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CONQUEST/End Of Days (Dark Star Records) This band I remember many years ago and remember reviewing some of their material for Metal Core fanzine. This the bands 5th release and it is quite the thrash metal release. The band rip through these tunes with quite the fury and the music sounds fresh to these ears. The band have a bit of the bay area crunch in their sound and that was fine with me. The singer has a solid aggressive voice and fits the music. The production is nice and solid and the guitar crunch is right where it needs to be. If your into old school well played thrash metal from a band that has been doing it for a long time look no further. Info:

CHRIST INVERSION/Same (Housecore Records) Yes this is the band that former singer Pantera Phil Anselmo sings for. This crushes. It has a bit of that Pantera sound, but this is more raw, move vicious than Pantera ever was. Phil does an incredible job singing as his vocals just sounded evil and had the hairs on the back of my neck standing up. The music is a mix of thrash metal meeting some of sludgiest doom/black metal this side of the Atlantic. 8 tunes that would make Satan proud. I love the raw, but ultra thick production as well. Killer release. Info:

DIRTFEDD/The American Nightmare (Sopra Evil Records) This is another one of these new metal bands that play groove metal. This wasn't too bad as the music is fairly pretty good and the band can write some decent riffs and the songs are heavy and catchy and don't sound generic. The vocals are decent as they do use that over used dual vocals thing with the low and clear vocals, which I can't stand. I do like the guitar sound the band get and like I said I am not big time into all this groove metal stuff, but this is one of the best bands doing this particular style and if your into that style this is something you will want. Info:

THE CASKET CREW/Poor Man's Coffin (Self Released) 10 track of some face breaking thrash/death metal. Sort of reminds me of the last few Death releases and the singer even reminds me of the sadly missed singer Chuck S. I like the band's guitar sound and the songs sounded good and crunchy to me and I could remember riffs and vocal lines after each song played on. Most of the songs are in the mid paced style and are based on riffs and the band can crank out some wicked riffs let me tell you. There wasn't a bad song on this disc and if a label were smart they would snap these guys up. Info:

SEPULTURA/A-Lex (SPV USA) Holy shit does this release pack quite the wallop. This is some fast and furious music on this. I had no idea what to expect and this almost knocked me out of my chair. This is fast and vicious stuff. The singer, Derrick Green, does a fine job on the vocals as he belts and spit the lyrics with a hate, passion, and a fury. This is a hurling fireball of thrash metal that should not be missed. I was not a fan of the last few releases, but this is one release that made me a fan again. Impressive job. Info:

JOHN WILKES BOOTH/Sic Semper Tyranni (Triple T Records) This was very cool and very different. The band play alternative rock and they far from a typical band. They to me, have their own sound and style and though it took a couple tunes into this disc for me to get into them and what they were doing, once I did, I was a fan. The singer has a clear voice, but he fits the music well and I hear he is getting into just what he is singing. The band's music won't go over your head and it is heavy enough for metalheads and I could see people into punk and alternative digging this as well. Very different and they are like a breath of fresh air from all the copycat bands out there. Info:

SUPERSUCKERS/Get It Together (Mid-Fi Recordings) This was just some great well crafted rock n roll tunes that had my feet tapping and my head and neck moving. The singer has a great voice as I was sucked into his style by track # 2 as he sings these songs perfectly. The tunes are simple, but oh so catchy tunes of rock n roll with a southern rock edge to them. The 12 tunes here are pure rock n roll tunes with lots of hooks and crafty signing. You also get a 90 minute DVD as well so if you like some ass kicking rock n roll along the lines of say Circus of Power, buy this as you will not be disappointed at all. Info:

AZATHOTH/Self Titled (Self Released) The music on this crushes, but the vocals at times, are another story. They need to lose the lower than low growls and the female vocals. They sound out of place and generic as so many other bands use them. The singer when he just growls, is awesome as he had a killer death/black metal voice and this band doesn't need to go down that generic road path. The music is a mix of death/black metal with some progressive parts in it and it sounded killer to my ears. The music didn't go over my head and sounded quite fresh and original, all the while still being brutal and heavy. The band combine the best in death and black metal to make quite a sound. Looking forward to seeing more new music from this impressive band. Info:

