Rebel Extravaganza

Heavy Metal And Other Occasional Musics And Cultures

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Halcyon Way – Night Crawling [EP]

ProgPower USA hometown boys HALCYON WAY return with… Okay, I understand no one wants to hear another version of ‘Smoke On The Water’, but a MILEY CYRUS cover? ‘Night Crawling’ reeks of THEATRE OF TRAGEDY’s techno dreck, tossing in a bit of ‘White Wedding’ for extra tee hee hees. ‘Insufferable’ lives up to its name, everything from jumpdafucup moments to MOTLEY CRÜE’s Generation Swine to DRAGONFORCE-Lite (if you can believe that) gets a run-through. It’s only with ‘Stand For Something’ that the HALCYON WAY we know and appreciate allows us a glimmer of hope for upcoming material. Even for an […]

Di’Aul – EP II [EP]

‘Azazel’ is wrapped in the fuzz for which DI’AUL has been known, the band moving at a plod, yet managing to keep from walking so slowly as to fall on its face. The “solo” is less an actual solo than a few notes wrung out from the consistent rhythm-based riffs. Tasteful, minimalist, and fitting the song. Continuing the measured gait, ‘Golgotha’ hefts itself forward only by sheer force of will, but we find DI’AUL becoming more adept at using the open spaces that seemed to be filled with nothing in its early output. With as many EPs as full lengths […]

Album Review: Blaze Of Perdition – Upharsin

BLAZE OF PERDITION has made a name for itself in a country known for a blistering, early SLAYER-ized take on both black and death metal by adding a fluidity and sense of peaks and valleys that has thus far set it apart from the more known exports of Poland. On its second for Metal Blade, the band has taken the bold step of releasing Upharsin in their native tongue, a first for them when it comes to full lengths. At once, ‘W kwiecie rozlamu’ seems more outwardly abrasive, but soon enough moves into a mid-paced (don’t call it a) groove […]

Album Review: Black Totem – III: Sacrifice Tonite

Well, BLACK TOTEM has reached it; that time in a band’s career when I would normally be giving my trademark, copyrighted, and infallible spiel about how important a band’s third album is. But I won’t, as these Finns are all about keeping things short, simple, and to the point. Might as well join the party at the cemetery… ‘Hex Hood’ sneaks in under the fog, but only briefly, as the cryptkicker drums and fiery riffs ignite torches around the perimeter, and you know you’re in trouble. As guitarist/vocalist Spit Poison so aptly, well, spits “This is Hex Hood, ain’t no […]

Slugcrust – Discharge(d) [EP]

When you consider that SLUGCRUST’s two EPs, full length album and split release with Floridians SWAMP clock in at under 1 hour, you know what you’re getting with Discharge(d). ‘The Antitrust’ is audio warfare ala PIG DESTROYER, pure and visceral. ‘Feral Natural’ stalks with menace, a giardia-infected WOORMS while ‘V4’ packs a bass-fueled fury, a band always existing in that split second before the whole thing implodes. It’s with the title track, though, that the band’s unfuckwithable knack for writing riffs and beats that chisel and pound their way into your skull comes to fruition. Ever wondered what the tines […]

Album Review: DÅÅTH – The Deceivers

DÅÅTH returns after a smattering of 2023 singles, 14 years after their self-titled album left nary a blip on most folks’ radar with The Deceivers. That the album features one original member must be noted, as well as that the quintet has expanded, now including a third guitarist, as well as longtime vocalist Sean Zatorsky. So let’s see what fruits are born of sonic upheaval… ‘No Rest No End’ began melodically, until suddenly a wash of discombobulating keys broke any sense of fluidity. Thankfully, this was short-lived, a relatively catchy riff pattern devolving into groove metal grunt-fest, and then – […]

Album Review: Caldwell – Caldwell

‘No Flowers Today’ blooms, funky-slinky bassline and snap drums buoying a jaunty guitar and Caldwell’s sugared vocals. A square of slightly less worn and ragged fabric cut cleanly from the multicolored robe of SCREAMING TREES’ Uncle Anesthesia, this opener is an ideal introduction to this self-titled (not really a) debut. Southern California harmonies and a bit of a Country/Western tone to the guitar add a bit of that Laurel Canyon vibe to ‘Love Confession’, while ‘Lonely Man’ carries a Lennon/McCartney sensibility ably, the cynicism of John tempered by the pop flavorings of Paul from those turbulent final BEATLES years when […]

Album Review: Stargazer – Bound By Spells [EP]

Initially released on Hallowe’en 2023 by Nuclear War Now! Productions on Vinyl + Digital formats, STARGAZER’s Bound By Spells EP sees its CD release nearly seven months later via Personal Records. The Adelaide alchemists (or assault brigade, depending on the form their music takes) have been around since the mid-‘90s, spewing forth four albums, splits and EPs, which doesn’t seem like much, when you get right down to it, especially considering the tomblike silence between 2014’s A Merging To The Boundless and Psychic Secretions of seven years after. Still and all, Bound By Spells finds the trident every bit as […]

Wolves Don’t Sleep – Fears & Fractures [EP]

A Nottingham Hot Topic has exploded! ‘House Of Glass’ ticks all the boxes of whatever happened in the early ‘00s that was trying to be metalcore, but without the metal. More breakdowns than the side of the M1, melody, obscenely down-tuned guitars and clean/screamed vox is what we find through ‘Oblivion’ and ‘Shame’, and it seems the sextet has a handful of go-tos that they pull out in every song. That these fellas aren’t trying to add anything of their own to the mix is the real failure here. WOLVES DON’T SLEEP and Fears & Fractures have the look/sound of […]

Album Review: Six Feet Under – Killing For Revenge

Aside from a wheezing, heart attack inducing “Is this Geritol in my bongwater” run partway up Half-Ass Mountain with Undead (2012) and Unborn (2013), Ol’ Chrissy’s been faltering at best, flatlining at worst since 1995’s Haunted. Chris Barnes had no choice but to get Jack Owen on board, as roping/duping another member of the O.G. CANNIBAL CORPSE lineup was the only way SIX FEET UNDER could retain any level of credibility in death metal. And so, the hopeful did hope. And lo, did Nightmares Of The Decomposed flop harder than Nicolas Cage with T__ W_____ M__. We shouldn’t have been […]