, I feel like I'm back in the late 80s / early 90s when the Earache Records era dominated the underground thrash / death metal scene, but this time with modern production (given it's 2010 now, ya know).  And in a way, I sort of am.  The band has history, forming in 1992 and releasing 7 full lengths; some of which were released by SPV, and some via Nuclear Blast, so they definitely know their sound extremely well.  They continue to stick to their guns and that's something I always love to see.  This time, the fine folks at Pros... (read more)
Beyond The Gate
Jul 13, 2010 Victory Records
When Wretched released their debut, The Exodus of Autonomy in early 2009, I knew that they were something special.  What other melodic death metal bands have tracks as ambitious as the near-nine minute instrumental track “VI: The Exodus of Autonomy” on their debut album?  No one.  To this date, the band has not received the kind of respect that they deserve, and with their second album Beyond the Gate, Wretched set out to change that.  The band has decided to push themselves even further, and it resulted in an album that is that is both ambitious and brutal.   The track “Birthing Sloth” starts the album off with a b... (read more)
Apr 27, 2010 Prosthetic Records
The almighty 1349 is back with their latest offering Demonoir, and are back to their Norwegian black metal roots.  The band reaches into the darkest part of their souls, making Demonoir their most sinister release to date, and ultimately their best.  Their last release, Revelations Of The Black Flame, was more of an experimental and ambient album and while it was solid, it just didn't feel right for unholy black metal force that is 1349.  Demonoir puts 1349 back on the right track, and fans from the classic Hellfire era are going to love this release.  Though there is still a good dose of ambiance in Demonoir, this time around there's a much better balance... (read more)
Fight With Your Fists
Aug 10, 2010 Bullet Tooth
Pop-core (or pop-punk that infuses elements of hardcore into their sound) has blown up in the last couple of years, thanks to bands like Set Your Goals, Four Year Strong, and A Day to Remember.  These bands are so popular because they use enormous and catchy hooks followed by moshpit-approved breakdowns, and fans of both genres seem to equally embrace the new sound.  Today, it is easy to overlook bands that use this style because it's so commonly used, but that leaves some truly great bands lost in the shuffle.  Hopefully Kid Liberty gets the chance to rise above, because with Fight With Your Fists, they prove they have the chops to hang with the big boys. &... (read more)
Jul 13, 2010 Razor & Tie
Norma Jean's new album, Meridional has gathered quite a buzz, because the band “wanted to go back to their roots” with the new record.  When a fan hears this, they automatically think that the band is going to go back and write songs in the vein of Bless the Martyr, Kiss the Child, or at least O' God, the Aftermath.  In an interview, band members Jake Shultz and Chris Day clarified that that they were going back to their roots, in the way that they would write their material.  In their earlier days, the band wrote what they wanted, and now they wanted to bring that mentality back.  That doesn't mean that the end result will sound like thei... (read more)
Odyssey: (Un)Dead
THE BREATHING PROCESS and their latest masterpiece, Odyssey (Un)Dead, is everything you've previously loved about the band, now leagues better!  Seriously, these guys are back with a more expansive, dark, open minded, and extreme approach.  Their creativity really shines on Odyssey (Un)Dead, and I love the fact that THE BREATHING PROCESS is trying to be as sinister and extreme as can be, which is something that I always love to see in a band.  They've also taken on some great ambience and experimentation which you'll find in some intros and interludes, and in this case it works to their advantage.  Who said ambiance couldn't be heavy??  ... (read more)
Deep Blue
Jun 29, 2010 Epitaph
Normally, I don't get too excited about an album after reading quotes from the band.  Musicians usually state that they've “matured”, or that they are “branching out” on a new record, but it is rarely evident when you give it a listen.  Obviously a band wants to get you excited about what they're creating, but a lot of the time their statements are just littered with filler adjectives.    There is no real reason why I believed the boys from Parkway Drive when they said that Deep Blue was going to set them apart from their metalcore brethren, but saying that I was excited about this record would be an understatement.&nbs... (read more)
Until We Surrender
Jun 15, 2010 Epitaph
HEARTSOUNDS is a punk rock band from the Bay Area starting to make some noise.  Formed by Light This City mastermind Ben Murray and vocalist Laura Nichol, HEARTSOUNDS is their new outlet that allows them to express their love for punk rock.  I honestly didn't see this coming, especially when their last band Light This City was one of the hottest up-and-coming melodic death metal bands landing some huge tours, and really starting to generate a following.  What I really didn't understand was Light This City announcing their breakup before they released their final full length, Stormchaser, which I'm guessing made Light This City lose some record sales.  At least announ... (read more)
