ANY BANDS/LABELS that want their releases reviewed can send me a promo kit at the following address. Anything sent will be reviewed and posted within 30 days.

Metal Core Zine
c/o Chris Forbes
7 Laurel Drive
Maple Shade, NJ 08052

MINDSCAR/What’s Beyond The Light (Self Released) Worthless forgettable death metal with nothing memorable about it at all. Riffs and songs went nowhere fast that’s for sure. Vocals were horrible as well and those generic screams were a riot. Info:

OBSIDIAN/ Oblivion (Hammer Down Records) More heard it a thousand times generic death metal that has been done over and over and nothing to the table with this band I am afraid. Info:

FEANOR/We Are Heavy Metal (Massacre Records) This was some pretty cool stuff and the band play straight forward metal that reminded me a bit of the Scorpions during the Lovedrive era and also some early sounds of Raven cause the singer sounds like John from Raven. The riffs and songs are big time catchy and this is straight forward bone crushing metal and is one of the better bands out there doing the metal thing these days so this gets a horns up from me. Info:

FACE OF OBLIVION/Cataclysmic Desolation (Comatose Music) Lovely just what we need a 100th generation of Cannibal Corpse. Bands like this need to be put in a toilet and flushed. Absolutely garbage. Info:

KHAOS-DEI/Opus II: Catechism (Osmose Productions) Garbage music with nothing to offer. This was a sadful attempt at black metal meeting Swedish death metal and it does not work in any way. The vocals are weak and childish and the songs blow and nothing good on this at all. Info:

HAMMER KING/King is Rising (Cruz Del Sur Music) Awful attempt at Hammerfall like power metal with clean soaring vocals. The riffs are tired and generic and this was as good as a flat tire. Info:

LIGHTNING STRIKES/Lightning Strikes (Pure Legend Records) Finally some real power metal I can sink my teeth into. This band was originally formed in 1985 and only released a 7” and now they are back and this totally kicks ass. No Hammerfall Jr. or any modern sounds just ass kickin power metal all the way. Tremendous powerful vocals that fit this band perfectly. An awesome guitar sound to boot on this and this is a heavy metal lover’s dream. Think Dio or Sabbath with Dio and you can idea of what this sounds like at times, but for sure this band has its own sound. I just love everything about this big time and this band strikes alright and in the right places. Info:

SEPULCHRAL CURSE (Finland/At the Onset of Extinction (Transcending Obscurity Records) 4 tracks of brutal low tuned death metal that I quite enjoyed. The riffs are the song structures and the speed and intensity are what did it. The thick heavy riffs will smash you over like a two ton truck. This will suck you in and I was loving this and I think you will too. Info:

CARCARASS/E-Tinction (Great Dane Records) This was just boring death metal that did nothing for me. The music was flat and this band brought nothing to the table. Nothing exciting my ears thought. The singer wasn’t anything special and this was just “blah” to me. Info:

DO SKONU/Hell (Forever Plagued) Heard it a million same ole fast picking riffs with tired black metal vocals. Nothing new or exciting on this at al. Info:

SACRED STEEL/Heavy Metal Sacrifice (Cruz Del Sur Music) Just another Hammerfall copy band with clean, but powerful vocals and the power metal sound. This did nothing for me and just sounds like so many other bands and can’t bands like this try to be different and not sound like every other power metal band out there. Info:

MYHRDING/1350 (Unexploded Records) Oh god awful black metal with dying metal vocals that aren’t bad, but the music is just a wall of senseless noise that goes nowhere fast. Nothing exciting on this. Nothing worth checking out for sure. Info:

GOATFUNERAL/Luzifer spricht…10 years in the name of the goat (Massacre Records (Some of the worst black metal this year. Awful just screaming vocals with no emotion and songs that have no context or style. They just dragged along on a road to nowhere. Beyond bad. Info:

BARROW WIGHT/Kings in Saurons Service (Heavy Chains Records) A bad heavy metal band that plays bad heavy metal music with no cool or catchy riffs and a bad singer to boot. Nothing of value on this. Info:

Goatblood/Veneration of Armageddon (Dunkelheit Produktionen) All this was a wall of senseless noise with buried vocals. This was a sad attempt at black metal that’s for sure. Info:

DRAUGGARD/WyrdWeorc (Unexploded Records) This wasn’t bad, but I hated the trigger sounding drums. The band play a mix of death and black metal and some of the songs are decent and the vocals aren’t bad and they are more in the black metal vein. This didn’t suck, but wasn’t anything mind blowing neither. The songs just aren’t super strong and nothing held my attention for a long time. Just another band that is out there filling up the overcrowded underground. Info:

BAHRRECHT/L'Aube Glacée (Ketzer records) Absolutely worthless black metal with nothing of value on it. The songs are completely boring and you will be asleep in no time. Info:

OCTOBER 31/Metal Massacre (Hells Headbangers) King and the boys return and how cool is this as they do cover tunes from bands that were involved in the 8 volumes of the Metal Massacre series on Metal Blade Records. Hallow’s Eve, Death Dealer, Omen, Sacred Blade and others are given the October 31 treatment. This band just totally kicks ass and they do justice to the originals and King sounds great as always on vocals. This is just a superb and nifty idea that only King and the boys could have thought up something as cool as this. This is a 10 out of 10 release easily and one of the best releases of the year hands down no questions asked. Info:

CIVIL WAR/The Last Full Measure (Napalm Records) 5th rate Hammerfall new style power metal with the high pitched vocals and bands like this are a dime a dozen and this pretty much sucked as it sounds like a million other bands. Info:

TIEBREAKER/Death Tunes (Karisma Records) This was some bad rock n roll that just plodded along and did nothing. Nothing catchy or good about this at all. The songs sucked and nothing good on this. This band brought nothing to the table I am afraid. Info:

OMNIZIDE/NekroRegime (Carnal Records / Daemon Worship Productions) Typical heard it a million times before fast pic riffing black metal that gets old in about 2 minutes. Nothing of value here and you have heard it all before and then some. Info:

NECROVEN/Primordial Subjugation (Memento Mori) A punishing attack of old school death metal that will leave you breathless. Heavy as fuck riffs that pound into your skull and REAL death metal vocals that come from the pits of hell. Just a pool of death metal and whipping ass speed that fury that had me smiling and air drums and guitars it was. A perfect like production. If you love Immolation and Incantation you’ll love this. Info:

EGG OF GOMORRH/Rot Prophet (Vault of Dried Bones) A bone crushing assault of black metal that will rip you to shreds. The music is so over the top it’s is not funny. The riffs will destroy and are played with such a passion and fury. The vocals are total black metal and are sung with the singer sounding like hell itself on vocals. The raw production only adds to this mayhem. If you like black metal this is a must have for sure. Below is a track and more info:

ENTRAPMENT/Through Realms Unseen (Pulverised Records) I found this very boring. No crushing riffs and bland vocals. Nothing exiting on this I’m afraid. Just dull riffs that go nowhere fast. Nothing exciting at all.

BRUTAL UNTREST/Trinitas (Hammerheart Records) Heard it all a million times death metal that adds or does nothing new for me. It is like Vader, Crytopsy, etc without the super low vocals.

THRON/Thron (Clavis Secretorvm) Ah typical and boring death/black metal that beings nothing to the table at all. The songs got old and boring really fast and nothing of value on this I’m afraid. Info:

SHAARRIMOTH/Temple of the Adversarial Fire (W.T.C.Productions) This wasn’t bad musicwise, but the vocals are awful. I hate the clean vocals he uses at times and even when he sings in a brutal way they seem fake and forced. The music is a mic of brutal death and some black metal thrown in and the songs aren’t half bad, but when you have a singer like this it pretty much ruins it for me. Info:

DEAD CONSPIRACY/Dead Conspiracy (Self-Released)Now these guys were around back in 1986 when I was putting out like issue 1 of my fanzine and they are back and this just totally will smash you into oblivion. Ripping riffs and a pure death metal assault on your ears. The speed and intensity on this is 2nd to none and Mike on vocals is a perfect blend of death metal sounding vocals I can assure you on that. This will destroy you in so many ways. A classic death metal release all the way. Info:

IC Rex/Tulen Jumalat (Saturnal Records) This was some really good black metal that wasn’t just the same ole heard it a million times before stuff. The band use some keyboards and they are done tastefully and fit right in with the music which features many fast blasting parts as well. Vocals that aren’t that screechy style that I am not a fan of, but these are deep dispairs of death. This is something cool and different and horns up to this release. Info:

RITUALIZATION/Sacraments to the Sons of the Abyss (Iron Bonehead Productions) A total ear splitting release of raw death/black metal that had me smiling. Just fast out of control riffs and fast and furious sounds reminded me of the old days big time. Think Angel Corpse was the band that came to mind for me. Vocals were a mix of death metal and a bit of black metal, but this was a vicious assault on my soul and this band plays death metal the way it should be and that his fast and with a fury and never lets go. A sample song is below:

WULKANAZ/Paralys (Helter Skelter / Regain Records) God awful black metal with some of the worst drum sound I have ever heard. The music is all over the place and there is nothing good on this. The blast beats just come out of nowhere and sound beyond bad with those keyboards. The vocals are funny on this too a pure generic black metal style for sure. Info:

INFAMOVS/Under the Seals of Death (Memento Mori) Immolation/Incantation like death metal that I have heard 100’s of times before. Nothing interesting to me. Sample song is below:

CYNABARE URNE/Fire the Torches (Helter Skelter Prod. / Regain Records) I like what this band has to offer. 2 crushing tracks of sort of doomy like music mixed in with some death metal and it works. Riffs that are catchy and are heavy as a ton of lead. Vocals that don’t sound forced and I felt his power when he was signing. This comes as a shirt and cassette combo which was extra cool. Info:

AVULSED/Deathgeneration (Xtreem Music) Avulsed has been for what it seems like forever and the band has put a cool double cd of EP’s demo, etc. Now the 1st disc is all those songs re-recorded and the 2nd disc is original versions of them. I was never a huge fan due to the vocals as I am not a fan of the low guttural style, but these new versions totally shred as there is not much guttural style, but more of just a death metal style. The production rules on this and the guitar sound is on the money and ripping blast parts will leave you breathless. Easily the best release this band has done and it kills. Info:

NERODIA/Vanity Unfair (Revalve records) Some parts on this were cool and other parts were awful. The use of keyboards/piano are just plain stupid and awful and sound so out of place on this it’s not funny. The good parts are this is a damn good mixture of thrash and black metal with a mix of death metal vocals. I love the guitar sound as it is totally shredding and the tunes are wicked fast too. Well worth checking out. Info:

PHOSPHORUS/Dévastation (HSP Productions) Some solid death/speed metal with some solid vocals. Very catchy riffs and speedy songs had me smiling. The singer sings with a lot of feeling and passion and also hate and he mixes in with the music quite well. I love the guitar sound and the speed also. Very cool band here. Info:

EVIL PRIEST/Evil Priest (Caverna Abismal Records) A brutal old school release of death metal that will pound your skull in. Vocals that are like a dying man and he sounds great. Heavy as fuck guitar sound and heavy as fuck music. Speed is also a ticket on here as the band blast and smash through the tunes. Riffs that are big time catchy as well and think a combo of old Death meets Asphyx. Get this. Info;

AMBIVALENCE/Hyena's Breath (PRC MUSIC) Just what we need any generic death metal band with those cupped and distorted mic vocals. The music wasn’t anything special and made worse by these vocals that are a total joke. Info:

ZOMBIESLUT/Massive Lethal Flesh Recovery (Zombification Media) Some decent low churned death metal that wasn’t doom, but when they rip into the speedy parts I was loving it. The tunes were damn good and the vocals were above average. I wish it had more faster parts myself as I enjoyed them the most. They just hit hard and I was playing air drums to them. One of the better death metal bands around. Info:

HAXXAN/Loch Ness Rising (Hells Headbanger ) When I saw Killjoy Desade was signing in this band I had a big smile om my face, but what a disappointment this was too me. The music is too mid paced for me and his vocals totally crush and he sounds great, but the music was easily forgettable and pretty boring. There was no power and nothing kept my attention. It just plodded on with no direction and no fire to it. Maybe next time. Info:

DREAMING DEAD/Funeral Twilight (Hammerheart Records) This was quite boring as nothing stood out and nothing excited me. Boring tunes that went nowhere and below average vocals to boot. The music was mostly mid paced to fast stuff and was just boring with nothing catchy to it and the throaty vocals were actually quite funny. Nothing of value on this at all. Info:

EKPYROSIS/Asphyxiating Devotion (Memento Mori) A total crushing display of death metal that must be heard. A mix of Incantation meeting Immolation and wow what a delivery this band has. Riffs that will have that neck moving and the vocals will be a total punishment to your ears. The wicked fast parts had me playing air drums and the band slow to down to let you catch your breath before blasting your ears once again. The production is awesome and the guitar sound is pulverizing as hell. Get this. Info:

OMINIOUS CIRCLE/Appalling Ascension (Osmose Productions) Some really good death/black metal with pounding riffs and fast blast beats and vocals from hell. Man when that drummer goes into those blast beats he goes into hyperdrive. The music just rips throw you and they are catchy non generic riffs and songs too. The singer is more in the death metal style which was fine by me. Excellent production on this too make this one to pick up if you crave solid death/black metal that doesn’t sound like a million other bands. Info:

SCENARIO II/A New Dawn (Hysteria Music) I hated the clean vocals on this, but everything else was spot on. The music is fast blasting death metal with plenty of riffs and songs to sink your death into and the songs are a nice mix of mid paced and fast stuff. The songs have catchy riffs and are played with feeling and emotion. The singer or singers I should say, the clean vocals need to go in a river and stay there, but the death metal singer is awesome and he fits the music so well. Production is top notch and this also doesn’t sound like a million other bands as well. Info:

THE FUROR/Cavalries of the Occult (Transcending Obscurity Records) This wasn’t bad, but it was nothing that blew me away. This band is a mix of black/death metal with a big of thrash metal also thrown in the mix. The music was decent and the songs were fast and all, but it just didn’t have those killer hooks or song structures to blow me out of my seat. The singer has a more death metal voice and the trigger like drums I was not a fan of neither. Just ok. Info:

TOMB MOLD/Primordial Malignity (Blood Harvest) A wicked display of low tuned old school death metal that I was loving. Riffs that are damn catchy as well as heavy and vocals from the depths of hell. I love the Swedish death metal guitar sound and also the production is not over produced as well. While obviously not super original this band more than gets the job done and you’ll love it if you crave death metal. Info:

Sample song:

WRATH FROM ABOVE/Beyond Ruthless Cold (Apathia Records) Complete fuckin garbage with a dual vocals style and of course it is black metal like vocals and the lower than low style. The music is a bunch if fast noise that goes nowhere fast. Don’t waste your time or money. Info:

DISHARMONY (Greece)/Goddamn the Sun (Iron Bonehead) This was a very weird pound, but the music totally sucks and sounds like i9t is going in 10 directions and the vocals were a joke too. This was a sad attempt at death/black metal and should be avoided. Info:

GUERRA TOTAL/METALUCIFER/Split CD (Forgotten Wisdom Productions) Just a total kick speed metal and heavy metal assault on my ears. Guerra Total owned me with their old school speed metal sounds and then Metalucifer get my down on the ground with some bone crushing heavy metal sounds. This release rules. Info:

CRURIFRAGIUM/Beasts of the Temple of Satan (Invictus Productions) Just a wall of senseless noise with a bunch of grunts. Oh yeah satan would even throw this down the toilet I bet. Info:

Track to check out:

GOATMOON/Stella Polaris (Werewolf Records) Pretty cool black metal band that don’t just go a million miles an hour and sound like every other band on planet earth. They also have some melody within their tunes as well. The singer has a great voice and his voice goes along big time with the music and the production is also very good on this too. There is also a heavy metal sound within the black metal sounds and trust me it works and it works great. Info:

VOMIT ANGEL/Sadomatic Evil (Iron Bonehead) Holy shit is this just a devastating slab of total old school death/black metal that warms my heart. I love the old school production and the bass sound rules as does pretty much everything on this. The vocals are a pure filth of rage, hate and fury. Hell this could pass for a 80’s demo. The riffs and guitar sound completely rule and this is I know is gonna be one of my favorite releases of the year and it’s only January. For true underground fans. Info:

EPPING FOREST/LEBABVOID (Unexploded Records) Another rip roaring release that you will want to sink your teeth into. This hits hard and hits fast and doesn’t let off the gas pedal. A mix of death and black metal that hits the mark right between the eyes. This is fast and furious and also doesn’t sound like a million other bands and the tunes had me playing air drums and the band slow it down to let you catch your breath and then it is back to smash your brain into pieces. The singer has a fantastic voice as well. Check these guys out. Info:

DEATH WORSHIP/Extermination Mass (Nuclear War Now! Productions) I am totally crushed by another band and this time it is Death Worship. The rip roaring black metal sounds of this band just own me. The wicked guitar and bass sound and the singer oh lord does this band deliver. This is another band that sound like this could be 1988 and I for sure and not complaining. The songs are also catchy and memorable and I was banging my head along with each and every note. This is another must have and is old school black metal at it’s finest. Info:

FLAT BLACK/Same (Self Released) 5 tracks of rock meets grunge and it is not bad. The singer has an almost hypnotic sounding voice and the dark, deep guitar sound will bring you in and not let go. The songs were good and catchy too. This is a lot better than a lot of the rock bands that I hear on the radio and stuff and this sounds far from generic that’s for sure. Look forward to hearing more. Info:

UDI LEVY/Addictive Substance (Self Released) This man is back with a new release and does he wail on the guitar. This man can play some tasteful licks let me tell you. But in addition to that he also writes and plays some great tunes as they are all catchy and that it doesn’t matter to me that there is no singing on this. This is just ass kickin rock n roll all the way. Track # 2 really moved me with the slow parts totally taking me on a ride I did not want to get off. The production on this is perfect as well. This is easily better than a lot of that stuff that passes for rock n roll on the radio these days let me tell ya. Info: or

CIRITH GORGOR/Bi Den Dode Hant (Hammerheart Records) Just what we need a black metal band that sounds like all the rest. Yup the fast pic riffing and the same speed and sound of the thousand’s before them and the same screechy black metal vocals. Just lovely. Info:

SINISTER/Syncretism (Massacre Records) Nice to see a veteran death metal band still sound like a death metal band and that is what we have here. Total all out speed metal assault that had me playing air drums and guitar. The production ruled and that guitar sound crushes. The blazing speed and intensity of this just rules all. When other bands wimp out or slow down we have Sinister to fall back on. Death metal at its finest. Info:

VENDETTA - The 5th (Massacre Records) Very weak sounding thrash metal with riffs and songs that sounds like the band is just going through the motions. No songs stood out and or just reach out and grabbed me and nothing had me banging my head. This was expecting a big metal and getting a $ 1 dollar hamburger at Wendy’s. The singer wasn’t so hot either. Info:

FÖRGJORD/Uhripuu (Werewolf) Worthless, generic black metal that went nowhere fast. The singer is a total joke as all he does he scream “blah blah blah” into the mic. Dude you suck and are awful. The music is a waste of everyone’s time as it just a bunch of riffs and songs that will put you to bed quickly. Total rubbish. Info:

GROND/Worship the Kraken (Xtreem Music) Killer balls to the wall death metal the way it should be played. Great catchy songs and nice speedy parts and slowed down parts to allow you to catch your breath. Deep vocals that are perfect for what this band is playing and no female or clean vocals and none of that shit on here. This band plays death metal the right way and this is well worth picking up. Info:

MAYHEM/De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas (Self Reissued by the Band) This by far is one of the greatest, if not the greatest black metal releases of all time. The hate, the fury, the feeling, and everything in between is on this. The riffs and the songs just crush everything and will leave you weak and in serious pain. Music to me has to have feeling in it and this has a ton of it and I can just feel it on this big time. Hell so many bands have copied this band it is fitting that a re-issue should come out. Just give a listen to any track on here and trust me Satan would bow down to this big time. The production is unreal and this is a 10 out of 10 and is as good as it gets trust me. Info:

SLEGEHAMMER NOEJOB/Stop Hammertime (Defying Danger Records) A total brutal death metal onslaught that had me smiling. Crushing riffs and intense speed was your ticket on this and none of those cheesy fake blast beats neither. Deep, but not super cup the mic vocals as well. This is just the way death metal needs to be played and even though this isn’t super original and who is these days, any death metal band will want this in their collection cause this band does death metal right. Info:

ASTARIUM/Epoch Of Tyrants (More Hate Productions) This was some cool black metal and the keyboards used actually make the music stronger not take away from it. Strong vocals too as I could hear the hate spewing and they didn’t sound forced or generic or even stupid. The music is a mix of fast and slower parts and the production is good and solid and I was into this a lot. This is one of the bands I like that play black metal where the keyboards fit the music and this is well worth checking out if you crave black metal. Info: or

NOISE MISSION CONTROL/Same (Self Released) The 5 tunes on this are total ass kickin rock n roll with tons of great hooks and vocals too boot. Songs that had my head moving and none of that tough guy vocals, just an aggressive, but tucked in to boot. The songs easily one my over as these are hooks that just sucked me and kept me in until the Ep was over. I fuckin love the guitar sound on this and forget bands like Maroon 5 and crap like that, this is a pure rock n roll onslaught with a touch of metal added to the mix. This band should have no problem getting a deal as they play songs that are off the charts.

LEAUGES BELOW/Same (Necrotic Records) Oh this was some very good old school all the way death/black metal. I love the production as it has that 80’s feel to it and also the band or the 2 guys in the band actually, don’t and try to sound like 500 other bands. The music is more along the lines of death metal with a touch of black metal and the vocals are more black metal with a touch of death metal here and there. The music is a mix of some slower Autopsy like parts and then going into an older Death part. If you miss the good ole days of death metal then this is for you and I think you will like what you hear. Info:

ATHYMIA BLISS/Same (Necrotic Records) I am not a huge fan of doom, but I do like it when it is done right and this is done right. The songs might be slow, but they are not super slow and plodding along as there is a touch of speed to them and the vocals simply rule on this. His voice fits this band perfectly. The production is good and solid and I like the guitar sound and they do sound like My Dying Bride and old Paradise Lost in spots so if you like those 2 bands you’ll do backflips over this. This is easily one of the best doom bands I have heard in a long time for sure. Info:

BURNT/ ASTARIUM/??? (Narcolepica Productions) This is a 3 way split Ca and sorry I could not pronounce the 3 bands name as the logo is a joke. Anyway music is what matters and Burnt don’t deliver the goods. Just typical fast as fuck black metal with the screeching vocals that actually aren’t that bad, but the music is pointless and just sounds like 100 other black metal bands I have reviewed over the past 2 years. Astarium now what the hell happened with him on this release. I realize you don’t want to release the same thing over and over, but my god this is weak. It is almost like a mix of country, yes country music with black metal vocals and keyboards and some light metal music thrown in the mix. It is awful. The guitar sound is a joke and the music is just faceless. I also don’t like the dual vocals with some guy just speaking in a deep voice like a bad horror movie. The 3rd band is just another faceless black metal band that delivers nothing and really bored me. Only the 1st band on this release did anything good. Info:

CELESTIAL BODIES/Spit Forth From Chaos (I, Voidhanger Records) Just a bunch of chaotic nothing. The triggered drums or triggered drum sound is beyond band and the vocals are a joke. This sounded like black metal music with songs going in separate directions and made no sense at all and was just a bunch of mumbo jumbo and this was one bad release. Info:

THE COYOTE MAN/Same (Self Released) This is an all instrumental band release and it is not bad at all. Great riffs and songs along with a plentiful guitar sound and a fantastic production. The music is on the progressive side, but that didn’t matter to me as the songs on this just kicked ass and never got boring. Now would this have been better had it had vocals? Tough to say cause a singer can obviously ruin or make better a band. Bottom line this was a very enjoyable release and this band should just stay the course and do what they are doing cause it is for sure working. Info:

RUDRA/Enemy of Duality (Transcending Obscurity) Below average death metal that did nothing to stand out from the 100’s of other releases that will come out this year. The songs weren’t strong and were nothing memorable to these ears. The singing wasn’t bad as the singer has a powerful voice, but the songs lacked that killer punch and that brought that way down for me. Info:

HOLYCIDE/Annihilate... Then Ask (Xtreem Music) What a fantastic release of old school thrash metal this is. Great riffs and NO dancy shit or groove to be found and no tough guy vocals neither. Just pound you into the ground, violent attacks of music to make your ears bleed. This was taking me back to the late 80’s when thrash was king. The guitar sound will have that neck moving and air guitar will be a plenty. Sick vocals too. Everything about this pretty much ruled and if you are missing the old school thrash metal days, this band will bring you back and then some. Killer release. Info:

TOKYO MOTOR FIST/Same (Frontiers Music) I am a sucker for a great guitar riff and this had a ton to say the least. This is melodic hard rock at its best and Ted Poley of Danger Danger singing I knew I was in for a treat. I have always loved is vocal style and he rules on this. This actually picks up where his band leaves off and just totally rules. I was nodding to every song on this lovely release and if you crave hard rock then this is not to be missed. Info:

Dreaming Dead/Funeral Twilight (Hammerheart Records) This was a some decent speedy thrash metal that at least didn’t try to sound like a million other bands. The songs are actually weird kinda musically like a mix of Sadus meeting Voivod down a back alley. The female vocals I was not a fan of as her dying, screechy voice didn’t fit the music I thought. The tunes, while semi weird, are still easy to get into and some I know will love this and this is far from bad and nice to see a band branching out and not being same ole same ole. Info:

CRURIFRAGIUM/Beasts of the Temple of Satan (Invictus) A pure wall of noisy, not all produced black metal garbage with a singer who just growls into the mic and music that is just chaotic and goes nowhere fast. Don’t waste your money. Info:

VASTUM/ Hole Below (20 Buck Spin) This came out in 2011 in a limited edition run of vinyl and now it is back in action so to speak in 2017. This didn’t do much for me as I wanted some more speed in the tunes and the songs just came across as boring and too mid paced for my likes. It was just another case of heard it so many times before and nothing stuck out or blew me away and it was just kinda there and nothing of value on this. Info:

THE MISTS/Phantasmagoria (Greyhaze Records) This originally came out in 1989 and is a pretty damn good thrash metal release then and now. They remind me of thrashers Atrophy with the guitar sound and vocals a bit. The speedy tunes are all quite catchy thrash metal numbers and this came out before thrash metal became sucky too. Solid production too and it also has that Sepultura Beneath the Remains kinda feel to it as well. Pick this up if you are a fan of old school thrash and NO jump metal neither. Info:

COLD FELL/Irwell (Argento Records) Some pretty solid black metal is the ticket here. Same fast blasting parts, but they aren’t a wall of noise and you will be playing air drums to them and some great singing by the singer who doesn’t sound like he is in the woods at 3am. Solid production too and there is memorable songs on this making this an above average black metal band and they surely stand out above all the generic crap out there so check em out. Info:

MORDBRAND/Wilt (Carnal Records) Average at best death metal. The playing is good and the songs aren’t bad, but there was nothing that stood out and blew me away. The mix was a mix of fast and mid paced stuff and the blast beats were not a wall of noise and no trigger sounding drums, but as the music played I felt nothing either way. So this didn’t suck and was not awful neither. Info:

CANDLE/Demo 2016 (Candle Records) A pure throwback heavy metal band here. This is like a pure straight forward heavy metal band with a bunch of NWOBHM thrown in the mix. This was a pure fist pumping/headbanging metal delight. Clean, but still heavy and powerful vocals and some tasty riffs made this a pleasure to list to. Not many bands doing this style and this was a cool band for sure. Info:

BLOOD FEAST/The Future State of Wicked (Hells Headbangers) Bloodfeast return after a long time in between releases with only one original member Adam Tranquilli. This release right out of the batter box was a pure thrash metal delight. That classic Bloodfeast guitar sound is there and with veteran thrasher himself CJ Scioscia (nj thrashers Insaniac) on the other guitar this makes for a lethal combo. This just fucking ruled and fuck this blew me away and I was banging away from the 1st note to the last. New singer Chris Natalini also does a fantastic job on here he sings all the songs with power and conviction and ugh he voice rules on this. This will easily be one of my favorite albums of the year. Info:

Teaser song for ya:

POSSESSION/Exorkizein (Invictus Productions) This was average at best black metal. The tunes weren’t bad, but nothing to write home about. The singer was probably the best thing because he sang the song with complete hate and fury and I liked his voice. The music was a mix of fast, but super fast and mid paced black metal that was like so many other bands, it was just kinda there. Nothing I haven’t heard before. Info:

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BESTIAL WARLUST/Storming Bestial Legions LIVE '96 (Hells Headbangers) This is a raw as fuck, but killer live release by the band. Oh listen to that guitar sound and the vocals and this band lays to waste all these generic and stupid black metal bands. This came out right after the release of the band’s 2nd album so they play that entire album as well as songs from their debut release. This is a classic live show seeing the light of day 11 years later so go pick this up by all means. Info:

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THOSE WHO BRING THE TORTURE/Necromancer (Selfmadegod Records) This again isn’t bad, but the band did nothing to stand out from the 1000’s of other death metal bands I have heard over the past few years. I am not a fan of screeching vocals as times as he is better when he just singer in the growly style. The music is just kinda faceless as it doesn’t suck, but it nothing to get happy about neither. I wish this had better riffs and more catchy riffs to boot. Info:

VENEREAL BAPTISM/Deviant Castigation Liturgy (Osmose Productions) Oh now this is a black metal band that has delivered the goods. Wicked, blistering riffs that will pulverize your brain. Vocals from the pits of hell. Fast and furious riffing that had me hooked from the start and they were memorable and catchy too. Great guitar sound and the production is right on the money. Great black metal band here. Info: