Rebel Extravaganza

Heavy Metal & Extreme Music And Culture

Album Reviews

REVIEW RATING SCALE:

6 – Rarely bestowed. An honor reserved for undeniable classics (or that should be). The Apex Predator.
5 – Impressive.
4 – Worthy of recognition.
3 – A primarily solid effort, but things likely could’ve been better.
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: Eximperitus – Sahrartu

This is my first experience with BUNDLE OF STICKS from the troubled land of Belarus. Oh, wait, their name is Eximperituserqethhzebibšiptugakkathšulweliarzaxułum. BUNDLE OF STICKS is better. OK, let’s shorten it to EXIMPERITUS. Better yet!With the ridiculous name and logo, I was prepared for crappy goregrind, but instead my eyes and ears are opened to some amazing Egyptian-sounding death metal that is as heavy and imposing as the pyramids themselves. In a year full of great death metal, here is another winner. The comparisons to NILE are unavoidable, but EXIMPERITUS is so good at what they do, they actually surpass their […]

Album Review: Wayfarer – A Romance With Violence

My search for something new brings me to the dusty plains of the mythical American West, where we find WAYFARER spinning tales of gunslingers, railroads and sudden death. The bloody true history of the West, and the more romanticized version of movies and TV offers a lot of fertile ground for an enterprising metal band to explore. With WAYFARER we get something that’s part Morricone and part PRIMORDIAL, part Americana and part raging metal. It’s a sound that I may not always be 100% into, but for sure it’s carved out its own territory, which is nothing to sneeze at. […]

Album Review: Serpents Of Secrecy – Ave Vindicta

Formed by members current and past of the mighty SIXTY WATT SHAMAN, KING GIANT and more, Baltimore’s SERPENTS OF SECRECY has Maryland Doom in its rattling bones from the start, the fuzzed out bass of dear, departed bassist Rev. Jim Forrester leading the slow and low charge in the title track. Fluid yet fang’ed, elements of bands as varied as SOLACE and FOGHAT (who were actually a pretty heavy live band) show up in ‘Heel Turn’, which carries on through the syrupy sludge of ‘Time Crushes All’, the early Cornell tinting to vocalist Mark Lorenzo’s delivery dripping over the tune […]

Album Review: Mortiferum / Hyperdontia – Split 7″

I use the phrase “short, sharp shock” a fair amount. I try not to, but I’ll admit to it popping up more than I’d like. Besides, it doesn’t really fit this release. Two bands, two songs. Get in, get rabid, get out. Back in the day, those Maxell or TDK 60-90 minute cassettes we’d get in the mail from writing addresses in the back of metal magazines to trade bands and hear music were treasure troves. Yeah, of course there were some clunkers, but more often than not, you’d come away with at least a handful of new (to you) […]

Album Review: Starcrazy – Played For Suckers [EP]

Sydney, Australia’s STARCRAZY make their play for the spotlight early next year with this EP, Played For Suckers but, what with the promo sheet espousing such legendary influences as HANOI ROCKS, BOWIE and MOTHER LOVE BONE, I felt we were setting the bar a bit high, perhaps. The just shy of 2-minutes opener, ‘Rise’, wasn’t that great of an idea as a lead-off, as it’s basically an instrumental build to what would, in other times, have been that moment when the backlit stage bathes ‘n’ blinds legions of die-hard fans, the band kicking off their show in grand style. As […]

Album Review: Mors Principium Est – Seven

I’ve always had a soft spot for melodic death metal, especially that of the Scandinavian/Teutonic variety, so Finland’s MORS PRINCIPIUM EST fit easily into my listening choices when NIGHT IN GALES took a hiatus for the ‘10s, when we didn’t know if AT THE GATES was going to be a thing anymore, and when IN FLAMES disappeared up its own ass starting with 1999’s Colony, incidentally the year of MPE’s founding. Now on its appropriately-titled 7th album, the duo has largely been reliable, not having released an outright clunker during its two decades. Certainly, there are some standouts as well […]

Album Review: Hatebreed – Weight Of The False Self

I just can’t get behind Jamey Jasta & co. One could make the case that HATEBREED’s frontman/heart and soul of the band has done much for hardcore, as far as bringing it into the spotlight. Whoever said that’s where hardcore wanted to be is my thought. Anyway, the band’s never impressed me, but I can’t seem to help giving each new album a listen. Not sure exactly what I’m hoping for, but I know I haven’t found it yet. And so it remains with Weight Of The False Self, HATEBREED’s eighth. I couldn’t help but wince at the rhyme of […]

Album Review: Zebadiah Crowe – The Cloven Hand [EP]

Remember when bands like DIE KRUPPS, the mighty GODFLESH and PITCH SHIFTER used to take on remixes of straightforward metal bands and mangle the songs, turning them inside out, so that what came forth from your speakers was nothing whatsoever like the original? It was liberating to hear, at least to these ears. But when those aforementioned would allow the scalpel to be taken to their own tracks, all bets were off, and what often happened was no less than a dissection and a piecing back together, an electronic Frankenstein’s monster with a result no less bleak than Shelley’s doomed […]

Album Review: Prometheus – Resonant Echoes From Cosmos Of Old

Named after the god who brought fire and wisdom to mankind, PROMETHEUS comes across as a band with a bit of an identity crisis. There are six songs on their long-winded album, and the first three differ quite a bit from the last three. Their sound touches upon crushingly dark death metal, epic black metal and a kind of cosmic ambience. The first three songs are by far the more interesting and punishing. ‘Gravitons Passing Through Yog-Sothoth’ goes for the jugular with a brutal rush of old school death in the vein of early MORBID ANGEL and ABSU. It’s a […]

Album Review: White Dog – White Dog

There’s really no reason at all why I shouldn’t be frothing at the mouth over Austin, TX pack WHITE DOG. I mean they tick ALL the boxes. From the Southern US, named after an animal, twin guitar harmonies (scratch that – “guitarmonies”, as the band say), guitars, long hair, hats, AND the quintet looks like 5/6 of the ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND or the classic lineup of MOLLY HATCHET shat them out their ass in the promo photos. So yeah, absolutely no reason. Oh, and and they’re on Rise Above, one of the most reliable labels going since it began. But […]