Acid Tiger
Apr 27, 2010 Deathwish Inc
Brooklyn's ACID TIGER features members of Converge, Thursday, and United Nations, so you already know these guys have experience in creating some high energy music, and when you put them all together you'd think that ACID TIGER would carry at least a few elements of Converge and / or Thursday, but boy was I wrong.  They do barely at all!  ACID TIGER let loose a loud classic and southern rock approach, and I must say they do an alright job at it.  Recorded by the guy who has the midas touch, Mr. Kurt Ballou, the production on ACID TIGER's self titled sounds pretty gnarly, but how is the musicianship?   The album opens with “The Claw”, a song that ... (read more)
Do Overs & Second Chances
Apr 20, 2010 Fearless Records
GO RADIO has created such a fun release with their Fearless Records debut, Do Overs And Second Chances.  Coming from the sunny Tallahassee, FL, GO RADIO shines bright with such an honest sound.  Jason Lancaster (ex-Mayday Parade), singer / guitarist for GO RADIO is seriously a star.  He's got this incredible talent, and while there are a million of other singer / guitarists out there, Lancaster does a great job using his own twist, that all comes naturally.  Most of these songs are about a relationship that is so bittersweet, at one moment you're fighting to get her back, and the next you're trying to get away from her before it's too late.  It sure does make f... (read more)
New Era of Corruption
Jun 8, 2010 Metal Blade
Deathcore has been done to death.  The majority of bands of this genre mainly focus on how heavy they are, making sure that there are plenty of bass drops and blast beats.  Originality is rare to find in your typical deathcore band.  Whitechapel was one of the pioneers of this now laughable genre, and all of these other bands are trying oh so hard to emulate their sound (Oceano, cough cough).  If you're in a band like Whitechapel, do you try to separate yourself from all of your followers, or do you stick to the sound that made you famous?  They chose to settle somewhere in middle, and they seemed to choose option.   If you were ... (read more)
May 25, 2010 Rise Records
  Detroit hardcore legends are back from different bands to indulge our minds in the heaviest hardcore band yet to date with Legend. Forming from notorious Michigan hardcore heroes 'For The Fallen Dreams', you can say that Legend has a lot to live up to. After signing to Rise Records and releasing Valediction I think they have done more than surpass any expectations they were given. Each song is a bruising hardcore beat down after another, Valediction is without a doubt the heaviest hardcore album that has been released, so all other hardcore bands will have to play catch up with Legend. I recently got to see them at Bledfest in our home state of Michigan, a... (read more)
Hope Division
Jun 1, 2010 Sumerian Records
This is exactly the kick start that hardcore needed. The opening song, ‘Where The Sun Sleeps' just brings all the intensity of an intro song into the limelight to set the pace for the whole album. It's nice to see hardcore diverging into different paths again. Stick To Your Guns is a notorious band and it's a refreshing change to see them broaden their horizons. They have matured and really changed their approach on music since their hit ‘This Is More'.   I'm so happy that Stick To Your Guns has returned to real hardcore. They don't bother with too many chugs or breakdowns but play it straight from the heart, a property that most hardcore bands have lost. Mode... (read more)
  Pop punk can never match what The Wonder Years have done with their release of The Upsides. Even with the kings in pop punk such as Four Year Strong and Set Your Goals, The Wonder Years have topped them both and have seized that champion spot. I'm sorry for any die hard fans of them but it's true, The Wonder Years have released the BEST pop punk album that I've ever heard. Even though The Upsides doesn't deliver the most uplifting messages in every song it still is an absolutely wonderful album. I love that The Upsides is all about passion and true stores that have happened to the band. The album lyrics also reflect the scene as a whole like in the so... (read more)
Heat Fetish
Mar 9, 2010 Rise Records
            Usually, when a band goes through any severe lineup change, their sound gets compromised, and they barely resemble the same band that you fell in love with.  The Bled lost three members since releasing their previous record, Silent Treatment, but fortunately for them, the lineup change seemed to do them good.  Silent Treatment showed the band at a difficult spot in their career; the album just didn't work.  It didn't match the craziness of Pass the Flask, and the experimentation wasn't as successful as it was on Found in the Flood.  It seems that the lineup change was due, and now The B... (read more)
Jan 26, 2010 Fearless Records
