Reviews by Michael O'Brien

  • George Kollias - Invictus
  • George Kollias


    By Michael O'Brien | 14 May, 2015

    A decent debut that desperately needs some individuality

    There’s no denying that George Kollias rightly occupies a very safe spot within the upper tier of death metal drummers due to the speed and ferocity with which he punis...

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  • Sigh - Graveward
  • Sigh


    By Michael O'Brien | 07 May, 2015

    Into the grave

    Even way back in 1993 when Sigh released their debut album, Scorn Defeat, on Euronymous' Deathlike Silence Productions (which was a feat unto itself for a band that was not only not from Scandinavia, but hai...

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  • Kontinuum - Kyrr
  • Kontinuum


    By Michael O'Brien | 27 April, 2015

    An enjoyable album that could use a little distinctiveness

    Hailing from Iceland and with a bio that lists post-metal as their style, it was practically impossible to come into the promo for Kontinuum’s second full-length albu...

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  • Ufomammut - Ecate
  • Ufomammut


    By Michael O'Brien | 27 March, 2015

    Continuing to put the power in power trio

    To say that Italy’s Ufomammut have been on an absolute tear over the past five years or so wouldn’t be doing them the justice they deserve. The mastery of the single-song, space...

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  • Slow Death, The - Ark
  • Slow Death, The


    By Michael O'Brien | 19 March, 2015

    Hints of greatness

    I like to think that I have a pretty good finger on the pulse of what’s happening metal-wise in my local scene, but the existence of funeral doom/death metal act, The Slow Death, completely passed me by, wh...

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  • Moonspell - Extinct
  • Moonspell


    By Michael O'Brien | 12 March, 2015

    Ruin & misery

    There were a good few years there when I wouldn't hear a bad word spoken about Portugal's Moonspell. The band's 1994 EP, Under the Moonspell, as well as the duo of albums consisting of 1995's Wolfhear...

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  • Melechesh - Enki
  • Melechesh


    By Michael O'Brien | 27 February, 2015

    Divine nature awakens

    It’s been close to five years since Israel’s “Sumerian thrashing black metal/Mesopotamian metal” band, Melechesh, released their last album, The Epigenesis, which was one that ...

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  • A Swarm of the Sun - The Rifts
  • A Swarm of the Sun

    The Rifts

    By Michael O'Brien | 13 February, 2015

    A masterful exploration of sadness and loss

    If there’s one thing in music that I simply cannot stand, it’s overwrought and needlessly melodramatic compositions, but as someone who is devout in his love of all things doo...

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  • Solefald - World Metal. Kosmopolis Sud
  • Solefald

    World Metal. Kosmopolis Sud

    By Michael O'Brien | 09 February, 2015

    A highly ambitious offering that will not be for everybody

    To say that Norway’s Solefald has made a career out of the strange and the unexpected would be an understatement of the highest order. From their beginnings on 1997&...

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  • Hate - Crusade: Zero
  • Hate

    Crusade: Zero

    By Michael O'Brien | 30 January, 2015

    Little has changed but the results speak for themselves

    Hate are one of the most enduring death metal bands hailing from Poland, having steadily released albums every two to three years since 1996. I first heard them on their fift...

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  • Xibalba - Tierra Y Libertad
  • Xibalba

    Tierra Y Libertad

    By Michael O'Brien | 23 January, 2015

    Viva la Revolución

    When I reviewed Xibalba’s second album, Hasta La Muerte, a couple of years back, I didn’t have a lot of nice things to say about it. I loved the bowel-shaking bottom end of the band&rs...

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  • Ethereal - Opus Aethereum
  • Ethereal

    Opus Aethereum

    By Michael O'Brien | 23 January, 2015

    1997 calling

    There’s a fine and often ambiguous line that exists between the kind of music that evokes long-established tropes and the kind of music that is completely beholden to said long-established tropes. In the case of ...

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  • Marduk - Frontschwein
  • Marduk


    By Michael O'Brien | 19 January, 2015

    Another solid release from the dependable Swedish veterans

    In their 25 years as a band, I can’t think of a single bad album that Sweden’s Marduk has released. Sure, there are definitely some that are better than others...

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  • Crown, The - Death is Not Dead
  • Crown, The

    Death is Not Dead

    By Michael O'Brien | 16 January, 2015

    A good but inconsistent release

    Despite their impressive lineage and the considerable amount of adoration out there for them, Sweden’s The Crown (originally Crown of Thorns between 1990 and 1998) are a band that have complet...

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  • Ghoulgotha - The Deathmass Cloak
  • Ghoulgotha

    The Deathmass Cloak

    By Michael O'Brien | 14 January, 2015

    Ghoulgotha may be capable of something good, but this isn't it

    One of the primary things I try to convey in my reviews is what the experience of listening to an album “feels” like. I’ve never been one to find much...

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