Album Review: Septicflesh – Codex Omega

By Francisco Zamudio

Longevity is an accolade that has become more and more apparent in the last couple of years. Not to be categorized with the over-the-hill and nearly laughable group of bands from the Sunset Strip or the glam days and comeback reunion final farewell tours. No, we are talking more about the underground and extreme side of the spectrum. And when the ’90s hit, there was a lot of confusion as to where metal was going. While the American influence was searching for its identity, you have a band like Septicflesh from Greece who have stayed consistent for the most part despite their five-year break-up/hiatus from 2003, after their paramount release ‘Sumerian Daemons’. For 20 years, the Greek troupe has cast a dark veil with their symphonic metal hybrid. Now through Prosthetic Records they release their 10th full-length, ‘Codex Omega’. Continue reading “Album Review: Septicflesh – Codex Omega”

Album Review: Alter Bridge – Live at the O2 Arena + Rarities

By Rosie Walker

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Creed was one of the most successful rock bands in the world. With selling millions of records and winning countless awards, everyone thought they’d last forever. But they didn’t. This rock sensation broke up and three out of the four members immediately formed a new band. Alter Bridge was birthed in 2004, when the former Creed members found the former singer of the band The Mayfield Four, Myles Kennedy. Alter Bridge (named after a real bridge in Detroit, Michigan), released their debut album, ‘One Day Remains’ that same year. Distancing themselves from the Creed name, these guys wanted something different, and after their first record was certified gold, the rest is history. Continue reading “Album Review: Alter Bridge – Live at the O2 Arena + Rarities”

Album Review: Usnea – Portals Into Futility

By Ryan Falla

Portland doom/sludge quartet, Usnea, bolsters the rosters of their discography with their third full-length release ‘Portals Into Futility’. This is a record that pushes doom/sludge metal to the extreme; heavy, yet slowly grinding guitar riffs and simplistic yet staggering percussion, taking it to just off the edge of extreme. ‘Portals Into Futility’ powers through its sixty minute runtime with six impressively crafted tracks that paint a conceptual picture of despair. Continue reading “Album Review: Usnea – Portals Into Futility”

Album Review: Paradise Lost – Medusa

By Rosie Walker

Many consider the British band Paradise Lost to be the fathers of the gothic metal genre. Well-known for their ever-changing and inventive sound, these guys are always surprising their faithful fans. Formed in 1988, four out of the five members have been there since the beginning. This tight-knit group is a prime example of a hard working band who knows how to stay original and creative. After exploring and experimenting on albums like ‘One Second’ and ‘Believe In Nothing’, Paradise Lost got back to their roots in 2015 with the release of ‘The Plague Within’. They embraced their dark, death metal background once again and it seems to be sticking. Their newest release, ‘Medusa’, coming out September 1 through Nuclear Blast Records, is their 15th full-length record and one of their heaviest albums to date. Continue reading “Album Review: Paradise Lost – Medusa”

Album Review: The Haunted – Strength in Numbers

By Francisco Zamudio

The words “Swedish” and “metal” combined have nearly always produced some of the most memorable bands and albums, many pushing the boundaries of extreme music. Breaking away from the Swedish death metal mold is The Haunted who have been a relevant band since the late ’90s. Since leaving Earache Records, and some would argue peaking with their Century Media debut ‘Revolver’ (2004), they have since revolved around the same style throughout their existence, And as part of the CM roster of safe and marketable signing decisions, they’ve held nearly their entire career with CM. Now since parting ways with long-standing vocalist Peter Dolving, and the return of both Marco Aro & Adrian Erlandsson (At The Gates, Cradle of Filth) since their self-titled and sophomore release, respectively – they are back for their second effort together since their return on the soon-to-be released ‘Strength In Numbers’. Continue reading “Album Review: The Haunted – Strength in Numbers”

Album Review: Portrait – Burn the World

By Ryan Falla

It’s been eleven years since Swedish heavy metal band Portrait’s debut, and they’re still making big strides in the metal world. With their fourth record, ‘Burn the World’, Portrait looks to live up to the namesake of their album and set the world ablaze with their furious metal stylings. Much like heavy metal of the ’70’s and ’80s there’s a hint of power metal with darkened vibes swirled into the thrash metal goodness. Continue reading “Album Review: Portrait – Burn the World”

Album Review: Brendon Small – Galaktikon II: Become The Storm

By Rosie Walker

In 2006, the animated show Metalocalypse debuted on Adult Swim and metalheads around the world rejoiced. Creator Brendon Small made the show about a famous death metal band, Dethklok, and all their random adventures. It was a successful show that made everyone laugh and head-bang. In 2007, Brendon released, ‘The Dethalbum’, a record that complied all the bits of songs from the show and made them full-length. With Metalocalypse’s popularity, the album reach #21 on the Billboard 200 chart. ‘Dethalbum II’, Brendon’s second record, reached #15 on the chart in 2009, making it the highest charting death metal album in history. Brendan’s genius made metal mainstream and funny, but even after the show ended in 2013, he still makes metal today. On August 25, he is releasing ‘Galaktikon II’, his follow-up to ‘Galaktikon’, his debut solo record that came out in 2012. Brendon takes his creative weirdness and meshes the brutality of Dethklok with more melody and rock elements. On this new album, Brendon says… “all bets are off”. He takes his intergalactic themes to a whole new level by creating a series of outer space stories. He is in fact, making an anthology of aliens sound metal. Continue reading “Album Review: Brendon Small – Galaktikon II: Become The Storm”

Album Review: Ruby The Hatchet – Planetary Space Child

By Ryan Falla

Philadelphia based psych rock band Ruby The Hatchet brings us some intensely tripped-out grooves with their third record ‘Planetary Space Child’. With any successful psych rock band, the psychedelic elements take the forefront over anything else. Within their deeply laid back grooves is a fire that elevates them to a higher level. The production on ‘Planetary Space Child’ drives a great strength into Ruby the Hatchet. Much like Deep Purple, Ruby The Hatchet is a band that drives psychedelic grooves with a rock n’ roll fire that elevates the music beyond simple psych rock. Continue reading “Album Review: Ruby The Hatchet – Planetary Space Child”