Hey! Listen to Tar Pit!

With a name like that, I thought I knew exactly what to expect from Tar Pit and, to an extent, I was right; the guitars, drums, and bass of Tar Pit are covered in the sludge which their name hints at. Things are slow, feedback is high and the overall tone…

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Roadkiller – Roadkiller

Good thrash metal is a lot of things. It’s aggressive and combative. It’s in your face with the attitude. The music is bombastic and often extremely fun music to listen to. The best thrash should make you want to stand up for your rights, flip police cars, and take on…

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Soulfly – Ritual

Max Cavalera and Soulfly and seemed to hit a bit of a rough patch following the back-to-back release of 2005’s outstanding Dark Ages (2005). None of the records released between then and now were particularly poor. Even the least of them, 2013’s Savages, was perfectly serviceable, and some (i.e. 2012’s Enslaved and 2008’s Conquer) even flirted with the band’s upper echelons. Yet there was a certain feeling that the band had fallen into a bit of a rut. Now, with Killer Be Killed (2014) and his recent return-to-form with Cavalera Conspiracy’s Psychosis (2017) under his belt, Max appears to be experiencing a late-career resurgence, and Ritual—his eleventh full-length release under the Soulfly banner—only continues that upward trajectory.

High on Fire – Electric Messiah

If High on Fire’s newest—Electric Messiah—was, in fact, inspired by a dream Matt Pike had about Lemmy, then opener “Spewn from the Earth” is a statement of purpose. Pike has always reminded me of Lemmy as a vocalist and High on Fire always incorporated a bit more thrash than some…

Hey! Listen to Midnight Force!

I like my Traditional Heavy Metal to be of either of two types; it should either modernize the genre and bring it into contemporary modes of production and execution or it should be incredibly dedicated to reproducing the old school style. Sadly, most trad metal falls in between those two approaches, attempting to produce something modern which calls back to the classics. This, invariably, fails and turns into a boring retread of cliches instead of a dedicated and convincing homage. But when the latter approach is embraced fully, like in the case of Lunar Shadow, Gatekeeper or Eternal Champion for example, the result is a great romp through what made heavy metal great to begin with. To that illustrious list we can now eagerly add Midnight Force.

Sahon – Chanting for the Fallen

You just have to love the underground scene. It’s such a joy to find these small bands and hear what they’re doing. Sometimes it can be derivative of something else. Sometimes they can sound pretty rough. But there’s always a great energy around these bands. They work hard and struggle…

Against the Grain – Cheated Death

For many who explore the crevasses of extreme music, “rock” is a word that has some not-so-good connotations. Like, “this shit is guaranteed to be boring” connotations. Let’s take a quick look at what’s likely the two biggest offenders to the name of rock. There’s no question that the poor…

Heavy Rewind – 1987: The Year in Metal

Every once in a great while we have calendar years that see iconic releases across a range of styles. It is rare that we see this happen in just one particular style. 1987 was one such year, though, as the entire spectrum of heaviness saw iconic records drop like so many tears from the eyes of mainstream pop music stars that these albums would devour. At the time, it didn’t seem like this was any different of a year for music until fans started to take a look at their growing record collections and what would spin out from the influence of so many landmark albums.