Jamie Lee

BLACK LABEL SOCIETY “UNBLACKENED”

Zakk Wylde and the denimed denizens of Black Label Society have outdone themselves with Unblackened, a live album boasting semi-acoustic arrangements of songs spanning their catalog. But don’t let “acoustic” fool you. This is no “Coom-By-Ya” campfire party; in fact, there is plenty of electrifying rock-and-roll here. Recorded at Los Angeles’ Club Nokia earlier this year, Wylde’s electric guitar is front-and-center,

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PRIMITIVE MAN “SCORN”

Primitive Man are unrelenting with the heavy doom thuds that permeate the 11-plus minute title-track that opens Scorn. It is a sonic exploration of heaviness; tempos shift with ease and only accelerate beyond cruising speed for brash punk interlude half-way through. The subsequent songs aren’t quite as epic, but they do exude gloom like a midnight cemetery. “Rags” see-saws bleakly,

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Ministry - From Beer

MINISTRY “FROM BEER TO ETERNITY”

If you’ve ever allowed Al Jourgensen to assault your ears, you know he is full of piss and vinegar. And even though he has laid aside his riotous disdain of former President George W. Bush, now that the man is no longer in office, he he still isn’t very happy with the state of America or the world. Ministry remains

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satyricon-satyricon-album

SATYRICON “SELF-TITLED”

Satyricon continue to move toward a more mainstream black metal sound (if there is such a thing) on their somewhat awkward eponymous album. And if you aren’t sure what I mean, you will as soon as “Phoenix” emerges from the doom and gloom with its clean vocals and crystal production. In the context this album, it begs the question, “WTF?”

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Coffins - The Fleshland

COFFINS “THE FLESHLAND”

The death rattle of Japan’s Coffins is impossible to ignore. They sling sludge and dole out doom with serrated guitars and rumbling bass that is only slightly lower than the gurgles that color The Fleshland in hues of grey and black. These guys have been at it for years, and it shows. They have hollowed out their own echo chamber,

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CARCASS “SURGICAL STEEL”

Eighteen years. Yes, it has really been that long since Carcass released their last album, Swansong. But time hasn’t snuffed out the fire that galvanized these Brits as death metal legends, and if you have any doubts, given Surgical Steel a spin. This isn’t a rehash of the Carcass of yore, and it isn’t a play by numbers regurgitation of

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Garth Arum - The Dawn

GARTH ARUM “THE DAWN OF A NEW CREATION”

Garth Arum is a one-man project, but the multifaceted, hyper-complex compositions that fire from Nightmarer are befitting of a full-blown prog metal collective. The composer has a wily way with melody, and he merges the guttural and the gorgeous at every turn on The Dawn of a New Creation. The pace of the album is freeing; it ebbs and flows

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KYLESA “ULTRAVIOLET”

Songwriters Laura Pleasants and Phillip Cope make it no secret that Ultraviolet, Kylesa’s fifth album, came from a darker place than past releases. But as they have worked the press in anticipation of the May 28 release of the album on Seasons of Mist, they have been mum on exactly what cast this darkness. Whatever it is, it is clear

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SLEEP, “DOPESMOKER” ALBUM REVIEW

Sleep’s final release, Dopesmoker, is arguably the defining moment for stoner metal. The album is comprised of one song, over 60-plus minutes long, with cannabis-inflected themes; it doesn’t get any headier. The original release of the album was wrangled with challenges, from a four-year writing process to record label disapproval which contributed to the demise of the band. The sprawling title track

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MISS MAY I, “AT HEART” ALBUM REVIEW

Double-barrel blast beats are a perfect way to open an album, and metalcore upstarts Miss May I deliver on the title track that introduces their third release, At Heart. But this album is more than a crushing blow of an opening track; it is an intense, feral demonstration of rabid playing by the Ohioans, leaving vocalists’ Levi Benton and Ryan

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BLACK LABEL SOCIETY “UNBLACKENED”

Zakk Wylde and the denimed denizens of Black Label Society have outdone themselves with Unblackened, a live album boasting semi-acoustic arrangements of songs spanning their

PRIMITIVE MAN “SCORN”

Primitive Man are unrelenting with the heavy doom thuds that permeate the 11-plus minute title-track that opens Scorn. It is a sonic exploration of heaviness;

Ministry - From Beer

MINISTRY “FROM BEER TO ETERNITY”

If you’ve ever allowed Al Jourgensen to assault your ears, you know he is full of piss and vinegar. And even though he has laid

satyricon-satyricon-album

SATYRICON “SELF-TITLED”

Satyricon continue to move toward a more mainstream black metal sound (if there is such a thing) on their somewhat awkward eponymous album. And if

Coffins - The Fleshland

COFFINS “THE FLESHLAND”

The death rattle of Japan’s Coffins is impossible to ignore. They sling sludge and dole out doom with serrated guitars and rumbling bass that is

CARCASS “SURGICAL STEEL”

Eighteen years. Yes, it has really been that long since Carcass released their last album, Swansong. But time hasn’t snuffed out the fire that galvanized

Garth Arum - The Dawn

GARTH ARUM “THE DAWN OF A NEW CREATION”

Garth Arum is a one-man project, but the multifaceted, hyper-complex compositions that fire from Nightmarer are befitting of a full-blown prog metal collective. The composer

KYLESA “ULTRAVIOLET”

Songwriters Laura Pleasants and Phillip Cope make it no secret that Ultraviolet, Kylesa’s fifth album, came from a darker place than past releases. But as

SLEEP, “DOPESMOKER” ALBUM REVIEW

Sleep’s final release, Dopesmoker, is arguably the defining moment for stoner metal. The album is comprised of one song, over 60-plus minutes long, with cannabis-inflected themes; it

MISS MAY I, “AT HEART” ALBUM REVIEW

Double-barrel blast beats are a perfect way to open an album, and metalcore upstarts Miss May I deliver on the title track that introduces their