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Album Ratings 2005
Objectivity 67%

Last Active 01-18-18 7:54 am
Joined 01-11-09

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Average Rating: 3.64
Rating Variance: 0.30
Objectivity Score: 67%
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5.0 classic
Anacrusis Screams and Whispers
Arcturus La Masquerade Infernale
Aspid Extravasation
Beefcake Drei
Black Sabbath Heaven and Hell
Boris Boris At Last -Feedbacker-
Burial Burial
Burial Untrue
Candlemass Epicus Doomicus Metallicus
Carcass Necroticism: Descanting the Insalubrious
Carcass Heartwork
Chroma Key Dead Air For Radios
Coroner Grin
Coroner No More Color
Cynic Focus
Death Symbolic
Depressive Age Electric Scum
Dream Theater Images and Words
Dream Theater Awake
Grand Funk Railroad Closer To Home
Guns N' Roses Use Your Illusion II
King Crimson In the Court of the Crimson King
Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin IV
Megadeth Rust in Peace
Mekong Delta The Music of Erich Zann
Mekong Delta Kaleidoscope
Meshuggah I
Meshuggah Catch Thirtythree
Metallica Master of Puppets
Monster Magnet Dopes to Infinity
Nevermore The Politics of Ecstasy
Orphaned Land Mabool (The Story of the Three Sons...)
Ozric Tentacles Become the Other
Pain of Salvation Remedy Lane
Paradise Lost Draconian Times
Pink Floyd The Dark Side of the Moon
Pink Floyd The Wall
Primordial The Gathering Wilderness
Psychotic Waltz A Social Grace
Psychotic Waltz Into the Everflow
Psychotic Waltz Mosquito
Psychotic Waltz Bleeding
Queensryche Operation: Mindcrime
Slayer South of Heaven
Soundtrack (Film) Oldboy
Ulver Perdition City
Vauxdvihl To Dimension Logic

By far the most obscure gem in progressive metal.-

Listen to the links - and the whole record in YouTube - and then five this.

The Weapon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCfirW9b1H8&feature=relmfu

To Dimension Logic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwSyakozXCI

Questions Of Misanthropy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQVCwiYMlzw&feature=relmfu
Vaya Con Dios Night Owls
The quality of this record is simply beyond words, due to the divine vocals of Dani Klein and the superb arrangements in every song.

A true classic in European jazz/pop/rock.
Ved Buens Ende Written In Waters
Voivod Nothingface
Voivod Dimension Hatross
Voivod Killing Technology

4.5 superb
Alice in Chains Dirt
Amorphis Tales From the Thousand Lakes
Anathema Alternative 4
Annihilator Never, Neverland
Annihilator Bag of Tricks
Ark Burn the Sun
Atheist Piece of Time
Avatarium Avatarium
Leif Edling is detached from the anchor that Candlemass had gradually become during the '00s in terms of innovation, and with a team of new associates, he is renovating the monolithic doom metal that the said outfit had introduced in the mid '80s. Singer Jennie-Ann Smith sounds beyond awesome, while the lead guitar work of Marcus Jidell from Evergrey forms a summit of its own. Album of the year contender in doom metal along with Jex Thoth's Blood Moon Rising, hands down.
Beefcake Coincidentia Oppositorum
Black Sabbath Paranoid
Blind Guardian Somewhere Far Beyond
Blotted Science The Animation of Entomology
Boards of Canada Geogaddi
Boris Smile
Breach Kollapse
Bruce Dickinson The Chemical Wedding
Candlemass Nightfall
Cathedral The Ethereal Mirror
Cathedral Endtyme
Code Resplendent Grotesque
Control Denied The Fragile Art of Existence
AWESOME RECORD! the lead guitars on this record compete in quality with those found in "Symbolic".
Converge Axe to Fall
Cult of Luna Salvation
Cypress Hill Black Sunday
Dark Tranquillity The Mind's I
Death The Sound of Perseverance
Death Human
Death Angel Act III
Deep Purple Made in Japan
Depressive Age First Depression
Depressive Age Lying in Wait
Dio Holy Diver
Dream Theater Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory
Eldritch El Nino
Enslaved Below the Lights
Enslaved Monumension
Evergrey The Inner Circle
Fates Warning A Pleasant Shade of Gray
Fleurety Department of Apocalyptic Affairs
Gordian Knot Gordian Knot
Gorguts Obscura
Grip Inc. Power of Inner Strength
Head Control System Murder Nature
Heathen Victims of Deception
Heathen The Evolution of Chaos
Heathen are back for good. "Evolution of Chaos" is a worthy heir of "Victims of deception".-
Hexenhaus The Edge of Eternity
Hittman Hittman
Awesome US power metal with seemless prog and glam rock leanings, fantastic and really uplifting stuff...
Howard Shore The Hobbit - An Unexpected Journey
Saw the movie yesterday, it was awesome as expected, the film score in it slays too.........
Iced Earth Burnt Offerings
Iron Maiden Somewhere in Time
Iron Maiden Live After Death
Iron Maiden Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
Isis Panopticon
Jethro Tull Aqualung
Jex Thoth Blood Moon Rise
Jex Thoth have created an enticing doom/blues rock soundtrack for the "small" hours of the night, where thoughts and spirits from the past come to mess with the mind.
Joe Satriani Flying In A Blue Dream
Judas Priest Painkiller
Kamelot The Black Halo
Katatonia Night Is the New Day
Katerina Gogou and Kyriakos Sfetsas Sto Dromo
In 1980, Greek director Pavlos Tasios (R.I.P.) filmed Παραγγελιά (The Song Order), the real story of a blue collar worker who, one night in 1973, committed a "crime of honour", which appalled the whole country at that time. For the film soundtrack, poet Katerina Gogou (R.I.P.) and acclaimed Greek composer Kyriakos Sfetsas joined forces and crafted Στο Δρόμο (On The Road), a devastating film score, a score that hasn't aged a day, despite its 33 years of existence. Gogou's vitriolic/profound proze about social discrimination and mental frustration is superbly blended with the magnificent progressive/psych/jazz/folk rock compositions of Sfetsas. Those searching for little diamonds buried by the dust of time, should check this out asap, even if they can't understand the Greek language. The album was reissued in early 2014 by the Greek branch of Capitol Records.
King Crimson Red
King Diamond Abigail
King Diamond ''Them''
Kreator Coma of Souls
Kreator Extreme Aggression
KYPCK Черно (Black)
Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin II
Liquid Tension Experiment Liquid Tension Experiment 2
Essential instrumental 90's prog rock/metal.-
Madder Mortem Deadlands
Mastodon Remission
Mekong Delta Mekong Delta
Mekong Delta Dances of Death (and other Walking Shadows)
Memento Mori Rhymes of Lunacy
Memento Mori Life, Death, and Other Morbid Tales
Memory Garden Tides
Memory Garden Forever
Intense Power/Doom metal in the vein of Solitude Aeturnus.

Track 1/4 - Warlord (live): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXMDelXvvbI&feature=related
Track 2/4 - Inarticulo Mortis: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYeKZvn3G5w
Meshuggah Alive
Metallica Ride the Lightning
Michael Jackson Bad
Mind Over Four Out Here
In their debut, Mind Over Four deliver experimental punk/funk/atmospheric/rock/metal of the highest caliber...

Words are poor to describe what these four ultra-crazies are doing here...

Minsk The Ritual Fires of Abandonment
Motorhead Ace of Spades
Neurosis The Eye of Every Storm
Nevermore In Memory
Nightfall Athenian Echoes
Nile Those Whom the Gods Detest
Nocturnus Thresholds
Nostromo (CHE) Hysteron - Proteron
Who would have imagined that a grind group would adapt its material for acoustic guitars sooo successfully...

An underground classic!
Opeth Still Life
Opeth Blackwater Park
Opeth Deliverance
Opeth Damnation
Opeth My Arms, Your Hearse
Pain of Salvation Entropia
Pain of Salvation In the Passing Light of Day
Paraphrasing a quote from Confucius, the glory of this band and its main-man, lies not only in past triumphs, but also in rising when circumstances of entirely different context, conspire otherwise. And what a rise this is, as an essentially new band delivers an album that's up there with Entropia and Remedy Lane, although the blind emulation of mentioned predecessors, is avoided at large. Interested listeners are encouraged to track Pain of Salvation anno 2017 at the intersection of progressive rock lyricism with the atonal nihility of modern/nu metal. Favorite song: Full Throttle Vibe, for obvious and not so obvious reasons.
Pantera Vulgar Display of Power
Patrick Rondat Amphibia
Pink Floyd Wish You Were Here
Porcupine Tree Lightbulb Sun
Primordial Storm Before Calm
Prototype Trinity
Queensryche Rage for Order
Rage The Missing Link
Red Harvest Sick Transit Gloria Mundi
Sick Transit Gloria Mundi manifests the absolute crossover between the extreme spectrum of metal (tech-thrash/death/black) and industrial.

Rory Gallagher Calling Card
Rotting Christ Non Serviam
Rotting Christ Triarchy of The Lost Lovers
Rush Moving Pictures
Sacred Reich The American Way
Sade Promise
Sade Diamond Life
Sade Stronger Than Pride
Sade Love Deluxe
Samael Passage
Sanctuary Into the Mirror Black
Santana Santana III
Santana Abraxas
Saturnus Martyre
Scanner Terminal Earth
Sepultura Arise
Sieges Even The Art of Navigating by the Stars
Skyclad Prince of the Poverty Line
Skyclad Irrational Anthems
Slayer Seasons in the Abyss
Slayer Reign in Blood
Sodom Agent Orange
Solitude Aeturnus Into the Depths of Sorrow
Solitude Aeturnus Beyond the Crimson Horizon
Solitude Aeturnus Through the Darkest Hour
Soul Cages Moments
Soundgarden Superunknown
Soundtrack (Film) Jackie Brown
Soundtrack (Film) Out Of Sight
Stratovarius Dreamspace
Suffocation Pierced from Within
Tad Morose Modus Vivendi
Tension Breaking Point
Breaking Point is nothing short of killer '80s power/prog with engaging thrash edges here and there, a must-have for every old school metal fan out there...
The Cure Faith
The Future Sound of London Dead Cities
The Gathering Souvenirs
The Jimi Hendrix Experience Axis: Bold as Love
The Mars Volta The Bedlam in Goliath
The Ocean Precambrian
The Tea Party Transmission
Theatre Of Tragedy Velvet Darkness They Fear
Therion Theli
Thorns Thorns
Tiamat Wildhoney
Titan Force Titan Force
Debut album from Titan Force is an underground gem of '80s heavy/proto-progressive/power metal that hasn't aged a day since its official release...
Troldhaugen Obzkure Anekdotez For Maniakal Massez
A bunch of Australian dudes (plus guests) flew over the cuckoo's nest and crafted an astonishing genre hopping album that draws inspiration from an abundant list of musical references, namely extreme metal, electronic music, prog rock, classical music, folk music from all over the world, and Broadway musicals. Fantastic sound production, top notch/tech metal instrumental performance and a vast spectrum of aptly sung vocal melodies by all singers, male and female. "Dinosaur" prog/avant-garde metal bands need to listen to this album so as to take their intended pun and possibly double down on how essentially adventurous music is done these days.
Trouble The Skull
Excellent progressive doom metal here, way way before bands like Solitude Aeturnus, Confessor or Memento Mori come to the surface...
TV on the Radio Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes
Uncle Acid and The Deadbeats Vol. 1
Vaya Con Dios Vaya Con Dios
Veni Domine Material Sanctuary
Vicious Rumors Digital Dictator
Virus (NO) The Black Flux
Voivod The Outer Limits
Voivod Phobos
Voivod Warriors of Ice
Yann Tiersen Le fabuleux destin d'Amelie Poulain
Yanni Live at the Acropolis
YOB The Unreal Never Lived
YOB The Great Cessation
subliminal, yet intelligent noise/doom metal at its best...
the opening riff in "Burning the Altar" is already in the top five riffs of this (ending) decade....
YOB Catharsis
Zed Yago Pilgrimage

4.3 superb
Neue Regel In A Word

Neue Regel picked up from where Vauxdvihl (also from Australia) had stopped and crafted a criminally underrated album of atmospheric gothic/doom/progressive metal.

For fans of the usual suspects, i.e. Vauxdvihl (To Dimension Logic-era), Queensryche (Promised Land-era), Psychotic Waltz (Into The Everflow-era), Saviour Machine (Saviour Machine I-era) and Fates Warning (A Perfect Shade Of Grey-era).
Trial (SWE) Vessel
2015 is no more than a month in, but I just know that this album of barbaric heavy metal will wind up being one of the best of this year. On their sophomore album, Trial from Sweden are all about '80s heavy/speed metal for the most part, but that does not stop them from straying to doom, progressive and even black metal (the guitars), without turning their music into a spaghetti incident. Their vocalist, a crossbreed between Harry "The Tyrant" Conklin, King Diamond and Kai Hansen, is cracking the whip throughout the album, along with the rest of the band, namely the guitarists who, in so many words, hail and kill. As of this album, the band stands on the same level with other modern Swedish classic metal stalwarts, namely In Solitude, Portrait, Enforcer and the like. Favorite track: Ecstasy Waltz. Stream the album at play.spotify.com

4.2 excellent
Aeon Sable Visionaers
Germany's Aeon Sable go through the various subtleties that bring together and (at the same time) separate genres such as gothic rock, post-punk and atmospheric metal, and deliver a highly immersive album. The sound production is crystal clear, the arrangements are an excellent ode to minimalism, whereas the vocals tend to reach the level of excellence set by the various forefathers of the styles adopted in this album. Fans of Fields of the Nephilim, Sisters of Mercy, The Mission, The Cure, Theatre of Tragedy, Paradise Lost, Tiamat and Depeche Mode should NOT miss this album streaming at the band's official bandcamp location.

4.1 excellent
TrenchRot Necronomic Warfare
Death metal fans look for old Obituary in this year's Obituary, whereas they should merely get a hold of this awesome band from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Moreover, TrenchRot can be seen as an effective painkiller for the unease caused by the prolonged absence of outfits such as Bolt Thrower. Crushing groove, apt musicianship, analogue sound production, what more can anyone ask from death metal these days? Stream: http://trenchrotdeathmetal.bandcamp.com/album/necronomic-warfare

4.0 excellent
*shels Sea of the Dying Dhow
1000 Funerals Portrait Of A Dream
A Perfect Circle Thirteenth Step
Abstrakt Algebra Abstrakt Algebra
AC/DC Back In Black
AC/DC Let There Be Rock
AC/DC High Voltage
Accept Restless and Wild
Acid Death Pieces of mankind
Acrimonious Purulence
Hellenes Acrimonious decorate their adventurous second-wave black/death metal with bitter -and sometimes nostalgic ("Spirit's Eclipse")- melodies and craft a rather unusual manifesto for chaos.
Aerosmith Toys in the Attic
Aghora Aghora
Aghora Formless
Agnes Vein Soulship
The Bathory-meets-Neurosis-meets-Isis, epic doom/black metal of Hellenes Agnes Vein is becoming more and more effective with each subsequent release.

Agusa Högtid
What we have here is a little prog rock gem from (where else?) Sweden. An instrumental band by default, Agusa use subtle (if not generic) melodies and rhythms so as to introduce themselves and their listeners to their intimate and atmospheric jams... Which in contrast, have a genuinely spontaneous way of development through the course of time. Awesome hammond improvisations are mixed with rhythm electro-acoustic guitars playing spacey or classic prog rock themes in the rear, while the lead guitars give out the epic feeling classic rock is much renowned for. Stream: http://agusaband.bandcamp.com/releases
Alchemist Organasm
Alchemist Austral Alien
Alice Cooper Trash
Alice in Chains Facelift
Alice in Chains Black Gives Way to Blue
Amorphis Tuonela
Anacrusis Manic Impressions
Anathema Judgement
Angel Dust Into the Dark Past
Angel Dust To Dust You Will Decay
Angelo Badalamenti Mulholland Drive (score)
Angstridden Fuck Humanity With Pride
Annihilator Alice in Hell
Annihilator King of the Kill
Anthrax Fistful of Metal
Arch / Matheos Sympathetic Resonance
Archityrants The Code of the Illumination Theory
A completely obscure company of Brazilians embraces the arcane art of power/doom metal, and rivals the genre's council of the ancients. First half of the album's style is manifested through the enticingly wailing vocals, an oscillation between Omen's J.D. Kimball (R.I.P.) and Veni Domine's (R.I.P.) Fredrik Sjoholm. Sparse yet gritty old school metal passages provide a distraction from the dark atmosphere that the devastating doom metal dialect echoed herein, with some relatively restrained folk mumbling in the rear. And yet, what completes The Code of the Illumination Theory as a must-listen for the genre's mysts (and then some), is the sound production, which goes against the grain, by being dirty and raw, yet gracefully surrounding the arrangements. Favorite track: Promiscuous Hymns. Stream: http://archityrants.bandcamp.com/album/the-code-of-the-illumination-theory
Arcturus The Sham Mirrors
Arleta Demo
Back in the mid '70s, Demo would be Arleta's first credible effort in reaching the folk audiences outside Greece, if the head of Lyra Records hadn't decided to bury the record and confine her talent within the -then- rapidly developing New Wave of the Greek folk scene.
At the Gates Slaughter of the Soul
Atheist Unquestionable Presence
Atomicide Chaos Abomination
Atomicide's relentless death/black metal is yet another proof that South American extreme metal outfits can easily match, if not top, any other homologous school of sound on Earth. Favourite song: the whole album. Stream/free download: http://atomicide.bandcamp.com/album/chaos-abomination
Aura Noir Black Thrash Attack
Norwegian avant-garde black metal gangstas thrashing hard....... AAAAAARRRGGGGGHHHHHH!
Bardo Pond Is There A Heaven?
As I was totally unaware of Bardo Pond, the first thing that made me listen to their new "EP" (clocking at almost 30 minutes) was the cover that hinted at Candlemass' Tales of Creation... What's emphatically evident in Is There A Heaven?, is the band's ability in gradually building noteworthy dynamics and atmospheres, while providing a custom interpretation of drone, noise and the blues. Needless to say, but the band is bookmarked for further inspection. Favourite track: In Every Dream Home A Heartache. Stream: http://play.spotify.com/album/3hzXaCG3yaph3XGfquhLp9
Batushka Litourgiya
Batushka distinguish themselves from the lot, firstly in terms of the brilliant cover; still, a clever idea for the album
art won't take a band anywhere, if the music does not live up to the expectations. Fortunately, the Slavic outfit
delivers an extremely interesting post/black approach, in which the Greek Orthodox mass chanting is seemlessly
combined with the aesthetics of post/black metal. By far, this is one of the most interesting releases of 2015.
Favourite song: Last three cuts devour planets. Stream:
Behemoth Demigod
Behemoth Evangelion
Believer Gabriel
Biomechanical Eight Moons
Bjork Post
Bjork Debut
Black Sabbath We Sold Our Soul for Rock 'n' Roll
Black Swan The Quiet Divide
Black Trip Goin' Under
In the early '80s, Thin Lizzy had already made a critically acclaimed shift towards the newly emerging heavy metal scene, ending up with a hard rock/heavy metal hybrid that's relevant even in these times; Unfortunately, Lynott's fatal affinity for drugs and alcohol abuse halted what could have been from Thunder & Lightning onwards; Now, go fast forward some 30+ years; Black Trip from Sweden have all it takes to continue from where Thin Lizzy (and other important NWOBHM outfits) left off, especially in view of a sophomore new album that's due this September...
Blind Guardian Follow the Blind
Blue Oyster Cult Secret Treaties
Blues Pills Bliss
This outfit has stormed out of nowhere to make a strong stand within the vintage/blues rock scene. Everything is in place; The ballsy, heartfelt vocals of female Swedish singer Elin Larsson (in the vein of Janis Joplin, and that says a lot!!), the wildly ranging in mood, raging lead guitars of French teenager (!!) Dorian Sorriaux and last but not least, the sexy groove of the rhythm section, complements of bassist Zack Anderson and drummer Cory Berry. Looking forward to hear more from this band in the future.
Bolt Thrower ...For Victory
Bolzer Aura
Bolzer Soma
Bolzer build on the acclaimed merit of the Aura EP with two tracks of groovy, transcendental and mazed death metal that clock at almost 20 minutes of time. Although the element of surprise is absent and Soma merely picks up from where Aura ended, band is still far from saturation and sets the bar higher for a future full length album, although the string of EPs has worked well so far.
Boris Heavy Rocks
Boris Amplifier Worship
Boris Absolutego
Boris BXI
This band simply can never fail...
Ian Astbury's has never singed like this before, vocals of tremendous emotional depth......
Boris Attention Please
Boris Noise
A pair of ears heavily exposed to the abundant production of Boris music will find it hard to deny that the band has not gone through the motions in Noise. Despite being derivative (think of what the band tried from Pink up to Attention Please, with the addition of Heavy Rocks and Boris At Last -Feedbacker-), the new songs sound fresh every time they are reproduced.
Boris With Michio Kurihara Rainbow
Breach Venom
Bruce Dickinson Balls to Picasso
Bruce Dickinson Accident of Birth
Burial Ghost Hardware
Burst Origo
Burst Lazarus Bird
Candlemass Tales of Creation
Candlemass King of the Grey Islands
Carcass Swansong
Carcass Surgical Steel
CAUGHT IN A MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Cathedral The Carnival Bizarre
Celtic Frost Into the Pandemonium
Celtic Frost Monotheist
Ceremony (USA-VA) Distance
On their third album, Ceremony from Virginia craft the absolute shoegaze/psychedelic/noise rock soundtrack for the unstable emotional life of actual and/or virtual teenagers.

Chapter V:F10 Syndrome
In most cases, post/black metal is a hit or miss for me, as sometimes "post" detracts spite from black metal. Which is definitely not the case with Syndrome. If it weren't for the abundant "post-" elements encountered herein, Chapter V:F10's debut could still stand as an awesome riff-laden album that mixes the old and the modern school of (second wave) black metal. However, Syndrome sounds all the more crushing because post rock is awesomely and seamlessly fitted, like it belonged there since day one. Favorite track: Nectar. Stream: http://bloodreddistribution.bandcamp.com/album/syndrome
Chelsea Wolfe Abyss
Wolfe dug deeper into the world's fathomless pits of decay, and unearthed the necessary dirt for making albums such as this one. Favourite track: After the Fall. Stream: http://chelseawolfe.bandcamp.com/album/abyss
Children of Bodom Something Wild
Chimaira Resurrection
Chroma Key You Go Now
Cirith Ungol King of the Dead
Conception In Your Multitude
Confessor Unraveled
A criminally overlooked work towards the prog/doom vein. Everything is so close to perfect...

The drumming on this is stellar...
Converge You Fail Me
Converge Jane Doe
Coroner Mental Vortex
Coroner Coroner
Coroner's quirky personna in a nutshell... Despite its inhomogeneity as a compilation album, it still delivers.
Cult of Luna Cult of Luna
Cyanotic (DK) Sapphire Season
Cyanotic's debut is anything but an ordinary melodic death metal album...
Cynic Traced in Air
Cynic Re-Traced
Cypress Hill Cypress Hill III: Temples of Boom
Excellent stuff in here, the psychedelic touch blends nicely with the band's hip-hop agenda... Really well done!
Cypress Hill Los Grandes Exitos En Espanol
Danzig Danzig II: Lucifuge
Dayglo Abortions Out of the Womb
Dead Congregation Promulgation of the Fall
Album after album, the Greek death metal scene is getting stronger and stronger. On their long awaited sophomore effort, Dead Congregation deliver nothing but crushing old school death metal that sounds even fiercer when performed live.
Dead When I Found Her All the Way Down
Best piece of electronic-based music I've heard since the two Burial albums and that Perdition City album by Ulver. Yeah I know, I'm comparing apples to oranges, but All the Way Down and all aforementioned releases have one thing in common: a convincing, seemless interpretation of the darkness that prompted their birth. The atmosphere is brooding, the arrangements are optimally minimal within their undisputed industrial scheme, the film samples make things even more tense, and the lyrics, the lyrics, the lyrics... Favourite tracks: Downpour, Misericordia. Stream: http://deadwhenifoundher.bandcamp.com/album/all-the-way-down
Deadsoul Tribe A Murder of Crows
Death Spiritual Healing
Death Leprosy
Death Individual Thought Patterns
Death In Vegas The Contino Sessions
Decades/Failures G00DBY3
Decades/Failures come from Richmond, Virginia, and yet, they could be easily mistaken for British residents that were caught into the post-70s industrial crisis that cultivated the local post punk scene. On their sophomore album, the icy/electro side of post punk is combined with more traditional arrangements, and a gothic trait that may (or may not) bring in mind fundamentally different bands (for example, Paradise Lost, The Sisters of Mercy or Beastmilk, even). In any case, to argue in favor of this band's musical legitimacy, is the least this soundoff can do. Stream: http://decadesfailures.bandcamp.com/album/g00dby3
Decapitated Organic Hallucinosis
Decapitated The Negation
Defleshed Under the Blade
Defleshed's second album is an underground Swedish death/thrash metal gem...
Depeche Mode Violator
Depeche Mode Playing The Angel
Depeche Mode Ultra
Depeche Mode Songs of Faith and Devotion
Depeche Mode Music for the Masses
Depressive Age Symbols for the Blue Times
Dio The Last in Line
Dire Straits Dire Straits
Disincarnate Dreams of the Carrion Kind
Doctor Butcher Doctor Butcher
Dodheimsgard Kronet Til Konge
"Monotonous", nihilistic, ravishing, Kronet Til Konge got Dodheimsgard amongst Norwegian black metal's finest proprietors.
Drive Characters in Time
Excellent US power metal with discrete progressive metal leanings and in the vein of bands such as Vicious Rumors and Oliver Magnum, this is fantastic stuff.
Earth The Bees Made Honey in the Lion's Skull
Eldritch Seeds Of Rage
Eldritch Reverse
Eldritch Headquake
Electric Moon Innside Outside
A sublime trip to the cosmic unknown residing within and around us...

Stream: http://electric-moon.bandcamp.com/album/innside-outside-live
Enabler Shift of Redemption
The clue of this excellent EP lies in Enabler's superb crossover from metallic hardcore (think no other outfit than Converge) to Swedish death/thrash metal (Abducted-era Hypocrisy) and back. The last (instrumental) track is not too far from early '90s atmospheric death metal (Ophidian Wheel-era Septic Flesh), blended with atmospheric post-hardcore. Highly recommended!!
Enforcer Death By Fire
Old school metal lives and these Swedes should be worshiped accordingly.-
Ennio Morricone The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Enslaved Isa
Esoteric Paragon Of Dissonance
Exgenesis Aphotic Veil
Exgenesis haven't come up with any innovation in their debut album, however the doom/death metal of Aphotic Veil is masterfully crafted in terms of arrangements and sound. Stream: http://exgenesis.bandcamp.com/releases
Exodus Bonded by Blood
Exodus Fabulous Disaster
Exodus Another Lesson in Violence
Faith No More King for a Day... Fool for a Lifetime
Faith No More Angel Dust
Fates Warning Perfect Symmetry
Fates Warning Parallels
Fates Warning Inside Out
Fates Warning FWX
Fates Warning Disconnected
Fates Warning Darkness in a Different Light
On their 11th album, Fates Warning give way to extrovert heavy rock at the expense of their inherent introspective conduct. The album refrains from revealing its merit during the first few listens, yet it is a slow grower and it kicks serious ass live.
Fear Factory Demanufacture
Fear Factory Obsolete
Fear Factory Mechanize
Fear of God Within the Veil
Fight War Of Words
Fleurety Min Tid Skal Komme
Quite original sound here, in terms of avant-garde black metal, female voices singing over bm blast beats, jazz passages, ambient soundscapes... It's somewhere between a 3.5-4 for me, and i rate with a 4/5 due to its originality.
Flotsam and Jetsam No Place for Disgrace
Flotsam and Jetsam Cuatro
Flying Lotus Cosmogramma
Forte Stranger Than Fiction
The debut album from Oklahoma based Forte, is a fantastic piece of technical power/speed/thrash metal that will please fans of bands such as Annihilator, Lethal, Oliver Magnum, Vicious Rumours and so on.
Free Fire and Water
Funereus ......Return Of The Old Goat
On their sophomore album, Mexico's Funereus give out an awesome crossover between the "second wave" and the "Motorhead/thrash" ends of black metal. Excellent sound production and frantic performance make for an album that easily files under black metal's best releases for this year.
Genghis Tron Board Up the House
Goetic Equivalent Goetic Equivalent
Aavant garde black metal has received a handful of different renditions during the '00s and the '10s, but one of its most distinct currents is the kind of black metal Mayhem, Thorns, Satyricon, Ved Buens Ende and Dodheimsgard introduced to the world during the turn of the millenium. To that end, Greece's oddly named Goetic Equivalent have done an awesome job with their self-titled debut album. The nihilistic vocals, the tech rhythm section (although it is a drum machine, it is an extremely well programmed one. Think of Meshuggah's excellent work in Catch 33, with all analogies accounted for), the intense yet precise riffing, the bitter melodies, they all fit the bill very very well. Stream: http://goeticequivalent.bandcamp.com/album/goetic-equivalent
Gordian Knot Emergent
Gorguts Colored Sands
Haven't heard anything this mind bending in extreme metal since "forever"... First half of the record is monumental, second is strong yet it lacks the spark of the first half. Be it as it may, Gorguts have definitely set the bar much much higher this time.
Grand Funk Railroad Grand Funk
Grand Funk Railroad E Pluribus Funk
Grave Endless Procession Of Souls
Grave Digger Tunes of War
Graveyard (SWE) Lights Out
Green Carnation The Acoustic Verses
Green Carnation A Blessing In Disguise
Grip Inc. Solidify
Grip Inc. Nemesis
Guns N' Roses Use Your Illusion I
Guns N' Roses Appetite for Destruction
Gustavo Santaolalla The Motorcycle Diaries
Awesome soundtrack for an awesome film. On another note, this reminds me of Paris, Texas film score from Ry Cooder.
Hate Morphosis
Morphosis is an overlooked death/black gem from Poland, baring a good share of "alien" influences (industrial)... Stream: http://listenable-records.bandcamp.com/album/morphosis
Hate Solarflesh
Solarflesh is the 8th observation from the Polish death/black outfit of Hate and captures the band going upward again after the low flight of Erebos. Their sense in arranging their blast beat driven death/black metal (second (?) only to their fellow country men Behemoth) has shown some progress in here. The band has managed to successfully infuse melody within the blast beat chaos and amplify the majestic feeling that made albums such as Morphosis so great in the first place. That being said, their attempts in exploring the area outside their comfort zone are a hit or miss. The 3.5 rating is about the limited edition of the album. Excluding the bonus tracks, the album is much more solid, close to a 4/5.
Heathen Breaking the Silence
Heathendom Nescience
Heavens Gate Livin' In Hysteria
Heir Apparent Graceful Inheritance
Heir Apparent One Small Voice
Hellion Hellion
Badass '80s metal with the ballsy female vocals of Ann Boleyn...
Helloween Walls of Jericho
Helstar Nosferatu
Holocaust (Gbr) The Nightcomers
Holy Moses Finished with the Dogs
Horisont Tva Sidor Av Horisonten
Horseback The Invisible Mountain
House of Spirits Turn of the Tide
Excellent power/progressive metal with one foot stepping on the path Queensryche opened (Operation Mindcrime/Empire era) and the other treading the territory of the critically acclaimed German melodic prog metal scene (Sieges Even, Soul Cages etc).

A must listen for every Queensryche fan!!!!!!
Hypocrisy Abducted
Hypocrisy Hypocrisy
Illwill Evilution
In Solitude In Solitude
This album is the ultimate Mercyful Fate worship, hands down. Pelle's vocal work is up there with King Diamond, whereas the band delivers some frantic, and at times complex old school metal. Up the horns!
Integral Sercosa
Major kudos to Zettel and his review that brought this album to my attention. I have been always searching for this kind of essential subtlety in electronic music (to little success) and this album fits the profile perfectly.
Iron Maiden Powerslave
Iron Maiden The Number of the Beast
Iron Maiden Piece of Mind
Iron Maiden Fear of the Dark
Isis Oceanic
Jag Panzer The Fourth Judgement
Jag Panzer Casting the Stones
Jamiroquai A Funk Odyssey
Jamiroquai Travelling Without Moving
Jamiroquai Rock Dust Light Star
Jan Garbarek In Praise Of Dreams
Jega Variance
Jethro Tull Minstrel in the Gallery
Jethro Tull Songs from the Wood
Jex Thoth Jex Thoth
An ensemble of mystics from Madison, Wisconsin resonated with the primordial vibes of this world and had them recorded on tape... Stream: http://ihate.bandcamp.com/album/jex-thoth
Jim Matheos First Impressions
Joe Satriani Joe Satriani
Judas Priest British Steel
Judas Priest Defenders of the Faith
Judas Priest Screaming for Vengeance
Judas Priest Sad Wings of Destiny
Judas Priest Killing Machine
Karl Sanders Saurian Meditation
Katatonia Viva Emptiness
Katatonia The Great Cold Distance
Kathaaria The Complex Void of Negativity
Kawir Isotheos
Hellenes Kawir have been refining their "ancient Greek" folk/pagan black metal since the mid '90s, and Isotheos is the current peak of the said refinement. Stream: http://deathrunerecords.bandcamp.com/album/kawir-isoteos
Kayser Kaiserhof
Kevin Moore Ghost Book
Khonsu Traveller
This awesome EP will really work for all those (yours truly included) who yearn for the return of industrial metal behemoths such as Norway's Red Harvest. See, in Traveller Khonsu (also from Norway, featuring members from Keep of Kalessin) deliver some frenetic/technical death/black - think of Red Harvest, Thorns, later era Mayhem etc - metal combined with inventive and dystopic electronic music patterns. In contrast to tracks 2-4 which are properly sustained by the excellent sound production, the album opener/closer revolves exclusively around electronic music. The awesome cover to Bjork's "Army of One" may be the highlight of the EP, I can't have enough of it. Stream: http://khonsu.bandcamp.com/album/traveller
Khost Copper Lock Hell
Excellent ambient/industrial/drone/doom from an obscure outfit that deserves to be further known... Copper Lock Hell is based on a simple but effective recipe; Mesmerizing samples of middle/far east/psychedelic descent, lie upon similarly realized, industrialized drone/doom structures, and while it would be expected for the affair to become tiring after a while, the album flows seamlessly as a perfect soundtrack for our darkest hours of recollection... Favorite tracks: first 5 tracks slay! Stream: http://khostband.bandcamp.com/album/copper-lock-hell
King Crimson Larks' Tongues in Aspic
King Crimson Starless and Bible Black
King Diamond Voodoo
King's X Out of the Silent Planet
Kreator Enemy of God
Kreator Phantom Antichrist
Kreng L'Autopsie Phenomenale De Dieu
Labyrinth Return to Heaven Denied
Last Crack Sinister Funkhouse #17
Highly energetic metallic rock with a twist from this bunch of American wackos!!!!

Shelter (live):
Led Zeppelin BBC Sessions
Lethal Programmed
Lethal's debut is a US power metal gem, band performance and especially Tom Mallicoat's higher-than-the-sky vocals are the tits..
Machine Head Burn My Eyes
Machine Head The Blackening
Madder Mortem Desiderata
Madder Mortem Eight Ways
Manes Vilosophe
Manowar Sign of the Hammer
Mar De Grises Streams Inwards
Marshall Law Marshall Law
In their debut album, Marshall Law present a highly addictive '80s heavy metal blend, with one foot standing on US heavy/power metal and the other on Los Angeles glam rock/metal...

In any case, this is awesome stuff.
Mastodon Leviathan
Mastodon Blood Mountain
Mastodon Crack the Skye
Mastodon The Hunter
Mayhem Grand Declaration of War
Mayhem Ordo ad Chao
Meanstreak Roadkill
Medicine Boy Kinda Like Electricity
Medicine Boy have delivered a masterclass of atmospheric minimalism. Folk, new wave/post punk, country and pure rock n' roll have been summoned to flesh a custom torso, in which the sounds of silence and self-reflection, are homogeneously welded with pockets of genuine tension. Perfectly aligned, the duo's soothing vocal work breaths life to some of the most abstractly thoughtful lyrics about the human psyche. Stream: http://medicineboy.bandcamp.com/album/kinda-like-electricity
Megace Inner war
Megadeth Countdown to Extinction
Megadeth Youthanasia
Megadeth Peace Sells... But Who's Buying?
Mekong Delta Lurking Fear
Mekong Delta The Principle of Doubt
Mekong Delta Visions Fugitives
Mekong Delta Pictures at an Exhibition
Mekong Delta Classics
Mekong Delta In a Mirror Darkly
Mekong Delta are cracking the whip again, as their 10th observation is a custom/seamless blend of classical music, progressive rock and tech-thrash.
Memory Garden Carnage Carnival
Meshuggah Destroy Erase Improve
Meshuggah Nothing
Meshuggah Chaosphere
Meshuggah Nothing (Re-release)
Meshuggah obZen
Metal Church Metal Church
Metal Church The Dark
Metal Church Hanging in the Balance
Metallica Kill 'Em All
Metallica ...And Justice for All
Metallica Metallica
Ministry Psalm 69
Minsk With Echoes in the Movement of Stone
Monster Magnet Monolithic Baby!
Monster Magnet Spine of God
Monster Magnet Superjudge
Monstrosity Spiritual Apocalypse
Morbid Angel Blessed Are the Sick
Morbid Angel Covenant
Morbid Angel Domination
Morbid Angel Heretic
Death metal that lies within the interfaces.
Motorhead Orgasmatron
Municipal Waste Massive Aggressive
My Dying Bride The Angel and the Dark River
My Dying Bride The Dreadful Hours
My Dying Bride Songs of Darkness, Words of Light
My Dying Bride The Light at the End of the World
My Dying Bride A Line of Deathless Kings
My Dying Bride I Am the Bloody Earth
My Dying Bride The Voice of the Wretched
My Dying Bride Trinity
Nachtmystium Assassins: Black Meddle Pt.1
Nahtrunar Symbolismus
Excellent black metal albums just keep coming and coming; Musically, Nahtrunar go back and forth between elaborate acoustic guitar tracks and magnificent arrangements of abstract black metal, similar to that of Norway that emerged throughout the '90s. In terms of lyrics, an equally abstract concept has been embraced, relevant to the Central European myths regarding the last days of the year, in which "the portal to the netherworld is said to be wide open, all sorts of spirits are awakened and old gods walk freely among mortal men. The threshold to the dreamworld is blurred. During these nights, dreams and visions are of prophetic quality.", Favourite track: Wir Leichenvogel. Stream: http://nahtrunar.bandcamp.com/releases
National Pornografik D.
Neil Young Dead Man
Neurosis A Sun That Never Sets
Nevermore Enemies Of Reality
Nevermore Dreaming Neon Black
Nevermore This Godless Endeavor
Nightfall Parade into Centuries
Parade Into Centuries is an atmospheric doom/early '90s death metal gem, unworn by time.

