ALBUM REVIEWS

"Data Diamond" by Four Stroke Baron Is An Electrifying Descent Into Sonic Madness 

BY STEVE THIRIOT

"Data Diamond" by Four Stroke Baron is an electrifying descent into sonic madness, a relentless barrage of sound that grips you by the throat and doesn't let go until the very last note fades into oblivion. This album is not for the faint of heart; it's a journey into the depths of experimental rock that will leave you breathless and exhilarated. This is one of the most original and exciting albums I’ve listened to.

From the opening track "On Mute," with its pulsating synths and haunting melodies, to the epic finale "Data Diamond" featuring the masterful contributions of Paul Masvidal and Adam Janzi, Four Stroke Baron takes you on a rollercoaster ride of intensity and innovation. The fusion of electronic elements with heavy guitar riffs creates a soundscape that is both familiar and utterly alien, drawing you in with its hypnotic allure and refusing to let you go.

But what truly sets "Data Diamond" apart is its unabashed commitment to pushing boundaries. The band's willingness to embrace the unknown and explore new sonic territories is evident in every track, from the sinister sounds of "The Witch" which will haunt your mind with its poppy hooks long after you’ve listened to it; to the frenetic energy of "Open The World" that consumes your soul with its brilliance. This is music that defies categorization, blurring the lines between genres and challenging the listener to expand their horizons.

Yet, for all its experimentalism, "Data Diamond" never loses sight of the fundamental elements that make great music. The songwriting is tight and focused, with each track building upon the last to create a cohesive and immersive listening experience. And while there may be moments of chaos and dissonance, there is always an underlying sense of purpose and direction that guides the listener through the sonic labyrinth.

In the end, "Data Diamond" is more than just an album—it's a monument to the power of creativity and the boundless potential of human expression. Four Stroke Baron has crafted a masterpiece that transcends the limitations of conventional rock music, forging a path towards a future where anything is possible. So strap yourself in and prepare to be taken on the ride of a lifetime, because once you enter the world of "Data Diamond," there's no turning back.

Album Drops May 31st on Prosthetic Records

 

"Crushing Blows" by LiveKill Is An Onslaught of Metal Mastery (Single Review) 

BY STEVE THIRIOT

"Crushing Blows" the recently released single by LiveKill is a thunderous onslaught of metal mastery that ignites the senses and leaves a trail of destruction in its wake. From the first note to the final crescendo, this track delivers an adrenaline-fueled assault on the eardrums that is both relentless and exhilarating.

The production, helmed by a team of seasoned professionals including James Hawkins, Napalm, Erik Lissabet, Kevin Gallagher, and John Snell, is nothing short of impeccable. Each instrument cuts through the mix with precision, creating a wall of sound that is as brutal as it is mesmerizing.

But it's not just about the technical prowess on display here. LiveKill brings a level of passion and intensity to their performance that is truly electrifying. The vocals soar with an otherworldly power, while the guitars unleash a barrage of riffs that sear themselves into your brain. And let's not forget the drums, which thunder and pound with a ferocity that is impossible to ignore.

"Crushing Blows" is more than just a song—it's a sonic juggernaut that demands to be heard. With its combination of raw energy, technical proficiency, and sheer intensity, it's a tantalizing glimpse of what's to come from LiveKill's upcoming album, Evil Ecstasy. Brace yourselves, because this is one band that shows no mercy.

Watch the Kick-Ass Video HERE

Listen to the track on SPOTIFY

 

Ovdan by Tomorrow's Rain A Haunting Symphony of Doom and Redemption (Album Review) 

BY STEVE THIRIOT

Tomorrow's Rain's latest offering, "Ovdan," emerges from the depths of despair to deliver a haunting symphony of doom and redemption. Produced by the masterful hands of Arie Arnovich and the band itself, and adorned with captivating artwork by Paul Roth and Vivian Birkenfeld, this album is a testament to the power of collaboration and artistic vision.

From the very first track, "Roads," featuring the ominous vocals of Andreas Vingback of Dark Funeral and Tony Wakeford of Sol Invictus, the listener is plunged into a world of darkness and introspection. The guitars, wielded by Raffy Mor and Yoni Biton, weave intricate melodies that sear through the soul like a blade, while Yaggel Cohen's bass provides a solid foundation that reverberates through the very core.

"Sunrise" follows, a melancholic ode to the fleeting nature of hope, its mournful tones echoing across desolate landscapes. The guest appearance of Attila Csihar of Mayhem on "Muaka" adds a sinister edge, his otherworldly vocals intertwining with Yishai Sweeartz's haunting delivery to create a chilling atmosphere of dread.

