Rebel Extravaganza

Heavy Metal & Extreme Music And Culture


Album Review: Austin Walkin’ Cane – Muscle Shoals

In the interest of forthrightness, yours truly spent some of the crappiest years of his life in the Shoals area of Alabama. A metal/punk kid coming up in the mid-‘80s had little chance of finding anything like a “group” of friends, hated my school, blah blah, the whole nine yards. So I dove headlong into books…and music. Thanks to an older skater my interest in truly different music was kindled and set to blaze, and a couple dudes who worked at the local record store became my rabbis, guiding me through a veritable Library Of Alexandria of music. All that […]

Album Review: Gatekeeper – From Western Shores

GATEKEEPER returns after five years between albums, hopefully bolstered by new blood, with From Western Shores. Sure, debut East Of Sun (itself released nearly 5 years after the band’s initial 2013 demo) was solid “enough”, but if a power/epic metal band isn’t truly epic – if I don’t end up leaping about the Citadel fending off hordes, carousing with fairy maidens and raising my battle axe high whilst standing victorious atop a pile of my enemy’s vanquished – then I tend not to revisit the album too often if at all, and it lies forgotten. To be honest, I’m a […]

Album Review: Xysma – No Place Like Alone

XYSMA was right there at the beginning of the Finnish death metal movement and back then they were as icky and revolting as any of them. That phase didn’t last too long; along with CONVULSE, they radically altered their sound and injected more straight rock and roll as well as other influences into their sound. But even that was 25 years ago… Of course, no band stays retired in this day and age and after a quarter of a century, XYSMA have returned. Anyone pining for their gruesome death metal days can continue pining…there’s none of that here. However, if […]

Album Review: Sammath – Grebbeberg

After just shy of three decades, Dutch force SAMMATH knows well what it is and what it is not and, now seven albums into the fight, it damned well should. Over the past three albums, though, the band has transformed into a three-pronged attack led, as always by J. Kruitwagen. So let us march to Grebbeberg and hope we make it home, because not all will. Scandinavian black metal bands, especially in the more Northern countries, seem often quite obsessed with the topic and imagery of WWII – and not to lessen any losses from those battles – but the […]

Album Review: Kruelty – Untopia

Tokyo five-pointed star of extremity KRUELTY returns with its second, Untopia, ‘Unknown Nightmare’ opening with a ritual type chant that lulls into a false sense of security, obliterated once the tune proper kicks in. Bulldozer riffs, one of the most addictive bass tones I’ve heard in too long and insistent drums bolster Tatami’s Straight Outta Stockholm vocal hysterics, the band moving deftly in and out of beatdown HXC, NIHILIST-ic stench and COFFINS crawl, and the first song ain’t even over yet. ‘Harder Than Before’ burns with a RINGWORM-like urgency, as frantic, but snapping into time to deliver a breakdown any […]

Album Review: Minenwerfer – Feuerwalze

In the history of warfare, no battle was deadlier, more chaotic and more hellish than the Battle Of The Somme in World War I. Casualties were tabulated at more than one million and this grueling conflict rewrote the rules of war. Feuerwalze, the latest album of American black metal force MINENWERFER, is a concept album dealing with The Somme. This album sounds like all-out warfare. Fast, savage, chaotic yet militant, this is trench war given aural form. World War I is no longer an unusual subject for a metal band – GOD DETHRONED, 1914 and even IRON MAIDEN have dealt […]

Album Review: Majesties – Vast Reaches Unclaimed

MAJESTIES arrives unexpectedly, comprising members of melodic metal Minnesotan entities OBSEQUIAE and INEXORUM. Vast Reaches Unclaimed is its debut, no demos or fanfare prior to release. Forward, then, we march… ‘In Yearning, Alive’ sets the standard, early DARK TRANQUILLITY, IN FLAMES when they mattered, underrated early work by German force NIGHT IN GALES being reference points, Tanner Anderson clearly enjoying being able to put his mid-range snarl to use in a way he doesn’t (normally) within his other main outlet. From even first listen, the production is sharp when needed, yet polished, almost brought to a glittering sheen simultaneously, a […]

Album Review: Eisenkult – Vulgäre, deutsche Hassmusik

Relative newcomer EISENKULT returns with Vulgäre, deutsche Hassmusik, the band’s lineup now including vocalist Tiwaz, also in longstanding (and more overtly medieval) ASENHEIM with drummer Valfor. ‘Annufung’ rings us to awareness, dark synth progressions and male chorale ushering in the German’s third. No pitiful, throwaway “intro” track this, a true harbinger of what’s to come, instantly drawing one into the world of the album. Surprisingly catchy, open and memorable from the start, ‘Der Teufel hat’s gesandt’ interlaces EISENKULT’s former 8-bit flirtations into a much bolder, more defiant blending to good effect, the tone of the guitar during the more blackened […]

Album Review: Netherlands – Severance

‘Sicarivallio’ lumbers in, electronic and intent, headphones encouraged, because you’re instantly swallowed in the sound conjured forth by NETHERLANDS on its 9th search for sonic Nirvana. “Swallowed”, because no kind, calming word such as “swaddled” or “wrapped” will do. Shriek and flail, mixing and tossing against each other of disparate elements, creating a Golem of aural form. Herky-jerky and convulsive, ‘Swimming Dog’ pounds the sense, yet undeniable melodicism broils lava-hot and sugary sweet beneath the service. Elements of proto-punk TELEVISION before Verlaine and Hell had their falling out, ‘Omisha’ as syncopated, if possible, even more beguiling with the vocal melody. […]

Album Review: Nanowar Of Steel – Dislike To False Metal

First things, first, let’s be clear; while yours truly most assuredly sees the humor and sheer ridiculousness of a good many trappings of heavy metal, the one thing you’ll never read in these pages, hear from my lips is a lack of seriousness about the music. And I think that’s what puts me off about bands like NANOWAR OF STEEL most of all – the sheer grade school level banality from the start. And don’t even get me going on Metalocalypse, a show that could’ve been endearing but ended up doing more damage than any chuckles were worth by playing […]