There is something that I love about ALESANA.  They've got this stylistic musical direction that almost seems to create its own following.  ALESANA is a screamo / metalcore band that adds in a poetic, conceptual, and sometimes an epic feeling, grasping the listener for their last breath.  Musically, ALESANA has a ton of great pop sensibilities, and I love how guitarist / clean vocalist Shawn Milke seems to change character throughout The Emptiness, especially with all the mood swings – the man has really expanded his vocal range here.  Along with this, these guys know how to get heavy.  Their mixture of both modern melodic metal and post hardcore show... (read more)
Blue Sky Noise
Apr 20, 2010 Atlantic
            Anthony Green has become a hero in the scene. As the lead singer of the experimental rock band Circa Survive, he has managed to develop a strong following over the years due to his soaring vocals and his ability to command the audience in a live setting. Circa Survive is back with their third full length, their major label debut, Blue Sky Noise. With many bands, the transition from an indie to a major label is not an easy one. Diehard fans are immediately skeptical that their favorite band will sell out and conform to the label's needs. Some bands struggle to keep their identities with new pressures tha... (read more)
The Constant
Feb 16, 2010 Epitaph
St. Louie's finest STORY OF THE YEAR is back with one of the most anticipated releases of 2010, their Epitaph Records release, The Constant.  You could say the band has really matured, but I think they've already reached that level of maturity with The Black Swan.  If anything, STORY OF THE YEAR shows how they are a great example of a hard working band that stays consistent, keeps their sound and ethics, and at the same time makes sure not to make the same album twice.  The Constant is a stepping stone you could say.  No, it's not the classic Page Avenue, but a valuable piece of the puzzle for any STORY OF THE YEAR fan, so I definitely claim it of hig... (read more)
Scouting the Boneyard
Jan 19, 2010 Metal Blade
Finally, a real metal release in 2010!  With all of the commercialized and watered down bullshit of today, Buffalo, NY's SONS OF AZRAEL stands for the complete opposite.  I've been following the band for quite sometime now, ever since they toured with Infernaeon 3 some years ago.  I've been blasting songs like “Sweet Blasphemy” at full volume ever since.  Then, SONS OF AZRAEL fell off the radar for quite some time, and I was starting to wonder what happened to them…    Then out of the blue, SONS OF AZRAEL are back with a new album called Scouting The Boneyard via Ironclad Recordings / Metal Blade.  SONS OF AZRAE... (read more)
Mutiny Within
Feb 23, 2010 Roadrunner Records
New Jersey progressive metallers MUTINY WITHIN are way ahead of their time.  I mean, for how young they are (some under 21!), these guys are technically advanced, equipped with one of the most powerful vocal ranges as of late in metal, and can shred like the already established metal giants.  Their Roadrunner Records self-titled debut is a brilliant album, and catchy without a doubt.   The release opens up with “Awake”, starting off with heartfelt piano transitioning into some fast and progressively proficient metal assaults.  The verses stomp through like no one's business as vocalist Chris Clancy introduces his sing / scream ... (read more)
Thus Far, The Channels Speak
Dec 15, 2009 Negative Progression Records
THE SUBTLE WAY has got something going on.  These California kids have that stylish emo/autotune sound that the scene has been eating up these days, as well as some punishing brutality that I must say they do pretty well.  Their latest release, Thus Far The Channels Speak shows promise in these youngsters.  You can definitely tell they've taken more of an I See Stars kind of path on this record.  Opening up Thus Far The Channels Speak, “Hardwired And Inspired” gets their stylistic approach started.  Mixing screamo with some mean distortion and dissonance, the song is about not giving up, and being able to count on one anot... (read more)
Feb 2, 2010 Prosthetic Records
  I've been anxiously awaiting the release of Skepsis and it didn't fail to deliver. It has been three years since the release of Malice along with two national tours in between. Through The Eyes Of The Dead comes out with their newest mind blowing album Skepsis. This is hands down one of the greatest albums that I've EVER heard; it's pure musical genius. Through The Eyes Of The Dead have been dominating the metal scene and keeping us in anticipation with this new arrival of brutality and power. Touching every spectrum of metal, from speedy tremolo picking, amazingly smooth guitar solos, to the most unique breakdowns to hit the ears of metal listeners. Here it ... (read more)
In the Black
Sep 15, 2009 Koch Records
KITTIE. Yup, that girl metal band that many of you learned about when the nu metal bug bit you.  Thinking musically, whenever KITTIE is brought up in conversation, everyone is quick to mention their breakthrough album, Spit, and that's it.  If you did happen to follow the band after Spit, you'd be quick to learn that they've continued to grow more extreme on the riff side.  Their latest release, The New Black, shows KITTIE at arguably their most metal.    Careful, don't call it cute, because they've got a ton of ferocious tracks.  “Cut Throat” for example shows KITTIE mastermind Morgan Lander at her best in both... (read more)
Apr 14, 2009 Sumerian Records/Victory Distribution
