Posts Tagged ‘Fred Phillips’

Chrome Division – 3rd Round Knockout

There’s just something about black metal guys getting together to jam on some old-fashioned hard rock that works. By all rights it shouldn’t, since the accessible melodies and memorable hooks that go along with the style of music are pretty much the exact opposite of what black metal bands normally do. But every time I […]

Three Thirteen – Full Tilt

I so rarely get a physical product these days with review copies that I think I get way too excited when I get a nice one in the mail. The trappings of Three Thirteen’s Full Tilt aren’t all that elaborate – it’s a folding slipcase, designed a bit like an old LP cover, with a […]

Black Label Society – The Song Remains Not the Same

The days of getting a new Black Label Society record every year seem to be over, and that’s probably not a bad thing considering the way Zakk Wylde seemed to have burned out of good riffs on the band’s 2007 record Shot to Hell. So instead of a follow-up to last year’s outstanding Order of […]

Cavalera Conspiracy – Blunt Force Trauma

If you’ve followed the career of Max Cavalera, you won’t likely be surprised by what you hear on Cavalera Conspiracy’s latest outing, Blunt Force Trauma. It’s the same blend of Sepultura-style thrash and groove metal he’s delivered since leaving Sepultura, minus the world music influence. His second reunion with brother and drummer Igor Cavalera is, […]

Helstar – Glory of Chaos

More than a quarter century after releasing their debut record, the current lineup of Helstar has released the band’s heaviest record to date in Glory of Chaos. Like its predecessor, 2008’s The King of Hell, this record leans more on thrash influences than the band’s earlier power/speed metal tendencies, but it’s a more potent recipe […]

Tuck From Hell – Thrashing

It’s kind of hard to take a band named Tuck From Hell seriously, particularly when their record contains song titles like “Barbecue Beast,” “Tuckerz” and “Italian Stallion” and the cover features a cartoon guy wielding a chainsaw and flamethrower. But if you’re a fan of old-school 1980s thrash, it’s kind of hard not to like […]

Nekromantheon – Divinity of Death

The name, logo, album cover and Norweigian origin all say extreme metal, but the music on Nekromantheon’s Divinity of Death is pure candy to the ears of classic thrash fans. Nekromantheon blazes through 11 tracks in about 30 minutes sounding like the bastard child of Show No Mercy-era Slayer and very early Sepultura. The songs are short, […]

Shadow Theory, The – Behind the Black Veil

I’m having a tough time with the debut record from The Shadow Theory. On one hand, I love the mashup of soft atmospherics, driving heaviness and the occasional hit of weirdness. It’s all very well-played and put together. Those qualities make me want to call it the first candidate for best of 2011. On the […]

DarkBlack – Midnight Wraith

I vaguely recall being asked to review a DarkBlack’s The Barbarian’s Hammer EP for the old Digital Metal and being quite unimpressed. While I don’t, to be honest, remember much about that record, I’m a little more intrigued by the material on Midnight Wraith. I’m not quite won over by it, but it certainly shows […]

Yngwie Malmsteen – Relentless

I was a little disappointed with Yngwie Malmsteen’s last outing Perpetual Flame, primarily because of the underuse and uninspired performance of vocalist Tim “Ripper” Owens. It was a combination I had high hopes for. Malmsteen’s latest outing, Relentless, doesn’t correct the underuse factor, featuring Owens on only six of the 15 tracks, but it does […]

Negligence – Coordinates of Confusion

Normally when I go into a review listen on a band that’s new to me, I’m looking for something that I haven’t heard before. Sometimes, though, something very familiar that’s done very well can make an impact. That’s the case with the Slovenian thrashers Negligence. There’s not really a moment on this album that will […]

Holy Grail – Crisis in Utopia

With White Wizzard’s Over the Top being one of my favorite records of the year, I couldn’t help but look forward to the debut release from Holy Grail, Crisis in Utopia. What you have here is a band made up partially of former members of White Wizzard who moved on with a new name after an […]

