Posts Tagged ‘2001’

Armored Saint – A Nod to the Old School

After returning in Y2K with their stellar comeback record Revelation, California metallers Armored Saint serve one up to their long time fans with A Nod To The Old School; a collection of early indie tracks, live tunes, 4-track demos, covers and a few new numbers in a 2Disc package that is sure to fit comfortably […]

At The Gates – Suicidal Final Art

Just as At The Gates approached the zenith of their career, internal strife within the band caused one of metal’s brightest hopefuls to supernova in a spectacular event that shocked the band’s growing legion of fans and proponents. Slaughter of the Soul will forever remain lodged into the minds of metallers everywhere as the record […]

Axamenta – The Codex Barathri

It’s almost criminal to have to review this so soon after reviewing labelmates Dagorlad, as they sound very, very similar. Whereas Dagorlad describe themselves as (and I quote), “Melodic, dark evil, epic fantasy black/death metal”, Axamenta merely consign themselves to the far simpler “Melodic, epic, fantasy, horror, black metal” category – You see, two completely […]

Avantasia – The Metal Opera Part I

Edguy vocalist Tobias Sammet has created quite the power metal extravaganza here. For Avantasia, he has wrangled in some big name musicians and a slew of guest vocalists to deliver The Metal Opera; a nearly hour long drama set to pummeling power metal. While some attempts at these types of all-star concept pieces fall short, […]

Ayreon – The Universal Migrator Part II: Flight of the Migrator

Judging by the names of the musicians on the back of this CD case, someone would have to try really hard to make this a bad album. I mean, how could you go wrong with Russell Allen (Symphony X), Ralf Scheepers (Primal Fear), Ian Parry (Elegy), and (my god!) Bruce Dickinson (like you don’t know […]

Aborted – Engineering the Dead

Coming from the same label that is responsible for the excellent Deranged, I had high hopes for this Belgium death metal outfit. Needless to say I was suitably impressed, but not exactly blown away. A glance at the cover and song titles give you a glaring indication as to what these five medical misanthropes are […]

Anata – Dreams Of Death And Dismay

Leave it to Relapse to bring us the finest in international death metal. Dreams Of Death And Dismay is nearly 47 minutes of blast beats, merciless grooves, wicked guitar harmonies and old-school death vocals that is sure to please long-time death fans. The guitars are simply bludgeoning with super thick rhythm tones and cutting lead […]

Unseen Terror – Human Error

Before becoming the god-sized metal behemoth that they are now, Earache Records began as a small independent label dedicated to, as all upstanding metal labels are, rooting out the best extreme bands around. Britain’s Unseen Terror were one of the first bands signed to the label, and in 1987 Earache released their lone album, Human […]

Trollheim’s Grott – Bizarre Troll Technology

Finland’s Trollheim’s Grott formed in 1997. When I first encountered them they had just released what I believe to be their debut full-length, Kalt Trist Sorg Och DoD. They were a promising viking metal band, with emotional vocals rendered in grim and clean vocal styles. The musicianship was good, not great, but the long songs […]

Alas – Absolute Purity

Oh dear. It appears that I am going to very unpopular. Why? You ask. Well it seems that I am not going to follow the bleating herd by showering this famed Erik Rutan project with vast amounts of praise. Instead I am going to give my honest opinion of this album, with the hope that […]

All Else Failed – Archetype

Where to start? All Else Failed have been destroying the Philadelphia, PA hardcore/metal scene with their patented chaos – encased in subtle melodic hymns – for over four years. And now the year 2001 sees the release of the band’s second (and finest) full-length called Archetype on Now Or Never Records. After having what seemed […]

Summoning – Let Mortal Heroes Sing Your Fame

You know what my favorite instrument is? The war drum. I love it and have wanted a band to utilize it more since I heard it on Abigor‘s Verwüstung/Invoke the Dark Age album and varying Bal-Sagoth songs. Enter Austria’s Summoning – a war drum lovers dream come true. For those that don’t know, Summoning has […]

As I Lay Dying – Beneath The Encasing Of Ashes

Did I read the name right? Maybe the manufacturing plant put the wrong screening on the CD when they pressed it, because Beneath The Encasing Of Ashes by As I Lay Dying resembles Zao in every aspect, even down to the band photo and signature vocal delivery. Hailing from San Diego, California’s As I Lay […]