CEREBRAL TURBULENCY/Self Titled (Khaaranus Records) I am not a huge fan of grind metal, but I do like some of the bands and you can add this band to that list. This is the last recordings of this band and they go out with quite the bang. The band just don't all out grind and they mix up the slow and blazing fast parts. A great production really brings out the guitar sound and the blast beats don't sound like noise. The singer just doesn't cup the mic and growl as he sings in a more death metal style, which was fine by me. If your into grind music, then this is a must own. Info:

TRIPSWITCH/Until (Via Code 7) This is another groove metal band and they didn't impress me. The singer uses the clear and you guessed it death metal growl and the band have the dance/most parts covered just like every other groove metal band has done before them. Bands like this are a dime a dozen and this band is not doing anything different except the same ole formula that all these other groove/nu metal bands are doing and this just didn't excite me one bit. Info:

KREATOR/Hordes Of Chaos (SPV USA) One of my favorite bands returns with a crushing new release of thrash metal. This is a blistering fast release of Kreator like metal. How the band can still churn out these killer riffs is behind me. Mille might have lost a bit on his voice, but he still sounds brutal and the music had my neck moving in mere seconds. The music is mostly fast, which was fine by me. This band continue to deliver the goods release after release. The production is awesome and the tunes will have your neck doing a workout it hasn't experienced in quite some time. The power, passion, feeling this band still have is not matched by many. This kills. Info:

MAELSTROM/It Was Predestined (Self Released) This is such an amazing release on so many levels. This kills me as it only 3 songs, but what 3 songs they are. This band released a bunch of demos (which crushed) and they split up and now they are back many moons later. This band took me on a ride that I did not want to get off of. This is thinking man's thrash metal and the songs all had their up and downs and had my mind going in many different directions. They still have that old school sound down to. The production is top notch and the signing is 2nd to none. This is just such an awesome release that everytime I listened to this I appreciated it more and more. I bow down to this and this is easily one of the best releases I have reviewed this year. Incredible release. Info:

SKELETON OF GOD/Primordial Dominion (Self Released) Just bone crushing fast death metal that punishes, hurts and buries the weak. The riffs on this thing are a mighty ton of lead and the blast beats just slam into you and punch you relentlessly. The vocals are sick growls of death. The slow parts are so fuckin heavy they lock into you and drag you along. There are 11 tunes here and this is the way death metal should be. Wanna get taken on a rollercoaster ride of death metal? Here ya go. Info:

MENDACITY/Self Titled (Vinland Records) This was some really cool and different death metal. The only negative thing was the use of clean vocals. They don't fit the music and are so over used and this band is better than that. The band play some brutal death metal mixed in with some melodic parts and it is a cool mix and if very different from what a lot of bands are doing nowadays. They remind me a bit of Control Denied and that is not a bad thing. The songs are complex and take you on a rollercoaster ride of emotions. The production allows everything to be heard and this can go from being melodic one-second into a fast blast beat. Thankfully the clean vocals are kept to a minimum and this was just a very solid release that I liked quite a bit. Info:

THE YARDBIRDS/The Documentary (MVD Visual) Damn this has footage on it that was around before I was even born. For those who don't know The Yardbirds were a group that had Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck in the band. This has some nice behind the scenes footage of the band from way back when and there is also some footage from German TV way back when as well. The Yardbirds influenced a lot of bands back in the day and after you see this you will know why. Info:

DIMENSION ZERO/He Who Shall Not Bleed (Candlelight USA) This is some crushing death metal with wicked riffs, crushing vocals and smash pounding speed parts. The riffs had my neck moving in seconds and the vocals were awesome growls of death and the band have a good balance of speed, power and melody. Hard to believe this is almost like a side project of guys from other bands. The production is perfect and the guitar sound is mint. Just a beautiful release of brutal death metal the way it should be. Info:

LETHARGY/Purification (Candlelight Records) This is heavy rock and it is pretty good to these ears. The singer has a really good voice and his soaring clear, but powerful vocals fit the music rather well. The band have a nice mix of heavy haunting guitars and melody in their music. The band remind me of the band Tad a bit, but with a singer sort of like Chris from Soundgarden. This is some heavy shit and I liked this more and more as I played this in my car and at work. An instant classic. Info:

ROOT/The Book (I Hate) This is a re-release of the band's 5th album. This release took me on a many different paths and places. The music is very dark and haunting and will suck you in when you pop this baby in. This is one weird and crazy release, but they hooked me in and this has some wicked stuff on it. This is just some deep, dark and moving music with some crazy vocals. Some will like this and others will hate it, I thought it was different, cool and exciting. Info:

VOLCANO/Tales From The Black Book (I Hate) I have heard of this band before, but never their music. This is some crushing old school thrash metal with bits and pieces of death metal thrown around. The production even has an 80s old school feel which was cool with me. 13 tracks that will snap your neck and have you smiling. The vocals are sick aggressive growls of death and none of that groove crap thank god. This is sort of like Sepultura in spots around the time of their Beneath the Remains release and that my friend is a good thing. This is just an awesome old school release that any thrash metal fan will worship. Info:

ROOT/Hell Symphony (I Hate) This is like a complete 180% from the other release I got from this band. This is more speed metal in nature, but it does also have some slower parts. The vocals are warped, screamed and almost sung like a madman. The band have a raw vibe to them which I like as well. The music on this is more death and doom metal, but they also have their weird, wacky moments too. This will be a hit or miss with most and for me it is a hit. Info:

FLESH ENGINE/Essence Of Hell (Self Released) 3 crushing tracks of some prime thrash metal. The tunes are catchy as hell and played with plenty of power, speed and conviction. The riffs had my next moving in no time and the singer sounds awesome as he belts out the tunes with such velocity. All 3 tunes on this puppy smoked me and if a label doesn't snatch these guys up there is something wrong here. This reminded me of older Sacred Reigh in parts and that is certainly not a bad thing. Killer release. Info:

MORBID SAINT/Spectrum Of Death (Power Play Records) I saw this CD when I was up at Vintage Vinyl records and I remembered this band back in the print days of my zine and I brought the CD and when I got to my car I popped this puppy in and a huge smile was on my face in seconds. This is a re issue of this bands release that was released many moons ago in a very limited fashion. The tunes on this are prime time thrash metal with tons of hooks, speed, emotion, passion, etc. It is a wonder why this band did not become bigger than they did. The band wrote tremendous tunes, the singer sang with tremendous emotion, feeling and passion. The 8 tunes on this don't sound dated or out of place, this just had my rockin down the NJ Turnpike. Wicked old school thrash metal that I bow too and it was great that this got re-issued as this is a gem. Info:

SOS/Adult Situations (Self Released) 12 tunes of metal and hardcore. The band also mix in a little rock n roll to their sound. The tunes are down and dirty and I really like them. The band don't seem fake and they belt out the tunes with feeling, power and passion. The tunes have a bit of melody and I love the old school production they used as it makes the tunes just that much better. The band have their roots in NYHC, but the band add some melody to that sound and make it their own. I love the singer has he sings the songs with such feeling it can't be matched by many. A very solid release of metalcore with melody. Info:

GROUND OF RUIN/Cloaked In Doctrine (Lugga Music) 4 wicked tracks of some near thrash/death metal that I enjoyed very much. The tunes are fast and furious, but with some killer hooks and good death metal vocals to boot. The production is solid and the 4 tunes just made me want more. The riffs will have your neck doing a major workout. Solid release here. Info:

IF HE DIES HE DIES/The Rise The Fall (Friction Records) This is death metal with a touch of thrash and some groove to it. I am not a huge fan of this style, but this wasn't too bad. The band do have the chops down and they really go for a more mid paced style at times then going into an all out groove style. The music is pretty intense and the band do rip into some wicked riffs more than a few times. The vocals are screamed death metal style, which fit the music. The fast stuff is pretty killer, as track # 3 Destroyer just ripped right through me. This band is very good at what they do and while this didn't have me doing backflips, I will say they are easily one of the best bands doing this style of death metal. Info:

VULATHRONE/Bukkake (On Parole Productions) This was billed as a death/grind band and I would say this is more on the death metal side with a some grind thrown in. I thought this was a cool band as they really lay down some vicious heavy riffs and this was not an all out blasty noise affair. The vocals are more grind, but I actually didn't mind them. The guitar sound is heavy as fuck and the riffs will just slice through you. This band doesn't crush you with speed, it was more the power and the way the riffs came out as this was just heavy as a ton of bricks. The band was a bit different and I enjoyed the disc. Info:

SEIZURE CRYPT/Under The Gun (Self Released) Just good old school NYHC is the ticket here. Just down to the bone hardcore with screaming and yelling. The tunes just will rip you from start to finish and if you like Agnostic Front, Sick of it All, etc then this is something that will float your boat. This is street dirty hardcore that will sweat your ass up. Info:

