Is Illud Divinum Insanus That Bad? Could It Be Better?

2011 Album Cover

Morbid Angel- Illud Divinum Insanus

In retrospect, an album only really gains the moniker of a bad album under particular contexts. Musicianship, fan reactions, critical reception, creativity and the style of music are all factors that determine whether an album can be met with widespread acclaim or derision. However, this pales into insignificance when you start to include an artist’s previous works as a context. An underperforming album is made glaringly obvious when stacked against albums that are deemed superior. Look at it this way: if a band consistently produces poor albums, no one bats an eyelid- but when a band that has previously had a spotless record regarding their creative output releases a polarizing and divisive body of work, then everyone has an opinion. Continue reading

Review: “Bastards Still Remain” by This Is Hell

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This Is Hell “Bastards Still Remain”

Despite releasing one of the best modern thrash/hardcore/crossover albums with 2011’s Black Mass, things have been very quiet in the This Is Hell camp. Following this album the band took a brief hiatus, and most of the members (except vocalist Travis Reilly) explored new and thrashier territories as Extinction AD. Although this new group continued what This Is Hell started by blending hardcore with thrash’s precise riffs, questions still remained about the future of This Is Hell. Now, on the 10th anniversary of their debut album Sundowning, the band surprised fans by streaming a new album on to their Bandcamp site (https://thisishell.bandcamp.com/album/bastards-still-remain). Continue reading

Should Metallica Release A New Album?

Photograph by Ross Halfin

Metallica in Shanghai 2013

At the start of each year, most metal fans will turn their attention towards upcoming releases, and eagerly await their favourite band’s latest album. I think it would be fair to say that the for the past few years (with greater emphasis on this year), the number one album on the majority of fans’ wish lists would be a new Metallica album. I cannot even begin to delve into the numerous twists and turns that has come to define the ongoing saga of that elusive album. Every time there’s a tantalising glimpse of the band demoing or recording in the studio, it is quickly overtaken with one of the band’s many projects. Lets face it, the band has done anything and everything imaginable (playing big name shows, making their own film, playing Antarctica, curating their own festivals, etc.) EXCEPT from making a new album. However, amid all this speculation and excitement it might be worth asking: why should Metallica bother making a new album? Continue reading

5 Things I Want To See On The New Whitechapel Album & 1 Thing I Don’t

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Phil Bozeman of Whitechapel

So it’s nearly been a week since Whitechapel dropped the revelation that they will be releasing their sixth album, entitled Mark Of The Blade, on June 24th. Not only that, but they’ve also debuted the title track from the album- a stomping, groovy mid-tempo number that bears all the hallmarks of Whitechapel’s sound. Even the accompanying press release from their label, Metal Blade records, sounds promising and enticing for new fans: Continue reading

Is Blooddrunk That Bad? Could It Be Better?

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Children Of Bodom 2008

Whilst I’m sure that bands try their hardest to produce the best music they can in the studio, it goes without saying that every band has a ‘weaker’ album. Whether its a stylistic shift or otherwise, a change in the bands line up, or an ill-fitting production, there’s always reasons for fans and critics to turn their noses up at a band’s latest offering. However, I want to look back at some of those maligned works and understand why these albums have been received poorly, and to determine whether it was judged harshly or unfairly at the time. Perhaps with the benefit of hindsight these albums can be given a degree of credit- and if not, then maybe there’s a way to improve them. I’d like to start proceedings by evaluating Blooddrunk by Children Of Bodom. Continue reading