Rebel Extravaganza

Heavy Metal & Extreme Music And Culture

Dr. Abner Mality

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: Steel Bearing Hand – Slay In Hell

The last 25 years of metal never happened as far as Texas’ STEEL BEARING HAND is concerned, and that’s alright by me. These Lone Star Lunatics have constructed a love letter to the death and thrash metal of the late ’80s and early ’90s on Slay In Hell, steadfastly ignoring any “progression” since those days. By focusing on what they know and love, they’ve pretty much whipped the ass of any banger who lays ears on this. The album is just six tracks and pretty brief, but packs a lot into its length. The best thing about Slay In Hell […]

Album Review: Spectral Lore – Ετερόφωτος

It’s hard to believe just one man is responsible for everything you hear on this release. The Greek title is a pain in the ass to reproduce, but that doesn’t change the fact that SPECTRAL LORE aka Ayloss is one of the very best black metal bands in the world. This is a massive effort that actually takes up two vinyl albums and more than 75 minutes of time. Almost all of that time is deeply fascinating, and packed with both raw energy and great musicianship. You can call SPECTRAL LORE philosophical black metal that leans towards the grandiose. Only […]

Album Review: Screamachine – Screamachine

I don’t doubt that this Italian band’s heart is in the right place, but it takes more than good intentions to create worthy metal. It takes good songwriting. The band claims to be doing classic pure metal in the vein of JUDAS PRIEST, ACCEPT, HELLOWEEN, etc. but they are just not on that level. The songs here simply do not stay with you the way that tunes from those legendary bands do, and that makes their debut record a rather forgettable experience. In the first half of the album, a certain PRIEST-ish tone is detectable. The plodding crunch of ACCEPT […]

Album Review: Wheel – Preserved In Time

It’s pretty obvious that we will not be getting another album from SOLITUDE AETURNUS, and who knows when the next CANDLEMASS will show up? Well, lovers of epic doom metal at the highest level will no longer need to starve themselves, because the mighty WHEEL has rolled in from Germany. This is a flawless example of melodic, epic and sorrowful doom that is totally in the mode of the first classic albums from SOLITUDE AETURNUS. The sad feeling, the clear and piercing vocals, the massive crushing riffs are all here, and they are used in just the right proportion…a trick […]

Album Review: Swampbeast – Seven Evils Spawned Of Seven Heads

In a different era where not every single band that wants to get signed does, where quantity doesn’t crush quality every single day of the week, SWAMPBEAST would be hot news. They are a rough and brutal death metal band that understands what it takes to make strong and honest DM. Unfortunately, they are in the third decade of the 21st century, where every fucking day brings an onslaught of “product”. Only the very, very best can fight through the flack to make a true impression. What I like about this record is the great natural sound to it. The […]

Album Review: Plague Weaver – Ascendant Blasphemy

PLAGUE WEAVER is an ambitious outfit that tries to unite lots of disparate styles of extreme metal, but is not quite able to pull off what they’re looking for. It’s a two man outfit that has an “everything but the kitchen sink” approach to death and black metal. They have the playing ability for sure, but the songwriting is kind of erratic and results in songs that are good in some parts but rather tedious in others. The first song ‘Nothing Is Sacred’ has a kind of Greek black metal vibe in the style of ROTTING CHRIST and VARATHRON going […]

Album Review: Holy Mother – Face This Burn

HOLY MOTHER and their charismatic singer, Mike Tirelli, have been cranking out the metal since the early ’90s. This is another one of those bands like VICIOUS RUMORS or LEATHERWOLF that has all the tools but just can’t crack the glass ceiling. I can’t give a “one size fits all” description of the kind of metal HOLY MOTHER plays because they can almost play it all. Face This Burn has got elements of PRIEST/DIO/MAIDEN classic metal, QUEENSRYCHE progression, the heavier side of hair metal and even touches of grunge and nu-metal if you dig hard enough. The common denominator of […]

Album Review: Sagenland – Oale Groond

Home is where the heart is, even if the heart is black. SAGENLAND is part of that breed of black/folk metal that is tied to a particular place. In this case, it is the Eastern part of Holland near the town of Twente. The gentlemen of SAGENLAND are very close to their homeland, and have dedicated their music to it. On further inspection, I find the Twente area to be a gentle pastoral place of modest fields, forests and rivers, not too different from my own home in Northern Illinois. That automatically makes me more kindly disposed to them. It’s […]

Album Review: Nopes – Djork

Listening to Djork is like getting bitchslapped by that chick with a nose ring and shaved scalp that’s still kind of hot anyway. It’ll wake you up in a hurry, but confuse you at the same time. NOPES are described as a punk rock band from Oakland, CA, but I think there’s a bit more to them than that simple description. Punk is there for sure, but also tones of that screechy, skronky noise rock of the early ’90s, and even a dose of weirdness reminiscent of early VOIVOD. It’s loose, super raw, abrasive and sloppy, kind of like MC5 […]