SUIDAKRA/Crogacht (SPV) Wow this band really knocked me for a loop. This is some fast and wicked music. The band play pagan music and all I know is that it is fast and fuckin killer. The riffs just charged at me like a bull and knocked me to the ground. The singing was perfect death metal growls sung with passion and feeling. The production is heavy and there is nothing I didn't like about this as it was fresh and exciting. The band also throw in a few different things and I will let you be surprised when you hear this. Intense. Info:

RAZOR WIRE SHRINE/The Power Of Negative Thinking (PMM) This was one awesome disc. 7 tunes of progressive metal that really hit home. The music is quite heavy and very progressive, but I didn't feel it went over my head and the riffs were monstrous. The lack of vocals I didn't mind as the songs took me on a ride of ups and downs. The production is perfect and these songs will just have you going "wow" as it plays on. At least that is the reaction I got when I was listening to this. This is one of the best progressive metal bands I have ever heard. Excellent job. Info:

EXCITER/Exciter (MVD Audio) This is a re-issue of this band's 4th release which came out in the mid 80's. This was the 1st release from the band minus guitar player John Ricci. This isn't a band release though. Sure the trademark Exciter guitar sound was gone, but you still had screamer/drummer Dan Beehler in the band. The opening tack, Scream Bloody Murder is a pure Exciter thrasher tune with an uptempo beat and the Exciter thrash attack. Not sure who plays guitar on this, but he doesn't do a bad job. A couple tunes on here aren't the greatest, but overall this isn't a bad release and most of the tunes are Exciter like thrash that will put a smile on your face. Info:

MMCIRCLE/Requiem Pour Un Vivant (Unicorn Digital) This is something I wouldn't listen to every day, but it is very different and very cool in my eyes. This is like jazz with violins and it is something I would listen to if I was gonna relax on a warm summer day. The music is jazz like with violins. It is very relaxing and moody and some may not like, but I thought this was cool and different. Info:

NATHAN MAHL/Exodus (Unicorn Digital) This is some awesome progressive rock/metal. It reminded me a bit of lets say old Kansas played metal. The stuff is big time progressive and it played with lots of feeling and emotion and the songs just rocked. The band also keep some melody with the riffs and what not and this just floored me. The songs were out of this world and the band had a nice mix of rock and metal within the tunes as well. Vocals were a nice plus too. Amazing release. Info:

CLAIRE VEZINA/Cyber Neptune (Unicorn Digital) This girl has one amazing voice. She sings with such passion and feeling it is not funny. Her voice just sucks me into space and keeps me there. She just has that effect on me. The music is like mellow rock which isn't something I listen to a lot, but her vocals won me over. Again this isn't something I would listen to everyday, but when I would want to relax and be taken to another place, her vocals can take me there anyday. Info:

CHASTAIN/Ruler Of The Wasteland (Shrapnel Records) I saw this band back at Bonnie's way back when and they were incredible and here we have a release of one of Chastain's best works. Popping this in you will be find yourself listening to a metal classic. The music on here sounds as great as it did back in the day. Singer Leather shreds on this puppy as she belts out the lyrics with aggression and fire. The music is balls to the wall heavy metal with bits and pieces of power metal sprinkled in for good measure. The production is raw and dirty, but that only adds to this. Dave shreds on the guitar as he rips out neck breaking riff after riff. If you missed this the 1st time and you are a metal fan, then by all means pick this up as it is easily a metal classic. Info:

BEYOND THE SCAR/Ruination (Self Released) Some wicked thrash metal is what you will find on this. The vocals are solid growls of death and thank god there is none of that lower than low crap. The band just let the riffs do the talking and the massive riffs sure do just that. The band sound a bit like Pantera in spots, but the singer doesn't sing like Phil and this band have more of a thrashy, speedier sound then Pantera, but they just give me that vibe. The production is solid and this band ends up on a label with their next release it would not surprise me in the least. Info:

SPACED OUT/Evolution (Unicorn Digital) This was some progressive music without vocals. I listened to a couple tunes and I was saying to myself this really needs vocals. I listened to it again a few days later and no these songs don't need vocals as the music more than stands on its own. Think Dream Theater without vocals. And no this band does not copycat Dream Theater I was just saying that is the genre that they play. This will take you on a rollercaoster ride many times of ups and downs and even sideways. This band with their music, you will hear something new everytime you pop this in. Surprisingly I really liked this after a few plays. This is something that will suck you in and not let you out till the final note is played. Info:

KARCIUS/Episodes (Unicorn Digital) This I didn't like much at all. The music was very mellow and didn't do a thing for me and the tunes just dragged on. The music is very mellow soft rock with no direction and no hook at all to lure me in. Info:

SATYRASIS/Creation Of Failure (Self Released) Some bone crushing thrash metal is the ticket here. Big, meaty riffs mixed in with speed and power is what you get on this disc. The riffs will have your neck moving and the singer has a great thrash metal voice to boot. The production is not over polished and I love the guitar sound the band use on this. 8 crushing tunes of some of best thrash metal I have heard in quite a bit. Prepare your neck for a workout. Awesome release. Info:

ANTICIPATE/Killing For A Living (Spectrapilia Productions) This had stuff from this band from 3 different periods. The stuff from 2005 was wicked grind that I actually liked. The band just ripped and sped through the 13 tunes with lightening speed and power. The vocals, which were grind in style, I didn't even mind. THE music was sort of like Immolation if they were a grind band. The stuff from 2003 and 1998 is a bit more raw, but still crushing grind. The stuff from 1998 is out of this world. This is one of the best grind bands I have heard in quite some time. Info:

FORESHADOW/Nations Of Failure (Blast Zone Entertainment) I thought this was OK musicwise, but didn't like the dual vocal thing that is so out of hand in underground now. When the singer doesn't use that approach this is pretty good, but when he does it just sounds generic to my ears. The band mix up a blend of thrash and death metal with some speed and mid paced parts and they sound really cool. The band mix in some weird stuff like on track 3 where they use some interesting guitar licks that I was like wow that is cool. This band for the most part is really cool and at times different and if you can look past some of the vocal lines, you'll love this. Info:

KATEDRA/Ugnikalnis (Atra Music) Wicked old school thrash metal that wouldn't sound out of place during the mid to late 80's. The band has that old school thrash sound down and I love it. The production is not over polished and I love the guitar sound my neck was moving 10 seconds into this. The band remind me of a mix of old Whiplash meeting old Wargasm. This is a pure thrash metal delight and I will work on getting an interview with these guys. Info:

ALEX BERODT'S VOODOO CIRCLE/Self Titled (Blistering Records) This CD just plain kicked my ass plain and simple. This is a mix of say Rainbow meeting Yngwie Malmsteen. The music is kick ass rock n roll with a metal edge to it. Singer David has a tremendous voice and he fits the bill perfectly on this. The music is well crafted rock n roll played with tons of feeling and the riffs had my foot tapping and my head shaking. This is hands down some of the best rock/metal I have heard and if your a rock or metal fan this needs to be in your collection. The singing on this is brilliant as well as the music. Case closed. Info:

PLACES OF POWER/Now Is The Hour (Blistering Records) Oh this is some godly AOR rock that had me doing backflips in my house. The singer has an awesome voice and fits the music like a tight pair of spandex. He sings the songs with such feeling and passion I was sucked right in. The music is melodic AOR rock in the vein of bands like Night Ranger, Balance, etc. I am a sucker for a good hook driving riff and this has more than I can count. The tunes are so damn catchy it isn't funny. This totally blew me away and I love this release. Info:

COVERED CALL/Money Never Sleeps (Blistering Records) This was just OK to me. The songs kinda dragged a bit and didn't have the same kick as the above 2 bands. The riffs weren't as catchy I thought as the other 2 bands above and this just didn't excite me much. The singer does do a good job on this as he belts out the lyrics with feeling. The music just gets little too much into hair metal territory for me, but it isn't bad, but nothing that great. Info:

BULLETWOLF/Double Shots Of Rock N Roll (Abyss Records) Nasty down in dirty rock n roll/metal is the ticket here. The band remind me of a mix between Circus of Power and Soundgarden meeting Tad. The riffs are bone crushing heavy metal in natural. The singer is a bit like Danzig. The production is raw and stripped down and the riffs are as heavy as a ton of lead. The music still keeps a sense of melody and this CD just plain kicked my ass and is very good release. Info:

HORDES OF NEBULAH/And Blasphemous Night Shall Fall (Abyss Records) Fast ripping black metal is what you get on this. This barely slows down and lets you catch your breath. This comes from 2 different sessions and both are quite good. The singer screams his heart out as he screams out the vocals with tons of feeling and passion. The riffs will have your neck moving and the fast parts don't come across as a bunch of noise neither. The riffs are quite catchy and the speed is incredible. The raw production only adds to this not takes it away. Very solid release of black metal. Info:

CHRIST BEHEADED/Open The Gates Of Hell (Abyss Records). This was some decent black metal. I wouldn't say they are better than the above band though. The problem with this is that is sounds like too many other black metal bands that have that same ultra fast pick riffing style and the screaming vocals. They just sound like too many other black metal bands that have come before them. The band need to work on maybe slowing it down here and there and also work on not sounding like so many other bands. The 5 tunes here aren't bad, but it breaks new ground at all and after a bit it gets a little receptive. Info:

F.U.C.T./Retain To The Aggro (Cheapshite Records) This is a metal band with a few bits of death metal in the mix. The band rely more on being heavy with crushing riffs and just having a death metal sound in some of the riffs and song arrangements. The material also has a bit of a hardcore sound to it as well. Kinda weird in spots, but that is not a bad thing. The band have a very different guitar sound and the vocals are unlike anything I have heard before. Yeah this is a weird band and very hard to describe. The band are heavy as a ton of lead and have a metal and hardcore sound to them and just have a sound you will either like or hate. It took me a couple songs to get into this and I feel it is a band that has to grow on you. The band also throw in some thrash riffs in the mix making them just that much more harder to describe ha ha. This is something you will have to listen to yourself and give the band a shot cause they are different. Info:

NASHVILLE PUSSY/From Hell To Texas (SPV) This is just ass kicking rock n roll with a metal edge to it. The tunes just plain rock and I love the guitar sound and the riffs that blasted out of my speakers. I have heard some previous releases from this band and I think this is easily their best. Each and every song is ass kickin rock n roll with no groove, no dual vocal crap and no generic crap. This is rock n roll played the way it should be. Impressive. Info:

CHARONISNEAR/I Am Hydra (Self Released) This was some decent death metal. The 4 tunes here are pretty good tunes with the band writing some solid riffs. The band have a bit of that groove sound to them, but they don't let the tunes fall into many groove parts, which I was glad cause that would just make them some faceless band. The band have a more Swedish death metal sound to them and 4 tunes here weren't bad and the production on this is solid and this band is off to a good start with this. Info:

IXXI/Elect Darkness (Candlelight Records) I just couldn't get into this. The music was just bland and didn't excite me or anything. The band play black metal and the songs just plodded along and the vocals weren't strong neither. There was no hook or song arrangement that made anything stand out for me. Info:

THRONE OF KATARSIS/Helvete/Det Iskalde Morket (Candlelight Records) Killer black metal played with lots of feeling and just an old school vibe to it. Band reminds me of Darkthrone in spots. The band can go from having some wicked cool slow parts to an all out blast fest and it doesn't sound forced or out of place. The singer screams his ass off and Satan would be proud of him as he screams out the lyrics. The songs just plain crush as the riffs sound evil and intense. This is about as good as black metal gets. Info:

BLUT AUS NORD/Memoria Vetusta II/Dialogue With The Stars (Candlelight Records)
I have heard a few previous releases from this band and this one is just as weird as the other earlier releases from this band. This might not be something I would listen to everyday, but it is wild, wicked and extremely intense to say the least. This band easily pushes the boundaries of black metal. The production is also raw as fuck, but I think it works for what this band is trying to do. This release will take you on a rollercoaster ride of ups and downs and everything in-between. The slow emotional parts are just as great as the fast blasting parts. This just sucks you in and won't let you escape until the last note is played. This is easily a masterpiece that must be listened to several times to really feel the bands intensity. Info:

ABSU/Self Titled (Candlelight Records) Wow I wasn't expecting after all this time to hear a new record from these guys and lo and behold here it is. This is a fantastic release of death/black metal with the music more on the black metal side of course. The music on this simply crushes and the band blast out about on hour's worth of music that will dull your senses. 13 tunes that go from slow to fast and everything in-between. The singing is top notch and this band have been at for a long time and this is quite the release to be proud of. This crushes. Info:

