Category Archives: Album Reviews

Our unbiased and comprehensive album reviews. We focus more on talking about an album for what it is. We highlight the good points, note the bad, and let you decide for yourself. However, if you really want to see our score look to our “quick hits” list on the right side of our main page and hover your icon over the album’s thumbnail. There, you will see our score based on 1-5. The higher, the better.

Roundtable Review: Art Far Away – Verisimilitude & The Second Estate


Verisimilitude & The Second Estate

“And at the end of fear, oblivion. The heart stops beating, as blood fills up your body. Your broken back is gently healing from the soft pavement. The fingers that were once embedded deeply in the concrete are now moving freely.”

Release Date:  March 8th 2014, self-released

Songs:  12

Genre:  Progressive death metal

Location:  Gothenburg, Sweden

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Album Review: Black Label Society – Catacombs of the Black Vatican


blacklabelcatacombscover.102307As any fan of a sludgy, southern, bluesy style of metal, the impending release of a Black Label Society album comes with a certain level of anticipation…and expectation.  Catacombs of the Black Vatican is the latest in a long line of studio albums, EPs, live, and compilation albums.  Despite being busy with Ozzy for many years, Zakk Wylde has managed to carve his own path to success with guitar in hand.  It took me a while to appreciate the southern vibe from any band, but several years ago when Order of the Black was released, it opened the door to a genre I feel filled a void in my heavy metal heart.  Since then, my collection of sludgy stuff increased exponentially thanks to that particular album.  In kind of a twist of fate, my non-metal wife liked it too.  Who would have thought the genre I was avoiding would be one she “kind of” liked.

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Roundtable Review: Nexilva – Eschatologies


nexilva-coverLabel: Ghost

Release Date:  April 7 2014

Songs:  14

Genre:  Progressive death metal

Studio Albums: The Trials Of Mankind 2010, Defile The Flesh Of Innocence EP 2011

Location:  Sunderland, UK

For fans of: Born Of Osiris, Fleshgod Apocalypse, The Faceless, Fallujah, Carnifex

 

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Album Review: Earth Diver by Cormorant


a2140768649_2When take a gander at some of the reasons some of my favorite bands have remained my favorite bands over the course of decades one reason always seems to take the forefront.  The ability to grow and evolve, not afraid to make dramatic changes, while remaining true to a core sound or style that initial made me a super-fan in the first place.  These kind of bands give me something to look forward from release to release as I know I am going to get lots of new alleyways and avenues to explore.  They keep their career fresh and I get a variety of albums to listen to (unlike just more or less needing a single album that sums up the bands catalog) all with different experiences contained within.

Enter Cormorant.  A couple of years ago when they released their sophomore album Dwellings my ears picked up on the unique blend of blackened prog rock tinged with hints of classic metal and instantly became a super-fan of the Bay Area band.  As par for the course, since I liked their current record so much I ponied up the cash for the back catalog expecting more of the same that was on Dwellings.  To my delight, their debut album Metazoa was a much different beast than the record I was spinning ad nauseam, yet was still very much a Cormorant affair.  They just needed a third record to prove they were the real deal and not just a fluke and they were pretty much guaranteed a spot in my coveted Realm of Upper Echelon Bands.  I was very much hoping this would happen.  Then tragedy struck; Arthur Von Nagal, the bands front man, lyricist, vocalist, bassist, and major songwriter contribute made the decision to leave the band to pursue in a career of video game development (FYI, that really freaking awesome Walking Dead game that won all them awards, he was on that team.  Go play games made by TellTale, their all great!).

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Roundtable Review: Sonus Mortis – Propaganda Dream Sequence


00_DigipakPhotosLabel:  Unsigned

Release Date:  1 Mar 2014

Songs:   11

Length:  63 Minutes

Genre:  Doom/Symphonic/Atmospheric

Studio Albums:   This is their Debut

Location:  Dublin, Ireland

WarpRider – Unsigned?  What shame!  I like the more melodic approach to this death/doom/atmospheric metal 1-piece act.  Often, these individual subgenres can be extreme, but under the right circumstances, together can be beautiful deathly hallowed music.  Sonus Mortis (the one guy); hit the nail with the hammer.  3.8 

Atleastimhousebroken – Neat-O album (horrible album art though.  Drop me a line, I’ll MS Paint you a masterpiece next time ;) ).  Went in expecting a Fleshgod Apocolypse/Septic Flesh rip off, left thinking that this album is near equal both those bands best albums.  While songs can meander here and there, the songwriting and performance is superb and packs a heavy punch when called for.  The vocals deserve special mention as they have that gut-rumbling quality I look for in my growly guy vocals. 4.0

Irmelinis – It was surprising to find out that this is a one-person-project. It’s pretty impressive considering this is an album packed with high quality songs and superb songwriting, in the same vein as Therion, Septic Flesh and at times even reminiscent of Devin Townsend. Recommended! 3.5

ChristopherMammal – This solo project by Kevin Byrne delivers the best blackened death-type music I’ve heard in a while. I’m sure my endorphin count went up to “Level: Bliss” while this album was playing. The overall impact is a smooth deluge of sound. But listen to the individual instrumental components – there’s an ocean of frigging good variation and skill, washing over you in swirls and drawing you in like a maelstrom. The same goes for the vocals, which span deep gutturals, higher-pitched growling, clean singing and gruff narration in an Irish accent. And all that from just one guy… fantastic job, Mister Byrne. 4.5

A Metal State of Mind Score – 4 out of 5 

Roundtable Review: Slaveatgod – The Skyline Fission


cover artLabel:  No Regrets Records

Release Date:  31 Mar 2014

Songs:   8

Length:  33 Minutes

Genre:  Progressive/Djent

Studio Albums:   This is their second full-length album

Location:  Athens, Greece Read the rest of this entry

Album review: The Deadstation – Episode 01: Like Peering into the Deepest Ocean Abyss (EP)


DeadstationCoverLocation: USA

Genre: Progressive metal

Release date: 3 April 2014

Label: Self-released

Recommended to: Fans of many prog metal and crossover prog rock bands including those named in this review

The Deadstation spells its name in upper-case letters. I don’t. My keyboard is allergic to Caps Lock. The sound card, the headphones and my ears, however, are anything but allergic to The Deadstation. I experienced two immediate reactions after playing their one and only release. The first was: “Where are they hiding the rest of their albums?” The second: “Why aren’t there more?”

A digital version of the EP was released two years ago. The physical recording, which includes an additional song, runs to 34 minutes of grand music.

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Roundtable Review: The Golden Grass – The Golden Grass


GOLDEN GRASSLabel:  Svart

Release Date:  N/A

Songs:   5

Length:  37 Minutes

Genre:  Psychedelic Boogie

Studio Albums:   N/A

Location:  N/A Read the rest of this entry

Retro Roundtable Review: Sepultura – Chaos A.D.


download (1)Release Date:  1993

Songs:   13

Length:  51 Minutes

Genre:  Thrash

Studio Albums:  A lot

Location:  Brazil (at the time) Read the rest of this entry

Roundtable Review: Between the Madness by VanGough


a0236553750_2Label:  Nightmare Records

Release Date:  Out Now

Songs:   12

Genre:  Prog

Studio Albums:  This is their 5th release

Location:  Oklahoma, USA Read the rest of this entry