Druids – Monument (Review)

Druids - MonumentThis is the latest EP from US stoner metal band Druids.

After enjoying 2016’s Cycles of Mobeum and 2017’s Spirit Compass, I’m glad to be able to catch up with Druids once more. Continue reading

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Queensrÿche – The Verdict (Review)

Queensrÿche - The VerdictQueensrÿche are a legendary US progressive metal band and this is their 15th album.

This is contemporary heavy/progressive metal, played by talented, veteran musicians that know a thing or two about how to write a good tune. Continue reading

East of the Wall – NP-Complete (Review)

East of the Wall - NP-CompleteEast of the Wall are a progressive metal band from the US and this is their fifth album.

East of the Wall have produced a progressive metal album that finds the band in fine form. This is a collection of textured, layered songs, embracing a modern progressive approach that has elements of the heavier side of the spectrum in its makeup. Continue reading

Any Given Day – Overpower (Review)

Any Given Day - OverpowerAny Given Day are a German modern metal band and this is their third album.

I confess that I’m usually quite hesitant to listen to bands like this, (modern metal/metalcore), as a lot of the time I’m simply confronted with heartless aggression and plastic emotion. Not so with Any Given Day. On Overpower, you can tell they mean it. Continue reading

Boundaries – My Body in Bloom (Review)

Boundaries - My Body in BloomBoundaries are a metal/hardcore band from the US and this is their latest EP.

Boundaries are heavy. Like, crush your skull into a bloody pulp heavy. Add to this the fact that they can also write a good song, and you have a pretty damn satisfying EP. Continue reading

Forged in Black – Descent of the Serpent (Review)

Forged in Black - Descent of the SerpentForged in Black are a UK heavy metal band and this is their second album.

Featuring 48 minutes of material, Descent of the Serpent is well-crafted heavy metal with wide scope. Some elements of thrash are mixed in, for example. Also, occasionally the songs veer into classic doom metal territories in their more atmospheric moments, or sometimes adopt a power metal stance of epic force. Whatever they do this is pure heavy metal goodness all the way. Continue reading

Children of Bodom – Hexed (Review)

Children of Bodom - HexedChildren of Bodom are a melodic death metal band from Finland and this is their tenth album.

My relationship with Children of Bodom up to this point can be summarised like so –

  • Hatebreeder (1999) – Wow, yeah! Such a damn good album. I really like this band.
  • Hate Crew Death Roll (2003) – The band just continue to get better!
  • Are You Dead Yet? (2005) – Oh no. What happened here? It’s okay I suppose, but not really my thing.
  • Halo of Blood (2013) – Not too bad, but not too good either.

And now we have Hexed. Yes, there are other albums too, in addition to the ones mentioned above, but you get the general idea.

Hexed contains 45 minutes of rocking melodeath, which consists of ten new tracks and, curiously, a reworking of an older song, (Knuckleduster). My verdict? It seems Children of Bodom have returned to the quality levels of the late 90s/early 00s. Yes, you read that right.

Prominent, expressive keyboards work wonders with the material. Songs that are catchy and memorable tear out from the music like bladed predators scything through the airwaves. Old school rock and metal elements are captured in the band’s electrifying songs, especially in the melodies used. Aggressive, energetic, and melodic, Hexed is full of good tunes and confident attitude.

I’m impressed. I’m very pleased to say that the band sound revitalised, despite how much of a cliché that probably comes across as. The album art suggested something along these lines when I first saw it, but the music firmly backs it up.

Hexed is Children of Bodom’s best album in years. I feel like I’ve rediscovered an old friend.