Rebel Extravaganza

Heavy Metal & Extreme Music And Culture

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Album Review: Godless – States Of Chaos

In all fairness to India’s GODLESS, when States Of Chaos came across my desk, I wasn’t exactly thrilled. Nothing to do with the name, we’re past that. My lack of interest was born of a general “meh” reaction to most death metal of varieties other than Swedish or the classics – you know, DEATH, GORGUTS, IMMOLATION, etc. – and dislike of almost all new thrash output. ‘Malevolent’ begins living up to its name, no annoying intro track to wade through. There’s just something “off” about the tone that bugs me, though. Bass-heavy with raw guitars, it’s exactly what I should […]

Album Review: Power Paladin – With The Magic Of Windfyre Steel

Sometimes you just know. And with even a cursory glance at the cover art for With The Magic Of Windfyre Steel, it’s crystal clear what Iceland’s POWER PALADIN is here to do. Betcha there’s not even a death metal riff within a mile of this shit. Takes me back to when you could look at an album cover, song titles – if you were lucky a band photo on the back of the record – and lay good odds on what you’d find inside. POWER PALADIN gets right down to business with ‘Kraven The Hunter’, ghosts pre-Final Countdown EUROPE and […]

Album Review: Great American Ghost – Torture World [EP]

I’ve gotta confess, I’ a sucker for the EP format. Bands can either provide a taste of what’s to come, bust out a few cover versions, or stretch themselves into areas they wouldn’t feel comfortable with in an album format. Given our current global situation, the past year plus has given cause for many bands to pause and reflect on what it means to continue on, or if they can even financially/emotionally manage to do so. And, not for nothing, some brilliant art in all forms has been born from that reflection. GREAT AMERICAN GHOST has taken that time, looked […]

Album Review: Gaahls Wyrd – The Humming Mountain

Black metal thrives on controversy, whether intentionally created by the artists/bands themselves or a by-product of media hype. In that realm, few have lived that life to the degree of Gaahl. I don’t need to rehash, and won’t as a cursory web search can do that for those interested. GAAHLS WYRD’s debut album in 2019 was a chance for Gaahl (the man) to move away from Gaahl (the media/meme fodder) and simply record as an artist with like-minded comrades – and it succeeded. 2021 brings The Humming Mountain, a self-described “mini-album” that swims in the pre-history first explored on GastiR […]

Album Review: Wombbath – Agma

Sweden’s WOMBBATH were there in the gory glory days of almost my favorite style of death metal. Gimme an HM-2 and I’m at least giving your band a chance. A demo, EP, split, you know the drill, and then 1993’s Internal Caustic Torments showed some promise…and then, the aptly-named Lavatory EP flushed all the gains of before right on down. It’s really only since 2015 that the band has come into its own, of a sort, and an argument could be made that the hiatus was simply a case of “right band, wrong time”. Clocking in at over 70 minutes […]

Album Review – Shield Of Wings – Unfinished

Alright, first off, it’s not the late ‘90s anymore, or had you not noticed? SHIELD OF WINGS apparently hasn’t. The Illinois fivesome features not one but two female vocalists, so credit for that, as ‘Crushing Hail’ does give a bit of difference from the norm, Mordian and Daye (also on keys) blending to create an interesting melody. Musically, the band is exactly what I expected, and that’s unfortunate, especially when I’d actually been taken back to those early NIGHTWISH / LACUNA COIL / EPICA days for a moment…until the absolute bottom drops out right around the 3 ½ minute mark. […]

Album Review: Untamed Land – Like Creatures Seeking Their Own Forms

A solo project from Akron, OH’s Patrick Hern, UNTAMED LAND was touted as (no word of a lie) “…the worlds very first metal band incorporating the feral sounds of classic, old western cinematics…” when 2018’s Between The Winds came out, and I laughed about it back then. That this outright falsehood is still being used to promote UL has now reached the point of irritation for me. DIABLO SWING ORCHESTRA and ARABOT have injected more of an “old western” feeling from time to time into their music, and they’re from Sweden and Norway. That’s to say nothing of ACROSS TUNDRAS […]

Album Review: Apostle Of Solitude – Until The Darkness Goes

Indiana’s APOSTLE OF SOLITUDE, on the outside, ticks all the boxes for what should make a great doom band. Decent cover art (if we forget the abysmal Last Sunrise of 2010 – which I can’t), they’ve been at it for well over ten years, so the lineup should be locked and loaded, and and and the band contains two members of the much-revered THE GATES OF SLUMBER… So, why doesn’t it work? The guitar tone grates from the start, and not in a good way. As a doom worshiper since the mid-late ‘80s, in all its forms, I can take […]

Album Review: Funeral Chant – Dawn Of Annihilation

Nary an intro or elongated buildup found on Dawn Of Annihilation, for none are needed! ‘Terrorspawn’ screams from the speakers guitars like so many mistles streaking across the sky, underpinned by the artillery of bass and drum, Voidbringer’s Angelripper/Araya-born commands barked sharp and undeniable across the field of battle. This is the sort of black/death hybrid upon which I thrive, and is needed after a day of work, perfect for a mental purge. Mind, not that all is Neanderthalic here, ‘Oneiric Perversion’ shot through with blatantly intricate passages, managing not to lose a blood drop of brutality in the process. […]

Album Review: CONTRITION – Broken Mortal Coil

Sometimes I miss the days of buying albums blind because you had no choice, when often the only way you had of knowing who was in a new band was if there’d been a magazine article you stumbled across or the most reliable way, word of mouth. Looking at the lineup of Chicago’s CONTRITION, the now-familiar “current and former members of” tagline bearing such as NOVEMBERS DOOM, NACHTMYSTIUM, COBALT, YAKUZA and so forth, you almost feel set up for a fall. Can such a strange blend deliver? Haphazard, grotty and sordid in that basest, best of ways, ‘Diluted’ is unconcerned […]