Enforcer – From Beyond ALBUM REVIEW


You know what’s good? Fun. Fun is good. We need more fun in this world. This album is fun. This is the kinda metal that you know, doesn’t make a profound artistic statement, it doesn’t wow you with any kind of darkness or evil anything like a lot of metal does. This album is, as I would call it in laymen’s terms, “good shit”. It’s fun shit. It doesn’t take itself to seriously and gives you exactly what you want in what it’s supposed to give, which is lots of headbanging, nice riffs, and vocals that sound just a tad bit silly, but have that “totally awesome” nostalgic vibe to them. It has plenty of highlights, though none of the tracks are really bad at all. From Beyond, Below The Slumber, and Farewell are the mostly exceptional tracks, but again, nothing on this album is bad. The only reason this doesn’t have a higher rating is that it’s in a genre that really has a hard time getting above a certain level. You can only rate music that’s just fun so high. Not that there isn’t a place for it, but it’s really hard to see this album, compare it to say, the new Enslaved, and say that they’re on the same level. While yes, they’re two entirely different things, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to say that fun only goes so far before true artistic merit eventually triumphs. Still, I don’t think an 8/10 a knock on this album as more as it is a acknowledgement of it’s obvious limitations. But still, like I said in the beginning, fun is good. This album is good. We need more like this album, even if more serious albums are always going to get the leg up. Kinda like how comedies never get oscars, but dammit if there isn’t an important place for them in movie culture.


7.5/10

Amputory – Ode to Gore ALBUM REVIEW

First off, I’m going to preface this by saying this album is certainly not for everyone. This is ugly, fast, hard hitting, and heavy, the kind of album that you either like or absolutely hate. Ode to Gore is very unapologetic not extremely forgiving to the listening. Personally, this is how I love my death metal. I like it either really technical and melodic, or bash your skull against a wall hard hitting. Obviously, this falls into the latter category (thought about making a cateGOREY pun there, but I actually value my pride). Ode to Gore doesn’t do anything special or spectacular, it just does everything you want in a death metal album, and it does it really well. The only exception to this is the one section in the album that goes into a harmonic minor, that gives off a very middle eastern feel and involves throat singing. I kinda have a boner for throat singing, so that certainly appealed to me greatly. And I will say that there are some pretty damn sick riffs here. But again, beyond that it’s just generally good death metal. As a result however, by doing nothing spectacular, it’s score is inherently not spectacular. Good certainly, but nothing above great. This certainly isn’t easy listening, but to anyone who wants 30 minutes of in your face death metal, this is definitely worth a go.


7.5/10

The Vintage Caravan – Arrival ALBUM REVIEW

With a name like The Vintage Caravan, one would expect something that sounds, well, vintage. And to a point, they would be correct. This album very much has a lot of vintage influences in it. However, like I said, it’s to a point. Caravan does a great job of taking some vintage sounds and putting a modern twist on them. It’s a bit hard to explain, but listening to Arrival makes you think that this isn’t something that you would ever hear in the 70s. It feels distinctly like it comes from 2015. And that’s pretty damn refreshing if I do say so myself. Caravan doesn’t feel like they’re trying to copy anyone, which is the typical MO of pretty much any hard/stoner/and many progressive rock bands. I want to especially mention the closing track Winter Queen. The vocal delivery is very much vintage, however the music is heavy and large in scope, rather than mimicking the very smallish and down to earth feel of most 60s and 70s rock. It feels like a climax, and is a very fitting end to the album. The downside is while the sound is unique and well done, nothing about Arrival really feels like it belongs in the elite category of albums. It’s very solid, but nothing above that. Still, I’d very much recommend this to someone who wants to get something new out of the hard/progressive rock genre.

As a note, there are very little actual metal influences in this album, but I figured I’d add it anyway, since I already have just pure stoner rock albums here, and I already rated it anyway.


7.5/10

Goatsnake – Black Age Blues ALBUM REVIEW

I’ll always find it amusing that a band form LA is able to create a more southern soundscape than the large majority of southern based stoner doom bands. Even if they go a bit ham at times. The harmonicas, the southern church choirs, and bluesy riffs makes you feel like you’re right down in a the swamp of Louisiana. However what Goatsnake does differently, in the face of the mass movement to bluesify stoner doom, is to not forget the doom part. Make no mistake, this is a doom focused album, with stoner on the side. Personally speaking, I’ve always thought that’s how it should be. It’s stoner DOOM metal not doom stoner metal. Black Age Blues feels soulful, while also feeling a sense of despair and ugliness, as this kind of rank doom metal should. Goatsnake doesn’t lighten up on the guitar tone which so many other stoner doom bands do. You feel ever riff and every slam of the guitar. My one complaint would be that despite doing so many things right, at no point in this album does it make me feel “yeah, this is a top tier album”. I feel it’s all good stuff, but just that, good stuff. Nothing extra special spectacular that comes with the territory of an elite album. So while this is one of the best stoner doom albums of the year, I think it’s appropriate to leave it at that, rather than ranking it up into the AOTY category as so many have.


7.5/10

Wide Eyes – Terraforming ALBUM REVIEW

When I heard the extremely cheesy opening track that is, like the cover suggests, people getting ready for battle in a space ship, I expected nothing but the worst. I was pleasantly surprised with how splendid the tracks were. Escape Velocity has some killer riffs on it, as well as the rest of the album. If you are triggered by some use of electronic elements, you might want to avoid this, because this does use some form of that occasionally. However if you have an open mind, and don’t hate djent, try this out.


7.5/10