Songs are diverse, time-lengthy, yet memorable, while the musicianship is top notch. Bassists should really take note of the bass which feels like it has been played by Steve Di Giorgio or Sean Malone...
Nightstalker Superfreak
Nigredo Facets Of Death
Nigredo's disharmonic black metal is up the alley of Norwegian stalwarts Thorns and Satyricon, enough said. Favorite tracks: M L K, Nihilistic Iniquity. Stream: http://nigredogr.bandcamp.com/
Nirvana MTV Unplugged in New York
November En Ny Tid Ar Har...
In their debut album, November from Sweden deliver an excellent piece of vintage blues/rock.

Although the record got released in 1970, it still sounds fresh as if it was released by one of those bands that are relevant with the 21st century revival of the genre.

Don't let yourself be disappointed by the fact that all lyrics are written in Swedish, this still rocks.
Oranssi Pazuzu Valonielu
Album is dope. The drone/psych elements are perfectly blended with the inherent black metal ethics, i.e. repetition, minimalism and nihilism. Although all tracks are excellent, special mention is due to "Olen aukaissut uuden silm?n (I Have Opened A New Eye)" which is dope^dope^dope...
OSI Free
OSI Office of Strategic Influence
Overkill Horrorscope
Overkill Feel the Fire
Ozric Tentacles Arborescence
Ozzy Osbourne Diary of a Madman
Pain of Salvation Be
Pain of Salvation The Perfect Element, Part 1
Pain of Salvation Road Salt One
Pain of Salvation Road Salt Two
Paradise Lost Paradise Lost
Paradise Lost In Requiem
Paradise Lost Icon
Paradise Lost Symbol Of Life
Paradise Lost Tragic Idol
Paradise Lost Tragic Illusion 25
Tragic Illusion 25 is a compilation made from rare and unreleased tracks drawn from different periods of the Halifax based gothic metal outfit. However, the flow of a random listening session is so smooth, that the album could pass as a regular full-length one. The restoration of tracks from the first two albums ("Gothic" and "Our Saviour") is excellent, while the same applies for the Spear of Destiny and Everything But The Girl covers. To that end, I would really like to see the band making a covers album with material from '80s English (or other) melancholic pop, that endeavour would really make sense.
Phase Reverse Phase Reverse
Phase Reverse really hit the spot with their groovy/chill-out heavy rock, as everything - the riffs, the vocals (a mix of Chris Cornell with Eddie Vedder) and the mature songwriting - is really in place.

I Got Your Back - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9iPSiFzzK8

Road Fever - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1NvSHTtlPs&feature=related

High Hopes - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C63JJiPanhQ&feature=related
Pink Martini Sympathique
Pink Martini Hang on Little Tomato
Poem The Great Secret Show
Porcupine Tree In Absentia
Porcupine Tree Deadwing
Porcupine Tree Stars Die: The Delerium Years
Primordial To the Nameless Dead
Propagandhi Failed States
Prototype Continuum
Psycho Choke No Place In My Soul
Psycho Choke from Thessaloniki, Greece deliver a seemless yet utterly ferrocious NWOAHM/metalcore masterclass. There's more where that came from though, as elements of Entombed metal emerge in the sound (courtesy of Jacob Hansen), whereas a crossover with old school heavy metal is evident either in the arrangements or the excellent lead guitars. If you liked this year's Lamb of God album, there's little chance you won't dig this as well. Favorite tracks: Drop Dead, No Place In My Soul, Days of Fall, The Fine Art of Being Idle, The Raw Art of Being Idle. Stream: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLyQIFtXHLUT6G5EftFS-p86BnX30tnded
Purson The Circle and the Blue Door
Purson turn their spotlight towards the intermediate space between '70s pop, progressive, and occult/folk rock and deliver an enticing debut album.
Queensryche Empire
Queensryche Promised Land
Rabbit Junk REframe
Rabbit Junk Rabbit Junk
Rabbit Junk Pop That Pretty Thirty
Rubbit Junk have delved into more extreme deliberations in the past (especially in the first two albums), but Pop That Pretty Thirty sees the band's industrial/blackened dancecore going mainstream on its own terms. In a fair world, "Precipice" should become an instant hit within out-of-the-norm dance floors around the world.
Rage End of All Days
Rage Black In Mind
Red Harvest Cold Dark Matter
Red Sparowes At The Soundless Dawn
Released Anger Violent Instincts
Debut EP from Hellenic thrashers Released Anger is all about '80s euro/US thrash (in the vein of Extreme Aggression-era Kreator and Breaking The Silence-era Heathen) done excellently.-
Revocation Teratogenesis
Riot Immortal Soul
Riot Thundersteel
Rory Gallagher Blueprint
Rotting Christ Sanctus Diavolos
Rotting Christ Kata Ton Demona Eaftou
The 11th Rotting Christ album picks up from where Aealo stopped and further strengthens the testament of its predecessor with intense Bathory driven, majestic goth/folk/black metal. Tolis brothers are in terrific shape!!
Running Wild Port Royal
Running Wild Under Jolly Roger
Rush Permanent Waves
Ry Cooder Chávez Ravine
Ry Cooder Paris, Texas
Sacramental Blood Ternion Demonarchy
Bring in mind any of the majors as far as US technical/brutal death metal goes, and Sacramental Blood will match them within mere instants. Their debut album is that good. Although the Serbs don't reinvent the wheel, they execute their arrangements with a ferocity and detail that leave little to no room for dull moments. I mean, for the love of god, the album's second half is even better than the first. Favorite tracks: Sanctimonious, Livid Deaths Descend!, Imposed Resurrection. Album's streaming at http://ghastlymusick.bandcamp.com/album/ternion-demonarchy
Sacred Reich Still Ignorant
Sacri Monti Sacri Monti
Put in brief, Sacri Monti's debut is serious contender for best '70s psych/hard/prog rock album this year. Just about when enthusiasts of the previously mentioned genres would think that there's nothing exciting from the retro movement to sink his/her claws in, This Californian gathering comes in with thick, voluptuous song writing to shake them down. The guitars stay busy all the time, the dynamics are excellently developed, the production makes relevant albums issued in the '70s sound badly produced, and the whole thing can be spun over and over and over. You have been warned. Favourite track: all tracks slay, but Sittin' Around In A Restless Dream has an orgasmic groove that easily overshadows everything else. Stream: http://theobelisk.net/obelisk/2015/07/20/sacri-monti-sacri-monti-review-and-stream/
Sadus Elements of Anger
Samael Ceremony Of Opposites
Santana Santana
Sarissa Demo 1987
For those who get goosebumps whenever they choose to engage themselves in '80s old school metal, the 1987 demo of the Hellenes Sarissa is an underground gem that deserves to be discovered.
Saturnus Saturn in Ascension
Savatage Hall of the Mountain King
Savatage Dead Winter Dead
Savatage Gutter Ballet
Savatage Edge Of Thorns
Savatage Handful of Rain
Saxon Denim and Leather
Saxon Unleash the Beast
Scorpions Blackout
Scorpions Love At First Sting
Scorpions Lovedrive
Scott Kelly The Wake
Screaming Trees Sweet Oblivion
Sear Bliss Phantoms
Sentenced Down
Septicflesh The Ophidian Wheel
Septicflesh Communion
Septicflesh Sumerian Daemons
Septicflesh The Great Mass
Sepultura Beneath the Remains
Sepultura Chaos A.D.
Sieges Even Paramount
Sieges Even A Sense of Change
Skaphe Skáphe
Amidst the off-beat ambient/doom passages and the chaotic black metal outbursts, Skaphe from Los Angeles CA have transformed their oneiric nightmares to music in the most prominent of ways. Skaphe can be described as an amalgam of mid '90s avant-garde black metal (Ved Buens Ende come in mind) and transcendental death/doom metal, in the vein of Switzerland's Bolzer.
Skeptor United We Stand Together We Fall
In between tech speed/thrash metal behemoths such as Toxik and Watchtower, Skeptor's debut album rips skulls, while it attempts raising a voice of its own. On another note, the album title/concept are among the most intelligent, bitter and cynical I have recently come across...
Skid Row Skid Row
Skyclad A Burnt Offering for the Bone Idol
Skyclad Vintage Whine
Skyclad Tracks From The Wilderness
Skyclad Outrageous Fourtunes
Skyclad bring forth their intimate folk melodies at the expense of their heavy/thrash practice.

Indispensable EP!!!
Slammer The Work of Idle Hands...
Although it is not groundbreaking in the least, the Bay Area driven thrash of these English folks will force some heads to roll.......

Fantastic groove................

Stream: http://tribunalrecords.bandcamp.com/album/the-work-of-idle-hands
Sleepin Pillow Apples on an Orange Tree
In their debut album, Hellenes Sleepin Pillow derive a highly original blend of post rock, psychedelia, electronica and Hellenic/Oriental traditional music.

Really awesome stuff...

Instrument Of Time - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vNQMGDoLFU
Slumber Fallout
Excellent doom/death metal right here. Too bad that the band dissolved before releasing more albums...
Sodom Persecution Mania
Sodom Better Off Dead
Solitude Aeturnus Downfall
Somali Yacht Club The Sun
By blending the psychedelic, the post- and the stoner ends of rock plus some unexpected surprises (the reggae passage in "Sightwaster"), Ukraine's Somali Yacht Club have crafted an exciting album that more people into the said genres need to discover. The jams flow unpretentiously, the sound production treats the heavier and the mellower parts accordingly, whereas the sparse male vocals heard in the rear, come to complete the mesmerizing experience.
Sorcerer In the Shadow of the Inverted Cross
The release of Sorcerer's demos in one package back in the mid '90s, was one of the reasons Trevor Perez (of Solitude Aeturnus fame) founded Brainticket Records at that time. Fans of Swedish power/doom metal have been patiently waiting for the outfit to release new music since that time, so Sorcerer's debut LP will quench their copious longing. Analogously to the last Veni Domine album, the Swedes have let "external" elements (melodic hard rock/metal) to blend with their power/doom metal. Rhythm section holds no surprises, however the vocals are excellent, whereas both guitarists are top notch lead guitar shredders. As for the arrangements, they are as sentimental as they can get, constantly going in and out of the gloom.
Sore Plexus HaPTePHObiC
Soundgarden Badmotorfinger
Soundtrack (Film) Death Proof
Soundtrack (Film) Trainspotting: Music from the Motion Picture
Soundtrack (Film) The Edukators
In so many words, "The Edukators" is the soundtrack to everyone's personal revolution against catastrophic capitalism.-
Soundtrack (Film) Road House
Soundtrack (Film) The Insider
Soundtrack (Film) Collateral
Awesome soundtrack and of high replay value.

And 9 out of 10 Michael Mann movies rip skulls. Easily.
Spectral Lore III
In a supposed list with the best black metal albums of 2014, the 4th album of Greece's Spectral Lore would be included therein, no questions asked. In III, "total"/post/ethereal black metal gives way to majestic/gloomy folk passages and back, in temporally prolonged/labyrinth-like compositions that need the listener's undivided immersion to be fully appreciated. The above being said, the album's merit is totally worth of any investment placed upon it.
Spice and the RJ Band The Will
Spiral Architect A Sceptic's Universe
Spiritual Beggars Spiritual Beggars
Spiritual Beggars Another Way To Shine
Spiritual Beggars Earth Blues
In view of the flourishing vintage/heavy rock revival circuit, Earth Blues may as well be the album that will introduce Spiritual Beggars (est. 1992!) as one of its inherent forefathers.
Spitfire (GR) First Attack
First Attack is an amazing offering of hard rocking heavy/power metal and on the same caliber with Dio's first two albums.

With this album, Spitfire single-handedly put the (strictly underground until that point) Hellenic metal scene into the map of world metal.

album stream: http://www.metal-samples.com/2013/05/spitfire-first-attack-1987.html
Stabbing Westward Darkest Days
Steel Panther All You Can Eat
It's been ages since glam rock/metal was THIS effective.... SUNSET STRIP GLAMSTERZ NOT DEAD.-
Steve Vai Alien Love Secrets
Alien Love Secrets is the best Vai record by far...
Steven Price Gravity
Basically what Alex said, all I will add is that this soundtrack is so good it can exist purely on its own. If I had to site a couple of references, I would quote Ulver's Svidd Neger and the music for the 1998 PC game Ubik (Cryo Interactive).
Stomach Earth Stomach Earth
It's been ages since I've listened to anything as abyssal and majestic in extreme doom metal, as this album right here...

album stream: http://stomachearth.bandcamp.com/
Strapping Young Lad Alien
Stratovarius Episode
Stratovarius Twilight Time
Suffocation Effigy of the Forgotten
Suffocation Blood Oath
Sumerlands Sumerlands
Sumerlands had made clear they were a band of great merit even from the The Guardian demo, so it was merely a matter of time before they would resurface, this time around with their self-titled debut. Sumerlands repackages the three songs of the demo with a handful of new cuts, the one being better than the other. The album's monolithic style, a stance situated between early '80s metal and hard rock, would have anyone more ready for a snooze fest than a celebration of those times and music styles; and yet, Sumerlands thrive with their "less is more" arrangements, their discretely displayed instrumental aptitude, and their thick/anthemic sound. The latter sustains an incredible gothic vibe, manifested through the rhythm section and Swanson's stentorian vocals. Favorite song: the whole album. Stream: http://sumerlands.bandcamp.com/releases
Sun of Nothing The Guilt Of Feeling Alive
Sunn O))) and Boris Altar
Swarms Old Raves End
Symphony X The Divine Wings of Tragedy
Symphony X Twilight in Olympus
System of a Down Hypnotize
Tesla Mechanical Resonance
Testament The Gathering
Tetragrammaton Descendere
Coated with an excellent sound production, the Descendere EP is Tetragrammaton's (led by multi-instrumentalist Christian Bale) emphatic take on how ambient and black, doom, and sludge metal should be blended to excellent effect. If I was to describe the music merely by band name dropping I would be sure to mention Bolzer, YOB, Ved Buens Ende, Skaphe, Deathspell Omega, legit ambient/black metal outfits (put your favorite band here) and so on. Stream: http://tetragrammaton777.bandcamp.com/album/descendere
The Answer Rise
The Cult Electric
The Devil's Blood Come, Reap
Excellent 70's occult/psychedelic/heavy rock from the Dutch masters... Satan will prevail...
The Devil's Blood The Time Of No Time Evermore
The Gathering if_then_else
The Gathering How to Measure a Planet?
The Gathering Nighttime Birds
The Gathering Mandylion
The Gathering Black Light District
The Gorlons The Gorlons
Fantastic album; The Gorlons have taken the swirling rock n' roll of the '60s, totally fuzzed it out, and slipstreamed in it the level of intensity that will get you off your chair and make you resonate (even headbang!) with their Hammond-driven groove. That being said, there some calmer, psychedelic portions of the album have some "alien" (post rock?) elements. Favorite track: Dirty. Stream/"name your price" download: http://thegorlons.bandcamp.com/album/the-gorlons
The Graviators Motherload
On their third observation, Swedes The Graviators have outed an excellent album of '70s doom/hard rock, with serious groove, psychedelic, blues and progressive rock leanings spicing things further. Easily among the best albums of 2014 in the said genres.
The Jeff Healey Band Hell To Pay
The Jeff Healey Band See the Light
The Jimi Hendrix Experience Electric Ladyland
The Mars Volta Frances the Mute
The Mars Volta Amputechture
The Mars Volta Octahedron
The Police Reggatta de Blanc
The Police Outlandos d'Amour
The Tea Party The Edges Of Twilight
The Tea Party The Interzone Mantras
Theory In Practice The Armageddon Theories
Theory In Practice Evolving Transhumanism
The Swedish masters of tech/progressive death metal have returned with a blast! With all analogies accounted for, music is highly reminiscent of bands like Mekong Delta; after all, guitarist Peter Lake recorded Lurking Fear with the German tech thrash masters. Favorite song: The Amendment Of Germplasm. Stream: http://theoryinpractice.bandcamp.com/album/evolving-transhumanism
Therapy? Troublegum
Thin Lizzy Thunder and Lightning
This Is Nowhere Turn On, Tune Down, Drop D
This is the best fuzzed out/psychedelic/haze-like stoner rock you haven't heard yet from the land of the Greek gods. Amazing, totally loose and nebulous jams are blended with Glenn Danzig/Martin Gore-like vocal invocations, so as to make for a tremendously mesmerizing listen. Favorite tracks: "Theme For Bootsy", "Moondub"

album stream: http://thisisnowhere.bandcamp.com/album/turn-on-tune-down-drop-d
Thorns Stigma Diabolicum
Thou Art Lord The Regal Pulse of Lucifer
Hellenic mid-90s death/black metal revisited and then some.
Threshold Psychedelicatessen
Thunder Back Street Symphony
Tiamat A Deeper Kind of Slumber
Timo Tolkki Classical Variations and Themes
Tom Waits The Heart of Saturday Night
Tom Waits Beautiful Maladies: The Island Years
Trapeze Medusa
Trespassers William Different Stars
Triptykon Eparistera Daimones
Triptykon pick up from where Celtic Frost left off, and with the infusion of new blood, they let the people know how doom/death metal should sound these days. On another note, it's a guilty delight gazing at the H.R. Giger (R.I.P.) art while listening to the album.
Trouble Manic Frustration
Trouble Trouble
Trouble Psalm 9
Troubled Horse Step Inside
Sweden keeps on churning awesome vintage rock and this outfit right here, is no exception. Awesome stuff.
Turbonegro Party Animals
TV on the Radio Return to Cookie Mountain
Ulver A Quick Fix of Melancholy
Ulver Svidd Neger OST
Ulver Lyckantropen Themes OST
Uncle Acid and The Deadbeats Blood Lust
Universe 217 Never
Psychedelic/majestic/post/you-name-it, female fronted doom metal bearing various awesome vibes.

Prepare to be severely overwhelmed by Tanya's vocals...

Uzala Uzala
Seldom has psychedelic doom metal sounded so awesome...

album stream: http://uzala.bandcamp.com/
Vacivus Rite of Ascension
How come no one has taken notice of this EP yet? Vacivus endorse the kind of old school, cataclysmic death metal that's up the alley of Bolzer, Portal and the like, and they do it like they really mean it. Aside from some Nile-like (and sometimes transcendental sounding) guitar leads and the elaborate bass that stands out of the mud, there's no other trait separating the band from the monolithic approach of the mentioned (and other) outfits. Rite of Ancension EP is yet another powerful invocation to the ancients (sic). Favourite track: Vacivus Aeternum. Stream: http://goatprayerrecords.bandcamp.com/album/rite-of-ascension
Various Artists Nativity in Black - A Tribute to Black Sabbath
Vaura The Missing
On their second album, Vaura are highlighting the seamless links connecting '80s goth rock, pop-punk and black metal, with excellent results.
Vauxdvihl Vog
Ved Buens Ende Those who Caress the Pale
Veni Domine Light
Veni Domine have taken many left turns since their first two highly acclaimed albums in the early '90s and for better or for worse, most of them were not fully embraced by fans of adventurous doom metal. This year's Light album however, is the exception that justifies the rule. The Swedes have brought the lyricism of progressive doom metal with the (often) void existence of melodic (some call it adult oriented) rock in holy matrimony. In that light, the lack of guitar distortion is balanced by the simple, yet adequately elaborate arrangements and the divine vocals of Fredrik Fredrik Sjoholm, who sounds as if he's releasing the burdens of his soul to his confessor. The success of the album is also reflected in the superb rendition of the 1991 song "Oh Great City" (from the debut Fall Babylon Fall album), which sounds even better than the original version.
Vicious Rumors Welcome to the Ball
Vicious Rumors Warball
Vicious Rumors Word Of Mouth
Vicious Rumors Razorback Killers
Vicious Rumors Electric Punishment
At their eleventh observation, Vicious Rumors reproduce their brand of US power metal with class, and while they are getting themselves closer and closer to Bay Area thrash, they further diversify their sound with 80s glam rock and the blues.
Vicious Rumors Live You to Death 2 - American Punishment
This live album is not just for the die-hard fans of the band, but also for every fan of quality heavy/power metal.
Vinum Sabbatum Songs From The Convent
On their debut EP, Norwegian Vinum Sabbatum simply amaze with their mature blend of occult rock, albeit they don't offer the universal sensation of the genre, namely the voluptuous female vocals of some already acclaimed bands, like The Devil's Blood and the alike.

Instead there are crooning male vocals, amazing lyrics (listen to "Witch Woman"), thick/warm sounding hammond, the riffs (the fucking riffs!!!), classic rock solos, and the traditional doom/ '70s hard rock thing at its best.
Virus (NO) Carheart
Voivod Target Earth
Voivod just can't do no wrong and give their fans enough reasons as to why they should continue as a band.

Target Earth is a condensed re-run of all the places Voivod have visited from Killing Technology up to Voivod, their industrial era (Negatron, Phobos) excluded. Dan Mograin does wonders in the guitars, emulating Piggy's style.
W.A.S.P. The Crimson Idol
Wardrum Spadework
Warrior Soul Last Decade Dead Century
Heavy rock played will huge balls and a 100% punk attitude. The vocals -and the lyrics, THE FUCKIN' LYRICS!!!!- of Corey Clarke are second to none...
Watchtower Control and Resistance
Windfaerer Solar
All those into black metal with folk/epic leanings, should take hold of this band and EP, as the folk/epic thing is blended superbly with old-school black metal under a skull crushing sound production.

Not sure yet about the exact rating, although it already feels like a 3.5 at least...

Windhand Soma
In case anyone's wondering about how to delay the course of time, Windhand's female fronted, psychedelic stoner/doom metal is one of the best ways to do it...
Wolf People Tidings
Sometimes, good things come when you least expect them and this excellent album of '60s (not '70s!!) blues/rock n' roll literally came out of the blue (from a good friend) with a handful of really unusual references.

In the album's interludes, multi-instrumentalist (rhythm section, guitar, tambourine, harmonica, flute, vocals)/only member (up to 2010) Jack Sharp gives at display some cool improvisations, along with some equally cool small talk between him and the people who recorded him... Quite probably, the psychedelic instrumental madness of The Mars Volta (Frances The Mute-era) may come to mind.

The proper songs (plus one instrumental) of the album literally slay. The groove is insane, the atmosphere gets gloomy at times, there are odd time signatures (!! - "October Fires"), whereas Sharp's vocals sound exactly (!!!) like Kvohst's superb clean vocals on Code's avant-garde black metal masterpiece Resplendent Grotesque.
Wolfheart Winterborn
It's November the 6th and yet the weather in Greece is too warm to fully appreciate the winterborn (sic) folk/black/melodeath metal of Sukkonen's new band. While there is merely nothing new under the sun compared to Sukkonen's prior outfits, everything in Winterborn is masterfully executed.
Wolverine Cold Light of Monday
Wooden Shjips West
Fantastic '60s psychedelic/minimalistic noisy rock... The perfect soundtrack for driving out in the open road...
Wooden Shjips Back To Land
Wooden Shjips came up with a lighter and more easy going way of expression with respect to their '60s/'70s psychedelic/drone rock, while conforming fully to the core directives the band identifies with.
Yann Tiersen Good Bye Lenin! (Soundtrack)
YOB The Illusion Of Motion
YOB Clearing The Path To Ascend
Normally, it would be fair to write about YOB's going anew through their motions in this album and rate accordingly, but the importance of the Clearing The Path To Ascend album is that in "In Our Blood" and "Unmasking The Spectre", YOB deliver an updated rendition of the bluesy/drone-y doom metal first evidenced in Catharsis, the first major and sparsely mentioned (unfortunately) YOB album. On another note, the drone vibes revel in the album also due to the natural emergence of subtle guitar leads near the end of the album opener and "Nothing To Win", the tribal succession of riffs in the same tune (which brings in mind YOB's mid '00s sludgier behemoths) and of course the simple but utterly majestic, recurring guitar theme of the album closer "Marrow", which goes on and on for about 19 minutes, but does not wear off for one split moment. It goes without writing, but the band is (as always) stiff instrumentally, and Scheidt's clean vocals are wonderful.
Your Hand In Mine Every Night Dreams
YUREI Working Class Demon
Yurei allow for themselves to be influenced by the works of Oslo avant-garde metal league, yet they manage to add a good load of original ideas to the mix...
Zaxas Zaxas
Zed Yago From Over Yonder

3.9 excellent
Arcturus Arcturian
After the release of Sideshow Symphonies, I had little hope that the Norwegians would return to the grandeur of their past albums, so the brilliance of Arcturian definitely caught me off guard. Every element - the elaborate electronic parts, the folk manipulations, the black metal outbursts, the floating keyboards emulating the random configurations of the Northern Lights - has been masterfully appended in each song; The album highlight though, is none other than Vintersorg's vocals, and that comes from a die-hard fan of Garm and La Masquerade Infernale, which is still the best Arcturus album by far. Favourite song: Warp. Stream the album at play.spotify.com.
Fates Warning Theories of Flight
Theories of Flight picks up from where its predecessor concluded, and marks a further refinement/improvement in terms of song writing and Alder's vocal delivery. For the former, Fates Warning still have it in them (albeit things get a little repetitive towards the end), when it comes to making prog metal elegies like "The Light and Shade of Things", in which every possible human sentiment can be readily felt. As for Alder's work, the fact that he allowed some vibrato to (re-)emerge from his chords here and there, is a well intended innuendo to old school (metal) fans (of the band). Favorite song: The Light and Shade of Things.
Marta Ren and the Groovelvets Stop Look Listen
The soul and groove of this album is second to none, Marta Ren's vocal work is killing it every step of the way, not that her backing band falls behind or anything, rather it consists of frantic virtuosos on every instrument (the rhythm section slays!). Push play and get in the move! Favourite track: the whole album. Stream: http://martarengroovelvets.bandcamp.com/

3.8 excellent
Abbotoir Reveal
Normally, Irland's Abbotoir could be adequately described as a great funeral doom/death metal band with sudden but welcome black metal outbursts. What brings them, though, to the brink of "awesome" is their know-how in combining the said genres with hellish drone and majestic ambient/goth passages. All three songs exceed the 20 minute mark, yet they are anything but boring, provided that the listener has made the necessary time and patience to digest the album. Apart from the - typical for drone - perpetual repetition of musical themes, Abbotoir's patent in turning the guttural vocals sound to a distant sonic blur works very very well regarding the album's drone character. Despite its gargantuan temporal length, Reveal calls for repeated listens and makes for one of the best drone/doom metal albums released this year. Stream/"name your price" download: http://abbotoir.bandcamp.com/album/reveal
Acrimonious Eleven Dragons
Terminating 5 years of silence, Acrimonious have returned with an album that can be described as both a completion of the half-finished experimentations introduced in Sunyata, and an expansion of the debut album, in which cleverly composed melancholic second wave black metal was blended with discrete death metal elements. This is easily among the best albums to come out this year from the Hellenic black metal scene. Favourite tracks: Satariel's Grail, Incineration Initiator, Elder of the Nashiym, Litany of Moloch's Feast. Stream: http://wtcproductions.bandcamp.com/album/eleven-dragons
Adimiron Timelapse
Adimiron have taken the best elements from bands such as Gojira, Mastodon, Baroness, Cynic, Meshuggah etc. and have come with an frenetic metal amagalm. Not sure how this sound will turn out in the future, but right now the mix of said elements seems to stand only a few instances away before its transformation to a homogeneous and truly unique sound. Favorite track: Furnace Creek. Stream: http://adimironband.bandcamp.com/album/timelapse
Alcoholator Escape from Reality
Bypassing the rather naive but genre fitting band name, I could just say these thrashers come from Canada and be done arguing about the quality of this album; however the additional element that makes Escape from Reality an important release is that Alcoholator aimed/largely succeeded at combining all three schools of tech/raw/crossover thrash - Canadian, US and European - into a derivative, but mind bending and body shattering blend. Favorite tracks: Dictator, The Bleeder, Fuck Your Skull (!!!). Stream: http://alcoholatormetal.bandcamp.com/album/escape-from-reality
Alkoholizer Free Beer... Surf's Up!!!
Italy's Alkoholizer have recorded the crossover thrash album of the year... The intensity is massive, while the sound lies optimally between "old school" and "over-produced". The wheel is not reinvented in any case, yet the song writing hails and kills, while the instrumental performance often flirts with tech thrash. The above said, the album loses some points due the fact that Alkoholizer are merely paying a worthwhile tribute to their heroes (Anthrax, Exodus, Sacred Reich etc.) and some vocal aberrations, albeit the Italian accent grants the band a character of its own (analogously to what applies for Teutonic thrash outfits). Favorite track: "Breathalize and Destroy". Stream: http://alkoholizer.bandcamp.com/album/free-beer-surfs-up
Alucarda Raw Howls
Alucarda from Denmark take a different road with respect to their occult rock peers and infuse a heavy dosage of punk/noise rock inside their '70s heavy rock worship. The result is a dynamite of an album, nasty as vomit, but addictive as sugar. Favourite track: Witches Dance. Stream/"name your price" download: http://smokeddproductions.bandcamp.com/album/raw-howls
An Erotic End of Times Chapter One
An Erotic End of Times have kickstarted their course with an album that could be easily dubbed "a soundtrack for the impending apocalypse". Equal parts gothic and metal (with specs of industrial), album's critical distinctions lie in the genre-optimal, agitating vocals, the ever fresh reenactment of all goth metal cliches, the razor-cut lyrics ("No Rights" chorus!!!), and the elaborate placement of famous samples from J. Robert Oppenheimer (on album opener "I am Become Death"), JFK etc. Favorite tracks: No Rights, Love is the End. Stream: http://aneroticendoftimes.bandcamp.com/album/chapter-one-album-2017
ANCST In Turmoil
This band seems to undergo through tectonic style shifts between releases; Taima was a soothing ambient/drone listen, whereas this compilation of remastered rare material sees the band delving into black metal with hardcore vocals. That being said, the band hails and kills instrumentally, and that technical proficiency strives for an even more engaging musical experience. Stream: http://angstnoise.bandcamp.com/album/in-turmoil
Argus (USA-PA) Beyond The Martyrs
The contemporary old school metal scene is bursting with creativity and the third Argus album is a representative example in that respect.
Au-Dessus Au-Dessus
Good post/black metal is constantly emerging from Russia and the countries that used to be part of the former USSR federation, and the debut Au-Dessus album is yet another proof in that respect. Au-Dessus is a debut album, but the Lithuanians sound unexpectedly mature in terms of their razor-sharp sound and the genuine darkness that comes of it. With respect to the fairly convoluted song structures, Au-Dessus could further refine some ideas (for example, in "II"), in order to improve the flow. Favourite tracks: III and IV. Stream: http://witchinghourproductions.bandcamp.com/album/au-dessus
Autobahn The Moral Crossing
More often than not, post-punk outfits indulge themselves and their respective audiences by reenacting the genre norms, as the latter have been differentiated within the genre's finite number of tributaries. In that respect, Autobahn's debut album falls right in place, which makes it impossible for anyone to say he/she could forsee the strides of differentiation The Moral Crossing has made with respect to Dissemble and traditional post-punk in general. The introduction to the relative neoterisms adopted by these Leeds UK lads is gradual, as the album starts off with traditional maneuvers, which progressively head towards a collage of post-punk, folk elements and progressive rock mentality. Favorite track: title track is the epitome of the previously described crossing of styles. Stream: http://autobahnmusik.bandcamp.com/album/the-moral-crossing
Bolesno Grinje Chronicles from the Tomb
Bolesno Grinje come from Croatia and while most of their lyrics can be perceived exclusively by their fellow country men, their music should be appreciated by every fan who wants his/her grindcore devastating, technical and most importantly; fun. Don't look for memorable tracks here, just allow yourself to get caught in the mosh. Stream: http://bolesnogrinje.bandcamp.com/album/chronicles-from-the-tomb
Breed of Bacchus Oculus
All the samples introducing each cut of Germany's Breed of Bacchus' sophomore album, are voiced in their mother tongue, so I almost wish I was aware of the language and its slang in before, so as to appreciate the absolutely effective thrash/grind-core enclosed herein, even more. Wishfull thinking about language learning aside, Oculus has the clout to build a virtual grindcore moshpit inside your head, for the excess steam to be blown off. Favorite track: Bonapapst Syndrom. Stream/"name your price" download: http://breedofbacchus.bandcamp.com/album/oculus
Crypt Sermon Out of the Garden
Last year, Doomocracy from Greece attempted harbouring the sound of Solitude Aeturnus with fair success; this year, it's Crypt Sermon, yet another newly emerging act (from the ever vibrant East Coast metal scene) paying its dues to the Texan epic doom metal legends, while trying to add something on their own in the final mix. Band certainly stands above average vocals/arrangements-wise, whereas the only thing detracting some merit from its debut effort, is that utterly dedicated attachment to SA itself.
Deleyaman The Edge
Many outfits have been introduced to their audience as "genre melting", "genre hopping", "crossover" and the like, but in reality, few of them have managed to divert their influences into a style that can be barely referenced, yet it is utterly enticing. The oddly named Deleyaman outfit belongs to the latter category, as genres like folk (the clarinet reminds me of traditional Greek folk music in the best of ways), post-punk, goth and dream pop have traveled to the same place through pathways unknown to people other than the duo responsible for the music in The Edge. Stream: http://deleyaman.bandcamp.com/album/the-edge
Devil's Train II
In a nutshell, the sophomore Devil's Train album is an awesome tribute to late '80s glam rock, with the genre being fruitfully projected to the 21st century. Liapakis is a great metal vocalist, but his glam rock delivery on II is excellent as well, the production is loud, whereas the default genre arrangements have been beefed with ultra-heavy (almost "nu-metal") guitars and an aggressive, yet party-like attitude.
Disasterhate Sacrifice To Eclipse
How come no one outside Italy took notice of this band and EP? What we have here is frantic, dystopic, and semi-technical death/thrash metal which branches out to post metal ("God Is Dead", "Jupiter Effect"), doom metal ("Sacrifice To Eclipse"), even hardcore ("Domina Mundis" and as a general vibe in the male/female vocal interplay). The sound production is loud and fuzzy, and producers specializing in extreme metal really to need to check this and see how things were properly done in the not so distant past. Favorite song: "Jupiter Effect".

