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Threshold Releases ‘Unforgiven’ Music Video
October 30th, 2014 at 8:10am

“Unforgiven”is the new video from British progressive metallers THRESHOLD. The song is taken from the band’s latest album, “For The Journey”, which came out on September 22 via Nuclear Blast. The follow-up to 2012’s “March Of Progress” was produced at Thin Ice Studios in England by THRESHOLD members Karl Groom (guitars) and Richard West (keyboards) and was mastered by Mika Jussila at Finnvox in Finland.

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Devil You Know Releases ‘It’s Over’ Music Video
October 30th, 2014 at 8:07am

“It’s Over” isthe new video from DEVIL YOU KNOW — the creative union of Howard Jones (ex-KILLSWITCH ENGAGE), Francesco Artusato (ALL SHALL PERISH) and John Sankey (DEVOLVED). The clip was directed by Ramon Boutviseth, who has previously worked with TRIVIUM, NONPOINT, DARKEST HOUR, INCUBUS and ALL THAT REMAINS, among others. The track is taken from DEVIL YOU KNOW‘s debut album, “The Beauty Of Destruction”, which sold around 6,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 45 on The Billboard 200 chart.

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New Heavy Metal Album Reviews: Week of October 28, 2014
October 29th, 2014 at 8:17am

The ratings are on a 5 star scale.

Annihilated - 'XIII Steps To Ruination' - Unique Leader Records

Annihilated – ‘XII Steps To Ruination’. Unique Leader Records

Annihilated – ‘XIII Steps To Ruination’ (Unique Leader)

Genre: Brutal Death Metal
The Los Angeles based trio Annihilatedare a new band made up of veteran musicians: vocalist/guitarist Eric Matranga (ex-Grotesque), bassist Eric Cohen (Flesh Consumed) and drummer Scott Fuller (Abysmal Dawn).

XIII Steps To Ruination is an intense dose of brutal death metal with dense arrangements and guttural vocals. In this genre, lack of variety can be a problem, but Annihilated periodically ease up to let the songs breathe, add groovy parts or insert samples. It’s a battering ram of riffage and blastbeats that’s crushing, but also memorable.

Rating: 3.5
(Chad Bowar)

Astral Doors – ‘Notes from the Shadows’ - Metalville Records

Astral Doors – ‘Notes from the Shadows’. Metalville Records

Astral Doors – ‘Notes from the Shadows’ (Metalville)

Genre: Heavy Metal/Power Metal
Led by the empowering pipes of Civil War and Wuthering Heights frontman Nils Patrik Johansson, Swedish heavy metal band Astral Doors have returned withNotes from the Shadows, the band’s seventh full-length release and a return to prominence that many fans had been long hoping for since 2006’s Astralism.

Backed by a huge production, Joachim Nordlund’s guitar riffs hit like bricks and Johansson’s vocals, honed from the Ronnie James Dio camp of singing, uplift tracks like “Die Alone” or the anthemic “In the Name of Rock.” It’s straightforward, butt-kicking heavy metal with hooks and energy to spare.

Rating: 3.5
(Evan Mugford)

Beyond Creation – ‘Earthborn Evolution’ - Season Of Mist

Beyond Creation – ‘Earthborn Evolution’. Season Of Mist

Beyond Creation – ‘Earthborn Evolution’ (Season of Mist)

Genre: Progressive//Technical Death Metal
Three years removed from one of 2011’s most technical and highly debated albums in The Aura, Montreal-based progressive death metal band Beyond Creation have returned with Earthborn Evolution, yet another foray into musical acrobatics that succeeds in widening the eyes, raising a pulse, and making your favorite artists look downright pedestrian at their instruments.

Feeling so much more like progressive death than its technical variant, Beyond Creation have once again placed themselves atop the zenith of virtuoso musicians, standing arms akimbo with the likes of Obscura, Gorod, Spawn of Possession, and, say, Ouroboros. While the skills on display are seemingly peerless, Beyond Creation’s song-writing has become even more refined. Earthborn Evolution is a breathless and uniquely satisfying standout effort.

Rating: 4.5
(Evan Mugford)

Black Map - '...And We Explode' - Minus Head Records

Black Map – ‘…And We Explode’. Minus Head Records

Black Map – ‘…And We Explode’ (Minus Head)

Genre: Hard Rock/Heavy Metal
…And We Explode is the full-length debut from San Francisco’s Black Map, whose lineup includes vocalist/bassist Ben Flanagan (Trophy Fire), guitarist Mark Engles (Dredg) and drummer Chris Robyn (Far).

The songs are mainly straight-ahead hard rock with a few stoner metal riffs and some progressive moments that help add a little variety. Flanagan sometimes sings in a very smooth style that has a ’90s alt-rock vibe, but also adds a grungy edge when needed. The musicianship of all three members is good, but drummer Robyn gives the album’s strongest performance.

Rating: 3
(Chad Bowar)

Black Veil Brides - 'Black Veil Brides IV' - Lava/Universal Records

Black Veil Brides – ‘Black Veil Brides IV’. Lava/Universal Records

Black Veil Brides – ‘Black Veil Brides IV’ (Lava/Universal)

Genre: Hard Rock/Heavy Metal
For their fourth album, Black Veil Bridesbrought aboard producer Bob Rock. That’s appropriate, because Rock has produced Motley Crue, who are one of the ’80s glam bands that BVB were inspired by.

