Rebel Extravaganza

Heavy Metal And Other Occasional Musics And Cultures

Dr. Abner Mality

Album Review: Belushi Speed Ball – Stellkira

It was my sometimes drinking buddy Johnny Vomit who first made me aware of these guys. Goofy ass crossover thrashers from Louisville, KY armed with a wild stage show, numbskull lyrics and…best of all…sizzling thrash riffs to turn your spine to jelly! Having never seen them live, I can’t speak to that part of their repertoire, but when I saw song titles like ‘Garth, Let My Family Go’, ‘My Favorite Color Is Pizza’ and ‘Tater Tot Eyes’, I got some uneasy flashbacks to the metalcore of the early 2000s, which wrote the book on idiotic “ironic” song titles. Well, BELUSHI […]

Album Review: Heavy Temple – Garden Of Heathens

Philly’s HEAVY TEMPLE are listed as “heavy psychedelic doom” and there is truth in that. But on Garden Of Heathens, it’s also true to say that they are an ass-kicking heavy metal band. This record has the ability to reach beyond its simple description and venture into other realms of heaviness. This is a revelation all the way around. Opening salvo ‘Extreme Indifference To Life’ is thick and sludgy doom all around, kind of like WINDHAND but not quite as fuzzed out. That even extends to the mournful vocals of High Priestess Nighthawk. But she’s no mere Dorthea Cottrell knockoff, […]

Album Review: Vulture – Sentinels

Holding the flag high for German thrash we have VULTURE, who have emerged as solid journeymen in their chosen field. The ’80s thrash revival hasn’t quite hit the same level of success as the recent comeback of old school death metal…can VULTURE turn the tide? I don’t know if Sentinels will be the record to do it. It’s a fun record combining straight EXODUS worship with heaping helpings of yelping Kraut-thrash, but it’s no threat to join the company of thrash immortals. The yippy vocals (like Zetro Sousa trying to do early Schmier from DESTRUCTION) are overdone and sometimes cringeable. […]

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: 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: Darkestrah – Nomad

A fierce wind is blowing from the steppes once more. I hear thundering hooves on the horizon…DARKESTRAH has returned! I’ve loved this unusual band since hearing their masterpiece, The Great Silk Road, but they’ve been quiet the last few years. The silence is shattered with Nomad. This is one of the great black metal bands, with such a memorable, time-lost sound. Only the best can conjure up a true feeling of being from another time and place and DARKESTRAH have done this like no other. Yes, the style here is similar to The Great Silk Road and Turan. I hope […]

Album Review: Cancer Christ – God Is Violence

I remember the anti-poser crusades of the ’80s metal scene. Underground thrashers declaring war on sanitized hair metal and guys that spent more time with mirrors than instruments. This was quite a defining moment of those days, with sides taken and lines drawn. I think we need a new anti-poser crusade in the ’20s. Everywhere you look there are cosplay bands full of guys playing dress up, wearing masks and raiding the Spirit Halloween store for cheap makeup. A lot of these new-wave posers are supposedly in the harder sides of metal. I’m about as bored with monster bands wearing […]

Album Review: Stygian Crown – Funeral For A King

THIS is how you Doom! STYGIAN CROWN have written a textbook on epic slow motion metal with Funeral For A King and demonstrate just how this art should be performed. This is one of the best doom efforts of 2023 and might just slip onto my “Best Of” list for the year. This shit is heavy! Yet it is also stately and melodic…well composed and varied. The shadow of CANDLEMASS hangs deep over STYGIAN CROWN, but it’s not merely mimickry and there’s a thick burliness to the songs that exceeds what is generally heard from the Swedish masters. The title […]

Album Review: Plaguemace – Reptilian Warlords

In case you just woke up after being asleep for 10 years, death metal is a big deal again. Really. We are in the second great age of the gnarly subgenre and it is arguably producing more material than the first wave in the early ’90s. With this windfall, though, there are obviously good bands….and just as obviously bands that are bandwagon jumpers and also-rans. PLAGUEMACE is part of this second wave. Where do they fall on the spectrum of worthless to godlike? Well, it’s somewhere in the middle part….the lower middle part. This bunch hails for Denmark, which is […]

Album Review: SHYLMAGOGHNAR – Convergence

I first noticed SHYLMAGOGHNAR a couple of years ago, but never looked any further than their bizarre name. I thought it was silly at the time and figured they wouldn’t be worth my time. Curiosity finally compelled me to look further into this one-man outfit from Holland and I must confess, I was unfair to the band. This is quite a sonic adventure and an amazing achievement considering it was all done by one guy using a home studio. Convergence is really a perfect name for what SHYLMAGOGHNAR have come up with here. This record covers so many styles of […]