A Hellion Rises in Central America: Hirax Comes To Guatemala

For nearly 35 years Hirax have been plying their trade of sinister thrash metal with rotating lineups, and now, for the first time in their long career, they visited Guatemala. When considering the most metal-starved fanbases in the world, this small Central American nation is rarely recognized but this is a place where the fans are the embodiment of fanatics, gobbling up every note of music from other countries that comes in front of them.

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Hey! Listen to Lethean!

It’s weird that heavy metal is known for being repetitive; it’s a master of classification I believe. When you narrow “heavy metal” down to the very specific style of it made from the mid-70’s to the mid-80’s, specifically centered around NWOBHM and the American response which it triggered, you certainly…

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Haunt – Burst Into Flame

It’s no secret that I love the traditional heavy metal revival. However, it’s also no secret that it’s becoming hard to find something worthwhile coming out of that impetus; the claws of repetition and carbon copies have already sunk deep into this nascent, returning sub-genre. The main problem I have…

The Progress Melter – Steel Panther and the Extent of “Comedy”

This should go without saying, but women have always had the ability to excel at playing guitar, and they often have. The rock and metal scene specifically has benefited from the contributions of players like Chelsea Wolfe, Liz Buckingham (Electric Wizard), Simone Dow (Voyager), Nancy Wilson (Heart), Lori Von Linstruth (Ayreon), Sarah Longfield, Laura…

Heavy Rewind // Cathedral – The Ethereal Mirror

Just two years after their debut, Cathedral pumped up the tempo and incorporated a slew of influences stretching beyond their solid, but somewhat limited, doom metal sound on Forest of Equilibrium. Shades of sludge à la Black Flag and The Melvins are most apparent, but the band reaches further beyond the low-and-slow realm to pull in influences from hard rock, heavy metal and progressive rock. Most importantly, the band’s vibrant personality sheds its skin entirely and reveals its true colors, thanks in large part by an unhinged, dynamic vocal performance from Lee Dorrian. It’s an exceptional combination that slightly edges out the band’s initial groundbreaking efforts. Whereas several bands contributed to the sound developed in part by Cathedral on Forest of Equilibrium, there’s never really been an album that sounds quite like The Ethereal Mirror, and it remains a multifaceted album with reverberations felt in music from the likes of Baroness, Pallbearer and a decent chunk of modern stoner metal.

Khemmis – Desolation

Success, the cliché insists, is a double-edged sword. History (and the Encyclopedia Metallum archives) is littered with now-defunct bands who toiled away for years in storage units and near-empty basements, yearning for record deals and the elusive larger acclaim that remained just beyond their grasp. But what of the bands…