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.

Album Review: Coma Ecliptic by Between the Buried and Me


Coma_Ecliptic_cover_art_by_Between_the_Buried_and_MeEver so rarely an album comes by that encapsulates the soul band.  From a group’s particular style to even their namesake, these albums showcase all that is and has propelled them into the leaders of their genres.  Seventh Son of a Seventh Son from Iron Maiden, Pelagial by The Ocean, and Panopticon by Isis are some examples of records that lay in this very small group with both fan and critical praise being forever lauded upon them.  But the big daddy of them all belongs to Scenes from a Memory by Dream Theater.  It is of my opinion that no other album sums up a band as perfectly as that record does.  The music connected to the narrative, the ‘dream’, which is played out through the album, the ‘theater’, is executed so perfectly and passionately I had never thought no other album could ever achieve the multitude of musical accomplishments as deftly as it has done.  That is until Between the Buried and Me unleashed their latest record, Coma Ecliptic, unto the masses for me to listen, absorb, and consume ravenously.

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Mammal’s most recommended new albums: Art rock, post rock & math rock


Main categories

As I said in the first part of this series, so much great music has been arriving at Metal State this year that it’s impossible to review everything. Yet it would a crime, not merely an omission, if we failed to bring the best of different types of music to your attention. Therefore, here’s another selection of superb bands with new or recent albums that deserve all the attention they can receive.

This episode covers some of the slightly more obscure sub-genres of progressive rock. It’s one of those occasions when I wear my Other Music cap. If you don’t already know, I ostensibly came on board Metal State to review and write about non-metal bands as well as the numerous flavours of metal that tickle my fancy and other parts. We will gloss over the real truth, which is that the Metal State team invited me to join them because I am irresistibly cute and charming, like a favourite garden gnome.

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Mammal’s most recommended new albums: Assorted genres


Main categories

Metal State often receives ten invitations a day to review new albums. In physical terms, it would be impossible for a whole battalion of writers to do full reviews of so much new music. In practical terms, we don’t want to overwhelm our readers with so many posts that few would have or make the time to read them all. How then to do some justice to the many outstandingly good submissions we take in each day?

One way to help the best bands reach a wider audience is to compile digests of new albums, and that’s what I’m starting to do here. The graphic shows what type of ground I’ll be covering in the next few weeks, months and the rest of my life. After that, I’ll do mixed digests of different flavours of metal and other music as soon as possible after it arrives at our dungeon. For now, I’ve sorted my best albums received so far this year into main categories. You can see them in the graphic on the left. I’ll tick off each category as I add posts.

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Album Review: Forgotten Horror – Aeon of the Shadow Goddess


R-6980387-1430907835-3119.jpegAlbum:  Aeon of the Shadow Goddess

Label:  Walpurgis Night MMXV

Release Date:  15 May 2015

Genre: Black Metal

Songs:  9

Length:  46 Minutes

Previous Album:  The Serpent Creation (2011)

Location:  Finland

It isn’t every day that I decide to sit down and willingly listen to music saturated with black metal blast beats or listen to music even slightly blackened by any signature black elements or anything relating to “black” and “metal” in the same sentence.   Even if it’s a little bit black metal it’s sort of like asking a strict vegetarian to try this all-beef burger because it’s so good and they’re sure to like it.   I’m not a vegetarian, but you get the picture.   Black metal and I tend to not get along well, though I have much respect for the genre.   It is intense and in most cases quite extreme.   What’s not to respect about that?  And, there are some blackened/near black/mostly black/partly black metal bands I do like, but they are usually the ones that most “true” black metal fans don’t like.  Anyway, before I decided to review Forgotten Horror, as you might have guessed bears its roots in black metal, I gave the album no less than 8-10 listens so I could be honest with my feelings.  Read the rest of this entry

Album Review: Jungle Rot – Order Shall Prevail


Jungle-Rot-Order-Shall-Prevail-01-300x300Album:  Order Shall Prevail

Label:  Victory Records

Release Date:  29 Jun 2015

Songs:  10

Length:  37 Minutes

Previous Studio Albums:  Slaughter The Weak (1997); Dead and Buried (2001); Fueled By Hate (2004); Warzone (2006); What Horrors Await (2009); Kill on Command (2011); Terror Regime (2013).

Genre:  Death Metal

For Fans Of:  Six Feet Under, Cannibal Corpse, Exhumed, Obituary

Location:  Wisconsin, U.S.

Have you ever eaten from a food truck?  If so, then the reason you went there is either because you were hungover or you knew that food trucks and their minimalistic menu is usually pretty amazing.  The reason they make food that people line up for because they perfected whatever it is they’re cooking and people like that; they go back for more.  By now, I think you get the metaphor.  Read the rest of this entry

Sonic Cathedral’s female-fronted roundup for June


SC logoOur thanks go again to our buddies at Sonic Cathedral for sharing their reviews of female-fronted albums with us. Since we don’t review a great number of albums of the type that Sonic Cathedral does, our monthly digest of their reviews covers a lot of musical territory.

Like Metal State, Sonic Cathedral usually selects which albums to review from the dozens and sometimes hundreds released every month. As a result, their reviews cover the best of the best. They choose their material so well that Sonic Cathedral is widely recognised as the site for FF fans, bands and labels.

They reviewed eight albums during June. Here’s a brief look at all of them. Women have been at the heart of music for thousands of years, and it’s gratifying to note how many women continue to be supreme performers in every genre I can think of.

 

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Album Review: Transport Aerian – Darkblue


DarkblueLocation: Leuven, Belgium

Genre: RIO/Avant Progressive Rock

Release date: 1 May 2015

Label: Melodic Revolution Records

Previous releases: Blessed (2009), Charcoal (2010), Bleeding (2014), Live.Blood.Live (2014)

Tracks: 8

Length: 41 minutes

Recommended to: Fans of Riverside, Lunatic Soul, Storm Corrosion, Porcupine Tree, The 3rd And The Mortal

Mammal’s rating: 4.2 out of 5

The Transport Aerian project have done it again with an album of fascinating and engrossing music that sounds unlike anything recorded by anyone else. Once more the project have thrown away the artificial constraints that bind music to a particular genre or style.

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Album Review: Max Pie – Odd Memories


maxpie-oddmemories-cover2015Album:  Odd Memories

Label:  Mausoleum

Songs:  10

Length:  62 Minutes

Genre:  Progressive Power Metal

Previous Albums:  Initial Process (2011); Eight Pieces, One World (2013)

Location:  Belgium

For those that live for the robust compositions of progressive metal, Max Pie should spark some interest.  Their new album, Odd Memories, is about to hit store shelves and digital libraries. It leans a bit to the power metal side of the spectrum.  So, it is progressive metal that makes you feel good when you are done hearing it.  The good thing though, is that the album is a bit more diverse than just odd time signatures and power metal, sing along choruses.  Promised Land is a great example of a song that makes you want to sing with the band, and sing it in the shower at the top of your lungs, but Cyber Junkie has a lot more chunk and heavy metal riffing.  Read the rest of this entry

Roundtable Review: Sleep at the Edge of the Earth by Wilderun


a1806077540_10Label: Self-released

Release Date: 7 April 2015

Songs: 9

Length: 54 minutes

Genre: Progressive Folk Metal

Studio Albums: Olden Tales & Deathly Trails (2012)

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, USA

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