Reviews by Michael O'Brien

Maple Cross

Next Chapter

By Michael O'Brien | 15 February, 2006

A familiar style done convincingly

When I first went to listen to this CD, I saw the band's name, Maple Cross, and was convinced it was going to be another “Nu-Metal” release that I would hate with a passion. To my surp...

Read More

Unmoored

Indefinite Soul-Extension

By Michael O'Brien | 12 February, 2006

Unoriginal band that shows signs of promise

If you are from Sweden and want to play melodic death metal, then how do you go about sounding different from every other band out there? This is a question that many have pondered but fe...

Read More

Thee Maldoror Kollective

New Era Viral Order

By Michael O'Brien | 12 February, 2006

Fans of industrial black metal rejoice.

Sitting somewhere between an early Diabolos Rising and Mysticum is Italy's strangely named Thee Maldoror Kollective. According to the band's website, the concept for New Era Viral Order is Al...

Read More

Valiance

Wayfaring

By Michael O'Brien | 16 January, 2006

A great sophomore effort

Ah there's nothing like big chords, big melodies and big falsetto vocals. Say hello to Italy's Valiance. I'm going to start off by stating that usually power metal isn't my thing. This is not to say that I ...

Read More

Bloodshed

Inhabitants of Dis

By Michael O'Brien | 16 January, 2006

A boring and unimaginative tinny metal album

Sweden is a land that has provided us with many quality bands and albums over the years. It only stands to reason however that with the good there will always be the not so good. Allow m...

Read More

Atrox

Orgasm

By Michael O'Brien | 16 January, 2006

Let down by indecisive vocals

For want of a better word, and even though I really hate using it, I would have to label Atrox as progressive. They are a band who follow a straight out of left field musical approach in the vein of ba...

Read More

Aborym

With No Human Intervention

By Michael O'Brien | 16 January, 2006

Extreme, abrasive and dark industrial black metal

Italy's Aborym play an abrasive blend of industrial black metal that is challenging from start to finish. They have taken what bands such as Mysticum, Diabolos Rising and Red Harves...

Read More

Virgin Black

Sombre Romantic

By Michael O'Brien | 01 January, 2006

Highly original classically inspired music

Virgin Black appears to be a unique entity in the Australian music scene. Mixing a wide variety of styles including doom, industrial and goth into a sweeping, classically inspired amalgam....

Read More

Elysium

Dreamscapes

By Michael O'Brien | 01 January, 2006

Ambitious yet ultimately disappointing debut effort

Australia's Elysium (now known as Stone Wings) had led a very long and checkered past in the lead up to the release of their debut album, Dreamscapes. If I remember correctly, I f...

Read More

Handful of Hate

Vicecrown

By Michael O'Brien | 23 December, 2005

A solid album that brings us nothing new

If I were asked to name a black metal band from Italy I would be struggling. To be honest, none come to mind at all. But now that I have heard Handful of Hate I really want to find out more ...

Read More

Pantheist

O Solitude

By Michael O'Brien | 23 December, 2005

Funeral doom at its finest

Pantheist is the brainchild of former doom-metal.com reviewer Kostas who hailed originally from Belgium before moving to the UK in 2004. For those who are unfamiliar with the term, a Pantheist is one who ...

Read More

Scent of Flesh

Roaring Depths of Insanity

By Michael O'Brien | 23 December, 2005

Deicide would be very proud

Scent of Flesh play a tried and true (ad nauseam) style of death metal that you would expect to hear from a band hailing from the United States. After hearing a couple of minutes of the CD you would prob...

Read More

Gorelord/Wurdulak

Drunk, Damned & Decayed (DVD)

By Michael O'Brien | 12 December, 2005

A mixed bag of odds and ends

Never having heard either of these bands before, I decided to do some investigating before watching this DVD. My research led me to a third band that I had never heard before either, Necrophagia. It app...

Read More

Damnation

Destructo Evangelia

By Michael O'Brien | 08 December, 2005

Old school black metal breathes once more

When I received this CD, it was pretty apparent that it was going to be a black metal album. What was not so obvious was that it would be a throw back to 1st generation black metal in the v...

Read More

Belef

Infection Purification

By Michael O'Brien | 08 December, 2005

Strong in some areas but weak where it counts

France's Belef play a brand of super fast, technical metal in the vein of Marduk and to some extent Emperor and Immortal. With the opening of the first track Brutal Destruction, Infecti...

Read More

Marduk

Plague Angel

By Michael O'Brien | 22 October, 2005

Uncompromising release from veterans of black metal

Marduk are a band that seem to have been around forever issuing a string of releases backed up by a relentless touring schedule. To the uninitiated, Marduk has been unleashing an inte...

Read More

Deranged

Rated X

By Michael O'Brien | 22 October, 2005

A brutal first full-length release

The year was 1996. It was a great year for metal with releases such as In Flames’ The Jester Race, Crowbar’s Broken Glass and Immolation’s Here In After. I was more than happy with...

Read More