Rebel Extravaganza

Heavy Metal And Other Occasional Musics And Cultures

Dr. Abner Mality

Album Review: New Horizon – Conquerors

Conquerors starts with such an incredible barrage of quality that I really thought this might be the best power metal album I’ve ever heard. Well, things do start to slip by the middle of the album, but even with that “slippage”, this is still one Hell of an awesome melodic metal album. When God was handing out voices, he loaded Nils Molin up with more talent than just about any other human being I’ve heard. Good…God…Almighty! What a golden set of pipes Nils has! This is a singer for the ages, right up there with the late Ray Gillen, early […]

Album Review: Castle Rat – Into The Realm

There’s getting to be so many cosplay metal bands around now that it’s almost a rarity to see a band with no image. CASTLE RAT goes all-in on the dress-up aspect, but in a pretty low rent way, with very home-made looking get-ups good for a quick trip to the RenFaire. Almost all of this band’s interest is going to center around the statuesque Red Sonja-looking frontwoman the Rat Queen aka Riley Pinkerton. With chain mail brassiere, thigh high boots and an enormous mas of red curls, she cuts a striking figure without a doubt. Is the music any good […]

Album Review: Ufomammut – Hidden

If you’re looking to take a chemical vacation, there’s no better band than Italy’s UFOMAMMUT to provide a soundtrack for your trip. Some might consider that statement frivolous, but I stand by it. These guys have a groove so heavy that even GOD would be spacing out to it. 2024 marks 25 years for this mega-heavy band and Hidden is a fitting landmark. Holy Timothy Leary, but this thing is THICK! I’ve heard dirty bass sounds in my time, but this takes the ever-lovin’ cake. Even in comparison with UFOMAMMUT’s prior work, this is totally abyssal. It almost doesn’t need […]

Album Review: Belushi Speed Ball – Stellkira

It was my sometimes drinking buddy Johnny Vomit who first made me aware of these guys. Goofy ass crossover thrashers from Louisville, KY armed with a wild stage show, numbskull lyrics and…best of all…sizzling thrash riffs to turn your spine to jelly! Having never seen them live, I can’t speak to that part of their repertoire, but when I saw song titles like ‘Garth, Let My Family Go’, ‘My Favorite Color Is Pizza’ and ‘Tater Tot Eyes’, I got some uneasy flashbacks to the metalcore of the early 2000s, which wrote the book on idiotic “ironic” song titles. Well, BELUSHI […]

Album Review: Heavy Temple – Garden Of Heathens

Philly’s HEAVY TEMPLE are listed as “heavy psychedelic doom” and there is truth in that. But on Garden Of Heathens, it’s also true to say that they are an ass-kicking heavy metal band. This record has the ability to reach beyond its simple description and venture into other realms of heaviness. This is a revelation all the way around. Opening salvo ‘Extreme Indifference To Life’ is thick and sludgy doom all around, kind of like WINDHAND but not quite as fuzzed out. That even extends to the mournful vocals of High Priestess Nighthawk. But she’s no mere Dorthea Cottrell knockoff, […]

Album Review: Vulture – Sentinels

Holding the flag high for German thrash we have VULTURE, who have emerged as solid journeymen in their chosen field. The ’80s thrash revival hasn’t quite hit the same level of success as the recent comeback of old school death metal…can VULTURE turn the tide? I don’t know if Sentinels will be the record to do it. It’s a fun record combining straight EXODUS worship with heaping helpings of yelping Kraut-thrash, but it’s no threat to join the company of thrash immortals. The yippy vocals (like Zetro Sousa trying to do early Schmier from DESTRUCTION) are overdone and sometimes cringeable. […]

Album Review: Ischemic – Condemned To The Breaking Wheel

This Canadian band definitely has the potential to make some noise in the burgeoning death-doom scene. They’ve added a couple of members since their last effort and now exist as a 5-piece. I’m glad to see they still have Necro-Nurse Isabelle grumbling and rasping for them. She’s one of the heaviest female vocalists in the scene. ISCHEMIC have matured a lot since their self-titled LP. The sound here is cleaner and more varied…not as sludgy yet still extremely heavy. You sure won’t feel like partying and cruising for chicks after hearing this mournful monolith of sound. Four lengthy tracks are […]

Album Review: Furze – Caw Entrance

The one and only Woe J. Reaper, the Mad Hatter of Black Metal, returns with an all-new mad tea party to mess up our perception of reality. Every form of music needs a jester, a raconteur, to shake things up. Mr. Reaper, operating under the name of FURZE, has been doing that since the late ’90s, creating an indefinable version of low-fi black metal that mixes in generous dollops of doom and warped psychedelia. It shouldn’t work…yet it does. Crazy titles and song names are part of the FURZE experience and Caw Entrance lives up to that reputation. I suspect […]

Album Review: Darkestrah – Nomad

A fierce wind is blowing from the steppes once more. I hear thundering hooves on the horizon…DARKESTRAH has returned! I’ve loved this unusual band since hearing their masterpiece, The Great Silk Road, but they’ve been quiet the last few years. The silence is shattered with Nomad. This is one of the great black metal bands, with such a memorable, time-lost sound. Only the best can conjure up a true feeling of being from another time and place and DARKESTRAH have done this like no other. Yes, the style here is similar to The Great Silk Road and Turan. I hope […]

Album Review: Cancer Christ – God Is Violence

I remember the anti-poser crusades of the ’80s metal scene. Underground thrashers declaring war on sanitized hair metal and guys that spent more time with mirrors than instruments. This was quite a defining moment of those days, with sides taken and lines drawn. I think we need a new anti-poser crusade in the ’20s. Everywhere you look there are cosplay bands full of guys playing dress up, wearing masks and raiding the Spirit Halloween store for cheap makeup. A lot of these new-wave posers are supposedly in the harder sides of metal. I’m about as bored with monster bands wearing […]