jamie lee

AMBASSADOR GUN, “GOLDEN EAGLE” ALBUM REVIEW!

Ambassador Gun deliver heaps of aggression across Golden Eagle, the Minneapolis metalers second full-length since forming in 2005. Fusing hardcore, grind, and plenty of scrap-happy riffing, the trio doles out 11 bare-knuckle jaw-jabs in 30 minutes with a reckless vibe that is exhausting. Pummeling violently through the uneven opener, “Wounded Knee,” the band finds its footing on the throttling “Christbastard”

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MIKE PATTON, “LABORINTUS II” ALBUM REVIEW!

Mike Patton’s illustrious career has imbued a sense of experimentation since his early days with Mr. Bungle. The singer engages out-of-character opportunities so frequently, reinvention has become his norm. So it should have been no surprise when he tackled Italian composer Luciano Berio’s Laborintus II in 2010 with the Ictus Ensemble and Nederlands Kemerkoor at the Holland Festival. And now,

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HUATA, “ATAVIST OF MANN” ALBUM REVIEW!

“Lords of the Flame,” which opens Huata’s sophomore Atavist of Mann, boasts a corpse-painted black metal band in stoner metal clothing, and this is a good thing. Riding a psychedelic bass gallop, the French quartet propel the similarly vibed “Operation Misteltoe” through a fuzz-out haze. The album then begins a shift, opening up into a more doom  blackened atmosphere, and

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CHELSEA GRIN, “EVOLVE” ALBUM REVIEW!

Chelsea Grin are like a Rob Zombie movie. There is absolutely no hope, and even when things seem as bad as they can get, they become worse. The six-song Evolve EP is rife with pain and agony; it is a vicious pummeling that doesn’t let up until the album-closing “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.” But to appreciate any relief, you have

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WEST OF HELL, “SPIRAL EMPIRE” ALBUM REVIEW!

Although the seeds for West of Hell were sewn in 2002, it isn’t until now that their first album – the cross-genre, metal legacy focused Spiral Empire – is finding its way to the masses. Along the way the band has relocated from their home in West Auckland, New Zealand, to Vancouver, British Columbia; found the perfect vocalist, the mighty

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THE MELVINS LITE, “FREAK PUKE” ALBUM REVIEW!

The “Lite” in The Melvins Lite is a loaded word. The classic band is abbreviated on Freak Puke; it is stripped back to a trio with Buzz Osborne on guitar, Dale Crover on drums, and Trevor Dunn on upright bass. Accompanying this new line-up is a uniquely experimental – dare I say mellower – approach. Dunn’s bass playing gives the

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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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AMBASSADOR GUN, “GOLDEN EAGLE” ALBUM REVIEW!

Ambassador Gun deliver heaps of aggression across Golden Eagle, the Minneapolis metalers second full-length since forming in 2005. Fusing hardcore, grind, and plenty of scrap-happy

MIKE PATTON, “LABORINTUS II” ALBUM REVIEW!

Mike Patton’s illustrious career has imbued a sense of experimentation since his early days with Mr. Bungle. The singer engages out-of-character opportunities so frequently, reinvention

HUATA, “ATAVIST OF MANN” ALBUM REVIEW!

“Lords of the Flame,” which opens Huata’s sophomore Atavist of Mann, boasts a corpse-painted black metal band in stoner metal clothing, and this is a

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