I SEE STARS have hands down created the best emo record of the year.  Though I wouldn't call it just emo, because there is a ton of great electronica and post hardcore involved, too.  Seriously, kind of like when Panic At The Disco brought something new and exciting into the scene with their broadway/theatric type of approach, I SEE STARS is the next rock icon to redefine the genre.  I SEE STARS give this futuristic sound with the aforementioned electronica and post hardcore, but it's how they stylistically combine it all into one that makes them the breakthrough that they are.  And seeing how the “scene” these days bites on a “lifestyle&r... (read more)
Sep 29, 2009 Koch Records
HATEBREED is back at full force with their latest self-titled release, which sees the band doing what they do best: making an album full of fist pumping anthems from start to finish, while giving the honest and sincere message to keep your head up.  HATEBREED is still one of the most brutal, honest, and authentic bands out there and they've got plenty to say on their latest self titled release.    The fast fist pumper of “Between Hell And A Heartbeat” perfectly showcases the band's East Coast tuned down hardcore, while also letting their metal influences shine.  The verses gallop furiously, letting out a ton of shred.  New (an... (read more)
Secrets of the World
Heavy, from the heart, and aggressive, Trapped Under Ice is one of hardcore's finest and most noticeable bands to spawn out of the scene. Trapped Under Ice brings the fury and destruction to each show and every album that comes out, and Secrets of the World is no exception. With newly added riffs that help set the album apart from other hardcore bands, Secrets of the World is a must have for all hardcore enthusiasts. After one demo, one split, and coming out with their sophomore release CD, Trapped Under Ice has expanded their musical horizons well beyond hardcore by pushing it as far to the limits as they can. This is how hardcore needs to sound. What really comes out in Secrets of t... (read more)
Stand Up And Scream
Sep 15, 2009 Sumerian Records
ASKING ALEXANDRIA and their latest Sumerian Records release, Stand Up And Scream, is full of swag, and has such a killer and stylistic musical direction.  It's such a fun release that's meant to pump you up.  There's a ton of great hooks, can be epic at times, and their musical direction fuses post hardcore, metalcore, and very techno like synth arrangements together.  Yes, it's been done before in various forms, but these young brits are really onto something.  Just picture Bring Me The Horizon, Alesana, and techno all in one, and ASKING ALEXANDRIA pulls it off pretty damn well. “A Candlelit Dinner With Inamorta” is a beast!  From ... (read more)
Nov 10, 2009 Trustkill Records
This is exactly how I want my hardcore to be! Hard, aggressive, furious OUTBREAK! Is here again with the new self-titled release and a release on the new Saw VI soundtrack, OUTBREAK! Is really on an outbreak. Keeping oldschool punk-hardcore alive for all the young guns, OUTBREAK! Is going to show them what music is really like. Now for those people who don't know who OUTBREAK! Is, if you're fans of Trash Talk, Bracewar, or Shipwreck A.D. then OUTBREAK! Is the band you need to have in your music library. In their career they have already mastered five out of the seven continents, most notorious, legendary bands today can't even say that. This shows true dedication form OUTBREAK! A... (read more)
American Survival Guide, Vol. 1
Oct 6, 2009 Trustkill Records
Just when you thought industrial metal had died, VENTANA arrives and proves to keep the times going. Featuring St1tch and Danny Bones of Mushroomhead, their part in the band is evident, and does help evolve this new breed that is VENTANA. Remember back in the day when Mushroomhead was good (XX era)? That was 7th grade for me, and the band was untouchable back then in many aspects. Those who have continued to follow Mushroomhead may have learned that they've never surpassed their past work (when they had J Mann). And those who remember the better Mushroomhead days should be able to find a place for VENTANA, and their Trustkill/Filthy Hands release, American Survival Guide Vol. 1. I look ... (read more)
Descend into Depravity
Sep 15, 2009 Relapse
DYING FETUS and their latest Relapse Records release Descend Into Depravity is pure technical death metal genius!  The band has truly evolved this time around by improving their technicality, song writing, and execution.  Descend Into Depravity is filled with pummeling arrangements, monstrous riffs, and proves itself to be an all out death metal machine! Opening up with “Your Treachery Will Die With You”, DYING FETUS's signature brutality begins its attack.  With such a complex yet straight to your face approach, DYING FETUS unleashes all hell with hyperactive guitar trills, stunning sweeps, insane drum blasts, and some straight up brutal de... (read more)
Jul 21, 2009 Trustkill Records
MEMPHIS MAY FIRE sure knows how to rock and roll, and their latest Trustkill release, Sleepwalking, brings in a much needed spark into the scene. Sleepwalking is such an exciting rocker from start to finish. It's more than stylistic; it's a new fashion! Opening with “North Atlantic vs. North Carolina“, MEMPHIS MAY FIRE starts out with a big burst of energy, bringing the action from all angles. The song is packed with a ton of mean distortion, bluesy rhythms, and incredible vocal harmonies from Matt Mullin. MEMPHIS MAY FIRE walks through like it's nobody's business, and the loud and upbeat riffs are huge. “A Giant In A Giant's World” follows the opener, and ... (read more)
