Heavy Metal

Artist: 
RAM
Label: 
Metal Blade

It's good to know old school metal is still alive and breathing. "Svbversvm" by the Swedish metal group "RAM" is just that, which is nice if you're a nostalgic metal fan that dips into Judas Priest or Iron Maiden every now and again. This is RAM's fourth full length release, and their 15 year experience can be felt immediately as you give this a spin. The sound is all around incredible, especially the sheer power of the guitars (provided by Harry Granroth and Martin Jonsson)  which are absolutely flawless.

Sounds Like: 
Judas Priest
Sounds Like: 
Savatage
Name: 
Zach Germano
Date Reviewed: 
10/14/2015

Ire

Artist: 
Parkway Drive
Label: 
Resist Records / Epitaph Records

Oh boy, this was always going to be weird. Australian metalcore band Parkway Drive warned fans ahead of their latest release Ire that their new sound would be more akin to 80’s style heavy metal rather than their traditional “restrictive” metalcore sound. Fans of this band are probably going to absolutely despise this album, since it represents a rather dramatic change to their usual sound.

Sounds Like: 
Memphis May Fire
Sounds Like: 
Trivium
Name: 
Felipe Moreno
Date Reviewed: 
10/07/2015
Artist: 
Huntress
Label: 
Napalm Records

If you've ever heard Volbeat, Huntress sounds very similar to them. Obviously its female fronted there is a different dynamic, but it has similar themes. If you've ever seen a picture of In This Moment you know how sexual a lot of female fronted bands can be - whether that is good or bad - and Huntress does pull in a lot of that sexuality like Mariah Brink but doesn't make the entire band about her breasts. This was a really good album and I really enjoyed it. Jill Janus has a very powerful voice that commands the band but doesn't overpower it.

Sounds Like: 
Kobra and the Lotus
Sounds Like: 
Hysterica
Name: 
Alexis Walker
Date Reviewed: 
09/28/2015
Artist: 
Iron Maiden
Label: 
BMG Music

There's a phrase that some Maiden fans dread when someone tells them about a new Maiden album: "It sounds like Maiden, you know?" Does it apply here? Yes and no.

Sounds Like: 
Bluesy vibes throughout the tracks, but still somehow retaining the classic Maiden punch.
Name: 
Joey Johnson
Date Reviewed: 
09/16/2015
Artist: 
Disturbed
Label: 
Reprise Records

It's been an incredibly long wait, but it's finally here. Disturbed has come out of a five year hiatus and unleashed it's fifth straight chart topping album, fittingly called Immortalized. This album topped the Billboard 200 charts for an extremely good reason, as even after five years of inactivity, Disturbed has not lost an ounce of their ability to absolutely blow you away with early millenia metal. The album is just the Disturbed we've come to know and love. David Draiman still sounds epic and the band is still thunderous as ever.

Sounds Like: 
Good ol' Disturbed
Name: 
Andrew Trujillo
Date Reviewed: 
09/01/2015
Artist: 
Gruesome
Label: 
Relapse Records

Gruesome is a combination made up of Daniel Gonzalez from Possessed, Gus Rios from Create A Kill, Matt Harvey from Exhumed, and Robin Mazen from Trash Attack. A while ago I did a review on Exhumed, and they weren't that great. But Gruesome sounds like Exhumed realized what they were doing wrong and got their act together. The lead singer for both Exhumed and Gruesome finally found a band that can complement his serious growling voice perfectly. The guitarist and drummer are on the same page and super heavy, super thrash metal and it’s a great sound.

Sounds Like: 
Arise
Sounds Like: 
Exhumed
Name: 
Alexis Walker
Date Reviewed: 
04/17/2015
Artist: 
Pantera
Label: 
Rhino Entertainment Company

This album f***ing rocks, because it is the most extreme album to ever debut at #1 on the Billboard top 200, one of the best guitarist who ever lived plays on it, and because it is Pantera's heaviest, brutal, lowest-tuned album ever. Although not their best album, there are still gems on this reissue that are worth rediscovering.

Sounds Like: 
Hellyeah
Sounds Like: 
Damageplan
Sounds Like: 
Down
Name: 
Felipe Moreno
Date Reviewed: 
09/10/2014
Artist: 
Primal Fear
Label: 
Frontiers Records

Primal Fear comes back with one of the most haunting and chilling albums. After spending a few years without an album release, Delivering The Black comes and gives what their listeners were waiting for: haunting vocals, distortion guitar, insane kick drums, and insane harmonies. Each member plays their part to create the song, the drums creating the backbone, bass creating the heart, the rhythem guitar setting the stage for the vocals and lead. The album comes at you fast and hard, with no time to take a breath. Don't think and just play.

Sounds Like: 
Nightmare
Sounds Like: 
Hammerfall
Name: 
Dalal Kaddoura
Date Reviewed: 
02/11/2014
Artist: 
Godhunter
Label: 
Battleground Records

Tucson's own Godhunter released this full length of Battleground Records. Full of doomy and dense riffs layered off with some seriously heavy vocals - this album does not disappoint and serves as a solid follow-up to the Wolves EP. They bring that harsh Tucson sound but are still even somewhat reminiscent of that NOLA style sludge. For me, what makes this album is the lyrical content and the overall concept of the record. It's a reminder of how what's going on in our town can serve as a premonition of bigger issues going on in the country.

Sounds Like: 
HEAVY FUCKING METAL
Name: 
Parisa Eshrati
Date Reviewed: 
02/04/2014
Artist: 
Red Fang
Label: 
Relapse Records

My first experience with Red Fang was back when higher-end YouTube pages had a video on their channel page, and I happened to be on the Relapse page, probably looking for more Obscura tracks.  A Red Fang music video was on there, for which song I cannot recall.  I do recall there were a whole lot of empty beer cans, though.  “These guys are okay I guess,” I thought.  Poor, young me clearly didn’t know what was going on.

Sounds Like: 
Baroness
Sounds Like: 
Orange Goblin
Name: 
Daniel Witter
Date Reviewed: 
11/16/2013
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