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Portrait – Burn The World (Metal Blade)

Portrait – Burn The World (Metal Blade)

Anyone who loves speed metal, but can’t stand the lashings of cheese usually served up by the speedier Euro brand of power metal, should love Portrait. The first album back in 2008 was a blast – a fantastic band still finding their feet. But it.. Read More
Hands of Orlac / The Wandering Midget - Split (Cruz Del Sur)

Hands of Orlac / The Wandering Midget – Split (Cruz Del Sur)

I don’t know if there’s some cryptic message here that only truly makes sense when you’re seriously stoned, but something feels so fitting about the collaboration between The Wandering Midget and Hands of Orlac as if the two, albeit imaginary and abstract characters, might have.. Read More
Drudkh / Paysage d’Hiver – Somewhere Sadness Wanders / Schnee (IV) (Season Of Mist)

Drudkh / Paysage d’Hiver – Somewhere Sadness Wanders / Schnee (IV) (Season Of Mist)

Drudkh’s recent wave of splits feels like they have been a liberating experience for the band. Free from the relative confines of producing a full crop’s worth of Ukrainian grief and solitude, the Drudkh frontman Roman Sayenko et al have been spending time cultivating and.. Read More
Lęk – Shadows of Black Souls (Wolfspell)

Lęk – Shadows of Black Souls (Wolfspell)

While I had a soft spot for Lęk’s first release Sweven a few years ago (time flies, it was back in 2014) it didn’t achieve enough across its 40 minute span to raise itself clearly enough above the pack. This time round we’ve seen a.. Read More
Wolvenguard – Elemental Reclamation (S/R)

Wolvenguard – Elemental Reclamation (S/R)

Here’s a tempting treat for anyone whose tastes linger at the blackened end of the melodic death metal spectrum – Amon Amarth, Kataklysm, Immortal. Yes, you say, but I’ve listened to all that Viking death metal stuff a thousand times, moved on, had a few.. Read More
Impure Wilhelmina – Radiation (Season of Mist)

Impure Wilhelmina – Radiation (Season of Mist)

Well, these guys have come out of nowhere (after five previous albums, I must add) with a bit of a gem here for anyone who’s into the whole post-hardcore melancholy vibe and vocals powerful enough to cause a higher-level stratospheric event. Impure Wilhelmina – no,.. Read More
Acherontas – Amarta (Formulas of Reptilian Unification Part II) (World Terror Committee)

Acherontas – Amarta (Formulas of Reptilian Unification Part II) (World Terror Committee)

Penetrating the increasingly esoteric world of Acherontas V Priest and his various collaborators is becoming a bit of an adventure – albeit one that is bleak and unforgiving. The outfit undoubtedly made its initial impact with some impressive occult-driven black metal with unashamedly good, hook-filled.. Read More
Below – Upon A Pale Horse (Metal Blade)

Below – Upon A Pale Horse (Metal Blade)

The Swedes look determined to bring the doom flame home this year. First with February’s Dautha debut demo Den Förste getting the epic doomers their first proper release on Ván. Then this, Below’s second album, destined to keep the band on a nice upward trajectory.. Read More
Loathfinder – The Great Tired Ones (Godz ov War)

Loathfinder – The Great Tired Ones (Godz ov War)

Top marks to Loathfinder (no I’ve no idea what a Loath is or where to find one) for clocking in at full ambitious tilt on their first outing. The Great Tired Ones are a total mystery to me too, by the way, and I’m none.. Read More
Batushka & Noctem – London, The Dome 22/5/17

Batushka & Noctem – London, The Dome 22/5/17

If you have dreams of upstaging a fast growing phenomenon like Batushka, you’ll need to come up with something good. So probably best to plug your fingers into the nearest demonic power socket, aim yourself roughly in the direction of the stage and grimace your.. Read More
Damn The Machine: The Story Of Noise Records by David E Gehlke (Deliberation Press)

Damn The Machine: The Story Of Noise Records by David E Gehlke (Deliberation Press)

The year was 1988. And for the past 12 months a large portion of my purchases had been from the catalogue of just one record label: Noise International. I’d realised that I could pick up all the more mainstream metal releases from mates at school.. Read More
Barathrum – Fanatiko (Saturnal)

Barathrum – Fanatiko (Saturnal)

Finnish black metal nutters (and I realise that is not a particularly useful descriptor to distinguish one Finnish black metal band from another) Barathrum have some serious catching up to do. This follow up to their last album, 2005’s Anno Aspera: 2003 Years After Bastard’s.. Read More