Rebel Extravaganza

Heavy Metal And Other Occasional Musics And Cultures

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Album Review: Ginnungagap – Heliacal Arising

The yawning maw of Signal Rex opens wider, near-unhinging, and from this void springs forth Heliacal Arising, the first full, intentional movement of Portuguese cult GINNUNGAGAP. Four years it did take to form what now travels ‘neath the ‘Majestic Throne Of The Sky’, wrapped in a layered cloak of guitars and keys, organ-like in tone, and lending a vital air of the mystic to this excursion, a throat laid open and scraped raw and bleeding over gravel declares our path. Arising heliacal, the title track indeed shimmers distant, ever fettered to the Solar King, despite desire, for Nature is immovable […]

Album Review: At The Plates – Omnivore

I’ve never been much of one for gimmicks, and even less for theme-based bands, BONGZILLA and a few others notwithstanding. GWAR? Alright, but nothing I’m ever in a specific mood for. LORDI? Same. Even CANNABIS CORPSE, don’t really feel it, which is surprising, even to me. Enter AT THE PLATES. Yes, AT THE PLATES. ‘Nuff said, let’s dig into Omnivore, the band’s “second course” full-length. Sorry, I had to. And I’m not done yet. I’m guessing 2020’s Starch Enemy was founder/head chef Tony Rouse’s audition process, because he’s taken two of the guests from that album and now AT THE […]

Album Review: Woe – Legacies Of Frailty

I felt a not a small trepidation when the PR info for WOE’s fifth mentioned “many layers of overdubs”, given founder/songwriter Chris Grigg’s propensity for scaled back and tightly wound blackness just this side of primitive, but when ‘Fresh Chaos Greets The Dawn’ rose slowly in the sable sky, only to be wound in multi-tracked guitars and rhythmic pulses, I wanted to be sold. I really, really wanted to be sold. There are moments when things sounding out of control and deranged is ideal, is not only welcomed, but vital. This just sounds slipshod and unbalanced, containing very little to […]

Album Review: Blazoner – Escape To Electric Land

My home state trio, BLAZONER arrive with their debut full length offering in the form of Escape To Electric Land but, to be honest, I’m a little concerned when any bio references the likes of BLACK SABBATH and adds “with a few electronic twists”. So, here goes. Well, no sense in not getting right down to the business of a fully electronic intro track that sounds as if it’d be more at home on an ‘80s Windham Hill Records sampler. I’m actually fine with this, however what I’m expecting is some absurd veering into heavier realms soon enough. I’m not […]

Album Review: Cirith Ungol – Dark Parade

Along with MANILLA ROAD, MANOWAR and BROCAS HELM, Ventura, California’s CIRITH UNGOL is one of the first bands that comes up (or should) in any discussion of American power/epic/heavy metal. With the passing of Mark Shelton of MANILLA ROAD any album released by the above becomes more important as not a teary-eyed trip through the “glory days”, but as confirmation of metal’s warrior spirit. After a triumphant return to record in 2020’s Forever Black, we join Dark Parade, the band’s sixth studio album. ‘Velocity (S.E.P.)’ bursts from shattered gates, a twin guitar attack and vocalist Tim Baker’s “Stretch your soul […]

Album Review: Xorsist – At The Somber Steps To Serenity

XORSIST sends infernal hails from the land of Gothen…wait, no, Stockholm. These newcomers make no secret that the band is a blatant attempt to conjure the early HM-2, buzzsaw riffing and low-toned rumble for which their town is known, but can they? After 2022’s debut showing – which was alright, but when you’re talking Stockholm, “alright” just doesn’t cut it – founder and vocalist/guitarist Gustav Ryderfelt found himself some other folks to play with, hung onto the name, and here we have a second album already, At The Somber Steps To Serenity, on Prosthetic Records. Anyone who’s read my scratchings […]

Summoning Death – A Traumatic Night Of The Creeps [EP]

SUMMONING DEATH are from the part of Stockholm that’s in Cancún, MX, and begins ‘Night Of The Creeps’ with an organ as cold as the cryogenics lab in the cult classic that gave the song its name, before the equally frigid madcap riffing kicks in, slicing and dicing, yet still rough around the edges. ‘Halloween’ is where the most trad Swedeath can be found, but there’s the stoic, icy stare of a killer here, the antithesis of the climate of the band’s locale. The quirkiness of MACABRE even gets a nod in the jaunty bridge because the hysteria resumes. There’s […]

UFOMAMMUT – Crookhead [EP]

A short six months after psych-ish/doom-ish transcendental cadre UFOMAMMUT reached (or returned to) new heights with Fenice, we’re presented with a short EP by the name of Crookhead. The title opening track is the gluttonous rumble deep from the empty belly of a waking, carnivorous Jötunn, feet tromping lakes where once were flatlands, belch-bellowing his rapacity over a ‘70s CB radio for its nearly 9 minutes. Swaying heavily at times, others over a bed of YOB-worthy intonations, ‘Supernova’ takes us to the throbbing heart of Crookhead, while ‘Vibrhate’ lives up to its name. I referred to Fenice as “a rebirth” […]

Dave Neabore – Power Plan [EP]

Well, this one sure to shit wasn’t expected. The only thing I care to know about DOG EAT DOG is that RONNIE JAMES DIO did a song with them. Founding bassist Dave Neabore reveals his Power Plan on this EP, and it’s awash in synths from the get-go. No pity-party FLOCK OF SEAGULLS here, ‘Power Plan’ is Danny Elfman popping MDMA and turned loose in Rick Wakeman’s playroom. More cerebral, an almost ART OF NOISE minimalist vibe carries ‘Star Feels’, while ‘Delayed Green’ throbs and pulsates. Closing down with ‘Night Shift’ unceremoniously dumping all the goth-lite ghouls into the neon […]

Album Review: False Fed – Let Them Eat Fake

You toss the “formed by members of” tag in front of so many bands, and it often ends up feeling like a resting-on of laurels at best and a “Hey, give us a pass if it sucks, alright? This isn’t our real band anyway!” at worst. But when the ranks of FALSE FED’s “…members of” include members of DISCHARGE, BROKEN BONES, AMEBIX and MINISTRY, you’ve got my attention at least. Kicking off with JP Parsons’ pulsating bassline, snapping drums and a guitar that conjures the much-missed DEAD ARTIST SYNDROME, and MAGAZINE, but with Jeff “JJ” Janiak’s vocals holding more a […]