Iron Front
Oct 6, 2009 Bridge Nine Records
When you get thrown a band with a name like Strike Anywhere what should you expect to come pouring out of their musical fingertips? Well, something sounding exactly like Rise Against, Strung Out, No Trigger, and Smoke or Fire that's what. It's been 3 years since "Dead FM," and now it's time for a recap on what we've been missing. First off you get thrown with 13-tracks each of which flash right on through from start to finish. "Iron Front," comes out shrieking with unashamed styles just like all the other Strike Anywhere albums. The band themselves aren't shy in letting their listeners know that there's still something wrong in their eyes, whether it be the govern... (read more)
A Dialogue
Oct 20, 2009 Solid State Records
Since their birth in 2004, the band known as Gwen Stacy has formatted themselves to being a hardcore Christian punk band with solid grounds to creating their music masterpieces. Spreading everything out year after year, for instance "....I Believe in Humility," (2005) one year later a collection of Demos was unleashed in 06 and then they received a break-through, with "The Life I Know," (2008) and "A Dialogue" which is their newest release. Since the beginning though the band has indeed made their name known and has made their mark going out on numerous tours branching out as far out as possible until now. Where it comes down to just 11-tracks to call their fate and this my friends ... (read more)
Back to the Noose
Aug 11, 2009 Nuclear Blast Americ
Ahoy mateys! Actually....nevermind, I am not going to be yet another reviewer to use the pirate schtick in my review. Anything pirate related requests should be redirected to Swashbuckle, because after listening to their latest release, Back to the Noose, there is no doubt that they are the current kings of "pirate metal." Combining the humor stylings of GWAR, with the punk filled riff fest of 80's era crossover, Swachbuckle are the reigning 2009 kings of crossover as far as I'm concerned. Yes, that even includes upstaging current kings in Municipal Waste whose album Massive Aggressive was quite the disappointed with a severe lack of humor that was a hallmark of their t... (read more)
Double Brutal
Sep 29, 2009 Metal Blade Records
“GET TO THE CHOPPA!!!!” We kept singing to ourselves when Total Brutal came out. Now we have a new brutality that came and hit us in the face like a motorcycle from Hell, Double Brutal. Now when a new album comes out, it needs to have new blood in it to keep things fresh. With this comes the change in the Arnold voice, instead of Chad Ackerman on Total Brutal, Josh Thompson has had the privilege to be the new Arnold voice on Double Brutal. Then to top it off with an all new Arnold, the second part of the album is almost entirely covers, good covers too which you don't see too much of lately. Ranging from Metallica, Misfits, even Agnostic Front. With plenty of amazing son... (read more)
Hollow Crown
Feb 10, 2009 Century Media
Architects began like most bands would consider themselves as one type of genre and then be thrown from the front of the line to the center to the very back but where exactly does this leave the Architects? Standing precisely in the center of course, since the formation in late 2004, the band has won some great recognition from various press publications throughout the world - have given the chance many times to share the stage with bands ranging from Bring Me the Horizon, to Emmure down to Parkway Drive plus many more. This time around the Architects's third album titled "Hollow Crown," is on the horizon of our enjoyment with its compelling riffs and desperate scr... (read more)
Sep 15, 2009 Metal Blade Records
From crushing guitars, the fastest drummer alive, a lyrical genius, and a bassist that cut off his own cast just to play again, comes Black Dahlia Murder and their new album Deflorate. This album mixes all of their past releases into one epic, monumental album that is without a doubt, the best metal band I've EVER heard.  Black Dahlia Murder is in their prime and show no signs of slowing down at all. The beautiful dynamic of Deflorate is that it is relentless and doesn't stop at all. It's straight metal every song. As each song progresses, so does the technicality of each song. The solos are bone crushing, the drums are mach 5 speed, and the lyrics are top notc... (read more)
Almost Home
Sep 29, 2009 Metal Blade
            Throughout their career, Evergreen Terrace has been one of the only metalcore bands that truly incorporates punk and hardcore elements into their music, not just breakdowns. They carry the speed, and the attitude of any good punk band, and it would separates them from the pack, if only the stayed true to their roots. Like many other metalcore bands, Evergreen Terrace suffers because of their lackluster melodic singing. At times, the clean vocals seem out of place, and the band is at their best when Andrew Carey's throaty roar is the only voice heard. On the other hand, there are cases where the melodic singin... (read more)