EP stream: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLJ8NBJt2NWfwqtHZFyazwNC0SKUHAGvXg
Exarsis The Brutal State
With one foot stepping on Bay Area and the other on the more raw European school, this band and album are in the top 5% of the worldwide thrash revival scene. Immense technical skills at all instruments and insane vocals (imagine Tim Baker from Cirith Ungol thrashing) are combined with a totally FRENZIED (at last!!!!!!) performance and a warm, analogue sound production that avoids the sterile pitfalls most of their peers fall in.
Harmpit Prepare for the Atoms
Spain's Harmpit have delivered one of the best thrash metal albums of this year! The excellent, (perhaps too) polished sound production, blends ideally with the top notch instrumental performance (some tracks flirt with tech thrash), while the song writing branches out to heavy/power metal and occasionally to more extreme forms (death/black metal), on par with the vocals which keep a fair distance from the default thrash style. A must-listen-to album for every thrasher out there. Stream it at play.spotify.com.
Helstar Vampiro
Ever since Helstar were reactivated, there was a discrete pressure for a return to the stylistic realm of Nosferatu, a criminally misplaced album at release time. Like every band which respects its craft, however, Helstar took their time in indulging their fan base, with the release of their 9th album. Vampiro (caught the innuendo already?), is nothing short of top-shelf, classical-tinged tech power/progressive/thrash metal, coated with the sound quality that Nosferatu should have in the first place. With the possible exception of "To Their Deathbeds They Fell", the remainder of the album is not particularly memorable per each song; however, as a whole, it can be safely played on repeat, just for admiring Helstar's ample song writing ability. Favorite song: To Their Deathbeds They Fell.
Hogwasche MBM
Hogwasche lie at the intersection of industrial, metal and hardcore and they sound terrific. The industrial element, courtesy of the relentless rhythm section and the oral speech samples, blends perfectly with the genuinely pissed off, hardcore vocals. The album misses some points due to the next to last track, which sounds like an low tier industrial cover of a Lacuna Coil or Paradise Lost song. Favourite track: Switch is groovy as hell. Stream: http://hogwasche.bandcamp.com/
Iotunn The Wizard Falls
Last year it was Trial from Sweden, this year's Denmark's turn in delivering a truly captivating piece of adventurous heavy metal to mankind... Iotunn are killing it in every way possible, be it in terms of the behemoth sound production (courtesy of Flemming Rasmussen!!!), or the arrangements in which all ends of metal have been masterfully converged. Don't let this EP slip through the cracks!!! Favourite song: Frost. Stream: http://iotunn.bandcamp.com/releases
Lectern Fratricidal Concelebration
Lectern's debut sounds as an old Morbid Angel (of the first two albums)/Nocturnus/Slayer hybrid, however the Italians have added some character of their own (for example, the groovy passages in "Lordless"). In case anyone yearns for tech death/thrash metal as it was done in the early '90s, Fratricidal Concelebration is a definite jam. The album is streaming at Spotify.
Lunar Mantra Genesis
Genesis kicks off and with a solid ritual/ambient/drone penchant, however England's Lunar Mantra excel in a different terrain, proving that they lie among the most interesting black metal bands out there; The song structures are twisted, the bitter melodies bring in mind the avant-garde wing of the second wave of black metal (Code, Ved Buens Ende, Kathaaria etc.), whereas the blackness transmitted throughout is totally genuine. The album loses some points from the inconsistent production ("Stellar Catacombs" ends abruptly) and the partial exploitation/incorporation of the ritual/ambient/drone factor. Favorite track: Xanthotic Madness. Stream: http://lunarmantra.bandcamp.com/releases
Lykantropi Lykantropi
In contrast to the vast majority of Swedish vintage acts subject to the heavier/energetic tracts of psychedelic/vintage rock, Lykantropi indulge themselves and their prospective audience with a lighter, enticingly introspective sound. The eight cuts of Lykantropi, "fast" or "slow", "straightforward" or "elaborate", are all tied together with the string of minimalism and calmness that goes back to the primal moments of outfits like Ten Years After, Jethro Tull, Simon & Garfunkel, even; While songs succeed each other, they tend to blend into each other in terms of memorability, however these Swedes keep things interesting with their joyfully somber spirit, which reflects the traditions of their land, the latter carved from the harshness with which light and darkness bathes the Scandinavian peninsula, and the myth-shaping effect of the Northern Lights. Favourite songs: Black Old Stone, Julie (Old Death Whisper), Alexandra, Dödens Dans. The album is streaming at Spotify.
Morti Viventi The Day The Dead Returned​...
Most of the time, one-man metal projects fall short in terms song writing, sound production and overall effectiveness. English thrash metal oufit Morti Viventi does not file under the previous description by any stretch. The instrumental performance is impeccable (drums and vocals included), the songs are surprisingly balanced, whereas the sound rips skulls. This album deserves to be heard by as many thrashers as possible. Favorite track: Thrash Or Die. Stream/"name your price" download: http://mortiviventiuk.bandcamp.com
Neurotech Evasive
Neurotech have infused a good deal of melancholy in a sub-genre of dance music (trance) that was designed to induce the quite opposite spectrum of sentiments; Along with the soothing ambience and the discrete, yet ever present industrial touch, Evasive comes as one of the few, really interesting proposals for electronic music anno 2015. Favourite track: there's a handful of them but the melancholy of "The Resurface" always gets to me. Stream/"name your price" download: http://neurotech.bandcamp.com/album/evasive
Nevermore Nevermore
New Today Better Than Death
Slick post punk/gothic/darkwave that does little to reinvent the wheel, yet its merit remains unspoiled from listen to listen. The excellently minimal arrangements that blend nicely, the brooding vocals and the drone-y texture overall, are enough feats to frequent Better Than Death, as much as follow New Today in future and past tense. Favorite track: Destiny. Stream/"name your price" download: http://newtoday.bandcamp.com/album/better-than-death
Paradise Lost The Plague Within
Paradise Lost don't know how to fall off the high standards they are known for all these years, their new album is no exception, but I can't help thinking it stands a few steps below the previous 4 albums, Faith Divides Us - Death Unites Us excluded.
Prognathe Revelation Flesh
Imagine Converge treading on death metal territory and giving into sludge and industrial-ish grindcore with discrete epic sites, expressed through grandiose keyboards and chorus-like vocals. Stream/"name your price" download: http://prognathe.bandcamp.com/album/revelation-flesh
Ripper (CL) Experiment of Existence
Few outfits death/thrash as ferociously as their South American counterparts; Chile's Ripper is a strong case in point, although few heads turned when Raising the Corpse was released. That album's sole flaw was the lack of diversity, however Experiment of Existence is improved therein, while maintaining the frantic pace of its predecessor. The bassist lies at Steve Di Giorgio level (maybe higher), managing to improvise in between the organized chaos. Favourite track: Neuronal Unity stands as first among equals: Stream: http://www.nocleansinging.com/2016/02/24/an-ncs-album-premiere-ripper-experiment-of-existence/
Sepiroth Uninvolved
On their sophomore album, Sepiroth from Holland draw inspiration from the war in former Yugoslavia during the early '90s, and they coat their narrative with excellent old school death metal that steps on both banks of the Atlantic Ocean. Even in these dire times that the music industry is going through, it is hard to believe that this is an independent release. Favorite track: Breadline Massacre. Stream: http://sepiroth.bandcamp.com/album/uninvolved
SHACKLES (AUS) Lifeless Paradise
Shackles are relentless in their punk-tinged grindcore, with the jaw dropping instrumental prowess being aptly balanced with the filth of the arrangements. With its turn, the rock n' roll factor is present in the form of short-lived groove passages and/or noise rock intermissions ("Hoard the Rage", "Caustic Mess"). Even though the album is short in length with every track not spanning beyond the 2 1/2 minute mark, the repetition of riffs and patterns becomes all too evident towards the album's end, detracting some points from its otherwise undisputed merit. Stream: http://shacklesnoise.bandcamp.com/album/lifeless-paradise
Shape of Despair Monotony Fields
I'm not sure if funeral doom has been designed to drive genre enthusiasts along memory lane by default, but albums like Monotony Fields are nothing but positive catalysts to the process; Through their recurring, majestic and drone-y arrangements, Shape of Despair may allow intronauting (sic) towards the lowermost layers of memory, only to re-emerge to the surface, relieved and a bit wiser... Favourite song: Monotony Fields. Stream: http://shapeofdespair.bandcamp.com/album/monotony-fields-2
Shrapnel (UK) The Virus Conspires
Going about every aspect of adventurous thrash on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, Shrapnel have crafted an album worthy of attention by the genre's fan base.
Spectral Wound Terra Nullius
Contrary to the usual affiliations of the black metal scene within the American Continent, Canada's Spectral Wound have endorsed the old school Scandinavian black metal ethics. In that darkness (sic), Terra Nullius may not come as innovating, yet its spite and franticness will surely keep it from wearing off any time soon. Favourite track: A Noble Rot. Stream: http://spectralwound.bandcamp.com/album/terra-nullius
Speedwhore The Future Is Now
The Future Is Now sounds like a lost collaboration Venom, Sodom and Hellhammer had back in the early and formative '80s; this is nothing but a huge compliment for this German company of metal-patch-vested gentlemen. The actual music is a messy yet engaging mix of punk, NWOBHM, thrash and (early '80s) black metal, with the vocals being an abyssal highlight all the way through. Those disappointed by the new Venom album, should get a hold of Speed Whore's debut album as soon as possible: Stream: http://witchesbrewthrashes.bandcamp.com/album/the-future-is-now
Tad Morose Matters Of The Dark
Tanator Degradation Of Mankind
From the crypts of the Russian metal underground, Tanator unleash a black/thrash metal onslaught whose crossover/punk-ish intensity and sound-wise sludginess, are all but leveraging the inherent derivativeness of the arrangements. Stream: http://coldbreathofsilence.bandcamp.com/album/tanator-degradation-of-mankind-cd
Virus (NO) Memento Collider
Virus leave behind the moot point the previous album was, and allow their music to catch some serious rock breathers. The distortion in the guitars (and the metal elements altogether) is completely gone, giving more space to the weird guitar melodies and the expertly arranged rhythm section. To that end, Plenum's recurring/off-beat bass lines in "Steamer" will get you in tune with Ved Buens Ende's dissonant vibes, whereas the rather unexpected solo in "Gravity Seeker" is courtesy of Dan Mongrain from Voivod! Favorite song(s): the whole album, pretty much. Stream: http://play.spotify.com/album/7iYDbFoE46EyEXqmkw0mA1
Voivod Post Society
In view of their upcoming album, which is slated for release some time in 2016, the French-Canadians have gathered all the split singles issued last year, and added previously unreleased material composed on and off the road. Needless to write, but the EP complies with Voivod standards, whereas it partially eases the anticipation for the upcoming full length.
W.E.B. For Bidens
Although I'm not aware of the band's past efforts, For Bidens inclines me to say that this is where everything truly begins for Greece's W.E.B.. Band has an utterly convincing penchant for blending extreme (as in thrash/death/black, not in that particular order) metal, fantastic industrial synths, goth rock, elements from classical music (the sopranos of the album are excellent), even some folk. Some (but few nonetheless) of the introduced ideas don't work well in the arrangements, the clean vocals in "Malaise" and the clean male vocals in general could be better, but W.E.B. are just a few turns away from creating even better music in releases to come.
Wrong (ESP) Pessimistic Outcomes
As far as metal goes and regardless of specific genres, Spain underwent a renaissance this year and this band is yet another proof in the said respect. I really like how Wrong treat the atmospheric elements, while giving in to the primordial teachings of the second wave black metal, and up to a point, to the black metal modernization realized in the late '90s by bands like Thorns, Dodheimsgard and the like. Favorite track: His Hatres Breathes. Stream: http://wrongblackmetal.bandcamp.com/album/pessimistic-outcomes

3.7 great
A Perfect Circle Mer de Noms
Abramis Brama Enkel Biljett
Enkel Biljett is literally a one-way ticket to '70s heavy rock bliss, further decorated with traces of stoner rock. Abramis Brama stand on the same level of quality with more known Swedish outfits like Graveyard and although the lyrics are written in Swedish, the album makes for an ideal point of entry to this great band. Favorite song: "Vaggar Mig Till Ro"
Aelter IV: Love Eternal
Ethereal, velvet textured melodic drone, whose recurring patterns will do everything in their power to dwell their recipients deeper into the tracts of the subconscious. Stream: http://aelter.bandcamp.com/album/aelter-iv-love-eternal-lp
Aenaon Extance
Aenaon have left their mark on 2014 with a markedly better sophomore album, compared to its predecessor. Song writing has become more concrete, the music is tense throughout, while the non-metal passages - blues, jazz etc. - are better incorporated in the album's main avant-garde, black metal body. In result, what we are given is an album of great replay value. Sound production wise, the guitars have adopted a custom "fuzzy" sound that works well in giving the album a special character, yet it detracts some edge from the actual riffs. Favorite track: Der Mude Tod. Stream: http://auralmusic.bandcamp.com/album/extance
Anathema Distant Satellites
Anathema go back to the sweet gloom of their late-'90s-early-00s era, take a small loan from their current indentity, and wind up with their most interesting album since 2003.
Before the Eyewall Before the Eyewall
The eponymous Before the Eyewall album is a great piece of instrumental, psychedelic doom metal with notable sludge and post- references. If anything, it signifies a great starting point for this Columbus, Ohio based outfit.

Bestial Invasion Trilogy: Prisoners of Miserable Hate
Ukrainians Bestial Invasion make a legitimate effort in optimizing their solid, if a bit messy tech thrash of their debut album. Truth is that they have put their money where their arrangements are, namely at the intersection of the US and European sub-genre schools, giving a more critical pledge for the future. Favorite track: Zodiac: Crime World Mystery. Stream: http://shellfire-attack.bandcamp.com/album/trilogy-prisoners-of-miserable-fate
Blackning Order of Chaos
Blackning from Brazil have come up with an extremely solid debut album of thrash metal. Band is playing it by the book most of the time, with sparse moments of differentiation from the norm. The sound production is excellent as it highlights the intensity one expects from a thrash metal album. Stream: http://soundcloud.com/blackning/sets/order-of-chaos
Blues Pills Blues Pills
Great album and a major breakthrough for vintage rock this year, Blues Pills deserve all the success that has come down for them. I just wish the band would have new material in place of the songs previously featured in the EPs, that's just me though. For everyone else into retro rock, the album is a blast, anyway you stretch it.
Braindamage The Downfall
In terms of tech thrash outfits that emerged in Europe in the early '90s, Italy's Braindamage have been honourably mentioned for their 1993 debut album Signal de Revolta, with later albums branching out to pure thrash, progressive rock and industrial. This year's The Downfall sees the band focusing on atmosphere through aggression, without being overly technical, instrumentally. Listening sessions will eventually give shape to a convincingly dystopic, '90s post-thrash painting, as usual suspects Mekong Delta, Meshuggah, Fear Factory, Voivod, and Red Harvest are unconsciously referenced. Favourite song: The Downfall Is Here To Stay, I Shall Fight Until The End. Album stream: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ObOScGv2n4M
Burial Hordes Incendium
On the same page with the best offerings of outfits such as Bathory, Mayhem, Grave Miasma, Bolzer and the like, Incendium is nothing short of high impact Hellenic death/black metal. The super-heavy doom metal intermissions placed in between the blastbeat inferno, are letting the album and its audience catch some breathers before dwelling anew to the chaos.
Cannibal Corpse A Skeletal Domain
Since 2006, Cannibal Corpse have been making a conscious effort in escaping the old school death metal "bulkiness" that characterized their previous releases. A Skeletal Domain sees the band diversifying its core characteristics through technical playing, the adoption of thrash metal and finally, the relative modernization of the sound production. The album works well as a whole, as relatively few tracks ("High Velocity Impact Spatter", "Sadistic Embodiment", "Funeral Cremation") kind of stand out from the lot.
Christian Mistress Agony and Opium
Fantastic old school heavy metal by this US outfit, despite the female vocals being somewhat inconsistent...
Coffincraft In Eerie Slumber
Although most Finnish death metal bands have developed a distinct sound with respect to their neighbouring Swedish contemporaries, there are some outfits that are drawn by swedeath metal, while some of those come with additional twists. Coffincraft file under the latter disposition, although the moniker speaks completely otherwise. The album's musical substrate is made of Stockholm metal, however the band adds groove (death n' roll, even stoner/sludge metal!) and some latent prog metal structures here and there. Style descriptions aside, what's readily evident here is a band willing to experiment up to the full magnitude of its ability. Favourite track: Necrostation. Stream: http://coffincraft.bandcamp.com/album/in-eerie-slumber
Coroner Punishment for Decadence
Deadwood Picturing a Sense of Loss
Not the biggest fan of post/black metal, but I have to admit that Deadwood have their way of exploiting the dynamics of the genre for their own benefit. Their recipe (the same found in bands like Entropia) works well, but nevertheless it's exactly the same in each and every song. For some reason and imho, a more lo-fi/coarse sound (and I'm talking about bands like Oranssi Pazuzu) would grant the band more character. Stream: http://deadwoodvoid.bandcamp.com/
Distillator Revolutionary Cells
Good Euro thrash metal just keeps on flowing! While these Dutch folks don't strive for a truly genuine sound, they balance things with their top notch, raging instrumental performance, perfect sound, and an adequately diverse handful of songs. Band has been officially placed in the lookout. You can stream the album at play.spotify.com
Dream Theater Train of Thought
Dream Theater Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence
Dream Theater Falling into Infinity
Dunmharu Finding The Eternal
Dunmharu is a black metal band from Ireland and while the Celtic origin of their name may hint towards the epic spectrum of the genre and fellow country men like... Primordial or Mael Mordha, truth is that this Dublin duo has shuffled the deck considerably when compared to the said outfits. While what is to be encountered in Finding The Eternal is black metal in nature, Dunmharu give in to some really bleak/majestic doom metal passages, with transitions taking place in odd times and places. To spice the cake a little more, the guitars have been given this muddy texture evidenced in bands like Bolzer, Portal, Vacivus etc. and make for a really tight package when met with the aforementioned attributes. Truth be told, the fifth Dunmharu album (in three years!) isn't the most memorable thing in extreme metal, but it will definitely take you places during its spin time. Favourite track: The Savage Path of Time: Stream: http://dunmharu.bandcamp.com/album/finding-the-eternal
Eternity's End The Fire Within
For quite some time now, Euro power metal has been the sonic equivalent of an anydrous desert with almost-one-off oases emerging every once in a while. Eternity's End is the most recent case in point and a supergroup altogether, featuring seasoned musicians in extreme/progressive metal, as well as the intersection between power metal and adult oriented rock. Nominally, The Fire Within lies as close as any band can get to Symphony X, yet Eternity's End manifest their European origin in every way possible, while branching out to tech metal and AOR. The mentioned styles have been blended nicely in terms of arrangements and sound production, even though some metalheads may argue against the album's overall mellowness. Favourite track: The Hourglass. Stream: http://powerprog.bandcamp.com/album/the-fire-within.
Falconer Black Moon Rising
I'm not aware of the band's previous albums, but this one rocked the hell out of me, albeit it's does not reinvent the wheel in a marked way. Falconer adopted a sound production suitable for tech power/thrash metal outfits, because they do sound like one most of the time. Ultra-heavy/aggressive rhythm guitars, frantic leads, fantastic/technical (on the brink of tech thrash) rhythm section, are combined with the uplifting power metal cheese, folk melodies and the melodic, down-to-earth vocals of band's mastermind Mathias Blad. The latter is distanced from the high pitch practices commonly found in power metal.
Fear Factory Genexus
Fear Factory go through the motions, but boy do they still sound hungry and mad! Genexus sounds like the twin release of Mechanize minus the element of surprise, and a marginal (yet perceivable) lack of innovation in terms of arrangements.
Flotsam and Jetsam Flotsam and Jetsam
Excluding The Cold, Flotsam and Jetsam erase 20 years of mediocrity, with an album firmly rooted in '80s thrash and classic metal (no wonder why they are still warmly heralded in old school metal lairs such as Greece, namely their 2015 live concert in Athens). The current line-up shreds instrumentally, whereas Erik AK's vocals are still distinguishable from a light year away. Album could have been more of a true rival to the band's classic stuff, should its sound was livelier, more raw. Favorite track(s): Seventh Seal, Iron Maiden, Monkey Wrench.
Harlott Extinction
Harlott sound like a virtual supergroup featuring members from Slayer, Heathen, Exodus, and Kreator, and that's saying a lot regarding their ability to blend US and German thrash, and their skill in devising neck-breaking metal. What cuts through the musical derivativeness that the aforementioned outfits imply, is the adoption of European death metal tremolo riffing at some instances, a trait which grants Extinction a somewhat distinct character, and imho, needs to be developed in future releases. Favourite track: album title track stands among equals. Stream: http://harlottmetal.bandcamp.com/album/extinction
Hatriot Dawn of the New Centurian
Hatriot deliver some killer "Exodus" thrash metal on their sophomore album. Excellent sound production (although it could sound coarser/dirtier), Steve "Zetro" Souza's vocals are always appealing, the lead guitars are almost shredding, and the riffs are solid, at least. On several occasions, the album reminded me a lot of Heathen's latest album, which is excellent. On another note, the lyrics are really good, for example in the album opening cut, and the shout "Free Pussy Riot" towards the end of "Superkillafragsadisticactsaresoatrocious" may become anthemic, should more people pay attention to the track.
Havukruunu Havulinnaan
Havukruunu had declared themselves as a promising epic black metal since the Usvakuningas EP, so the quality enveloped in their debut LP is wholeheartedly welcome, but hardly surprising; first half of the album takes no prisoners, whereas in the second, things get a bit repetitive. In terms of references to other bands, the spirit of Immortal and Primordial is ever present, always in the best of senses. Favourite track: Terhen. Stream/"name your price" download: http://naturmachtproductions.bandcamp.com/album/havulinnaan-np061
Helstar This Wicked Nest
First of all, huge props are in order for Helstar, as along with bands such as Vicious Rumors and Sanctuary, they keep US tech power/thrash metal alive, to the utmost joy of genre fanboys like yours truly. Now about the new album; Twisted Wicked Nest starts ideally with three tracks of expertly executed and insanely aggressive tech power/thrash. Along with the said genres, some progressive metal passages have been slipstreamed here and there, hinting at the '80s Helstar classic Nosferatu minus its sub-par sound. About the latter, This Wicked Nest is nothing but superb. The album is a joy to jam, however it looses some merit because there are no real surprises musically, whereas the use of the prog metal elements is not so thoughtful given the band's great potential. On the other hand, the huge plus of the album is that the pure power metal - and borderline uninteresting - parts of Glory of Chaos, are completely gone here. On another note, the vocals of James Rivera sound fantastic, although he does struggle at times in delivering his trademark high pitch whenever and wherever is necessary.
In Solitude Sister
In Solitude signify the twilight of their idols and the result is a rather unusual "goth" metal album.
Insanity Alert Insanity Alert
Band sounds like the European answer to Municipal Waste and that's saying a lot or nothing, depending on how one feels about bands taking serious loans from other outfits. From where I stand, the album sounds great and fresh. Album closer "Run to the Pit" is a hilariously awesome tribute to Iron Maiden's "Run to the Hills". Stream: http://insanityalert.bandcamp.com/album/insanity-alert
Karma Violens Skin Of Existence
With the adoption of a wide spectrum of elements from extreme metal, Karma Violens are continuing their uphill battle towards the definition of a custom style, the latter lying somewhere in between Chimaira, Lamb of God, Hypocrisy, and Pantera. If they discard the last remaining fragments of musical derivativeness in future releases, they will surely stand side by side to the best works of the aforementioned bands. Favorite track: Skin of Existence. Stream: http://youtu.be/X9uCE9utUlo
Lago Tyranny
On their first album, Lago prove that they really feel the vibes of East Coast US death metal, especially Morbid Angel (Gates of Annihilation/Formulas Fatal To The Flesh-era) and Immolation. Indeed, the melodic guitar leads and some passages throughout each song hint at old Opeth and European death/black metal in general. Favorite track: "The Tyranny Of Men". Album stream: http://lagometal.bandcamp.com/album/tyranny
Leather (USA-OH) Shock Waves
As any of the first 5 Chastain albums, Leather Leone's solo effort is one of the '80s heavy/power metal albums I go back to frequently. Fantastic vocals from Leather, whereas newcomer (at that time) Michael Harris shreds his guitar like a true master. The album's shortcomings lie in the dated sound production (rhythm guitars could sound better) - and the fact that the song structures get repetitive from a point further.

stream - http://tribunalrecords.bandcamp.com/album/shock-waves
Lost Society Terror Hungry
Highly energetic, semi-technical, the sophomore Lost Society album is, without a doubt, a thrash metal jam that fans of the genre should pay attention to. The album's only flaw is the abundance of tracks that assess it as somewhat derivative in terms of domestic abuse. It will slay in live concerts, though.
Manimal Trapped in the Shadows
Regarding the disappointing (for the most part) yield of Euro heavy/power metal during the last 5 years (at least!), Trapped in the Shadows forms an oasis of unexpectedly good replay value. The Swedes do not reinvent the wheel in any case; still, the excellent high-pitched choruses, the semi-tech instrumental performance, combined with the discrete groove metal elements (that were abundant in the debut), make for a moderately non-trivial album that's worth its fair lot of spins. Trivia: Udo Dirkschneider lends his trademark vocals on "The Journey". Favourite songs: March of Darkness, Psychopomp.
Marty Friedman Inferno
I haven't been faithfully tracking Friedman's work outside of Megadeth - guilty as charged! - but Inferno sounds like his most diverse album yet. I really like how he embraces some of the numerous aspects of extreme metal and rock n' roll and filters it through his insane guitar shredding. The album has a good replay value overall and the only objection lies in the sound of the guitars which could be less polished and closer to what Blotted Science have respectively done. Last but not least, major kudos are due to Jason Becker for defying Gehrig's disease all these years by writing music constantly, and for contributing some of his wonderful guitar wizardry on "Horrors".
Mastodon Once More 'Round the Sun
Mastodon make one more spin around the sun and decorate the simple, yet effective classic rock/metal that was introduced in the previous album with traces of sludge metal that hint back to their debut album. In general the songs are good, yet the element of surprise is absent, whereas truly filler songs are kept down to a minimum. "Motherload" is by far the song of the year for me, music/lyrics-wise, along with "Ember City" and "Diamonds In The Witch House".
Mayhem Esoteric Warfare
Mayhem go through the motions of intelligent black metal, yet their craft remains unmatched.
Mr. Kitty TIME
Great album, the fusion of goth, post punk and electronic music really works. The only "negative" thing is that the most memorable tracks are diluted by the less memorable ones, but still this is worth checking out.
My Dying Bride Feel the Misery
My Dying Bride continue their upward route, with what feels as a homogeneous amalgamation of the previous 6 releases. However, Feel the Misery feels less forced than its predecessor, probably due to the fact that new (old ;)) blood has been transfused into the band's veins. While some may reasonably argue that My Dying Bride anno 2015 have stagnated their art, their 12th full length stands the trial of repeated listens with minimal casualties. Favourite track: And My Father Left Forever. Stream the album at http://metalstreaming.net/pages/play-album.php?activeAlbum=00074%20-%20My%20Dying%20Bride%20-%20Feel%20The%20Misery
Nasheim Solens Vemod
I'm not so much into depressive post-/black metal, but the debut album of these Swedes has enough merit to make me visit it frequently from time to time, and search for equally good/representative material in the same vein.
Need Siamese God
A major improvement compared to Wisdom Machine, Siamese God finds Hellenes Need giving the right angles to their Pantera-meets-Nevermore-meets-Pain Of Salvation metal, albeit they don't completely hide the influence from the aforementioned bands on both the music and the vocals.
Nocturnalia Above Below Within
Nocturnalia come from Sweden and they play '70s heavy rock. Aand I could just sum up this sound-off at the previous period mark regarding the quality of this recording; it is mandatory however, to give special kudos to the excellent singer and the atmospheric and elaborate evolution of most songs. Most certainly, retro rock rectors should keep an eye on this band. Favorite songs: Lady of the Woods, Within His Lies. Stream: http://gaphals.bandcamp.com/album/nocturnalia-above-below-within
Noir For Rachel Went Missing
In most cases, outfits and individuals who record one or more albums per year, end up churning derivative/unremarkable works, but the atmospheric/instrumental gothgaze/noise/post-punk of this obscure young Russian aka Noir For Rachel (and Telephone Is Dead), is slowly but steadily flourishing release after release. Favourite tracks: "Phylloxera", "Search For Identity" and "Primary Sex Ratio". Stream: http://noirforrachelband.bandcamp.com/album/went-missing
Oado Life Era
Oado have made a wonderful folk album, the atmosphere is overwhelming, however it's that very atmosphere rather than the compositions themselves, that truly remains upon the completion of every listening session.
Primordial Where Greater Men Have Fallen
Primordial escape the relative thinness of the previous album with better songs, excellent sound production (the drums are as physical as they can get these days) and a moderate retrospection of the sound evidenced in their first few releases. Besides the great epic heavy/black metal this Irishmen are known for, there are no real surprises here, but then again they might have not been expected in the first place. Favorite tracks: "Babel's Tower" and "Born to Night".
Raven Throne Доктрина Ненависти
This band and album come as strong evidence that great metal music is lurking in the shadows of the former iron curtain countries, waiting to be discovered. The ingredients this album relies on is black metal, industrial and noise, and if Rave Throne appear reluctant in fully capitalizing their potential on the first three tracks, their talent in combining the aforementioned styles is readily evident during the second half of the album. Highlights: the Depeche Mode worship track 4, and track 6. Stream: http://raventhrone.bandcamp.com/album/doctrine-of-hatred
Redrum (GR-DE) No Turning Back
Hellenes Redrum craft an attractive debut album, where melodic hard rock is found to be equally distanced from traditional metal, the blues and the infinitely more mellow, guitar-distortion-free AOR. Good stuff, every way one would look at it, and if it contained the more memorable songs only - 8-9 that is - it would be a perfect 4/5.
Reek Necrogenesis
This band and album just came out of nowhere, as far as adventurous thrash metal anno 2014 goes. Song arrangements blend tech thrash with '80s metal, top notch lead guitar shredding, prog rock, even ambient (check the album closer!!). On another note, this album has BY FAR the best sound production I've heard IN A VERY LONG time!!! FINALLY, a band that has not given in the homogenized/compressed/plastic dictatorship of today's metal productions, plus I don't think that Reek had such a big budget at their disposal in order to do such an excellent job.
Reverend Reverend
Rude Soul Recall
San Francisco's Rude revisit the times when Pestilence, Morbid Angel, Death, Suffocation and Autopsy took the teachings of Slayer to the next level and shaped the face of old school tech death metal. What's at display in Soul Recall is maze-like death/thrash metal with top notch "Morbid Angel level" instrumentation, vocals that pay a huge tribute to Leprosy-era Chuck Schuldiner, and a fantastic analog, yet heavy as hell sound production.

album stream: http://portal.xtreemmusic.com/streaming-en-exclusiva-del-album-completo-de-rude-soul-recall/
Sanctuary The Year the Sun Died
Past tense to future tense and a new chapter unfolds for Sanctuary and maybe (?) Seattle metal. Apart from the involved heavy/power metal style, Sanctuary develop a stronger penchant for doom and gloom in several songs, whereas their discrete opening to transcendental heavy rock with The Doors cover "Waiting For The Sun" and their own "The Dying Age" is more than welcome.
Sceptic Unbeliever's Script
Seduced (AT) The Proclamation
What's at display here is a band going about the intermediate space between tech grind/death (more) and black metal (less) with class. Now, if I was to link the band to more known outfits then Carcass, Behemoth, Decapitated and Cannibal Corpse would be appropriate examples, but Seduced have the required skills and audacity to look all these outfits right in the eyes. The abundance of tracks - 16 in total - lowers the merit of the album, and if the best song writing ideas and riffs herein were squeezed in, let's say, 8-9 songs, we would be talking about an indisputably excellent album. The album is streaming at the band's official bandcamp location.
Seprevation Consumed
On their debut album, England's Seprevation give out good-replay-value death/thrash metal. 2 extra tenths of a point go to the absolutely fantastic sound production, the band's frenetic, semi-technical (that free-form bass is quite something!) performance and last but not least, the fact that good death/thrash is kind of rare nowadays.
Shattered Hope Waters Of Lethe
On their second album, Shattered Hope move towards the funeral end of death/doom metal and cast their heavy shadow upon us. Every fan of the said genre should give this album a listen, at least.

album stream - http://shatteredhope.bandcamp.com/album/waters-of-lethe
Sisyphean Illusions of Eternity
Sisyphean are far from reinventing the wheel as everything in their ominous post/death/black metal sounds a bit familiar; however, Illusions of Eternity has a good replay value as a whole, due to the Lithuanians' instrumental intensity, irrespective of pace. Moreover, the relative familiarity in the melodies, binds the tracks together, in what may read as an abstract concept regarding the multiple interpretations that the myth of Sisyphus allows. Favorite tracks: The Nest, Shattered Glass, Transfigurations. Stream: http://sisyphean.bandcamp.com/
Slough Feg Digital Resistance
More than anything, Digital Resistance brings in mind the hard rocking metal works and days of late '70s/early '80s and outfits such as Thin Lizzy and Iron Maiden. The familiarity and warmth of the music herein, along with Scalzi's characteristic vocals, make for yet another essential Slough Feg album.
Solitude Aeturnus Alone
Spidergawd Spidergawd
The self titled Spidergawd album will be hands down one of the slow burners of this year with respect to retro boogie/hard rock. Their singer is excellent (like really excellent), their song writing is effective whether it's short lived hard rock dynamites (the album's first two cuts) or progressive rock elegies ("Empty Rooms") and there's this fuzz (on the brink of noise rock) which gives another degree of freedom to the album. The above being said, the arrangements could be tighter, but hey guess what; band has been signed by Nuclear Blast Records (really no wonder about that.-) and the release of the sophomore album II has been slated for January 15 2015.
Suffocation Pinnacle of Bedlam
Supertanker Songs from the Ashes
Fantastic album; First of all, Supertanker have an excellent vocalist resonating between Phil Anselmo and Layne Staley, whereas the track titles ("I Can't Live a Second Life") imply that the band is interesting lyrics-wise. As for the actual music, band is really proficient on every instrument, while genre-wise we have a hybrid made of nu metal, sludge, thrash, metalcore and some doom. Shaken not stirred (sic) and there you have it, an album that more people need to listen/discover. Stream: http://supertanker.bandcamp.com/album/songs-from-the-ashes
Thantifaxath Sacred White Noise
Canada's Thantifaxath have emerged to the surface with an album that does a little more than encapsulating the essential traits of adventurous black metal... The arrangements are ferociously executed, some really demented atmospheres and melodies intervene within the traditional black metal patterns, while the sound production has granted the album the transcendental aura every black metal album of this sort needs. The above being said, it's merely a matter of time for Thantifaxath to find that extra "something" in order to further separate themselves from their peers in the future.
This Is Nowhere Music to Relapse
The band's debut album was a revelation, and not only for the ever vibrant Greek heavy/psychedelic rock scene. Music to Relapse is a fairly different affair, as This Is Nowhere get their groove up to speed with respect to late '60s hard rock; moreover, the noise and drone elements are augmented, whereas Thessalonikans show an underdeveloped, yet interesting penchant for progressive rock, strictly in the light of the aforementioned attributes. Favourite song: Lies. Stream: http://thisisnowhere.bandcamp.com/album/music-to-relapse
Torrens Conscientium All Alone with the Thoughts
The list of dependable doom/death metal outfits grows more and more and Ukraine's Torrens Conscientium are a definite entry with their debut album. Majestic/gothic atmospheres, stiff arrangements and genuine gloom make for one of the best soundtracks for times of personal introspection. Stream: http://torrensconscientium.bandcamp.com
Triptykon Melana Chasmata
Deprived of the element of surprise the debut had by default, Melana Chasmata sounds less spontaneous and probably not as good. However, going through the thrash metal outbursts or the goth/doom metal droning is still a mesmerizing experience, while gazing at H.R. Giger's otherworldly art. On Another note, the band seems to rely much less on the all-time-classic Celtic Frost groove ("Altar of Deceit" stands as the sole token in that respect).
Truls Morck Truls Morck
As if the new Graveyard album wasn't enough to renew our interest about the lads from Goteborg, their former guitarist/current bassist Truls Morck took his artistic distance, and released an experimental, moody and sentimental psyched rock album. His fantastic vocals are "laid down" and soothing, whereas the flirt of blues rock with noise and electronica, gives out something different regarding the "retro rock" movement. The album is streaming at play.spotify.com.
Unbirth Deracinated Celestial Oligarchy
The album cover and title hint at a death metal album that sounds trivial at best, however those will take the necessary leap of faith, will see that Unbirth's debut sounds like a lost (and near-awesome!) Suffocation album. Excellent "Morrisound-like" sound production, and convoluted yet meaningful/precisely executed arrangements make for a hell of a "US East Coast" death metal album, especially for those disappointed by Suffocation's most recent offering. Favorite track: Incestuous Warpath: Stream: http://unbirth.bandcamp.com/album/deracinated-celestial-oligarchy
Uncle Acid and The Deadbeats Mind Control
In their third album, Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats have adapted their sound to the album's concept about the mechanisms of human mind control. Songs are doom-ier, hypnotic and even drone-ish at times, while the vocals are clearly Beatles-driven. Without a doubt, the album is worth listening/purchasing and clearly attains a character of its own, however it feels "incomplete" and it is really difficult to objectively explain the said notion....
Universe 217 Universe217
Bumping this to a 3.7 (from a 3.5), despite its few flaws, there is literally nothing that sounds like this... HQ Experimental doom metal.....
Wardrum Desolation
Second Wardrum album is great in its own right, however the intimate '80s heavy/proto-prog metal character of the debut is absent...
Wooden Shjips Dos
In Dos, the drone/meditative character of Wooden Shjips made some room for an equally fuzzed out, but more up tempo, "monotonous"/psych/60s garage rock. Good stuff.

