Review Rundown! Metal Blade Records

This Review Rundown takes a look squarely at new releases from Metal Blade Records recording artists, the latest offerings from Behemoth, Evergreen Terrace, Goatwhore, Molotov Solution and Austrian Death Machine.

Behemoth – ‘Evangelion’ (Metal Blade): It is well documented that Polish trio Behemoth are demonized in their home country of Poland based on their beliefs, but if ‘Evangelion’ doesn’t make the band heroes back home, then nothing will. This record is a superb example of the bands masterful chokehold on all things metal; truly a massive work that should go a long way to finding itself on a number of year end lists. ‘Alas, Lord is Upon Me’ might be the best song the band has ever put to wax, but Behemoth do not put all of their eggs into one basket, that much is for sure. ‘Transmigrating Beyond Realms ov Amenti’ is a sonic track meet, ‘Defiling Mortality ov Black God’ will test just how fast you can headbang with it feverous double bass/guitar velocity, and ‘Lucifer’ brings a dose of foreboding atmospherics to the party before the guitar solos and frontman Nergal’s guttural bellowing kick in, pounding the listeners sense before fading back of into the abyss from whence it came. With this record Behemoth has successfully released one of the most definitive collections of blackened death metal the world has ever seen. After ‘Evangelion,’ there should be no discussion about the world’s best death/black metal band. Behemoth is the discussion. (
Grade: A
Go Download: ‘Alas, The Lord is Upon Me’

Austrian Death Machine – ‘Double Brutal’ (Metal Blade): Tim Lambesis is a genious – whether it be fronting As I Lay Dying or manning the mixing board in the studio, the guy has the Midas touch. Well, now you can add ADM to that list. When Lambesis dropped Total Brutal, it was good but viewed more as a jokey side project. ‘Double Brutal’ removes that jokey label. Although it is still thoroughly hilarious, it should come as no surprise that Austrian Death Machine’s sophomore effort, ‘Double Brutal,’ is a rousing success. This is a shred-tastic array of frenzied riffs that are just that – double brutal. It is also an example of how one workaholic spends his down time. The ongoing give and take between Ahhhnold (Destroy the Runner’s Chad Ackerman) and Lambesis is well worth the price of admission but the songs themselves are not to be reckoned with. The first part of ‘Double Brutal’ is Schwarzenegger inspired chaos, while the latter 11 tracks have Ahhhnold and Lambesis trying their collective hand at some covers, ripping through such classics as Metallica’s ‘Trapped Under Ice,’ Motorhead’s ‘Iron Fist’ and the Misfits ‘I Turned Into a Martian.’ You have to hear it to believe it. It as cheesy as it is classic, a statement that proves ‘Double Brutal’ is well worth your time. (
Grade: A
Go Download: ‘Hell Bent for Leather’ (Judas Priest cover)

Evergreen Terrace – ‘Almost Home’ (Metal Blade): ‘Almost Home’ is an example of how good melodic hardcore can sound when done the right way. Evergreen Terrace has a firm grasp on what it means to be a talented metalcore group, and have never more so shown that before than on their latest, ‘Almost Home,’ their most impressive body of work to date. This record is full of hard charging, riff laden songs that tend to emulate the Atreyu of old, highlighted by the presence of fierce melodies (‘Not Good Enough’) and strident aggressiveness (‘The Letdown’), not to mention all the delicious breakdowns you can handle. The lucid melodic flashes take nothing away from the weighty metal intensity on this record, yet both work harmoniously to achieve the bands definitive sound. A handful of Metal Blade artists have released career records this year thus far, so why would that trend stop with Evergreen Terrace? (
Grade: A
Go Download: ‘Not Good Enough’

Molotov Solution – ‘The Harbinger’ (Metal Blade): Molotov Solution are not a band that is afraid to voice their opinion. It only takes a mere three minutes into ‘The Harbinger’ for the band to lay down the gauntlet and put all their cards on the table, loudly exclaiming “this is not a promise, it’s a f!@king threat.” This record is an intricate demonstration of what attention to detail will get you – precise, cutting guitars, heedful and socially aware songwriting, with just the slightest hint of doom looming on the horizon. It is that very same attention to detail that keeps this disc irrevocably stimulating. Each and every song demands your attention, a testament to the Las Vegas bands ultra tight musicianship. With just their second proper release and debut for Metal Blade, Molotov Solution are already shooting first and asking questions later. Oh yeah, they’re also playing kick ass deathcore beyond their years. To use a cliché proudly, this record is a’ harbinger’ of things to come for Molotov Solution, then their future is as bright as the lights from their hometown. (
Grade: A
Go Download: ‘The Dawn of Ascendancy’

Goatwhore – ‘Carving Out the Eyes of God’ (Metal Blade): Before you begin listening to Goatwhore’s ‘Carving Out the Eyes of God,’ it would be a good idea for you to sit back and take a couple of deep breaths, because once you hit the play button these guys are not going to give you a second to catch your breath, so be prepared. Don’t say you weren’t warned. By hitting that very same play button, you are unleashing hell, so ready your poor ears for some of the most aggressively charging and abrasive speed/thrash this side of any Slayer release. Goatwhore probably listened to their fair share of Lamb of God while recording ‘Carving Out the Eyes of God,’ but don’t let that stamen cloud your judgment. These riffs are scathing and completely uncompromising to go along with the spite filled, fire breathing vocals. Think of this record as a hellish rollercoaster ride – once you get on, there is no getting off, and no crying. So all p!@sies, get out of line. (
Grade: B
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