Metal Blade

  • Downfall of Gaia – Aeon Unveils the Thrones of Decay (2014)


    As one of the least conventional bands in Metal Blade, Downfall of Gaia delivers a punishing 60 minute musical experience with their third full-length release “Aeon Unveils the Thrones of Decay”. Perfectly crafting an apocalyptic sound that fuses Black Metal, Post-Metal, and Sludge elements, this band will mercilessly make your speakers pop and have you begging for more.

    Getting down to business with the bestial opener “Darkness Inflames These Sapphire Eyes”, the band spews their message with a brutality and firmness. The Black Metal sections are perfectly craved into the heavy riffing of this track, and the different vocal styles further extend the songs brutality. Just when you things are getting calm, blistering passages change the mood and direction of the songs, like in the epic “Carved into Shadows”. The underlying Doom/Post-Metal elements of tracks like this one and “Ascending the Throne”, make the band’s sound even richer and very diverse, making it harder to pin them down.

  • Vesania – Deus Ex Machina (2014)


    Featuring members (or ex-members) of Dimmu Borgir, Behemoth, Decapitated, etc., this Polish super group is set to make an impact with their fourth full-length release “Deus Ex Machina”. Taking subtle elements for tons of bands like Samael, Emperor, Arcturus, Vulture Industries and making them their own, we are left with ten very unique tracks that will creep you out while allowing you to head bang to them.

    Kicking off the release with the brutal Sympho-BM “Halflight”, we are treated to Orion’s talent both behind his sickening vocals and crushing riffs. This track is probably the most straightforward one since it fits solely in one genre. Things go circus like with the Arcuturs-inspired atmospheric elements of “Innocence”, one of the album’s best tracks. The band comes back with the Samael-sounding “Disillusion”, a very intoxicating band with tons of catchy melodic passages and superb drumming.

  • Anaal Nathrakh – Desideratum (2014)


    One of the most brutal bands in Metal finally returns with their 8th full-length release titled “Desideratum”. Constantly striving to destroy your speakers, this British duo has made some of the most disturbing and massive sounding releases in history. In this album, we see the band shift gears a bit, and while there are still plenty of ridiculously brutal sections, there are also some more melodic and separable passages in their music. This results in a very well balanced release that is both brutal and melodic, making them more approachable for other people that might want something a bit tamer to their earlier efforts.

    The band opens with the highly atmospheric instrumental “Acheronta Movebimus”, a song that has an odd mixture of Industrial with Djent-style percussions paired with some evil Black Metal riffing. After the perfect mood setter, the onslaught of brutality quickly rolls in with “Unleash”. This track is quite intense and diabolical, but what stands out the most for us is the clean vocals and the melodic edge to it. As the punches keep coming in with “Monstrum In Animo”, we also notice that as “A Firm Foundation of Unyielding Despair” and “The One Thing Needful” rolls in, there is a certain focus on the Industrial/Electronic elements that shifts the momentum a bit from the Extreme nature of the music.  However, this last track has some superbly sinister guitar work that made it one of our favorites of the release.

  • Dragonforce – Maximum Overload (2014)


    Arriving with one of the most expected releases of 2014, today we have Dragonforce and their epic “Maximum Overload”. Featuring nearly 50 minutes of signature Dragonforce Power Metal, this release further develops their sound and delivers a wide variety of tracks that appeal to fans of the band as well as genre enthusiasts. With Marc Hudson fully incorporated to the band’s style and tempo, this is one the best releases of their career.

    Opening with the tour-de-force epic “The Game”, the band deliver their signature vocal melodies alongside the ridiculous guitar skills of Herman Li and Sam Totman. This opening track features some intense growls, making the band sound a bit like Mercenary in their good days, but the band’s traditional playfulness is always present. With epic chorus sections like on “Tomorrow’s Kings” and “No More”, the band will not disappoint any of their legions of fans.

  • Behemoth – The Satanist (2014)


    Having lost interest in Behemoth since their 2004 release “The Apostasy”, it is quite refreshing to hear they have recovered their brutality and desire to deliver the most sickening, and perfectly produced, release they could with “The Satanist”. Featuring nine tracks of Behemoth at the top of their game, this is one hell of a demolishing aural experience that no Metal fan would want to miss.

    Opening with the first single of the release, “Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel”, the guitar sound is quite piercing and Nergal’s vocals are as commanding as ever. The use of choirs greatly enhances the atmosphere and gives it that “The Omen” kind of unholy vibe. The band’s aggression continues through demoralizing tracks like the punishing “Furor Divinus” and the massive “Messe Noire”, both of which are filled with pummeling drums and an intense bass guitar pounding away.