3.6 great
Angelus Apatrida Hidden Evolution
On their fifth observation, Angelus Apatrida refine the straightforward thrash of the previous affair and come up with a great album which stands a few steps below from everything they've done in the past (especially Clockwork)
Apex Shrine Home Baked
Great album; Even though Apex Shrine merely begin their journey into psychedelic rock, their debut album shows great deal of maturity on all sectors (instrumental, vocals, sound). The excellent lead guitars reminded me of Ten Years After. Favorite track: Out of Time: Stream/"name your price" download: http://apexshrine.bandcamp.com/album/home-baked
Argus (USA-PA) From Fields Of Fire
Four years past their previous emergence, Argus declare anew their impetus towards classic metal, by means of firm arrangements and Balich's vocals that never dissappoint. The heavy/doom metal hybrid of Boldly Stride The Doomed, is even more abated relative to Beyond The Martyrs, with scarce passages (in numbers and intensity) having an intermittent role regarding the old school metal galloping. The album's inclination towards the aforementioned style, makes it a solid punch; however, major standout sites are excluded, save for the power/doom ballad complex "No Right To Grieve/From the Fields of Fire". Favorite tracks: No Right To Grieve/From the Fields of Fire. Stream: http://argusmetal.bandcamp.com/album/from-fields-of-fire
Artificial Brain Labyrinth Constellation
Somewhere in between outfits such as Gorguts and/or Bolzer, Artificial Brain give their own take on how transcendental death metal should sound. Although they stand a few steps lower than the latest offerings of both aforementioned outfits, Artificial Brain do a pretty good job with their own material.
Autobahn Dissemble
Autobahn come from Leeds UK and go along the gloomy gothic/post punk thing, on par with their town and genre peers of old, The Sisters of Mercy and Mission. That may seem as quite the burden to bear from the get-go, but Autobahn play the game with no pretences, while showcasing the necessary skiils to do so; Stentorian vocals split between the gloom and the angry punk ethics, an equally motional bass, and dystopic guitars that flirt with noise and revolt. Favourite tracks: Passion, Beautiful Place To Die. Stream: http://www.theguardian.com/music/2015/aug/21/autobahn-leeds-new-band-of-the-week
Ball Ball
Sweden's supply of highly relevant '70s psychedelic/hard n' heavy rock is steadily aplenty, with new outfits constantly popping out. In that respect, newcomers Ball easily rank among the latest hot entries. When it is not drenched in genuine vintage punk/rock n' roll filth (Denmark's Alucarda come in mind), Ball succumbs to dionysian, almost improvisational psychedelic/drone-y ("Satanas")/funk jams, with the deck being recursively shuffled track in, track out. Favorite track: Fyre Balls. The album is streaming at Spotify.
Barus Barus
Quite an interesting proposal on behalf of Barus here; Meshuggah's atonal metal gets together with black/blast-beat death/sludge metal, whereas even dubstep style metal has been introduced to the party ("Chalice" brought Burial's "Spaceape" track into mind). The vocal work is beastly and truly adds up to the arrangements, which need a few more nudges, in order to bring the band in front of a truly distinct style. Favorite track: Tarot. Stream/"name your price" download: http://barus.bandcamp.com/album/bar-s-ep
Basement Torture Killings A Night of Brutal Torture
Not particularly memorable ("Kill For Satan" is an exception), kind of repetitive, but totally entertaining and ideal for non-stop pit moshing, the sophomore Basement Torture Killings album is, above all, a masterclass on how grind and tech death metal should be sound engineered. The sound of the drums and their patterns, in particular, are a delightful experience. On the same page with the last Carcass album in terms of intensity, only this one is more complex and grind-ish. As for the gore/splatter references and the vocals, they are reminiscent of Necroticism... and that's only a good thing.
Black Soul Horde Tales Of The Ancient Ones
Instrumentally the heavy/power metal of these Athenians is awesome, I can't say the same for the vocals though. Although they are adequate in principle, the margin for improvement is large.
Brannthorde Auf Teufel Komm Raus
For those who witnessed the migration of Norwegian black metal towards more clinical/aggressive/industrial paths in the late '90s, Brannthorde's debut will turn out to be a great trip down memory lane. There are some post and doom metal passages here and there, but the album as a whole, comes rather short in carving a truly distinct mark. Band needs to shuffle the cards more on the follow-up record. Favourite song: Dunkles Grn. Stream/name your price download: http://brannthorde.bandcamp.com/album/auf-teufel-komm-raus
Breitenhold The Inn of Sorrowing Souls
The identification of decent (at least) Europower metal albums nowadays has come to resemble the perennial quest of Diogenes the Cynic, who carried a torch at broad daylight looking for real people. In that respect, the sophomore Breitenhold album The Inn of Sorrowing Souls is definitely an oasis placed within a barren land. Regarding the song writing endorsed here, the major influence from old Blind Guardian gives and takes away merit from the album; so does the sound which highlights the melody while it "buries" the distortion of the rhythm guitars. Superb/technical drumming at places and an apparent affinity for thrash metal, make The of Sorrowing Souls a safe bet for Europower metal enthusiasts. Favourite track: The Inn of Sorrowing Souls.
Cendra 666 Bastards
On their sophomore album, Cendra from Spain deliver a slab of blackened punk metal that, if anything, serves its purposes in full. If Motorhead tour Spain for their upcoming new album, they should consider taking Cendra as a support act. Stream: http://cendra.bandcamp.com/album/666-bastards
Chelsea Wolfe Pain Is Beauty
Chelsea Wolfe is growing more and more effective with every new album. Pain Is Beauty balances between avant-garde and mainstream dream pop, with the latter direction (somewhat) diluting the album's final merit.
Construct of Lethe Corpsegod
Construct of Lethe lie among the few tech death metal outfits which unfollow the majority of their peers in terms of style and (of equal importance!) sound layout. Instead of being part of deplorably fast instrumentals, guitars in Corpsegod come as "slow" and muddy af, hinting at (but not topping) the relevant work of Morbid Angel and Suffocation, also due to the almost total lack of guitar leads. The mentioned similarities in sound, are extended to the arrangements, as there's a decent penchant for diversity; in that vein, the drumming is exceptional and aptly produced, whereas vocals go from totally ripped out to low end guttural. Favourite track: The Incapacitants, Abandoned to Conflagration. Stream/"name your price" download: http://constructoflethe.bandcamp.com/album/corpsegod
Converge The Dusk in Us
To describe The Dusk in Us in a nutshell, is to say that it is basically a by-the-numbers permutation of every summit Converge have conquered in past albums (You Fail Me, Axe to Fall, Jane Doe) augmented by their innate affiliation to the Black Sabbath of extreme metal, Slayer. On a lyrical level, Converge revisit the strife of those who must make ends meet in an ever perplexing set of harsh environments. Favorite tracks: Under Duress, The Dusk in Us, Thousands of Miles Between Us. Stream: http://convergecult.bandcamp.com/album/the-dusk-in-us
Dang Tartarus: The Darkest Realm
With the concept of their debut album revolving around cursed personalities of the Greek mythology, North Carolina based Dang are offering a badass piece of heavy rock on their debut album and one that will make everybody's foot banging the floor during a live concert.
Dead Sea Apes High Evolutionary
This album contains some of the most unpretentious drone/psych/post rock jams I've listened to in quite a while. While the instrumental, calm and "hazy" mood of the album is optimal for "after hours"/meditating listens and grants it a character of its own, none of the individual tracks is particularly memorable, save (maybe) for the more upbeat "Regolith". Stream: http://deadseaapes.bandcamp.com/album/high-evolutionary
Defaced (CHE) Forging the Sanctuary
Defaced from Switzerland give out a highly effective slab of brutal death/black metal that's taken its cues from both the US and the European (Polish in particular) schools. The album is fun to listen back-to-back or on a casual basis, despite the fact that there's not much innovation on any sector. Stream: http://defacedswiss.bandcamp.com/album/forging-the-sanctuary
Deserter Coils of the Lesser Serpent
Judging from sparse releases that emerged during the last few years, it seems that tech thrash is making a gradual come back; Deserter's debut full-length is all but a welcome addition to the fold; Drumming is insane in both feet and hands, whereas the shredding guitars are apt to follow the frenetic pace of the arrangements. The latter are not far from what bands like Aspid and Paradox have accomplished during their heyday; As "Urban Gehenna" will echo to you, tech thrash of Coil... is so fulfilling, it could stand on its own instrumentally, yet the album's dynamics, instrumental and/or vocal, are not properly underpinned by the somehow "live-less" sound production. What's for sure though, is that these Belgians are already standing out of the lot. Favourite tracks: Urban Gehenna, Carnal Carnival, Cry of the Forsaken.
Devil's Witches Velvet Magic
Velvet Magic's sound is that of a vintage rock outfit fleeing towards sludgier/groovier shades of heavy rock, and flowering the formed substrate with discrete doom rock elements, while maintaining an equally discrete, yet utterly perceptible progressive rock character. Devil's Witches are not likely to disrupt the retro rock ecosystem any time soon, yet they made it a fair bit more interesting. Favourite track: Mountain of the Devil's Witch. Stream: http://devilswitches.bandcamp.com/album/velvet-magic
Diviner Fallen Empires
As Manos wrote in his review, the entire Greek metal scene lives and breathes for classic metal, hence the release of albums such as this is hardly surprising; stylistically, Diviner lie in between Iced Earth, and Judas Priest. Guitars are pointy and heavy, vocals are wailing most of the time, whereas the rhythm section has this reinvigorating thrashy feel that classic metal needs nowadays. The album is streaming at Spotify.
Doctor Smoke The Witching Hour
On their debut album, Doctor Smoke bring about the groove on retro heavy rock, the latter carrying its fair load of sludge. Vocals remind me of the vocalist in the bands "3" and Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats. Stream: http://doctorsmoke.bandcamp.com/
Doomocracy Visions & Creatures of Imagination
Two years after their good debut, Greek-Cretians Doomocracy return with a sophomore album that insists on certain attributes showcased therein, while it improves on others. Band's singer offers a standout performance, with his flawless, clean and high pitch excellently communicating the gloom encountered in the lyrical content. Apart from inherent presence of doom metal, the strong affiliation to classic metal is prevalent throughout, and while it gives a sense of quaint warmth and familiarity, it is also a firm pointer of attrition in terms of originality and intensity. In the latter respect, things might get more interesting if the band branched out to more aggressive forms of metal, up the alley of Memory Garden and Solitude Aeturnus on some of their seminal instances. On the other hand, the progressive element is perceivably enhanced, with well thought, recurrent tempo shifts (i.e. Guardian Within); the keyboards decorate the arrangements with a sense of mystery, whereas the guitar leads (an attribute needed to be improved in the debut) are excellent throughout (i.e. Trinity of Fates). Favourite songs: Guardian Within, Trinity of Fates.
Dream Machine The Illusion
Dream Machine come from Austin, Texas, the town where everyone plays in a band, and on their debut offering, they deliver the '60s psychedelic rock that's bound to resonate for quite a while, with those old fashioned pairs of ears out there. Sound-wise, Dream machine aren't too keen on the heavy side of psych, but they compensate for that "loss" with proto-"hard rocking metal" grooves all too evident throughout the eleven cuts of the album, and a certain lightness that hints at those times, where everything seemed possible. Favorite song: All For A Chance, Lose My Place In Time. Stream: http://dreammachine432.bandcamp.com
Dying Out Flame Shiva Rudrastakam
The debut album of Nepalese(!) death metal outfit Dying Out Flame is a token of solid (but not particularly original) technical brutal death metal, mixed with traditional music and vocals from their native land. The said mix is original, the atmospheric folk parts are well blended with the metal mayhem, however the blending appears to have a big margin for improvement. Dying Out Flame are certainly a band to look upon in time to come.
Eclipse (SWE) Armageddonize
Armageddonize is hard/glam rocking metal greatly done, period. The Swedes have all it takes in store; Excellent vocals, excellent choruses, arrangements and instrumental skills that will keep the replay value intact despite being derivative, and a much needed optimism, as far as lyrics go.
Edguy Space Police - Defenders of the Crown
Despite the abundant positive energy (the kind of energy we all need from time to time...) that this album transmits, few parts of it really remain in memory. Technicalities aside, Space Police... is as good as Teutonic power metal gets these days.
Electric Citizen Sateen
The fire of '70s occult rock is burning strong, and Electric Citizen are among its most relevant keepers.
Eskiz Beterin Beteri Var
In their debut album whose title translates as "There is worse than the worse", Eskiz from Turkey deliver a mad-driven, vigorous slab of heavy rock that's full of diversity and little surprises along the way. At the same time however, Beterin Beteri Var is standing on the shoulders of giants like MC5, Led Zeppelin and some of their modern peers like Red Hot Chilly Peppers (see favorite track). Favorite track: Deliriyorum. The album is streaming at open.spotify.com
Exarsis The Human Project
Second album for Exarsis, in which the Greek thrashers focus on optimizing the album flow in view of their live concerts detail, to the point where there's only a big 40+ minute thrash song. While their intent is understandable, not one song stands out of the lot as a result. On another note, vocals have been improved, reaching the realm of classic metal in places.
Fall to November Sky... A Little Sounds for an Empty World
Away from words, minimal and decorated with great atmospheres, the debut album of this Russian one-man project will certainly claim its rightful place among this year's remarkable shoegaze/post-black metal albums of 2014. Favorite tracks: In the Lonely Universe and Night Road. Stream: http://falltonovembersky.bandcamp.com/album/a-little-sounds-for-an-empty-world
Festival Of Mutilation Indiscipline
Chuch Schuldiner lives and breathes and shreds in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Erzegoniva through Festival of Mutilation. First of all, Indiscipline is great, because the Bosnians have fully captured the spirit of the band they pay homage too, even in the vocal sector. Festival of Mutilation are excellent instrumentally. The rhythm section is a total beast in both hands and feet, whereas the guitars shred. The album is brimming with oriental leads and female vocals ("Katul Ferman"), which combined with the cymbals' reverb (!), give the album a captivating atmosphere and a good replay value. The above said, the album is uneven in terms of consistency. In contrast to what usually is the case, the really interesting songs of Indiscipline are located to the album's second half. Favourite tracks: Personal Cosmos, The Den, Cranium King. Stream: http://festivalofmutilation.bandcamp.com/
Fredag Den 13:E Domedagar
Irrespective of genres and styles, Sweden doesn't know how to make bad music, and the same applies for this metallic punk/hardcore outfit from Gothenburg. Musicianship is as technical and raging as needed, whereas the rock n' roll element combined with the excellent guitar leads, spice things even more. Stream: http://fredagden13e.bandcamp.com/album/domedagar
Funerary Starless Aeon
I saw Willie's soundoff and decided to give it a go, and I'm glad I did. Funerary have come up with some profoundly solid trip-y funeral doom metal on their debut album. While the rhythm section is merely crawling like a snail, the guitars balance between crushing doom parts and subtle yet psychedelic lead melodies, while the vocals range from totally ripped out shrieks to chorus-like chants placed in the rear. Favorite tracks: "Atonement", "Beneath The Black Veil".
Gian All Life Erased
I hadn't come across a good death/thrashcore/groove metal album for quite a while... Nominally, Gian's debut album is an amalgam of the work of acts like Grip Inc., Pantera, Lamb of God, Pro-Pain etc. Band has not further elaborated on its influences, however the album as a whole is particularly solid (the sound is more than on par with the spirit of the music), with some sparse moments of really clever songwriting (Trauma, Pain and Pleasure). On another note, the guitarist to work more on the lead guitar themes. Favorite track: Pain and Pleasure. Stream: http://gian.bandcamp.com/releases
Gigandhi Rafflesia
This is an underrated band and album. Rafflesia bears some awesome but far from perfected tribal/psychedelic industrial vibes, which can be described as Godflesh (Streetcleaner-era) jamming with Alchemist (Austral Alien-era) and Ozric Tentacles.
Gruesome Savage Land
Days before 2014 gives way to the current year, an outfit from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Festival of Mutilation, delivered an awesome tribute to mid-to-late '90s Death with their sophomore album, Indiscipline. Gruesome's debut album is up the same alley, only it references the early Death endeavors (up to Leprosy, that is). While the album is excellent in its own right, one cannot help but think it's a replica of a recipe that, along with a few more from Central Europe and the Scandinavian peninsula and, defined old school death metal.
Havukruunu Usvakuningas
For those who take great joy in delving into the epic/melodic side of heavy/doom/black metal, Havukruunu from Finland are expected to make quite an impression, even though they are still "wet behind the ears" as a band. Melodies make for an attractive antithesis to the coarser black metal parts, while the clean vocals are just as good as the black metal ones. The arrangements are not reinventing the wheel, yet they are tight and fairly technical at some sites, whereas the duration and diversity of the EP (ranging from pure black metal to heavy/black and doom metal) is optimal. Favorite tracks: Kuun Katkema. Stream/"name your price" download: http://hammerstunde.bandcamp.com/album/usvakuningas
Hessian (USA-ME) Bachelor of Black Arts
On their debut album, Hessian deliver an energetic, old fashioned, boogie hard rocking metal which extends to doom rock and progressive rock. The arrangements are tight and maze-like on occasion, the entertainingly eccentric male vocals blend nicely with coarse/shouting female ones, while the sound production fully endorses the adopted style of music. For fans of first period Judas Priest, Slough Feg, Christian Mistress, Thin Lizzy, Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats and so on.
Honeymoon Disease The Transcendence
The Transcendence contains some gritty/groovy '70s rock in store for all by these Swedes, who are no better, nor worse than any of their peers. Favourite song: Break Up. Album stream: http://play.spotify.com/album/64fp1yAe4dPQQz243451af
HORNSS No Blood, No Sympathy
California's HORNSS throw equal dosages of old fashioned hard rock and stoner rock into their cauldron, and come up with a great album that's beefed up with energy and amplifier feedback. Band could easily go on tour with Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats.
Horror Vacui The Return of Empire
This is post-punk from the land of pasta leaning towards the angrier side of the genre, while keeping its shit together with a vampiric twist. On the same page (although a bit inferior) with the recently released Beastmilk album, and it would be great to see both bands doing a tour together. Stream: http://hpgd.bandcamp.com/album/return-of-the-empire
Hypnos (SWE) Hypnos
Because of the label that brought them to the surface, Hypnos have been directly compared to Horisont due to their mutual affinity for retro heavy rock, however Hypnos tend to lean more towards the hard rocking metal of the early '80s and bands like Judas Priest, Motorhead and Thin Lizzy. Their singer is currently the closest there is to how Rob Halford sounded in British Steel and Killing Machine, and that's a huge plus for both the band and the album. With its turn, the music is tight and follows closely what the aforementioned outfits firstly introduced, so it's inevitable for the album to sound somewhat less interesting towards its end.
Inhumatus Terran Genocide
Imagine a mosaic made from bits of US East Coast technical death metal legacy - Death, Suffocation, Cynic, Nocturnus, Morbid Angel - and you instantly have a no-bs view of the business these up-state New Yorkers are bringing to the table. Most deservedly so, band has recently inked a deal with Ultimate Massacle Productions, and a full-length album is on the works. Favourite track: Systematic Indoctrination. Stream/"name your price" download: http://inhumatus.bandcamp.com/
Iron Reagan The Tyranny Of Will
Get up on your feet
Don't look so obsolete
And crossover thrash like an athlete!

Stream: http://ironreagan.bandcamp.com/album/the-tyranny-of-will
John Carpenter Lost Themes
Lost Themes is a mixed bag, but in a good sense. From one side there's the trademark, dark themed music that's evident in all of Carpenter's films and on the other there's a shameless play with '80s synth pop. Tracks like "Obsidian" have that "prog rock" structure where the two aforementioned trends have been properly combined. Favorite tracks: "Vortex", "Obsidian", "Night".
Megace Human errors
Millennial Reign Carry the Fire
For reasons that are a bit difficult to pinpoint, the identification of new, really good power/melodic metal bands has become incredibly cumbersome; In that respect, Millennial Reign from Arlington, Texas are quite a pleasant surprise. Although everything about the band - album artwork, band photos etc - hints at an Adult Oriented Rock band, Millennial Reign are (melodic) metal to the bone. Keyboard melodies are in harmony with heavy guitars, whereas the vocals are fantastic. Fans of bands like Royal Hunt, Kamelot, Conception and Queensryche are strongly prompted to check the band out, even if its Christian beliefs are readily evident in the lyrics. Carry the Fire is streaming at Spotify.
Mondo Drag Mondo Drag
On their sophomore album, the Iowans lay down a delicious vintage rock meal in front of us, mostly in terms of atmosphere, as the arrangements follow (more) closely (than needed), the tracks made by older and more accomplished outfits of the same style. Still, Mondo Drag it easily one of the best "ancient rock" jams for the current year and in general. Favorite track: Zephyr. Stream: http://mondodrag.bandcamp.com/album/mondo-drag
Mortal Strike For the Loud and the Aggressive
Mortal Strike are newcomers to the thrash metal scene, yet on their debut album, they cut it as good as any genre veteran. If they were to be compared to a major outfit, that would definitely be Kreator. However, the album does not feel like a shameless rip-ofo. The Austrians keep a fairly large distance from the Essen behemoth, mainly through the balanced incorporation of heavy/power, death/black and "groove thrash" metal elements. The sound is excellent, the vocals are coarse and up to a degree, not typical for thrash, the drumming is fantastic (killer double bass pounding!), the rhythm guitars rip, in contrast to the leads which somewhat pale in comparison. Favorite tracks: Here comes the Tank, rSmash the Tyrants - Storm the Gates. Stream: http://mortalstrike.bandcamp.com/album/for-the-loud-and-the-aggressive
My Expansive Awareness My Expansive Awareness
With their self-titled debut album, Spain's My Expansive Awareness have convincingly set themselves around the center formed by garage rock and neo-psychedelic pop. The arrangements are minimal in design yet effective (same goes for the sound production), the hammond lines give the whole recording a warm vintage aura, whereas the vocals, male and female, more than fit the occasion. Favourite track: Wake Me Up. Stream: http://myexpansiveawareness.bandcamp.com/album/my-expansive-awareness
Nordic Unio n Nordic Union
As far as melodic/shredding metal goes, label owners have been particularly prolific in building line-ups around guitar shredders or setting up collaborations between prospective artists signed in the same label. Nordic Union is boss of Frontiers Records bringing together Ronnie Atkins of Pretty Maids fame, and up and coming songwriter/producer Erik Martensson (Eclipse (SWE)). The result couldn't be anything other than a great album of modern hard rocking metal, albeit it does not amount more than the sum of its parts.
Onirik Casket Dream Veneration
If we are to believe the issued-in-Bandcamp, press release stating that in the albums issued before Casket Dream Veneration, Onirik were merely an average black metal outfit from Portugal, then this album constitutes an unprecedented step of progress. At first glance, what's a display here is doomy, melodic black metal (in the vein of demo-tapes-era Thorns, Ved Buens Ende and the like) that comes as seemingly inadequate in terms of diverse song structures. However, Casket Dream Veneration earns its share of replay value, through the hypnotic/misty and recurring effect of the guitars, which may hint at the aforementioned outfits, yet they endorse additional elements from different places (the second Psychotic Waltz album comes in mind). Favourite song: I am Him but He's not Me. Stream: http://onirik.bandcamp.com/album/casket-dream-veneration
Paradox Pangea
Pangea holds no surprises regarding Paradox's trademark style, but judging from a handful of superb tracks bound to stick with fans for years to come, the rest of the album stands lower with respect to classic material and material found in previous efforts. On the other hand, the loud but digital production does not fully favor the album, with the vocals struggling to stand in between the rest of the instrumentation. Favorite tracks: Ballot or Bullet, Manhunt, Pangea, Alien Godz.
Pergale Antropologija
Since the the Middle Ages, ethnicities circling the Baltic Sea, have been involved in a highly interesting cultural/linguistic osmosis, forged through war and peace; in that light, the sophomore Pergale album is definitely representative of the said deliberations. On par with the ambivalent avant-garde rock/metal of outfits like Fleurety, the Lithuanians throw elements from surf, goth rock and black metal, and deliver an album that could be released this side of the European continent only. Favorite track: Estonian Lesbians. Stream: http://pergale.bandcamp.com/album/antropologija
Pink Cream 69 Headstrong
Pink Cream 69 have always been known for their especially catchy, top tier hard rocking metal, and surprise surprise, that's what their new album brings for the n-th time on the table. Germans will not reinvent their genre on their 12th album, but Headstrong sounds fresh in terms of the warm/wailing vocals floating over a gritty rhythm section and excellently tracked, pointy and optimally heavy guitars. Favorite track: Walls Come Done.
Powerlord The Awakening
If all the US heavy/power metal bands that emerged during the '80s were to be clustered in terms of geographic location, few outfits would be filed outside the West or the East Coast. Even fewer were the US heartland bands that managed to make an album before departing for good. Powerlord from Oklahoma are a case in point. The power/thrash metal included in The Awakening shows great promise on all sectors and it's a pity the band didn't got to record more music. In that light, there's no wonder why Shadow Kingdom Records, a label that specializes in unearthing obscure '80s metal gems, has recently reissued the album. Stream: http://shadowkingdomrecords.bandcamp.com/album/the-awakening
Red Spektor EP
What's a display here is badass retro hard rock with traces of stoner rock. The wah-wah guitars are all over the place, the sound production is on par with the adopted music style, and the groove is relentless at places.
Resurgency No Worlds... Nor Gods Beyond
Resurgency have returned after five years of absence, with an album that carefully refines the pledge made by its predecessor; blast-beat death metal is still the prevailing norm, but it is somewhat more elaborate, at least in some tunes. In addition, the atmospheric lead guitars, a trait that was largely missing from False Enlightenment] are steadily off-beat with respect to the relentless pounding, offering a welcome layer of abstraction. Favorite track: Thresholds Of Infinite Pain. Stream: http://fda-records.bandcamp.com/album/no-worlds-nor-gods-beyond
Riot V Unleash The Fire
Fortunately for all those who know their US heavy/power metal, Riot have decided to go on for as long as their feet hold them. The album is great and a "definite buy", but some of the strength evident in Immortal Soul, is absent herein.
Ripper (CL) Raising the Corpse
As of late, there's a small scale emergence of promising thrash/death metal outfits such as Dangerous, Ripper, Conflicted etc.. Ripper's debut album, Raising the Corpse revolves around old school thrash/death metal, with obvious Slayer and Sepultura vibes. While the band executes its material with the needed spite, songs structures tend to blend into each other, making the distinction of standout tracks difficult. Mind their bassist, which seems to have been recruited from a jazz fusion outfit.
Sabhankra Seers Memoir
Some albums have the ability to travel the listener to several places simultaneously and Sabhankra's sophomore effort certainly did this for me; Through the epic heavy/black metal of Rotting Christ and Enslaved I was headed towards the melodic death metal of (very) old In Flames and from there to the ethereal folk/doom/death metal melodies of acts like Amorphis, old Septicflesh and Paradise Lost. Oddly enough, the second half of the album is stronger than the first half. The Turks put out new music every now and then, and here's to hoping that this will change after this album. Favorite tracks: Against The False Gods, Times of War, Fate's Already Written. Stream: http://sabhankra.bandcamp.com/album/seers-memoir
Salem's Pot ...Lurar Ut Dig Pa Prarien
On their debut album, Salem's Pot are paying their dues to the blues based doom rock of the debut Black Sabbath, albeit with a solid psychedelic/stoner vibe. The album may be too monolithic for its own good, but its warm and misty atmosphere grant it the merit of a casual soundtrack for times of retrospection.
Seeming Emptiness Conversion
Even though Conversion is their debut album, Seeming Emptiness from Germany showcase a keen ability in blending the aesthetics of ambient, post and doom metal. The result is an album that's worth the effort, also because Katatonia's shift in style evidenced in Discouraged Ones, has received here a really welcome rendition. Favourite track: Apparently Forlorn. Stream: http://seemingemptiness.bandcamp.com/
Shrapnel (UK) No Saviours
Standing on the shoulders of giants, these English dudes provide some of the most entertaining thrash metal I've heard in ages; Every direction explored by Bay Area thrash - crossover included - is welded together with badass attitude (sic) and impeccable technical level.
Shrapnel (UK) Raised on Decay
Shrapnel have somewhat rounded the edges of the angry, coarse-grained yet cerebral thrash in The Virus Conspires; a lower-end sound texture has been adopted, while the perceivably more linear patterns arrangement-wise, also flirt with heavy/speed metal this time around. However, Shrapnel's stark impact remains almost intact, as their previous album detracts mere bits of merit from the new one.
Slayer Divine Intervention
Sleepin Pillow The Past is Already Here
Six years after Superman's Blues, Sleepin Pillow return with an album in which their characteristic style of folk/electronic/post/rock is soaked in the gloom and mischief that stems from a struggling country on all thinkable counts. Favorite tracks: Life On Mars, I Hate All Gods, The Past Is Already Here. Stream: http://soundcloud.com/sleepin-pillow/sets/sleepin-pillow-the-past-is
Solitude Aeturnus Adagio
Sterilizer Sterilizer
Certainly among this year's industrial metal albums that deserve credit, Sterilizer's self-titled debut packs the noise, the metal and the industrial elements into one effective piece of work. Favorite tracks: "Sterilizer", "[Dis]content". Stream: http://sterilizer.bandcamp.com/
Stormride Stormride
Contrary to what the album cover and title font may imply, Ukraine's Stormride sound like pagans that decided to black/thrash n' roll (in the most convincing of ways), instead of affiliating themselves to more compliant extreme metal genres. Favourite tracks: "Stormride", "Warrior", "Snowfall". Stream/free download: http://stormride.bandcamp.com/
Sumerlands The Guardian (demo)
The only reason this doesn't get a (much) higher rating is because it's merely a three-song demo EP. The material herein revolves around awesome US heavy/power metal complemented with excellent/energetic musicianship and addictive grooves. Band certainly deserves a record deal. EP stream: http://sumerlands.bandcamp.com/releases
Tad Morose St. Demonius
In interview for the promotion of Revenant two years ago, Tad Morose declared their determination to not let time pass by in sloth. To the benefit of every involving party, the Swedes are fulfilling their pledge with their 8th album St. Demonius, which sounds a bit more to the point, regarding its direct predecessor. Throughout, Tad Morose are paying their dues to Judas Priest (their vocalist Ronny Hemlin rips once again); On the other hand, the Swedes are giving in the thrashy power/doom metal of their homeland and outfits like Morgana Lefay, Memory Garden, Abstrakt Algebra, Candlemass etc. Favorite songs: Remain, Darkness Prevail, Your Own Demise. Stream the album at Spotify.
The Amazing Picture You
One of the most relaxing pieces of music 2015 has to offer, the airy psychedelic/folk of The Amazing in Picture You sounds different from everything else published this year, even though the second half of the album lacks some drive in terms of arrangements. Favorite songs: Broken, Picture You.
The Devil's Blood The Thousandfold Epicentre
The Oath (DE) The Oath
To describe the term "turmoil", Chinese have an ideogram depicting two women under the same roof. However, it's unknown whether the aforementioned ideogram is fitting the dissolution of the female duo of artists responsible for The Oath. What can be said with certainty though, is that The Oath includes 9 songs of really good, old fashioned heavy/doom rock with no redundancies in terms of melodies and arrangements. That said, it's hard to tell one song from the other, as the same song writing formula is used throughout, give or take. Of late, Linnea Olson has joined Beastmilk and Johanna Sadonis formed a new band called Lucifer, so in view of the album's solid (but not truly excellent) values, the disbandment of The Oath seems like the best solution for both parties.
Turbostaat Abalonia
Nice, unsettling post punk from Germany. Lyrics are sung in the band's mother tongue, and come to add more character to the angry/frustrated attitude Turbostaat are going for in here.
Twilight Of The Gods Fire On The Mountain
Twilight Of The Gods deliver some badass old school/epic metal. Instrumentally, the band does not go out of its comfort zone (80s metal/Bathory metal), but Nemtheanga's vocals are captivating as always.
Ulver Wars of the Roses
Unjustly Labeled Beholder
On their third album, Unjustly Labeled deliver a drone-y industrial metal hybrid that sounds like it was made from the worst nightmares... Dystopic synths, relentless rhythm section, and bleak vocals/lyrics make for an album that's worth the time and effort to sink in it. Favourite track: Divine Beholder. Stream/"name your price" download: http://unjustlylabeled.bandcamp.com/album/beholder
Vega (USA-WI) Vega
Some really tight (and loose at the same time!) doom/stoner metal at display here, with some great moments like the epic album closer, "Machine", "Highway" and "Behemoth" etc. Vega certainly know how to build tension through short or extended jams.
Veil Of Light Ξ (ksi)
If � (ksi) excels in something, is its icy, industrial-ish goth/post-punk synth atmospheres that will make you wanna hit the dance floor at a goth club near you, if you are eager to resonate with them in the first place. The above said, few (if none) tracks really stay in memory unfortunately, probably because the music is based on the same handful of synth patterns rather than the (very) discrete guitars. Well, we can't have it all sometimes, can we? Favorite track: Martyr. Stream: http://veiloflight.bandcamp.com/album/-
Vektor Terminal Redux
If Terminal Redux is commendable for something, is its sheer intensity and the band members' technical proficiency throughout, and those are no small feats. While these attributes may be enough to land instantaneous critical acclaim, they don't necessarily guarantee the production of truly memorable material; moreover, combined with a prolonged album duration, they can mask a lack of diversity song-writing-wise, and that's where the album falters considerably. First 2-3 songs take no prisoners but the same frantic, linear pattern of riffs-over-riffs-over-riffs is blindly; performing this material live will certainly be a blast, but Vektor still haven't fully concealed their influences and they need to do so, in order to truly stand next to the great old ones of prog/thrash metal.
Vicious Rumors Concussion Protocol
Vicious Rumors re-emerge with their most spontaneous album to date, and that's as good as much as a bad thing. In terms of style, Rumors' can't do no wrong mixing their trademark heavy/power metal (which is closer to Judas Priest than ever), with glam rock/metal, even industrial (on the safely passable "Dead Ned Razor "bonus track). The problems with the album are mainly relevant to the band's vocal performance, in close relation to the corresponding part of the production. While percussions and strings are decorated with the best sound this band had in years, the same cannot be said about the vocals. Besides being clearly (and inexcusably, I might add) pushed in the rear production-wise, new singer Nick Holleman - the closest Vicious Rumors have probably been to the late Carl Albert - is sharing vocal work with the rest of the band, with the latter doing that harsh/"gang-style" singing on choruses and elsewhere. While this adds to the album's spontaneity (along with the actual music, up to a point), it also deprives it of almost unfathomable merit, given Holeman's potential, which is downright evident only on the power-ballad "Circuit of Secrets". On another note, album has some really addictive dynamites like "Victims of the Digital World", Geoff Thorpe is on fire as usual, but there are also songs which sound great but same-y or mediocre ("Life For A Life"), when compared to the highlights. Favorite song: Victims of the Digital World.
Villagers of Ioannina City Riza
The successful interplay between desert/post rock and the folk music of Greece's Epirus region is what makes Riza such as great album. That been said though, most songs are similar in structure, the album relies almost exclusively on the inherent melodies of the aforementioned Greek tradition, with the band's own character being suppressed to the brink of non-existence.
Wedge (DE) Wedge
The debut Wedge album is quite the tribute to '60s hippie/garage rock. Not utterly engaging, but certainly entertaining. Stream: http://wedgeband.bandcamp.com/
Wulfhook Sacrifice (demo)
Wulfhook's third demo is plain awesome US power metal in the vein of Helstar, Destiny's End, Vicious Rumors etc.

Check it here - http://www.youtube.com/user/WulfhookBand?feature=watchr
Wulfhook The Impaler
This is the debut album of this Detroit MI, '80s heavy/power metal outfit, but Wulfhook's 2012 demo (stop reading this soundoff and check it out at once!) was their real calling card into the circuit; Besides the mentioned genres, the band also has a knack for thrash metal, as witnessed by the riff textures and the album's speeding tempo; however (and in contrast to the 2012 demo), the sound of The Impaler lacks the spite that would equally highlight the album's harshest segments; the music itself is great per se (the guitar leads kill!), but barely goes beyond the standard '80s metal tribute, whereas the high pitched singer is a delight for the sound as it was introduced in the '80s, but a more diverse collection of vocal lines would really be a plus nowadays. The fan inside says the album is a solid 3.7, the staffer inside says it's rating is 3.6, well go figure... A must-listen-to album for fans of Riot, Oliver Magnum, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest etc... Favourite songs: Devil's Harlot and Tormentor. Stream: http://tribunalrecords.bandcamp.com/album/the-impaler
Ymir's Blood Blood Of The Ice Giant
On par with the generalized scenery of today, where groups of outfits issue original music while paying their tribute to established genres or outfits (or both), the debut album from Finland's Ymir's Blood acts accordingly regarding the last era of Bathory (mid '90s and onwards). Imminently, what's on sonic display in the fittingly titled Blood of the Ice Giant (sic) album, is a mix of epic (and guitar-downtuned) heavy/doom metal with sparse black metal parts. Even the singer tries to replicate Quorthon's trademark falsettos (with good results), which makes the album a bit more special. Album stream: http://archaic-sound.bandcamp.com/album/blood-of-the-ice-giant

3.5 great
1886 Before The Fog Covers The Mount
On their first album, the Spaniards deliver chilled out (for the most part) '70s heavy rock with ties to pure psychedelia. Great vocals, laid back song writing and a modern sound that strays from "default" vintage directives, make for a worthwhile listen. Favorite track: Flying Whales & Swimming Birds. Stream: http://1886band.bandcamp.com/album/before-the-fog-covers-the-mount
27 Songs From the Edge of the Wing
3 (USA) Wake Pig
3 (USA) The End is Begun
5ive Hesperus
AC/DC For Those About To Rock We Salute You
Acid Death Promo 2011
Acid Death Balance of power
Acrimonious Sunyata
Acrimonious open up their sound in what can be seen as a definite departure from the nostalgic/claustrophobic ethos of the debut album. It's good, but it does not have the attractively arcane clout of Purulence. Stream: http://agoniarecords.bandcamp.com/album/sunyata
Aethenor En Form for Bla
Agarttha A Water Which Does Not Wet Hands
Dwell in the drone........ Imagine the minimal synth masterpieces of John Carpenter's Assault On Precinct 13 and Howard Shore's Videodrome combined with doom-based rhythm section, psychedelic guitar leads and Francesca's soothing vocals and there you have it, from an outfit that deserves to be further known. Only drawback is that the album becomes repetitive from a point further.
Agnes Vein Duality
Airbourne Runnin' Wild
Alchemist Tripsis
Alice in Chains Jar of Flies
Altars Of Grief This Shameful Burden
Judging by the album title and art, one expects to listen to solid doom/death metal and that's what Canada's Altars of Grief bring on the table, as they tread on the footsteps of old British doom/death metal. The sound is excellent, the arrangements create the tension the genre demands by default, be it due to the grandiose synths, the rhythm section which is pounding hard, and last but not least, the ripped out vocals, which lean towards black metal and make for the album's real catch. That being said, band needs to work on making the arrangements more interesting in terms of the guitar melodies and riffs. Overall though, the core attributes of the sound adopted herein, seem to have been fully figured out. Favorite track: The Plague that Haunts the Darkness. Stream: http://altarsofgrief.bandcamp.com/album/this-shameful-burden
Amon Amarth Once Sent from the Golden Hall
Amorphis Elegy
Anathema A Natural Disaster
Anathema A Fine Day to Exit
Anathema The Silent Enigma
Anathema Hindsight
Angel Dust Border of Reality
Angelo Badalamenti The Straight Story
Annihilator Set the World on Fire
Annihilator Carnival Diablos
Anthrax Among the Living
Antidrasi Orkos Tou Misous
The anthemic crossover of this cult punk/hardcore/thrash act from Hellas would be a hell of a lot more effective, if it wasn't for the clean and surprisingly "silent" sound production (especially in the guitars)...

If someone like Kurt Ballou for example, could do his magic with the sound, this would be pure dynamite........

Get the record for free in here: www.antidrasi.com
Antimatter Lights Out
Antimatter Saviour
Apocalyptica Plays Metallica by Four Cellos
Apocalyptica Inquisition Symphony
Apocalyptica Reflections
Apollo 440 Electro Glide In Blue
Apollo Ra Ra Pariah
Arch Enemy Doomsday Machine
Arch Enemy Anthems of Rebellion
Arcturus Disguised Masters
Ark Ark
Artillery When Death Comes
Asphyx God Cries
Atheist Elements
Atheist Jupiter
Audrey Horne No Hay Banda
Autopsy Skull Grinder
Autopsy "litter" the world some more with their excruciatingly attractive sound. Absolutely loved the blues structure of "The Withering Death"
Avatarium Moonhorse
The two new songs from Leif Edling's new, female fronted doom metal project are really awesome, the rest of the album is expected to kick serious ass... The cover for Black Sabbath's "War Pigs" is awesome too.
Azam Ali Elysium for the Brave
Band of Spice Feel Like Coming Home
Baroness Red Album
Battlefield We Come to Fight
Fantastic female-fronted '80s thrash decorated with awesome lead guitar work.
Bauhaus The Sky's Gone Out
Beefcake Polycontrale Contra Punkte
Behemoth Satanica
Behemoth Zos Kia Cultus (Here and Beyond)
Behemoth Thelema.6
Behemoth The Satanist
The Satanist is Behemoth's first attempt at becoming more than just an awesome Polish death metal band. While the album is great overall, it's obvious that the band needs more time and work to lead the new elements into better music.
Believer Transhuman
Benediction Transcend the Rubicon
Bewitched Encyclopedia of Evil
Beyond Creation The Aura
Biomechanical The Empires of the Worlds
Biotoxic Warfare Lobotomized
What's readily evident in Biotoxic Warfare's debut album is their unconditional preference for Kreator and the album triplette Terrible Certainty/Extreme Aggression/Coma of Souls, despite the existence of US crossover thrash shards here and there. The songs are good overall albeit better flow and originality should be endeavored in future releases, whereas the sound is excellent (the guitars slay!). Stream: http://biotoxicwarfare.bandcamp.com/album/lobotomized
Black Mass (USA-MA) The Second Coming
Only three songs here, but these guys are very promising, even though they appear to be teenagers.

Combine Heathen, Testament and Slayer and there you have it m/
Black Stone Cherry Black Stone Cherry
Black Swan Black Swan (In 8 Movements)
Black Swan Aeterna
Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerie... Especially the closing track, for which the whole record works for.............
Black Symphony Black Symphony
Blind Thorns Blind Thorns
Most of the time, albums like the self-titled Blind Thorns debut wind up as monumental disasters. However, Blind Thorns is an exception, as the band knows how to preserve both the chaos and the order in the arrangements, with smooth transitions between different styles. In effect, the album is worth the listens, when someone is in an "experimental" mood, albeit the magnitude of its replay value is extremely arbitrary. Stream: http://blindthorns.bandcamp.com/album/blind-thorns
Blood Money Red, Raw and Bleeding!
Red, Raw and Bleeding is a fantastic slab of British raw heavy/thrash that will reward every old school metal fan who will care to listen.
Boards of Canada The Campfire Headphase
Bolt Thrower Mercenary
Bon Jovi Slippery When Wet
Bon Jovi Keep The Faith
Bon Jovi New Jersey
Bong We Are, We Were and We Will Have Been
drone that's as "menacing" as it is soothing. On another note, it's no better nor worse than anything else up that alley. Favorite track: Find Your Own Gods. Stream: http://ritualproductions.bandcamp.com/album/we-are-we-were-and-we-will-have-been-2
Boris Pink
Boris Akuma no Uta
Boris New Album
Moments of sheer brilliance that this band can produce with a snap of its finger, are mixed with moments of pop-esque "naiveness" in the New Album, with the latter somewhat watering down the overall quality of the record. Nevertheless, the record remains a thoroughly interesting listen.
Boris Heavy Rocks II
Boris With Merzbow Klatter
Borknagar Origin
Brainstorm Hungry
Brainstorm consist of those very rare German bands whose power/thrash leans more to the left than to the right bank of the Atlantic Ocean. For the thrash part, take Metallica, Testament, Annihilator and a tad of Slayer and mix it with a just a tad of Kreator. For the power part, take Vicious Rumors and Metal Church and mix it with just a tad of traditional German power metal.

