Anatomy of Black Mass

If there’s one thing the world needs more of, it’s blackened thrash. In some ways, it’s the original black metal sound. It’s chaotic and raucous, just like we all love our metal. However, it’s also overtly dark and evil sounding, a constant grind on your senses that still has its…

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Overkill – The Wings of War

No band have waved the flag for traditional thrash metal harder and higher than Overkill. Whether they invented the genre or not is debatable, but the New Yorkers appear assured in their position its single greatest producers. The band have steadily been putting out records every two-to-three years since 1985,…

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Heavy Rewind // Slipknot – Slipknot

Originally, this post started out as a Stepping Stone, after I bought a cheap used copy of Slipknot at a local record store and proceeded to tumble down the nostalgia rabbit hole. But given that this year marks the album’s 20th anniversary, I felt like it deserved the proper Heavy…

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Violblast – Theater of Despair

It’s a new year so let’s start a new trend. For many years running, death metal and doom and its subsidiaries have had standout releases. So many of them that pretty much every consecutive year, we’re saying the year belonged to death metal. Doom doesn’t get quite the same bona…

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Ayahuasca – Beneath the Mind

There must have been a point, early in Slipknot’s rise to fame, where the joy of new fans discovering the band was only matched by the despair of house sound engineers when presented with their technical specifications for a live show. Pushing the size of your band beyond four or…

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.

Krisiun – Scourge of the Enthroned

There are many paths towards the status of veteran in death metal. Some bands, like Mithras who recently came back to us, release classic albums and then disappear only to resurface years later, bearing the gospel of the riff once again. Others are second/third/fourth wave mavericks, incessantly dragging death metal into modernity like Misery Index. But there’s also a rare kind of beast out there, the death metal band that’s been around since the genre’s heyday and has also ceased to stop working, constantly releasing new music. In that category, few bands have the primacy of pedigree that Krisiun enjoy.

Half-Life – Napalm Death, Pt. 1

There are very few bands in extreme metal that can be rightly considered significant influencers in the formation and development of multiple subgenres. Napalm Death are one of them. From their inception in Birmingham, England in 1981 through their most recent full-length output in 2015, the band have explored the…