Author: James Conway

Taake – Stridens Hus

While most of the Norwegian black metal elite are now either content to parody the true metal scene (Darkthrone), indulge their love of Pink Floyd to the nth degree (Enslaved) or position themselves as a laughing stock (Burzum), it’s satisfying that there are still some artists who are content to keep things grim and frostbitten. Bergen bad-boy Hoest is one such kvlt warrior who has done things his own, solitary way for the past twenty years with his band Taake, arguably one of the better examples of the 3rd wave of black metal. Sticking to a rigid schedule of...

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The Crown – Death is Not Dead

While all the focus recently has been on the successful reunions of the comeback kings of death metal, namely Autopsy, Carcass and At the Gates, the fourth incarnation of Trollhättan quartet The Crown has largely gone unnoticed. The lukewarm reaction to 2010’s “Doomsday King” may explain why it has taken the band nearly five years to produce another record, and with original vocalist and fan favourite Johan Lindstrand returning for a third stint behind the mic the odds are looking good for the veterans’ seventh album “Death is not Dead” to catapult them back to the big leagues. What...

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Napalm Death – Apex Predator – Easy Meat

With the majority of the metal old guard in their twilight years, occasionally releasing a lacklustre new album that fans are determined to like despite it not being a patch on the classics, one band that has steadfastly refused to lapse into mediocrity is grindcore originators Napalm Death. Over the course of thirty odd years they have consistently remained ahead of the pack, with natural evolution in their songwriting ensuring they remain thrillingly relevant. With the world in 2015 still looking like a shitty place, the time could not be better for the brummie legends to drop their fifteenth...

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Venom – From the Very Depths

There are few bands more important than Venom. Anyone with a passing interest in metal will know the tale of how three Geordie youngsters with a love of punk and an unhealthy appreciation for Dennis Wheatley novels created black metal single handedly with 1981’s “Welcome to Hell” and the following year’s “Black Metal” firmly establishing the sound, style and look of the genre that has literally millions of disciples today. So although Venom’s place in the pantheon of metal gods is not in dispute, it’s a shame that for the past 30 years they have lived off the back...

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Old Lines – No Child Left Behind

While the hardcore scene remains locked in an ever decreasing spiral of recycled riffs, manufactured aggression and plastic political slogans, it takes a lot to stand out from the crowd. One band who did manage to rise above the mediocre was Baltimore, Maryland’s Pulling Teeth who released a selection of boisterous yet quirky albums/EP’s and splits before disbanding in 2012. Thankfully Mitch Roemer, one of the driving forces behind this underappreciated band has resurfaced with Old Lines with former Ruiner member Jake Berry and a few others along for the ride. On their second full-length “No Child Left Behind”...

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