First Fragment – Dasein

What's it about Canada that causes them to have excellent tech death bands? First Fragment is yet another one in the string of such bands, and they definitely live up to the stereotype. Their debut album Dasein, five years in the making, was anticipated quite a bit by those who had listened to their excellent EP The Afterthought Ecstasy. Playing in the lines of greats like Gorod, Beyond Creation and Beneath the Massacre, the band's debut album is an instant classic. Full of over the top melodic technical playing, Dasein is a joy to listen through and through.

In Defense Of – St. Anger

It’s indisputable that Metallica are one of the greatest metal bands of all time. They boast at least three all-time classic records - including the greatest thrash metal album of all time in Master of Puppets - and brought metal well and truly into the mainstream with the all-conquering Black Album. Yet, despite such successes, they are a band who polarize both their fan base and the wider metal community. Having been metal gods throughout the ‘80s, the ‘90s heralded a band looking to experiment with their sound, image and attitude; a band which had seemingly lost their way. St. Anger was meant to be the return to the band’s thrash metal roots and, more importantly, a return to form. Instead, they delivered a record which has been battered from pillar to post both popularly and critically since its release in 2003. The butt of many a joke, including one of our very own this past April Fools, it’s about time someone came to its defense and outlined why this album can actually be considered good.