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Best Metal Albums of 2016

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All right! Back on track. Here is my “Top 10” list for 2016.

10. Borknagar – Winter Thrice

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I’ll admit I never really even discovered progressive black metal supergroup Borknagar until this year. And I was even late to the game on listening to Winter Thrice, but I was totally on board the minute I hit play on epic opener “The Rhymes of the Mountain.” And if black metal isn’t your thing, this album features a heavy dose of fantastic clean vocals. This is also a great listen in the cold of January and February.

9. Meshuggah – The Violent Sleep of Reason

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2012’s Koloss was in my top 10 from that year and 2016’s The Violent Sleep of Reason continues the trend. It’s at times a harsher, less structured listen than Koloss and the music takes a few spins to digest. The album is driven by Dick Lovgren’s bass and Thomas Haake’s drums (the duo get the majority of songwriting credits here), and because of this, Meshuggah’s The Violent Sleep of Reason feels fresh and full of groove.

8. Testament – Brotherhood of the Snake

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If you found Metallica’s Hardwired…To Self Destruct to be enjoyable, but a little too long-winded in the back half, then Testament’s Brotherhood of the Snake is the album for you. It’s a 45 minute thrash thrill-ride that demands repeat listens. In the words of Chuck Billy “smoke ’em if ya got ’em.” Preach on, brotha.

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Written by Eric

December 31, 2016 at 2:56 pm

The Heavy Metal Review’s Top 10 Metal Albums of 2012

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Every metal blog/magazine/musician out there is publishing its Top Albums List around this time of year and The Heavy Metal Review is no exception. It’s interesting to see how so many people’s lists can vary based on genre preference and life experiences that made a particular album hit home harder than the rest. So here is my heavily contemplated Top 10 in terms of what I rocked out to the most this year.

10. Black Breath – Sentenced to Life

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Sentenced to Life takes the distorted death metal of Entombed and combines it with more traditional thrash and hardcore influences to make an album that is unrelenting, yet highly listenable. This is easily Black Breath’s best release to date (though it’s only the band’s second full-length) and the album’s short run-time means it does not overstay its welcome in your rotation.

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Quick Album Review: Car Bomb w^w^^w^w

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There are plenty of new releases that manage to slip under the metal radar. Some of them are just plain awful and not worth the time or money. Then there are the cases were a band lacks the promotion necessary to get the word out. This must have been the issue with Car Bomb’s sophomore effort w^w^^w^w as the album is amazing… if you are able to track it down.

The group quietly released w^w^^w^w on Tuesday via its Bandcamp website (where it is also streaming in full).

Car Bomb’s sound can be described as an aural assault reminiscent of A Life Once Lost or more obviously Meshuggah. However, the songs are more compact and the band tosses in the occasional clean vocal alongside plenty of groove-laden riffs.

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Written by Eric

September 28, 2012 at 7:14 pm

Editorial: Lyric videos… the future of heavy metal?

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Let’s talk about a new trend emerging in the heavy metal world – lyric videos.

Most often these videos are previewing new tracks from an upcoming album and a lot of times the lyrics are hard to make out without the words scrolling in front of you. This seems like a good idea as long as we get more than just the lyrics to go with our video.

We will start with a good example of a recent lyric video from The Acacia Strain for “Victims of the Cave” off the forthcoming album Death is the Only Mortal.

It doesn’t hurt this song is badass to begin with, but at the same time, the differing fonts and minimal art moving across the screen with the lyrics adds to the track.

Especially when you get to this lyric around the 32 second mark:

The world is covered with demons/And the eye sees everything

As with demons flashes on the screen the letters are roaring with flames and the Egyptian eye graphic makes a comeback right after. These images aren’t at all distracting, but provide just the right amount of spice to hold your interest visually as well as sonically.

The rest of the video uses techniques like this to really complement the dark, brooding lyrics.

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Top Albums of 2012 since I’ve been gone…

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Hello readers,

It’s been awhile since I last posted an album review (believe that was in APRIL!) and now I hope to get on a slightly more regular schedule with my reviews. You can expect a full album review on Tuesday, but thought I would get back into this blog by posting brief quick commentary on albums that I never got to review that I think are amazing so far in the last few months of 2012.

You probably have already checked these albums out, but if you haven’t, I personally can vouch for everyone one of them as being some top-notch metal kickassery.

So let’s get the ball rollin’ on these metal releases you may or may not have missed…

Eric’s Top Metal Picks (since he left the blog, no particular order):

1. Six Feet Under Undead

Six Feet Under’s previous material never clicked with me. Between the schlocky covers and the more standard death metal fare, vocalist Chris Barnes couldn’t grab me like he did on his last amazing disc with Cannibal CorpseThe Bleeding. That is until I heard Undead. This record doesn’t necessarily go back to the Barnes/Corpse days – it goes back further to death metal’s roots of full-on slow chugging guttural bliss.

Also of note: The addition of former Chimaira guitarist Rob Arnold, who I believe is actually no longer in Six Feet Under already.

Check out: “Frozen at the Moment of Death,” “18 Days,” “Molest Dead” (oh yes, the song titles are still there).

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