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: In The Woods… – Diversum

After a huge shakeup in membership shortly after 1999’s Strange In Stereo, IN THE WOODS… became, for all intents and purposes, sole original member Anders Kobro’s project. Resurfacing with a revamped lineup for 2016’s Pure and Cease The Day of two years after, we now behold Diversum, featuring (surprise, surprise!) a new bassist and vocalist. Lineup shifts aside, IN THE WOODS… has always marched to the beat of its own drum, and its early work – if we’re being honest – to varying degrees was influential in such revered bands as ENSLAVED and OPETH’s transformation into their current sound(s). Subtle […]

Album Review: Stormruler – Sacred Rites & Black Magick

These guys are from ST. LOUIS?! After listening to the utter blackened majesty of STORMRULER, I would have picked Sweden or Finland as their stomping grounds. Or even more likely, the realm of Gondor, or perhaps the frozen North of Tad Williams’ fantasy tales of Osten Ard. At any rate, these two warriors have conjured up a feast of gloriously over the top melodic black metal that embraces the epic. Yes, this is maximalism, not minimalism. And it works. The two major touchstones of STORMRULER’s sound would have to be DISSECTION and IMMORTAL. They draw upon the former’s freezing cold […]

Album Review: Interesting Times Gang – The Spirit Of Science Fiction

As much a fan as I am of noise behemoths KOWLOON WALLED CITY, I’ll admit I’ve never felt the need to investigate bassist Ian Miller’s electronic project INTERESTING TIMES GANG, largely due to lacking a background or experience with the genre. Album number 6 (!?) though, and it warrants at least a cursory glance. Unexpectedly, a lo-hi trip-country ala a sparser ALABAMA 3 leads off The Spirit Of Science Fiction with ‘Lago Agrio’. You can already sense Miller’s enjoying himself, playing with sound and technology just to see what comes out. The rainbow FUNKADELIC carpet is rolled out for ‘If […]

Album Review: ZËLOT – Supplices [EP]

Part of black metal’s draw is its ambiguity when it comes to the artists who produce it. Pseudonyms are modified and sometimes outright changed depending on the project, other members, musical style and aesthetic. What is the message being put across? Is it hails, horns and laying “down your soul to the gods rock and roll”? Is it esoteric explorations of the Lesser Key Of Solomon? This determines your entity, dress, and the true aesthetic of what the band/project is. I have an idea this is what’s been done with France’s ZËLOT, but as it’s all about the art, let’s […]

Album Review: Darkthrone – Astral Fortress

Anyone who’s read my drivel for any length of time knows the importance I place on a band’s third album. Well, DARKTHRONE is at its 20th, so if they haven’t figured out what they are by now, there’s no point in bothering. And I suppose that’s why it pained me so much that 2021’s Eternal Hails……, the band’s self-proclaimed love letter to doom and prog, was such a disappointment. Now, off to strap on our skates and travel to the Astral Fortress. ‘Caravan Of Broken Ghosts’ begins interestingly enough, building in a way that brings anticipation. Never straying too far […]

Album Review: Amon Acid – Cosmogony

Looking for suitable musical accompaniment to a massive bong session or an experimental dive into psychedelics? I’m hard pressed to think of a better soundtrack for such activity than Cosmogony by space wizards AMON ACID. I was quite impressed by 2020’s Paradigm Shift – and while I don’t think this record tops it, except in terms of length -, this duo is now a serious player in the spaced out doom metal category. The record is quite a massive one, packed with droning, languorous riff-fests that virtually force you to explore the depths of the universe. Imagine a collision between […]

Album Review: AAWKS – (((((Heavy On The Cosmic)))))

On the heels of an EP shortly after formation, Ontario’s AAWKS hunkered down to craft a masterpiece. An album for the ages. That one shining record that glows/glowers upon all beneath it. And lo, (((((Heavy On The Cosmic))))) was born, but the gods did not smile upon our champions, nay, nay! Cassettes are well and good, but what the public – well, at least what one Discogs member – was clamoring for was vinyl. Thusly, and at long last… Hazed right out the gate, ‘Beyond The Sun’ clearly takes a tab from the early KYUSS, languid, lysergic and loving it. […]

Album Review: Daeva – Through Sheer Will And Black Magic

As much slavish devotion to epic doom as I have, the last CRYPT SERMON really fell flat on my ears, so the news that 3/5 of that band was releasing a black/thrash album as DAEVA with a different vocalist at least perked up this ol’ dog’s ears. This could be stellar or abysmally bad, and with the PR sheet mentioning BATHORY, VOIVOD and DARK ANGEL…well, you see what I mean. When your album’s just a goat’s hair over 30 minutes long spending 2 of them in an intro is from the start an issue, nevermind that ‘Intro (Emanations)’ doesn’t give […]

Album Review: Defleshed – Grind Over Matter

This is unbelievable. I’ve been covering metal music for close to a quarter of a century and I have never heard a band that’s been out of commission as long as DEFLESHED pick up right where they left off so seamlessly and completely as this. Their last record was in 2005. Grind Over Matter sounds like it could have come out in 2006. It’s like nothing happened! These guys have always had laser-like focus on the kind of music they want to produce and that has absolutely not changed here. If anything, it’s intensified. DEFLESHED has always put out albums […]

Album Review: Hierophant – Death Siege

A handful of albums over a dozen years of recorded history is nothing so scoff at for any band. And when said band – in this case HIEROPHANT – has the gumption to cover a band as staunch and without compromise as BOLT THROWER, one can only assume that band fancies itself as dedicated. Anyone who knows me knows I’m not a fan of intro tracks whatsoever, but ‘Mortem Aeternam’ is less an intro than a barrage of sonic violence assaulting your ears, all instruments and voices caterwauling, haranguing, defiling and dismembering into ‘Seeds Of Vengeance’. More Metal ™ than […]