Album Review: Accept – Stalingrad [10 out of 10]

By Andrew Bansal

German heavy metal legends Accept released their twelfth studio album “Blood Of The Nations” in late 2010. It was their first studio release after nearly 14 years in the wilderness, and it marked the beginning of a new chapter in the life of this veteran band. Led by new singer Mark Tornillo, they returned with freshness and fervour, and delivered an album for the fans to savor. It was unanimously acknowledged as the best comeback album any band has released in recent years, and now, Accept is ready with the follow-up album “Stalingrad”. It’s an album I was very eagerly waiting for, and I greatly appreciate the band’s quick turnaround. Over the course of the past year or so, they were constantly writing new material, and went straight into the studio at the end of their touring cycle for “Blood Of The Nations”. The result is yet another set of solid heavy metal tunes that add further to Accept’s already fantastic repertoire. Continue reading “Album Review: Accept – Stalingrad [10 out of 10]”

Album Review: High On Fire – De Vermis Mysteriis [9 out of 10]

By Avinash Mittur

High on Fire have often been referred to as “the Motorhead of sludge” but nothing could be further from the truth. Every one of this Oakland trio’s releases has managed to carve out its own identity. The band’s last record, Snakes for the Divine, was an enjoyable album that rode on a couple of modern day stoner metal classics, but was weighed down by handful of cuts that ranged from good to somewhat boring. Armed with two years of heavy touring under their belts, High on Fire’s new album, De Vermis Mysteriis, is a far more consistent release that encapsulates the styles the band has touched upon over the last decade while continuing to evolve their ever changing sound. Continue reading “Album Review: High On Fire – De Vermis Mysteriis [9 out of 10]”

Retrospective: Deep Purple’s “Machine Head” Now 40 Years Strong

By Andrew Bansal

March 2012 marks the 40th anniversary of a defining moment in the history of heavy music, the release of Deep Purple’s sixth studio album, “Machine Head”. Released on March 1st 1972 in the UK and March 31st in the US, it found instant universal success. This was hardly a surprise to anybody, as it was one of the heaviest rock albums to exist at the time. But even the band members themselves, better known as the “Mark II” line-up, wouldn’t have imagined or expected that the album would have the kind of impact it had, laying the foundations for a genre that is known today as heavy metal. Continue reading “Retrospective: Deep Purple’s “Machine Head” Now 40 Years Strong”

Album Review: Borknagar – Urd [9 out of 10]

By Andrew Bansal

Throughout their career, Norwegian avant-garde extreme metal band Borknagar have constantly ventured into musical territories far beyond traditional black metal. But, unlike in the case of most other bands where the fans expect a certain kind of sound from them, it’s Borknagar’s experimentation which has actually impressed more and more people over the past 16 years, and in my opinion, that’s the reason for the band’s ever-growing fan-following. After releasing a fully acoustic album “Origin” in 2006, they went back to their black metal roots with the subsequent release “Universal”, even though it had a strong element of complexity as well. Now, the band is ready to release the follow-up album “Urd”, which is their ninth studio album overall. There has been one line-up change since the previous release, a significant one at that. This album sees the return of ICS Vortex as he resumes bass and clean vocal duties for the band. I think this has made a huge difference to the band’s sound, and fans will feel that straightaway when they listen to this album. As for the music, if you were under the impression that Borknagar had already done it all on their previous eight albums and couldn’t possibly come up with anything that would take you by surprise, you guessed wrong. Continue reading “Album Review: Borknagar – Urd [9 out of 10]”

Retrospective: Iron Maiden’s “Number Of The Beast” Turns 30

By Andrew Bansal

Today, March 22nd 2012 marks the 30th anniversary of the release of Iron Maiden’s iconic third studio album, “Number Of The Beast”.

No amount of praise is enough for this album. The fact that the music on Number Of The Beast is nothing short of legendary is quite obvious, because here we are, still talking about it, and more importantly, still listening to it even after all these years. That moment when I purchased the Number Of The Beast CD, back in 2005, will always be a special and memorable one for me, because it was my first ever heavy metal purchase. I was already a fan of Iron Maiden before I heard this album, but it was very much an impulse buy. I saw it in the record store, had no idea whether the album was any good, didn’t ask anyone for advice, and went for it simply because I was instantly attracted to the cover. “Good choice!” said the record store owner to me, and as soon as I got home and gave it a spin, I found out that he was absolutely right. Indeed, it turned out to be a life-changing choice. Continue reading “Retrospective: Iron Maiden’s “Number Of The Beast” Turns 30″

Album Review: Inverloch – Dusk…Subside [9.5 out of 10]

By Andrew Bansal

Back in the early 90’s, Australian band disEMBOWELMENT were at the forefront of the funeral doom scene, but after their 1993 release “Transcendence Into The Peripheral”, they split up. Nearly two decades later, two members from the band, drummer Paul Mazziotta and guitarist Matthew Skarajew reformed with a new line-up under the name “d.USK”, in order to present the disEMBOWELMENT material on stage. But in addition, they also formed Inverloch, a new band with the same line-up. This band’s debut mini-album “Dusk…Subside” continues from where disEMBOWELMENT left off, and gives listeners a taste of what to expect from Inverloch in the near and distant future. Continue reading “Album Review: Inverloch – Dusk…Subside [9.5 out of 10]”