This album is almost a guilty pleasure, I mean these guys are on their debut here, that is they take quite a few missteps in terms of the way compositions are set and developed and overall the music is catchy but not original. In addition, their singer is good but not overwhelming in any case. However leaving aside every setback, guitars and rhythm section are top notch for what they are up to, with killer/super-heavy riffs/leads and great drumming.

These guys are here to stay, that's for sure.

Standout songs: King Of Fools, Innocent Until Caught (GET IN THE MOSH!!!!!), Welcome To The Darkside, Mr. Know-It-All
Brightly Painted Corpses A Candle Set in a Vacant Rib Cage
In most cases, one-man metal bands are lacking in more sectors than one - production, arrangements, performance etc - however Dan London aka Brightly Painted Corpses has come up with an interesting mix of art rock, eerie/keyboard driven ambience and doom/black metal. Every listening session is just as good as the next one. Favorite track: Polluted Delta. Stream: http://brightlypaintedcorpses.bandcamp.com/album/a-candle-set-in-a-vacant-rib-cage
Bruce Dickinson Skunkworks
Buddy Lackey The Strange Mind of Buddy Lackey
Bunker 66 Out of the Bunker
The Venom/Motorhead black/thrash of Italian act Bunker 66 is readily convincing, while a certain eccentricity with respect to the vocals, indicative of the infamous Italian temperament, gives this EP an additional twist.
Burial Street Halo
Burial Hordes Extinction
Much like the tectonic plates upon which the land floats, members of the underground Hellenic death metal scene, signify their awakening at rather untimely instances. Along with Dead Congregation, Burial Hordes (both lineups partially overlap) have come up with an EP of monolithic, (and discretely majestic/atmospheric) brutal death metal, in which everything sounds just about right. Favorite song: Hatred. Stream: http://burialhordes.bandcamp.com/album/extinction
Candlemass Candlemass
Candlemass Psalms For The Dead
Canvas Solaris Irradiance
Car Bomb Centralia
Carta The Faults Follow
Subtle, atmospheric and bleak, this is a great soundtrack for the small hours of the night.
Cathedral The Garden Of Unearthly Delights
Cathedral Forest of Equilibrium
Cathedral The VIIth Coming
Cave In Perfect Pitch Black
Cave In Planets of Old
Cherry Choke Raising The Waters
First contact with the band here, and if anything, Cherry Choke's vintage/psych rock is a solid bet. Some songs have a complete structure, whereas there are cuts which sound more like loose jams, and that's taking its toll in terms of flow. Favorite tracks: Rage On, Where The Sun Rises. Stream: http://cherrychoke.bandcamp.com/album/raising-the-waters
Christian Mistress Possession
Chroma Key Graveyard Mountain Home
Cinderella Long Cold Winter
Circle II Circle Delusions Of Grandeur
Circuit Des Yeux Overdue
Haley Fohr's vocals cannot be mistaken for any other female vocalist out there, while the experimental nature of the album, soothing and calm for the most part and dissonant on occasion, is definitely worth checking out at least.
Cirith Ungol Frost and Fire
Frost and Fire stands with one foot on '70s rock, while the other treads on the newly emerging '80s metal sound. The said crossover works fine overall, although the band's character would later evolve by a large margin.
Codedecoded Vorace
Greek-Athenians Codedecoded have crafted a tech death metal alloy which deters stillborn blast beats, foully convoluted arrangements, and plastic sound in favor of chugging guitars, mid-to-fast tempos and crushing grooves. Favorite tracks: Martyr, 187. Stream: http://codedecoded.bandcamp.com/album/vorace
Combo De La Muerte Tropical Steel
Conception Flow
Conception Parallel Minds
Confessor Condemned
Converge All We Love We Leave Behind
Convixion Metal Drinkin' Conspiracy
Long before thrash titans such as Kreator or Testament bring forth anew their classic metal influences and infuse them to their sound, Hellenes Convixion were mixing the aforementioned ingredients with admirable results...
Coroner R.I.P.
Corrosion of Conformity Deliverance
Corrosion of Conformity IX
On their 9th album, Corrosion of Conformity deliver yet another solid observation of "southern" blues/heavy rock, save for a couple of punk-ish rock numbers. Band's performance is exceptional, but the material at display here tends to go through the motions of the genre COC file under.
Cosm Primengender
At first, the doom/stoner metal of this Florida based outfit is adventurous, energetic and tense, it even hints latently to thrash metal (EP opener). From the third track onwards though, groove and melody tends to prevail, but the arrangements remain adventurous. The female vocals are melodic for the most part, although they do tread on more extreme paths from time to time,whereas the sound is excellent.
Crematory Illusions
Crippled Black Phoenix (Mankind) The Crafty Ape
Crosswind Vicious Dominion
Vicious Dominion is one of this year's great tokens of European heavy/power metal, the latter played with grit and conviction. Greek-Thessalonikians Crosswind have been preparing their debut album for many years and that's evident in the elaborate strong structures, the dynamic vocals and the excellent instrumental work, especially in the lead guitars. The above said, there aren't any songs that stand out of the rest of the lot or the genre's classic releases, whereas the sound production could sound heavier/thrashier, especially since there are relevant parts in Crosswind's music.
Cult of Luna The Beyond
Cult of Luna Somewhere Along the Highway
Custom Made Noise Hypoxia
Contrary to what their band name implies, Thessaloniki-Greece-based Custom Made Noise don't go far from the legacy of outfits such as Meshuggah or Pantera and the NWOAHM/metalcore circuit, ending up being no better yet no worse than the rest of the competition.

album stream: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18mSQiNMAD8&list=UU56gnKXBHJoUnuei8TbSPyQ
Cyanotic The Medication Generation
Cynic Carbon-Based Anatomy
Cypress Hill Cypress Hill
Dark Tranquillity The Gallery
Darkstar Marching Into Oblivion
David Gilmour David Gilmour
David Gilmour On An Island
Deadsoul Tribe The January Tree
Deadsoul Tribe A Lullaby For The Devil
Deadsoul Tribe Deadsoul Tribe
Death Angel Frolic Through the Park
Death Angel The Art of Dying
Death Angel Relentless Retribution
Death In Vegas Scorpio Rising
Death In Vegas Milk It
Death In Vegas Trans-Love Energies
Far from "excellent", yet superbly intimate...
Deathrow Raging Steel
Decapitated Nihility
Decapitated Carnival Is Forever
Decoryah Wisdom Floats
Decoryah's debut is a quirky piece of atmospheric doom/death metal...

Really strange album...
Defiatory Extinct
Swedish rock/metal scene is all too known for yielding excellent material for a variety of distinct styles, yet when it comes to thrash, the genre was always mixed with something else (death/black/progressive metal, even hard rock). Umeå natives Defiatory, may be the first Swedish outfit coming so close to the genre, as their debut emulates Bay Area thrash with fragments of Swedish extreme metal. Although the energetic arrangements tend to blend towards the album's end, the album is rewarding as a whole, due to its excellent sound and vocals. Favourite track: Reaper. Stream: http://defiatoryblacklion.bandcamp.com/
Derek Sherinian Inertia
Destruction Eternal Devastation
Destruction Spiritual Genocide
Devil Time to Repent
In a period where some of the leading occult rock bands are going uphill in terms of ambitiousness, Devil from Norway prefer to stick to the basics of the genre, doing a great job in the process...
Discharge Hear Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing
Diskreet Engage the Mechanicality
While this is a solid 3/5, it gets a 0.5 plus for the tremendous vigor by which the material is executed. Well done, indeed a band which shows great promise.

The song "Serpent Tongue" IS THE SHIT.
Dissect Swallow Swouming Mass
Dizziness Bound by Strength
The band name does anything but hinting at a black metal band, but rest assured, Dizziness is a particularly dependable Hellenic black metal outfit. What sets Bound by Strength in motion is elements adopted from bands like Rotting Christ (music) and Kawir (music/lyrics), and while Dizziness have achieved quite a lot in terms of dynamics, they rest well below both aforementioned acts. Favourite track: Legion. Stream: http://dizziness.bandcamp.com/album/bound-by-strength
Doomocracy The End Is Written
Judging from The End Is Written album, Greek newcomers Doomocracy have come to fill part of the void created from the prolonged absence of progressive/doom metal stalwarts Solitude Aeturnus. The vibes of the latter and power/doom metal in general have been convincingly adopted here, first of all by means of the singer, who sounds fantastic on occasion ("Faceless" and the album title track). Along with Heathendom's singer, they are by far the best doom metal vocalists in Greece and among the good singers of the genre worldwide. The arrangements are solid overall with good replay value, although they tend to lose power from a point further, and especially when they tread on more "classic" metal paths. Technically, the sound is great - thick and heavy and "moody" - whereas the band's instrumental proficiency is good overall, but has yet to be improved in the future (especially the lead guitars). Band was invited this year to play at the Hammer of Doom festival, another proof of Doomocracy's promising aspects.
Doomsquad Kalaboogie
An intriguing album from an intriguing band, Kalaboogie lies in between ambient, gothic, noise, industrial, ritual/electronic music and post-punk. The album is best experienced during the night.

stream: http://soundcloud.com/handdrawndracula/sets/doomsquad-lp
Douglas State Of Rock
Although I'm not too fond of Adult Oriented Rock in general, the debut album from Douglas is great, as it lacks nearly nothing, compared to critically acclaimed bands such as Foreigner, for example.
Draconian Turning Season Within
Dropped Flyer Lowlife
Drysill Welcome to the Show
Solid '80s metal from Iceland

unofficial stream: http://www.metal-samples.com/2013/05/drysill-welcome-to-show-1985.html
E-Force Evil Forces
Earthless From The Ages
Earthless are not re-inventing the wheel, but don't let that keep you from enjoying this album, the band is as tight as it gets, and there are some really solid stoner rock jams right here.
Eigenlicht Sacral Regicide
Mysterious, chaotic, and convoluted as far as its moderate genre hopping process goes, the black metal of Sacral Regicide EP signifies Eigenlicht as a new important outfit in the field. Stream/"name your price" download: http://eigenlicht-metal.bandcamp.com/album/sacral-regicide
Eldritch Portrait Of The Abyss Within
Eldritch Neighbouhell
Eldritch Tasting the Tears
Since the release of Blackenday in 2007, Italian metal veterans Eldritch have strived for making their music interesting again, and Taste The Tears is a decisive step in the right direction. The album is markedly better than its predecessor, first of all in terms of the ultra-heavy sound production. Musically speaking, band has adopted a modern atmospheric/groove/thrash metal hybrid (with traces of prog metal lying in the rear), which is combined with fantastic and really well thought dark/goth keyboards. Regardless of the tempo, all the songs transmit a certain melancholy, also ascribed to Terrence Holler's vocals (which are improved with respect to Gaia's Legacy, yet they are nowhere near his best moments in the '90s) and lyrics which revolve around personal matters. First half of the album is better than second one, however Taste The Tears flows nicely overall.
Empire of the Moon Πανσέληνος
Greek black metal outfit Empire of the Moon has made a great start with Πανσέληνος (Greek for "Full Moon"). Band balances between the majestic/atmospheric/ritualistic and the totally primitive side of the genre, and packs a promise for better music in the future. Stream/"name your price" download: http://empireofthemoon.bandcamp.com/album/-
Enforcer From Beyond
Enforcer's previous album was their magnum opus, so I was expecting the follow up to land on lower ground. Indeed, From Beyond is differentiated with respect to its predecessor both in terms of style and lasting experience, but not by a large margin. The tempo has been lowered, the riffs and melodies became more subtle, while there's this impression (in the second half of the album) that the band is merely jamming on some sparse ideas to test their merit regarding their incorporation into proper songs. While that can be bad for most bands and albums, it doesn't pose adverse effects on Enforcer's new effort, on the contrary, it grants a welcome sense of spontaneity.
Enslaved Ruun
Enslaved Vertebrae
Enslaved Axioma Ethica Odini
Enter Shikari Take to the Skies
Essence Beyond Carnivalism
As far as brutal tech death metal goes, this EP is nothing new under the sun, but if you cherish albums like Deicide's Once Upon The Cross and Suffocation's Pierced From Within, this Greek-Athenian outfit is a welcome surprise. Excellent flow per song and as a whole, and excellent instrumental performance. Sound production is not as heavy as it should be, but it grants the audibility of every instrument, the free-form bass included.
Evergrey The Storm Within
Evergrey's music simply cannot fall below certain, fairly high quality standards, and The Storm Within is no exception. While all Evergrey albums are emotional in design, it's safe to say that new album goes red in the said respect. What's more, with the arrangements not being as tight as in previous albums, The Storm Within works as a whole, as there's not a single track, that's infinitely more catchy that the rest (the way "Frozen" was in Glorious Collision). (is the album) A small step backwards before a future, bold step forwards? Only time will tell.
Evil Madness Bastards Get Rotten
Evil Madness come from Chile, hence their thrash comes as raw as the relevant Latin American tradition prompts. The above said, there are sparse technical outbursts and some great lead guitars that make things more interesting, however the arrangements tend to converge towards the end of the album. Favorite track: Beyond The Gate. Stream: http://thanatologyproductions.bandcamp.com/album/bastards-get-rotten
Faithreat Thrashing With The Stars
Fanttasma Another Sleepless Night
Brazilian outfit Fanttasma blends post rock with black metal, whereas some songs are further decorated with blues climaxes, saxophone and female vocals.

While the aforementioned package needs some work so as to sound more cohesive, the album is very interesting overall.

Fear Factory The Industrialist
Fifth Reason Within Or Without
FireWolfe We Rule the Night
What drives Firewolfe in We Rule the Night is that characteristic brand of hard rocking metal introduced in the late '80s by bands like Dokken, Lynch Mob and the like. The band consists of really good players, whereas the vocals are on point with the genre's core ethics. The only thing that subtracts merit from the album is that everything therein has been heard before, but I would gladly see the band live, if I had the chance. Favorite track: We Rule The Night
Flotsam and Jetsam High
Flotsam and Jetsam Drift
Flotsam and Jetsam The Cold
this gets a 3.5 and not a 3.0, due to the decent, yet intense riffing and the passionate vocal performance of Erik AK...
Forbidden Forbidden Evil
Forbidden Twisted into Form
Forbidden Omega Wave
Great semi-technical thrash from the Bay Area thrash veterans...
Forte Vae Solis
Fourth Dimension Novo
In their debut EP, Hellenes thrashers Fourth Dimension show a keen sense in adapting their music to the tech branch of the Bay Area thrash scene (Master Of Puppets-era Metallica, Heathen, Testament), although the somewhat inconsistent vocals and the muddy sound production tend to spoil it for them in the process...
Fredrik Thordendal's Special Defects Sol Niger Within
Future of the Left The Plot Against Common Sense
Galactic Cowboys At The End Of The Day
Gehennah Too Loud to Live, Too Drunk to Die
Listening to this album, it feels as if Gehennah sensed that Lemmy would part for Heavens' Band, so they re-emerged to cut down the world's huge deficit in dirty rock n' roll. Easily, one of the most essential outfit reactivations in recent years. Stream: http://gehennah.bandcamp.com/album/too-loud-to-live-too-drunk-to-die
Gentle Giant Octopus
Godflesh Streetcleaner
Gojira From Mars to Sirius
Grand Funk Railroad We're An American Band
Grand Magus Grand Magus
Grand Magus Wolf's Return
Grand Magus Triumph and Power
The new Grand Magus album brings about the "same ol' same ol'" dilemma; When (almost) all is said and done, is it possible for a classic metal act such as Grand Magus to come up with fresh material? The answer for Triumph and Power is a definitive yes, should the album be played loud, and I'm looking forward to catch the band live.
Grave Digger The Reaper
Graves (NZ) Fides Ad Nauseam
Fides Ad Nauseam is metallic hardcore in the vein of Converge and the like, brimming with intensity and spite. Even though there's nothing that's not previously heard elsewhere, the album is ideal for what it is. Stream/download: http://gravesnz.bandcamp.com/album/fides-ad-nauseam
Graveyard (SWE) Innocence & Decadence
Just as any Graveyard album, this one too has been instilled with the band's genuine enthusiasm for all things rock, and yet it lies a few steps below Lights Out. Whereas the predecessor album had loads of memorable songs (and lyrics), Innocence & Decadence has almost none, although it's very enjoyable as a whole. On another note, Truls Morck should sing more.
Greenleaf Greenleaf
Grip Inc. Incorporated
Guardian Angel Oblivion Seas
Guillotine (SWE) Blood Money
Really solid thrash from this berserk bunch of Swedes

Stream: http://pulverised.bandcamp.com/album/blood-money
Guns N' Roses G N' R Lies
Haethen Shaped By Aeolian Winds
While the black metal found in Haethen's debut album builds a distinct atmosphere, the song structures blend the one with the other, towards the end. Stream: http://haethen.bandcamp.com/album/shaped-by-aeolian-winds
Hark Mythopoeia
Although Mythopoeia is a two track 7'' EP, its content is enough to take Hark's brutal stoner/doom places...

Heaven and Hell The Devil You Know
Heavens Gate Hell For Sale!
Hellion Screams In The Night
Helstar Glory of Chaos
Superb tech thrash from the Bay Area veterans. I didn't remember them to be so aggressive in their past releases...Well done!

Edit: i'm changing this from a 4.0 to a 3.5 because the power metal songs of the record aren't anything special. If the whole record was pure thrash, it would be a 4.5 easily...
High Spirits Another Night
We need more metal records like this one, that's for sure!!
Hinayana Endless (demo)
Austin TX citizen Casey Hurd, the sole person behind Hinayana, gives out a solid piece of melodic doom/death metal and it's legitimate to wonder why he tagged Endless as "demo", as it lacks nothing - the production, the music, the cover - compared to label-level, "professional" releases. Let's hope that Hinayama will eventually turn into a full band, as there's enough going on for the outfit to persist through time and space.
Holy Mount We Fell From The Sky
Holy Mount's debut is a great piece of psychedelic desert blues/rock, ideal for copious listening sessions... Really great...
Holycide Toxic Mutation
This is the Debut EP for this company of Spanish thrashers, and while the opening cut shamelessly hints at Overkill, the rest of the lot reveals a proficient admiration for Coroner and their various phases, arrangements/vocals (!!!) wise. Even the Dark Angel cover ("Merciless Death") is "polluted" accordingly and rests as yet another attractive EP site. The above said, Holycide need to improve the impact of the backing vocals and the drumming sound/performance wise. Favorite tracks: "Apocalypse Riders", "Merciless Death". Stream: http://holycide.bandcamp.com/album/toxic-mutation-ep-2015
Hooded Menace Fulfill the Curse
Horizon (ESP) The Last Man In Terminus
Spanish rock/metal scene is on the rise and this cool stoner rock album does not say otherwise. The songs are simple in design, yet effective, whereas the singer really fits the genre's prerequisites. I wish there was more psychedelic stuff like "Vostok 1" and "Space Argonauts", but in general, the band needs to be looked upon by fans and fellow bands alike. Favorites: "Sub-Atomic Eye" and "Vostok 1".
House of Spirits Psychosphere
Hundred Visions Brutal Pueblo
In the smorgasbord of bands and styles Austin, TX metro offers to any conceivable avail, Hundred Visions exert the kind of rock that will make you feel you are playing in an old school Quentin Tarantino film. Brutal Pueblo does not come short in terms of diversity; drone-y/noise rock passages, heavy/punk rock outbursts, vocals drenched in Beastie-Boys-tinged irony, and garage/rockabilly sensitivities, all aforementioned constituents are blended and echoed with the ferocity that modern times dictate. Favourite track: Ditch Punk's Prayer, Planet Dead Deerhorn. Stream: http://hundredvisions.bandcamp.com/album/brutal-pueblo-2
Iced Earth Night of the Stormrider
Iced Earth The Dark Saga
Immolation Majesty and Decay
In Flagrante Delicto Ultio
On their debut album, In Flagrante Delicto deliver some haunted, blackened gothic/shoegaze/depressive drone, which is best experienced during nightfall...
In Flames The Jester Race
Inferno (USA) Psychic Distance
Infest (SRB) Cold Blood War
Over the years, death/thrash metal was becoming more and more of a relic, but judging from this year's yield, the genre is anything but. One of the most recent cases in point is the Serbian outfit Infest and its fourth observation Cold Blood War. Although it's nothing new under the sun, the utter intensity of every album number (more than) compensates for the album's derivative character.

stream - http://xtreemmusic.bandcamp.com/album/cold-blood-war
Infidel I, Oathbreaker
Infidel King Of Cynical Control
Inmoria Invisible Wounds
Members from Morgana Lefay and Tad Morose join forces and churn out a great piece of ominous, neck breaking, Swedish heavy/power metal.
Insane Vesper Layil
If Layil is a hint to anything other than traditional (epic at times) black metal, it's that mid-to-late '90s era, right before the undertaking of some serious attempts towards the genre's expansion. Insane Vesper are not as innovative as some of their French or Norwegian counterparts, but the fairly adventurous arrangements, along with the "bitter" melodies and sound, have a really good replay value. Favorite track: Blood of the Moon. Stream: http://insanevesper.bandcamp.com/album/layil
Into Eternity The Scattering of Ashes
iNTRiKeT Songs For Sleepy
Intronaut Valley of Smoke
Iron Maiden The X Factor
Iron Maiden No Prayer for the Dying
Iron Maiden A Real Live Dead One
Iron Maiden Ed Hunter
Iron Maiden A Real Dead One
Iron Maiden A Real Live One
Ironsword None But the Brave
The Portuguese are more than convincing at their Manilla Road/old school heavy metal worship, however with a new Manilla Road album out this year, many fans will sadly pass by this album. Check out the new Manilla Road and then come here.
Isis Celestial
Jaco Pastorius Jaco Pastorius
Jag Panzer Thane to the Throne
Jag Panzer The Scourge of the Light
Jake Bowman Leftöver Kanye
I'm not a casual fan of Kanye West or Leftover Crack, but I think that Jake Bowman's mashup album was worth the time invested by the man in realizing it. Opening track "Homeo-Power" absolutely kills and it should be jammed hard at avant-garde hip-hop joints around the globe. The rest of the album is enjoyable overall, although I have to admit that ska and hip-hop do not fully mix.
Jamiroquai The Return of the Space Cowboy
Jeff Buckley So Real: Songs From Jeff Buckley
Jester's March Beyond
Jesu Silver
Jethro Tull Benefit
Jim Matheos Away with Words
Joe Satriani The Extremist
Kam Kama Shift
Kam Kama's debut album is a solid piece of post-punk, in the vein of the acclaimed forefathers of the genre. With the exception of the last two songs, where a discrete affinity for post rock is revealed, the rest come as slight variations of the same song writing recipe.
Kamchatka The Search Goes On
Since their beginning, Sweden's Kamchatka were always regarded as a legitimate source of vintage blues/hard rock and their latest album The Search Goes On continues that way in the sense that the outfit talks it like it walks it.
Kampfar Djevelmakt
The 6th Kampfar offering should be embraced from those yearning for the old Enslaved material (Below The Lights-era and back). My personal favourites from the album are "Mylder", "Swarm Norvegicus" and "Our Hounds, Our Legion".
Karl Sanders Saurian Exorcisms
Karma To Burn Almost Heathen
Katatonia Brave Murder Day
Katatonia Discouraged Ones
Katatonia Dead End Kings
This is Katatonia suffering from a burnt out syndrome (who's to blame: Night Is The New Day)

Still the record has its moments...
Katatonia Dethroned & Uncrowned
With Dead End Kings Katatonia coped adequately with the burn out syndrome that their previous magnum opus induced. With Dethroned & Uncrowned though, I see a band at the last stages of the healing process, as the album makes me want to revisit Dead End Kings and vice versa.
Kayser The Good Citizen EP
This EP bridges the gap between Kayser's debut album Kaiserhof and their next and most recent album, Frame The World ... Hang It On The Wall. It contains probably the best song from the debut, "Good Citizen" and its video, 2 songs from their upcoming - then - second album and one new song. Their sound can be characterized as modern hard rock/metal with severe tech-thrash twists. Great work!!!
Keelhaul Subject To Change Without Notice
Kinetic The Chains That Bind Us
King Crimson Discipline
King Crimson In the Wake of Poseidon
King Crimson Three of a Perfect Pair
King Crimson THRAK
King Diamond House of God
King Diamond Conspiracy
King Diamond The Spider's Lullabye
Knut Terraformer
Kreator Violent Revolution
Kreator Terrible Certainty
Kreator Renewal
In this album, Kreator craft thrash that lies in the interfaces...
Kreator Cause for Conflict
Kreator Outcast
KYPCK Имена на стене (Name on the Wall)
In their third observation, Finnish doomsters KYPCK (Russian for Kursk) are revisiting the simple but terribly effective style of their debut, and while Name On The Wall has a good replay value overall, it falls short on the aspect of truly memorable songs. That's a shame, because as far as KYPCK go, Sami Loppaka's vocal work herein is easily his best yet.
Lake of Tears Forever Autumn
Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin III
Led Zeppelin Presence
Less Than Human To Breed True
Lethal Your Favourite God
Lizardia Lizardia
Greece's stoner rock outfit Lizardia stepped into 2014 with a great self-titled debut album, an album which often flees from its core incentive towards the blues and old fashioned psychedelia. It's kind of weird that this band and album didn't receive more attention within Greece, because the album has been adequately brought to the light by foreign media.
Lizzy Borden Give 'em the Axe
Ljain Klofnar Tungur
The occult/lofi/ambient character of Klofnar Tungur will take you back to those ancient times where black metal relied (much) more on random impulse, and (much) less on elaborate design. While the style of this Icelandic outfit safely files under the quote "organized ritual chaos", both mentioned ends meet to form a downright interesting experience. Their other EP released this year is also interesting. Stream: http://ljain.bandcamp.com/album/klofnar-tungur
Loincloth Loincloth
Loss Horizonless
Having heard only this album from the band, it is immediately evident that Loss are masters in crafting abstract, brooding atmospheres, that grant their sophomore effort adequate, perpetual even, replay time. However, the abstractness also works backwards, as by the time Horizonless comes to a close, rather than humming melodies or remembering whole song structures, what truly remains is the mood the album aspires to slipstream to its sonic beholders. Favorite track: The Joy Of All Who Sorrow. Stream: http://loss.bandcamp.com/album/horizonless
Lucian the Wolfbearer Paradise
The name of the band comes as rather pretentious, but aside from some sound-production-wise (the snare drum could sound better in the first two tracks) and style hiccups (the album closer is totally out of place with respect to the rest of the album), the music included in Paradise is very solid. The album kicks off with two doom/death metal tunes, further decorated with keyboard-driven ambient parts. The latter dominate the album both temporally and in terms of style through the "Paradise" songs, which constitute the album's biggest merits. Overall, Paradise deserves at least one spin by fans of the previously mentioned genres. Stream: http://lucianthewolfbearer.bandcamp.com/album/paradise
Luna (UA) Ashes to Ashes
Lunarsapian (USA-AL) Fade Into Oblivion
Most of the drone/doom metal albums I come across these days are not worth the effort, but Lunarsapian and their debut album are certainly an exception. The arrangements are well thought and realized, as the recurring musical themes convey the listener deep into that claustrophobic vibe drone is known for. Band cites Khanate and Trees (from Oregon) as references, I would add Halo too.
Lunatic Soul Lunatic Soul
Madder Mortem Mercury
Madder Mortem All Flesh is Grass
Madder Mortem Where Dream And Day Collide
Madleaf Sinners
Madred Supersonic Brainfuck Overdrive
On their debut album, Madred from Finland offer a solid piece of speed/thrash metal with twists that go up to hard rock and the blues. Favorite track: Antidote. Stream/"name your price" download: http://imadred.bandcamp.com
Magnolia På Djupt Vatten
On their 6th album, Swedes Magnolia indulge their remote universe with bare-bones vintage rock that comes with its expected load of tension. That said, things are spiced a bit more through the straying of some songs into more psychedelic/jam-ish paths. Favourite track: Ensamvarg. Stream: http://play.spotify.com/album/22hS3Iunh32UlIEkGAaDfs
Make a Change...Kill Yourself Fri
Manilla Road Live by the Sword: The Very Best of Manilla Road
Manowar Kings of Metal
Mark Lanegan Imitations
Certain occasions call for an album of calm and subtle music that can serve as an essential listen and as background music. Any record featuring Mark Lanegan's crooning voice leans over the first end, while the soothing yet monotonous music of the album leans over the second. Hence the album is definitely worth of a...
Master An Epiphany Of Hate
Dirty, Motorhead/punk-driven death metal for the masses, enough said. Album is no better, nor worse than previous Master releases, and while it suits its purpose just fine, a tad more variety in terms of song writing, would be more than welcome.
Max Richter Infra
Medalyon Visions
Although it is not as effective as the work of more accomplished acts such as Lizzy Borden or Vicious Rumors, the debut Medalyon album delivers a solid slab of old school heavy/power metal.
Megadeth Cryptic Writings
Megadeth So Far, So Good... So What!
Mekong Delta Wanderer on the Edge of Time
Mekong Delta Intersections
Melvins A Senile Animal
Memento Mori Songs For The Apocalypse, Vol. 4
Memorain Reduced to Ashes
Memory Garden Doomain
Solid as a whole, Memory Garden's fifth observation will satisfy dedicated power/doom metal fans, whereas it is a good starting point for getting acquainted with the band and the sub-genre they file under.
Menace Ruine Venus Armata
The ritual noise/drone of these Canadian shamans is as mysterious as it is engaging, especially during the nightly hours... I really should get a hold of their back catalogue. Stream: http://profoundlorerecords.bandcamp.com/album/venus-armata
Mencea Dark Matter Energy Noir
The death/thrash of this Hellenic outfit is promising...
Mephisto Mephisto
Mephisto's eponymous debut is a token of rather unusual '80s metal with non-trivial prog leanings and styles ranging from Teutonic metal (Helloween) to epic metal (Manowar) and even Bay Area thrash (Metallica). The rating would be much higher, should the record had more songs with vocals (there are 4 songs plus one intro and two instrumentals, one of which is rather weak) and more tracks in general. Nevertheless, this album is worth being discovered by fans of the previously described sound.
Mercyful Fate In the Shadows
Meshuggah Koloss
Metallica The $5.98 E.P.: Garage Days Re-Revisited
Metallica Hardwired... to Self-Destruct
Prior to this one, the last Metallica album I remember enjoying was Black Album, for reasons all too obvious. With the band admitting its increasing physical inability in appropriately bringing classic/legacy material to life, the vigor of this album comes as an unexpected, but welcome surprise; Metallica still have in them, a fair amount of that something that made them what they are today. Favorite songs: Dream No More, Spit Out the Bone.
Mike Scheidt Stay Awake
YOB's Mike Scheidt strays away from the amplifier worship, picks up an acoustic guitar and starts to sing about the deeper concepts in life. A great album to spin every once in a while. Stream: http://mikescheidt.bandcamp.com/
Miles Davis Kind of Blue
Mind Odyssey Schizophenia
Minsk Out of a Center Which is Neither Dead nor Alive
Moby Innocents
The use of fundamentally different guest vocalists is what makes this album going, as for Moby's arrangements they are attractive as always, yet they lack the element of surprise.
Mogwai The Hawk Is Howling
Monster Magnet 4-Way Diablo
Monstrosity Rise to Power
Moonspell Irreligious
Morbid Angel Formulas Fatal to the Flesh
Morbid Angel Gateways to Annihilation
Morbus Chron Sweven
This album is an interesting experiment in the sense that Morbus Chron try to blend psychedelic/'70s rock with the repugnant death metal of outfits such as Autopsy. That being said, the album isn't as varied as people present it to be (the band's guitarist has said while being interviewed, that he knows about 5-6 riffs on the guitar and that's readily evident on the album). Moreover, a good portion of the songs are too loose-structured, and drag too long for their own good. Still, Morbus Chron's sophomore album deserves to be jammed from time to time, at least.
Morgana Lefay Sanctified
Morpheus Tales Samples of Reality
With their debut album/EP (with 3 tracks clocking at 27 minutes, I leave you to decide haha) Samples of Reality, Morpheus Tales draw a primary, yet adequately detailed map of psychedelic black metal, the way they envision it. Core influences come from black metal acts that took the genre to the next level, namely Dodheimsgard, Arcturus, Satyricon, as well as avant-garde prophets like Celtic Frost (mostly in the clean vocals). However, band shows a legitimate penchant for innovation, when, for example, it adds some unexpected, but totally fitting "belly-dance" oriental passages within "Hymn To Will". Along with Hail Spirit Noir and Spectral Lore, Morpheus Tales is yet another Greek psych black metal outfit to keep an ear to.
Mortified Mortician The Dearly Disgusted
With Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie pumping out new material every once in (quite) a while, these newcomers from Portland OR and their modern, fairly industrialized "nu" rock/metal are a welcome addition to the fold. Do yourself a favor, crank the volume and blast your stereo with tracks like "Ghoulish Fuckdoll". Album stream: http://mortifiedmortician.bandcamp.com
Motorhead Snake Bite Love
Motorhead Overnight Sensation
Motorhead Aftershock
It's Motorhead doing what Motorhead do better than any outfit out there.
Municipal Waste The Art of Partying
Municipal Waste The Fatal Feast
My Dying Bride Like Gods of the Sun
My Dying Bride 34.788%... Complete
My Dying Bride An Ode to Woe
My Dying Bride Symphonaire Infernus Et Spera Empyrium
My Dying Bride The Thrash of Naked Limbs
My Dying Bride A Map of All Our Failures
Myty Konkeror I Miss The Future
The heavy rock of these guys carries a serious twist, with influences from grunge (Screaming Trees come to mind), southern rock, psychedelia and noise rock...

This band might go places..
Nashville Pussy Get Some
Nasty Savage Penetration Point
Need Orvam: A Song for Home
Five years after their sophomore album, Need re-emerge with a new album, an album in which gloomy progressive rock has overshadowed all their other - and more extreme sounding - influences evidenced in Siamese God. Performance is passionate, album is technically flawless and legitimately enjoyable, but imho and unlike Siamese God, the elements of surprise and freshness are missing.
Needless The Dark Spirit of Ages
Needless from Hungary have come up with a promising slab of contemporary extreme metal, that's hard to bottle into one or more spefific genre tags; The EP will be appreciated by people into bands like Lamb of God (minus the metalcore element), Machine Head and Pantera. Favourite track: Deceit. Stream/"name your price" download: http://needlessofficial.bandcamp.com/releases
Neurosis Times of Grace
Neurosis Given to the Rising
Nevermore Dead Heart In A Dead World
New Testament Apocalypse
Nightbreed Nightbreed
Along with the stoner circuit, the Greek thrash metal scene is constantly churning good material, and that applies for the self-titled debut album by Nightbreed; Accounting for the style of thrash, the Athenians are drawn primarily by the raw side of teutonic thrash, namely old Kreator (more) / Sodom (less); The sound is particularly taken care of, whereas the band refrains from any kind of innovation; Still, Nightbreed is bound to make some heads to roll in concerts. Stream: http://witchesbrewthrashes.bandcamp.com/album/nightbreed
Nightstalker Dead Rock Commandos
Nightstalker just don't know how to make boring heavy/stoner rock and this album is no exception, even though the band here sounds more "loose" than usual.
Nirvana Nevermind
No-Man Returning Jesus
Noctum Final Sacrifice
An improvement over the debut album - the vocals, in particular - Final Sacrifice revolves around vintage hard rock, doom rock and '80s metal, and while it is a great album, it falls somewhat short in becoming a truly memorable sensation. Stream: http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/noctum-entire-final-sacrifice-album-available-for-streaming/
Nocturnus Ethereal Tomb
Officium Triste Mors Viri
I like this album a lot, the doom/death metal of these guys shows a certain twist towards traditional metal and 70s rock. That being said, it rests some steps lower with respect to other releases filing under the same genre such as the last Saturnus album, for example.

album stream: http://hammerheart.bandcamp.com/album/mors-viri
Oliver Magnum Drive By
On The Wane Dry
Ukrainian post-punkz On The Wane do not introduce us to new territories, however their first album is enjoyable in its noise n' gloom philosophy. Stream/free download: http://onthewane.bandcamp.com/releases
Opeth Orchid
Opeth Morningrise
Opeth Ghost Reveries
Opeth Watershed
Opeth Heritage
Orphans of Dusk Revenant
New Zealanders Orphans of Dusk deliver an elaborate piece of gothic/doom/death metal in the vein of Tiamat, Paradise Lost and Type O Negative. Song structures are moderately convoluted, hence progressively comprehensive. As for the vocals, the guttural once have the expected impact, while the clean ones seem to have drawn inspiration from Nick Holmes, Peter Steele, even Burton C. Bell (Fear Factory).
OSI Blood
OSI Fire Make Thunder
Overkill Ironbound
Overkill The Grinding Wheel
Overkill is as Overkill does and The Grinding Wheel, not better nor worse than its immediately previous affairs, is no exception. The band's take-no-prisoners ethic in performing its material is sine qua non as always. What's slightly different here is the dual-mode affiliation to downright classic and modern metal (in terms of sound) forms alike.
Ozric Tentacles Floating Seeds
Ozzy Osbourne The Ultimate Sin
Ozzy Osbourne Ozzmosis
Pain of Salvation One Hour by the Concrete Lake
Pain of Salvation Scarsick
Pain of Salvation Linoleum
truly new soundz from POS...
can't wait the new album.-
Pantera Cowboys from Hell
Pantera Far Beyond Driven
Pantera The Great Southern Trendkill
Pantheist Journey Through Lands Unknown
Paradise Lost Gothic
Paradise Lost One Second
Paradise Lost Faith Divides Us - Death Unites Us
Paradox Product of Imagination
Great 80's thrash with a serious tech twist
Pariah (UK) Detroit Falls
Pathos (SWE) Katharsis
Pearl Jam Ten
Peeping Tom Peeping Tom
Pelican Australasia
Pelican The Fire in Our Throats Will Beckon...
Pentagram (TUR) Anatolia
Perished Seid
Great black/death metal from this Norwegian band! Although blast beats prevail for the most part of the record, they manage to endorse melancholic/epic melodies to the black metal mayhem. Well done indeed!
Pestilence Testimony of the Ancients
Peter Gabriel Us
Phrenetix Fear
Lithuanian thrashers Phenetix have issued an energetic debut album, which flirts discretely with more elaborate, tech- directives. Good sound, apt instrumental performance and the fruitful hunger of a newcomer band, make for a worthwhile deal. Favourite track: Unconscious Game. Stream: http://phrenetix.bandcamp.com/album/fear
Pink Martini Hey Eugene!
Porcupine Tree Signify
Porcupine Tree Stupid Dream
Porcupine Tree Voyage 34: The Complete Trip
Porcupine Tree Fear of a Blank Planet
Porcupine Tree Nil Recurring
Poverty's No Crime The Chemical Chaos
Power Trip Nightmare Logic
Power Trip acquired quite a reputation for themselves with their first album as a crossover thrash allure, so their sophomore album was eagerly awaited; Nightmare Logic is not crossover thrash by the numbers, rather it comes as a pastiche of different US thrash styles (Slayer, Exodus, Metallica etc) in which well-intended groove plays a seminal part. That said, album is devoid of real stand-outs, which makes it an ideal soundtrack for extra-curricular activities, namely weight lifting. Stream: http://powertripsl.bandcamp.com/album/nightmare-logic
Primordial Redemption at the Puritan's Hand
Prototype Cloned
Prototype Catalyst
Psycrence A Frail Deception
Greek prog metal outfit Psycrence make a great start for themselves with their debut album. Band does not reinvent the wheel, but manages nevertheless to keep things interesting by mixing all the interesting elements from the major prog metal schools (US and European) with a latent djent vibe. The vocals are very good (they could be better with more practice and better sound mixing in future albums), rhythm section is "tech" but rather restrained at that, the 7-string guitars/sound production are/is skull ripping, and the keyboards build tense atmospheres in the rear. First few and last few tracks are what makes the album work, but the less interesting parts of the album are also worth checking out.
Queensryche Queensryche
Queensryche are exorcising 15 years of unbearable mediocrity. Still, they have a long way to go so as to match the quality of their mid-'80s-to-mid-'90s back catalogue.
Rage Trapped!
Rainbow Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow
Rated X Rated X
Rated X have come up with an album of hard n' heavy/blues rock that adds up to the acclaimed legacy of every band member. A few prog rock elements here and there (mostly in the keyboards and the shredding lead guitars) and a slight AOR vibe work towards an energetic, but at the same time relaxing listen.
Raven (ENG) Mind Over Metal
Realm Suiciety
Red Harvest Internal Punishment Programs
Resurgency False Enlightenment
False Enlightenment from Hellenes Resurgency is a great piece of European/US old school death metal, as it combines the best elements from both worlds.
Riverside Second Life Syndrome
Rocka Rollas Conquer
This EP and band are the perfect compensation for the blandness of the last Running Wild album.