  • Sarke – Aruagint (2014)


    Featuring one of the most brilliant line-ups in Extreme Metal, today we have Sarke and their third full-length release “Aruagint”. Originally intended as a solo project of Sarke (Thomas Bergli  of Khold, Tulus, ex-Old Man’s Child fame), this all-star Black Metal super group combines rudimentary BM elements with Heavy/Thrash Metal and a good dosage of Hard Rock thrown into the mix to create a decadent yet truly Norwegian sound.

    Opening with the crunchy riffs of “Jaunt of the Obsessed”, we immediately take notice on the super production behind this release as well as the technical proficiency of everybody involved in the album. With a catchy Black’n’Roll attitude in tracks like “Ugly” and “Strange Pungent Odyssey”, we get that urge to headbang similar to what Vreid has been doing to crowds in their last releases. Having Asgeir Mickelson handling the drums, we get a full range of his Progressive skills infused into the music.

  • Sahg - Delusions of Grandeur (2014)


    Finally arriving to North America through Metal Blade, today we have Sahg and their fourth full-length release “Delusions of Grandeur”. In this brilliant Progressive/Psychedelic Rock/Metal album, we have this Norwegian band delivering over 45-minutes of mellow retro music. Filled with crafty passages and lush vocals, this is one very detailed release that you need to hear more than a few times to fully enjoy it.

    The album leads off with the grandeur of “Slip Off the Edge of the Universe”, a track that reminds us of the magic behind acts like Magnum and Spock’s Beard. The guitars are perfectly layered and allowing the vocals to shine through the psychedelic keyboards. As the album progresses we have songs filled with intricate details (“Blizzardborne”) and more direct blistering solos like on “Firechild”. All these elements give Sahg a very authentic retro prog sound.

  • Týr – Valkyrja (2013)


    Delivering their first album on their new label, Metal Blade Records, Faroese Metalheads Týr keep improving on their signature sound with “Valkyrja”. Featuring 13 tracks of super catchy Progressive Viking/Pagan Metal, the band shows no signs of resting in their laurels and manages to build on their legacy with a near perfect release that will captivate all fans of the band. For over 59 minutes, the listener will be treated to Týr’s signature riffing and the charismatic singing of Heri Joensen.

    Opening with the strong “Blood Of Heroes” we get the traditional Týr riffing onslaught provided by Heri Joensen and Terji Skibenæs. With more epic vocal melodies and catchy arrangements, “Mare of My Night” comes out to be one of the standout tracks in this release thanks to that headbanging/chanting alongside vibe the song features. Things get more melancholic with the lush female vocals of guest Liv Kristine on “The Lay of Our Love”. In this track the band shows a different side to them, delivering a mellow track with excellent guitars and very tight drumming.

  • Amon Amarth – Deceiver of the Gods (2013)


    Everybody’s favorite Metal Vikings return with yet another epic release with “Deceiver of the Gods”. Doing what they do best, catchy melodic tunes, the band delivers 10 tracks of signature Amon Amarth music that are prefect for a good dosage of beer drinking and headbanging. Mixing in some traditional Heavy Metal elements with their already well defined style, the band manages to release a very powerful and refined album that just adds to their amazing legacy.

    Without wasting any time, the album title track delivers excellent melodic riffing that only Amon Amarth can produce. Johan Hegg’s powerful vocals lead the way and they are as brutal as ever. The melodic passages are top notch, an early indicator of how epic this release will be. “As Loke Falls” has all the ingredients for a typical anthem: catchy chorus section, pummeling riffs, violent vocals, and an overall melodic vibe that is quite amazing.

  • The Black Dahlia Murder – Everblack (2013)


    Delivering one of the most surprisingly awesome albums of 2013, today we have The Black Dahlia Murder and their imposing release “Everblack”. We have long discarded this band as one of the vanilla Deathcore bands since their earlier days, but today we are shocked in the excellent quality and brutality behind their latest release. Mixing elements of Melodic/Technical Death Metal with some Deathcore influences, the band has managed to craft a very powerful and devastating sound of their own over the years.

    Exploding with the technical “In Hell Is Where She Waits for Me”, the band immediately showcases their excellent mixture of melodic elements with brutal DM/Deathcore sections. The music is quite intense and makes you immediately want to start headbanging. “Goat of Departure” continues the riffing onslaught with catchy melodic sections and inhuman growls. The band’s sound has surely come a long way since their earlier stuff and they now sound like a million dollars.


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