Lunar Mantra – Genesis

This is a bleak, ominous black metal concoction by a band who seem to have an unusually strong sense of cohesion and identity at such a young stage in their career. A three-piece from Glasgow, Scotland, this is their very first release. Opening with haunting chanting, eerie percussion, the stage is set for a putrid

Trivium – ‘Silence in the Snow’

Trivium have long been a pretty controversial band in the metal scene for a variety of reasons, ranging from their image to their early metalcore sound. Yet one could never accuse Trivium of playing it safe: on every consecutive album they’ve taken very different directions, dabbling in metalcore, thrash metal, progressive metal, heavy metal, and

Cruciamentum – Charnel Passages

Cruciamentum are a UK-based death metal act who’ve been around the UK metal scene for a good while now, forming back in 2008 and sharing band-members with a number of bands over their lifespan, including Grave Miasma, Deströyer 666, Crom Dubh, and Sarpanitum. Despite this, their last release was the ‘Engulfed in Desolation’ EP back

Lorna Shore – Psalms

Psalms is the debut full-length album from New Jersey-based blackened deathcore band Lorna Shore. But this ain’t your grand-dad’s deathcore as Lorna Shore are at the forefront of fresh-faced new bands aiming to push the boundaries of what deathcore can sound like, and restore some credibility to a much-maligned genre; massive tech-death riffs, brutal slams,

Abominor – Opus Decay

Abominor are a black metal band from Reykjavík, Iceland. Formed back in 2008, this is their first release since their 2010 demo, and it left quite an impression on me. Iceland is having something of a black metal renaissance at the moment, with groups like Svartidauði, Sinmara (formerly Chao), and Misþyrming making huge waves across

Scarab – Serpents of the Nile

I do love a bit of Egyptian-themed death metal. This is Scarab’s second-full length album following 2010’s ’Blinding the Masses’, their sound is what you might  get if Italy’s Hour of Penance had the same Egyptian/middle-eastern influences as technical death metal heavyweights Nile, or perhaps a slightly slower, more nuanced Demigod-era Behemoth. While this is

Leviathan – Scar Sighted

Leviathan is the one-man black metal project of the controversial California-based multi-instrumentalist, tattooist Jef Whitehead, a.k.a. ‘Wrest’. Wrest made a name for himself with Leviathan’s early music which channelled the depressive suicidal black metal spirit better than almost any of his contemporaries, and 2003’s ‘The Tenth Sub-Level of Suicide’ remains a classic within that subgenre.

Ingested – The Architect of Extinction

The Architect of Extinction is utterly destructive. This fourth full-length album from the Mancunian brutal death metal crew Ingested manages to strike that fine balance between punishing heaviness, ferocious technicality, and still staying fresh and interesting. Albums in this genre often suffer from monotony, but this album is pretty much all killer, no filler, setting

DIR EN GREY – ARCHE

DIR EN GREY are a band whose past seems to haunt them. They formed in 1997 in Osaka, Japan as a visual kei band playing a sort of gothic-themed type of rock music. Visual Kei is “a movement among Japanese musicians, that is characterized by the use of varying levels of make-up, elaborate hair styles