Rebel Extravaganza

Heavy Metal & Extreme Music And Culture

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Album Review: Waxen – Die Macht Von Hassen

Toby Knapp, within black/thrash and, for a time power metal, rivals Rogga Johansson and Chris Riefert in sheer output and projects, side and otherwise. We’ve all heard the whole “signed with Shrapnel at 19” story, which is admirable, indeed. It’s 2023, though, so we’re only judging Mr. Knap related to WAXEN, and thus… Robust from the start, ‘Die Macht Von Hassen’ sets the stage, all instruments mixed so as to give a sturdy sonic foundation to the blackened firestorm set to light before us. A semi-martial cadence on the drums soon slows to a near-doom crawl, yet loses none of […]

Album Review: Mournful Congregation – The Exuviae Of Gods – Part II [EP]

Surprisingly, it didn’t take long for funeral doom to make the journey from its birthplace (in either England or Scandinavia, a hot point of a debate which has no place in this review) to the primarily sunlit lands of Australia so, for purists – who also likely already know and follow the five-piece – MOURNFUL CONGREGATION were there “back then”. And thus, doth The Exuviae Of Gods – Part II begin with a new recording of ‘Heads Bowed’, from 1995’s An Epic Dream Of Desire demo. Never having been one for re-recordings, feeling them dangerously close to revisionist history, the […]

Album Review: Lunar Chamber – Shambhallic Vibrations [EP]

Scattered from the Quebec metal stronghold of Montreal, to the eldritch darkness of Rhode Island, to the somewhat unlikely sun-scorched humidity of an Atlanta suburb cometh forth LUNAR CHAMBER and Shambhallic Vibrations. Add to this concoction the members’ chosen monikers of They, Who May Not Be Perceived, Timeworn Nexus and Æther Lotus, and it’s a recipe for either a mind-altering experience or a complete and total wankfest. There really can’t be a middle ground here, you know? The intro/title track sets the scene, already eliciting an Eastern (pardon the pun, or don’t) vibe, and there’s something about a fretless bass […]

Album Review: Melt Motif – Particles. Death Objective

Blended Brazilian / Norwegian combo, MELT MOTIF quietly (or, maybe not so) crept into my Top 10 List for 2022, A White Horse Will Take You Home’s otherworldliness and simple refusal to be beholden to any “scene” or single genre alluring from first listen. The debut got comfortable over repeated listens but, to this day, will occasionally reveal some previously-hidden glitch, beat or melody, the mark of a truly good album. How, then, to top this? I have come to believe the often-documented “sophomore slump” – which also plagued GUNS ‘N’ ROSES after Appetite For Destruction – is at least […]

Album Review: Dawn Of Ouroboros – Velvet Incandescence

‘Healing Grounds’ wafts into the consciousness, vocalist Chelsea Murphy gossamer, almost too light for air over ethereal jazz that imagines Johnny Mercer doing a set in the outer reaches of the cosmos. When the metal shows up (and it does), it’s ultra-melodic and equally of space, but this is more a testament to the instrumentalists’ skill and ability to conjure a mood than anything else. Murphy’s siren song becomes shriek, the Baker/Thomas guitar duo displays a familiarity with their craft many could take a lesson from. Don’t think you’re in for some fey ride through lightweight lands for long, though, […]

Album Review: Liv Kristine – River Of Diamonds

LIV KRISTINE, she of the many bands/projects/faces returns with her sixth solo effort, River Of Diamonds. While yours truly had never really “gotten” LEAVES’ EYES, preferring her work with THEATRE OF TRAGEDY and MIDNATTSOL, the issue was never her vocals, more the musical style. This will be my first foray into LIV KRISTINE, the solo artist. And, as I’m not expecting Velvet Darkness They Fear, I feel I’ll be able to approach the album objectively. ‘Our Immortal Day’ begins, awash in keys, a throbbing bassline and the tandem vocal delivery (shared here by Osten Bergoy of LONG NIGHT and TRISTANIA) […]

Album Review: Voidceremony – Threads Of Unknowing

Virtuosity bereft of emotion be damned. If the songs don’t stick in the listener’s mind after the album’s finished, you’ve failed as an artist. This carries over to painting, the printed page, practically any form of would-be artistic expression. Art ceases to be art when “Look what I can do!” takes precedence over “This is how I feel.”, or even more so, “How does this make you feel?”. Three years after its debut full-length, VOIDCEREMONY returns with Threads Of Unknowing. The title track is an onion, multilayered, yet the skin is unwound, almost see-through in its viscosity, riffs and melodies […]

Album Review: Numeron – Road To Valhalla

Having not been exposed to NUMERON’s debut, Void, of 2021, I wasn’t expecting much – or anything, really – from the strangely titled Road To Valhalla. In and of itself, the title places an image in the mind, sure. But when the band in question is based in Indonesia, I find myself thinking of Celtic folk bands from Peru, Southern American-styled doom/riff rock from St. Petersburg, Russia, what have you. Yet Road To Valhalla is what I’ve chosen, so let’s wander on… ‘Light Upon The Ground’ starts our journey, awash in synths and processed vocals, Lufti’s register thus far goth-influenced, […]

Album Review: Sever – At Midnight, By Torchlight

So, let’s look at SEVER’s July 2022 Sadistic Sorcery demo as the moment of conception. What this does, in effect, is makes the April release of At Midnight, By Torch Light its birth. Now, what hath founder and (yep, you guessed it) sole entity Ma-Kaxul birthed? ‘Abyssonaut’ instantaneously assaults, clanging and cataclysmic, synths, strings and skins attacking from all sides, but retaining a sense of cohesion, impressive in such a storm. While the drums act more as a placeholder than anything else, I’d have liked to see a more dynamic role in this opener, but we’ve still 5 songs remaining, […]

Album Review: Mork – Dypet

MORK is Thomas Eriksen. And if black metal is even in the periphery of your musical world, you are familiar with the name. For nearly two decades Eriksen has been a force of might and misanthropy, even more impressive that he’s churned out now six full-lengths as well as four EPs by his loathsome lonesome all within the past ten years. What sounds like your little brother’s dungeon synth project practicing in his bedroom soon enough is joined by mournful guitars, very near to doom in delivery, and suddenly the synth belongs there, seeming natural and fluid. Set alight and […]