Reviews

Howl: Howl

At barely 15 minutes, it’s an all-too brief preview, but that’s all it takes to instantly establish Howl as a band to watch for in late-’09 and 2010.

Book Review: To Live Is To Die: The Life And Death Of Metallica’s Cliff Burton by Joel McIver

To think that it took 23 years for someone to come up with this brilliant notion of paying respects to Cliff Burton, the true backbone of Metallica, by providing a biography of his life is quite shocking. Seeing as metallians around the world have been mourning his passing—and the requisite downward spiral of the quartet give or take a few late-’80s releases—ever since, it’s sad something so obvious has gone under the radar for this long. Hell, even bootleg-ish videocassette Cliff ‘Em All sold boatloads…why wouldn’t this?

Black Out: Evil Game

This classic debut album by Holland’s Black Out was originally released by Roadrunner way back in 1984 and surprised many in the metal world with a few very positive reviews written toward this album back in the day. Needless to say, that this band is almost seamlessly connected with the British metal invasion of the early eighties.

Asphyx: Death… The Brutal Way

The appearance of Asphyx at this year’s Maryland Deathfest was more of a treat than probably many of the young ‘uns realized. After finding this out, I silently cursed my financial status for not allowing me to make the trek, because after one listen to their latest full-length Death….The Brutal Way (out August 19th on Ibex Moon, available for order now from the label’s website) being late on the rent might have been worth it.

Laina Dawes reviews the new comeback album by Dutch death metallers ASPHYX, one of the most anticipated old school death metal albums of 2009.

Behemoth: Evangelion

Poland’s Behemoth have returned with their ninth album in nineteen years, and this time around the band sounds as though they are pushing themselves even further. While Evangelion is still recognizably (and perhaps even predictably) Behemoth, there’s a controlled chaos to the sound that gives things a certain energy.

Netherbird: The Ghost Collector

Though drummer Adrian Erlandsson (At The Gates, The Haunted, Cradle of Filth) has been a respected figure in the metal scene for quite some time, Sweden’s Netherbird is just a newer arrival added to his list. Since forming in 2004, the band has released two EPs while attracting followers from around the world through MySpace and showcasing their music on iTunes. Their first full-length album The Ghost Collector gives us a taste of metal without limitations.

Oak: s/t LP

Oak’s debut 12” rumbles and crumbles like Paul Bunyon piloting a city-sized backhoe. Vocalist Jo Gonzalez mixes and mashes his vocal chords to the tune of skidding tires and large men falling down jagged canyons while the humid oppression of the guitar, bass and drums acts like the soundtrack to slow suffocation and violent digestion.

New Keepers Of The Water Towers: Chronicles

Sweden’s New Keepers of the Water Towers have a pretty ridiculous name and their song titles are equally silly (“Scientists and the Man of Ice,” “Giant Subway Beast” and so on.) From a lyrical standpoint, these guys would be perfect for a split EP with Chicago doom/death practitioners Lair of the Minotaur.

Saviours: Three 7″ Singles

Recorded as demos this past April with Scott Ecklein, the four new songs and two covers aren’t just rough around the edges; they’re positively filthy, that barely-produced sound hearkening back to the glory days of tape-trading, the bare-bones mix enhancing the fierce performances. Simply put, as solid as they were before, Saviours has never sounded this great.

Adrien Begrand reviews three brand new, limited edition 7″ singles by Bay Area metal quartet Saviours.