Album Review: Black Wizard – Livin’ Oblivion

Canadian thrash outfit Black Wizard plays it hard and heavy with their music. Not just with songwriting and overall musicial formulation, but with themes and concepts that hit deeply. ‘Livin’ Oblivion’, the latest release from Black Wizard, focuses on themes of self-desecration and individual moral decay. On top of that, the darkly formulated thrash atmosphere paints the picture of the world slowly dripping off the canvas. Continue reading “Album Review: Black Wizard – Livin’ Oblivion”

Album Review: Ministry – AmeriKKKant

I still wonder at what point among my coming across this record did I realize ‘Amerikkkant’, the new release by industrial metal outfit Ministry, was oppressively terrible? Was it the hackneyed, edgy album title you’d see sketched in a 7th grader’s notebook among other, equally terrible album names? Was it the mediocre album cover featuring a boring, dystopian city backdropped over a face-palming Statue of Liberty? Was this album conceived by a 13-year old? Continue reading “Album Review: Ministry – AmeriKKKant”

Review: Not My Master – Disobey EP

Local Texas metal outfit Not My Master displays a strong sense of classic metal aggression while keeping a strong footing in the modern era with their brand new EP ‘Disobey’. A collection of seven tracks, including a Danzig cover, allows Not My Master to display their personal style of metal to much efficiency. Each track is powered by strong, mid-paced metal which uses moderate tempos to enhance the thickly laid, intensely driven guitar riffs. Continue reading “Review: Not My Master – Disobey EP”

Album Review: Painted Doll – Self-Titled

According to Painted Doll co-founder, Dave Hill, “The Painted Doll record was a blast to make.”

That’s good to hear, because the Painted Doll record is a blast to listen to; a modern day Monkees-esque act with light-hearted, pop-driven rock in the vein of ’60s era bowl cuts and Ed Sullivan. The self-titled debut features a beach/pop rock atmosphere that calls back to the original era of rock without any irony or self-indulgence. It’s almost like Ghost without the overt, gimmick driven metal sheen laid atop the pop-rock foundation. Continue reading “Album Review: Painted Doll – Self-Titled”

Album Review: Long Distance Calling – Boundless

The German four-piece Long Distance Calling adds their latest studio album ‘Boundless’ to their already impressive discography. While it’s easy to call the band a quartet of rockers, the truth is far more complicated. At the surface it may seem like your standard metal affair, war-like drums and a blaring bass set off the initial mood of ‘Boundless’. “Initial” is the best word for this situation, because the moods and feelings throughout this record are constantly shifting throughout different spectrums of emotion to bring forth an incredibly diverse piece of instrumental, atmospheric rock/metal. Continue reading “Album Review: Long Distance Calling – Boundless”

Album Review: King Witch – Under the Mountain

Scotland based doom band King Witch releases the follow-up to their debut EP with their debut full-length album, ‘Under the Mountain’. An incredible mixture of thrash metal with heavy doom undertones, King Witch delivers their own unique take on doom metal with this one. This record is very reminiscent of works such as ‘Among the Living’ by Anthrax and ‘Painkiller’ by Judas Priest. It’s a very dark ambiance that stays within its intense thrash roots while fusing doom undertones to the high-speed music. Continue reading “Album Review: King Witch – Under the Mountain”

Album Review: Loudness – Rise to Glory

By Ryan Falla

Damn, there hasn’t been a straight up classic heavy metal album of this quality in a good while. The new record, ‘Rise to Glory’, by Japanese metal veterans Loudness, is out. Loudness has been active since 1981, and when you pop on this record you’d think you were shifted back to the early ’80s. Rise to Glory is pure, unadulterated heavy metal; pangs of thrash, flavors of power, tastes of groove, ‘Rise to Glory’ is simply “heavy metal” in its purest form. Continue reading “Album Review: Loudness – Rise to Glory”

Album Review: Against The Grain – Cheated Death

By Ryan Falla

Newly minted Ripple Records band Against The Grain has released their fifth album, ‘Cheated Death’, the first with their new label. Against the Grain already holds a deep discography, one which has established the band as heavy rock warriors. A smooth mixture of speed rock and groove tunes brings another successful record into the quickly growing discography of Against the Grain. Continue reading “Album Review: Against The Grain – Cheated Death”