Really good heavy/power metal.
Rotting Christ Thy Mighty Contract
Rotting Christ A Dead Poem
Rotting Christ Khronos
Royal Thunder Royal Thunder
A solid slab of bluesy heavy rock with exceptional female vocals....

the only reason that i don't rate this as a 4/5, is that it has only 6 songs...
Sabbat History of a Time to Come
Sacred Reich Ignorance
Sacred Reich Heal
Samael Above
Saprogenic Expanding Toward Collapsed Lungs
This is some really solid US death metal right here.
Savage Messiah Plague of Conscience
Plague of Conscience is fantastically executed, aptly sound produced (FANTASTIC guitars!!), yet it fails to be even more compelling mostly due to the relatively mediocre vocals...

In the vein of Heathen's Evolution of Chaos...
Scale the Summit The Collective
Scanner Hypertrace
Great heavy/speed metal with sci-fi lyrics and really unique vocals. A solid stepping stone for their magnum opus, Terminal Earth
Sceptic Internal Complexity
Sceptic Blind Existence
Sceptic's debut is a superb tribute to Human-era Death and early 90's Cynic, decorated with sparse traces of originality and the universal constants of the critically esteemed Polish Death Metal scene...
Scorpions Face the Heat
Seahawks Paradise Freaks
A soothing dream/ambient pop album for meditation and introspection...
Sebastian Bach Angel Down
Seduce The Heaven Field Of Dreams
In Field Of Dreams, Hellenes Seduce The Heaven combine a number of metal genres -power, death, progressive, metalcore- and manage to produce a homogeneous result of good replay value in half of the songs (tracks 1-4 and 6).

That being said, the sound production is definitely not favouring the magnificent female vocals, especially in view of the rather standard (ripped out/guttural) male ones.
Sepultura Roots
Sigh Imaginary Sonicscape
Sigur Ros Takk...
Skogen Brinner Fasornas Berg
Solid '70s heavy rock from this company of Swedes...

Skrew Universal Immolation
Skrew endorse the kind of industrialized metal that hints directly to the '90s, and admittedly, they have put their music where their mindset was. However, I'm merely a whining lad when I say that I would like the "industrial" factor - and killer tracks like "Rise" and "Universal Immolation" - to be more pronounced.
Skyclad The Answer Machine?
Slash's Snakepit Ain't Life Grand
Slave Machine Disconnected
Not particularly memorable but solid in any case, I don't see why this French outfit won't please fans that need their industrial tight. Those who like bands such as Sweden's Red Harvest, should check this pronto. With some luck, song "Antrophobia" could become an underground hit. Stream: http://slavemachineband.bandcamp.com/
Slayer Hell Awaits
Slayer Undisputed Attitude
Slayer cross the subway bridge that links punk and thrash. Judging by the rating average, i see that a lot of people neglect the fact that punk has played a great role for the Slayer sound, although it's not so apparent at first listen...
Slayer Christ Illusion
Slayer World Painted Blood
Slough Feg The Animal Spirits
A solid slab of old-school heavy metal... Butter on the bread for fans of Thin Lizzy and Skyclad.
Sodom Masquerade in Blood
Sodom 'Til Death Do Us Unite
Sodom In War and Pieces
Solstice (UK) Death's Crown Is Victory
Solstice are breaking a 15-year silence with an EP of epic/barbaric heavy/doom metal, which also serves as a messenger of (even) better things to come from this band.
Sortilege Sortilege
Solid '80s metal with the awesomely sung lyrics being written in French, since the band is from France. However, the latter attribute is not annoying in the least...
Soul Cages Soul Cages
Soul Cages Craft
Soundtrack (Film) Last Action Hero
Soundtrack (Film) Once
Soundtrack (Film) Juno
Soundtrack (Film) Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Soundtrack (Film) Blow
Soundtrack (Film) Broken English
Spectral Lore Voyager
As the man behind Spectral Lore aptly puts it, prior to the release of the next Spectral Lore album, the band will give way to experimentations with music genres tangential to black metal. As such, the Voyager "EP" (clocking at 40+ minutes) is a solid ambient/electronic fest, almost on par with soundtracks like the Interstellar OST or the relevant Pink Floyd endeavours in Dark Side of the Moon. While it's not particularly memorable, it's a soothing experience as a whole. Favourite track: Destination (Arrival & Terraforming). Stream: http://spectrallore.bandcamp.com/album/voyager
Spell (CAN) The Full Moon Sessions
What's at display here is some solid old school heavy metal with a really warm sound and the occassional hard rock edge. The wheel is not reinvented by the Canadians, but The Full Moon Sessions is an excellent reminiscent of the times where '80s metal revelled in the world.
Spice and the RJ Band Shave Your Fear
Spider Kickers Alcoholic
Although the death/thrash metal of Hellenes Spider Kickers is not mind bending in any case, it is neck breaking all the way...
Spiders Shake Electric
The Swedish vintage rock underground never really sleeps and the sophomore Spiders album is yet another proof of the said disposition. Apart from the self-titled single, few (if any) cuts really stand out, however the band doesn't know how to fall below the quality standards of the Swedish scene and wind up delivering a great album as a whole.
Stereo Animal Neolithic
Stereo Animal deliver an attractive blend of modern rock with noise, hardcore and thrash, not too far from where bands such as Prong or Helmet lie. The arrangements and the temporal length of some songs leave a sense of incompleteness, but there's a handful of numbers ("The Directors", "Megatons"(!!), "Level Zero"(!!), "Red Glowing" and "God Perfect None") that more than deliver the goods. The album is available at a "name your price" deal at the band's bandcamp page - http://stereoanimal.bandcamp.com/
Steve Vai Fire Garden
Steven Wilson Insurgentes
Stone Sour Meanwhile In Burbank...
Very good stuff, Stone Sour convincingly deliver on all five covers, despite the dramatic shifts in style. Taylor's vocals in particular, have magnificently been adapted to the task at hand. Favourite tracks: We Die Young & Creeping Death. Stream: http://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PLq8NxRTHEw9QFbg8uFjoLiDVBXAmLF_G5&v=qG2G6ULOklI
Strange Attractor Back To The Cruel World
Minimal, rotten and abrupt, the second Strange Attractor album does a fine job at revisiting the '70s garage/punk rock sound.
Strapping Young Lad The New Black
Stratus (SWE) Stratology
The ever increasing diversity of the retro rock genre, the way Swedes are exporting it to the rest of the world, tends to be neglected more often than not. While a fair load of Swedish outfits are downright feedback worshippers, there are power trios such as Stratus that tone down the electric fuzz and concentrate more on the melodic/lyrical aspect of things, with the occasional jazz/prog rock outbursts. As a whole, the album is a relaxing listen, with a handful of adventurous sites calling for the listener's increased attention.

Strike Master Up for the Massacre
SubRosa More Constant Than The Gods
Good album, the '90s doom/death metal references through the violin melodies are great, but the song arrangements don't justify the prolongued temporal length of most songs. Moreover, far more expressive female vocals have been evidenced in doom metal this year.
Suicidal Angels Division Of Blood
Suicidal Angels rise above with an album that brings back the urgency the band (and thrash metal in general) is renowned for. The said trait has adequately spiced up the arrangements, which would deem the album insufferably one-dimensional, otherwise. The excellent guitar leads of Gus Drax (Sunburst), take the songs on a higher level; however, an unbridgeable gap between him and the rest of the band in terms of musicianship, becomes imminently evident. Let's hope that the presence of Gus, will push the others to become more involved with their instruments and in turn, with their song writing.
Sun of Nothing ...In the Weak and the Wounded
SwampGoat The Omega Syndicate
If in need of solid and properly produced drone/doom metal, SwampGoat's debut LP is a solid deal, even though the band sticks to the norm of the previously mentioned genres more closely that necessary. Stream/"name your price" download: http://theswampgoat.bandcamp.com/album/the-omega-syndicate
Syd Barrett The Madcap Laughs
Symphony X Paradise Lost
Tad Morose Undead
Tad Morose Revenant
Tad Morose have started climbing again that very mountain, whose summit they had conquered in 2003 with Modus Vivendi. The difference now is that the climbing has started from a higher point with respect to the band level right after the A Mended Rhyme album in the mid '90s. The first half of the record is what awesome Swedish power/doom/thrash metal is all about, while the second half continues in the same vein, albeit with a minor, but perceivable discount in quality. With less (8) songs, and a more careful song proofreading, things would be better, but the band is starting all over again and some inconsistency is justified up to a point. Also, the sound production, while crystal clean and strong in principle, cannot conceal its digital origin and the noticeable amount of power detracted from the album overall.
Testament Low
Testament The Formation of Damnation
The Alan Parsons Project Eye in the Sky
The Almighty Blood, Fire & Love
The Almighty's debut is one solid slab of sleaze hard rock/blues, further dirtied with a punk rock attitude. Don't expect flashy solos, don't expect extravagant hairstyles, this is only rock n' roll. The album is a safe bet for informal gatherings (sic), where the spirits are flowing, and the feel-good disposition of all participants is the absolute norm.
The Amenta n0n
The Chemical Brothers Dig Your Own Hole
The Cult Sonic Temple
The Cure Three Imaginary Boys
The Deathtrip Deep Drone Master
For all those who saw Norwegian black metal attempting to escape its norms during the end of the '90s, Aldrahn holds a special place in their minds and hearts, hence the end of his prolonged hiatus with the debut The Deathtrip album is warmly heralded. That said, Deep Drone Master is sort of a mixed bag. Tracks like "Flag of Betrayal", "Dynamic Underworld" and "A Foot In Each Hell" live up to the known standards of the second wave Norwegian black metal just before the commencement of its immaculate mutation, but that's not the case for the whole album. Aldrahn is adequate in his vocal duties, but his otherwordly performance in albums like Kronet Til Konge or Thorns is absent, unfortunately. Moreover some not so good lyrics tend to work against certain songs ("Something Growing In The Trees").

In terms of the actual music, the sound production (courtesy of Snorre Ruch from Thorns - WE WANT A NEW THORNS ALBUM!!!) is great, the cold Norwegian black metal riffs are ever present, whereas some atmospheric guitar leads tend to make things more interesting. However, the latter are not fully developed nor endorsed by the main body of the songs. The rhythm section consists of a drum machine, which, in turn, decorates the album with a latent (and intended??) industrial vibe. Band is expected to have a full lineup for the follow up album, so a lot of the loose ends evident in here will probably be resolved. Stream: http://svartrecords.bandcamp.com/album/deep-drone-master
The Devil's Blood Fire Burning
The Dillinger Escape Plan Calculating Infinity
The Dirty Earth Ascendancy
Australia has always been notorious for its class of great hard n' heavy rock acts, with Sydney's The Dirty Earth being one of the most recent additions worth mentioning. Whereas the arrangements don't stray away from the genre's constraints, the band's calling card is their female singer, who pretty much carries the album on her shoulders. Favourite track: Cruel World. Stream: http://thedirtyearth.bandcamp.com/album/ascendancy
The Flaming Lips Dark Side of the Moon
The Gathering Home
The Gathering Disclosure
The Grande Machine Another Round
Amidst a complete lack of any kind of surprise, The Grande Machine's sophomore album is alcohol-driven garage/hard rock played with balls. Stream: http://thegrandemachine1.bandcamp.com/
The Myrrors Burning Circles In The Sky
The Night Flight Orchestra Amber Galactic
Slick, barely memorable upon completion of any given listening session, but desperately needed '80s pop/hard rock throwback, made from metalheads for metalheads and non-metalheads alike. Favorite track: Space Whisperer
The Police Synchronicity
The Rolling Stones Blue and Lonesome
The Rolling Stones pick up the blues/rock n' roll bible, open it up at a random page, start jamming at the first thing they read with the sheer conviction see-all-done-all veterans are known for, and get away with it, as usual.
The Tea Party Splendor Solis
The Tea Party Triptych
The Tea Party Seven Circles
The Vintage Caravan Voyage
This Icelandic power trio offers some legitimate vintage hard n' heavy rock on its sophomore album, and there's really no wonder as to why Nuclear Blast has signed the band. The three 19-year-old dudes have a bright future ahead of them, should they play their cards right. Stream: http://thevintagecaravan.bandcamp.com/album/voyage
Theory In Practice Colonizing The Sun
Thin Lizzy Johnny the Fox
Thorns Thorns vs Emperor (split w/ Emperor)
Three Seasons Grow
Swedes Three Seasons are a band for only four years, yet Grow is their third album already, in which the band continues to adopt the vintage/blues rock ethics with the expected attention and enthusiasm. The calling cardof Three Seasons lies in Sartez Faraj's vocals and the subtle (yet adventurous on occasion) arrangements. On another note, the production is old fashioned as expected, but some may think it borders into lo-fi as well, and not in a good way. Not a huge step forward with respect to previous releases, but not a regression either, the third Three Seasons album still delivers.
Threshold Clone
Thunder Laughing On Judgement Day
Tiamat Clouds
Tom Waits Closing Time
Tom Waits Nighthawks At The Diner
Tool 10,000 Days
Tourist Tonight
Fans of Burial and of good electronic music in general, will love this one...

First two tracks - http://www.earmilk.com/2013/02/08/tourist-i-have-no-fear/

Never Stop - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQMkvo1VNA0

Heartbeats - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8OKSoIt9xo
Trademark Fatal Blues
Trans-Siberian Orchestra Christmas Eve and Other Stories
Trans-Siberian Orchestra The Christmas Attic
Transistor Things You Miss When You Blink
Trapeze Trapeze
Trouble Unplugged
Turbonegro Scandinavian Leather
TV on the Radio Dear Science
Ugly Kid Joe America's Least Wanted
Ulver Blood Inside
Ulver Shadows of the Sun
Ulver Teachings In Silence
Ulver Silence Teaches You How to Sing EP
Ulver Silencing the Singing
Ulver 1993-2003: 1st Decade In The Machines
Undersmile A Sea Of Dead Snakes
Universe 217 Familiar Places
Unleashed Odalheim
Odalheim is a record of good replay value if anything else, as Unleashed combined their traditional Viking death/black metal with lead/rhythm guitar work which brings in mind Nevermore and albums such as Enemies Of Reality and Dead Heart In A Dead World.
Vangelis The City
Varathron Untrodden Corridors of Hades
Varathron return after a 5-year long absence and deliver a great album decorated with elements from pure heavy, black, doom and (some) goth metal, on par with the style of Greek black metal. The sound production is old fashioned but good overall, and hints back to the early '90s. The current line up seems capable of producing even better music in the future, both instrumentally and in terms of song writing. In here though, the arrangements could be more elaborate with respect to the first few and last few (less) or the middleground tracks (more).

Stream: http://agoniarecords.bandcamp.com/album/untrodden-corridors-of-hades
Vauxdvihl Siberian Church Recordings
Vaya Con Dios The Promise
Vektor Black Future
Vektor Outer Isolation
Vicious Rumors Vicious Rumors
Vicious Rumors Soldiers Of The Night
With Soldiers of the Night, Vicious Rumors begin their superb course as a US heavy/power metal outfit. That being said, the album is partially plagued by a handful of mediocre songs and a latent, but perceivable incompatibility between the guitar playing of virtuoso Vinnie Moore and band founder Geoff Thorpe. It's really no wonder that Moore left the band after this album so as to pursuit a solo career, and that Vicious Rumors recorded their first magnum opus Digital Dictator by being, above anything else, a tight grip of a band.
Vidunder Vidunder
Swedish vintage rockers Vidunder adopt a style that takes some distance from the heavy rock frenzy of outfits such as Graveyard, shedding more light on the rock/blues side of things; In this light, the Horisont debut album is a great reference. The album is not particularly memorable, yet it's solid enough to grant sporadic listens. Stream it on play.spotify.com.
Violator Chemical Assault
Virus (NO) The Agent That Shapes The Desert
Borrowing a song title from their debut album Carheart, "It's all gone weird" here... It seems that the band hasn't progressed at all with respect to its past work, although this assessment heavily depends on the listener's subjective whereabouts. Band's unique/trademark sound is here, however a certain confusion is floating in the air, as to where the band was heading with the new material... This album somewhat feels closer to their debut Carheart than to the The Black Flux album, taking a significant distance from the latter. Still, it's a tough nut to crack, as it can be characterized as anything between average and great...
Virus (NO) Oblivion Clock
Virus finalize/optimize their unfinished ideas from past recording/composing sessions and with the inclusion of rare material, they give out more of the(ir) quirky same, albeit with a minor twist.
Visitor (USA) Visitör
Voivod Katorz
Voivod Angel Rat
Voivod Negatron
Voivod Voivod
Voivod Rrroooaaarrr
Voivod War and Pain
Voivod Infini
Wardog Scorched Earth
When Drowning But Learning
Human subconscious made music... Don't search for logic here, only let yourself be drifted away from the cut n' paste music Lars Pedersen crafts...
Wino Adrift
Wolverine The Window Purpose
Wooden Shjips Wooden Shjips
Debut album from Wooden Shjips is a great match between psychedelic '60s and minimal noise rock experimentation...

Fans of early Porcupine Tree (Delerium era) and Boris will definitely love this.
Woodsman Woodsman
The third Woodsman album has some really trippy and fluent psychedelic/post rock at display, a perfect soundtrack for the crack of each new dawn or the "small" hours of every night...

Stream - http://woodsmanman.bandcamp.com/album/woodsman
Yngwie Malmsteen Rising Force
YOB Atma
Yob merely go through the(ir) motions on this one, however the final product is still worth it...

Edit: Bumping this from a 3 to a 3.5, I totally agree about this being a grower, a very slow one though...
Young Ejecta Dominae
This is high octane gas for power-greedy, dream pop engines.
Your Hand In Mine Your Hand In Mine
Yumi Zouma Yumi Zouma
Random work from dream pop acts such as this one works perfectly for me as intermission from my usual (metal) music rotation.

3.4 great
Aenaon Cendres Et Sang
If anything, Aenaon's debut is a great black metal album brimming with intensity. The attempted diversions from the genre - the blues rhythms, the piano phrases, the female operatic vocals and the saxophone lines - are certainly engaging, yet they are not thoroughly refined so as to give the album a truly distinct character.

album stream - http://possessionproductions.bandcamp.com/album/cedres-et-sang
Aeon Sable Hypaerion
How's Hypaerion is different from the previous album? Aeon Sable have abandoned the adventurous song writing found in Visionaers and fled to by-the-numbers gothic rock, even though the doom-metal-laden album opener and closer might trick everyone, otherwise. While the album is fairly attractive as a whole due to the "deep" sound production and the excellent vocals, the arrangements come as similar, making the selection of stand-out tracks difficult. Favourite track: Elysion. Stream: http://aeonsable.bandcamp.com/album/hypaerion-2016
Antipeewee Human Grill Party
Antipeewee - what a name! - are Germans, and yet they discard the thrash metal legacy of their homeland for US based crossover thrash. The singer's German pronunciation of English makes for an unprecedented attribute regarding the adopted style of music, whereas the album is fun as hell. Favourite song: Attack the Brewery. Stream: http://soundcloud.com/antipeewee/sets/human-grill-party
Arakara Shadow of Violence
What is an undisputed given for Arakara is that they know how to thrash with the expected intensity; not only that, their axemen are gun blazing with respect to the guitar leads which densely populate this EP. So where does Shadow of Violence comes a bit short? Well, Arakara aren't too keen on concealing their influences which include both East and West Coast thrash, with the vocalist delivering a die-hard Hetfield/Billy worship throughout. Favorite track: Shadow of Violence. Stream: http://arakaraband.bandcamp.com/album/shadow-of-violence
At Dusk Anhedonia
Judging by the content of Anhedonia, Ad Dusk are fully aware of the dynamics of "monotonous"/majestic "post"/black metal. Nothing really stays in memory except for the record's overall mood, which is enough to grant it a good replay value. On another note, the sound could be a bit more loud. Stream: http://atdusk.bandcamp.com/
Audrey Horne Pure Heavy
Audrey Horne have flooded their hard n' heavy rock with sunshine and optimism and the result is a fun and cheerful album, with good to great songs. Favorite cuts: "Holy Roller" and "Out of the City".
Blaakyum Line of Fear
On their sophomore album, Lebanese natives Blaakyum seemlessly/progressively blend thrash with oriental melodies and arrangements, and while the end result does not have the impact of relevant works from the region (Melechess and Orphaned Land come to mind, with all analogies accounted for), Line of Fear is certainly an album of merit, also due to its excellent sound. If only the vocals were not over the top all the time... The album is streaming at play.spotify.com.
Blind Guardian Battalions of Fear
I always (and erroneously) think that the first four Blind Guardian albums came out in the late '90s (where the Euro power metal scene was fully developed) and I'm always amazed every time I realize that the Germans invented a sound of their own during the late '80s and the first years of the '90s... While Battalions of Fear carries the inherent ills of a debut album, there are 3-4 tracks that show a band of a distinct character.
Daorson Daorson
This little EP is quite a fill in case someone's "running out" of raw black metal supplies. Stream/free download: http://daorson.bandcamp.com/
Decapitated Blood Mantra
Great album, I really like the crossover aesthetic by which Decapitated play extreme metal. The album lacks of truly memorable moments in terms of the actual music, but the thing that really stays in mind here and gives the album a solid replay value, is the previously mentioned crossover aesthetic, found for the most part in hardcore/thrash outfits.
Emblem (CAN) Emblem
US (old school) heavy/power metal has always been an underground affair at its prefecture of origin; What's more, the number of outfits left to guard their respective Hot Gates is constantly diminishing, either due to fan underappreciation, or because of age, so it's always a time to rejoice whenever new blood like Emblem from Canada, is transfused to the circuit. Emblem carries some shortcomings typically encountered in a debut album, the most important of all being the lack of songwriting diversity, however Canadians have the sound, an as yet underdevelopped tendency for more extreme forms of metal, and overall, the necessary drive that will take them to the next level/album. Favorite track: The Exorcist. Stream: https://emblem709.bandcamp.com/releases
Evergrey Glorious Collision
While the music is an undeniable 3.0/5, Englund's vocals and passion add a 0.4 to the cart. Hope they get their shit together in their next effort and reach the heights of The Inner Circle and the albums that came before it.
Evil Killer Lethal Assault
Evil Killer's tech heavy/thrash metal would sound a whole lot better, had their singer made a conscious effort in optimizing his work in terms of pitch and vibrato. The odd part is that he's probably not aware that's he is up to it (check the chorus on "High Speed"). In terms of arrangements, the band is excellent at its thrash-meets-Maiden, despite the members' young age. Stream: http://evilkiller.bandcamp.com/album/lethal-assault
Evocatus Mortem in Deos
Just when someone would think that the birth of new "'90s" tech power/thrash metal bands (think of Iced Earth or much much later peers like Greece's Desert Near the End) was an almost exclusive affair of that time, Evocatus from Australia come and drop their (currently) small stone in the seemingly calm waters. Firstly by means of the ultra-heavy sound production and secondly in terms of the arrangements, Aussies make a truly legitimate effort in sounding technical and fruitfully cerebral in places, yet it's difficult to pinpoint truly memorable moments. Rhythm guitars are the album's clue (along with the drumming), as their handler has gone the extra mile in mastering them, but unfortunately, the same does not entirely apply for the leads. The sole element that hints towards more extreme forms of metal are the merely adequate vocals. Band has potential! 3.3++. Stream: http://evocatus.bandcamp.com/album/mortem-in-deos-2
Gamma Ray Empire of the Undead
Gamma Ray seldom disappoint and this album is anything but... That being said, I'm digging the new Edguy album a tad more.
Gus G. Brand New Revolution
Gus G. pays a solid homage to his all time melodic rock/metal heroes with an album that flows like crystal clean spring water. Every track has a different singer, whereas the guitar shredding is ever present albeit a bit restrained. This music works better when played in live venues, along with friends and the spirits of preference, but domestic listening can also be rewarding.
Impellitteri Venom
Six years since their last affair, Impellitteri return(s) with yet another solid album of melodic metal. The rhythm section is tight, Rob Rock(s)!!!), whereas Chris Impellitteri is impressive as usual in his guitar shredding endeavors. Despite being entertaining, Venom sounds derivative with respect to previous Impellitteri albums, whereas the exact repetition of some ideas in several songs, and the compressed sound (the heavy-by-design guitars could sound way livelier and heavier), detract further merit from it.
Kamchatka Long Road Made Of Gold
Judging from the album cover alone, one may think that Kamchatka have unfittingly become hillbillies; however, given the not-so-obvious similarities of the Vikings with the first people that set foot on North America, the concept is not so weird. Moreover, the southern rock elements have been carefully slipstreamed in the Swedes' retro hard rock, even though one might have a hard time pinpointing stand-out tracks from the album. Stream: http://classicrock.teamrock.com/news/2015-05-20/kamchatka-turning-1973-into-2015
Kassad Faces Turn Away
Every new addition in the black metal circuit set by Thorns and Dodheimsgard in the late '90s is more than welcome, especially considering the scant quantitative yield of such bands in following years. In that respect, the one-man project of Kassad encompasses the style's ambience, intensity and (industrial) coldness, with a great margin for improvement in future releases. It's really no wonder the record's prospect lured independent label Hypnotic Dirge Records to commission a July 2017 re-release. Favorite tracks: Shame, Broken. Stream/"name your price" download: http://kassad.bandcamp.com/album/faces-turn-away
Lamb of God VII: Sturm und Drang
Lamb of God are licking the wounds that Blythe's non-trivial ordeal carved on them, with a new album after 3 years. While VII... puts its money where the mouth of the Richmond VA bunch is for quite some time now, it also showcases a stylistical stagnation, especially in view of fresher, but terribly obscure homologous 2015 releases.
Legion Of Nexus Legion Of Nexus
With merely a handful of outfits practising the art of power/doom metal, every new addition to the fold should be carefully examined. In that light, Brazilians Legion of Nexus are a solid, and accounting for the country of origin, a rather unexpected entry. However, their eponymous debut has convincingly enclosed all the core elements of this hybrid genre, namely the "nervous" rhythm section, and the ultra heavy guitars that pay their homage to the genre's greats (Memory Garden come in mind). Legion of Nexus loses some bits of merit due to the coarse grained vocals, which need more work, and the solid, but a bit undeveloped guitar leads. Favourite track: Turn of Grey. You can download the album for free at Metal Media Brazil: http://metalmedia.com.br/newspress_en/?p=10231
Level 10 Chapter One
Just for Allen's vocals, the rating average should be much higher, but as Anglo-Saxons say, different strokes for different folks... So on one side we have Allen and his exceptional vocal work and on the other, Matt Sinner and a band of musicians going through the motions of hard rock and heavy metal and their respective classic and modern intersections.
Magnus Pelander Time
Since long, Magnus Pelander has been known for his idiorrythmic disposition towards art, and - surprise surprise! - his debut solo album manages to get that across. Nominally,Time is "an acoustic album", with an atmosphere that ensues calmness and self-reflection. The instrumental backbone consists of an acoustic guitar, sporadically accompanied by violin, harmonica, the flute and minimal percussion; the album's peculiarity though, lies in Pelander's falsetto-and-an-acquired-taste vocals, which act as if they are rivalling the melodies upon whom they were supposed to tread.
Mastodon Emperor of Sand
Mastodon round up the edges of their innate deliberations, and wind up with an album that's as entertaining as it is lacking compared to its critically acclaimed predecessors. Favourite track: Show Yourself.
Megadeth Dystopia
Dystopia comes as unexpectedly decent in its homage to different, critically acclaimed periods of Megadeth, also due to the recruitment of really proficient associates around Dave Mustaine, especially in the second guitar. Better than all past Megadeth slumps, but inferior than their really essential stuff.
Missa Mortvm Et Lux Perpetua Luceat Eis...
One-man black metal projects tend to be more of a miss than a hit in terms of the actual music, however Missa Mortvm are definitely an exception. While the focus is solidly fixed on traditional black metal (with intermissions of melody), there are mere nuances of gothic, post metal and ritual music, whose further development could grant the album a distinct merit. On the other hand, the sound production could've been done more carefully (for example, the fluctuation of volume during the transition from "Caos Nocturno" to "Amissa Anima"). Favorite track: Caos Nocturno. Stream: http://missamortvm.bandcamp.com/
Red Spektor Red Spektor
Red Spektor pick up from where the EP ended, as they give in to the teachings of Jimi Hendrix, among a few other vintage/blues rock behemoths. The album sounds cool in its dedicated minimalism, as these Englishmen are particularly persistent in their adopted riffs and tempos per songs. What's more, the sound is on par with the above description, as it stresses down the already restrained stoner elements in favor of a more vintage tone. Favorite song: Before the Sunrise. Stream: http://red-spektor.bandcamp.com/album/red-spektor
Sacral Rage Deadly Bits of Iron Fragments
On their debut EP, Sacral Rage pay a great tribute to heavy/speed metal, as it was introduced to the world during the '80s. The awesome high pitched vocals and the semi-technical instrumental performance enclosed in Deadly Bits of Iron Fragments work in favor of the music, and the band needs to be circulated more around the old school heavy metal revival circuit.
Septicflesh Titan
Titan's biggest flaw is that it succeeds an album, in which everything that is Septicflesh was almost perfected. Leaving aside the increased complexity in song structures which does not impose a positive or negative effect overall, the album follows the same recipe used to make The Great Mass, yet it pales in comparison. The above being said and contrary to the overly negative impact of the singles posted prior to the album's release, Titan is an album of merit, but my fellow countrymen need to reshuffle the deck in albums to come.
Spital Summoning Evil
Spital come from Oulu, Finland, yet their death metal is totally "Stockholm, Sweden". The sound seems like it's been engineered at Sunlight Studios, the song structures are fairly elaborate, with greatly recurring, traditional "Swe" death and doom parts, while the overall package is easily up for occasional listens. Listen to this if you like bands like Grave, old Entombed, Asphyx, Vallenfyre etc. Stream/"name your price" download: http://spital.bandcamp.com/
The Dead-End Alley Band Odd Stories
Markedly better than its predecessor, Odd Stories has encapsulated different sides of '70s retro rock, namely its doom, psychedelic, boogie and blues ones. The sound comes as "ancient" and "haunted", whereas the minimal arrangements go from short songs ("The Nightmare Goes On") to extended, but essential psychedelic jams ("Lost Again"). On their end, vocals have been improved as well, albeit more work is needed with respect to the eradication of some falsettos and off-key slips. Stream: http://deabperu.bandcamp.com/album/odd-stories
Two Witches Goodevil
When I first checked Goodevil, I wasn't aware that Two Witches go all the way back to the early '90s. As far as electro/goth/post-punk goes, the album is tight, although it's not as memorable as the recent Beastmilk album, for example. Stream: http://gothicmusicrecords.bandcamp.com/album/two-witches-goodevil
Ulver Messe I.X-VI.X
Messe I.X-VI.X feels like an unconscious attempt of combining the tidal/orchestral vibes of Svid Negger, the ethereal texture of Shadows Of The Sun and the minimal affair of Lycanthropen Themes. The result is a great, but a definitely "lesser" offspring than its parents...
Universe 217 Ease
With the last full length album Never, Universe217 solidified their upward course, a course that was rewarded by acclaim outside the premises of Greece and a contract with Van Records, one of the most esteemed European independent labels. Their first release for the new label is the Ease EP in which the band leaves aside the electric feedback and treads on a more laid back and introvert road. A few months ago, Universe217 arranged a special release party where the EP was brought to life in its entirety, and reports spoke of a quite intimate experience. That's the merit and the shortcoming of this EP at the same time; Just like great movies truly live and breathe in the dark halls of a theater, the EP works perfectly during a live concert where the attention is focused exclusively on the band's visual and sonic arrangements. On another note, it's also fitting for those (more and more) rare occasions of the day, where the light is starting to grow dim, the everyday abstractions are absent, and the listener is left with his/her thoughts and a pair of good headphones. Stream: http://universe217.bandcamp.com/album/ease
Wardrum Messenger
Wardrum strive to establish themselves firmly within the old school heavy/power/progressive metal circuit and they are in a haste. Messenger is the third Wardrum album in three years and sees the band in further refining its many merits, namely the crisp sound production of bassist Kostas Scandalis, the excellent (almost tech-thrash at times) rhythm section of Stergios Kourou and Kostas Scandalis, the technical riffing and the keen sense in melody of guitar shredder Kostas Vretto, and last but not least, the passionate vocals of Yiannis Papadopoulos. However, the album is plagued by songs which seem to have been written overnight, and unfortunately I've caught myself skipping them quite often. With less songs (for example, tracks 1-5,8,9 and 11), the album would be granted a much better flow and a merit similar to the previous two Wardrum albums (especially its immediate predecessor).
Whatever End A Birth of Loss
Hellenes Whatever End are self-dubbed "progressive doom metal", a tag inadequate to fully describe what's at play in A Birth of Loss. Doom factor is restrained with respect to the progressive metal elements, the latter eagerly leaning towards the tech end of thrash. Despite being wet behind the ears, band knows how to transform its ideas into cohesive (albeit lengthy) arrangements, and the only downside here is the fundamental differences in style between the (good per se) vocals, and the actual music, as well as the sub-optimal integration of the former to the latter in the final mix. Favourite track: Triarchy. Stream:

3.3 great
Act of Defiance Birth and the Burial
If anything, Birth and the Burial is a solid heavy/thrash metal album, but it falls a bit short as a whole; The hard vocals are excellent, but the melodic ones need to become stronger and more colorful in future releases; the arrangements themselves are merely holding their own weight, whereas the production could be a bit "louder". On the other hand, Broderick's lead guitars are on fire, whereas the band's urge in making a great album, is keeping the latter (and the band) afloat. Favourite track: Throwback. Stream: http://www.metalblade.com/actofdefiance/
Good ambient/drone for personal meditation or whenever someone has to focus on a tedious task and needs an appropriate listen to ease his/her mind.
Battleroar Blood of Legends
On their 4th album, Battleroar give out some "by the numbers" but enjoyable epic metal, that works better when performed on a live stage. The vocals of Gerrit Mutz are certainly an acquired taste, whereas the enticing violin melodies of the album may bring in mind outfits such as Skyclad (or even My Dying Bride!), which is, of course, a good thing.
Binah A Triad of Plagues
As of late, it seems that certain extreme metal labels are out to sign the most interesting bands out there; England's Binah have an affinity for death metal done the Swedish way (track 2), but they try to put something of their own in the mix, with varied arrangements and atmospheric/transcendental lead guitar work. Not as good/intriguing as this year's Bolzer EP, but still worth a listen or two, at least.