Athorn – Phobia

Phobia, the debut album from Germany’s Athorn, seems to be right up my alley. In the vein of a band like Kiuas, one of my favorite discoveries of the last 10 years or so, Athorn blends power metal melodics with thrash and groove and maybe just a little hint of death here and there. I […]

Circle II Circle – Consequence of Power

I’ll preface this review, as I usually do, by admitting to my fanboy admiration for Savatage and the projects of the various members. That said, Zakk Stevens’ Circle II Circle has never completely connected with me since the band’s best effort, their debut record Watching in Silence in 2003. Their last outing, 2008’s Delusions of Grandeur, […]

Symphorce – Unrestricted

Fans of Symphorce are likely to be split on their latest record, Unrestricted. The album moves the band farther away from the progressive and symphonic elements of their earlier work and puts more of a straight-ahead hard rock spin on their sound. Album opener “The Eternal” gives us a dark piano intro that sounds promising, […]

Spiritual Beggars – Return to Zero

I remember being a little taken aback the first time I heard Michael Amott’s side project Spiritual Beggars. Being familiar with his work in Carcass and Arch Enemy, what I heard was not at all what I expected, but being a classic hard rock fan, I enjoyed it. The band’s latest effort, Return to Zero, […]

Firewind – Days of Defiance

Firewind has long been one of the steadiest, most reliable acts in the power metal genre. Despite guitarist Gus G.’s newfound stardom as Ozzy Osbourne’s latest guitarist, nothing has changed on the band’s latest record Days of Defiance. The record comes blazing out of the gates with “Ark of Lies,” a tune that has everything […]

Kamelot – Poetry for the Poisoned

I’ve always liked Kamelot, and over the years, I’ve enjoyed just about everything they’ve done. But I’ve never been a hardcore fan. So maybe it’s a little strange that a record which is somewhat experimental for them has quickly become my favorite offering in their catalog. It’s not like Poetry for the Poisoned belongs in […]

Pussy Sisster – Pussy Sisster

What’s better than a silly, semi-profane band name? Apparently a misspelled silly, semi-profane band name. At least that seems to be the theory of this German band that longs to bring back the 1980s glam scene. To be honest, after seeing the name of the band, I was kind of hoping that this record wouldn’t […]

White Wizzard – Shooting Star

So it’s been about six months since White Wizzard’s full-length debut, Over the Top, blew me away. It’s a record that will most certainly be near, if not at, the top of my year-end list. But much has changed for the band in those few months. They’ve lost a guitarist and singer Wyatt Anderson, who […]

Halford – IV: Made of Metal

A glance at the cheesy, amateurish cover of Halford’s IV: Made of Metal, likely wouldn’t inspire metal fans to give it a second glance if not for the fact that it bears the Metal God’s name. Luckily for the legendary screamer, it’s not what’s on the cover, but what’s under the hood, and Rob Halford’s latest […]

Flotsam & Jetsam – The Cold

The last Flotsam & Jetsam record to make an impact on me was 1995’s Drift. While I know that some fans of the band will disagree, I consider that record one of their finest moments. I loved the more progressive slant, and as much as I like No Place for Disgrace and Cuatro, it remains my […]

King Giant – Southern Darkness

King Giant may hail from Virginia, but the sludge they dish out on Southern Darkness sounds like something raked up from the bottom of a muddy Louisiana swamp. The sound is dense, like a dark, menacing beast that pays tribute to metal legends like Black Sabbath, walks hand-in-hand with sludge contemporaries like Down and Crowbar […]

Blind Guardian – At the Edge of Time

I remember when I used to get excited about a new Blind Guardian release, but since their 1998 masterpiece Nightfall in Middle Earth, everything they’ve released has been somewhat disappointing. That, unfortunately, doesn’t change much with their latest, At the Edge of Time. For me, this record is often maddeningly frustrating as it offers short […]

Accept – Blood of the Nations

For those familiar with my musical tastes, it might come as a bit of a surprise that I was never a big fan of Accept. Oh, I’ve got a copy of Restless and Wild and Balls to the Wall, but for some reason I never really connected with the band. When it was announced that […]