Rebel Extravaganza

Heavy Metal & Extreme Music And Culture

lord randall

Album Review: T.O.M.E. – I-III

Though from the hotbed of black metal of all discernable forms that is Finland, T.O.M.E – formed nearly a decade and a half ago – is only now seeing its debut realized for wider consumption. Originally independently released in 2009, I-III now bears the mark of Spread Evil, and, as such, is the herald of future material. Distended notes hang in the chilled air, no semblance of warmth at the start of ‘I’, near-doom tempo and plod ala AVSKY, yet fanged and clawed, let not the slowness be mistaken for lethargy or laziness. By 3 ½ minutes in, what’s come […]

Album Review: Witherfall – The Curse Of Autumn

While Nocturnes And Requiems and its follow-up, A Prelude To Sorrow, quickly established California’s WITHERFALL as modern prog-power players on a field that simply doesn’t have that many worthy competitors in the band’s native US, I confess a bit of trepidation when it came to The Curse Of Autumn. Would this be just another disappointment when it comes to third albums released thus far in 2021, or would the quintet finally find their own sound and wake the sleeping giant I felt might lie dormant within? After the neck-snapping rhythms and skipping riffs of ‘The Last Scar’ revealed itself as […]

Album Review: BRÆ – A Thousand Ways To End It All

Here we go a-fucking-gain. That’s it, after this one right here, I’m not reviewing anything with the word “ambient” in the one-sheet by choice for at least two weeks. I mean, all the boxes were ticked, in fairness to BRÆ. 40+ minute album, two songs clocking in at over 20 minutes apiece. Reverences to “faceless beings”, so on, and so forth. But “insane shrieks” and “raw” were mentioned, so there was hope I wasn’t going to end up in another DEAFHEAVEN album hearing critical darlings / Pitchfork dandies whine about their “feelings”. As the lone piece on A Thousand Ways […]

Album Review: Arepo – Arepo

In the ridiculously varied phases and moods of music I’ve gone through in my near half-century on the planet, this one seems to be new. Amid the standards – ‘70s guitar rock, doomed-out sludge, pagan black, Southern hymnody and Neofolk – this ambient thing has thrown me. Maybe I’m appreciating what background music can be? Damned if I could tell you, but here’s AREPO, a duo with a past in everything from BLEACH EVERYTHING (who I have heard and enjoy) to HARMONIC CROSS (who I haven’t, but will after this). Okay, the one-sheet referring to the album as “the most […]

Album Review: Bizarrekult – Vi Overlevde

Sixteen years after its initial formation, and now trimmed down to a duo, it’s BIZARREKULT that I’m trusting to give me a break, however short, from this ambient / instrumental mode I’ve been in of late. Having never heard a note of its music, I’m putting a lot of faith in a band who’s only now releasing its debut full-length. And thus… Of course an intro, of course of the ambient sort I’d just mentioned trying to get a respite from, but still different enough from what I’ve been hearing that I’m not perturbed. Mercifully, ‘For 1000 Ar Siden’ arrives, […]

Album Review: Culted – Nous

Cults are always problematic for me, largely because what – on the surface – seems a calling to “abandon false religions” and “leave society behind” almost invariably becomes religious in practice and elitist, societal, “hive mind” in psyche by the time the Kool-Aid starts getting passed around. Especially within the realms of our beloved “extreme” music, the term “cult” gets thrown around with the same abandon my generation used to declare things “radical”, “bitchin’”, or “hella”. But I’ll leave this for another day. CULTED has been at it a little over a decade now, and is one of the ever […]

Album Review: Fossilization – He Whose Name Was Long Forgotten [EP]

With a lineup composed of two members of Brazilian sludge/doom/death behemoth JUPITERIAN, namely vocalist/instrumentalist V., and P. on the drums. Now, I’ve recently gone on record with my opinion (aka The Whole Of The Law, Handed Down From The Mountain, Writ On Stone By Lightning) on members of one band forming a “side project” that basically mirrors the other (aka Thou Shalt Not), so I won’t bore you again – at least for now. Blessedly, FOSSILIZATION is noticeably different on its face than its members other effort, being more death than doom in overall scope, while still retaining a bit […]

Album Review: Harakiri For The Sky – Maere

Austrian duo HARAKIRI FOR THE SKY’s been at it for a decade as of 2021, and it shows. Over this time, Messrs. M.S. (Instruments) and J.J. (Vocals) crafted a space for themselves with their first three albums, moving – I feel – truly into something of their own with 2018’s Arson, a true benchmark, which could’ve seen the band take any one of a few divergent paths, and do so credibly, turning HFTS into something “other” than it was at its birthing. From the opening tones of ‘I, Pallbearer’, one can feel something of the cinematic, the first minute or […]

Album Review: Noisepoetnobody – Insanity Mirror

Unease. Trepidation. And yet, an anticipation that anything not only could but should happen in the catacombs created beneath the cassette manipulation of Insanity Mirror’s opening ‘Can’t See It Now’. NOISEPOETNOBODY has been at it for the far side of a decade and a half, creating what amounts to field recordings, manipulating sonic collages, and surrounding, well, ambience of all contrivances to craft what he does, as evidenced in ‘Bright Light Box’, where your ears – on the right system, and in the right headspace – can positively hear the shimmering form before you rotating in the air, waxing and […]

Album Review: Sahara – The Curse [EP]

Including Gabriel and Ivan (bass, drums respectively) of Argentinian stoner doom hybrid MEPHISTOFELES, SAHARA is, again, a trio, and…yet again…plays stoner doom. Seriously, things are so incestuous that a 2017 split paired the two. The sliver of hope here, is that the latter is the brainchild of founding guitarist/vocalist Martin Ludi, who must’ve heard something he liked, and drafted the rhythm section to signal his return after SAHARA’s 2019 “involuntary” disbandment. I’m going to go ahead and just say that, while Regain Records may be trying to “keep things cult” with this Limited Edition run of 150 cassettes, the cover […]