Metal Blade

  • Arma Gathas – Dead To This World (2010)


    After all the countless Trash Metal releases we have reviewed in 2010, we finally get a break with a band that incorporates other elements to this genre, and makes it sound very different and fresh. Arma Gathas hails from Switzerland and their combination of Trash, Groove and some Hardcore elements makes them sound both powerful and fresh.

    If we had to guess where this band is from without doing research, we would have guess that they came from France, since Arma Gathas sounds like a Trashier version of Hacride, Gojira, etc. The riffing in “Dead To This World” is very Trash Metal oriented but with more aggressive vocals and different rhythms thrown into the mix.

  • As I Lay Dying – The Powerless Rise (2010)


    We try to stay away from as much Metalcore crap that we can, but sometimes we get some releases that are worth listening to and giving them a solid review. “The Powerless Rise” is one of those, it features an As I Lay Dying that has been refining their sound with every release and now, they are good enough for us to enjoy (somewhat).

    The band is as brutal as ever and features the traditional breakdowns that most people love to death, however, we enjoy this album because of the brilliant melodic parts that some songs have in this release. The band might have 80% of the elements that makes us despise Metalcore, but objectively and musically, they can also compose brilliant songs.

  • The Abominable Iron Slot – The Id Will Overcome (2010)


    Hailing from several cities across the USA we have The Abominable Iron Slot or is it The Indomitable Iron slot?? Since they keep changing it we kind of lost track of it, but apparently the CD has the first name on its cover. Anyways, the band plays Sludge/Stoner Metal with as much inspiration as you can get from watching paint dry.

    We usually like good releases in the Sludge/Stoner metal genre, but “The Id Will Overcome” is definitely not one of them. Using a massive amount of recycled riffs through this album, we feel the band’s inspiration was almost not existent and they just chugged out whatever they could come up in a few minutes.

  • Woe Of Tyrants – Threnody (2010)


    In the vein of Black Dahlia Murder and such bands today we have Woe Of Tyrants, an American band that has great potential. “Threnody” is the band’s 3rd full-length album, and starts very similar to whatever bands like BDM sound like, but the album takes a monster transformation with the sixth song called “Bloodsmear” into a brilliant Melodic Death Metal band that sounds like few others.

    As the first five songs where passing, we were about to chalk up this release to another BDM sounding band that does not offer much in terms of innovation, but boy we where wrong. The first songs feature furious Death Metal with some slightly impressive technical aspects, but then the music gets very melodic with the use of lush keyboards, brilliant rhythmical parts and blasting solos.

  • The Ocean – Heliocentric (2010)


    As one of the most complex and intricate albums we have received in 2010, “Heliocentric” is an interesting release that will keep you guessing what’s next until the album comes to an end. The band does a great job at mixing Post Rock influences with Progressive elements.

    Compared to their previous release “Precambrian”, “Heliocentric” is less complex and shows how the band is consolidating on a sound and sticking to it. This new release does have moments when they use cello, trumpets and other things, but it’s never abused and just complements the music very nicely.

  • Bison B.C. – Dark Ages (2010)


    Opening with the interesting titled song “Stressed Elephant”, Bison B.C is back with a gloomier sound and a more complex songwriting style that will surely propel this band into Stoner Metal excellence. “Dark Ages” is both more complex and interesting sounding than “Quiet Earth”, the band’s first album back in 2008.

    As a very young band, Bison B.C have managed to get enough buzz around them to get signed by Metal Blade Records, and make an instant impact in the crowded Stoner Metal/Rock scene. Hailing from Canada, the band uses a relentless assault of crunchy riffs through “Dark Ages” that will please even the pickiest followers of the genre.

  • Raven – Walk Through Fire (2010)


    Ten years have passed since the band’s last release “One For All” and with “Walk Through Fire” we can’t stop but wonder if the band was cryogenically frozen for the last 10 years and just released their follow up album. Raven is mostly recognized for being a NWOBHM band, and as we can currently listen, they are still a very good one.

    Featuring 143 tracks and a cover song, “Walk Through Fire” takes you back in time, when all the NWOBHM bands were at their greatest spotlight and brings back that feeling like no time has passed. Raven has managed to keep their sound intact and their music making abilities are still great.

  • Armored Saint - La Raza (2010)

    Armored Saint is one of those bands that haven been on and off like as many times as a hooker drops her underwear in a month. However, every time the band comes back they either release a kick ass album or tour. “La Raza” is the band’s latest offering that continues the band’s tradition of releasing very solid albums that make people remember them once more.

    Featuring John Bush from Anthrax fame and Joey Vera from Fates Warning fame, you know you have a pretty solid band only by hearing these two names. The band plays straight up ‘classic’ or traditional Metal, and they do so which such grace that only a handful of bands can pull this off.

  • Fates Warning – Parallels (Re-Issue Special Edition) (2010)

    Almost 20 years after the original release of “Parallels” we get a great re-issuse that features a bunch of goodies that will please ALL the fans of this legendary band. And to top it all there will be a few select reunion shows to support this re-release, so be ready to travel in order to catch a glimpse of the band live.

    This re-release features the full original album completely re-mastered and sounding more impressive than even. The extra CD features 8 live tracks (that have great audio quality) and 6 demo versions of tracks from “Parallels”. We particularly love the demo tracks, which allow you to get a more in-depth insight of how the band intended the tracks to sound originally, before going to the studio. They also allow you to discover little differences here and there.

  • This Ending - Dead Harvest (2009)

    This band features the drummer from Amon Amarth and pretty much all the members from A Canorous Quintet / The Plague. This album features a mixture of old school death metal, and some more modern black/death metal style of music. And it’s not bad by any means, but it just feels like something put together over a weekend while having some beers.

    The music it self is of good quality, but it gets pretty old after a few songs. Also the vocals are not up to par to compared to other bands.


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