Author: Mitch Ellerbrock

NOVAREIGN – LEGENDS

Southern California has a pretty damn good metal scene, and now that scene can boast one more great act because power metalers Novareign are set to release their debut full length album Legends which they’ve described as “an hour-plus of shred-tastic, over-the-top, epic power and progressive metal.” Now I know what you’re asking and why you’re here reading this: “The description sounds great but does the album actually deliver?” Well dear reader, let’s take a look, shall we? Opener “Call on the Storm” immediately hits with really sweet shredding guitar that tells you that this album is going to...

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STARSOUP – CASTLES IN THE SAND

Starsoup sounds like the next big thing from Campbell’s, but it’s actually a progressive rock project from Moscow and they released their second full-length album Castles in the Sand back on November 20, 2017. I had a chance recently to check out the album and it’s pretty damn good. It’s got a little bit of something for everyone in it, so let’s check it out. It starts off with “The Catcher in the Lie” which has become one of my favorite song titles of recent years, and while it’s true that just because the title is awesome doesn’t necessarily mean...

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DARK HOUND – DAWNING

Quick, when you think Nashville, what comes to mind? Country music? That crappy TV show? How about heavy metal? That’s exactly what we’re about to talk about, as Dark Hound are set to release their second full-length album titled Dawning in January 2018, after their 2014 self-titled debut and 2015 EP Oceans. The opener “The Ashes of Your Worth” is a pretty straight forward modern metal track, the difference being the vocals, which are slightly reminiscent of classic metal. There are a couple short but sweet solos here which make the track stand out. “Guilt Tripper” opens with guitars...

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DEAD HORSE TRAUMA TO EMBARK ON FIRST EUROPEAN TOUR

They say that there’s a first time for everything, and this is no different. If you’ve never heard of Des Moines based band Dead Horse Trauma (their 2017 album LIFE won my Album of the Year Award) you should absolutely check them out. They’ve been plenty busy lately, and that’s not about to change any time soon. For their first time, they’re about to head out from the intense cold of the Midwest to Europe for the European Fury Tour with Ektomorf and Chakora. Of course they’re going to do some shows here first, so you’ll have your chance...

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ACCUSER – THE MASTERY

German metalers Accuser (stylized Accu§er) are back yet again after being in a constant songwriting mode all over the past year. Together with long time producer Martin Buchwalter, this songwriting mode has culminated into their newest album The Mastery, due out January 26, 2018. For the band, The Mastery is some kind of missing link between the technical virtuosity of an album like Who Dominates Who and the more basic, heavy approach of Repent, and these ten tracks are exactly that: heavy. If this is your first taste of Accuser since their initial formation in 1986 (and then later...

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TERMINAL FUNCTION – KRAKSTÖREN EP

Technical death metallers Terminal Function have gone smaller with the release of their newest EP Krakstören. Described as “aggressive and progressive,” the band had set out to write shorter, more explosive songs. With there being only three tracks to discuss (it is an EP after all), I’ll get right into it. It opens with “Chiral Ghost,” and it is heavy. The track explodes with a signature death metal sound that has tons of energy, while (either intentionally or unintentionally) adding some prog-rock elements. The drums are incredibly impressive and the guitars are superb. Guitarist Mikael Almgren says, “The lyrics for...

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HAMFERD – TAMSINS LIKAM

Hamferð refers to an apparition: the image of a person facing death, appearing before his or her loved ones as an omen. The doom metal group is set to release the third part of their self-described “reverse chronological saga” on January 12, 2018. From the bio given to us by Metal Blade Records, “Roughly translated as Body of the Mist, Támsins likam is an attempt to create the most intriguing, honest and unique Hamferð experience yet. It is nothing less than a pinnacle; a culmination of many years of refining both sound and songwriting, spearheaded by a strong desire...

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GENUS ORDINIS DEI – GREAT OLDEN DYNASTY

Coming from Italy, symphonic death metal pioneers Genus Ordinis Dei have done it again with the release of their second full-length album Great Olden Dynasty via Eclipse Records. These ten tracks combine traditional death metal with bits of symphony and theatricality, and they do so wonderfully. Opener “The Unleashed” seamlessly meshes ripping guitars with classical strings, pounding drums and a touch of melody. All of this is joined by the particularly impressive vocals of Nick K, which sound a hell of a lot like those of Randy Blythe (Lamb of God). “You Die in Roma” has a majestic feel...

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