Rebel Extravaganza

Heavy Metal & Extreme Music And Culture

Season Of Mist

Album Review: Culted – Nous

Cults are always problematic for me, largely because what – on the surface – seems a calling to “abandon false religions” and “leave society behind” almost invariably becomes religious in practice and elitist, societal, “hive mind” in psyche by the time the Kool-Aid starts getting passed around. Especially within the realms of our beloved “extreme” music, the term “cult” gets thrown around with the same abandon my generation used to declare things “radical”, “bitchin’”, or “hella”. But I’ll leave this for another day. CULTED has been at it a little over a decade now, and is one of the ever […]

Album Review: Gearea – Limbo

It worried me when I saw that Portugal’s GAEREA had not-one-not-two-but-three (count ‘em!) songs past the 9-minute mark on its sophomore release, Limbo. Now I’m all for exploration, sonic and otherwise, but I’d truly enjoyed the 40-odd minutes of Unsettling Whispers in 2018, and its been my considered opinion that genre-wide, black metal slips most easily into wandering tangents when it should stay right where it is, and stop trying to be so fancy. I’m looking at you, UADA. Hence, when GAEREA pulled not one single punch, getting down to the monolithic, tower of fuckoff that is the beginning of […]

Album Review: Green Carnation – Leaves Of Yesteryear

While 2006’s EP, Acoustic Verses, was phenomenal, and would have been a worthy finale to a career of majestic highs and Hell-deep lows, something just didn’t seem quite finished. I, for one, was affected more than I thought I’d be when GREEN CARNATION announced its end only 2 years later. In 2014, the band teased live appearances, delivering on the promise to great acclaim, but alas, no new music was offered. And that, my friends and fiends, is why Leaves Of Yesteryear is such a special album. Comprised of largely the same lineup responsible for 2003’s A Blessing In Disguise […]

Album Review: Tombs – Monarchy Of Shadows

TOMBS is for sure one of the most reliable bands in American black metal. I haven’t heard a bad album by them yet, and the latest, Monarchy Of Shadows, stands as one of their best. They are laser focused here, and don’t mess around for a second. It’s a compact album of six songs, but you get plenty of bang for the buck. I like how TOMBS subtly shift the approach on each song, bringing in slightly different influences, but yet the album is a unified whole. The title track starts things off with gloomy synth until hard riffs come […]

Album Review: Necrowretch – The Ones From Hell

This French band has been going at it for a good long stretch now, tossing out discs of evil death metal every few years to remind us they’re still around. They put me in a peculiar position, because they are definitely heavy enough, fast enough and diabolical enough, but they just don’t seem to make a big impression on me. The Ones From Hell is more of the same. These guys don’t have the aura of being bandwagon-jumpers, their commitment to black and death metal seems sincere. Yet it doesn’t register in any major way. They are influenced by classic […]

Album Review: Thy Catafalque – Naiv

In almost every conceivable case, when I read a line in a band’s PR sheet that says their current album is “their least metal ever”, the hackles on my neck go up and I fear the worst. But not with THY CATAFALQUE, because I know Tamas Katai is in the driver’s seat. He knows where he’s going, he knows how to drive and his grip on the wheel is firm. With THY CATAFALQUE, Katai has consistently proven he’s the rarest of birds in today’s music scene…an honest to God composer. There is something about the way this man writes music […]

Album Review: THE OLD DEAD TREE – The End

Saying goodbye can be a difficult thing, but I believe goodbyes on good terms are much better than memories fading into nothingness. THE OLD DEAD TREE releases their final EP, The End, as a final chapter to celebrate a twenty plus year career, and it is definitely a satisfying but concise ending. This EP contains 5 tracks, all written around 1999, and all these tracks fit right in with their library of dark, beautiful and melancholic brand of progressive metal. The EP kicks off with ’Sorry’. A lite piano intro shifts into a very percussive riff, and then, breaks away […]

ALBUM REVIEW: Gaahl’s Wyrd – GastiR – Ghosts Invited

There’s no doubt that Mr. Kristian Espedal better known as GAAHL is one of the most polarizing, if not the most polarizing figure on the black metal scene. And so he’s been for quite some time. Much of it seems to revolve around his sexuality, which I could give a rat’s ass about. It’s no more pertinent with Gaahl than it is with Rob Halford or the dude from TORCHE. But even beyond that, the guy’s been a real outsider since Day One and in a lot of ways he sums up the rebel aspect of black metal a lot […]

Album Review: Vltimas – Something Wicked Marches In

David Vincent has taken a lot of flak over the last couple of years for being in a country music band and also doing a knockoff of his former band MORBID ANGEL. Those criticisms may very well be justified, but I’ll tell you one thing…the guy is still a master death metal vocalist and one listen to this album will prove it. Vincent has always been one of the forefathers and leaders of the death metal genre. On Something Wicked Marches In, he’s at his best, growling away in a clear and comprehensible fashion and adding theatrical little touches like […]

Album Review: Rotting Christ – The Heretics

ROTTING CHRIST have existed in their own self-contained universe almost from the start of their career, which is now approaching the 30 year mark. They have never been interested in the typical trappings of what many perceive as extreme metal…they’ve never tried to be the fastest, the most brutal or, despite the obvious connotations of their name, the most blasphemous. They just create music on their own terms with no desire to meet any outside expectations.  The Heretics is for sure the most cinematic of all ROTTING CHRIST albums. A lot of this sounds like it could be the soundtrack […]