Rebel Extravaganza

Heavy Metal & Extreme Music And Culture

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Album Review: Gearea – Limbo

It worried me when I saw that Portugal’s GAEREA had not-one-not-two-but-three (count ‘em!) songs past the 9-minute mark on its sophomore release, Limbo. Now I’m all for exploration, sonic and otherwise, but I’d truly enjoyed the 40-odd minutes of Unsettling Whispers in 2018, and its been my considered opinion that genre-wide, black metal slips most easily into wandering tangents when it should stay right where it is, and stop trying to be so fancy. I’m looking at you, UADA. Hence, when GAEREA pulled not one single punch, getting down to the monolithic, tower of fuckoff that is the beginning of […]

Album Review: In Flames – Clayman (20th Anniversary Edition)

By the time IN FLAMES delivered Clayman at the dawn of the new millennium, the band had already morphed from one of the founding fathers of the Gothenburg melodic death metal sound into…well, I had already begun to wander, let’s say. Granted, I love me some DEPECHE MODE, but ‘Everything Counts’ from Whoracle of three years hence signaled more than good taste in covers from Jesper Stromblad & co. ‘Bullet Ride’ sounded positively jovial in ’00, and is no less so here, strange and ill-suited as an opening track. Faring no better were ‘Pinball Map’, and we can begin to […]

Album Review: In Malice’s Wake – The Blindness Of Faith

Australia (at least within the metal circles in which I move) is much more known for its black/death output than thrash, so I can say without shame that The Blindness Of Faith is my first encounter with IN MALICE’S WAKE, who have apparently been tearing up the band’s local Melbourne scene and beyond for nearly 18 years, and in recorded form for a bit less, the album we speak of today being its fourth since 2008. Coming five years after Light Upon The Wicked, we find the quartet also now two albums deep into its current lineup – and it […]

Album Review: Pimmit Hills – Heathens & Prophets [EP]

The phrase “born from the ashes of” when referring to a band formed after the end of another usually denotes some sort of catastrophe, some event – or string of events – that caused the upheaval. Not so PIMMIT HILLS, which was birthed out of founding rhythm guitarist Dave Kowalski’s decision to leave stalwart Southern troubadours KING GIANT due to family/life obligations. Simple as that. The remaining members were encouraged to continue, and have, this time under the banner of a name taken from the band’s native Pimmit Hills, Virginia. Originally intended as a full-length debut, as thee darke spectre […]

Album Review: Big Scenic Nowhere – Lavender Blues [EP]

I would’ve skipped on BIG SCENIC NOWHERE’s Vision Beyond Horizon of earlier this year by virtue of not only the terms “stoner rock” and (even worse) “desert rock” being bandied about, but the trifecta of disinterest was reached with the knowledge that a member of FU MANCHU figured heavily into the band’s makeup. That band and their sonic cohorts in the Dune Buggy/Shaggin’ Wagon set of fun-in-the-sun weed worshippers are just not my type of stoner anything, rock or otherwise. They’re simply doing it wrong. The announcement of the release of Lavender Blues, however, caught my eye in a big […]

Album Review: Artillery – The Last Journey [Single]

While I’d normally not bother with reviewing a single release here, ARTILLERY is one of Denmark’s greatest musical contributions to the world of metal, another being MERCYFUL FATE, and another not being Lars Ulrich. But that’s another story. ARTILLERY is also one of the first heavier bands I discovered on my own, “liberating” Metal Mania magazine off the rack at the grocer’s in Alabama in the mid-‘80s under my denim jacket, which I didn’t realize was already part of the metal “uniform”. The pic of the band beside the Terror Squad write-up had the brothers Stützer & co. brandishing firearms, […]

Album Review: UADA – Djinn

To say Portland’s UADA has “blown up” during the two years between Cult Of A Dying Sun and what we now have before us in the form of its all-important third album is the height of understatement. High profile tours (remember tours?), the made-for-mass-consumption safety of its music, and the band’s ridiculous “left hand presence” photos of late have taken what I believe was a decent “enough” second album, and sculpted the quartet into basically melodic black metal’s GHOST. The title track begins sounding like some bastard wedding of Morricone high on bath salts and an even more tremolo-heavy ALESTORM, […]

Album Review: Void Rot – Descending Pillars

I’ll be honest from jump here. When it comes to death metal, my tastes lean decidedly toward Scandinavia. Be it the dimed-out HM-2-driven Stockholm sound, the melodic elements of AT THE GATES / DARK TRANQUILLITY, the myth-worship of AMORPHIS, or the twists ‘n’ turns of CONVULSE / DEMILICH, those are the lands of death where I’m most at home. Of course, there are a handful of USDM acts I’m into, but, for the most part, I’ll take a pass. Enter VOID ROT, from Minnesota, which, to be fair, is about as far north as you can get within the US […]

Album Review: Valkyrie – Fear

VALKYRIE of Virginia has never been one to put out albums just willy-nilly, or “because we had enough songs written”. The brothers Adams and their cohorts aren’t averse to “sleeping” on songs, letting them bake a bit longer, marinate in their own seasonings until what comes out of the oven is exactly what they want to put before us. Which is part of what makes the 5-year wait between 2015’s Shadows and Fear worth it for the listener. I’ll admit to being foremost a fan of doom in all its forms when it comes to metal, without excluding the occasional […]

Album Review: THE DEATHLESS DOGS – Five Across The Eyes [EP]

When a band’s promotional one-sheet references CLUTCH, I’m already on guard. Not that picking up sonic and lyrical cues from the Maryland Men Of Cordial Gentility is anything bad per se. It’s just that 8 of 10 times what we get is an act that’s flipped through a thesaurus, listened to a REVEREND GARY DAVIS album once, and probably covers ‘Big News I & II’ live to show its “diversity”. Thankfully, in real life, THE DEATHLESS DOGS are very much their own blend. Sure, the duo is the sum of its influences, but that’s the majority of what’s in all […]