Thantifaxath – Sacred White Noise

By Andrew Bansal

Canadian black metal trio Thantifaxath is a mysterious, anonymous entity. Aside from the fact that they hail from Toronto and are a three-piece band, nothing is known about them. But they certainly took a giant stride towards spreading their brand of black metal this year, with the release of their full-length debut album ‘Sacred White Noise’ via Dark Descent Records, a hypnotic journey through soundscapes that beautifully portray emotions laden with depression. Continue reading

Amulet – The First

By Andrew Bansal

London-based traditional heavy metal quintet Amulet formed in 2010, and have been forging their way through the UK and European metal underground. After the 2011 release of their debut EP ‘Cut The Crap’, they devoted much time and effort into the creation of material for their first full-length album, simply titled ‘The First’, got signed to Century Media Records for a worldwide deal, and following the European release on September 22nd of this year, Amulet sit on their North American launch pad as ‘The First’ is set to be unveiled digitally on October 21st. Continue reading

Black Trip – Goin’ Under

By Andrew Bansal

Swedish heavy metal band Black Trip, comprising two current members of Enforcer and former members of bands such as Entombed, Nifelheim and more, released their debut album Goin’ Under in Europe in 2013 and charted at number 20 in Sweden. The effort finally saw an official North American release via Prosthetic Records in August 2014. The band was originally formed in 2003 but wasn’t actively working together until 2011, and this record signifies the true launch of this group of versatile musicians pursuing a style of music markedly more vintage than any of their other projects. Continue reading

Exodus – Blood In, Blood Out

By Andrew Bansal

Earlier this year, San Francisco Bay Area thrash metal veterans Exodus announced a largely unexpected major lineup change, the return of vocalist Steve ‘Zetro’ Souza who previously fronted the band for two stints, 1986-93 and 2002-04. Zetro replaces Rob Dukes, who served as the Exodus vocalist for the past nearly 10 years, recorded four albums for them and toured the world delivering material from the band’s entire catalog to fans everywhere. ‘Old-school’ fans jumped in joy and unanimously welcomed back Zetro with open arms, but having enjoyed Dukes’ contributions to Exodus and being an admirer of what he brought to the band as a frontman, I remained skeptical of this switch and waited till I heard the entire album to decide whether I’m aboard the revivalist bandwagon. Continue reading

The Oxford Coma – Morphine EP

By Andrew Bansal

As a follow-up to their 2012 debut full-length ‘Adonis’, Phoenix AZ based psychedelic rock/metal trio The Oxford Coma have completed work on a six-track, 24-minute EP called ‘Morphine’ which is now streaming in its entirety on their bandcamp page and is set for a limited edition blood red vinyl release on December 2nd 2014. Besides boasting of an attention-grabbing band name, The Oxford Coma’s music on this EP is intriguing in equal measure. Continue reading

Vajra – Blind (Blood Mix) [Single]

By Andrew Bansal

Hailing from New York City, Vajra is a female-fronted alternative/progressive rock group that began in 2011, exploring East Indian themes and the brainchild of vocalist Annamaria Pinna. They’ve been generating local interest with live performances in NYC over the last three years, and in an endeavor to reach out to greater pastures recently self-released a new single ‘Blind (Blood Mix)’, off of their debut full-length album ‘Pleroma’, featuring Blake Fleming (ex-The Mars Volta) on drums, the vocals co-produced and mixed by Sylvia Massy (Tool, System of A Down, Prince, Johnny Cash), and the album mastered by Tom Baker (NIN, Foo Fighters, Ministry, Prince). Progressive music knows no boundaries and when presented in a manner rock/metal fans can appreciate, I’m always all ears to check out upcoming artists pursuing this style, and after listening to this Vajra single, I can safely say I’m glad I did. Continue reading