Album Review: High Priests – “Spinning”

high priests - spinning

Hi.  Do you like noise rock?  Sure, we all do…but it’s so hard to find time in today’s get-up-and-go lifestyle to find that healthy blend of dissonance and melody, you know?  That why I always turn to Chicago, and to the noise boys of High Priests, who in debut Spinning have crafted a solid rocking package of tunes that hit a level of rattle and hum while paying homage and staying firmly in the pocket of the noise their home turf have produced.   Continue reading

Receiving the Evcharist: Between the Buried and Me and Johnnie Walker

Receiving the Evcharist

Receiving the Evcharist is our weekly feature where we pair choice albums with our favorite libations.  Drink from the cup of heresy.  This week’s offering: Between the Buried and Me’s Automata I and Johnny Walker’s Double Black Blended Scotch Whisky. Continue reading

Album Review: Rivers of Nihil – “Where Owls Know My Name”

Rivers of Nihil - Where Owls Know My Name

There are few better things in life than when a band you write off as just not being in your wheelhouse surprises the hell out of you.  On their first two releases Rivers of Nihil crafted technical if slightly detached death metal.  Everything rang true and sounded great, and nothing stuck out.  With Where Owls Know My Name the band rips its sound wide open, laying bare exposed nerve endings that mesh with a sense of exploration to craft my favorite death metal release so far this year.   Continue reading

Album Review: The Crown – “Cobra Speed Venom”

the crown - cobra speed venom

There’s something to be said for craftsmanship.  If all the pieces fit together snugly and the whole performs as easy as you expect it to, what’s not to like?  Almost a decade into their second life The Crown have their brand of Swedish death/thrash nailed down like a fine table, and Cobra Speed Venom, while offering nothing new in the way of innovation, is a reliable and sturdy entry in the band’s discography, offering plenty of chugging and that distinct guitar crunch that can only come from the lands of Entombed, Carnage, and In Flames.  Continue reading

Album Review: Judas Priest – “Firepower”

Judas Priest - Firepower

There’s a reason everyone, including the Washington Post, are getting a word in concerning Firepower, the 18th opus from Judas Priest.  Forget the fact that few bands have sustained their vitality over 40+ years like with so few missteps¹: even fewer bands can boast of the visual impact they’ve had on a genre.  For so many people Judas Priest by their very presence defined metal.  Taking their cues from the likes of peers Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin and injecting a lethal dose of razor sharp riffs and that iconic scream, Priest crafted a singular sound that could encompass blues, prog, glam and straight up thrash without ever losing an iota of identity,  there’s simply nothing left to prove.  And yet Firepower proves to be the best album the band have released in over 25 years, filled with everything the band have dipped their hands into since “Rocka Rolla” graced our ears back in ’74.   Continue reading