tracks 1,3: http://darkdescentrecords.bandcamp.com/album/a-triad-of-plagues
track 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MuaGKvDodE8
Bloody Brotherhood Ritual of Blood
Solid old school death metal with grind and thrash elements, that pays its dues to the masters of the said genres. Stream: http://bloodybrotherhood.bandcamp.com/
Cage The Gods Favourite Sin
What we have here is some really well played US-radio-friendly hard rock. I would choose this band over Nickelback and their numerous clones on any given occasion. Fans of the genre should give it a listen, at least.
Corrosive (ESP) World of Lies (demo)
With their debut EP, Corrosive from Spain prove that they are an crossover thrash outfit to look upon. Band is technically skilled and has a good taste arrangements-wise. Stream/download: http://corrosive1.bandcamp.com
Cyaxares Whores Of Babylon
Metal bands consisting of one multi-instrumentalist are starting to become more and more relevant and the middle-eastern death metal project of Cyaxares (from Iraq) certainly fits the description. The sound is great, the arrangements of Mir Shamal Hama-faraj are as well balanced as his instrumental skills. The above said, the song are merely enjoyable, mostly due to the solid but unremarkable rhythm (less) and lead (more) guitar themes. If all go well and if more work is put on the guitars, the next album should be better. Favorite track: Hours. Stream: http://cyaxares.bandcamp.com/releases
Cynic Kindly Bent to Free Us
Cynic kindly bent to free themselves from the "obligation" of recording a "breakthrough" album, which feels like a "breakthrough" for the band per se, since fans expected Cynic to record a "breakthrough" album.
Demon Eye Leave The Light
Leave The Light finds Demon Eye feeling right at home, playing by-the-numbers '70s hard rock, the way Deep Purple and Black Sabbath did some decades back. While the album is certainly going through the genre's motions, the warmth of the material therein, grants that little extra excuse to revisit it every once in a while. Until the band decides to reveal more of its personality at its sophomore album, that is.
Dream Theater Octavarium
Edenian Forgotten Once
This band and EP took me back to the late '90s where male/female fronted gothic/doom metal was a serious trend. The female vocals are exceptional, the male ones are equally adequate, while the arrangements are solid but not too involved. Finally, the two covers on Xandria and Paradise Lost ("Eternal") material were more than decent.
Gouge Beyond Death
Norwegians Gouge deliver a tight pack of death/thrash metal that flows nicely as a whole, albeit it lacks any real surprises or standout tracks. Stream: http://hellsheadbangers.bandcamp.com/album/beyond-death
Grst Plague Seed
Plague Seed is a solid album of ferocious black metal, if anything else. Grst have managed to keep the intensity throughout its duration, whereas their attempt in incorporated some atmospheric elements, is solid, if somewhat underdeveloped.
Hamleypa Im Morgen von Einst
On their debut album, Germany's Hamleypa have captured the core traits of post-black metal with relative ease, yet they have additional way to travel as a band, in order to forge a truly distinct sound. Stream: http://hamleypa.bandcamp.com/album/im-morgen-von-einst
Hate Erebos
Erebos is the 5th album from the Polish death/black act, Hate. Unfortunately, this is some steps down with respect to their previous album Morphosis. While the latter was a raw death/black blast beat orgy with a fair amount of experimentation (industrial influences), Erebos is somehow watered down... First of all, it must be stated that these guys can shred, but I'm afraid that's not good enough. The solos don't work so well, the drum patterns are not so inspired and that holds for the riffs as well which go from classic metal, to tech-metal and then to death/black, making the record feel more like an inhomogeneous amalgama of ideas instead of an really cohesive work... Ah i must say that here they resemble A LOT to Behemoth, without having the quirky touch of the latter, though... Too bad as Morphosis was immense... Stream: http://listenable-records.bandcamp.com/album/erebos
Heat Labyrinth
Heat's retro hard rock is solid nonetheless, but when compared to other homologous albums, it follows the norm too eagerly. The bottom line; excellent music for live concerts, solid stuff for domestic usage. Let's hope that the band will pour more character in the next one. Favorite track: Labyrinth. Stream: http://heatberlin.bandcamp.com/album/labyrinth
Helevorn Compassion Forlorn
The third album from Spain's Helevorn contains some dependable (if anything else) gothic/doom/death metal, in the vein of bands such as Saturnus, Draconian and Slumber. Songs have easily engulfed the essential guidelines of the aforementioned genres, hence they are fairly satisfactory, however the elements that would make the album really memorable are rather absent. It's a good album, but it lies a few steps below the majority of similar and great albums out there.
Howling Giant Howling Giant
Considering the low budget conditions that gave birth to Howling Giant's self titled EP, the stoner/doom rock contained therein is pretty solid and entertaining. Stream: http://howlinggiant.bandcamp.com/album/howling-giant-ep
Ice Dragon Seeds From A Dying Garden
Ice Dragon deliver a mildly immersive psychedelic folk album that falls short in terms of really memorable moments. Still, it's worth a handful of listens.
Memoriam For the Fallen
Memoriam's disposition in keeping alive the legacy of Bolt Thrower and the best portion of their peers is undoubtedly commendable. However, the merit of For the Fallen is that of a standard '90s British death metal album, not far but well below the best moments of the veteran bands (Bolt Thrower, Benediction) its members come from. The above said, the material of this album is expected to sound better in live concerts.
Meshuggah The Violent Sleep of Reason
Meshuggah converge further regarding the relaxation process triggered with Koloss, with the new album coming as "lesser" compared to any anything that followed Contradictions Collapse and preceded Koloss. In part, its bare bones look and feel can be explained by the Swedes' decision to sound more organic by recording live, and tweaking the final outcome, sparingly. That said, it's unclear whether Fredrik Thordendal's abstaining from the song writing process (so as to focus on the next Special Defects album), had anything to do with how album turned out. Whatever the case may be and despite the absence of real highlights, The Violent Sleep of Reason transmits a tribal industrial vibe that's hard to overlook. Favorite tracks: Born In Dissonance, Nostrum and the self-titled
Moon Duo Occult Architecture Vol. 1
Moon Duo dig deeper into their gig with an album that will be appreciated more during those extra-hot summer days and nights were sloth plots to devour all drive for any physical activity. On another note, the album is a half-measure painkiller for any Wooden Shjips fan patiently waiting for a new release since 2013, mostly in terms of how Johnson is laying those space out guitar leads on top of his spouse's layers of synth/noise... Favourite track: The Death Set. Stream: http://moonduo.bandcamp.com/album/occult-architecture-vol-1
Morpheus Tales Secular Noir
Secular Noir is the Morpheus Tales' first full length effort in doing more than just a tribute to their influences with respect to the avant-garde/psychedelic end of black metal. Their ideas are all good and aplenty, the songs are fairly enjoyable, the flow of the album is far from optimal, the song writing is incomplete at places ("Event Horizon" ends long before it can be regarded as a proper song) and cohesion of the different - metal and non-metal - elements put together per song, tends to be lacking. The above said, Morpheus Tales remain a promising band and their next release is anticipated, as the Samples of Reality EP was quite great. Stream: http://morpheustales.bandcamp.com/album/secular-noir
Naudiz Wulfasa Kunja
The ferocity with which Naudiz have forged their black metal is undisputed, whereas it grants a good deal of the album's merit; What is certainly under dispute though, is the diversity when individual tracks are mutually compared; unfortunately, the mentioned metric is quickly diminished as the album heads towards its close, as merely a handful of riffs and rhythms are utilized therein. That said, it can also be inferred that Naudiz excel at sounding monolithic/old-school. Stream: http://ironboneheadproductions.bandcamp.com/album/naudiz-wulfasa-kunja
Nightrage The Puritan
It took 4 years for Nightrage to overcome their internal conflicts; As a power trio now (with the infusion of new blood), they give out some solid melodeath that's closer than ever to metalcore, be it due to the good vocal work of the new singer. Although there are no standout tracks, the band's hunger to re-emerge from the unwanted hiatus is readily perceivable, whereas the album's sound is excellent. Stream: http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/nightrage-entire-the-puritan-album-available-for-streaming/
Outcast (AUS) Outcast (demo)
The excellent, old fashioned cover of the demo EP perfectly sets the mood for the old school heavy metal that these Melbourne based Aussies endorse. Nothing new under the sun (in the vein of Slough Feg, Hellion, Iron Maiden with Di Anno and so on), but Outcast sound incredibly tight and passionate, hence the lack of originality can be largely disregarded.

"name your price" download: http://heavychainsrecords.bandcamp.com/album/outcast
Paradise Lost Medusa
The Plague Within was diverse, perhaps too diverse for its own good in the long run, which may explain the Yorkshire natives' decision to answer to the pun intended by the track "Beneath Broken Earth", and expand its early '90s death/doom throwback for the needs of a whole album. Medusa lives and breathes through the minimalism echoed by the pioneering death/doom metal outfits (old My Dying Bride EPs come to mind), whereas Mackintosh's deliberations with (now defunct) Vallenfyre have infiltrated Paradise Lost anno 2017, in terms of riffs and sound. Still, the bare bones approach, while it appears to work for the album as a whole, singles out the delegation of really strong moments.
Procession (USA-MI) Your Turn To Feel
More solid noise/shoegaze/post-punk rock, anyone? I was looking whether the Chilean/Swedish doom metal band by the same name had a Bandcamp page, and I stumbled upon this album/band by accident, a good accident as it turned out.

stream - http://procession.bandcamp.com/
Reaktion Blackmailed Existence
Spain's array of thrash metal bands may be relatively short, but its importance is ever growing. In that light, Reaktion's debut is surely a pledge for better material to come in future releases. The sound is awesome, the riffs are okay, but they could be more elaborate and better combined within songs. The standard rhythm section along with the clean vocals which lie below the relevant average and/or top perfomances, detract merit from a solid album overall. Give them a listen or "name your price" download the album, at http://reaktionmusic.bandcamp.com/album/blackmailed-existence
Reign of Fury Death Be Thy Shepherd
While not utterly engaging, Reign of Fury's heavy/thrash metal delivery has that little something that can make someone check the album every once in a while; Fairly elaborate arrangements, proper sound, great guitars (!), and melodic vocals that could take the band to the next level with more work. Stream: http://reignoffury.bandcamp.com/releases
Rhapsody of Fire Into The Legend
Eleventh album for the Italian stallions of symphonic metal, and one in which the pros and cons of the genre have an almost equal say in terms of merit; the arrangements are expertly set and implemented, offering moderate amounts of grandeur, yet the notion that everything's done "by the numbers", is readily evident. The orchestral parts, along with the vocals, are fairly elaborate, yet they leave little room for the rock instruments (with the possible exception of the guitar leads), even in terms of sound production.
Sanctorum Crystal Tears Of Silence
The '90s was a period during which tens of hundreds of demos came out from Hellenic metal bands, following the first wave of sparse, shitty for the most part, yet critically needed wave of Hellenic '80s metal albums and demos. And while the majority of those demos were buried by the dust of time for good reason, some of those endeavors can be safely deemed decent, not only in terms of the actual music, but also due to their genuine ability in "teleporting" the listener (especially the Greek native one) to an era in which to record, as well as release remotely decent metal in Greece, was nothing short of an athlos. In that spirit, Sanctorum have refurbished their 1994 demo, a tremendously decent effort in the adventurous (progressive, even) spectrum the melodic death/doom metal. Favorite track: Flight of the Dragons. Stream: http://sanctorumgrc.bandcamp.com/releases
Seirom And the Light Swallowed Everything
Seirom's sophomore effort is an ideal ambient soundtrack for meditation and introspection.
Sicada Requisition
New kids from New York on the prog thrash metal block; For the time being, Sicada are not up there with the genre's greats, but their current material sounds promising, as concrete song writing and well versed instrumental technicality are showcased. The new songs have good replay value; the track taken from their demo should have been completely omitted, as it spoils the overall flow. Favourite song: Sledge. Stream: http://sicada.bandcamp.com/album/requisition-ep
Slayer Repentless
There's no such thing as a bad Slayer album, so...
Terrorfront Terror Arise
This is only a three-track EP, but it's enough to show that the modern death/black metal of this band is notoworthy at least; The sound is excellent, the instrumentation is stiff (it could be a tad more diverse though, especially the rhythm guitars), whereas the overall atmosphere (set by the intro track) is hellish. Stream: http://terrorf.bandcamp.com/album/terror-arise
The Claypool Lennon Delirium Lime and Limpid Green
How is one supposed to make a judgement of an EP of covers to landmark '70s/progressive rock songs? Does the new adaptation reenacts the feel of the original? Does it bring something new to the table? Well, Claypool and Lennon partially succeed on the first requirement, whereas they remain (expectedly?) neutral on the other. "Astronomy Domine" is eloquently covered (although it pales in comparison to Voivod's take), the same goes for the take on "The Court Of The Crimson King". The above said, yours truly is not aware of the other two songs (shame on me, I guess!) but, in the light of the second requisite posited in this short blurb, the takes in this EP weren't overwhelming at all.
The Crimson Brigade Blood Battalion
In view of its fair merit, Blood Battalion is an album that deserves to be heard at least once. While the lyrics are war themed, England's The Crimson Brigade don't sound as yet another Bolt Thrower/Hail of Bullets wannabe. Rather, they try to secure a location between goth, death/black and doom metal. The atmospheres are eerie due to the ever present "early '90s" keyboards, while there are some interesting arrangements in thefirst half of the record. The second half is not as strong, as as the song writing wears off due to the abundance (13) of album tracks. Favorite track: As the Vtlava Runs red (Under the Bridge of Corpses). Stream: http://thecrimsonbrigade.bandcamp.com/album/blood-battalion
The Rough Boys Blood, Booze and Gasoline
On their third EP, The Rough Boys from Toronto, Canada balance nicely between metallized punk and heavy rock. This EP won't change the world of rock n' roll, but it's fun as hell.
The Sonic Dawn Perception
The Sonic Dawn's debut album has a huge sound, one that does not blindly succumb to the much encountered lofi/vintage behests of retro rock. Moreover, the band's instrumental intellect allows for seamless olden rock genres' crossover from song to song, and quantum shifts between different time signatures ("An Easy Heart to Break"). Bearing the aforementioned in mind, the only takeaway from Perception is its overall mesmerizing demeanor, as the arrangements can be hardly characterized as memorable. Certainly a band to be placed on the lookout! Stream: http://thesonicdawn.bandcamp.com/album/perception
Twinesuns The Leaving
While it is not as abstract/mindbending as the work of outfits such as Kreng or Black Swan, the guitar driven ambient/noise/drone of Twinesuns certainly has its moments (for example, the ethereal album closer "Die Drei Gesichter Der Furcht"). Moreover, the album is an ideal soundtrack for times of personal isolation from external stimulae.
Warfather Orchestrating The Apocalypse
The debut Warfather album has some solid death metal at display, there's no question about that. However it doesn't avoid going through the motions of the genre, despite Steve Tucker's awesome vocals and the really well played, atmospheric guitar leads here and there. The drumming is solid overall in its blast-beating duties, but from a point further, it becomes one-dimensional. For example, the drum fills during transitions could be much much better.

3.2 good
Absolutely Free Absolutely Free
Absolutely free are doing what their band name implies, bringing together psych with dream pop, post-rock and some noise. The album's nice, especially the first 2-3 songs, but it merely stays in mind as a good experiment. Favorite track: "Beneath The Air". Stream: http://atdusk.bandcamp.com/album/at-dusk
Absolutus Pugnare In Iis Quae Obtinere Non Possis
Absolutus come from Belgium and nominally, their sophomore album files under avant-garde black metal-meets-ambient/industrial/noise; While these terms sound appealing on paper and on first few listening sessions, the album sort of fails in making a lasting impression; The ambient/noise elements aren't put into context with black metal, whereas the arrangements are not particularly provocative either. Still, the album is worth the occasional listens. Stream: http://absolutus.bandcamp.com/album/pugnare-in-iis-quae-obtinere-non-possis
Acquaintance Satellite Stream
Satellite Stream is a solid piece of '80s dance pop, but it's a bit too "mainstream" for my liking.
Bloodbound War of Dragons
Great sympho-power for listening to at a venue with friends and spirits, but the bar is considerably lowered when it comes to domestic listens or the album's life span.
Brutal Unrest Trinitas
Brutal Unrest's old school death metal is solid, both in terms of arrangements and sound; that said, the album's replay value depends on the degree of fan-die-hardness regarding the said genre. Favourite song: Direktive 7. Stream: http://soundcloud.com/hammerheart/sets/brutal-inrest-trinitas
Conquer Divide Conquer Divide
Although Conquer Divide consciously reside with the genre's comfort zone in terms of general song structures, the all-female outfit does make a certain effort in differentiating itself from the genre's norms, by means of excellent clean vocals and a penchant for melody and atmosphere. The compressed sound of the album is yet another shortcoming.
Cypecore Take the Consequence
Cypecore's sophomore album balances promisingly but clumsingly between melodeath and industrial metal, without being able to make a lasting impression. That said, the sound and overall packaging are definitely professional level.
Electric Eye Different Sun
I wasn't aware of Electric Eye prior to this album, so I don't know how the debut sounded (I intend to find out at some point). The dominant impression after a handful of casual listens, is that Different Sun is fragilely split between drone/psych and less-psych-somewhat-pop-rock instances. The former are delight to delve to, while the latter... not so much. Favourite track(s): All Of This Has Happened Before And Will Happen Again, Heavy Steps On Desert Floor. Stream: http://electriceye.bandcamp.com/album/different-sun
Endsight A Vicious Circle
Fairly enjoyable, but pretty standard at the same time, the melodeath metalcore of Hellenes Endsight is a great invitation for revisiting At The Gates, Dark Tranquility (The Mind's I-era) and the best bands metalcore has to offer.
Endstille Kapitulation 2013
Endstille's 8th album is an extremely solid piece of second wave black metal, however it is devoid of any element that could give it a distinct character.
Exmortus Ride Forth
While Exmortus' approach over the so-called "neoclassical" end of thrash metal is inherently interesting, Ride Forth goes through the motions in terms of arrangements, whereas the sound production is not particularly helpful in the said respect. Favourite track: Let Us Roam.
Gatecreeper Gatecreeper
Gatecreeper live in Tucson, AZ yet their minds are set to Stockholm, Sweden, and the early '90s where the local death metal scene was just starting to take its toll. Nothing new under the sun, but the EP does a fine job at bringing on board the classic Entombed/Grave/Asphyx/Celtic Frost grooves.

stream/"name your price" download: http://gatecreeper.bandcamp.com/
Immorgon And Thus We Raid
Immorgon from Spain, have made quite a solid start regarding their take on melodic death/Viking metal. The arrangements are closely following the constants of the genre, the production is good, but the melodies expressed by the guitar leads, lack the spark that will make the songs more memorable. Stream: http://immorgon.bandcamp.com/album/and-thus-we-raid
Intronaut The Direction of Last Things
Slightly but definitely better than the previous album, Intronaut sound stale regarding their last three full-length releases. Sure, the jams are relaxing, the atmosphere is cool, but the songs kind of wind up in the same direction, with the exclusion of "Fast Worms" which, in turn, shamelessly hints at Valley of Smoke. On another, rather relevant note, the performance and texture of the clean vocals in here, would make Valley of Smoke infinitely better.
Kylie Minogue Kiss Me Once
Solid album, albeit it lacks the inventful song writing of some past Kylie Minogue material; truth be told though, who's expecting Kylie Minogue to front the genre anew? Favorite tracks: I Was Gonna Cancel, Sexcercise.
Long Night Sorrow Returns
Sorrow Returns is on par with all the core guidelines of goth rock, making for a solid listen; With the exception of "Winter (Lament)" though, which bears a scent of country music, there are no other real experimentations at hand. Favourite track: Sorrow Returns. Stream: http://longnight.bandcamp.com/album/sorrow-returns
Malka Spigel Gliding
Enjoyable and seamless, the ethereal shoegaze of Gliding comes and goes like a faint breeze.
Massacre Back from Beyond
There's some really solid early '90s death metal at display here (ideal for live concerts!). However, the abundance of tracks and the formulaic song structures deprive Back from Beyond of additional merit, in terms of domestic listening jams.
Miazma (SWE) Walk The Wire
Miazma are convincing with regard to their gothic rock/Sister of Mercy affiliations, yet they are rather short in making the extra mile like other genre runners do from time to time (Aeon Sable, for instance). That goes not only in terms of arrangements, but also in terms of sound. Singer is guilty of growing up with a poster of Andrew Eldritch stuck on his bedroom wall, and while he emulates his style with decency, additional drive as a result of a distinct character, is mostly absent. Nevertheless, people into bands like Sisters of Mercy, The Mission, Type O Negative etc, will find the album appropriate for their deliberations. Stream: http://miazmaswe.bandcamp.com/album/walk-the-wire
Midnight Snack The Times
Midnight Snack play this kind of subdued yet elaborate "soul" rock, that goes hand in hand with a glass of wine after a really long day. Good album. Stream: http://midnightsnackmusic.bandcamp.com/album/the-times
Mordatorium Obsessed with Death
This Chicago based band is so deeply into early '90s European death metal, they've been cutting their own music for four albums in a row, and although they won't reshape the genre's sound any time soon, they do a solid job at emulating it. That said, the technicalities of their sound is far from optimized - drums sound "buried", probably the band's intention all along - but the guitar tone of the riffs is one of the best encountered in the genre of late, to the point where that attribute alone contents for the album's replay value. Favorite track: Rampage. Stream: http://mordatorium.bandcamp.com/album/obsessed-with-death
Night Viper Exterminator
On their sophomore album, Night Viper are fairly convincing in their enactment of speed metal alloyed with early '80s/NWOBHM traits. The album flows nicely, albeit in the absence of standout stances. Stream: http://listenable-records.bandcamp.com/album/exterminator
Parthian Shot Parthian Shot
Enjoyable but standard, the eponymous EP from Parthian Shot is a solid effort in revisiting '90s prog rock/metal.
Rage Perfect Man
In search of their later, distinct identity, Rage give out a solid slab of speed/power metal, that falls short in terms of memorable songs. The exception that justifies the rule is "Don't Fear The Winter", a song that's survived in the band's live sets up to this day.
Ringworm Hammer of the Witch
This is a good metalcore album overall, I liked the band's angry mindset, in particular. That being said, the abundance of tracks (13 in total) and the band's stagnant confinement within the genre's confort zone, tend to dilute the album's merit.
Sarissa Sarissa
Scattered Extrospection
FYROM's Scattered possess a series of true attributes that are (more than) likely to get them to the next level in future releases, as long as temporal interims in between, are sufficiently narrowed. Band's musicianship is well above average, vocals range from high pitched cleans to guttural lows with fair success, however it's the arrangements that go through the motions for the most part. Stream/"name your price" download: http://scatteredband.bandcamp.com/releases
Shaarimoth Temple of the Adversarial Fire
In their second album, Norway's Shaarimoth strive for their own death/black metal version of the grand grimoire, but despite the instrumental prowess and the apparent wealth of influences and ideas, the cohesion of the arrangements and in turn, the album's replay value, are not on par with the band's level of ambition. While not bad in any case, the album sounds like the equivalent of a closet in which too much content is crammed, its majestic sound production included, which hosts extremity and melody in an unbalanced waltz. Stream: https://wtcproductions.bandcamp.com/album/temple-of-the-adversarial-fire
Skeletonwitch Serpents Unleashed
This is some solid and really well played melodic thrash/black metal, however the element of diversity is missing, I'm afraid. I would gladly pay a ticket to see this band live, but as far as domestic listening sessions go, Serpents Unleashed is just adequate.
Steel Panther Live From Lexxi's Mom's Garage
Steel Panther are goin' acoustic or what? Truth be told, the absense of "electricity" detracts significant momentum from the songs, however things remain on the (fairly) interesting side of the fence, due to the Satchel's shredding strings, Starr's warm vocals and the excellent/hilarious interaction between the band and the audience.
Tar Hag Elder Cloak
Solid stoner/sludge/doom metal that's perhaps too affiliated to the genres' core descriptions. Stream: http://tarhagofficial.bandcamp.com/releases
Tardive Dyskinesia Static Apathy in Fast Forward
Tempelheks Red Forest
Norway's Tempelheks (Norwegian for "the temple of the witch") and this EP are in the vein of vintage/heavy rock bands like Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats, however they do not sound as attractive as their much renowned peers. This is due to the arrangements which seem to lack some (much needed for the genre) nerve, and the vocals which could use some proofreading. Nevertheless, it's a solid piece of work for those who want to keep up with every vintage rock release and outfit out there.
The Doomsday Kingdom Never Machine
I love Candlemass, Leif Edling is a keynote figure for metal, the EP is expectedly solid, but recycling of the trademark, yet same ol', same ol' recipe herein, transmits a mere fraction of the grandeur evidenced in past releases.
The Linus Pauling Quartet Ampalanche
While the album title is innuendo to an excess of heaviness and arrangement intricacy, it's also an oxymoron with respect to its tone; Ampalanche is above all, a particularly relaxing psych pop/rock jam largely due to its sound, albeit the tempo is elevated in some songs. However, apart from the 49-minute, digital bonus album closer, a psych/drone odyssey which works -in a good way- towards delivering the listener into the hands of Morpheus, nothing else really stands out. Stream: http://thelinuspaulingquartet.bandcamp.com/album/ampalanche
The Silent Wedding Livin' Experiments
Hellenes The Silent Wedding give out some solid, yet standard heavy/power metal with discrete prog references. That being said, the great merit of Livin' Experiments is severely compromised by the mediocre sound production, which is unfortunate because the band has some potential at display.
The Skull For Those Which Are Asleep
Whenever the name "Trouble" came to mind, I always wondered what made them so special in the first place; Was it the trademark vocals of Eric Wagner, the excellent guitars of Franklin and Wartell or the floating - between hard rock and doom metal - rhythm section? The question is rhetorical up to a point, but judging from The Skull's debut For Those Which Are Asleep, I'm inclined to believe that the guitars gave Trouble the definite touch of distinction, a sector in which The Skull can do much much better in future releases. In particular, the band goes about a laid back heavy/doom metal sound, but the album simply lacks the songs that will give it a truly distinct character. That said, Billy Anderson's sound work is excellent.
Thenighttimeproject Thenighttimeproject
For all those who think that Night Is the New Day is the last, truly magnificent Katatonia album, Thenighttimeproject is an adequate companion, and one that pales in comparison. The atmospheres in Thenighttimeproject's debut are fairly captivating, the vocals are a treat, but more often than not, the arrangements could use a bit more meat; in addition, they feel familiar to the previously mentioned Katatonia album, which is both a good and a... not so good thing.
Trna Pattern Of Infinity
Russians Trna do not sound fully committed in building dynamics that would make their debut album more attractive, however Pattern of Infinity is still a solid instrumental post metal listen. Stream: http://trnaband.bandcamp.com/album/pattern-of-infinity
Verdict Denied State To End All Terror
Greek-Athenian tech thrashers have resurfaced after a prolonged period of inactivity. The bad news; the sound is off-putting, hinting at the formative times of Greek metal (post-90s to early 00s), whereas the vocals need more work in terms of expressiveness and spite. The good news; Verdict Denied substantiate in full their tech thrash dna, which stands as a pledge for even better things to come, if the aforementioned predicaments are fully addressed. Favourite track: Redemption Upon Him Lies with its well put eastern melodies and climaxes. Stream: http://verdictdenied.bandcamp.com/album/state-to-end-all-terror
Yersinia Pestis (DE) Portent
A short disclaimer at the official Bandcamp location of the band says Yersinia Pestis are now defunct and it's not so difficult to see why. Their second wave black metal is exactly what a fan of the genres expects it to be, yet it lacks the intrigue that would separate from the lot. Stream/free download: http://yersiniapestis1358.bandcamp.com/releases

3.1 good
Amnesis Welcome to Oblivion
Welcome to Oblivion is a solid slab of contemporary metal in terms of song writing and sound, yet Amnesis need to find the formula that will grant them entrance to the set of outfits with a truly distinct sound. Stream: http://amnesisusa.bandcamp.com/album/welcome-to-oblivion
Anti-Flag American Spring
Pop punk is hardly my cup of tea, however I must admit that I had a quite good time listening to this album. Stream: http://www.youtube.com/watch?t=15&v=bEUFixkLJ3o
Ashen Divinity Digital Sisyphus
Consisting of handful of seasoned musicians within the Croatian scene, Ashen Divinity deliver a solid slab of death/thrash metal, bearing discrete pockets of melody. Stream/"name your price" download: http://ashendivinity.bandcamp.com/album/digital-sisyphus
Borrowed Time Arcane Metal Arts
This compilation contains the 2010 demo Borrowed Time plus the two-song 2011 single Fog In The Valley. The coarse, almost epic metal of this band is treading steadily the trails of NWOBHM and bands such as Manilla Road, however the sound production detracts a significant amount of value from the whole package.

Brainstorm Scary Creatures
In various instances of their career, Germany's Brainstorm have excelled with respect to their US/Euro power/thrash metal hybrid, but unfortunately Scary Creatures isn't one of those instances. With the exception of a couple of really addictive (but derivative) songs ("We Are", "Where Angels Dream"), Brainstorm fall short in sounding fresh, even though the songs are well crafted (especially the choruses). Favourite song: Where Angels Dream.
Cauldron In Ruin
Haven't heard the previous Cauldron albums, so I am not aware how the band differentiates itself in this one. It seems, though, that a conscious effort was made in rounding the edges of late '70s/early '80s hard rocking metal, in favor of a more anthemic sound. While the effort is successful, all songs feel overly similar, especially in view of the "linear" rhythm section and the fitting, but rather unimpressive vocals. Favourite track: Come Not Here. Stream: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLINesDgSwsOqr80WdPGrt2lfPPi1rbMyN
Denner/Shermann Masters of Evil
You look at the band name and you think nothing could go wrong with this album; and yet, Masters of Evil has solid, but by-the-numbers arrangements (despite the admittedly well played guitar leads), and a surprisingly weak sound production! 0.3 points go to the exceptional vocal work.
Firewind Immortals
Judging the album per se, it can be safely said that Immortals reverberates every euro-power metal cliche ever devised. This holds despite the fact that in principle, the album's epic concept about the Spartans' fateful battle against Persia in Thermopylae, would spark a more inspired approach, songwriting-wise. Be that as it may, Immortals packs a more solid punch than its direct predecessor. Sound is somewhat grittier, with a good song-to-song flow, that's not affected by Firewind's chronic traveling through the motions.
Forest Field Onwards And Upwards
Onward And Upwards is supposed to be the (Dutch) project's second full length album, but their bandcamp page says otherwise. Anyway, what's a display here is an easy listening blend of laid back "prog" rock with ambient and folk elements. Half of the songs are instrumental and half with excellent male vocals, while the songs are solid yet subtle in their details, but not so memorable at the end of the day. If you want something good to jam in the background, give this a listen, at least.
Godslave Out of the Ashes
Solid, but standard thrash metal that works only in live concerts, while the vocals hint at (Swedish) death metal (Unleashed come to mind). I really like the sound of the rhythm guitars, though.

EP stream - http://godslave.bandcamp.com/album/out-of-the-ashes
Heirs of the Void Four Horsemen Of Doom
The blackened funeral doom metal of this German outfit is as close as it can get to the sound of silence. The arrangements are subtle and ritualistic, the pace is really slow (to the point where the utterly minimal rhythm section is barely perceivable), and overall, the band flirts with ambient music as well. It's a good album by all means, but it can work only as a background (and relaxing at certain cases) listen.
Helion Prime Helion Prime
Overall, Helion Prime give out some solid and well produced, modern heavy/power metal. The arrangements are fairly cohesive but little is done for them to become really interesting, whereas the female vocal lines, while having a good pitch, they follow closely the route set by the songs. With more elaborate vocals (up the alley of, say, Diana Serra from Aghora), album would score more points.
Hell Fire Metal Masses
Californians Hell Fire draw a solid orbit around the NWOBHM/early '80s speed/thrash metal epicenter, as they are really good players; yet their arrangements lack those seemingly insignificant details that will grant them the desired memorability. The sound production isn't helping much either, namely by burying the vocals for the benefit of every other instrument. Stream: http://hellfiremetal.bandcamp.com/album/metal-masses
Helloween My God-Given Right
Same ol' same ol from Helloween on their 15th album, albeit a couple of songs stand out due to killer choruses ("My God-given right","Crazy").
Intrinsic Intrinsic
Everybody's got to start somewhere and Intrinsic points at an '80s US/Euro metal outfit full of energy and eagerness to emerge from obscurity, that falls short in making a memorable impression. As they say however, if at first you don't succeed... Stream: http://www.metal-samples.com/search/label/Intrinsic
Oceanwake Sunless
First contact with the band here. While the album is anything but annoying, it sort of lacks those ideas and patents that would make it a truly memorable experience. The only clue evident throughout the four temporally prolongued cuts of the album, is the amalgamation of post and death/doom metal, to no great effect though. Stream: http://vicisolumrecords.bandcamp.com/album/sunless
Sanktuary Winter's Doom
Disregarding the fact that these Canadians are practically named after the Seattle power/thrash metal behemoths, Winter's Doom places them on the brink of possibly releasing an album of even greater merit in the future; The album sounds adequate overall (with the exception of vocals at places), but that something that will take things to the next level is missing; instrumentally, Sanktuary are slightly above average, whereas their attempts towards more convoluted song structures, deliver. Favourite track: Vermin Lord. Stream: http://sanktuarymetal.bandcamp.com/releases
Sargeist Feeding the Crawling Shadows
This is a good "second wave" black metal album overall, but most of the songs are crafted with the exact same formula, at the expense of the album's replay value. The raw sound further homogenizes the album, which is ideal for casual black metal listening sessions only.
Stone Deaf Stone Deaf
In their eponymous debut, Stone Deaf deliver some solid heavy rock which is split between the genre's default groove aesthetic, and some melodic/psych/doom elements that grant the album a bit more colour. Stream/"name your price" download: http://stone-deaf.bandcamp.com/releases
Strange Relations -Centrism
Strange Relations are fairly convincing in their approach to post-punk gloom; On the other hand, the well intended naivety infused in most of the arrangements, a result of the intersection of post-punk with "lighter" genres (i.e. indie rock), reveal a band that is on par with the idiorhythmic mindset of the teen aged audience it aims reaching. Favorite song: Underage. Stream: http://strangerelations.bandcamp.com/album/centrism
Suffocation …Of the Dark Light
On first listen, Suffocation appear to have their trademark style in place, and yet not a single song stands out of the lot, although the album easily rises above casual listens. This notion is further augmented by the sound production. Even though it ushers a good deal of the band's all too known intensity, and comes as much much better than the ever expanding cesspool of sound in the genre, it does not grant ...Of the Dark Light a character whatsoever. Having said the above, it is uncertain as to how the departure of two members from the Pinnacle of Bedlam lineup affected the merit of this album...
Thrinos Pass To The Other Side
Thrinos is a one-man black metal affair from Greece that carries some pros and almost all cons of the said scheme. The flaws of the DIY sound production are readily evident (for example, the drums and the vocals could sound better), whereas the vocals need more color. The above said, the guitars of the album are fantastic on both the slower/melancholic and the blast beat driven cuts of the album. Favourite track: Here There Is Only Death. Stream/free download: http://thrinos.bandcamp.com/album/pass-to-the-other-side
Trial (SWE) Motherless
Listening to Trial's third album, makes me wonder if it's worth it at the end of the day, for all music "journalists" out there, to draw prospective bands from obscurity, so that major labels can "handle" things from there onwards. To the utmost disenchantment of all who already regard Vessels as a heavy metal classic of the '10s, its adventurous/genre-hopping cult, has been largely decimated in favour of a straightforward, albeit bare bones classic metal route that pales in comparison. The only cut acting as the sole bearer of Vessels' ardent spirit, is the mystifying "Birth", which simply can't carry on its own a good album (overall) standing in the thick shadow of its predecessor.

3.0 good
1902 Motsi
77 Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us
On their fourth album, 77 from Spain pay their usual homage to AC/DC, the "problem" though, it's that the listener doesn't get to hear anything that comes from 77 alone. If you can't have enough of the Aussies, the album's worth checking out.
Acid Death Random's Manifest
Acid Death Eidolon
I wish I could like this more, but Acid Death's prog death/thrash is really going through the motions on Eidolon, being far less complex and imaginative than both its predecessors.

Still, 2-3 songs kind of stand out, with "Dying Alone" being the best song of the album by far, as it successfully combines tech death/thrash with black metal.

Before listening anything from this band, listen to Pieces Of Mankind, their best album.
Acrimony Hymns To The Stone
Agnosia Trace Decay
Altar of Oblivion Sinews of Anguish
In Sinews of Anguish, Altar of Oblivion present a pretty standard version of epic doom metal, with the vocals being the only element that stands out. The latter either they croon (imagine something between Messiah Marcolin and Scott Walker) or they resemble the voice of Ozzy Osbourne.
Anacrusis Suffering Hour
Anathema We're Here Because We're Here
Annihilator Waking the Fury
Antimatter Planetary Confinement
Arcturus Sideshow Symphonies
Arcturus My Angel
Armistice Armistice
As I Lay Dying Awakened
Asteroid Asteroid EP
Away Cities
Away from Voivod has crafted a sound collage from the various stops of the band at cities all over the world. Ideal for listening in the background - http://www.invisibleoranges.com/2013/07/album-stream-away-cities/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter
Beverly Careers
On their debut album, Beverly let out some kind of fuzzed out/dreamy shoegaze pop that's a little too subtle and under-elaborate to stay in memory. That doesn't mean though, that the album is not enjoyable, especially for this time of year...
Beyond Reclaim Hopes They Die
Turkish female multi-instrumentalist Pinar Akbay delivers a solid piece of depressive/blackened post metal, albeit not particularly memorable.
Biomechanical Cannibalised
Bjork Telegram
Black Swan Heaven
Black Swan are among the best choices for entertaining ambient drone (sic) and Heaven continues that way. However one cannot overlook that it goes through the motions with respect to the ground-breaking dynamics evidenced in the three previous albums.
Blot Mine Porphyrogenesis
In their debut, Swedish blacksters Blot Mine are capturing with ease the essential vibes of frosty hyper-fast black metal, which bares some melody but little breakthough altogether.

Ideal for background listening.
Bob Katsionis Rest in Keys
Bob Katsionis is admittedly an established guitar and keyboards shredder, however impeccable abilities in instrument handling don't always guarantee essential songwriting and Rest In Keys is a case in point.

