Rebel Extravaganza

Heavy Metal & Extreme Music And Culture

Dr. Abner Mality

Album Review: White Magician – Dealers Of Divinity

They say that no one has really been able to duplicate the sound of 70’s BLUE OYSTER CULT. Well, the claim has been made that GHOST has done it, but no honest music fan takes that seriously. I can say that Detroit’s WHITE MAGICIAN has probably made the best stab at emulating BOC that I can remember. That’s not to say they equal the CULT in full flow, because almost nobody can do that. But the BOC fingerprints are all over Dealers Of Divinity, and it makes for a pretty unique album. This really does have the authentic ’70s feel […]

Album Review: Benediction – Scriptures

Brethren, let us open the Book of Armageddon to the Chapter of BENEDICTION and read the Scriptures therein. I have been a devotee for many years, and my heart has been empty for want of BENEDICTION. After an extended drought, these metal brothers are back, and lo and behold, their prophet Dave Ingram has returned to lead them back to the promised land of Nuclear Blast. This is a record I’ve been really looking forward to, as this band has always been a favorite of mine. Scriptures is an album for creating warm fuzzies and glows of nostalgia, not to […]

Album Review: Messiah – Fracmont

The return of Switzerland’s MESSIAH is welcome indeed. Coming from the same fertile scene that birthed CELTIC FROST and CORONER, they were an ’80s band that almost reached those same heights. They had their own unique sound that had some relation to both those seminal acts without falling into worship or mimicry. But that was then…this is now. Is Fracmont a comeback that lives up to its promise? You will certainly find similarities to MESSIAH’s classic sound here, but they’ve added some new tricks as well. I call the style on Fracmont “elegant primitivism”. The riffs are thick, heavy and […]

Album Review: Bangladeafy – Housefly

The last time I encountered BANGLADEAFY, they were a mind-melting avant-garde bass-and-drum assault that probed the limits of fusion playing. Strike that memory of BANGLADEAFY. Delete it and wipe it from your memory core. This version of BANGLADEAFY is a completely different beast. And it’s a totally refreshing one. For those who don’t know, the band is a duo. Powerhouse drummer Atif Haq originally hails from Bangladesh and bassist/vocalist Jon Ehlers has hearing impairment…hence the name. Housefly finds them reinventing themselves as a synth-driven rhythm bulldozer and erasing their former electric bass gymnastics. In fact, the bass does not exist […]

Album Review: Manticora – To Live To Kill To Live

Power metal doesn’t get much more epic than this. Bowing deeply at the altar of BLIND GUARDIAN, MANTICORA holds nothing back here. This Swedish band has been around for a while, but their exposure in America has been almost non-existent except for a single performance at the ProgPower Festival. This is the second album of a grand concept and the follow up to the logically titled To Kill To Live To Kill. When you open your album with a 14-minute-plus, over the top power/thrash opus, you lay all your cards on the table right away. They sustain the intensity remarkably […]

Album Review: Havukruunu – Uinuos Syomein Sota

This is the discovery of the year for me so far. I ran across this quite by accident on Youtube and I’m quite ashamed to say it’s the first I’ve heard of Finland’s HAVUKRUUNU. This is their 3rd full length album, in addition to numerous splits and demos. All of which I now intend to track down diligently, because this is some of the most soaring and brilliant black metal I have heard not just this year, but any year. Finnish is one of the most jaw-breaking languages around and I won’t insult you by trying to cope with the […]

Album Review: Incantation – Sect Of Vile Divinities

INCANTATION have inspired so many death metal bands, they sometimes almost sound like they are following in their own footsteps, as strange as that may sound. It’s not exactly fair to them. They marked out their territory a long time ago and have stayed in those boundaries. They are determined to be the best they can be within those borders and leave experimentation to others. Most of the bands picking up on their sound are easy to spot as mere knockoffs. Sect Of Vile Divinities shows INCANTATION is still totally devoted to the cryptic, cavernous death metal sound they practically […]

Album Review: Ensiferum – Thalassic

It’s been a while since I shipped out with ENSIFERUM, the Euro folk metal veterans. A lot has changed in that time. Folk metal has gone from a relative novelty to a well-worn genre with hordes of bands jostling each other for attention. I remembered the band being more “warrior-like” and stern than the fun and happy melodies that pop up on Thalassic – too happy and fun for this grumpy Cornish Viking to digest. I like my folk metal with a bit more grit than this. Everything on Thalassic has been polished to a blinding sheen and many of […]

Album Review: Bedsore – Hypnagogic Hallucinations

Lovers of both oddball death metal and weird psychedelia might find something to catch their interest here. BEDSORE is an Italian bunch who sure don’t follow in any of the rigid death metal tropes. They aren’t the usual Swedish DM knockoff or the typical slamming deathfest or any of the “cavernous” INCANTATION-inspired stuff. They aren’t “normal” in any way, shape or form, and that’s a big advantage in these days when most bands are slavishly obedient to preset “rules”. Psychedelic and prog rock play big parts in BEDSORE’s make-up. Italy used to be known for a lot of weird horror-prog […]

Album Review: Onslaught – Generation Antichrist

ONSLAUGHT soldiers on, and you have to admire them for that. They recently lost long-time vocalist Sy Keeler, but barely missed a step, coming up with new man Dave Garnett. They also resolutely continue playing high speed thrash metal in ’80s style. Why, then, does Generation Antichrist come across as so generic? The sound of the album is that of a million and one other modern thrash albums. ONSLAUGHT’s ancient debut Power From Hell was crudely produced and murky, but still remains their most memorable opus, but Generation Antichrist seems to have come off a thrash metal assembly line. I […]