Reviews by Simon Crawley


Eastern Frontier in Flames

By Simon Crawley | 21 January, 2014

A retrospective collection of foundational and inspirational elements

A prolific contributor to the black metal scene since 2003, Ukraine’s Drudkh have always preferred the shadows to the spotlight; devoted to their music but nev...

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By Simon Crawley | 13 January, 2014

Brilliant doom metal caught somewhere between dreams and nightmares

As 2013 drew to a close, this debut album from Sweden’s Avatarium emerged out from the doom-knitted mist to assertively place itself amongst one of the most impr...

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Red Fang

Whales & Leeches

By Simon Crawley | 26 December, 2013

The highly anticipated third album lacks oomph  

It’s difficult to take a band like Red Fang all that seriously. There is little use in disputing the impact that the stoner metal ensemble has made since their debut album in ...

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Hail of Bullets

III: The Rommel Chronicles

By Simon Crawley | 02 December, 2013

The Dutchmen continue to unleash hell in clinical fashion

‘There’s no school like the old school’. Rotterdam’s Hail of Bullets is a death metal band with a winning recipe: a traditional heavy metal sound packed ...

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Obscure Verses for the Multiverse

By Simon Crawley | 11 November, 2013

Black metal to lure you in and curdle your soul

Originally from Colombia, Seattle’s Inquisition is a haunting black metal force that has been steadily designing its ominous rise up from the underground for well over ten years. At...

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Cult of Luna

Vertikal II

By Simon Crawley | 03 October, 2013

Bringing an end to a true musical odyssey

At the start of 2013, the Swedish progressive metal masters brought us another hugely impressive musical creation in Vertikal. Eight months later and the release of Vertikal II brings with it t...

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By Simon Crawley | 16 September, 2013

The Kiwis are a death metal force to be reckoned with

An American friend and fellow metal-fiend who makes regular business trips to New Zealand remarked that every time he inquires about local metal bands to check out, he gets nothing...

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War of Will

By Simon Crawley | 30 August, 2013

Scorching thrash metal but not as gritty as its predecessor

Two years on and Detroit’s Battlecross are back with their sophomore studio album, War of Will. Easily one of thrash metal’s most dynamic and refreshing bands, Bat...

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By Simon Crawley | 14 August, 2013

This is a band on a mission

For any heavy metal fan unfamiliar with Revocation, this is a band of four very talented musicians who let loose a real assortment of brutish goodies for you to sink your horns into. With a smorgasbord of in...

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Pelon Juuret

By Simon Crawley | 13 August, 2013

Seething hardcore punk boiling away inside a steel drum

Despite making noise since 2005, Finland’s Unkind took its first giant step forward after signing with Relapse Records and releasing Harhakuvat in 2011. Unbridled and fierce...

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Return to Annihilation

By Simon Crawley | 16 July, 2013

Shifting tides of musical momentum within vast, eerie spaces

The mind hovers, scrambling to latch onto handles. There is something desolate about these soundscapes yet also very profound, vast, and immense. There is no immediate and ea...

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The Headless Ritual

By Simon Crawley | 10 July, 2013

There’s no abating the horror from the death metal veterans

After a 16 year absence, 2011 saw Autopsy bludgeon their way back onto the metal scene with the astonishingly good Macabre Eternal. A return of that form is what legends...

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Flies Will Starve

By Simon Crawley | 04 July, 2013

Grindcore hell-bent on absolute mayhem

Geneva, Switzerland is synonymous with diplomacy, the UN, the Red Cross and, of course, the Geneva Conventions. But, crashing the party in this buttoned-up ‘peace capital’ of a city is...

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One One One

By Simon Crawley | 25 June, 2013

Wired from beginning to end like black ‘n roll tripping on speed

Blackjazz. The name of this band’s fifth studio album and the description they coined for the genre of music they create – the product of experimentatio...

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By Simon Crawley | 19 June, 2013

The Englishmen are a thrash metal force to be reckoned with

It must be something in the water. The wheels on the thrash metal assembly line are turning back and for the past few years have been spitting out new sounds that resemble the...

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Black Dahlia Murder, The


By Simon Crawley | 03 June, 2013

Refashioning melodic death metal to the brutal, nth degree

The latest studio album release from The Black Dahlia Murder (TBDM) marks ten years of mercilessly pulverising the shit out of the heavy metal industry. The Michigan death/deat...

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Cancer Bats

Dead Set on Living (Reissue)

By Simon Crawley | 29 May, 2013

Loud and ferociously charged

The fourth studio album from the Canadian hardcore punk outfit is a highly charged and explosive affair and, just for good measure, they are back with a reissued version of the belting 2012 release that dis...

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By Simon Crawley | 22 May, 2013

A far cry, or even a howl, from their previous album

The Rhode Islanders’ first full length album, Full of Hell, shattered its burly mass all over the metal scene back in 2010. Here was a band fashioning their own sound on eroded...

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By Simon Crawley | 06 May, 2013

Ticking a few thrash metal boxes but overall, an underachiever

This is only the second full length studio album from the Texas thrashers, formerly known as Texas Metal Alliance, but there is a fair bit of heavy metal muscle behind the ...

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By Simon Crawley | 08 April, 2013

Slightly unexpected but that’s to be expected

Rocked. In every sense of the word, this is the feeling that many fans of hard rock and metal experienced in 2010 when the Norwegians’ debut, and self-titled album, rushed the c...

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