Dawnbringer – Night Of The Hammer

By Andrew Bansal

In 2012, Chicago-based traditional metal band Dawnbringer released their fifth full-length studio album ‘Into The Lair Of The Sun God’, a set of tunes that largely occupied my playlist and headspace for a majority of that year and then some. Boasting of powerful guitar melodies and pristine vocals that captured one’s attention straightaway, it was undoubtedly one of the finest releases of 2012 and is still in heavy rotation, standing far and above most albums that have been released in the 30 months since then. Now, Dawnbringer is ready to unveil the next chapter in their musical journey as the sixth LP ‘Night Of The Hammer’ is set to hit stores everywhere. Continue reading

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