Rebel Extravaganza

Heavy Metal & Extreme Music And Culture

Album Reviews

ALBUM REVIEW RATING SCALE:

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 primarily 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: Melt Motif – A White Horse Will Take You Home

‘Sleep’ bubbles to the surface, yet quickly pulses, throbs, a being brought to life and speaking secret language via the sugary, beguiling delivery of Rakel. Underneath, though, the insistent vibration, dream pop in its truest, most literal sense. There’s a strong ‘80s keyboard base here, YAZ and earliest DEPECHE MODE springing to mind, and into ‘Mine’, which even more confirms this kinship, though the members of MELT MOTIF may not’ve even been born then. Jagged guitars rise from the cave floor, stalagmites formed from the dripping sweet honeyed vocals, adding another color to the sonic palette thus far. ‘Everything Will […]

Album Review: Deathspell Omega – The Long Defeat

Enshrouded in its own seemingly self-enfolded cloak of mystery, France’s DEATHSPELL OMEGA with 2004’s Si Monvmentvm Reqvires, Circvmspice fully embraced the Satanic theology and esotericism it had been toying with previously, both starting the band on a new path and spawning legions of wishful carbon copies in the process. After six years without a full-length, DO returned in 2016, and has kept to its every third-year cycle since, of which The Long Defeat is the latest. Two minutes into opener ‘Enantiodromia’ and it still sounds as if the band’s searching for a song somewhere in the ether; not that there’s […]

Album Review: Static Abyss – Labyrinth Of Veins

AUTOPSY fans, if you’re getting anxious waiting for the next slab of rotten death from your heroes, relief is headed your way. For all intents and purposes, STATIC ABYSS is AUTOPSY, Not all the members of AUTOPSY are here, but Chris Reifert and Greg Wilkinson sure are and if there’s any noticeable difference in style between STATIC ABYSS and AUTOPSY, it escapes me. This is repulsive death-doom laced with insane hammering in classic AUTOPSY/ABSCESS style. I would say the production here is slightly cleaner than what we usually get with AUTOPSY, but the same dedication to depraved sonic destruction is […]

Album Review: Temple Of Void – Summoning The Slayer

Now four albums deep into its nearly ten-year existence, Michigan’s TEMPLE OF VOID returns with Summoning The Slayer. Lumbering and lurking, ‘Behind The Eye’ stalks forth from shadow, basic, almost Cro-Magnon in its main chord progression, but “basic” in the style of BOLT THROWER and early BENEDICTION, straightforward. No muss, no fuss, just head-down and advancing destruction. ‘Deathtouch’ makes no secret of its melody, oppressively forlorn in the verses ala the burgeoning days of The Peaceville Three, and – as their forefathers – with a chorus that confirms that not only can such a sub-genre as death/doom exist, but can […]

Album Review: Likheim – Alt Skal Svinne Hen… [EP]

Alt Skal Svinne Hen… may be LIKHEIM’s first shot across the bow when it comes to black metal, but the project’s been incubating for around two decades, so let’s strip all excuses such as “It’s the first recording” and “Pretty good try” away, shall we? Helmsman and vocalist Gretn has had plenty of time to craft this EP into what he wishes, to mold it to his vision of perfect form, so no one to laud or blame but himself should things go awry. The title track reeks with the stench of mid/late ‘90s GORGOROTH, Gretn’s vocals reminiscent of Gaahl’s […]

Album Review: Woorms – Fatalismo

Comin’ in hot after last year’s sprawling and utterly unanticipated split with THE GRASSHOPPER LIES HEAVY – where WOORMS’ 20+-minute ‘Aureola Borealis’ clocked in at half the playing time of the band’s albums – the Louisiana sludge dukes return post-haste with Fatalismo. Kicking up dust from the start, an even more rough and ready early CLUTCH, but mixed with the down-home dirt of MULE and BRUTAL JUICE, ‘Seizure Salad’ triumphs while ‘Quiet As Isaac’ is less upfront, more subtle. Yes, ladies and germs, the syrup is thick and sticky sweet here, basslines coated in molasses and honeysuckle vines, the groove […]

Album Review: Sacrilega – The Arcana Spear

When you tell me there’s a new black metal band’s debut clogging up my inbox, I can promise you I’m probably not as thrilled as you’re acting as if I should be. Now, don’t misunderstand; I love black metal as a genre, it’s just that I’m also largely content to move within the realms of the doomed, so it takes a bit to pique my interest. Now, tell me this same band has within its ranks the mighty Paulus Kressman from the Canadian prairie’s RITES OF THY DEGRINGOLADE, and I’m at least giving SACRILEGA a chance. Far from a one-man […]

Album Review: Demiricous – Chaotic Lethal

Returning from well over a decade of silence isn’t easy for any band, much less one that never really “made it” in the first place. After two well-received albums of NWOAHM-styled death-influenced blue collar thrash on Metal Blade in the mid-‘00s, DEMIRICOUS kind of just…poof!…faded. So, hearing of their return, I had to at least see if the years had been kind. Chaotic Lethal begins with ‘Unconditional Hate’, a rumbling, glitchy (thankfully abbreviated) intro with sparse piano in the background before absolutely annihilating, leads squealing like Deliverance and Lord Of The Flies had a baby and it was Ben Parrish […]

Album Review: VIMUR – Transcendental Violence

Once again showing conclusively that the best black metal doesn’t have to come from a frosty fjord or frozen tundra, VIMUR from Atlanta, Georgia unleash a beast of an album with Transcendental Violence. I enjoyed their previous work, Triumphant Master Of Fates, but this trumps it in just about every way. That is immediately apparent with ‘Aeonic Upheaval’ and man, oh man, does this SOB slam into your head like a sledgehammer. Combining the speed and majesty of “old” IMMORTAL with the ferocity of a MARDUK or GORGOROTH in full flow, this is a monster of power riffing that has […]

Album Review: MEIN KOPF IST EIN BRUTALER ORT – Ton Steine Sterben

For a band who’s been around for a decade as of this year, to be referred to as “the German LAMB OF GOD” is likely not as flattering as one would think. After ten full years, shouldn’t MEIN KOPF IST EIN BRUTALER ORT (“My Head Is A Brutal Place”, for those who care) have at least taken steps towards developing its own sound? Its own identity? Now I understand full well that bands aren’t always to blame for their PR info, and sometimes such veers from slight exaggeration to all out untruth, but gotta shift them units, right? And in […]