New Junk Aesthetic (Deluxe Version)
Sep 15, 2009 Epitaph
If you got comfortable with Every Time I Die's departure to a more southern party sound on The Big Dirty, the prepare to be uncomfortable with this one.  ETID has shed off their party clothes, and they have gone back to work.  The boys seemed to have missed the sounds of Gutter Phenomenon and Hot Damn!, because on this release, they're living in the past. Where The Big Dirty gave you some room to breath in between the more aggressive songs, The New Junk Aesthetic is relentless, starting with the opening track “Roman Holiday”, which is just one long breakdown.  From this point, the album plays quite similarly to Gutter Phenomenon, where it's j... (read more)
Sep 15, 2009 Trustkill Records
Ahhh, the sweet sound of metalcore.  An overpopulated genre indeed, but those who play metalcore right tend to stick above and beyond the many followers in their pack.  Metalcore vets IT DIES TODAY know how to play the game right, and are making an explosive entrance back into the scene with Lividity.  These guys have already made their mark as one of the strong in metalcore, and it's great to see/hear them back at full force.  Even with new vocalist Jason Wood, their hooks and choruses are still catchy as ever, and the band still knows how to throw it down hard.  IT DIES TODAY has taken their stylistic and well rounded sound, and continues to get stro... (read more)
Son of the Morning
Aug 25, 2009 Solid State
In the summer of 2006, a good friend of mine told me about a new band called Oh, Sleeper that Shane Blay, an ex-guitarist for the band Between the Buried and Me started up.  Being a big fan of BTBAM, I was curious to see what their old guitarist was up to.  I went on their Myspace and I was very excited about what I heard, and I immediately ordered their EP, The Armored March.  All of the band members played with ferociousness, technicality, and passion, and they all showed a huge amount of potential. In 2007, When I Am God, the band's debut full length came out, and something seemed a little off.  Out of the eleven total tracks, four of them were rerecorded ... (read more)
Congregation of the Damned
Oct 27, 2009 Hollywood Records
American metalcore has been tossed around for a while now since its formation. So out of the wide range of bands that fall into this genre, what band has proven themselves worthy enough of being known as this genre? One band that pops into my head is a small town act straight out of Orange County, California, known simply as Atreyu. Having been around for 11 years and counting - vocalist/lyricist Alex Varkatzas along with guitarists Dan Jacobs and Travis Miguel, bassist Marc McKnight and drummer/vocalist Brandon Saller, the band went from being originally called "Retribution" to Atreyu being named after the character from the fantasy book/movie The Neverending Story. They ... (read more)
Crash Love
Sep 29, 2009 Interscope Records
A Fire Inside or AFI for short, have been around for the past 18 years unleashing upon the music scene seven LPs to date with their eighth "Crash Love," on the way. But the deal with AFI is a simple known fact, they've never seem to stick out with the same sound for more than a couple of albums. Their first being “Answer That and Stay Fashionable,” in 1995. Then the band went on to release “Very Proud of Ya,” the following year, followed up by a third three years later, “Shut Your Mouth and Open Your Eyes.” Since the earlier creations, AFI has indeed like most bands changed their style to blend in along with the rest of the crowd, j... (read more)
The Great Stone War
Aug 11, 2009 Century Media
The newest offering from the Winds Of Plague entitled "The Great Stone War," up brings an arrangement of surprises one being a well-balanced blend of previous works with novel noted details that make this album take a giant leap right into the guide lines of the follow-up later on down the line. "The Great Stone War," is your average concept based album telling a narrative storyline of various characters going through their situations leading up to apocalyptic battles when the Earth is in danger. But with keeping to the concept matter here, this album sticks to the traditional formula having a spoken intro and outro that brings the album that much closer or shorter. No dou... (read more)
Life Starts Now
Sep 22, 2009 Jive
It's been three years since Three Days Grace' "One X," and the band have finally made their triumph return with their third studio album, "Life Starts Now," but has it? Yes it has - previous installments that the band has attempted at creating stuck to the mainstream rock albums that all "other" bands tend to create. But when it comes to Three Days Grace's unique style and rhythm they tend to always add their own flare to each album they dish out. The band's first self-title album in 2004 had the more edger tone to it pushing out that aggressive tone of rhythm that the band was focusing on at the time when the sophomore had shot through “One X” (2006... (read more)
Aug 31, 2009 Reprise Records