"Room 124" and "I Skuggornas Grav" continue to explore themes of loss and longing, with guest contributions from Mickael Broberg of Unanimated and Anja Huwe of Xmal Deutschland adding depth and emotion to the proceedings. "Burning Times" takes a darker turn, with Jan Lubitzki of Depressive Age guest spot unleashing a torrent of despair that consumes all in its path.

But amidst the darkness, there are moments of respite. "Rainbow" shines like a beacon of hope in the midst of the storm, its shimmering melodies offering a glimpse of salvation in an otherwise bleak landscape. "Convalescence" follows, a cathartic journey through pain and healing that leaves the listener breathless in its wake.

As the album draws to a close, "Intensive C. U." serves as a reminder of the fragile nature of existence, its haunting refrain lingering long after the final notes have faded into silence. And in a fitting finale, "Turn Around - Gothic Rock Version" revisits earlier themes with a fresh perspective, courtesy of Michael Denner of Mercyful Fate/King Diamond and Ben Christo of Sisters Of Mercy, bringing the journey full circle.

"Ovdan" is a masterpiece of modern metal, a testament to the enduring power of the human spirit in the face of adversity. Tomorrow's Rain have crafted a work of staggering beauty and depth, one that will resonate with listeners long after the final chord has rung out.

Album Drops April 19th 2024 on AOP Records

"Abysmal Mind" by BELETH: A Sonic Assault of Groove-Driven Metal Mastery 

BY STEVE THIRIOT

BELETH, the Australian powerhouse of groove-driven metal, has unleashed a relentless juggernaut with their latest single "Abysmal Mind." This track is not for the faint-hearted; it's a brutal assault on the senses that leaves you gasping for air and craving more.

From the first thunderous riff to the last bone-crushing breakdown, "Abysmal Mind" takes you on a rollercoaster ride through the depths of human darkness. The guitar work is nothing short of phenomenal, with razor-sharp precision and a ferocity that is downright terrifying. Each riff is like a sledgehammer to the skull, leaving you dazed and exhilarated.

But it's not just the instrumentation that shines on this track; the vocals are equally as impressive. The guttural growls and screams cut through the mix like a knife through butter, conveying a sense of anguish and despair that is palpable. It's as if the vocalist is channeling the tortured souls of the damned themselves, screaming out from the abyss.

What truly sets "Abysmal Mind" apart, however, is its relentless groove. Despite the brutality of the music, there's an undeniable sense of rhythm and groove that permeates every aspect of the song. It's this combination of aggression and groove that makes it so addictive; you can't help but head bang along, even as your neck threatens to snap from the sheer force of the music.

 "Abysmal Mind" is modern metal at it's finest. It's raw, visceral, and unapologetically heavy, yet it's also incredibly catchy and well-crafted. BELETH has truly outdone themselves with this single, solidifying their place as one of the most exciting acts in the metal scene today. So crank up the volume, brace yourself for impact, and prepare to have your mind blown by the sheer sonic assault that is "Abysmal Mind."

Listen to the Track on SPOTIFY

"Vault of Horrors" by Aborted is a Monstrously Brutal Soundtrack to a Nightmare (Album Review) 

BY STEVE THIRIOT

"Vault of Horrors" by Belgian death metal leviathans Aborted is a monstrously brutal soundtrack to a nightmare, unflinchingly cementing their status as overlords of aural horror and mayhem. Each track in this blood-curdling symphony is a malevolent ode to the dark corners of horror cinema, with the band's signature sonic savagery on full, merciless display.

Dreadbringer - A colossal opener, this track sets the tone with relentless drumming and guttural vocals. It's like being chased through a graveyard by an unseen terror.

Condemned To Rot - True to its name, this track is a decaying feast of riffs and blast beats. The guitar work here is not just heard; it infects you, an auditory rot that's both disturbing and exhilarating.

Brotherhood of Sleep - A sinister, almost ritualistic offering. It's a descent into madness, showcasing the band's ability to create an atmosphere thick with impending doom.

Death Cult - A tribute to 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,' it's a frenetic bloodbath of sound. The vocals slice through the mix like Leatherface's chainsaw, relentless and unforgiving.

Hellbound - This track drags you to the depths of inferno. The tempo shifts are like the changing circles of hell, each more terrifying than the last.

Insect Politics - Here's where Aborted shows off their technical prowess. The intricate guitar work buzzes and writhes like a swarm of locusts over an apocalyptic landscape.

