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Featured KISS Cover Band Singer Catches Fire During Show, Doesn't Miss A Beat
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Bobby Jensen is a fucking savage. Undaunted. An absolute beast. Jensen, the singer/guitarist for a KISS cover band called Hairball, showed what he's made of during a recent performance in Sioux City, Iowa, when a pyrotechnic effect made things a little hot for him, and he completely kept his cool. Decked out in full Paul Stanley regalia, Jensen became part of...
Featured Iron Maiden's Trooper Beer Goes Nitro
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Iron Maiden have announced the latest in a series of Maiden-branded beer releases, and they are going back to the start by releasing a keg-only nitro version of their venerable Trooper ESB. Brewed by Robinsons Family Brewers, and named for the iconic 1983 song about the Charge of the Light Brigade, Trooper is a decent traditional British ESB; it averages 3.44 out of 5 on Beer Advocate; I rated it a bit higher, but there are certainly better ESBs out there (including its limited-release big...
Featured Prince of Darkness Hospitalized Again In Latest Health Scare
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The Elder Statesman of Metal has been hospitalized again in another of a series of recent health scares. Ozzy Osbourne went back to the hospital, according to a February 6th tweet from wife Sharon, "following some complications from the flu." He was admitted to Keck Hospital following a diagnosis of "a severe upper respiratory infection" and has since cancelled the two-month European leg of "No More Tours 2," which featured Judas Fucking Priest as a support band. The Australian leg of the...
New Release Mentor — Cults, Crypts and Corpses
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Released on the 16th of November, Mentor's second album Cults, Crypts and Corpses is a late entry in the race for Album of the Year 2018, but it has quickly made up for lost time, sprinting past Wrathrone's Reflections of Torment to take the lead. Mentor are a Polish band whose 2016 debut Guts, Graves and Blasphemy flew under my radar (but rest assured that has been corrected). They play an aggressive, propulsive blend of hardcore, thrash and (to a lesser extent) death metal that...
Terrifier - Weapons of Thrash Destruction (2017)
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Every year, no matter how hard you try, some real gems are going to slip past you. With thousands of new metal albums coming out each year, missing something good the first time around is a statistical certainty. Terrifier's 2017 album Weapons of Thrash Destruction is a perfect example of a Top-Ten-grade release that I missed last year. This is the second full-length album from these Canadian thrashers, and it is a beast! Terrifier play straight-up thrash: blitzkrieg-assault, high-speed...
New Release Judas Priest - Firepower
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I don't pay a whole lot of attention to modern-day traditional metal. My tastes have gradually gotten more and more extreme over the years, and I honestly don't have much interest in anything but death metal, black/hybrid stuff and a bit of thrash anymore, unless it's an album that I grew up loving. Nothing against trad metal, it just doesn't grab me now. Tastes change. I guess, then, that it really says something about the new Judas Priest album, Firepower, that I have kept coming back to...
New Release Filii Nigrantium Infernalium - Fellatrix
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This complete re-work of FNI's 2005 debut LP, Fellatrix Discordia Pantokrator, is another frontrunner for 2018 Album of the Year. As soon as the first track starts, you know exactly what you're in for. If you draw a triangle between the black/thrash of Nocturnal Breed, the black/speed of Midnight, and a strip-club house band that plays really sleazy rock-metal, well, you'd have a hell of a triangle, and FNI would be somewhere within it. These Portuguese metallers play a unique blend of...
New Release Wrathrone - Reflections of Torment
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Wrathrone's most recent release, Reflections of Torment, is my current frontrunner for 2018 Album of the Year. This is the second full-length release from these Finnish death metallers, and it is an ass-kicking ten-track slab of old-school death metal. In style, it reminds me more of early 90's Swedish death metal than the typically-more-chaotic older Finnish stuff. There are a number of spots where other influences stand out, from the bits of Cannibal groove in Gut Goddess and the Ghoulish...
New Release Micawber - Beyond the Reach of Flame
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It's most of the way through 2018, and the standouts have solidified their leads in the race for Album of the Year. Beyond the Reach of Flame, the latest offering from Wisconsin's Micawber, is one of them. On 2015's The Gods of Outer Hell, they were a three-piece with a take on technical death metal that reminds me a lot of Deeds of Flesh: a solid yet subdued, functional-not-flashy technicality that is a structural component of some really nice brutal death metal. 2018 sees Micawber with a...
New Release Windhand - Eternal Return (2017)
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From their official site: For the new album, ‘Eternal Return,’ WINDHAND wrote throughout the winter. Out of the songwriting sessions, “Halcyon,” “Grey Garden,” “Red Cloud,” and the monstrous “Eyeshine” emerged as the heaviest tracks, while “Pilgrim’s Rest,” “Diablerie,” and “Feather” embodied the more reflective side of WINDHAND. The juxtaposition of heavy, psychedelic, and pensive is less like Black Sabbath and Sleep and more like Soundgarden and...

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