Rebel Extravaganza

Heavy Metal & Extreme Music And Culture

Dr. Abner Mality

Album Review: Rudra – Eight Mahavidyas

Why is this Singapore band not signed to a major metal label? It’s not only a mystery, it’s tantamount to a crime, because these masters of Vedic Metal, who have been active since 1992, have got to be one of the best extreme metal bands from Asia. Their new album, Eight Mahavidyas, sees them continuing to evolve even as they remain true to the basics of their craft. RUDRA has always been deeply entwined with Hindu myths and philosophy. On this album, they examine eight female characters from the past who have fought against evil and ignorance. A lyrical subject […]

Album Review: Malleus – The Fires Of Heaven

Here’s a record to stoke the flames of a traditional metalhead’s furnace! Pretty sure there’s more than one band called MALLEUS out there, but these guys hail from Boston, an old school town that seems fitting for old-school metal such as this. It is fairly easy to conjure up the names of old titans like HELLHAMMER, VENOM and BATHORY…much harder to sound like you actually come from the era when those giants were in their heyday. That is what MALLEUS has done here…first wave black metal worship of the highest order! After the classical intro ‘The Tempest’, they rip right […]

Album Review: Strigoi – Viscera

Arising from the ashes of VALLENFYRE, STRIGOI are trying to establish more of their own sound on Viscera, their second album. The best word for that sound would be “gloomy”. The album still retains brutality, but things are more claustrophobic here, with a bigger emphasis on doom and Gothic atmosphere. That does give STRIGOI more of its own sound for sure, but they are not as immediate as the ferocious VALLENFYRE. The album’s tracks break down into longer, more atmospheric songs and shorter bursts of brute force where the scent of early British grindcore predominates. First cut ‘United In Viscera’ […]

Album Review: Black Anvil – Regenesis

This New York black metal crew pop up every few years with a new album, which gets talked about for a month or two and then promptly forgotten until the next cycle begins. With the title of Regenesis, perhaps they see themselves as reinventing the band and their sound. The album is well produced and competently played, but leaves me pretty cold. I know that past BLACK ANVIL works were more aggressive and darker than this. They do try to mix things up here and they succeed in giving each track its own identity, but the songs are generally softer, […]

Album Review: Stormruler – Sacred Rites & Black Magick

These guys are from ST. LOUIS?! After listening to the utter blackened majesty of STORMRULER, I would have picked Sweden or Finland as their stomping grounds. Or even more likely, the realm of Gondor, or perhaps the frozen North of Tad Williams’ fantasy tales of Osten Ard. At any rate, these two warriors have conjured up a feast of gloriously over the top melodic black metal that embraces the epic. Yes, this is maximalism, not minimalism. And it works. The two major touchstones of STORMRULER’s sound would have to be DISSECTION and IMMORTAL. They draw upon the former’s freezing cold […]

Album Review: Amon Acid – Cosmogony

Looking for suitable musical accompaniment to a massive bong session or an experimental dive into psychedelics? I’m hard pressed to think of a better soundtrack for such activity than Cosmogony by space wizards AMON ACID. I was quite impressed by 2020’s Paradigm Shift – and while I don’t think this record tops it, except in terms of length -, this duo is now a serious player in the spaced out doom metal category. The record is quite a massive one, packed with droning, languorous riff-fests that virtually force you to explore the depths of the universe. Imagine a collision between […]

Album Review: Defleshed – Grind Over Matter

This is unbelievable. I’ve been covering metal music for close to a quarter of a century and I have never heard a band that’s been out of commission as long as DEFLESHED pick up right where they left off so seamlessly and completely as this. Their last record was in 2005. Grind Over Matter sounds like it could have come out in 2006. It’s like nothing happened! These guys have always had laser-like focus on the kind of music they want to produce and that has absolutely not changed here. If anything, it’s intensified. DEFLESHED has always put out albums […]

Album Review: Metalian – Beyond The Wall

Hailing from Nova Scotia, this band really knows how to deliver some true metal thunder! Here they’ve dished up a metallic poutine of NWOBHM, JUDAS PRIEST and early speed metal influences that get the blood pumping. This is one of my favorite “true metal” releases of 2022! ‘March To the Death’ is a rather deceptive opener, as it starts slow and gradually builds up layers until it finally cuts loose with a track reminiscent of Stained Class-era PRIEST. Band leader Ian Wilson has got a strong, sharp voice that can occasionally cut loose with some really high-pitched screams. And he’s […]

Album Review: Venom Inc. – There’s Only Black

A pretty bland cover on this one and the font for the band name is about as basic as it gets. But fortunately what’s within pulses with plenty of energy, as VENOM INC. continue to put out strong releases as if they are on a mission. And I think maybe they are… This is probably the fastest VENOM INC. album so far. Only the last two tracks ‘The Danse Macabre’ and ‘Inferno’ ease up on the pedal. Most of the cuts are quite thrashy and drummer Jeramie Kling proves his worth, knocking out rapid fire beats that old Abaddon could […]

Album Review: Gematria – Gematria II: The Spindle Of Necessity

“Gematria” is not just another made up word used as the name of a metal band, but an ancient system of Jewish numerology that reduces words to numbers which reveal inner meaning. OK, that’s out of the way, how about the band of the same name? It’s a two-man combo that actually uses the process of gematria to put together their music, which can best be described as progressive instrumentals with elements of metal, jazz and electronica. Whatever magic or method they use, it works! Gematria II: The Spindle Of Necessity is a delightfully energetic romp of coherent instrumental music […]