The Golgothan - A disgustingly heavy homage to the 'shit demon'. It's a track that's as revolting as it is compelling, filled with sludgy riffs and bowel-churning growls.

The Shape Of Hate - A nod to 'Halloween,' this track is like being stalked by Michael Myers. The relentless pacing and sudden bursts of speed mirror the heart-pounding suspense of the film.

Naturom Demonto - There's an eerie, almost supernatural quality to this track. It's like an incantation, with each verse drawing you deeper into the darkness.

Malevolent Haze - Closing the album, this song is a dense, oppressive fog of sound, suffocating and inescapable. It's a fitting end to a journey through horror's most twisted tales.

"Vault of Horrors" is absolutely brutal triumph in the genre of death metal, a testament to Aborted's enduring legacy as genre pioneers. Each track is a grotesque work of art, marrying technical brilliance with raw, emotional ferocity. This album doesn't just pay tribute to horror classics; it stands as one itself, a brutal, bloody masterpiece that will haunt listeners long after the final note has died away.

Album Drops March 15th via Nuclear Blast Records

 

Album Review: "Graveside Grin" by Leather Lung 

BY STEVE THIRIOT

The underground realms of metal have always been a breeding ground for unapologetically raw talent, and Leather Lung's "Graveside Grin" stands as a monument to this relentless tradition. With a release date of March 15, 2024, through Magnetic Eye Records, this album is a seismic shift in the boogie metal landscape, showcasing a band that has not only grown in numbers but also in sheer sonic force.

From the opening salvo of "Spit in the Casket," Leather Lung sets the tone for an album that is unrelenting in its pursuit of heavy. The addition of a second guitarist, Greg, has evidently paid off, creating layers of thick, sludgy riffs that interweave with a precision that belies the band's chaotic energy. The tracks "Big Bad Bodega Cat" and "Freewheelin' Maniac" are prime examples, where the guitars not only drive the songs but also create a dense atmosphere that's both suffocating and invigorating.

The rhythm section, with Ben on drums and Jesse on bass, adds a doom-laden groove to the mix, transforming what could have been straightforward stoner metal into a more complex beast. The interplay between these two is particularly evident in tracks like "Empty Bottle Boogie" and "Twisting Flowers," where their instrumentation provide a solid foundation for the guitars to wreak havoc.

Mike's vocals are powerful and raw without losing an ounce of clarity. In tracks like "Guilty Pleasure" and "Raised Me Rowdy," he demonstrates his range, delivering lines with emotional power that resonates with the listener long after the song has ended. "La La Land" and "Headstone" stand out not just for their musical prowess but also for their lyrical depth. 

The production on "Graveside Grin" strikes a perfect balance between raw energy and polished clarity. Each instrument is given room to breathe, creating a sound that is dense yet discernible. The production allows for the band’s personality to shine through without sacrificing the grit and grime that is essential to their sound.

"Graveside Grin" is more than just a collection of songs; it's a statement of intent from a band that is not afraid to push boundaries. Leather Lung has not only lived up to the expectations set by their earlier EPs but has exceeded them in every way possible. This album is a must-listen for anyone with an appetite for heavy music that is both intellectually stimulating and unabashedly fun. Leather Lung is indeed ready to take on the world, and "Graveside Grin" is their battle cry.

Album Drops March 15, 2024, through Magnetic Eye Records

 

"Dark Space - II" by Darkspace is a 47-Minute Assault On The Senses (Album Review) 

BY STEVE THIRIOT

Darkspace, a trio shrouded in mystery and known for their unorthodox approach to metal, have launched yet another cosmic odyssey with their fifth full-length album, "Dark Space - II." The band members, Wroth and Yhs on guitars and vocals, along with Zhaaral on bass and vocals, continue their exploration of the darkest corners of the universe through music.

"Dark Space - II" is not just an album; it's a 47-minute assault on the senses, an uninterrupted journey through the voids of space and the human psyche. This one-track leviathan defies the traditional structure of music, presenting an unbroken narrative that pushes the listener into an abyss of sound. It's quite impressive

From the outset, Darkspace demonstrates their mastery of atmosphere. The opening segments are an overwhelming barrage of sound, a fusion of guitar riffs and ethereal tones that mimics the unyielding march of time in a cold, indifferent universe. The vocals, delivered by Wroth, Yhs, and Zhaaral, are not mere words but echoes from a void, harsh and unintelligible, as if they're channeling the voices of celestial entities.

