Rebel Extravaganza

Heavy Metal And Other Occasional Musics And Cultures

Album Reviews

ALBUM REVIEW RATING SCALE:
**Please note that this rating scale serves as a reference for albums reviewed prior to 2023.
Numbered ratings will not be added going forward, in hopes that the writer’s impression of the work will suffice.
It will have to.** 

6 – Rarely bestowed. An honor reserved for undeniable classics (or those that should be). The Apex Predator.
5 – Impressive.
4 – Worthy of special recognition.
3 – A solid effort.
2 – The participation trophy.
1 – These are the albums that the 2s beat up on the way home from school.
0 – A waste of both our time and yours.

Album Review: Necrot – Lifeless Birth

I remember really digging on NECROT’s sophomore full-length, Mortal, maybe partly because it was released in the throes of the pandemic, when the world was in literal spastic convulsions. Songs like ‘Stench Of Decay’ and ‘Malevolent Intentions’ were cut to the chase, no frills death demons that gave (at least these ears) an escape from the political haranguing and media talking heads. Lifeless Birth’s opener, ‘Cut The Cord’ slices and dices with exactly none of the precision of, say, CARCASS, but more a rusty cleaver hacking away, chunks of gore a’ flying into the speed-driven title track. Less chord-driven, just […]

Album Review: Sons Of Ra – Tropic Of Cancer [EP]

Instrumental. Avant-Jazz. Fusion. Well, there are three words that sound to these Luddite ears like a recipe for disaster. While I’ve become very intrigued of late with the idea that what most would term “background music” can actually make for a worthwhile listen and fill a space, most times it’s just sonic clutter, and I’m going to hard pass on that alone. Add “Avant-Jazz” and “Fusion”, and I’m truly already wondering why I bothered. Maybe it’s that Jazz has (until very recently) always come across as some inside joke played by the performers to stroke their own already-inflated sense of […]

Album Review: Mastiff – Deprecipice

I can’t help it. I think it all started when “We’ll never make a fuckin’ video!” METALLICA began its not so long, not so slow slide down the greased colon that is mainstream acceptance and fortune/fame over quality. So when Yorkshire lads MASTIFF signed to multi-media conglomerate eOne for 2021’s Leave Me The Ashes Of The Earth, I was a bit trepidatious, let’s say. Thankfully, nothing changed but the name on the spine of the CD/record, as that album included some of the best work the band had put to tape yet. Still on eOne (now rebranded as MNRK Music […]

Album Review: Slimelord – Chytridiomycosis Relinquished

‘The Beckoning Bell’ begins firmly in left field, what sounds for all the world like deranged chickens but might be infected frogs squawk-croaking away until the massive bass-driven riff ‘n’ rhythm hit, and Hell spews forth from the guts of vocalist Andrew Ashworth. Already a rollicking almost loping groove is present, albeit intermittently shattered with chaotic moments of blasting death euphoria. This, friends, is a 7+ minute trip through your lower intestinal tract, so deep is the rumble manufactured by SLIMELORD here. Dual leads vomit us forth into ‘Gut-Brain Axis’, each guitarist being revealed as more than capable at crafting […]

Album Review: Ischemic – Condemned To The Breaking Wheel

This Canadian band definitely has the potential to make some noise in the burgeoning death-doom scene. They’ve added a couple of members since their last effort and now exist as a 5-piece. I’m glad to see they still have Necro-Nurse Isabelle grumbling and rasping for them. She’s one of the heaviest female vocalists in the scene. ISCHEMIC have matured a lot since their self-titled LP. The sound here is cleaner and more varied…not as sludgy yet still extremely heavy. You sure won’t feel like partying and cruising for chicks after hearing this mournful monolith of sound. Four lengthy tracks are […]

Album Review: Rickshaw Billie’s Burger Patrol – Big Dumb Riffs

For its all-important third album, Austin trio RICKHSAW BILLIE’S BURGER PATROL have, if possible, gone even more primal with Big Dumb Riffs. ‘Clowntown’ spot welds Bleach-era NIRVANA to PIXIES, while ‘1800EATSHIT’ plows grooves deeper than Ron Jeremy in the ‘80s. Tempos may slow from time to time over the course of this abbreviated album, but I’ll be durned if the syrup-laden ground ‘n’ pound of TAD and MELVINS might have been given a run for its money with ‘Peanut Butter Snack Sticks’. ‘Whip It Around’ follows suit, injecting a bit of HELMET to the point you can – if you […]

Album Review: Furze – Caw Entrance

The one and only Woe J. Reaper, the Mad Hatter of Black Metal, returns with an all-new mad tea party to mess up our perception of reality. Every form of music needs a jester, a raconteur, to shake things up. Mr. Reaper, operating under the name of FURZE, has been doing that since the late ’90s, creating an indefinable version of low-fi black metal that mixes in generous dollops of doom and warped psychedelia. It shouldn’t work…yet it does. Crazy titles and song names are part of the FURZE experience and Caw Entrance lives up to that reputation. I suspect […]

Album Review: Hands Of Goro – Hands Of Goro

‘Prince Of Shokan’ kicks off (and out) the jams on HANDS OF GORO’s self-titled debut here, replete with ‘70s rawk riff glory and pulsing rhythms. These three ain’t no spring chickens when it comes to bringing this sort of thing to the party, members of neo-classic metallers SLOUGH FEG, doomhounds SPIRIT ADRIFT and blackened NITE comprising the crew here. “Metal” is the operative word here, from the fast-paced ‘Demonizer’ to ‘Uncanny’ with its NWOBHM gallop (SAXON, Di’Anno-era IRON MAIDEN). The psyche-progrre-delic freakout of ‘21st Century Plague’ manages to slam some proto-punk into the mix as well. Think THE SWEET’s ‘Ballroom […]

Album Review: White Dog – Double Dog Dare

My review of WHITE DOG’s self-titled 2020 debut was, how shall we say, less than kind. I still stand by that impression, but when Double Dog Dare came across my desk, I’ll also confess to being curious at how the band had aged in the little over three years since. With a revamped lineup, including a new vocalist and added – you guessed it – keyboardist, there’s hope, right? A compact little FOGHAT-styled shuffle leads us into ‘Holy Smokes’, lead runs and vocal harmonies aplenty, the rhythm section keeping things tight but buoyant. Quite frankly, I’m not sure who’s got […]

Album Review: Dragonforce – Warp Speed Warriors

‘Astro Warrior Anthem’ begins satisfyingly enough, Marc Hudson seeming for all the world like a rather bored Klaus Meine, but it all goes to pot less than a minute in when the noodle factory opens for business, Li and Totman clocking in for some true tweedly-dee runs that should be jaw-dropping but don’t even sound as if they were created by humans. Sure, I get it, “fastest band in the world”, blah blah blah. But there’s exactly zero emotion conjured in the entire song, a carbon copy of 95% of what DRAGONFORCE has done up until now. ‘Power Of The […]