Jeremy Ulrey's Posts
Bad Magic arrives at a tumultuous time in Motörhead's history. What was meant to be a triumphant return after several years of escalating health issues experienced by frontman and all-around metal icon Lemmy Kilmister has been hampered by a series of cancelled or abbreviated live sets that have become so reliably frequent that they could make George "No Show" Jones blush.
Even when you're receiving what seems like every new album – major and minor – that is birthed into this here metal realm in the form of label-sanctioned promos, you still end up running across a surprise band that you've somehow slept on previous releases. Chapel Hill's MAKE are my latest such discovery
While it's become increasingly common for bands like Witchcraft and Graveyard to distance themselves from overt Sabbath worship by retreating into the broader confines of 70's-inflected rock in general, San Francisco stalwarts Orchid continue fighting the good fight
The Sword have heretofore never presented themselves as a particularly divisive band. One of their greatest charms is that you largely know what you’re going to get out of a Sword album going in. Well, for once the band seem to have decided their fans have gotten a little too complacent – or that the band themselves have merely become too predictable – and with new effort High Country they aim to shake up those expectations.
St. Louis quartet Black Fast have the standard Revocation vibe down as to be expected, but they also bring a surprising dose of Death worship to the proceedings, weaving effortlessly between the two without any hard left turns or jarring diversions.
Novelty metal has come to be its own thriving cottage industry, namely in the form of viral videos and attention-seeking mash up covers. With the expected amateur, part-time commitment expected of such fleeting virality, though, it's no surprise that much of the novelty metal niche has a blink-or-you-miss-it quality. Not so with Baltimore's parrot-led Hatebeak, as pisstake a long term metal project as the genre has seen.
Everyone has their favorite High on Fire album, and it's not because the band are constantly throwing polarizing curve balls. The Oakland sludge trio celebrate the 15th anniversary of their debut album this year, and during that time they've largely adhered to a shopworn template of bruising stoner riffs and relentless, juggernaut percussion, yet while that template may not represent the most outré heavy metal out there, HOF have consistently captivated audiences with the same formula without ever seeming like they're spinning their wheels.
Black Age Blues, being the first full length Goatsnake recording in 15 years, and the most recent music in any format since 2004, would seem to be poised to reclaim the long overdue respect that Goatsnake never entirely delivered on during their initial half-decade run.
After self-releasing their (ahem) self-titled album in 2012, Montreal death metal legends Cryptopsy are ready to go the whole nine in the 1-5 with an upcoming series of EPs under the collective banner The Book of Suffering, and they need your help to live the dream.
Sol Invictus has been a long time coming, given that the band have been touring consistently off and on since 2009, and the most striking thing about it is that it resists the temptation to recapture the old funk thrash sound of The Real Thing, instead picking up pretty much where Album of the Year left off
Two years ago Tribulation were making a big fish/small pond play at greatness courtesy the (no offense) stunted distribution of Invictus Productions. Proving that the cream tends to rise to the top, the Swedish quartet turned that poorly-heard-yet-well-received sophomore effort into a lucrative contract with Century Media, and on Children of the Night have found the third time to indeed be charmed.
As with many bands that start off mixing and matching disparate sub-genre tropes to varying effect, Barren Earth have grown exponentially in terms of both scale and sophistication since 2009's debut EP, Our Twilight. The 70's prog rock influences so noted on early releases have gradually through attrition begun to subsume the band's entire modus operandi (witness Kasper Mårtenson try his hand at old Keith Emerson organ runs on "The Vault"), but the doom death vertebrae from previous releases remains largely intact, positioning On Lonely Towers dangerously close to schizophrenic territory at times.
Erg, another covers record, right? These are usually the domain of washed up bands bereft of ideas, and even the most die hard apologists would have a hard time defending the idea that Prong's last several albums have seen them at their most vital and inspired, so Songs from the Black Hole must be a complete disaster, right?
pace doom progenitors Ufomammut, perhaps cut off from the immediacy of scene influences due to their residence in the mountainous Piedmont region of northwestern Italy, eschew anything so literal, their own brand of "cosmic horror" manifesting through ominous drone and Hawkwind-informed synth textures acting like background radiation against the emerging and re-emerging sludge riffs that break through the still vacuum of the universe.
Immortal Randy Rhoads is not the first tribute album to the guitar great, but compared to many other legendary bands and artists the Rhoads omnibus encomiums have been kept to a surprising minimum. This is not entirely overdone territory, believe it or not.
Enslaved were one of the earlier Scandinavian bands to begin rigorously unraveling the increasingly staid black metal template. Though they've been at this "controlled demolition" phase of their career for longer than they were traditionalists to begin with, the Norwegian quintet has never really veered as far from orthodoxy as some of their prog- and shoegaze-smitten peers. Which is what a lot of people like about them.
The key buzzword for SXSW 2015 is retrenchment. Following an escalating period of peaking drama and crowd management issues over the past…