Album Review: The Rare Breed – Looking For Today

The Rare Breed are one of those rare spectacles whose natural sound is deeply grooved in a classic formula that still rings strong with an identity of their own. The Rare Breed released a self-titled EP in 2015 and a follow up single in 2016 before being picked up by Ripple Music for the release of their full-length debut, ‘Looking for Today’. Performing as a three-piece, The Rare Breed channels their own groovy take on the Black Sabbath/stoner rock influences the music is derived from; the mix of their own original panache and the tried and true stoner rock values come together to create one of the hottest debut albums to come from an LA band. Continue reading “Album Review: The Rare Breed – Looking For Today”

Album Review: Witch Mountain – Self-Titled

It would not be an exaggeration to state that Portland, Oregon based Witch Mountain are stalwarts of doom metal in the 21st century. Since their 1997 inception, through immaculate studio releases and stunning live performances, this band has gone on to become a much loved entity among fans of the genre. In 2014, Witch Mountain underwent a major lineup change, with vocalist Uta Plotkin amicably departing the group. Most fans could not even have imagined a Witch Mountain without Plotkin at the forefront, such was her magical impact on everyone who listened to the albums and witnessed the band perform live. But, drummer Nathan Carson and guitarist Rob Wrong were always the creative core of this group from the time they co-founded it, and they had no intention of letting fans of the band and genre down. Just when you thought Witch Mountain’s career was possibly over, that they could not live up to their own reputation, enter Kayla Dixon. The band continued playing shows with the new frontwoman, and she captivated audiences with her unparalleled exhibits as a performer and singer. A studio album with Dixon on vocals has been an eagerly awaited one, and the time has finally come. Witch Mountain’s fifth full-length, a self-titled effort, is ready for release. Continue reading “Album Review: Witch Mountain – Self-Titled”

Album Review: At The Gates – To Drink From The Night Itself

Swedish melodic death metal pioneers At The Gates formed in 1990 and have gone through periods of inactivity, but even during their dormant phase, theirs was a name always talked about and thrown around whenever it came to any discussion about extreme metal, Gothenburg metal in particular. It came to a point where fans were simply resigned to the possibility of the band never returning. But they did so in 2011 and started playing shows again. Even then, a new album seemed highly unlikely. Then came ‘At War With Reality’ in 2014, and smashed all doubts and apprehensions to bits. Their first album since ‘Slaughter of the Soul’ (1995), the 2014 release ignited a spark not only among At The Gates fans worldwide, but in the genre as a whole. A rejuvenated At The Gates breathing fire and trampling stages like an unstoppable force is just what the metal world needed. Was it going to be a one-off, or did the band have it in them to keep the momentum intact and create another album? It’s 2018, and the answer is a resounding Yes, as the sixth At the Gates full-length, ‘To Drink From The Night Itself’, is upon us. Continue reading “Album Review: At The Gates – To Drink From The Night Itself”

Album Review: Dimmu Borgir – Eonian

Up until 2010, Norwegian symphonic black metal stalwarts Dimmu Borgir were quite prolific in their studio output, having released nine full-length albums within a span of 15 years. Since then, they have attempted to create and complete material for the next album, but due to the band members’ personal lives as well as other factors, things kept getting delayed and pushed back. 8 years later, the tenth Dimmu Borgir studio album ‘Eonian’ has finally been released. In the metal world, there have been many such instances of bands releasing a new album after a long gap. In some cases it’s turned out to be worth the wait, in other cases it hasn’t. Unfortunately, when it comes to Dimmu Borgir’s ‘Eonian’, it’s the latter. Continue reading “Album Review: Dimmu Borgir – Eonian”

Album Review: Mos Generator – Shadowlands

Washington based trio Mos Generator brings us their newest full-length, the album titled ‘Shadowlands’. While very much a metal trio, there are more than enough hard rock sensibilities and groove jams that keep the music of Mos Generator flowing and ever-fresh. ‘Shadowlands’ takes on many forms of metal filled with various nuances that keep the music trending in an upward direction the entire play-through. Continue reading “Album Review: Mos Generator – Shadowlands”

Album Review: Overkill – Live in Overhausen

When you talk about heavy metal bands that have survived three or more decades and continue to ply their trade in the present day, you often come across many of them celebrating landmark anniversaries, whether it be the inception of the band itself, or the release of a marquee album from their discography. The trend is to embark on a world tour to perform a “greatest hits” set, or a particular album in its entirety. While the band succeeds in reaching a larger number of fans in this manner, it could also make the occasion less special. In many cases it is even used as a cop-out by bands running out of ideas to come up with proper tour set lists. Refreshingly, New Jersey thrash metal stalwarts Overkill decided to do this differently, and the result is right in front of us. Continue reading “Album Review: Overkill – Live in Overhausen”

Album Review: Yeghikian – The Greatest Hits

Los Angeles based Yeghikian is perhaps one of the hardest bands to categorize. Is it stoner rock? Hard rock? Heavy metal? Who knows … may be a bit of everything. But one thing we do know is this band exudes exemplary songwriting skills. Very rarely would you come across such instantly catchy songs that retain the groove, speed and heaviness to present commercial appeal yet garner musical credibility in equal measure. Although having had a song featured on the popular TV show ‘American Dad’, Yeghikian remains one of Los Angeles music scene’s best kept secrets. Well, it shouldn’t be a secret, and if the band’s recently released and cleverly titled debut full-length album ‘The Greatest Hits’ is anything to go by, they should be a household name instead. Yes, really. Continue reading “Album Review: Yeghikian – The Greatest Hits”

Album Review: Aura Noir – Aura Noire

The juggernaut of seminal Norwegian black thrash group Aura Noir has rolled on with consistent fury and unstoppable force for the past 25 years, offering plenty to worshippers of all things musically extreme throughout this time, with five full-length albums and several other intermittent releases. The trio has now released its sixth full-length, the eponymous ‘Aura Noire’. It has been six years since the last album ‘Out to Die’, but fans would more than likely come to the conclusion that this new one has been worth the wait, and those of you (still!) unfamiliar with the band would find it to be an ideal entry point into the savage sonic landscape of Aura Noir. Continue reading “Album Review: Aura Noir – Aura Noire”