Rebel Extravaganza

Heavy Metal And Other Occasional Musics And Cultures


Album Review: Atronos – Erwachen

Enter in ATRONOS of Germany for its second full length, despite being together less than three years. Chalk at least some of that up to lyricist/vocalist Baptist and (now) skinbasher Valfor doing double duty in underrated EISENKULT. Still, ATRONOS be helmed by Henker, who is responsible for music, guitars and bass, so no laurels to rest upon here. ‘Was uns so schrecklich hasst’ begins, fully formed and hoisting the banner of pagan black metal proudly. Baptist’s delivery here is markedly different from his style with EISENKULT, more mid-late ‘90s, reminiscences of when the genre was stepping out of the shadow […]

Album Review: Plaguemace – Reptilian Warlords

In case you just woke up after being asleep for 10 years, death metal is a big deal again. Really. We are in the second great age of the gnarly subgenre and it is arguably producing more material than the first wave in the early ’90s. With this windfall, though, there are obviously good bands….and just as obviously bands that are bandwagon jumpers and also-rans. PLAGUEMACE is part of this second wave. Where do they fall on the spectrum of worthless to godlike? Well, it’s somewhere in the middle part….the lower middle part. This bunch hails for Denmark, which is […]

Album Review: ÚLFARR – Orlegsceaft

Ever get tired of the lyrics of your favorite black metal bands being written in some obscure “eldritch” dialect that with a short visit to Google Translate becomes known as modern Norse or High German? Do you see Chaucer as a false for using Middle English in Canterbury Tales? Feel like Cascadian black metal’s “alright if you like that sort of thing”, but long for something evoking your eldritch and Cumbrian ancestral home? Behealdan ÚLFARR! Birthed and guided by founder Dominus (aka Hfran), in 2011, ÚLFARR has unchained new material regularly since, yet Orlegsceaft be its first march into the […]

Swim Or Drown – Trapped [7″]

There’s just something special about hardcore/punk from Scandinavia and the surrounding area, from the legendary kangpunk/d-beat sound of Sweden to the somewhat more technical yet still as powerful Swiss and Dutch scenes, the latter of which SWIM OR DROWN is a part. The title track of this 7” barnburner slams back and forth between ALL OUT WAR hardcore and FREYA metallic bursts, each style coming across as legitimate, no shred of gimmickry to be found. The gem for me here is ‘Human Scum’, a raging early INTEGRITY-styled diatribe with razor-sharp guitars and a boiling bottom end, scarred vocals spewing justice […]

Blind Chaos – Very Metal Christmas [EP]

What do you do when you’ve got some downtime during the Christmas season? If you’re BLIND CHAOS of Oslo, Norway, you find a historic church, light your torches and…record a Christmas EP! ‘Last Christmas’ is infectious, probably more faithful to the original than lead throat Chris Wiborg probably wants to admit, making for an engaging jam. ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ punches, ending in a holiday wish for something warmer than cider, if you get my drift, and ‘Santa Baby’ is sure to get portly, bearded men in red lining up to hurry down chimneys of good (and […]

Album Review: Megaton Leviathan – Magick Helmet

When a band (or solo act, in this case) bio begins with “creating a sound that would stump critics and come to be known as Doomgaze”, my eyes begin to itch, and I feel that familiar sick-to-the-back-teeth taste that comes when a single entity claims to have “created” a new sub-subgenre. Wait, isn’t “Doomgaze” a sub-sub-subgenre, then? All I know that sole member Reuscher – doing business as MEGATON LEVIATHAN – has his work cut out for him on Magick Helmet. So, let’s put this right out front; it seems the paramount reason for the existence of MEGATON LEVIATHAN’s 4th […]

Album Review: Bull Elephant – The Long War

Alright, kids, let’s open our history books to the section on WWII, remembering when a giant pachyderm went berserker mode on the Nazis after starting out defending the weary Berliners from the incoming onslaught? You don’t? Well, BULL ELEPHANT sure do, as they’ve spent two albums before now telling the tales of our hero’s majestic and elephantine glory. Having dropped its self-titled debut a scant few months before the world went to dung – or at least more noticeably -, the Londoners unleashed Created From Death less than a year later, and then…silence from the studio. Yet, at long last, […]

Album Review: SHYLMAGOGHNAR – Convergence

I first noticed SHYLMAGOGHNAR a couple of years ago, but never looked any further than their bizarre name. I thought it was silly at the time and figured they wouldn’t be worth my time. Curiosity finally compelled me to look further into this one-man outfit from Holland and I must confess, I was unfair to the band. This is quite a sonic adventure and an amazing achievement considering it was all done by one guy using a home studio. Convergence is really a perfect name for what SHYLMAGOGHNAR have come up with here. This record covers so many styles of […]

Maul – Desecration And Enchantment [EP]

After a shit-ton of demos/splits/singles/EPs, North Dakota’s MAUL dropped the wing-rending Seraphic Punishment on 2022, the debut’s ice-encrusted grime palpable in its blend of Scandinavian and, strangely, Floridian death to create something invigorating in a genre that’s often too set in its ways to be aware of its own dying from glut and trend. ‘The Sacred And The Profane/Hovering,Sinking’ is destructive from :01, rotting riffs slung over the back of stench-ridden rhythms and carried forth in a voice puked from Satan’s anus itself. Guitar patterns weave meathooks upon which to hang our cadavers as we await the ‘Disintegration Of The […]

Album Review: Ginnungagap – Heliacal Arising

The yawning maw of Signal Rex opens wider, near-unhinging, and from this void springs forth Heliacal Arising, the first full, intentional movement of Portuguese cult GINNUNGAGAP. Four years it did take to form what now travels ‘neath the ‘Majestic Throne Of The Sky’, wrapped in a layered cloak of guitars and keys, organ-like in tone, and lending a vital air of the mystic to this excursion, a throat laid open and scraped raw and bleeding over gravel declares our path. Arising heliacal, the title track indeed shimmers distant, ever fettered to the Solar King, despite desire, for Nature is immovable […]