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: 20 Watt Tombstone – The Chosen Few

Seems like you can’t throw a limited-edition vinyl of Degüello, Welcome To Sky Valley or Captain Beyond without hitting 18 bands trying to cop that feel, morph it, and – hopefully – twist it into something their own. Complain about the surplus of post-black metal bands these days all you want, and Lord knows I do, but it’s a drop in the bucket compared to the sheer glut of stoner rock bands. Mind you, not doom. Not at all. Very different animals, muchaco, and rarely even of the same species, when done right. Returning with its all-important third album, Wisconsin’s […]

Album Review: Mizmor – Prosaic

MIZMOR’s fourth proceeds, ‘Only An Expanse’ a whirlwind of unadorned and raw auricular fury, which is strange, given the acceptance of the subject matter. Not so much resigned to fate as an “…in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content”, yet aware that moods shift, experiences at times flash through, and in others drag one into the slough. It’s rare that our bright flashes of happiness can be converted to a sustaining joy, also uncommon that a grief, a trauma, a general “bad event” doesn’t want to rest its weary feet in the cabin of our heart and lives […]

Album Review: Marduk – Memento Mori

Time sure hasn’t sanded the edges off of MARDUK. Memento Mori has some of the fastest, most vicious metal these guys have ever played. There’s a hardcore contingent of “fans” that complain the band has lost its edge when they ditched their Sieg Heiling bass player. You sure can’t hear it here. ‘Blood Of The Funeral’, ‘Coffin Carol’ and ‘Red Tree of Blood’ are like barbed wire whips that rip the flesh from your bones. Yet if you listen carefully, there is also strange melody and even a kind of brutal elegance that slips into some of these tunes. The […]

Album Review: Courtney Gains – Safe Haven [EP]

Aside from co-starring in my second favorite horror film of all time (more on that in an upcoming interview), COURTNEY GAINS has realized a dream that a very small percentage of actors and musicians see come to life – that of working in his chosen field for nigh on four decades. If the name doesn’t ring a bell, look, there’s this fancy schmancy “internet” thing. You’ll recognize him. But this here’s about the music so, as the Looney Tunes theme song says, “On with the show, this is it!”. ‘Safe Haven’ begins with a guitar phrasing that blends surf tone […]

Album Review: Ringworm – Seeing Through Fire

Ah, Cleveland. Land of the Cleves, of the burning Cuyahoga, Drew Carey, and a pretty thriving music scene that’s always slithered along under mainstream media’s radar. No Athens, no Seattle, no East Coast/West Coast rivalries. Just a buncha bands out there, hitting the bricks every weekend in your local clubs, biker bars and basements. Near chief among them is RINGWORM. By now, anyone who’s heard them knows what they’re about, and those who don’t won’t ever. While they’re not the sort of band that’s going to veer too far from the black-and-blueprint of The Promise (1993) and 2001’s Birth Is […]

Album Review: Blight House – Blight The Way

I’ve found a direct correlation between the amount of samples on an album and said album’s quality, which is almost always poor. On Blight The Way, there are a LOT of samples. Case closed, my point is proven. This is two guys and a drum machine from Rhode Island, trying to create cyber-death grind that’s so lowbrow that there’s no brow left at all. Now I like icky primitive death metal like MORTICIAN and FLUIDS, and I can get a laugh now and then from GWAR. Sometimes, though, shit is shit. BLIGHT HOUSE has all the technical prowess of a […]

Album Review: Calligram – Position | Momentum

‘Sul Dolore’ begins CALLIGRAM’s second, a whirlwind of blasts and frigid strings swirling about, but, for some inexplicable reason, what should already have my ears cryogenically frozen just falls flat on its way to ‘Frantumi In Itinere’. More of the same here, despite an interesting slow down at the mid-section, until you realize that we never return to the original theme, and resulting in what feels like two completely different songs slammed together in a furious attempt to create one. ‘Eschilo’ opens with pensive, acoustic fingerings leading into a section that far, far too quickly gets annihilated by Default Blast, […]

Album Review: Dungeon – Into The Ruins [EP]

After a five-year wait, the misfits of London’s DUNGEON return with their 2nd EP, Into The Ruins. ‘Nagasaki Sunrise’ takes a bit too much time on the rev-up, but once the foursome gets going, stratospheric six-six-sick-string strafing, rocket-propelled rhythms and harsh harangues are not only what, but pretty much all that’s on offer. D’ ya like speed metal? Do you like speed metal?! Vocalist/guitarist Luke Drew’s snarl is surely more of the Teutonic school, bits of early Denis Bélanger, maybe, but less unhinged and into the impressive ‘Put Them In Their Graves’ we go. Guitar harmonies are sideswiped by even […]

Album Review: Undergang – De syv stadier af fordærv [EP]

Denmark death-dealers UNDERGANG have been around forever. Well, not forever, but when, since 2009, the band has released not only 4 full-lengths, but managed to toss out well over a dozen Splits, EPs as well as two live albums, let’s just say the “no rest for the wicked” axiom holds true. De syv stadier af fordærv races forward at the start, not running out of the gate, but crashing through, ‘Død’ careening headlong in fury, only slowing briefly to insert one of the churning, churlish nearly crust groovy moments for which the foursome has become known. ‘Mælkehvid og gennemsigtigt’ is […]

Album Review: Somnuri – Desiderium

SOMNURI from Brooklyn, NY play an interesting amalgam of sounds on this, their third full length album. A good deal of what they play is raw, angry sludge music with hellacious tortured vocals, but mixed with a much more melodic kind of tuneage that’s a lot like prime 90s grunge. The vocalist Justin Sherrell is a remarkably versatile singer, who runs the gamut from rasping troll-like screeches to almost Eddie Vedder-sounding clean vocals…and all points in between. On top of that, he’s also the guitarist for SOMNURI, so he is very much the focal point for the band. The contrast […]