2021

Album Review: Unfathomable Ruination – “Decennium Ruinae” 9/10 (Brutal Death)

Few bands in the technical brutal death metal scene are as reliable as London-based five-piece Unfathomable Ruination. Formed in 2010, they’ve cranked out three utterly fantastic full-length albums, including 2019’s Enraged & Unbound, plus an equally solid EP. This 11-year run of quality is particularly impressive when you consider that only drummer Doug Anderson and guitarist Daniel Herrera remain from the original lineup; the band has had several personnel adjustments, including three different vocalists. They’ve never lost their signature sound, though, which is astoundingly heavy, intensely fast, and mindblowingly technical. That applies 100% to new EP Decennium Ruinae, due out on May 28, which is every bit as excellent as we would expect. […]

2021

Album Review: Cruelty – “There Is No God Where I Am” 8/10 (Metallic hardcore)

Arguably starting in around 2015 with Employed To Serve’s Greyer Than You Remember, the UK hardcore scene has been on the form of its life for a little while now. Many great records have followed in its footsteps, most of them with a healthy dose of adoration for the glory days of late 90s and early 00s metallic hardcore. Cruelty’s There Is No God Where I Am is definitely another such record, and one which more than earns its place on that incredibly strong list. […]

2021

Album Review: Millstone – “Isle” 6.9/10 (Death Groove)

Looking to the past for inspiration and instruction is as natural in music as any other human endeavor. For instance, one of the selling points of classical music, as many elitist nerds tell me, is that it’s a continuous tradition going back hundreds of years (I’ve never heard these folks talk about the 60,000 year continuous culture of Aboriginal peoples in so-called Australia but I digress) Metal listeners have a habit of canon-worshipping-navel-gazing almost as bad as classical fans. Ask any boomer metalhead what their favorite band is and you hear a band formed any later than 1994. Annoying gatekeeping aside, many musicians in metal bands tend to be well-versed in the styles and bands that came before them and it makes for wonderful reinterpretations and synthesis of older sub-genres. Hailing from Siberia, Millstone is one such band offering up a tasty blending of many the sub-genres that originally came about in the 80’s and 90’s. […]

2021

Album Review: Wreche – “All My Dreams Came True” 8/10 (Black Metal)

When someday I teach a college course on heavy metal, one of the things I’ll cover on the first day of class is the basic instrumentation of the style: guitar(s), bass, vocals, drums. Some bands drop vocals from the standard lineup (Animals as Leaders, Behold the Arctopus), some drop the bass (Eremit, formerly Pig Destroyer), and some will even drop the guitar (Bell Witch, Necromantia). Autarkh even blew minds earlier this year by using DJ-style beats instead of a drumkit.  […]

2021

Album Review: Awenden/Feminazgul – “Split” 8.5/10 (RABM)

I have been eagerly awaiting this split, so I immediately rushed to listen to it when the review copy appeared in my e-mail. Both Awenden and Feminazgul are two of my favorite black metal bands and having both of them collaborate on a single album is something I didn’t know I needed but now is the most obvious thing in the world. Awenden, an anarchist black metal band, joins forces with Feminazgul, another anarchist black metal band, join forces to create an album that is as elegant and beautiful as it is heavy and powerful. […]

Kep Reviews

The Z-List: Philosopher, Kosmodemonic, PlagueLord & Gravecarver

Welcome for another entry in your new favorite series that celebrates the unsigned, underexposed underground of extreme metal. Celebrated below are four badass bands whose music is released independently, without the assistance of a label. These are the kind of groups that keep the scene we love alive, who give all of their blood, sweat, and tears to create phenomenal works that deserve more recognition than they’ve yet gotten. It’s my hope today to bring some of you readers your newest obsession, that album that you can’t help but want to share with your friends—an album that you might not have discovered without an introduction. Bring your appetite for riffs that wallop, and let’s get into it.  […]