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: Inerth – Void

Hitting the Earth with the impact of the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs comes INERTH from Spain. Void has come out of nowhere to ambush unsuspecting metal fans. I’ve learned that most of these guys once played in the excellent grindcore band LOOKING FOR AN ANSWER. While there are still some traces of that sound here, especially in ‘Isolate’ and ‘Brave New Cold War’, INERTH is a much different beast, drawing influence from sludgy and industrial acts like GODFLESH and NAILBOMB. There are even some traces of post-punk ala KILLING JOKE here. But better believe me, this sucker is heavy! […]

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: Death SS – Ten

Italy’s DEATH SS have been haunting the European metal scene for 40 years and have always had a cult following, but somehow I’ve never investigated them very deeply, which is strange considering my usual love any mix of horror and metal, which these guys embody. Maybe 2021 is the time for me to venture into their crypt. I think some sort of sixth sense kept me out of DEATH SS’ path all these years. Not only do they look like they should be working at the local cut-rate Jaycees haunted house, but their music is about as sinister and underground […]

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: Ofermod – Mysterium Iniquitatis

OFERMOD are one of the OGs of the Swedish black metal scene, dating all the way back to 1996. Despite that, this new album, their fifth, is the first one I’ve really listened to. Guess I’ll have to look up the back catalog, because Mysterium Iniquitatis is about as pure and classic a Nordic black metal album as I’ve heard this year. These guys hit all the right notes here…everything just sounds pure. It’s not the most extreme sound, but it’s far from commercial – there’s melody, but also brutality – there’s variety, with each song having its own identity. […]

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 […]