Exumer – Hostile Defiance

It’s probably been said on this blog only a million times, but it deserves to be said once again. Traditional sounding metal is having a heyday in 2019. But when we’ve been talking about that, it’s usually under the guise of something 70s sounding or power metal that’s somehow not…

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Noisem – Cease to Exist

As with many other folks, I love metal because of the sweet emotional releases it gives me. Despite the loud and chaotic nature of the genre, I feel a great catharsis after a good metal song. Even scientific studies have shown that metal fans feel the release of tension, anger,…

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Omicida – Defrauded Reign

Maybe more than any modern thrash album, Omicida’s Defrauded Reign sounds like a lost ‘80s underground classic. The LA-come-UK outfit’s debut full-length is pure Bay Area worship done to the highest degree, and an early standout in a year already jam packed with quality thrash metal. Omicida themselves might be…

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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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Judiciary – Surface Noise

Ah, the warm embrace of cold political hardcore punk-influenced thrash. Very few things in the world are as musically aggressive as that. It taps into your primal nature  and inflames that aggression you feel toward the system in general. Shouted vocals, overly crunchy guitars, and the unrelenting machine gun repetition…

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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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Into the Pit – Riffs vs. Melodies: A Conversation

This month, I thought I’d do something a little different. Eight months ago, I met the most wonderful woman. We’ll call her Hilldawg. She’s the best thing ever in so many ways. One of those myriad ways is not only does she support my work with Heavy Blog, but she’s also a metalhead herself. We’ve had great times just introducing each other to music we love. Some of it is slammin’ (like when she told me Roots Bloody Roots is her favorite record and I remembered Sepultura was a band), some of it is less so (I’ll never get her into Municipal Waste). But we appreciate each other’s particular tastes.

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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…

Into the Pit – A Semi-Defense of Anthrax…Sort Of

Guys, I really tried with Anthrax. I fully intended to write a defense of Anthrax as a Big 4 band. Ask my girlfriend. Ask the editors. Ask anybody who lets me talk about the blog to them. I really wanted to do that. I had a great plan! I intentionally started the Testament column with “ANTHRAX SUX LOL” because I wanted to write, “And whoever that idiot was who said Anthrax sucks can go play in traffic!” It was going to be so great. Self-deprecating humor is disarming, even if total comment thread dopes can’t understand tongue-in-cheek humor via the written word.

I had listened to some Anthrax records before, so I had some idea of what I was in for. “Sure, there might be some stinkers here, but overall I’ll find what I need.” And then I started listening. And I kept listening. Fistful of Metal. Spreading the Disease. Among the Living. State of Euphoria. When I got to Persistence of Time, a thought occurred to me.

I still can’t defend Anthrax. I just can’t do it.