What sets "Dark Space - II" apart from its predecessors and peers is its integration of electronic elements. Fractal electronic samples cut through the dense layers of sound, creating a juxtaposition that is both jarring and mesmerizing. These electronic components do not simply complement the traditional instruments; they transform the soundscape into something alien and otherworldly.

The album's middle section is a further descent into the void. Glitchy murmurs and extraterrestrial drones interweave, creating a sense of unease and disorientation. This is not music for the faint-hearted; it is an experience that demands attention and endurance. The band's ability to maintain this intense atmosphere throughout the entirety of the album is a testament to their skill and vision.

As "Dark Space - II" progresses towards its conclusion, the soundscapes give way to a haunting emptiness, a reminder of the vast, unexplored spaces that lie beyond our understanding. The final moments of the album are a chilling blend of resignation and awe, leaving the listener in a state of contemplative silence.

Darkspace's "Dark Space - II" is a monumental achievement in the realm of metal and ambient music. It's a relentless, immersive experience that defies conventional boundaries and expectations. This album is a journey into the unknown, a witness to the band's ability to create a unique and unforgettable sonic universe. For those brave enough to embark on this journey, "Dark Space - II" is an essential listen.

Listen to the album on SPOTIFY

 

Black Tusk releases new single "Brushfire" (Single Review) 

BY STEVE THIRIOT

"Brushfire," the latest single from Black Tusk, a band synonymous with the gritty realms of Sludge Metal, is a relentless auditory assault that stays true to the roots of the genre while showcasing the band's evolution. The band, consists of Andrew Fidler on guitar and vocals, James May behind the drums and vocals, and Derek Lynch on bass and vocals and Chris "Scary" Adams on guitar and vocals have proven their mastery in crafting a sound that's as raw as it is refined.

From the very first chord, "Brushfire" grips you with its unapologetic heaviness. Fidler and Adam's guitar work is a force to be reckoned with, delivering riffs that are both intricate and punishing. Their ability to balance technical proficiency with the raw energy that Sludge Metal demands is nothing short of impressive. It's this razor-edge riffing that forms the backbone of the track, providing a solid foundation for the rest of the elements to build upon.

The rhythm section, driven by May and Lynch, is where "Brushfire" really comes to life. May's drumming is a tumultuous undercurrent, with rhythms that are both complex and utterly commanding. He doesn't just keep time; he propels the song forward with a ferocity that matches the intensity of the riffs. Meanwhile, Lynch's bass lines are the dark, pulsating heart of the track. His playing is not just a complement to the guitar and drums but a standout performance that adds depth and power to the song.

Vocally, "Brushfire" is a triumphant showcase of raw, unbridled energy. The band's decision to lean into rough and rowdy Semi-gang vocals pays off, creating a chorus that is both anthemic and menacing. Lynch leads the vocal charge on this track, bringing his unique timbre to the table, The result is a vocal performance that is as diverse as it is cohesive.

Lyrically, Black Tusk stays true to their no-frills approach. The song's themes are direct and impactful, avoiding the pitfalls of overwrought metaphor or unnecessary complexity. This directness is a breath of fresh air in a genre that sometimes gets bogged down in its own obscurity. "Brushfire" is a song that says what it needs to say and does so with a blunt force that's as refreshing as it is intense.

"Brushfire" is a triumph to Black Tusk's ability to evolve without losing sight of their roots. It's a track that manages to be both familiar and fresh, a balancing act that few bands can achieve with such finesse. This song is not just a standout in Black Tusk's discography; it's a standout in the Sludge Metal genre as a whole. For fans of heavy, no-nonsense metal, "Brushfire" is a must-listen. “Brushfire” is the first single off Black Tusk's forthcoming album “The Way Forward” out April 26, 2024 via Season Of Mist

Listen to the track on SPOTIFY

 

"Can't Save Us All" by Born In Blood Is Unapologetically Brutal (Album Review) 

BY STEVE THIRIOT

Fort Worth, TX-based metal band Born In Blood delivers a thunderous entry into the metal scene with their latest album, "Can't Save Us All." Known for their brutal blend of dissonance and melody, the band doesn't disappoint in this relentless barrage of sound that is both intricate and aggressive. The Band member include Talmage Crumholt on Vocals, Anthony Rendon on Guitars, Stephen Bonilla on Drums and Royce Vick on Bass.

The album starts with a fierce opener, "Inferno" sets the tone with its explosive energy. The track features a complex interplay of guitar riffs and drum patterns, showcasing Bonilla's prowess on the drums and Rendon's skill with the guitar.

On “Revile” Crumholt's vocals are a highlight here, adding a raw, visceral layer to an already brutal song.

