Rebel Extravaganza

Heavy Metal & Extreme Music And Culture

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Album Review: MADROST – Lost Lives Volume 1

Ah, the live metal album. To be honest, in my Top 20 Live Albums of all time aside from MANOWAR’s Hell On Wheels – Live and Live After Death by IRON MAIDEN there’s probably not a single one that could qualify as balls-out Metal ™. That’s largely because the metal show is so visceral, so in-the-moment that if you weren’t sweating it out in the venue – be it arena or basement show – no amount of audio trickery, snappy between-song banter or killer set list is going to make you feel like you were. Oh, there are exceptions. OZZY […]

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: ABHOR – Sex Sex Sex (Ceremonia Daemonis Antichristi)

Now eight albums deep into a 25+ year history, Italy’s ABHOR renew their commitment to the dark arts with the evocatively titled Sex Sex Sex (Ceremonia Daemonis Antichristi). With the core membership of Domine Saevum Graven and Ulfhedhnir (on guitar and vocals respectively) intact since 1995, one would be forgiven for assuming you know what you’re walking into with ABHOR. With the cover continuing the red/crimson theme of 2015’s Ritualia Stramonium and Occulta Religio of three years later, thoughts (among other things) arise of COVEN’s oft’ imitated Jinx Dawson, but this being ABHOR, there’s a snide swipe at the liturgies […]

Album Review: Manic Abraxas – Foreign Winds

Okay, so you’re a three-piece band from Stephen King Country, and you’ve already shot your shot by naming your outfit MANIC ABRAXAS. Add the weight that your last album was called Speed Golem and where the fuck do you go from there?! Well, it’d help if you started Foreign Winds out with something equally snazzily titled, ‘Red Camo Rock’, let’s say. Bonus points if you throw a few COFFINS grooves and Thomas G. Warrior-patented “Unnnh!”s in also. There’s a tad of the early ’00s DARKTHRONE here, thinking The Cult Is Alive, when Fenriz got to stroke his punk hard-on to […]

Album Review: Even Flow – Mediterraneo [EP]

EVEN FLOW has been active for a bit over two decades now, and yet Mediterraneo is only its fifth release (including two other EPs and as many full-lengths), so one would hope for quality over quantity, right? Opening with ‘Ocean Lies’ we’re immediately swept under the waves of crashing keys that seem to dominate the mix, the band clearly feeling the energy that this sort of prog-lite metal needs to carry it over. Don’t let the “lite” confuse you, though, as there’s plenty of heft to the vocals of Marco Pastorino, who has possibly the most pristine pipes I’ve heard […]

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: Saor – Origins

Freshly back from his second album under the also solitary but more overtly blackened FUATH moniker, Andy Marshall returns with Origins, and it’s here we find SAOR returning to its, erm, Roots, yet looking brightly, brilliantly forward. Contemplative from the onset, ‘Call Of The Carnyx’ rolls in like fog across the moors, a hypnotic guitar phrasing, clan drums calling, beckoning to join, to heed the harkening. Soon enough, the fires are lit, and an energetic phrasing is held aloft by galloping rhythm, just as quickly to return to a brief gentler moment – and this is where the strength of […]

Album Review: Cavernous Gate – Voices From A Fathomless Realm

At over three minutes, the layered choral intonations, bell-like chimes, ritual drums of ‘That Night’ are less “intro” and more a full piece of the DEAD CAN DANCE / CURRENT 93 variety, gently tolling into ‘Old Graves Stir’. ‘Twixt forlorn crags, yet of majestic height we travel, summoned into the realm of death, stumbling over jagged riff, loss howling its fetid decay into our face in form of winds. Sebastian “S.K.” Körkemeier in his other roles, other bands has proven himself well versed in all shades of light and shadow, seeming to fully embrace the chance here to truly shine […]

Album Review: The Necromancers – Where The Void Rose

Almost feels as if we’ve stumbled into some shady downtown bar mid-song, ‘Sunken Huntress’ wasting no time in reminding old friends and informing newcomers what THE NECROMANCERS is on about. There’s a bit of Magnus Pelander in new vocalist Basile Chevalier-Coundrain’s pipes, more complimentary than carbon copy, shades of the much-missed Michael Grant of CRESCENT SHIELD, and neither a bad thing. Musically, there’s a delightful blend of doom, SLOUGH FEG-styled rave-ups and even a sense of experimentation ala MASTODON’s post-Leviathan work on offer here. Certainly the most overtly Metal of the bunch, ‘The Needle’ marries early JUDAS PRIEST to a […]

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 […]