When it comes to the guys in The Used they've managed to accomplish quite a bit of achievements since they formation in 2001 and are clearly proud of themselves. Leading up to their fourth LP to date entitled “Artwork” consisting of mere 11-tracks that are suitable for any listener to get sucked into. For example for the classic fans of The Used a wide range of musical aspects are showcased upon this release, like “Blood On My Hands,” and “The Best Of Me,” promise the more aggressive side effects having its screaming tactics displays with out-breaking guitar solos thrown in between while the more lighter effects of "In Love and Death... (read more)
Aug 4, 2009 The End Records
Suicide City's "Frenzy," takes on a whole new identity when it comes to the term LP, taking Biohazard vocalist/guitarist Billy Graziadei who had met Karl Bernhotlz, who had been the vocalist of The Groovenics, the pair was then thrown together with drummer Danny Lamagna soon after the trio Groovenics guitarist AJ Marchetta was added and the lineup was rounded off by former Kittie bassist Jennifer Arroyo throwing together a rousing set list of 13-tracks to get you mind in over your head. What makes Suicide City stand out above all the other musical acts within the music pool is simple, their opener "Cutter," is a great way to showcase the band's musical abilities, going ... (read more)
Breathing the Fire
Oct 13, 2009 Prosthetic Records
Anthens, Ohio has delivered something extreme to the table this year not anything, that they haven't done before though, this is just a continuation to a past creation, that being "Beyond the Permafrost," (2007) by metal thrashers Skeletonwitch. The Witch's almighty return has been a "making in the process" aside from all the numerous touring and believe it or not side spot on the Blackest of the Black Tour alongside classic rocker Danzig, which took place late last year, The Witch has gained the momentum required to create an ever-lasting exposure that is "Breathing The Fire," (2009) the third achievement to call their own and one they are most proud of. Skeletonwitc... (read more)
In Search of Solid Ground
Sep 8, 2009 Virgin Records Us
Saosin is a intended to be one of those post-hardcore bands but easily falls into the alternative rock n' roll category a lot easier. That being said, the band formed in 2003 and is from Newpor Beach, California, the band itself consists of vocalist Cove Reber, guitarists Beau Burchell and Justin Shekoski, bassist Chris Sorenson, and drummer Alex Rodriguez. Their self-titled efforts exploded when it was unleashed in 2006 but three years later what has become of the almighty Saosin? Were they able to bring up their music ability up a notch to satsify their every need? The band thinks so at least that's what can be heard and said when it comes to their second attempt at music... (read more)
Massive Aggressive
Aug 25, 2009 Earache Records
Time to take out the trash! Is all you need to do when listening to Municipal Waste's fourth LP entitled ‘Massive Aggressive' showcasing what this band is capable of from beginning to end? ‘Massive Aggressive' has taken them to a whole another level. Capturing all the right moves and sounds hitting their proper places makes this album that much energetic. Municipal Waste's style remains the same but brings out a more mature attitude adjustment having the vocals sounding a lot clearer and has that live vibe echoing throughout the entire album. While the instrumental sides takes matters into their own hands and breaks the entire sound barrier altogether, the out-... (read more)
Lust in Space
Aug 18, 2009 Metal Blade Records
‘Lust in Space' - doesn't this title remind you of ‘Lost in Space'? Same format used except the "L" words are of course changed. Any who, heavy metallers Gwar plan on releasing their eleventh LP ‘Lust in Space' consisting of 12-tracks of comedic proportions. It opens up with the title track which instantly draws you into Gwar's atmosphere taking you through the amazing galaxies, astounding planets, and then some, as the lyrics slither their way in and out of the music; the lyrics are funny at certain aspects and then of course get down to the serious matters rotating themselves in a more heavier manner. After a handful of the beginning media, you get tos... (read more)
Live & Loud 2009
Sep 29, 2009 Eleven Seven Music
Being a Grammy-nominated act is one thing but being from Los Angeles, California the capitol of the whole music franchise known to man-kind is a whole another story completely. That's when local hard rockers Buckcherry come into view - forming in 1995 being around for 14 years now, the band has released numerous albums to date, Buckcherry (1999) and Time Bomb (2001), before dissolving in the summer of 2002. When 2005 had arisen, lead vocalist Josh Todd and guitarist Keith Nelson had formed a brand spanking new band, using the Buckcherry moniker releasing new material entitled "15" (2006). Since that album debut, Buckcherry has never looked back on their musical career in a... (read more)
Love Drunk
Sep 8, 2009 Sony Music Distribution
Three years have come and gone and what was done between the time span well writing and creating brand new music of course from a wide range of various artists and bands alike. One act being a pop rock sensation that grasped the world within the palm of their hands soon after the release of their self-titled debut back in 2006. But now that – that time has come and gone, the next round of creation is upon is in an entitled effort known as “Love Drunk”. This follow-up takes the rock set that was presented and does a 180 degree turn into the pop direction? These modern pop rockers were indeed considered a pop rock sensation from all of their musical spectrums fo... (read more)
