Rebel Extravaganza

Heavy Metal & Extreme Music And Culture

album review

Album Review: Totalitarian – Bloodlands

Billed as a full-length, but with only half the running time of the Italian cult’s 2017 De Arte Tragoediae Divinae, Bloodlands gets right to the point, and O, that point is sharpened. Now, don’t get me wrong, with three songs over the 13-minute mark, the debut was impressive – a band coming out of nowhere with the chutzpah to not only attempt but succeed in making such lengthy works interesting – but it’s fulfilling to hear that, when it wants to, TOTALITARIAN can “trim the fat”, as it were. The band gets down to business with the strafing of ‘1933’, […]

Album Review: LACERATION – Remnants

Bay Area death-thrashers LACERATION deliver crushing, no frills, no bullshit death/thrash on their compilation Remnants. The album features LACERATION’s earliest recordings; an EP, a demo and tracks from the band’s 2013 split with TINNITUS. Remnants also features 2009’s Consuming Reality and the acclaimed Realms Of The Unconscious EP. This brings all the work Laceration has done over the years in a tight package. Remnants brings me back to the days of getting my first taste of extreme metal such as OBITUARY’s Cause of Death and SODOM’s Witching Metal demo, and this is a nostalgia trip from whence I hope never […]

Album Review: OVERKILL – The Wings Of War

If there’s any such thing as an atomic clock in heavy metal, OVERKILL are it. Every other year, a new platter surfaces from the Jersey Boys and almost never does it disappoint. Usually a 10 tracker as well, just like The Wings Of War. What can we say about the 19th album from this most dependable of wrecking crews? New drummer Jason Bittner – late of SHADOWS FALL and FLOTSAM & JETSAM – has given the band a kick in the ass. His drumming here is explosive and machine gun-like in its velocity. Much like Scott Travis did for JUDAS […]

Album Review: JUDICIARY – Surface Noise

JUDICIARY, a 5-piece metallic hardcore band from Lubbock, Texas, brings the breakdowns on their debut full length album Surface Noise. The album rips open immediately with ‘Social Crusade’. It is a defiant call to violence and action. The riffing has the definite chug and bounce you would expect from any hardcore outfit, but I feel the meat of this album is more the words and message it is trying to convey. The message is defiance, violence, and burning down the old guard to make way for revolution. I can already feel the march of anarchist and slam dancers flocking to […]

Album Review: HOT LUNCH – 
Seconds

So, maybe I’m not as jaded and cynical when it comes to the state of modern music as I come across when a band like HOT LUNCH can impress me the way it has with the aptly-titled Seconds. Having missed out on the band’s 2013 debut, and with nothing more to go on than a Julian Cope comparison to MC5, I pressed Play and the snap-mare rhythm of ‘Smoke Ring’ flung my ears into grooved out rawk recalling the mighty – and mightily underrated – DIXIE WITCH and FIVE HORSE JOHNSON, while sounding directly like neither. Around halfway through, the […]

Album Review: FRENZY – 
Blind Justice

In the interest of full disclosure, my enjoyment of comic books during childhood and up to today was/is limited to the classic G.I. Joe, Judge Dredd, Werewolf By Night and Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series. Heavy Metal, though, hunted me down around age 12-13, and I either went willingly, or am still in some Stockholm Syndrome-like “phase” that hasn’t ended over three decades later. And, thus, when FRENZY’s debut album came across my desk, the idea of a true Heavy Metal band inspired by comics at least caught my interest, which means I’m about to either really enjoy or really hate […]

Album Review: GRASS – Fresh Grass

Brooklyn’s GRASS is billowing with smoke and charm with the physical release of their first EP, Fresh Grass. They have the heavy, SABBATH-infused riffs you would come to expect from a band of its namesake, but I was surprised at how big and catchy the choruses were. The EP starts with ‘Amnesia/My Wall’, and that opening riff could come right off SLEEP’s Holy Mountain. The song moves on, Phil Anton’s wail kicks in at full force, and I am hooked. ‘Black Clouds’ rolls in, and I get this mix of Stevie Ray Vaughan and THE REVEREND BIZARRE. This ended up […]

Album Review: THE MUNSENS 
- Unhanded

THE MUNSENS…a strange name for an unconventional band. The name has been floating around for years but this is the first time I’ve been able to connect any music to it. It was not what I was expecting, that’s for sure. These days, that’s a good thing, and having a name that you can’t connect to any particular style of music is also refreshing… This Denver band plays some fairly epic material. The first track ‘Dirge (For Those To Come)’ caught me off guard right away…a melancholy, almost post-metal beginning that really does sound like a dirge that soon morphs […]

Album Review: Spirits Of Fire – Spirits Of Fire

If metal bands were ranked and judged like dogs at fancy dog shows, the bloodline and pedigree of SPIRITS OF FIRE would have them winning “Best In Show” hands down. Consider the metallic breeding of bass messiah Steve DiGiorgio, lead guitar phenom Chris Caffery, drum wizard Mark Zonder and oh yeah, the vocals of a guy called Ripper who has sung with a few bands you may have heard of. There is no way that SPIRITS OF FIRE should fail with this purebred talent. I cannot say that the self-titled debut doesn’t have some awe inspiring moments, but there is […]

ALBUM REVIEW: Funereal Presence – Achatius

One man band FUNERAL PRESENCE has given us another reminder that it’s the most off the wall and batshit crazy bands that are the most entertaining. The thing I will remember most about this oddball outsider unit is their use of bells…the clear glorious ringing of tubular bells and the earthy clank of the almighty cowbell. Over the course of these four epic and mind-dizzying tunes, you will hear both kind of bells used to brilliant effect.  The use of bells stands out, but really Funereal Presence deliver crazed extreme metal that is unlike anything else out there. Each of […]