Hollenthon – With Vilest of Worms to Dwell

Former Pungent Stench frontman Martin Shirenc stormed back into the scene with 1999’s Hollenthon debut, Domus Mundi, an eclectic, hard-hitting foray into a wide variety of metal stylings. The sophomore effort With Vilest of Worms to Dwell takes that catalystic impetus into the 21st century with another inspired album that is practically overflowing with originality […]

Averse Sefira – Battle’s Clarion

This band escaped my notice until recently. In the last few weeks I have seen many reviews touting this band as the best of American black metal. That seems lofty praise, but maybe not unwarranted. If not the best, definitely one of the better. One reviewer said “extremely dissonant and chaotic-more unlistenable than DARKTHRONE’s Transylvanian […]

Aeternus – Ascension of Terror

I quite enjoyed the trio’s blackened take on some dark, metal twinged with folky/Viking melodies on .. And So The Night Became. Then 1999’s Shadows of Old and 2000’s Burning the Shroud, seemed to wander of into more death metal swamped pastures, and while being enjoyably brutal, I missed the atmospheric flare, that gave them […]

Agalloch – Of Stone, Wind and Pillor EP

While the term “Forest Metal” may sound ridiculous and comical, one listen to Agalloch’s Pale Folklore and their most recent EP Of Stone, Wind and Pillor and it’s difficult not to see large expanses of forest and snow-capped mountains. Much of Agalloch’s allure is its organic sound and sweeping, melancholic melodies – crossing Ulver’s Bergtatt and […]

Absu – Tara

Personally, I’ve always viewed Absu with a glazed eye from afar. Having only heard a few scattered songs from each of their four records ‘ and, at that, merely thinking they’re a loose ‘n’ clattering retread of old-school German thrash (Sodom, Kreator, Destruction, duh) ‘ but also having heard about band-leader Proscriptor’s ambient side-project, Equimanthorn, […]

Lost Horizon – Awakening the World

Heavy metal really hasn’t changed in the 30 odd years the music genre has been invading the humble homes of suburbanite, disenfranchised kids. Whether it serves as a confidence booster, a unifying rally cry or simply music to party by, heavy metal has and always will be a part of the general overview of music. […]

Aurora – Devotion

Y’know – I really wanted to find something wrong with this album. Desperately. I have hyped this band in previously as being the next big thing and have sworn (still do) that their two previous outputs, 1998’s Eos, and 1999’s Sadiam, will live on for years as some of the most awe-inspiring melodic death metal […]

Tool – Lateralus

For a band that is seriously responsible for inspiring the current malnourished, virtually talentless, disease of rap-metal infesting America, Tool clearly saw an inspired path out of that emotionally dead scene and dutifully took it. Why, might you ask, should you care about a group who is taking strident steps to remove itself, not only […]

Adagio – Sanctus Ignis

When I learned of some of the musicians participating in Adagio, I knew I had to do all I could to check this one out. Spearheaded by 24 year-old French guitar prodigy Stephan Forte, Adagio crank out some of the most intense, vigorous, and masterful symphonic Prog Metal this side of Symphony X. Sanctus Ignis […]

Wizard – Head of the Deceiver

Germany’s Wizard is more akin to Hammerfall or even Iron Maiden than to pompous glory metal acts like Rhapsody or Symphony X. Bereft of keyboard interference, the guitar work is fast, furious, and heavier than most of the swordswingers in the battle metal genre. In fact, the lyrical content and cover art seem to be […]

Amon Amarth – The Crusher

Sweden’s Amon Amarth is one of the few bands who started out playing death metal and maintain a steadfast proponent of the genre, musically and ideologically. While the band’s previous death metal masterpiece, The Avenger, solidified Amon Amarth as worldwide death metal entity, on The Crusher the mead-swillin’, Thorshammer-wearin’ outfit seem to be stuck in […]

Aeon – Dark Order EP

Summoned from the very same aged and burnt grimoire as Morbid Angel, Incantation and, perhaps, Krisiun, Aeon’s brand of death metal is incendiary, hell-wrought and well scaled. Dark Order is also predictable, but more on that later. Despite genre’s trodden path, Aeon do manage to bend, manipulate and smith their own sound by using a […]