Rebel Extravaganza

Heavy Metal & Extreme Music And Culture

Album Reviews

Album Review: Orodruin – Ruins Of Eternity

While I’m not opposed to clean vocals, Mike Puleo’s delivery just simply doesn’t do it for me. The vocals – his voice – is in no way bad, but not my cup of mead, so to speak. Instrumentally ORODRUIN is definitely talented. The melodies are pleasant, and the riffs aren’t bad, but again not something I can get into 100%. If you’re into neo-traditional doom metal you will like this album, with its super-clean vocals, heavy (but not overbearing) riffs, and soloing. That sentence right there, I feel, sums up ORODRUIN pretty well, being someone who hasn’t heard them up […]

Album Review: MNRVA – Black Sky

Not knowing what to expect from MNRVA’s Black Sky I was greeted with a shrill guitar intro and growling bass on ‘Not The One’. Personally I think they could have tried or experimented with lower tuning and/or different distortion pedals, but that’s just me. As the song progresses, before we even get to the vocals, I’m noticing the transitions between riffs is pretty rough. The vocals completely shit the bed for me. The whole song is honestly pretty corny to me. Not in the good, hilarious sort of way, but in that cringe sort of way. Upon reaching the second […]

Album Review: Gatecreeper – Deserted

Comprised of ¾ of doom lords SPIRIT ADRIFT and the rhythm section of blackened crusties HELLHORSE, I was not expecting Arizona’s GATECREEPER to sound like, well, GATECREEPER. Yeah, I know its been around for awhile now, but I just haven’t had the time nor, to be honest, inclination for death metal of late. What with all the buzz around the release of sophomore album, Deserted, though, I figured it was about time. All I know going in is this: When your press bio contains comparisons to BOLT THROWER, DEATH and CIANIDE, you best have your shit together in a big […]

Album Review: Exhumed

On their previous album Death Revenge, EXHUMED experimented with more involved songwriting and a conceptual storytelling approach. Reaction to the record was decidedly mixed, so the gorehounds have gone back to basics and stripped their music to the literal bone. Horror disposes of the long songs and ambient interludes and dives into a pit of simple gory grind. The band is probably going to want to kill me for this, but I actually prefer Death Revenge. That was an album that took a few risks with the formula. Horror is pretty much formula deathgrind right to the core. With sixteen […]

Album Review: Conjuring Fate – Curse Of The Fallen

CONJURING FATE’s second starts at a deficit, which, after a 2014 EP, an album two years hence, and close to 15 years as a band does not a good impression make. After a lethargic, shiftless – and incredibly drawn-out, might I add – intro, though, ‘Burn The Witch’ springs from the gates, punchy riffs and driving rhythms carrying the vocals of Tommy Daly along, bloody, sweating and tearing its way into your earholes. ‘Voodoo Wrath’ is as energetic, ghosts of SAXON and DIAMOND HEAD, the Gibson/Horner guitar team pulling off tasty dual leads with a seeming effortlessness, but I keep […]

Album Review: Vokonis – Grasping Time

Returning with its all-important third album, Sweden’s VOKONIS wastes not a second in getting down to business with ‘AntlerQueen’, roiling rhythms and riffs alternately ascending/descending letting the listener know they’re in for a bit of a jostle from the start. Shades of Leviathan-era MASTODON are lain over the rumble of TRANSPORT LEAGUE at its best, and both melding seamlessly, the plaintive leadwork of Simon Ohlsson at around the 4-minute mark crashing, then languid in a dreamlike haze over the rhythm section of Jonte Johansson and Peter Ottoson (bass, drums respectively), to the climax of an already memorable album. Replacing a […]

Album Review: Wraith – Absolute Power

This unheralded trio from Indiana have come up with a sizzling firecracker of an album…a brief but blistering blast of thrash with a rock n roll touch that so far is one of the best records of its kind this year. This is about a half hour of thrash that will drop you on your head. The chief comparison I can make to WRAITH would be MIDNIGHT, but I think I enjoy Absolute Power even more than MIDNIGHT’s last album. It’s definitely thrash metal, but with a punky, rawky edge to it. The opening one-two punch of ‘Devil’s Hour’ and […]

Album Review: Sacred Reich – Awakening

Here’s the long-awaited comeback for classic thrashers SACRED REICH. You knew it was coming, you just didn’t know when. This band sure had their moments (mostly Ignorance and Surf Nicaragua), but they never really broke through to the top tier level many thought they could reach. Their later albums like Heal were downright boring. Awakening features all of the classic SACRED REICH elements you would expect, but much like back in the day, it is just not a blow away record. One thing’s for sure, they don’t overstay their welcome. Awakening is a very brisk 31 minutes and change, consisting […]

Album Review: Patronymicon – Ushered Forth By Cloven Tongue

Aside from guitarist / sometimes-everything-else-ist N. Sadist, Sweden’s PATRONYMICON has ever been in flux, both in lineup and quality. Now, after having worked with a dedicated vocalist (H. Sulphur) and second guitarist (J. Malice) since shortly after 2013’s All Daggers Towards The Sky, N. Sadist returns, rounded out by a new rhythm section, attempting to finally stake his claim. Ushered Forth By Cloven Tongue rips forth from the gates of perdition, less black scathe and more an all-out death assault. One element greatly improved from past efforts is the injection of true melodic riffing that sacrifices no brutality in the […]

Album Review: Tomb Mold – Planetary Clairvoyance

TOMB MOLD have emerged as one of the most talked about new death metal bands around. Usually that bodes ill for a band, but for these guys, it is perfectly understandable. They have found a way to merge sick, diseased sounding death metal with a more technical and progressive version of the genre. This is by no means an easy thing to do, as the scale usually tips too much in one direction for such a combo to actually work. TOMB MOLD make it work. Planetary Clairvoyance picks up where their last album Manor Of Infinite Form left off. They […]