PANTHEON/Vargrstrike (Darker Than Black Records) This is some wicked fast black metal that I enjoyed quite a lot. The only minor complaint is I wish the drums sounded better. That being said the tunes on this are chock full of evil riffs and smashing blast beats that don't sound like noise and just had my neck moving along to the music. The vocals are solid black metal vocals and this was just an enjoyable release to review and if your into black metal then you'll love this one. You also get their 1997 demo as bonus tracks as well. Info:

ABSURD/GRIMMIGE VOLKSMUSICK Split CD (Darker Than Black) Absurd offer 4 fast black metal tunes that sounded decent to these ears. Grimmiege Volksmusick are a weird black metal band as they play with some crazy rhythms and more paced parts before they blast into a hyper speed part. It is kinda cool cause they are just not a clone of Absurd or any other black metal band out there. The production is good for both bands and out of the 2, I prefer the latter band cause they come out of left field with some stuff, but both bands were good. Info:

THUNDERBOLT/The Sons Of The Darkness (Darker Than Black) This wasn't bad, but it wasn't that great either. This is just average fast black metal with the typical black metal vocals and blast beats along with a few slower parts and then it is back to the ultra blast. The songs were OK and the singing not bad, but there is nothing I haven't heard before and this was just OK in my book. Info:

PUREST/Renascence (Darker Than Black) This was very good black metal with some killer riffs, blast beats and the vocals of Satan. The production is solid and when this going to hyperblast it doesn't sound noisy at all. The riffs on this are killer and the band mix up a nice blend of mid paced stuff and speed to keep this from getting boring. The songs were just strong and this had my neck moving and my lips smiling. Info:

FLATLINE/Pave The Way (Stand And Deliver Records) This was some killer thrash metal in the vein of Pantera and Machine Head. The riffs were awesome slabs that had my neck moving and I was loving this. The vocals remind of Phila bit from Pantera, but this guy has his own sound too. The production is perfect and everything just flows rather nicely. Each song has some wicked hooks and riffs that will suck you in. One of the best of the new wave of thrash bands making the rounds nowadays. Info:

DEFEATER/Self Titled (Topshelf Records) This is a re-release that came out on another label and it isn't bad at all. The band play some rip roaring hardcore with a mixture of old and new sounds. The singer has a good solid hardcore voice as he screams and pours his heart out belting out the lyrics. The band mostly play fast, which was cool by me. They mix in the old sounds of the 80's hardcore style and throw in a bit of some of the newer style and it makes for a cool combo. The production is not over polished and I bet this stuff goes over great live. These songs just basically ripped my face off. Info:

PROPHET OF THE PLAGUE/Promo 2008 (Self Released) This is a one man band that Tom Flanagan wants to turn into a full band with members. Well, he is off to a good start as these 3 tunes are great old school death metal tracks with some great riffs and awesome singing. This reminds me of old Immolation dating back to their demo days. Tom sings with great feeling and power and the tunes here are crushing death metal tunes with speed and power. He is off to one hell of a start. Info:

PACK OF WOLVES/Betrayer (Arclight Records) This is another modern thrash metal band and this is another goodie. The band play with big time intensity and the riffs again on my neck on the move. The vocals are more in the death metal vein with a bit of thrash to them. The guitar sound is very cool and different and the band can really lay down the riffs. 9 tunes here and not a bad one in the bunch. This stuff I bet goes over awesome live as well. Info:

OPPROBRIUM/Mandatory Evac (MVD Audio) Wicked fast death metal is the ticket here. This is a 2 man band and they blast through these tunes with the fury of a charging bull. They slow it down now and then to let you catch your breath and then is full speed ahead. The vocals are solid growls of death and fans of Morbid Angel, Krisiun, etc will be doing backflips over this. The production is on the raw side, but that is OK as it only adds not subtracts. I thought this crushed. Info:

SATAN/Court In The Act (Metal Mind Productions) A lot of people, including me, thought this was a black metal band when this 1st came out many moons ago. Here it is being re-issued with 3 bonus tracks by the good folks over at Metal Mind. This band played heavy metal with NWOBHM in their sound and a bit of thrash to boot. This release is a classic and still sounds fresh after all these years. The guitar riffs and melodies are brilliant. The band had a melodic edge to their sound, but still were heavy and the guitars crunchy as hell. The singer, Brian Ross, has a killer voice and on this he shows it as he belts out the lyrics with feeling and emotion. The tunes here still sound great and the riffs will have that neck moving in no time. This is a timeless classic. Info: