Album Review: Howling Sycamore – Self-Titled

By Ryan Falla

Howling Sycamore’s self-titled debut album is an exuberantly written one; an exercise in pushing traditional power metal to new heights with uniquely crafted visions. In the case of Howling Sycamore, both the band and the record, a strangely invigorating plateau of power metal is formed through a strongly identifiable tonality that adheres to Twin Peaks style imagery. This is very much a power metal record with flavoring of hardcore or extreme metal. Continue reading “Album Review: Howling Sycamore – Self-Titled”

Album Review: Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals – Choosing Mental Illness as a Virtue

By Ryan Falla

The follow up to 2013’s debut record by Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals, Walk Through Exits Only, is exactly what you would expect from Anselmo. ‘Choosing Mental Illness as a Virtue’, the latest release by Anselmo & The Illegals, is angry, and aggressively dominates. Continue reading “Album Review: Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals – Choosing Mental Illness as a Virtue”

Album Review: Accuser – The Mastery

By Francisco Zamudio

There’s no denying the resurgence of thrash and that’s no disrespect to the tons of great underground thrash bands that have been at it over the past, let’s say decade. There’s no shortage of modern age metal bands that incorporate the thrash sound, among many other styles crammed into a marketing cream pie. The thing most important is how thrash bands from the late ’80s and ’90s are still at it and going strong. Fist to fist, this helps the thrash scene grow. One such great band is Accuser coming out of Germany with their 11th full-length release, ‘The Mastery’. Continue reading “Album Review: Accuser – The Mastery”

Album Review: Phil Campbell and The Bastard Sons – The Age of Absurdity

By Francisco Zamudio

Living legend Phil Campbell attempts to pass on the mantle of rock n’ roll to his sons, giving them a taste of what daddy dearest has helped forge through his amazing decades as the great Motörhead shredder. Music heals and feels right for Phil and his guitar work to thankfully shine on this, their debut record ‘The Age of Absurdity’, a follow-up to their 2016 self-titled EP. Phil has written some great music here and still maintains the feel after all these years. Although they decided to go a more commercial route here with the style of rock they produced, it can still have a spot on your playlist for a go-around. Phil’s guitar work is outstanding, no surprise there. Sons Todd (guitar), Dane (drums) and Tyla (bass) have provided a good back up to carry this out, as well as carry the Campbell name. Continue reading “Album Review: Phil Campbell and The Bastard Sons – The Age of Absurdity”

Album Review: Machine Head – Catharsis

By Andrew Bansal

Oakland, California group Machine Head can legitimately be regarded as modern-day heavy metal giants, having formed in 1991 and carried on successfully through the past nearly 27 years, releasing 8 full-length studio albums and touring the world several times. Over the course of their career they haven’t been shy of experimentation and have copped their fair share of criticism, as from their groove-oriented thrash beginnings on the first two albums ‘Burn My Eyes’ (’94) and ‘The More Things Change…’ (’97), they swung wildly to a nu metal / rap metal recipe on the next two, ‘The Burning Red’ (’99) and ‘Supercharger (2002). Thankfully, they returned to doing what they do best on subsequent albums, i.e. playing groovy, proggy thrash, and this phase produced their best work as they hit their peak on the albums ‘Through the Ashes of Empires’ (2003), ‘The Blackening’ (2007) and ‘Unto the Locust’ (2011). The 2014 follow-up ‘Bloodstone and Diamonds’ was somewhat of a letdown from the dizzy heights of the previous three but was still fairly well-created and well-received. But now, Machine Head is ready to release their ninth album ‘Catharsis’, and it is the kind of album that is certain to leave fans scratching their heads, wondering what on earth happened to what truly was a great band not long ago. Continue reading “Album Review: Machine Head – Catharsis”

Album Review: White Wizzard – Infernal Overdrive

By Sebastian Vazquez

White Wizzard, the banner band of the NWOTHM underground revival, has released its fourth studio effort, ‘Infernal Overdrive’, amidst much anticipation and excitement. If you aren’t familiar with White Wizzard, the band finds inspiration from the classic heavy metal colorations that were prominent in the 1980s, notably that of pioneers Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, etc. What they have been able to accomplish over the last decade is quality tracks for those who choose to swim with the underground revival of traditional heavy metal, who also enjoy the likes of Night Demon, Cauldron, Enforcer, High Spirits, Skull Fist and Sumerlands. Their recent production values have elevated the band’s mainstay sound of twin guitar leads, extended solo breaks, and the high pitched wailing and singing which we have grown to love, thanks to the forefathers Dio, Dickinson, and Halford. Continue reading “Album Review: White Wizzard – Infernal Overdrive”

Album Review: Anvil – Pounding The Pavement

By Andrew Bansal

The 1980s gave birth to a vast plethora of heavy metal bands. The genre was at the height of its popularity in that decade, and as a result, new bands were popping up everywhere. Not many of them survived after the initial wave, and fast forward to 2018, only a few can legitimately claim to have had a successful career throughout. But, while there is no shortage of mediocre bands clinging onto their long-gone glory days and extracting every possible ounce of cash from diehard fans with their half-baked reunions and sub-par albums, no single band can claim to be as consistently bad as Anvil. Formed in 1981, this band, for reasons unfathomable, has been able to release 16 full-length studio albums, and is on the verge of releasing the 17th. With bated breath and no positive expectations, I pressed ‘play’ on ‘Pounding The Pavement’, and I seriously wish I hadn’t. Continue reading “Album Review: Anvil – Pounding The Pavement”

Review: Sinoptik – Standalone Syndrome (Single)

By Andrew Bansal

Based out of Kiev, Ukraine, Sinoptik is a relatively new group of musicians spreading the gospel of stoner / psych / hard rock. After having already made a name for themselves from winning battle-of-the-bands competitions in Ukraine, Europe and beyond, and sharing the stage in their homeland with some household names in the world of heavy music, Sinoptik recently released their newest single ‘Standalone Syndrome’ in an effort to further their mission of rock n’ roll domination, and it’s not a bad one at that. Continue reading “Review: Sinoptik – Standalone Syndrome (Single)”

Review: E-Fire – Contradict (Single)

By Andrew Bansal

Portland, Oregon based solo noise rock act E-Fire recently released his debut single ‘Contradict’. This independent, self-produced single is heavily doused in modern rock / alt metal tonality and presents a fresh take with a blend of familiar sounds. Reviewing singles is not typical for us on this site, but this one caught our attention enough to garner a review. Continue reading “Review: E-Fire – Contradict (Single)”

Album Review: Ne Obliviscaris – Urn

By Rosie Walker

Australian band Ne Obliviscaris started back in 2003. Yet, many still consider them to be a new group since their first full-length album wasn’t released until 2012. This six-piece act from Melbourne has gained a lot of traction in the heavy metal scene and recently released their third record, ‘Urn’ (October 27 through Season of Mist). Their fans have high hopes for this new release, and were waiting in great anticipation to hear if this young metal band would take the helm of the difficult extreme/progressive genre and continue to grow in popularity. But after listening to this 46-minute record, the Ne Obliviscaris fan base might be a bit disappointed. Continue reading “Album Review: Ne Obliviscaris – Urn”