About Me

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Greetings! My name is Matthew, and I love to listen to all types of metal. Since I’m a Christian, most of the bands that I listen to reflect my faith or have positive, uplifting lyrics. The other thing that you should know is that I love to write – in fact, I want to write epic science fiction for a living.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Brutal Cross - "At War" Album Review

In nature there is life and there is death; there is beauty and there is harshness; there is splendor and there is terror.  Our world is patterned in dichotomy, and it should be no different with music.  Brutal Cross is a death metal band that exemplifies this truth, as they cross gurgling vocals and tonal ruggedness with blissful symphonic music.  At War, the band’s third full-length album, is the pinnacle of their career and an archetype of diversity.
                The Polish-turned-Irish band is the brainchild of Tomasz Sulowski, who performs all of the instruments and vocals.  Some one-man bands are decidedly lacking in at least one area, but to Sulowski’s credit, I wasn’t even aware that he was the only one behind the reins until I did some research.  The vocals are a midrange growl that could find a home in either death or black metal.  One of the most impressive aspects of the record is definitely the guitars.  They have a meaty, crunchy tone that harkens back to the glory days of death metal.  Melodic riffs abound on At War, and some of these sections bring to mind Death’s Sound of Perseverance with their tenacity and clout.  There also seems to be a degree of influence from Scrolls-era Mortification and early Lament.  The listener will find symphonic and melodic elements interspersed amidst the traditional elements of death and black metal, which makes Brutal Cross stand out from among the myriads.  The keys grip you and don’t let go, adding an element of melodic diversity to the record.  The band is decidedly Christian, weaving faith-inspired lyrics throughout the music.
                The mixing quality is a bit rough around the edges, although with this caliber of death metal that’s not really an issue; for some, it may be a positive element.  However, the instrumental balance bothers me somewhat.  For some reason, a number of the symphonic portions seem to be a bit too loud, and the low end is more or less buried.  At War contains 14 tracks of varying lengths, without any overly long songs and only one short instrumental (“Outro”).  Songs like “Cult” and “Occult” have some creepy instrumentation, and this serves to keep the record interesting towards the middle.  “Born Again” showcases a driving, melodic intensity, and “War Cry” is the closest that the band comes to thrash metal.  There is a bit of clean singing on the tracks “Silence on the Cross” and “At War.”  I am unconvinced that this suits the bands’ overall style, and as a critic I would have to say that this element may only distract and put off some death metal fans.  At War recovers with “Sea of Despair,” a well-layered track that pushes towards an eerie guitar solo, and then closes out with a short instrumental.
                Fans of death metal will find it well worth their time to check out this relatively unknown band.  Brutal Cross delivers an intriguing meld of death metal and melody, all without sacrificing creativity or quality.  Truly, Brutal Cross is aptly named – they are a vehicle of brutality and destruction, infused with hope and beauty.

Rating:  4.0/5.0
Band Facebook

Thursday, January 16, 2014

ForChristSake - "Apocalyptic Visions of Divine Terror" Album Review


The clouds of the heavens roll back and the White Rider descends with eyes of blazing fire, come to rain judgment upon the Earth.  The hordes of evil cower under a fierce onslaught of rolling guitars and drums as relentless growling rents the air.  If the human mind can truly fathom the wanton destruction that comes with the end times, certainly ForChristSake has hit a chord of verisimilitude with their extreme metal debut Apocalyptic Visions of Divine Terror.
Apocalyptic Divisions of Divine Terror is a carefully crafted album that plunges into multiple metal subgenres.  The band draws influence from legendary acts like Bolt Thrower in its thrashy riffs and driving melodies, while the breakneck pace, drumming, and shouting that is interspersed with the death growls is reminiscent of Living Sacrifice’s album Inhabit.  Intermingled amidst this wealth of diversity are black metal shrieks, symphonic pieces, melodic riffs, and even some singing.  These elements all mesh together to create an enjoyable, diverse album for the listener.   A few highlights from the album include the driving thrash monster “At the Gates of Depravity,” the heroic, guitar-shredding “Serpent Rises,” and the groove-laden “Necronemesis.”
While these elements all blend together to create a highly enjoyable, intricate album, Apocalyptic Visions of Divine Terror is merely a stepping stone towards a higher pinnacle.  It’s a step in the right direction, but the band still has a few things to tweak.  The album is extensive in length, with 16 tracks.  For the average prog lover, this isn’t any problem.  For some thrash and death metal heads, this may be more of an issue.  ForChristSake keeps it captivating enough that you won’t lose interest easily, but it’s still a monolith of sound that takes a firm will to tackle all at once.  Cutting a few of the songs off of the top would have made the album more accessible to the casual listener.  While the production is excellent, there is still some work to do to create a perfect balance between the different musical elements that appear on the album.
If the band continues to experiment with different styles of music, and they grow more cohesive as a unit, they have immense potential.  Death, thrash, and black metal fans alike will find many aspects of Apocalyptic Visions of Divine Terror enjoyable.  So what are you waiting for?  Put on your headphones, tune out the world around you, and experience a new vision of terror and mayhem.

  Rating:  3.5/5.0

Band Facebook

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

New Pantokrator Single *Revolution*

You can download the new single from Pantokrator's (death metal) upcoming album Incarnate here.  If you like the song, make sure to support the band.  The album releases next week.

Upcoming Album Review - ForChristSake

In the next few days, look for an album review for the upcoming release from ForChristSake's first full-length album, Apocalyptic Visions of Divine Terror.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Symphonic Metal Band Whisper from Heaven Releases *New Single*

Female-fronted symphonic metal band Whisper from Heaven has releasd a new single called "Into Eternity."  You can check it out on their bandcamp page.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Solamors (MDM) Streams 2 Songs From New Album

Melodic death metal band Solamors with front man Jason Wisdom (ex-Becoming the Archetype) is offering free streaming of two songs from their upcoming album Depravity's Demise via their Bandcamp Page.  Kickstarter supporters got a free download as a perk, but it's not too late to jump on the bandwagon.  You'll get a free download of the songs if you pre-order the album.

You can also check out the hype on their Facebook.

Happy listening!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Lascaille's Shroud Releases Song and Album News

I try to find underrated bands that deserve more attention.  Lascaille's Shroud is a progressive metal band with science-fiction and apocalyptic themes.  If you like long, epic songs, then check them out!  They've released new album art for their upcoming album, and you can listen to one of the new songs from the album.

Listen to the new song.  Click here!

Band Facebook:  click here!