Enjoyable as background music but that's that.
Boris With Michio Kurihara Cloud Chamber
Born of Osiris Tomorrow We Die Alive
The mixing of deathcore with electronic music is intriguing, but as the album progresses temporally, the whole thing becomes repetitive.
Brains (IE) Alchemy
Burial and Four Tet Moth/Wolf Club
Callisto Providence
Carnal Forge When All Else Fails
Carnal Forge warm themselves up with a solid 2-song single of modern death/thrash metal. Let's hope that this will lead to a new album.
Cephalic Carnage Misled by Certainty
Chimaira The Impossibility Of Reason
Chimaira The Infection
Concept of God Visions
Conception The Last Sunset
Cosm (USA-MN) Pluto
This EP consists of 18 minutes of mind numbing drone, in case someone's not entirely happy with the static from his/her radio...
Dark Nova The Dark Rhapsodies
David Gilmour About Face
Deadsoul Tribe The Dead Word
Death In Vegas Satan's Circus
Dead air for radios......
Deathrow Riders of Doom
Deathstruck Momentary Lapse of Sanity
Momentary Lapse of Sanity is merely a 2-song EP, still Deathstruck prove that they have mastered the default attributes of Swedish melodic death metal. Stream: http://deathstruck.bandcamp.com
Depeche Mode Exciter
Devil Magister Mundi Xum
Diamond Plate Pulse
Nominally, Pulse is a really solid heavy/thrash metal record, however little does it offer in terms of song writing freshness. That being said, songs "Still Dreaming" and "Rainmaker" kind of stand out from the rest of the lot. Also, the singer's clean vocals show more colour than his harsh ones.
Dido No Angel
Dodheimsgard Supervillain Outcast
Donovan Blanc Donovan Blanc
Subtle, soothing and overly relaxing, the folk/dream pop of Donovan Blanc album is ideal for times of personal isolation or as background to more intimate moments. That being said, the band may bring in mind Simon & Garfunkel.
Double Square The Hive
Draconian A Rose For The Apocalypse
Unfortunately, this is a 3-3.5 (tops). In their previous album, there were songs that stood out of the bunch, but in here..... It is very difficult to pinpoint one or two, despite the fact that the production is perfect for the genre Draconian file under... The arrangements are pretty formulaic, I'm afraid...
Dream Theater Dream Theater
Dream Theater is a definite improvement over the previous DT album, however, the band has done infinitely better in the past and in this album, they are not willing to try new things anymore. To give back what's due though, Dream Theater make a decent effort in recapturing the spirit of the 1993 album Awake. The guitars sound heavier, Rudess's keys are actually working their way in the background on some songs (of course he is not Kevin Moore at that.-) and there are a few mildly enjoyable songs to go back to sometime.
Dreamlongdead MadnessDeadGrave
Duff McKagan's Loaded Sick
Dying Fetus Descend Into Depravity
Eagle Eye Cherry Desireless
Eidolon Zero Hour
Eidolon's power/thrash blend in debut album Zero Hour, is leaning excessively towards melody at the expense of aggression. The latter element is further diluted due to the merely adequate vocals and an unexpected lack of nerve during song composing and instrument recording. Despite all these shortcomings, Zero Hour remains enjoyable (mostly because of the lead guitar work of Glen Drover), albeit with a rather questionable replay value.
Eldritch Gaia's Legacy
Enchant Break
Enola Gay Strange Encounter
Enslaved RIITIIR
Exodus Impact Is Imminent
Firewind Few Against Many
Flag Smasher Demo
Punk/hardcore from Germany with enough spite to get you sweaty and agitated in the mosh pit. Stream/"name your price" download: http://flagsmasher.bandcamp.com/releases
Gehenna Unravel
Gehenna's 7th album isn't half bad, but then again it's not terribly remarkable either. Sanrabb's vocals are more than adequate for what black metal stands for, but as the songs come and go, they go through the motions, motions that are finalized during the first few tracks. Regarding the actual music, the interplay of the hazy, doom-laden parts (included in the previous album WW too) with the traditional black metal blast beating sounds promising at first. On the long run though, the arrangements are not leading anywhere in particular, because of the repetition of the same musical themes and the same stale song writing approach. Repetitiveness is not a bad thing, especially in black metal, but its constituents in Unravel tend to work against it.
Ghost (SWE) Opus Eponymous
Gojira The Way of All Flesh
Golgatha Strength of the World
Gozu Locust Season
Grave Dominion VIII
This band just doesn't know how to make a bad album, however few tracks (Deathstorm, Bloodpath, 8th Dominion) stand out of the lot.
Grave Burial Ground
Hades $avior$elf
Halford Crucible
Havok Unnatural Selection
The instrumental ability of Havok cannot be questioned, their take on heavy/thrash is enjoyable, yet pretty standard and they need to work more on making their songs more interesting.
Headhunter (DEU) Rebirth
Heathendom The Symbolist
Hell (UK) Human Remains
Helloween Straight Out of Hell
High Spirits You Are Here
On their sophomore album, High Spirits exercise their '80s hard rocking metal according to the preachings of their debut album albeit with a latent punk twist, yet they fail to be as impressive as in before. Nevertheless, You Are Here is enjoyable, to say the least.
Human Parasites Pathetic Human Parasites
We are heading towards the dusk of 2014, yet this newly born (this December) Greek band comes to remind us how the local black metal scene sounded back in the early '90s. "Demo" production, primal "thrash metal" drum machine, vocals "in league with Satan", and guitars that sound like crickets on a Greek summer. Fans of early Thou Art Lord (Eosforos) and Rotting Christ (Non Serviam) should definitely give this a listen. Stream/"name your price" download: http://humanparasites.bandcamp.com/album/pathetic-human-parasites
Hypnos (SWE) The Mountain
Despite the fact that this is merely a two-song single (the rating is low only because the songs are clocking at 8 minutes in total), Sweden's Hypnos show remarkable skill at freshly reproducing that late '70s, old fashioned heavy rock, that was introduced by Judas Priest, Thin Lizzy and their peers. Really looking forward for their self-titled debut, which is expected to be out later this September.
Hypocrisy Into the Abyss
Iced Earth Iced Earth
Iced Earth Plagues of Babylon
Iced Earth don't know how to record a really bad album and Plagues of Babylon is no exception, still the new Iced Earth offering does not have enough potential to re-invite someone to listen to it repeatedly, with the exception of Stu Block's vocals, which are as engaging as always.
Illogicist Subjected
Indica (USA) Pavement
Intronaut Habitual Levitations
In their attempt to differentiate themselves from Valley of Smoke, Intronaut invest more on more subdued, "progressive rock" song structures and, with all analogies accounted for, end up sounding as pretentious as their late '70s counterparts. Also, the clean vocals continue to be as passable as those in the preceding album. A low flight for Intronaut, at least from where I'm standing.
Isis Oceanic: Remixes and Reinterpretations
Isis In the Absence of Truth
Isis Wavering Radiant
Ivanhoe Visions and Reality
Jag Panzer Dissident Alliance
Jamiroquai Emergency on Planet Earth
Jamiroquai Dynamite
Jedi Mind Tricks The Thief and the Fallen
"No Jesus, No Beast" is so addictive. Quiz: Where's the sample from??? I know the answer, address your guesses to my shoutbox.
Jethro Tull Too Old To Rock 'n' Roll: Too Young To Die!
Job for a Cowboy Gloom
Joe Satriani Unstoppable Momentum
This is a good Joe Satriani album, but nowhere near albums such as Flying In A Blue Dream.
Judas Priest Rocka Rolla
Judas Priest Redeemer of Souls
In their n-th album, Judas Priest go through the motions, motions that established them within the worldwide heavy metal elite many years ago. Going through the motions is not necessarily bad, especially for bands like Judas Priest (and Motorhead and so on), as long as the produced music sounds fresh. Unofortunately for this album, Judas Priest sound tired in all sectors but the exceptional, lightning-fast, trademark lead guitar work. Still, Redeemer Of Souls is a good album, but nowhere near the first choices of an individual in need of cutting-edge Judas Priest metal...
Judd Madden Float
Influenced from the blues, ambient, classical music and post rock, Judd Madden rounds up every edge and crafts ideal music for reading a book, for meditating and for easing the mind after a hard labor's day...

Float is a free download at http://juddmadden.bandcamp.com/album/float
Kamelot Poetry for the Poisoned
KEN mode Venerable
Khost Corrosive Shroud
In their sophomore effort, Khost shuffle the deck in terms of arrangements and all, but unfortunately, the final outcome pales in comparison to the previous album which sounds massively better, even though it was based on a simpler design recipe. Stream: http://khostband.bandcamp.com/album/corrosive-shroud
Killers Murder One
King Crimson Islands
KISS You Wanted the Best, You Got the Best!!
Kreator Endorama
Kylesa Spiral Shadow
Lack of Faith Aeternus Caligatio
Lacuna Coil Dark Adrenaline
Laxsid Svarot
Laxsid go about a complete change of style, as the black metal of Oriental Demolition has given way to the dark ambience of the Svarot EP. The shortness in length and the minimality of the arrangements, assess Svarot as nothing but a decent exercise in the previously mentioned style. Stream: http://laxsid.bandcamp.com/album/svarot
Loincloth Iron Balls of Steel
Madder Mortem Misty Sleep
This is where all begun for this great band.

Despite its numerous shortcomings - inconsistent vocals, "loose" arrangements, merely decent production - Misty Sleep demo contains in compressed form the unique goth metal character of the band, a character with a vast margin for improvement, as it was proven in albums that followed...
Manitou (NO) Entrance
Good-to-great prog rock/metal that somewhat resembles to Perfect Symmetry-era Fates Warning, without matching the latter in innovation and quality, though...

This obscure Norwegian band is where the great Oyvind Haegeland (Spiral Architect, Arcturus) made his debut vocal appearance.
Manraze I Surrender
This is some good radio-friendly rock, but not something terribly essential imho.
Megadeth Endgame
Melechesh The Epigenesis
Meshuggah Contradictions Collapse
Molasses Barge Jewels
Solid but subtly diverse stoner/doom rock/metal from this project of Pennsylvania based musicians, the most known of them being Brian Balich (ex-Penance, Argus). Jewels IV is a little stoner/doom metal diamond...
Mordred The Next Room
Moriturus Black Thoughts
Motorhead Sacrifice
Mottek Hypnose
Mottek's debut is a good treat of 80's punk rock, with the lyrics written in the band's native language (German). The biggest shortcoming in this lies in the mediocre sound production, but still the whole thing works well...
Mourn Mourn
Long before the recent advent of female fronted doom metal, Mourn released their eponymous album through Lee Dorrian's Rise Above Records. As expected, the album is solid, but its replay value decays after a few listens. This is due to the monolithic (but uninteresting from a point further) structure of the arrangements and the adequate, but rather flat female vocals.
My Dying Bride For Lies I Sire
I explain myself... It is average compared with earlier MDB stuff... Because there is no comparison with other bands...rAfter a lot of spins i conclude it's a solid 3/5
My Regime Dogmas
Completely derivative to the point where it sounds like a forgotten Slayer bootleg, Dogmas would make more sense, had yours truly not been aware of Spice's criminally underrated works and days with Kayser, namely the first two albums of heavy rock based, thrash metal. Come on Spice, you can do way better than that! Stream: http://scarletrecords.bandcamp.com/album/dogmas
Na Hearadh Teaglach
The folk/black metal of these English lads sounds promising, that's that though, because this is merely an EP/single. Stream: http://nahearadh.bandcamp.com/album/teaglach
Nazareth The Catch
Nightfall Astron Black and the Thirty Tyrants
No Trouble Looking for Trouble
Novembers Doom Aphotic
Obituary Inked in Blood
Album's not bad, it's just that the songs don't really lead anywhere and the digital sound production has sweeped the last fragments of that killer style the band attained during the first half of the '90s...
Opeth Pale Communion
There was a time when every new Opeth release was expected on my behalf with great anticipation. Unfortunately, from Ghost Reveries onwards, this anticipation is constantly fading. In principle, Opeth's fleeing to progressive rock was a logical decision, I remember enjoying Heritage quite a bit, but Pale Communion is as the album title implies... Pale... Apart from the first two songs which are fairly interesting, the rest of the album is totally unremarkable. The album is enjoyable as a whole, only when it's used as a background listen.
Orbital The Altogether
OZ Heavy Metal Heroes
Ozric Tentacles Erpsongs
Ozric Tentacles Technicians of the Sacred
Over the 30+ years of their existence, Ozric Tentacles have come up with a recipe that constantly keeps them away from making a really bad album. Technicians of the Sacred is no exception (especially for the summer time), but it is severely lacking when compared to previous OT albums (especially the '90s affairs); The (almost complete) dominance of the electronic/trippy elements over the prog rock ones, explains in full the absence of really thoughtful jams (in contrast to albums like Become The Other).
Paradise Lost Shades of God
Perception Of Reality The Loss
While it is more than adequate when experienced as a background listen, Perception of Reality's instrumental post/progressive metal fails to make a lasting impression, even though its making, gets across a well intended professionalism (sound production etc.). Stream/"name your price" download: http://perceptionofreality.bandcamp.com/album/the-loss
Perversity In the Garment of Lust
Debut of this brutal death metal outfit from Slovakia is pretty standard, except for the audible bass which brings Steve Di Giorgio in mind...
Pestilence Resurrection Macabre
Pink Floyd Atom Heart Mother
Poenari Rule of the Damned
Porcupine Tree The Incident
Predator Predator
Predator Born in Blood
Psychosis (USA-CA) Lifeforce
Psychotic Waltz Dark Millenium
Purged Form Of Release
Despite their good intentions, Australian metallers Purged fail to impress with their Nevermore driven metal, due to the colorless vocals and the lack of imagination in diversifying the song structures.

Nevertheless, Form Of Release is a decent album in its own right.
Puscifer Donkey Punch the Night
Queen Made in Heaven
Raise Hell Written in Blood
With the possible exception of their debut album, Raised Hell's black/thrash metal failed to draw more attention in the late '90s and rightfully so; 9 years after their last affair, the Swedes return with a good but "bare bones" album of melodic thrash, that carries inferior claims against better albums of the same kin. Stream it at Spotify.
Red Harvest Nomindsland
Relic 45 Relic 45
Riverside Anno Domini High Definition
Rotting Christ Sleep of the Angels
Rust Shoot Them Higher
Ruthless Steel Die in the Night
Die in the Night is merely decent, female fronted '80s metal in the vein of outfits such as Hellion and Chastain, mainly due to the potent, yet inconsistent female vocals and the grossly under-refined arrangements.
Sacrificial Forever Entangled
Sadist Lego
This is so weird... The band goes completely berzerk on this... Awkward, awkward...
Sadus Out for Blood
Sahg III
Samael Lux Mundi
Saturnus Paradise Belongs to You
Saxon Saxon
Scorpions Sting in the Tail
Sea of Dreams Dawn of Time
This is merely enjoyable power/prog metal, a rather abrupt mixture of cheesy and melodic power metal with keyboard driven atmospheric ambient textures, cheesy, abstract or (even) dismal on occasion.

Really strange record.
Sear Bliss Eternal Recurrence
Seer's Tear Precious
Serpent Venom Carnal Altar
Serpent's Knight Released from the Crypt
Shebrew Provenance
Sixx:A.M. 7
Sodom Sodom
Solefald Norron Livskunst
Souls at Zero Souls at Zero
Soundtrack (Film) Black Snake Moan
Soundtrack (Television) Songs in the Key of X
Spider Kickers The Northwest Emperor
Steve Vai Passion and Warfare
Steve Vai The Ultra Zone
Stratovarius Fright Night
Suffocation Souls to Deny
Suffocation Suffocation
Sweet Jets Breath of Heat
"Cold? There's no cold in Canada. Listen to our sophomore album and all is well" says this Canadian surf rock trio, while it addresses an excellent counter reference to Supertramp's Crisis? What Crisis? album cover. The actual music is exactly what's needed for laying on the sand of a beach with the eyes closed, under the sun of the Greek summer.
Tau Cross Tau Cross
A collaboration between members of more (Amebix, Voivod) and lesser known (Misery and War//Plague) heavy/punk rock/metal outfits, the self-titled Tau Cross album does keep the appearances; Unfortunately, that's all there is to it, as beyond a certain point, songs sound same-y... Stream: http://taucross.bandcamp.com/
The Devil The Devil
In their debut album, The Devil complement their minimal and pretty much standard take on gothic/doom metal with abstract samples of spoken word, instead of proper vocals. That being said, the album is a very relaxing and atmospheric listen as a whole, however it is also devoid of any dynamics that would keep it interesting in future listening sessions.

album stream: http://candlelightrecordsusa.bandcamp.com/album/the-devil
The Devil's Blood The Graveyard Shuffle
The Free Fall Band Elephants Never Forget
The Gates Of Slumber Hymns of Blood and Thunder
The Last Drive News From Nowhere
Solid garage rock from one of Greece's most renowned rock bands.

Streams for first two songs:

1. Let It Go - http://www.crackhitler.com/v3/11/the-last-drive-live/

2. Butterfly 69 - http://www.mixtape.gr/apoklistiko-stream-the-last-drive-butterfly-69/
The Shadow Theory Behind The Black Veil
Therion Lepaca Kliffoth
Tiamat Skeleton Skeletron
Torr Armageddon
Trial (SWE) The Primordial Temple
On their debut album, Trial from Sweden give out a solid slab of old school heavy metal, in the vein of peers like In Solitude and Portrait. While the band has done a decent job overall, the arrangements and the individual performances could have been more consistent. Stream: http://trialheavymetal.bandcamp.com/album/the-primordial-temple
Tricky Maxinquaye
Troubled Horse Bring My Horses Home
U.D.O. Decadent
By default, the Accept metal of U.D.O. cannot fall below certain quality standards and Decadent is no exception. Although it's a solid and pleasant listen, the album is devoid of pleasant surprises and in effect, standout tracks.
Uncle Acid and The Deadbeats The Night Creeper
The fourth Uncle Acid album reveals the band's migration towards a more monolithic and subtle approach compared to all previous affairs; however as a whole, The Night Creeper comes surprisingly short in establishing a lasting impression. Yeah, Uncle Acid's vocals are still a treat, the band convincingly files under vintage heavy rock, but the arrangements lack the dynamics, genuine ideas and/or the diversity that would make the songs memorable. The above said, the album may sound better live. You can check it out it at Spotify.
Various Artists (Metal) Into the Coven - A Tribute to King Diamond
Considering the unreachable artistry of King Diamond, both as a band and/or as a singer, the company of Greek musicians responsible for this tribute, made one of hell of a decent job. Trivia: congratulations are due to the singer in "Welcome Home" cover, for reaching King Diamond's unmatched performance in the original.
Velvet Viper Velvet Viper
Solid "'80s" metal with the excellent vocals of Jutta Weinhold, the female incarnation of Ronnie James Dio...
Veni Domine 23:59
Venom Cast in Stone
Vestige of Virtue Sophia
Nominally, Sophia is based on various aspects of gothic/doom metal. While the expected gloom is there, there are no standout sites in the arrangements, the vocals or the sound production. Trivia: Drums on the album are performed by Shaun Steels (ex-My Dying Bride) Stream: http://vestigeofvirtue.bandcamp.com/releases
Vildhjarta Masstaden
Virus (GBR) Pray for War
Although it is TOTALLY chaotic in nature, the thrashing of these guys is highly addictive... ROTTEN TO THE CORE...
Virus (NO) Investigator
While new material is always welcome from the Norwegians, the songs included herein do little in critically enriching Virus' critical output, and have nothing on their exclusion from the last(?) full-length album. Stream: http://virus.bandcamp.com/album/investigator
Volbeat Beyond Hell/Above Heaven
Voracious Souls No Tribute No Thanx Fuck Off
Despite the poor sound production, the heavy/thrash of these German guys is so m/!!!

Watchtower Energetic Disassembly
Windhand Grief's Infernal Flower
In terms of stoner/doom metal, Windhand were the underground talk of the town during the last two years and for good reason, as Soma stood out of the lot by a large margin. Grief's Infernal Flower is a little too "loose" and "relaxed" for its own good, but still adequate in view of the genre the band files under. Stream: http://windhandva.bandcamp.com/album/griefs-infernal-flower
Wolf The Black Flame
Wolverine Still
Wolverine Communication Lost
Yama Demo 2011
Yellow Devil Sauce Yellow Devil Sauce
On their debut, self-titled album, Yellow Devil Sauce from Athens, Greece have embraced that hard rock/grunge hybrid, introduced by Tool and Alice In Chains in the '90s. That being said, the album has been granted the all too familiar ills of a band treading the first steps of its career. All songs rely heavily on 1-2 riffs and rhythms, at the expense of diversity. As for the vocals, they show some promise, but they are also subject to inconsistency more often than not. Album is handy when in need of cool rock music heard in the background.
YIDHRa Hexed
YIDHRa's otherwise solid stoner/doom metal needs some spicing up in order to become more interesting.
YOB Elaborations Of Carbon
YOB Demo
YOB get their thing on the move......
YUREI Night Vision
On his second album under the YUREI moniker, Norwegian multi-instrumentalist Bjeima sacrificed the claustrophobic atmosphere of Working Class Demon in favor of a rather generic "prog" rock approach. I don't have anything against prog rock in principle, but overall, Night Vision feels formulaic.
Zaz Zaz
Zenith Prisoner
Pretty enjoyable while it lasts, but pretty forgettable soon afterwards, the hard rocking '80s metal of those German folks is a decent listen.
Zodiac A Hiding Place
This is a good rock album overall, but one can't help noticing the band's hit-or-miss attempt in going through more atmospheric passages, or the noticeable lack of power in the guitars, which makes things even more underwhelming.

2.9 good
Asfixia Tormenta
While Asfixia's song writing is decent, it still has a long way to go in order to yield truly memorable instances, the same applies for the sound engineering, whereas the coarse and over-the-top vocals don't help either. That said, there's something that kept me through the entire album, and that is Asfixia's incredible guitars, which like a diamond in the rough. Stream/"name your price" download: http://asfixiathrash.bandcamp.com/album/tormenta
Brain Dead (USA-CA) Disaster Ahead
Album has some decent thrash going on, but that's all about it, really. Stream: http://braindeadofficial.bandcamp.com/album/disaster-ahead
Decrepit Throne Traitor's Grave
Solid death/black metal which would be much better off with a stronger sound production. Stream: http://decrepitthrone.bandcamp.com/releases
Entrails (SWE) Obliteration
Two years after their previous album, Entrails return with a solid album of swedeath metal that goes through the genre's motions.
Masterplan PumpKings
Band's europower-meats-melodic-metal-meats-AOR is well placed as expected, but little is there to really catch the attention of ears seasoned in the said sound and/or its constituents.
Nervosa Victim of Yourself
Decent thrash metal album overall, but Nervosa should have proofread their material more, in terms of song writing.
Remoria War of the Colossus
Raw and primitive in terms of sound and arrangements, Remoria from Mexico emerge with a solid heavy/thrash outing. Stream/"name your price" download: http://remoriathrash.bandcamp.com/releases

2.8 good
Damian Wilson Built For Fighting
Contrary to what the album title and art may imply, Damian Wilson is blowing some steam from the elaborate prog metal conduct of his main band, and fully succumbs to radio rock. Album is very relaxing while it lasts, but little, if anything, will remain in memory afterwards.
Galactic Superlords Eagle
German vintage rock outfit Galactic Superlords have made a decent start with the Eagle EP, however there's much better retro rock out there. Stream/"name your place" download: http://galacticsuperlords.bandcamp.com/album/eagle-ep
HammerFall Built To Last
Whenever HammerFall moniker is brought on the table, I remember them being a hot name in the late '90s, and rightfully so, due to their first two albums, which were something fresh for Euro-power metal. Their current offering, while it adheres well to the core attributes of the genre, it does nothing so as to translate the band's style amid the 2nd decade of the 21st century, in contrast to the conduct of newer outfits like Eternity's End or Wardrum. Rating would've been lower, if it weren't for Cans' robust vocal delivery.
Odour of Death Odour of Death
Odour of Death make a solid start from themselves with this EP, yet they have a long way ahead of them in terms of forging a distinct style, music/sound-wise. Stream at will: http://odourofdeath.bandcamp.com/album/odour-of-death
Snailking Storm
I wish I could have liked it more, but the album makes it difficult for me. While the music is not the best (but definitely not the worst) doom/sludge metal out there, the sound production detracts serious merit from the Snailking's effort. For instance, the sound of the snare drum is barely perceived throughout the album. Stream: http://snailking.bandcamp.com/album/storm
Sypsis Hypnosis
Hypnosis signifies a decent start for this hellenic tech thrash metal outfit, the instrumental performance is tight, yet the vocals, as well as the sound production, could be more elaborate.
Toxic Waltz Decades Of Pain
This German metal company of men has chosen one of the best thrash metal songs to name their band, so the question is: is Decades of Pain nearly as good? The blunt truth is that the band must try harder in order to become as a good as some of its peers and veterans of the genre. Sure, their guitarist is a riff master, the band as a whole has a decent level of musicianship and song writing ability, but for now Toxic Waltz seem to lack a distinct identity; influences range from heavy/power to thrash metal, but they don't end up yielding truly remarkable music. Band needs to proofread its output with austerity, because there's a certain potential at display. Stream: http://toxicwaltzofficial.bandcamp.com

2.7 average
Aphrodite (SWE) Aphrodite
This EP of '80s rock/metal would be a lot more enjoyable, if the vocals sounded much better.
Desert Colossus Desert colossus
For an outfit that's self proclaimed as "stoner rock", Dutch outfit Desert Colossus strays from the norm, as some proto-punk and rock n' roll roll along. That being said, the realisation of the said initiative is merely decent in terms of vocals, arrangements and sound production. Favourite track: Burn Your Friends. Stream/"name your price" download: http://desertcolossus.bandcamp.com/
Jotunheim Towards Vigrior's Destiny
Second Jotunheim EP includes some decent, but not truly remarkable "viking" black metal arrangements/production-wise, however there are some cool riffs to be found here. Stream/free download: http://jotunheimblackmetal.bandcamp.com/album/towards-vigriors-destiny
Mist (SI) Demo 2013
Slovenia rocks and so does this all-female outfit with two songs of pretty decent but rather generic doom (more)/stoner (less) metal.
Nanochrist Freedom Through Extinction
Industrial metal made to work as a casual listen only. Favorite track: Prosecutrix. Stream: http://nanochrist.bandcamp.com/album/freedom-through-extinction
Poverty's No Crime Spiral of Fear
The sole attribute that keeps this album from being downright flat, is its superb sound and album cover art. In terms of music, what's on offer could be briefly termed as Adult Oriented '90s Progressive Metal, as all of the genre's distinct elements, merely exist as worn out/lifeless copies of the originals. That's really unfortunate, as back in the late '90s/early '00s, these Germans had issued some really good albums, although they were/are nowhere near homeland peers like Sieges Even or Soul Cages, even.
Sacred Oath Twelve Bells
While Twelve Bells echoes the all too known and cherished nuances of US power metal as well as the band's good musicianship, it unfortunately comes as "cheap" as not a single music passage is engraved in memory, upon the close of each listen. This cheapness is blatantly evident in the written-overnight-over-the-top-and-aberrantly-all-over-the-place vocals. Stream: http://sacredoath.bandcamp.com/album/twelve-bells
Thor Metal Avenger
Thor sound like they are satirizing every cliche about "epic metal"; truth is however, that they don't. In a nutshell, here's what Metal Avenger has in store; Standard arrangements - AC/DC meets early Judas Priest - support vocals soaked in falsettos, singing overly simplistic - and quite often hilarious - lyrics. The aforementioned said, the album safely files under the quote "average albums that are worth listening".
Warrant Louder Harder Faster
It could've been better, it could've been worse, at the end of the day it's neither of the above, but it's a fun glam rock listen when played in the background.

2.6 average
Beastmaker Lusus Naturae
Beastmaker love their Sabbath doom metal and they are pretty decent at what they do, but their love for the said sound is so (snow)blind, that they keep using almost the same vocal lines/riffs/drum beats over and over and over, making the distinction of each song, cumbersome.
Last Command Last Command
Last Command are a three-year-old band, yet their self-titled LP pictures them going through their musical infancy. Nominally, Last Command is a thrash metal band, but the urge to adopt different directions (mainly from more extreme metal genres) makes the album sound jaded. Moreover, some good riffs and ideas cannot compensate for the standard arrangements and the uneven vocals. Stream: http://lastcommandthrash.bandcamp.com/releases

2.5 average
Accuser Agitation
American Hell The Great Dying
For the time being American Hell seem to go through metalcore's motions.
Blood Revolt Indoctrine
Bullet For My Valentine Fever
Caustic (CH) Malicious
Cenobite The Black
Cerebral Effusion Idolatry Of the Unethical
Judging from this album, it's more than obvious that Cerebral Effusion are worshipping early era Cannibal Corpse and similar acts. However, they have forgotten to put some of their own character into the songs, which lack any kind of variation... If you have listened to one song, you have listened to the whole album.
Circle II Circle Consequence Of Power
Cryostatic Dream Boundaries
If Boundaries shows one thing is that the musicians behind Cryostatic Dream haven't really given much thought about what they wanted to say with their debut album, albeit it is an instrumental one. Both of them are good with their instruments, yes, but for the time being, they are far from composing really interesting tracks. The instrument warm-up exercises for prog metal musicians, present in Boundaries, don't pass as complete songs anymore, the '90s are long gone.
Danzig Black Laden Crown
This could be good at least, but unfortunately, it isn't. Some rhetorical queries; could it be that the gloomy sound does not fully support the music or conceal the readily perceivable deficiencies of the album? Could it be that Danzig's voice, despite its enhanced low-end pitch with age, is also "tired" most of the time or is it the blatant laziness/blandness of most arrangements? It kills me to write this, but Danzig anno 2017 sound like a vintage, yet worn out Camaro running on gas fumes. Favorite songs: Devil on Hwy 9 kind of stands out...
Death In Vegas Dead Elvis
Dee Snider We Are the Ones
If it weren't for the acoustic rendition of "We're Not Gonna Take It" half way through the album, We Are the ones could be seen with more empathy; here's the thing though, with the exception of the self-titled cut, and "Head Like a Hole", an instant hit for the dance floors worldwide (the assessment does not come in spite), the mentioned classic is sadly the highlight in terms of vocal performance, with closer "So What" merely being a secondary affair. What's more troubling, Twisted Sister's calling card of a song, is situated amidst Snider's half-hearted struggle to sound relevant in modern times.
Drakar Let Draka / The Flight of the Dragon
Despite the fact that the guitars and drums sound stellar in some songs, the inconsistency in terms of sound production, song writing, and performance makes this Czech band's debut sound as merely decent...
Dream Theater A Dramatic Turn of Events
Adult oriented "progressive" rock from the once pioneering act of Dream Theater...

Ideal for background music...
Eldritch Blackenday
Emmure Speaker of the Dead
Epidemic (GR) Industrial
Grave Digger Healed By Metal
Sadly, Grave Digger's 17th album is the definition of not-good-but-not bad, whereas Boltendahl's vocals are almost completely "gone". Those not aware how huge this band once was, do yourself a favor and devour their '90s albums (plus their sparse highlights thereafter).
Iron Maiden Virtual XI
Knut Wonder
Maplerun Restless
Megadeth The World Needs a Hero
Megadeth Risk
Metallica Reload
Metallica Load
Monster Magnet Mastermind
Morbid Angel Illud Divinum Insanus
Need The Wisdom Machine
Nevermore The Obsidian Conspiracy
Only "And the Maiden Spoke" kind of stands out of the general mediocrity of this record...
Omen Escape to Nowhere
Opeth Sorceress
With Sorceress, Opeth are currently, three albums in their so-called "prog rock" period, but I still fail to understand why they are dubbed as such. Lest we forget, Opeth played their best prog rock in the '90s(!!!), with their '00s releases carrying the momentum of that decade, but for some time now, the Swedes have sadly demoted themselves to the "casual listen" category... Album stream: http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/features/opeth-sorceress-album-stream-a7336241.html
Party Vibez Legends Of Gnarlia
The crossover thrash of this Australian bunch is decent but falls short on the fun part that this genre requisites.

On their next effort they must try really hard in order to be on the same level of entertainment with bands such as Municipal Waste for instance.

You can listen to the whole album in the following location:

Roxette Good Karma
I didn't know these guys were still around. This is a pleasant pop album, but not anywhere near Roxette's '90s highlights.
Sacred Reich Independent
Sarin House of Leaves
Decent debut EP, but the band needs to make its sludge/doom metal much more interesting in the future.
Savage Messiah Hands of Fate
Last (and only) personally checked instance of this band was Plague of Conscience in which these Englishmen were fairly interesting, while exerting the power/thrash practice. Judging only from the reviews of the follow-up album, The Fateful Dark elaborated further up the same alley, which makes the complete turn in style herein, all the more unexpected. Utter musical makeover is not a bad thing per se, as long as the music is worth it, which is marginally the case here. Savage Garden have blatantly adopted a more commercial "arena" metal/rock, shedding almost all their traits developped in the past. The sole irony here is the much improved vocal delivery with respect to previous releases (Plague of Conscience).
Savior of the Week Part​-​Time Heroes
Judging from the satirizing band name, the lyrics and the interplay of punk with hard rock, this would make for an interesting listen, but imho, it lacks the spark to make it as such. Stream: http://savioroftheweek.bandcamp.com/releases
Silent Voices Reveal the Change
This is a decent '90s progressive rock/metal album, however there's not much in it that will grant it with a good replay value.
Slammer Nightmare Scenario
Sleaford Mods English Tapas
While it's more than obvious (and commendable) that Sleaford Mods are having a blast here, it might not be the case for everyone else.
Species Legion
Steve Harris British Lion
The Dead-End Alley Band Whispers Of The Night
Peru's The Dead-End Alley Band got themselves started with a decent blues/rock album that, unlike its successor, falls short in terms of character and substance. Stream: http://deabperu.bandcamp.com/album/whispers-of-the-night
The Haunted Unseen
Threshold (FR) Within The Expanse
Vicious Rumors Something's Burning
Virgin Steele Nocturnes of Hellfire & Damnation
Music is decent and all, however Defeis' vocals are beyond triteness.
Wolverine Fervent Dream
Youth (USA-OR) June

2.4 average
Morbid Fog Daemones
I don't know what's the case with the previous two albums, but Daemons lacks the punch that made early '90s Hellenic black metal a worldwide metal commodity. Stream: http://morbidfogofficial.bandcamp.com/album/daemones
Poder Vivo Poder Vivo
Poder Vivo may sound merely decent for fans of melodic power metal, but totally inadequate for everyone else. Stream/"name your price" download: http://podervivo.bandcamp.com/album/poder-vivo
We Came As Romans We Came as Romans
There's much better metalcore out there right now (stop reading this and search for the Conquer Divide and Counterparts albums, and the new New World Disorder EP).

2.3 average
Butcher Babies Lilith
Album sounds like it was recorded overnight by a band that can't (?) or won?t (?) run the extra mile in terms of arrangements, sound, content etc.
Carla Bruni French Touch
This is marginally adequate even for elevator/restaurant/waiting room music standards... Except for the fact that Bruni is French, it's difficult to grasp any other "French Touch" in the covers of this compilation, which consists of bare bones arrangements and Bruni's humming that barely passes for acceptable vocal performance.
Decibel Enigma
The sophomore Decibel album comes as the the natural continuation of the debut and unfortunately, that doesn't say much, as Decibel need a lot of work so as to produce better music in the future. Nominally, the band stays focused on the hypnotic/drone doom rhythms, but there's nothing here that could grant the album repeated hearings.
Mirada A War Without Words
The band address itself as "nu-metal" but all that's in store herein is a total lack of direction in terms of arrangements, combined with merely decent instrumental performance and poorly produced sound. Stream: https://miradanc.bandcamp.com/album/a-war-without-words-3
Tysondog Cry Havoc
NWOBHM heroes Tysondog return after 19 years with a new album, and while it's commendable that they strived for a more modern metal sound, it's also unfortunate that the whole LP comes flat on every sector (sound production, arrangements etc.). Sometimes, it's best for old school to remain as such...
Wayfaerer In The Name Of Emptiness
While guitar work and overall arrangements are decent, the poorly sounding drum machine ruins whatever prospects this album had in the first place... Stream: http://wayfaerermetal.bandcamp.com/

2.2 poor
Blackend Horizon Hivernale... Und Der Rest Ist Nur Schatten
I'm more than certain that the guy responsible for this band put a lot of work into this album, the atmospheric black metal included herein is somewhat decent, however the sound is seriously flawed, in the sense that one has to crank up the volume in order to merely listen to what's going on. Stream: http://blackendhorizon.bandcamp.com/album/hivernale-und-der-rest-ist-nur-schatten
Decibel Malice
According to the short press release note giving away Malice at the one-man band's bandcamp page, "this album delivers a crushing blow from start to finish". However, what's really offered in Decibel's debut album is the exact same hypnotic drum pattern from start to finish, with subtle and totally predictable transitions, and solid but all too generic riffing. Still, the album kind of becomes more involved during the two last songs. The almost-spoken goth (?) vocals are kind of interesting, the same applies for the guttural ones too. Overall, the album's more drone-y than doom/sludge-y, but without the inherent perks of all mentioned genres.
Refuge Thrash Patient Zero
Band sounds decent, but someone forgot to crank up the volume before recording the whole thing. Stream: http://refugethrash.bandcamp.com/album/patient-zero

2.1 poor
Kormeth Despond
I have nothing against lo-fi black metal and minimal playing, but most of the time, the final outcome is poor, even for lo-fi black metal standards. Stream/free download: https://kormeth.bandcamp.com/album/despond

2.0 poor
Anal Arcade The Temple Of Madness
It's albums like this that give grindcore a bad name; avoid this at no cost. Stream: http://ecuadorpornogrinders.bandcamp.com/album/the-temple-of-madness
B-Thong Skinned
If the vocals weren't so HORRIBLE (!!!), this would be a cool (as in 3/5) Pantera/Prong related record...
Dead Nexus Death's Arrival
Nominally, Dead Nexus file under the "thrash/death metal" tag, but the mentioned genres are a mere technicality, as their debut album is a complete mess in terms of arrangements and production. Stream: http://deadnexus.bandcamp.com/album/deaths-arrival
Hoodie Allen All American
In Flames Siren Charms
One hell of a mess of an album, it feels like it was written overnight. The sound production is top notch, but the content lacks of character and cohesion. Instead of being a well structured mosaic of the styles adopted herein - metalcore, modern metal, emo, goth etc - the album is merely an amorphous pulp of the above. If I was to reference a really good album in a similar vein, my pick would be the recent Through Our Darkest Days album from Mercenary.
Manxome Foe Osmium
New groove/thrash metal releases always get my attention, so I bothered to check this one. While the band's full of good intentions, the final outcome is too weak (especially in terms of sound) to stand on its own in today's highly competitive metal scene. Stream: http://manxomefoe.bandcamp.com/album/osmium
Metallica St. Anger
Nickelback Dark Horse
Paris Hilton Paris
Slamophiliac Aphelion
Slightly better than the previous album, that doesn't say much though. Stream: http://slamophiliac.bandcamp.com/album/aphelion

1.5 very poor
Abandoned by Light Life O' Despicable Life
Some good black metal riffs here and there, but the album is a complete mess in terms of arrangements...
Ankou Awaits Oberour Ar Maro
It's been ages since I've listened to an (black metal) album this poor... There are some decent riffs here and there, but there's not one decent song at display, plus the same song "structure" is adopted throughout an album that stands as perfect example of the term "complete mess"...

Emmure Eternal Enemies
While I can cope with metalcore beat-downs per se, the vocals/lyrics are beyond awful....
Legionnaire (DE) Legionnaire
Every effort to record a piece of music is nominally commendable, but this German outfit lies some light years away from being characterized as "merely decent". Stream: http://legionnairemmxiv.bandcamp.com/
MetaL BrotherS Thunders - Demo
New Kids on the Block No More Games - The Remix Album
Slamophiliac Slam Obsessed
There is so much better brutal death metal out there... Avoid this album at all costs!


1.0 awful
Blind Illusion Demon Master
This is Blind Illusion shitting on their legacy.

I can't believe that this record is a product of the band that recorded the underground prog-thrash classic The Sane Asylum...

This is hilarious even for 70's psychedelic prog rock's standards, as this is what the band (?) tries to play here.......

Soaked In Semen Infatuated With Stink
"Albums" like this give grind a bad name. On another note, I probably shouldn't have bothered adding this here, let alone rating it. DON'T stream: http://soakedinsemen.bandcamp.com/album/infatuated-with-stink
The Great Kat Worship Me or Die!

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