The title track "Can't Save Us All" stands out with its thematic depth and musical complexity. The lyrics are introspective, pondering the darker aspects of human nature. Musically, the band fires on all cylinders, with Vick's bass lines providing a solid backbone.

Arguably the most stand out track on the album, "Kill Kill" is relentless in its delivery. The name says it all. It’s a showcase of Born In Blood's ability to maintain intensity without sacrificing musicality. The interplay between all members is tight and precise, a testament to their chemistry.

A fitting end to the album, "Implosion" combines elements from the previous tracks, culminating in a powerful finale. The song's structure is complex, yet it flows seamlessly, leaving the listener both exhausted and exhilarated.

"Can't Save Us All" is a formidable album that asserts Born In Blood's place in the metal landscape. The band's skill in blending harsh dissonance with melodic moments is commendable. Each track is a testament to the individual talents of the band members and their ability to come together to create a cohesive and brutal sound.

Talmage Crumholt's vocal range and intensity are particularly noteworthy, delivering a performance that's both aggressive and emotionally charged. Anthony Rendon and Stephen Bonilla prove to be a formidable duo, their guitar and drum interplay driving the album's intense energy. Royce Vick's bass is the glue that holds everything together, providing depth and rhythm to the tracks.

"Can't Save Us All" is a must-listen for fans of heavy, intense music. Born In Blood has crafted an album that is unapologetically brutal yet intricately composed, a rare feat in the genre. This album is a testament to their talent and a promise of great things to come from this Fort Worth powerhouse.

Listen to the album on SPOTIFY

 

"In Shoals" by War From A Harlots Mouth Is A Calculated Onslaught of Complexity and Brutality (Legacy Album Review) 

BY STEVE THIRIOT

It’s not often that an album sounds like a collision between a jazz lounge and a war zone, but War From A Harlots Mouth's 2009 release, "In Shoals," manages to do precisely that. War From A Harlots Mouth craft a brutal album with the audacious aim of melding Mathcore, Grindcore, Hardcore, and Jazz influences into a volatile mix. And boy, did they succeed. This is one of my favorite albums that I am excited to share with you.

Opening the album is "They Come in Shoals" Right out of the gate, this track hits like a Molotov cocktail of musical styles. The frenetic drumming and relentless riffage welcome you to an album that demands attention.

"No High Five for C.oward" Is a clenched fist to the face of conformity. It manages to be challenging in its structure yet violently engaging, thanks to its blend of hardcore vocals and mathcore wizardry. 

"Briefing Security Werewolves on Red Alert" A short but sweet track that could serve as a sonic interpretation of chaos theory. The song is an inferno of simplicity, yet somewhere in that chaos is a calculated intent that's nothing short of brilliant as it is a dynamic introduction to the next song.

“Crooks at Your Door” A dissonant, anxiety-inducing track. It's like having your soul put through a wood-chipper—jarring yet fascinating. 

“Justice from the Lips of the Highest Bidder” This track is a jazz infused instrumental  musically manifesting itself through the power of creation! I dig it!

“Copyriot” Is a more straightforward but no less compelling tune that offers a catchy riff and leaves a lasting impression.

“The Certain Nothing” Here, the band delves into existentialist territories. The song is a layered masterpiece that touches the zenith of technicality. The musical shifts are fun and extremely satisfying. 

“Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Errorism” Yes, the title is a mouthful. The song, however, is brutal and intense with jazzy breakdowns and plenty of time for your emotions to be confused with what you are listening to at any given moment during this song.

"What Happens in the District... (Paper Agents) and ...Stays in the District (I'm the Black Sheep of Her Country)" These two serve as a diptych of sorts, wrapping up the album with a sense of completion yet leaving you in a state of yearning for more.

Scully: Closing out the record, this song serves as the aural equivalent of a Rubik's Cube doused in kerosene and set alight. The build ups and slow downs really highlight the intricacy and soundscape that this band can convey. Plainly stated the musicianship on this track is incredible a fitting end to a fantastic album. 

"In Shoals" is a labyrinth of musical complexity, offering no easy way out but guaranteeing a thrilling journey. It is a musical tinderbox, where every note seems ready to explode in your face. The album is both an intellectual challenge and a physical assault. But it's also more than the sum of its screams, riffs, and rhythms—it's an example of how musical genres can not only coexist but also enrich each other, resulting in a kaleidoscopic yet cohesive experience that takes Extreme Metal to unfathomable depths and soaring heights. That's probably why I love this album!

Listen to album on SPOTIFY

 

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