Rebel Extravaganza

Heavy Metal And Other Occasional Musics And Cultures

Album Reviews

**Please note that this rating scale serves as a reference for albums reviewed prior to 2023.
Numbered ratings will not be added going forward, in hopes that the writer’s impression of the work will suffice.
It will have to.** 

6 – Rarely bestowed. An honor reserved for undeniable classics (or those that should be). The Apex Predator.
5 – Impressive.
4 – Worthy of special recognition.
3 – A solid effort.
2 – The participation trophy.
1 – These are the albums that the 2s beat up on the way home from school.
0 – A waste of both our time and yours.

Album Review: Julie Christmas – Ridiculous And Full Of Blood

Fourteen years after the laudable debut from JULIE CHRISTMAS, The Bad Wife, she of the many projects and of the many voices returns with Ridiculous And Full Of Blood. With a backing band is composed of members from CULT OF LUNA, CANDIRIA and KENMODE (as well as others), ‘Not Enough’ begins, tribal, percussive and ritual, a “calling up” of spirits before drifting into trip-hop/electro momentarily, more reminiscent of the singer’s past than much found here. Tom Tierney’s ever-present keys take the lead for much of ‘Supernatural’ cementing, as they will come to throughout Ridiculous And Full Of Blood, how much […]

Album Review: Saltpig – Saltpig

‘Satan’s War’ is lo-fi ‘70s CROW and ICECROSS worship, yet that’s not to say the sound is thin or otherwise deficient; rather, the rough ‘n’ ragged mix adds to the draw in this age of even “occult” bands sounding fresh off the factory floor at Baphomet-Mart. When the song builds and builds…and builds to a rousing climax, you know the duo are both worshippers and students of the craft. A boogie-type riff and blues rhythm form the backbone of ‘Demon’ Fabio Allesandrini destroying preconceptions and displaying himself as not only a competent but sonically interesting drummer out from behind the […]

Album Review: The Antikaroshi – L’inertie Polaire

“Those” labels are few and far between; the ones where – even if you don’t vibe completely with everything about a band or album – you can, at the very least, respect the artistic endeavor, the honesty of the work itself. Germany’s Exile On Mainstream has long been one of those, which makes me even more reluctant to admit that L’nertie Polaire will be my introduction into THE ANTIKAROSHI, six albums into its discography. Truth, though. That’s what ya get here. Inspired by/interlaced with concepts described in the Paul Virilio tome sharing this title, L’inertie Polaire opens, moving forward with […]

Album Review: Ufomammut – Hidden

If you’re looking to take a chemical vacation, there’s no better band than Italy’s UFOMAMMUT to provide a soundtrack for your trip. Some might consider that statement frivolous, but I stand by it. These guys have a groove so heavy that even GOD would be spacing out to it. 2024 marks 25 years for this mega-heavy band and Hidden is a fitting landmark. Holy Timothy Leary, but this thing is THICK! I’ve heard dirty bass sounds in my time, but this takes the ever-lovin’ cake. Even in comparison with UFOMAMMUT’s prior work, this is totally abyssal. It almost doesn’t need […]

Album Review: Noroth – Sacrificial Solace

Seattle’s NOROTH returns for it’s third attempt at sonic obliteration after the solid “enough” It Dwells Among Us of 2021 and the following year’s even more weighty Harbinger. After a brief intro, ‘Black Serpent’ begins with all the subtlety of a cage match with a six-legged goat on bath salts who also happens to think you fucked his girlfriend. It’s that level, yes; a bit of HELLHAMMER groove to the riff in spaces, but always head down, always onward. ‘Symphony Of Decay’ is more straight-ahead death metal in execution but loses none of its energy or enjoyability for its simplicity. […]

Album Review: Belushi Speed Ball – Stellkira

It was my sometimes drinking buddy Johnny Vomit who first made me aware of these guys. Goofy ass crossover thrashers from Louisville, KY armed with a wild stage show, numbskull lyrics and…best of all…sizzling thrash riffs to turn your spine to jelly! Having never seen them live, I can’t speak to that part of their repertoire, but when I saw song titles like ‘Garth, Let My Family Go’, ‘My Favorite Color Is Pizza’ and ‘Tater Tot Eyes’, I got some uneasy flashbacks to the metalcore of the early 2000s, which wrote the book on idiotic “ironic” song titles. Well, BELUSHI […]

Album Review: Blaze Of Perdition – Upharsin

BLAZE OF PERDITION has made a name for itself in a country known for a blistering, early SLAYER-ized take on both black and death metal by adding a fluidity and sense of peaks and valleys that has thus far set it apart from the more known exports of Poland. On its second for Metal Blade, the band has taken the bold step of releasing Upharsin in their native tongue, a first for them when it comes to full lengths. At once, ‘W kwiecie rozlamu’ seems more outwardly abrasive, but soon enough moves into a mid-paced (don’t call it a) groove […]

Album Review: Black Totem – III: Sacrifice Tonite

Well, BLACK TOTEM has reached it; that time in a band’s career when I would normally be giving my trademark, copyrighted, and infallible spiel about how important a band’s third album is. But I won’t, as these Finns are all about keeping things short, simple, and to the point. Might as well join the party at the cemetery… ‘Hex Hood’ sneaks in under the fog, but only briefly, as the cryptkicker drums and fiery riffs ignite torches around the perimeter, and you know you’re in trouble. As guitarist/vocalist Spit Poison so aptly, well, spits “This is Hex Hood, ain’t no […]

Album Review: DÅÅTH – The Deceivers

DÅÅTH returns after a smattering of 2023 singles, 14 years after their self-titled album left nary a blip on most folks’ radar with The Deceivers. That the album features one original member must be noted, as well as that the quintet has expanded, now including a third guitarist, as well as longtime vocalist Sean Zatorsky. So let’s see what fruits are born of sonic upheaval… ‘No Rest No End’ began melodically, until suddenly a wash of discombobulating keys broke any sense of fluidity. Thankfully, this was short-lived, a relatively catchy riff pattern devolving into groove metal grunt-fest, and then – […]

Album Review: Caldwell – Caldwell

‘No Flowers Today’ blooms, funky-slinky bassline and snap drums buoying a jaunty guitar and Caldwell’s sugared vocals. A square of slightly less worn and ragged fabric cut cleanly from the multicolored robe of SCREAMING TREES’ Uncle Anesthesia, this opener is an ideal introduction to this self-titled (not really a) debut. Southern California harmonies and a bit of a Country/Western tone to the guitar add a bit of that Laurel Canyon vibe to ‘Love Confession’, while ‘Lonely Man’ carries a Lennon/McCartney sensibility ably, the cynicism of John tempered by the pop flavorings of Paul from those turbulent final BEATLES years when […]