Rebel Extravaganza

Heavy Metal & Extreme Music And Culture

Dr. Abner Mality

Album Review: Withered – Verloren

Dense, depressing and heavy, WITHERED arise from the Georgia swamps once more with Verloren. This band is an ever-changing enigma, but one thing you can always be certain of no matter what album you pick up: the music will be darker than the bottom of a well. Verloren keeps pace with the nightmarish age we find ourselves in. This is a suffocating kind of album, one that doesn’t allow much light to escape. WITHERED’s sound has always been hard to make a comparison to, but it’s thick, smothering death metal with touches of sludge and the Gothic. ‘By Tooth In […]

Album Review: The Slow Death – Siege

Never has a band been more accurately named. I could feel all the remaining seconds of my life tumble into oblivion as this tedious blob of boring doom metal numbed my very soul. This is one of the dullest records I have heard in a long, long time. Let’s write 20-minute long songs just because we can. Not that they’d actually be better in less than half the time, we’ve got to show we are DOOOOOOOM metal. Stuff and nonsense! It’s getting so that every time I see a song longer than 10 minutes, I cringe internally, because I know […]

Album Review: Lucifer’s Hammer – The Trip

There are a lot of ’80s inspired metal bands coming from South America today, but Chile’s LUCIFER’S HAMMER is the king of them all. This wonderful band just oozes metal class from every pore, and fans of great guitar work and melody in particular should waste no time tracking this down. Beyond The Omens was excellent in itself, but The Trip levels up in a big way, as it’s more classical and epic in style, with more complex songs that aren’t afraid to jam a little. Who does LUCIFER’S HAMMER sound like? Early MERCYFUL FATE and HELSTAR are good starting […]

Album Review: Darkthrone – Eternal Hails

Well, true to form, the 19th DARKTHRONE album sounds like it was recorded on a 4-track in a barn somewhere in Norway. That much is expected, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be bad. Eternal Hails is definitely the band’s “doom metal” album. Slower tempos have been a strong part of DARKTHRONE for much of the “primitive punk metal” period of the last 15 years or so, but never have they played such a significant role. To be quite honest, the album is a very mixed bag for me. The doom is across all five lengthy tracks, mixed with the […]

Album Review: Starlight Ritual – Sealed In Starlight

If you’re in the mood for pure heavy metal that sounds a lot “truer” than most of what falls under that heading these days, I introduce you to Canada’s STARLIGHT RITUAL. These guys do things the right way and deliver hard-hitting melodic metal that reminds of HIGH SPIRITS, MAGIC CIRCLE and the like. It sounds authentic, delivered effortlessly, and not with the feeling that the band is trying too hard to fit a certain mold. They apparently started out as a doom band, but many of the tracks here have sizable thrust and forward velocity, starting with ‘Marauders’, where echoes […]

Album Review: Fluids – Not Dark Yet

MORBID ANGEL in their classic period had a signature tune called ‘Where The Slime Live’. Well, now we know where the slime lives…covered in FLUIDS! This is one sick, disgusting display of uber-primitive death metal devolution, making overhyped stuff like SANGUISUGABOGG sound about as dangerous as ATREYU. This band is working the same general territory as MORTICIAN, which is not a type of death metal you encounter a lot these days. FLUIDS makes no secret of their love of Hacked Up For Barbecue vintage MORTICIAN. Not Dark Yet oozes with rotten slow and mid-paced riffs that are down-tuned and bass-heavy […]

Album Review: Oxblood Forge – Decimator

Sometimes one critical element can trip a band up. Exhibit A: Boston-based OXBLOOD FORGE, a band specializing in classic heavy metal with a doomy tinge. That kind of material is right up the Doctor’s alley, but one thing brings my enjoyment of the band to a screeching halt. “Screeching” is the correct term, because the vocals of Ken Mackay are 100% amateur hour. It doesn’t take long at all for Mackay’s tuneless shrieks to manifest. From the first second his voice appears on the hard-driving ‘Into The Abyss’, you can tell something is way out of whack. I get the […]

Album Review: Birdflesh – All The Miseries [EP]

BIRDFLESH is back and squawking! The goofy Swedish grinders have been raising holy Hell for 30 years and they are just as brutal and stupid now as they were back in tape trading days. New EP, All The Miseries, will thrill all their mongoloid fans as it shows absolutely no progression! And I sincerely say that with all due affection. Newcomers may wonder how an EP can have 24 tracks on it, but BIRDFLESH fans know the score. If these guys do a song longer than a minute and a half, it’s the equivalent of RUSH’s ‘2112’ for them. So […]

Album Review: Bewitcher – Cursed Be Thy Kingdom

This record took a while to really hit its stride, but it finally got there. BEWITCHER is a SoCal act kind of following in the footsteps of several “evil rocking metal” bands, and they didn’t strike me as anything too special in the first half of the album. After a bluesy intro of ‘Ashe’, they lead off with ‘Death Returns’, which sounds like a not so thrashy MIDNIGHT. Dirty rock meets heavy metal…it’s always a good formula, but pretty well worn. ‘Satanic Magick Attack’ sounds a lot like ‘2 Minutes To Midnight’ with different vocals and some minor tweaks… I’m […]

Album Review: Steel Bearing Hand – Slay In Hell

The last 25 years of metal never happened as far as Texas’ STEEL BEARING HAND is concerned, and that’s alright by me. These Lone Star Lunatics have constructed a love letter to the death and thrash metal of the late ’80s and early ’90s on Slay In Hell, steadfastly ignoring any “progression” since those days. By focusing on what they know and love, they’ve pretty much whipped the ass of any banger who lays ears on this. The album is just six tracks and pretty brief, but packs a lot into its length. The best thing about Slay In Hell […]