Reviews by Michael O'Brien

  • TesseracT - Sonder
  • TesseracT

    Sonder

    By Michael O'Brien | 19 April, 2018

    Even though I wouldn’t really consider myself to be a fan of progressive metal generally, I have enjoyed my share of TesseracT’s material over the years, and especially so their second full length album, 2013’s Altered State<...

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  • Soldat Hans - Es Taut
  • Soldat Hans

    Es Taut

    By Michael O'Brien | 27 March, 2018

    Over the years, I’ve found it to be beneficial to be sceptical of the descriptions that are contained in the promotional blurbs for the promos that are sent my way. Though they’re clearly intended to be a guide and to pique interest (t...

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  • Primordial - Exile Amongst the Ruins
  • Primordial

    Exile Amongst the Ruins

    By Michael O'Brien | 26 March, 2018

    Despite having been around for over 20 years now, I have to admit to being pretty late to the party with Ireland’s Primordial. In fact, it wasn’t until I took the chance on seeing them at a festival in 2015 that their idiosyncratic fol...

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  • Morbid Angel - Kingdoms Disdained
  • Morbid Angel

    Kingdoms Disdained

    By Michael O'Brien | 30 November, 2017

    Though I personally think the lasting legacy of the first Tucker era of Morbid Angel is that it produced a lot of the patchier material in the band’s catalogue, the unmitigated disaster that was 2011’s Illud Divinum Insanus (w...

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  • Cannibal Corpse - Red Before Black
  • Cannibal Corpse

    Red Before Black

    By Michael O'Brien | 07 November, 2017

    Cannibal Corpse will always hold a special place for me, because they were one of my primary gateways into heavy metal many moons ago; hearing "Hammer Smashed Face" on the local community radio metal show back in the day was nothing short of a rev...

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  • Gnaw - Cutting Pieces
  • Gnaw

    Cutting Pieces

    By Michael O'Brien | 25 October, 2017

    I like to think of myself as being a pretty adventurous listener with an eclectic range of tastes, but there are limits to that adventurousness. One band that stands at the edge of those limits is the now long defunct New York drone/doom project, ...

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  • Chelsea Wolfe - Hiss Spun
  • Chelsea Wolfe

    Hiss Spun

    By Michael O'Brien | 21 September, 2017

    Ever since I got my hands on her Unknown Rooms acoustic album back in 2012, I’ve been a pretty big fan of Chelsea Wolfe. Of the many things that draw me to her as an artist, her unpredictability is very high on the list, but that ca...

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  • Belphegor - Totenritual
  • Belphegor

    Totenritual

    By Michael O'Brien | 13 September, 2017

    When I was first introduced to long-running Austrian blackened death metal act, Belphegor, via their sixth full-length album, 2006’s Pestapokalypse VI, I went on what could best be described as a years long binge of their material. ...

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  • Septicflesh - Codex Omega
  • Septicflesh

    Codex Omega

    By Michael O'Brien | 02 September, 2017

    Greece’s Septicflesh must surely stand as one of the great heavy metal comeback success stories in recent memory. Following their breakup in 2003, they returned in 2008 with the very well regarded Communion, and have since that time...

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  • Paradise Lost - Medusa
  • Paradise Lost

    Medusa

    By Michael O'Brien | 29 August, 2017

    To this day, Paradise Lost's 1995 release, Draconian Times, remains one of my favourite albums of all time. It also has the dubious honour of being the last Paradise Lost album that resonated with me for the nearly 15 years leading up to ...

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  • MRTVI - Negative Atonal Dissonance
  • MRTVI

    Negative Atonal Dissonance

    By Michael O'Brien | 22 July, 2017

    The daunting flood of promos that are sent my way each week makes the act of choosing something to review less of a science than a scattershot process that usually takes the form of picking something either due to a familiarity with the band, a fa...

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  • Suffocation - ...Of the Dark Light
  • Suffocation

    ...Of the Dark Light

    By Michael O'Brien | 06 June, 2017

    Approaching ...Of the Dark Light for the first time a couple of weeks or so ago, it occurred to me that it’s actually been quite a while since I’ve been really drawn to and hooked by a new Suffocation release. My first instinc...

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  • Sólstafir - Berdreyminn
  • Sólstafir

    Berdreyminn

    By Michael O'Brien | 25 May, 2017

    While I understand that many view 2009’s Köld as Sólstafir’s watershed album (and they may well be absolutely spot on for all I know as I’ve not heard it), I wasn’t introduced to the band until their 20...

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  • Obelyskkh - The Providence
  • Obelyskkh

    The Providence

    By Michael O'Brien | 23 April, 2017

    Even though I’ve been a fan of the style for quite a while now, I have to admit to feeling pretty burned out on the sludge/stoner doom genre these days. While there are definitely bands occupying this space that are doing interesting things,...

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  • Empusae - Lueur
  • Empusae

    Lueur

    By Michael O'Brien | 07 April, 2017

    With a string of interesting albums being released over the year or so that I’ve been aware of their existence, I’m at the point where I pay attention to just about everything that Belgian label Consouling Sounds puts out these days, a...

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  • Drug Honkey - Cloak of Skies
  • Drug Honkey

    Cloak of Skies

    By Michael O'Brien | 23 March, 2017

    Before receiving this promo, if you'd told me that I'd be reviewing an album from a band named Drug Honkey, I would've laughed, but I can’t imagine I would’ve believed you. Here we are, though, and amusing name notwithstanding, Clo...

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