Their look may be taken from that era, butBlack Veil Brides IV is mostly modern hard rock with heavy riffs and big melodies. The singalong choruses are tailor made for arenas, as are the numerous guitar solos. There are also the requisite power ballads like “Walk Away.”  Hard rock bands these days can be hard to tell apart, but Black Veil Brides have developed a strong, identifiable brand along with a loyal fan base, and this album will satisfy that fan base.

Rating: 3.5
(Chad Bowar)

Deserted Fear – ‘Kingdom of Worms’ - FDA Rekotz Records

Deserted Fear – ‘Kingdom of Worms’. FDA Rekotz Records

Deserted Fear – ‘Kingdom of Worms’ (F.D.A. Rekotz)

Genre: Death Metal
Death metal quartet Deserted Fear may be from Germany, but they sure as heck sound like they’re from Denmark or the Netherlands on their second full-length album Kingdom of Worms. Plodding kick drums, a crunched-over guitar tone, and a militant pace carry this album into the warzone, even if the trenches are getting a little cramped.

Mixed and mastered by Dan Swanö, the band opt for a Swedish meets old-school U.S. death metal vibe and end up delivering something eerily similar to killer acts like Illdisposed, Ferocity, or Hail of Bullets. It’s a heavy and head-banging time, but it also moseys along, seeming all too content to dole out a parade of Paul Baayens riffs.

Rating: 3
(Evan Mugford)

Generation of Vipers – 'Coffin Wisdom' - Translation Loss Records

Generation of Vipers – ‘Coffin Wisdom’. Translation Loss Records

Generation of Vipers – ‘Coffin Wisdom’ (Translation Loss)

Genre: Progressive Sludge Metal
Tennessee trio Generation of Vipers are tilling some fertile ground on their newest effort Coffin Wisdom. What Josh Holt (guitar/vocals), B.J. Graves (drums) and Travis Kammeyer unearth as they churn through a varied 38 minutes is hard to pin down.

Punishing sludge and deceptive noise collide with shades of AmRep. Muscularity and groove find their place as they lay down bruising riffs through open spaces, making every note count. “You Deserve This” breaks out the strings and gets quite downtrodden and Neurosian. “Haunting” is just that. It’s quite a dynamic album and maybe it’s because I’m Canadian but there’s similarities to be heard with KEN Mode and Bison B.C.

Rating: 4
(Matt Hinch)

Giant Squid – 'Minoans' - Translation Loss Recordings

Giant Squid – ‘Minoans’. Translation Loss Recordings

Giant Squid – ‘Minoans’ (Translation Loss)

Genre: Progressive Doom Metal
Minoans is the first Giant Squid full-length since 2009’s The Ichthyologist and is three years removed from the progressive doom group’s Cenotes EP. Anticipation has been high and the quintet does not fail to deliver up to expectations.

As expected, Minoans is grand in scale and scope. The focus of the concept album moves to the Mediterranean and is lyrically beholden to the Bronze Age Greek owing much to mastermind Aaron Gregory. Andy Southard’s keys and the cello of Jackie Perez Gratz (both also contribute vocals) supplement the orchestration giving the music a stark magnificence. Minoans mixes gracefulness and thunderous doom, mirroring the sea’s duality of beauty and danger. It’s lush and flowing with a foreboding essence and majestic melodies making it their best effort to date.

Rating: 4
(Matt Hinch)

Hideous Divinity – 'Cobra Verde' - Unique Leader Records

Hideous Divinity – ‘Cobra Verde’. Unique Leader Records

Hideous Divinity – ‘Cobra Verde’ (Unique Leader)

Genre: Technical Death Metal
Cobra Verde is the second full-length from Italian technical death metal hordeHideous Divinity. It’s a concept album based on the Werner Herzog film of the same name and includes a cover of “The Last and Only Son” by Ripping Corpse.

Coming from a former member of Hour of Penance it’s no surprise this is uncompromisingly brutal and mind-boggingly technical. But it achieves its aims without coming off as too self-indulgent. As such, the razor-sharp execution and pulverizing bpm is incorporated with graspable death metal concepts making it actually quite enjoyable. As exhilarating as the ceaseless battering can be, it does feel a little one-dimensional. However, in the absence of senseless wankery, 43 minutes of neck-breaking brutality does the trick.

Rating: 3.5
(Matt Hinch)

Horrified - 'Descent Into Putridity' - Memento Mori

Horrified – ‘Descent Into Putridity’. Memento Mori

Horrified – ‘Descent Into Putridity’ (Memento Mori)

Genre: Death Metal
Horrified are a young British band, but the influences on their debut album Descent Into Putridity are decidedly from the old school. Their sound draws from numerous classic death metal bands including Autopsy, Pestilence, Dismember and others.

It’s a raw sounding album, with the band changing up tempos from crushing mid-tempo grooves to galloping, frenzied riffs. They slow things way down on the title track before resuming warp speed. Daniel Alderson’s throat-shredding vocals are energetic throughout as Horrified tip their caps to the past while trying to forge their own identity.

Rating: 3

Exodus Releases ‘Blood In, Blood Out’ Music Video
October 28th, 2014 at 8:20am

The Bay Area thrash titans from Exodus are celebrating the “Blood In, Blood Out” album’s Top 40 Billboard debut with the release of a brand new music video for the title track.

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