Rebel Extravaganza

Heavy Metal & Extreme Music And Culture

Dr. Abner Mality

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 […]

Album Review: Belphegor – The Devils

I have a great admiration for BELPHEGOR. Helmuth and his cohorts have very much created their own world and a distinct, evil sound to go with it. Naturally, we’ll have the usual cultists who insist only on their earliest material, back when they sounded like a thousand other bands instead of themselves. It takes vision and a certain amount of guts to break with the usual death and black metal cliques and come up with something fairly original. With The Devils, we get a distillation of the modern BELPHEGOR sound. There’s low tuned and blasting death metal touches mixed with […]

Album Review: Balls Gone Wild – Stay Wild

Something tells me we’re not going to get a deep discussion of gnostic hermeticism from a band called BALLS GONE WILD. Now some wags might call them BALLS GONE MILD, but honestly, these guys are shooting for simple hard rock, not skull-crushing metal. With that being said, this is a pretty forgettable release. The press sheet describes them as “AC/DC meets MOTORHEAD” but BGW doesn’t have anywhere near the grittiness of those two bands. It’s not even on the same planet, although the basic riffs do bring AC/DC to mind on occasion. But to me, it sounds like AC/DC filtered […]

Album Review: Mantar – Pain Is Forever And This Is The End

Every few years these guys pop up and the more hipster division of the metal press loses their shit over them. Then they soon disappear without a ripple again. Well, it’s time for MANTAR to surface again, this time on Metal Blade with an album title that sets itself up for parody right away. Or maybe it’s getting too close for comfort… Anyhoo, let me dive into it. How to describe MANTAR? Well, they certainly are not what I would call death, black or thrash metal, but they are quite heavy and morose. Their deceptively simple and basic style seems […]

Album Review: Pharmacist – Flourishing Extremities On Unspoiled Mental Grounds

Where on Earth do I start with this one? How about this…record of the year? The band CARCASS has inspired a ton of other metal bands over the years. There used to be quite a flourishing scene of bands imitating the gruesome grind of their first two albums. And you can say that arguably the entire melodic death metal scene was kickstarted by Necroticism: Descanting The Insalubrious and its followup Heartwork. I will be honest. Necroticism is in my opinion the greatest death metal album ever recorded. Now we have PHARMACIST and what this band has done is almost beyond […]

Album Review: Desecresy – Unveil In The Abyss

This is just a superb work of Finnish death/doom. Finland has had a great tradition of death metal going back to the very origins of the genre, with bands like DEMIGOD and CONVULSE leading the way. DESECRESY is as good as any of them. Seriously. This flows like magma over everything in its path, yet there’s structure and melody and melancholy wrapped up within all of it. It’s good to start your album with a real banger and that’s just what ‘Rivers Of The Nether Realm’ does. It starts slowly, with a kind of sad dissonance, and gradually builds and […]

Album Review: Heart Attack – Negative Sun

The hype machine goes into overdrive for this French band on their press sheet, practically proclaiming them the new saviors of heavy metal. Well, while I wouldn’t go quite that far, HEART ATTACK created a surprisingly engaging and energetic record in Negative Sun that touches on several styles of metal. First off, this sounds as good as any major league release you’ll find. Everything pops, including bass and drums. That ticks an important box right there. In no way would I describe HEART ATTACK as a very original band, but they are very clever in how they weave different influences […]

Album Review: Sadistic Ritual – The Enigma, Boundless

This has got to be one of the quirkiest and most entertaining thrash records I have laid ears on in a while. The band is from Atlanta, Georgia and their moniker had me thinking they would be a POSSESSED or KREATOR type band. Thankfully, they are more original than that and not easy to describe. The PR calls them “psychedelic” thrash, but the most psychedelic thing about the album is its cover art. I think fans expecting real hardcore psych influence might be disappointed. SADISTIC RITUAL does not fit into a neat little box. They aren’t a knock-off of either […]

Album Review: Static Abyss – Labyrinth Of Veins

AUTOPSY fans, if you’re getting anxious waiting for the next slab of rotten death from your heroes, relief is headed your way. For all intents and purposes, STATIC ABYSS is AUTOPSY, Not all the members of AUTOPSY are here, but Chris Reifert and Greg Wilkinson sure are and if there’s any noticeable difference in style between STATIC ABYSS and AUTOPSY, it escapes me. This is repulsive death-doom laced with insane hammering in classic AUTOPSY/ABSCESS style. I would say the production here is slightly cleaner than what we usually get with AUTOPSY, but the same dedication to depraved sonic destruction is […]

Album Review: VIMUR – Transcendental Violence

Once again showing conclusively that the best black metal doesn’t have to come from a frosty fjord or frozen tundra, VIMUR from Atlanta, Georgia unleash a beast of an album with Transcendental Violence. I enjoyed their previous work, Triumphant Master Of Fates, but this trumps it in just about every way. That is immediately apparent with ‘Aeonic Upheaval’ and man, oh man, does this SOB slam into your head like a sledgehammer. Combining the speed and majesty of “old” IMMORTAL with the ferocity of a MARDUK or GORGOROTH in full flow, this is a monster of power riffing that has […]