Testament - Brotherhood Of The Snake
“Crammed full of old-school thrash thrills and featuring predominantly speed metal-based songs for the first time since their early days, it’s an exciting, breakneck experience. Chuck Billy is in the form of his life and his inimitable vocals are full of melody, particularly on the hook-laden, future pit anthem Born In A Rut. In fact, all members have raised their game here.” Read the full review here.
11Paranoias - Reliquary For A Dreamed Of World
“Reliquary… takes the basic formula explored on its predecessor – the diving, phased guitars, the smoked-out, hazy doom meanders and ritualistic intensity – and harnesses it to an asteroid made of bad acid, hurtling straight into another dimension.” Read the full review here.
Anaal Nathrakh - The Whole Of The Law
“While The Whole Of The Law thrills once again with the murderous savagery of the cold, mechanically precise blastbeats and hellish riffs, it’s the increased use of electronic effects that further mutates the nihilistic assault of this unique band into bolder, ghastlier forms.” Read the full review here.
Crowbar - The Serpent Only Lies
“With their 11th studio outing, the Louisiana-bred metallers have doubled down on their unyielding commitment to melodic sludginess with 10 new apocryphal dirges, oozing with chunky riffage, lumbering tempos and snarling couplets like, ‘If you grow a set of balls, it just might change your life’, from the record’s bludgeoning highlight, The Enemy Beside You.” Read the full review here.
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Helmet - Dead To The World
“Mainman Page Hamilton can still find unique and unusual, Beatles-esque melodies from a stark musical backdrop, and when they slow it down on the doomy, dissonant Look Alive you get glimpses of why Helmet are so revered. But it’s only during Die Alone that you can hear the tightly coiled, mechanical riffs and venomous lyrics spat through gritted teeth that could compare to the classic sound of Helmet.” Read the full review here.
Madder Mortem - Red In Tooth And Claw
“Red In Tooth And Claw is also a perfect entry point for newcomers; never have this band sounded so focused and ferocious, as exemplified by vocalist Agnete M Kirkevaag’s frequently breathtaking performance. Right now, very few vocalists of either gender come close. A riot of churning, hair-raising melodrama, oddball riffs and occasional moments of sweet respite, marauding prog metal nightmares like Returning To The End Of The World and Pitfalls are both audaciously heavy and weirdly accessible.” Read the full review here.
Vader - The Empire
“At its very core, a lot of The Empire’s riffing echoes mainman Peter’s roots in 80s thrash metal and the album’s to-the-point approach (most of these 10 songs here are between three and four minutes long) benefits greatly from lead guitarist Spider’s evocative solos and Reading-based drummer James Stewart’s robust beat.” Read the full review here.
Ulcerate - Shrines Of Paralysis
“This is intensely internal music, wrung from the darkest depths of the New Zealanders’ collective consciousness and spewed out with flailing abandon like Cthulhu bursting through the earth’s surface. It speaks of unimaginable horrors, as barbarous and excruciating maelstroms of dissonance and rhythmic ebb and flow like the opening Abrogation and the unnervingly bleak There Are No Saviours unfold.” Read the full review here.