Rebel Extravaganza

Heavy Metal & Extreme Music And Culture

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Album Review: In The Woods… – Diversum

After a huge shakeup in membership shortly after 1999’s Strange In Stereo, IN THE WOODS… became, for all intents and purposes, sole original member Anders Kobro’s project. Resurfacing with a revamped lineup for 2016’s Pure and Cease The Day of two years after, we now behold Diversum, featuring (surprise, surprise!) a new bassist and vocalist. Lineup shifts aside, IN THE WOODS… has always marched to the beat of its own drum, and its early work – if we’re being honest – to varying degrees was influential in such revered bands as ENSLAVED and OPETH’s transformation into their current sound(s). Subtle […]

Album Review: Interesting Times Gang – The Spirit Of Science Fiction

As much a fan as I am of noise behemoths KOWLOON WALLED CITY, I’ll admit I’ve never felt the need to investigate bassist Ian Miller’s electronic project INTERESTING TIMES GANG, largely due to lacking a background or experience with the genre. Album number 6 (!?) though, and it warrants at least a cursory glance. Unexpectedly, a lo-hi trip-country ala a sparser ALABAMA 3 leads off The Spirit Of Science Fiction with ‘Lago Agrio’. You can already sense Miller’s enjoying himself, playing with sound and technology just to see what comes out. The rainbow FUNKADELIC carpet is rolled out for ‘If […]

Album Review: ZËLOT – Supplices [EP]

Part of black metal’s draw is its ambiguity when it comes to the artists who produce it. Pseudonyms are modified and sometimes outright changed depending on the project, other members, musical style and aesthetic. What is the message being put across? Is it hails, horns and laying “down your soul to the gods rock and roll”? Is it esoteric explorations of the Lesser Key Of Solomon? This determines your entity, dress, and the true aesthetic of what the band/project is. I have an idea this is what’s been done with France’s ZËLOT, but as it’s all about the art, let’s […]

Album Review: Darkthrone – Astral Fortress

Anyone who’s read my drivel for any length of time knows the importance I place on a band’s third album. Well, DARKTHRONE is at its 20th, so if they haven’t figured out what they are by now, there’s no point in bothering. And I suppose that’s why it pained me so much that 2021’s Eternal Hails……, the band’s self-proclaimed love letter to doom and prog, was such a disappointment. Now, off to strap on our skates and travel to the Astral Fortress. ‘Caravan Of Broken Ghosts’ begins interestingly enough, building in a way that brings anticipation. Never straying too far […]

Album Review: AAWKS – (((((Heavy On The Cosmic)))))

On the heels of an EP shortly after formation, Ontario’s AAWKS hunkered down to craft a masterpiece. An album for the ages. That one shining record that glows/glowers upon all beneath it. And lo, (((((Heavy On The Cosmic))))) was born, but the gods did not smile upon our champions, nay, nay! Cassettes are well and good, but what the public – well, at least what one Discogs member – was clamoring for was vinyl. Thusly, and at long last… Hazed right out the gate, ‘Beyond The Sun’ clearly takes a tab from the early KYUSS, languid, lysergic and loving it. […]

Album Review: Daeva – Through Sheer Will And Black Magic

As much slavish devotion to epic doom as I have, the last CRYPT SERMON really fell flat on my ears, so the news that 3/5 of that band was releasing a black/thrash album as DAEVA with a different vocalist at least perked up this ol’ dog’s ears. This could be stellar or abysmally bad, and with the PR sheet mentioning BATHORY, VOIVOD and DARK ANGEL…well, you see what I mean. When your album’s just a goat’s hair over 30 minutes long spending 2 of them in an intro is from the start an issue, nevermind that ‘Intro (Emanations)’ doesn’t give […]

Album Review: Hierophant – Death Siege

A handful of albums over a dozen years of recorded history is nothing so scoff at for any band. And when said band – in this case HIEROPHANT – has the gumption to cover a band as staunch and without compromise as BOLT THROWER, one can only assume that band fancies itself as dedicated. Anyone who knows me knows I’m not a fan of intro tracks whatsoever, but ‘Mortem Aeternam’ is less an intro than a barrage of sonic violence assaulting your ears, all instruments and voices caterwauling, haranguing, defiling and dismembering into ‘Seeds Of Vengeance’. More Metal ™ than […]

Album Review: R.A.M.B.O. – Defy Extinction

I remember first hearing the name R.A.M.B.O. from a friend of the band while hanging out in Philadelphia in the mid-‘00s. What? Costumes at shows? Political lyrics? Sorry, if you need me I’ll be here in my utterly original EMPEROR shirt and equally individualistic corpse paint, thanks. Then I listened. Wall Of Death The System sold me, elements of SACRILEGE demos, a smattering of AGNOSTIC FRONT/SOIA and even a dash of MENTORS when it came to the sense of skewed humor reminding that there are things to be taken with a dead seriousness as well as to be mocked because […]

Album Review: Coffin Torture – Blennoid

From the unexpected environs of South Carolina, land of Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head and a multitude of other lures for lovers of sun and beaches, Thorfinn and Blind Sampson return with their second full-length under the COFFIN TORTURE moniker, hoping to disgust our eardrums with Blennoid. ‘Ükhsen Uul’ begins this self-described “death sludge” effort with gooey riffs and a near industrial clang ‘n’ clamor to the rhythm section, but the whole affair seems processed, effects-ridden, and with neither the rabid ferocity of death nor the crawl through the sewer-swamp of sludge. While I’m sure the elongated intro to ‘Budo’ was […]

Album Review: Caustic Casanova – Glass Enclosed Nerve Center

CAUSTIC CASANOVA’s decision to augment the long-standing trio by adding Jake Kimberly on guitars bears fruit from the start, opener ‘Anubis Rex’ robust and invigorating/-ed, kicking off with some hybrid of spaghetti western, cock rock and surf, a dual-string attack clearly suiting the band. Add to this the trident-pronged vocals, and the D.C. act arsenal’s chock-full o’ ingredients that should guarantee success. But can they put their tools to good use over the course of Glass Enclosed Nerve Center without wandering in the process? If ‘Lodestar’ is any indication, yes, and since the band’s always had rather an “everything up […]