Rebel Extravaganza

Heavy Metal And Other Occasional Musics And Cultures

Century Media

Album Review: Upon Stone – Dead Mother Moon

Ah, melodic death metal. From Gothenburg, Sweden and Finland did the beautiful yet razored strains of our beloved metal flow. While I’ll admit to being a lifer of the Stockholm sound, the rusted yet tearing teeth of the Swedish Chainsaw (HM-2) cranked to oblivion, the sometimes- bludgeoning doom-influenced moments, there’s something special about the more precise attack of the G-burg bands, and the inherent melody they brought to the table. And thus, from the cold, jagged cliffs, the snow-encased lands of the San Fernando Valley, California comes UPON STONE. Say what you will, but I’d imagine growing up as a […]

Album Review: Slope – Freak Dreams

‘Talk Big’ takes shape slowly, fluidly, almost slow funk influenced before the actual funk is kicked into gear. Problem is, it’s not even really that funky, recalling more (Hed)PE half-assing its way through an early RHCP cover. Conversely, ‘It’s Tickin’’ kicks with a BEASTIE BOYS flavor circa Hello Nasty for the most part, only the outro dragging down any of the momentum SLOPE was close to gaining. ‘Chasing Highs’ carries on in this style, a very slight CIV presence revealing itself in the chorus but keeps the energy up for the entire tune. ‘Hectic Life’ is another winner once it […]

Album Review: Fuming Mouth – Last Day Of Sun

FUMING MOUTH from Massachusetts was one of the “buzz bands” that played Milwaukee Metalfest earlier this year, but I was unable to catch them. Boy, are these guys an awkward mish-mash of styles. When they are on point, they are extremely crushing, but when they experiment, the results are often clunky if not down right cringeable. Can you imagine a band that mixes Swedish death metal in the classic Stockholm style with choruses you’d find on radio rock nu-metal? You get it with FUMING MOUTH. Let us descend into their maelstrom. Last Day Of Sun is huge and rather bloated, […]

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: Frozen Soul – Glacial Domination

Texas’ FROZEN SOUL is one of the new generation of death metal bands stepping up to the plate and trying to take the torch from the giants of old. That is a super difficult task, because almost all of these bands just sound like an echo of what has gone before. In FROZEN SOUL’s case, they obviously are BOLT THROWER’s junior division and I imagine vocalist Chad Green spends a lot of time in front of a mirror polishing his best Karl Willets tones. Out of all the new “primitive” death metal bands getting big publicity…the group includes SANGUISUGABOGG, 200 […]

Album Review: SANGUISUGABOGG – Homicidal Ecstasy

After the four song Pornographic Stench demo of 2019, SANGUISUGABOGG got snapped up double-quick by Century Media, parlaying the “weirdness” of their name and logo (self-described as “the Nike swoosh of death metal” by gurgler Devin Swank) into what seems to be the next “it” band in metal. ‘Black Market Vasectomy’ kicks things off, or tries to, at least. I shouldn’t enjoy Cody Davidson’s coffee can drums, but for some reason I am, but that could be because they’re mixed so far to the front that the guitars sound like they’re in a room down the hall somewhere, likely jerking […]

Album Review: Queensrÿche – Digital Noise Alliance

No sense in lying to you or to myself. It hurts when a band that meant so much in your younger years seems to have completely turned tail and run on the sound that undeniably both made them a household name in the cottage industry of metal but endeared them to yourself and othersin the process. For me, one of “those” bands was QUEENSRŸCHE. And I couldn’t care less about the legal battles, all of that, so if you want to rehash something that’s been decided (at least by the courts) long ago, might as well go somewhere else. I’d […]

Album Review: Enforced – Kill Grid

Here it is…100% thrash metal PERFECTION! I was hoping that ENFORCED would rise to the challenge…and they have! These Virginia hellhounds have made a strong argument with Kill Grid that they are the rightful heirs of SLAYER. This album is full of the same balls-out intensity that made Hell Awaits and Reign In Blood classics. You doubt me? Slip this sucker in, hit play, and prepare to be battered and bruised by a whirlwind of steel! ‘The Doctrine’ starts with a medium crunchy build before exploding into pure holocaust of speed and intensity. Did ENFORCED blow their wad early? Along […]

Album Review: Bewitcher – Cursed Be Thy Kingdom

This record took a while to really hit its stride, but it finally got there. BEWITCHER is a SoCal act kind of following in the footsteps of several “evil rocking metal” bands, and they didn’t strike me as anything too special in the first half of the album. After a bluesy intro of ‘Ashe’, they lead off with ‘Death Returns’, which sounds like a not so thrashy MIDNIGHT. Dirty rock meets heavy metal…it’s always a good formula, but pretty well worn. ‘Satanic Magick Attack’ sounds a lot like ‘2 Minutes To Midnight’ with different vocals and some minor tweaks… I’m […]

Album Review: Witherfall – The Curse Of Autumn

While Nocturnes And Requiems and its follow-up, A Prelude To Sorrow, quickly established California’s WITHERFALL as modern prog-power players on a field that simply doesn’t have that many worthy competitors in the band’s native US, I confess a bit of trepidation when it came to The Curse Of Autumn. Would this be just another disappointment when it comes to third albums released thus far in 2021, or would the quintet finally find their own sound and wake the sleeping giant I felt might lie dormant within? After the neck-snapping rhythms and skipping riffs of ‘The Last Scar’ revealed itself as […]