Oct 6, 2009 Fearless Records
Blessthefall were nothing but your average high school teenagers with one thing on their mind which was music! After a series of practice sessions that consisted of guitarist Mike Frisby, drummer Matt Traynor, vocalist Craig Mabbitt and bassist Jared Warth. Their founder Miles Bergsma had left to attend college, and the band had gone off to unleashed a three-track EP in mid-2005, adding guitarist Eric Lambert to form an out-standing solid line-up. Once the EP was over with the next accomplishment for these youngsters was on the horizon and led them to release “His Last Walk” (2007) that caused vocalist Craig Mabbit to depart and leave the band to have the remaining m... (read more)
Walpurgis Rites: Hexenwahn
Oct 20, 2009 Nuclear Blast Americ
When it comes to the differences between black metal and death metal there aren't really much difference between the two to begin with, the music styling is the same, fast pacing guitar leads with energetic solos keeping the music in place while the vocalist either screeches or growls until blood has sprawled everywhere in sight. So what happens when the two come together fussing together, such force it cannot be contained any further? Well one word comes to mind, Belphegor. Belphegor has emerged as one of the most extreme black/death metal combos to ever set foot upon the metal surface, let alone have the band members themselves describe their "hellride" as an "Supreme Deat... (read more)
Aug 11, 2009 Metal Blade
The thing with Behemoth is simple - they're not your typical metal band that's into creating an album and throws it out and see how long it'll float above water. No Behemoth pretty much isn't into the whole pleasing factors, in fact they're not into pleasing the metal community at all, even though their lyrics are consistently intriguing, the passion and energy they put into their performance is quite faltered possibly by trying a bit too hard at times. Their contemporaries within the terms of aggressiveness and cohesive songwriting tend to have its toll on the band and can be shown quite well upon "Evangelion". But one thing is that you can never deny their w... (read more)
Say Hello to Tragedy
Aug 25, 2009 Century Media
When one thinks of metalcore, bands like Killswitch Engage, Blood Has Been Shed, Darkest Hour, Bleeding Through and Unearth often come to mind. However, through the years there have been a vanguard of bands that have come and gone that helped progress the genre into one of the most influential forms of metal of the 20th century. One such act that doesn't quite gain the attention these days as the previously mentioned bands is Caliban, who have lived and breathed metalcore since 1997. This year Caliban has been presented the world with their 7th studio release, Say Hello to Tragedy, and arguably their heaviest yet. Combining modern death metal influences much more than before, i... (read more)
Sep 1, 2009 Relapse
WEEKEND NACHOS sounds absolutely amazing!  These WEEKEND NACHOS are fully loaded with some of the rawest hardcore, crunching distortion, and is an underground treat.  Their bruising Relapse Records release, Unforgiveable, straight up rages from start to finish.  It's loud, fast, brutal, and has something to say – reminds me what hardcore is all about.  But WEEKEND NACHOS also has some extra toppings.  The band takes a ton of sludge, grind, and extreme metal fused moments, and puts them all together masterfully, and at full volume (past 11!).    Unforgiveable begins its rampage with the song “2009”, beginning the proof... (read more)
Rusted Eyes Awake
Aug 18, 2009 Prosthetic Records
Phoenix death/grind monsters LANDMINE MARATHON are one of those bands that many can draw comparisons to legends like Napalm Death, Carcass, and Terrorizer, and I say that in all honesty.  And on top of that, the band really helps me restore faith into the respective genres – yup, metal is still alive.  LANDMINE MARATHON is a beast unleashing sounds of early grind, punk, and death metal, and they do it so damn well!  Rusted Eyes Awake is filled with beastly guitar tones, riffs from down below, loud drum beats, Grace Perry's soaring and guttural rasps, and an all around respectable attack. Looking into the Prosthetic Records reissue of Rusted Eyes Awake, the... (read more)
Aug 18, 2009 Victory Records
Chugga Chugga choo choo, hop on the EMMURE train, bro!  Well, the band's latest Victory Records release, Felony, is out and about, but nothing is special about it.  Felony is filled with generic and overused riffs, way too many chugs, and lyrics any dumb tough guy could write.  But if EMMURE is doing one thing right, they've got one hell of a fan base.  The kids (hipsters) love EMMURE, and with the smart marketing and imagery of Felony, the release has gone onto selling almost 12,000 copies in the first 2 weeks, and still rising rapidly.  Those are great numbers for a metal release, by the way.  See, we all know by now that music doesn't sell an... (read more)