Rebel Extravaganza

Heavy Metal & Extreme Music And Culture

nuclear blast

Album Review: Accept – Too Mean To Die

When you get to the elevated level that ACCEPT is at, your albums are pretty much critic proof. The band is going to write what they want and the fans will be there. In this case, Too Mean To Die practically writes itself, following all the hallowed and well worn traditions of ACCEPT. But it doesn’t seem fair to criticize them for sticking to a well worn path when everybody is going batshit crazy over the utter traditionalism of AC/DC’s PWR Up. This is a pure ACCEPT album down to the last note, and the last atom. It follows the […]

Album Review: Pallbearer – Forgotten Days

On one side of the coin, I’ve never just never “gotten” Arkansas’ PALLBEARER. They’re a doom/doom-influenced band, which should be a selling point for me, they’re from the Southern US, which has its own special brand of sorrow and weight, and perspective on things, which should be another. But I just can’t. After a couple “good enough” albums on Profound Lore, Heartless arrived on newfound home Nuclear Blast, and the band became a buzzword through no fault of their own. On the other side, Forgotten Days purports to be an album dealing with the theme of family, something I myself […]

Album Review: Hatebreed – Weight Of The False Self

I just can’t get behind Jamey Jasta & co. One could make the case that HATEBREED’s frontman/heart and soul of the band has done much for hardcore, as far as bringing it into the spotlight. Whoever said that’s where hardcore wanted to be is my thought. Anyway, the band’s never impressed me, but I can’t seem to help giving each new album a listen. Not sure exactly what I’m hoping for, but I know I haven’t found it yet. And so it remains with Weight Of The False Self, HATEBREED’s eighth. I couldn’t help but wince at the rhyme of […]

Album Review: Benediction – Scriptures

Brethren, let us open the Book of Armageddon to the Chapter of BENEDICTION and read the Scriptures therein. I have been a devotee for many years, and my heart has been empty for want of BENEDICTION. After an extended drought, these metal brothers are back, and lo and behold, their prophet Dave Ingram has returned to lead them back to the promised land of Nuclear Blast. This is a record I’ve been really looking forward to, as this band has always been a favorite of mine. Scriptures is an album for creating warm fuzzies and glows of nostalgia, not to […]

Album Review: In Flames – Clayman (20th Anniversary Edition)

By the time IN FLAMES delivered Clayman at the dawn of the new millennium, the band had already morphed from one of the founding fathers of the Gothenburg melodic death metal sound into…well, I had already begun to wander, let’s say. Granted, I love me some DEPECHE MODE, but ‘Everything Counts’ from Whoracle of three years hence signaled more than good taste in covers from Jesper Stromblad & co. ‘Bullet Ride’ sounded positively jovial in ’00, and is no less so here, strange and ill-suited as an opening track. Faring no better were ‘Pinball Map’, and we can begin to […]

Album Review: Cadaver – D. G. A. F.

Norway’s CADAVER has always been, is, and looks to forever be Neddo. It also seems to foul the ears so sporadically as to almost be forgotten in the interim, despite cranking out some morbidly grotesque death under the name CADAVER. And so, 16 years after the flesh-covered wrecking ball that was Necrosis, Neddo surfaces again, journeyman skinbasher Dirk Verbeuren behind the kit, to deliver D. G. A. F. At just over 10 minutes long, the duo has neither the time (nor thankfully) the inclination to fuck around, Jeff Walker lending his rasp to the title track. Luddite as all Hell, […]

Album Review: Khemmis – Doomed Heavy Metal

KHEMMIS’ 2018 release proved my Third Album Theory on so many levels. At some point, I’ll have it up on this site, but suffice it to say that it wasn’t only my ears which heard something special in the Colorado quartet that – while it might’ve been there before – came shining through within Desolation. It’s really no surprise that the first tune we’d hear from the band after its most blatantly metal album was a song of the stature of ‘Rainbow In The Dark’. What is impressive, however, is that KHEMMIS pulls it off with nary a hitch nor […]

Album Review: Sepultura – Quadra

Few bands are more frustrating to analyze than modern day SEPULTURA. They’re always on the edge of a major breakthrough but never seen to make it. They are at the nexus where ambition meets pretension and it’s hard to tell which side is going to win at any time. I’ve always been someone willing to give the Cavalera-less band a good chance, and for the last few albums, flashes of brilliance are there. So is some really banal groove-thrash. The last album, Machine Messiah, seemed like a disorganized mess where they reached too far past where they should have. I’m […]

Album Review: Strigoi – Abandon All Faith

VALLENFYRE is no more. The crusty death metal project of PARADISE LOST’s Gregor Mackintosh has breathed its last. But rushing in to fill the gap is STRIGOI, named after demons of Romanian folklore. The differences between VALLENFYRE and STRIGOI are not extreme, but they are there and it’s a good bet that fans of both VALLENFYRE and PARADISE LOST will enjoy the murky gloom of Abandon All Faith. Though the debut has the same grimy feel as VALLENFYRE, Abandon All Faith is a little more varied and, on occasion, more sophisticated. ‘Phantoms’, ‘Carved Into Skin’ and the title track all […]

Album Review: Municipal Waste – The Last Rager

I’m not about to sit here and tell you I’ve been a fan of, well, anything Tony Ferrera and his band of self-styled hard-partying miscreants has done under the banner of MONOLITHIC…erm, sorry…MUNICIPAL WASTE. To be honest, the whole idea kinda rubs me up the wrong way. Sure, EXODUS had its moments of fun for fun’s sake in the likes of ‘Toxic Waltz’, and don’t even get me started on the never-deserved-to-be-in-the-Big-Four-anyway ANTHRAX, but at least occasionally they’d kick out some decent jams to make up the difference. Not so with these guys, and I’m not really sure how, nearly […]