Reviews by Michael O'Brien
By Michael O'Brien | 07 August, 2015
Soulfly is a band that just about every metal fan seems to have an opinion on, and in my circles that opinion trends heavily towards the negative. In fact, that opinion is held almost universally within said circles to the point that I’ve av...
C R O W N
By Michael O'Brien | 03 August, 2015
France's C R O W N (Crown, henceforth) have been on my radar for a while now, originally from seeing their name around the traps and then from their bio which simply and minimally states that the band is "three men, three guitars, a voice and mach...
Of Ghosts and Gods
By Michael O'Brien | 25 July, 2015
Remember that brief period about 20 years ago when the prospect of a new album from Canada’s Kataklysm was something to get excited about? Man, those were the days. This was a time when using the adjective ‘northern hyperblast’ t...
Author & Punisher
Melk en Honing
By Michael O'Brien | 05 July, 2015
As jaded and crabby as it probably makes me sound, I just don’t see a lot of true innovation going on in music’s heavier and darker realms these days and, if I’m being honest, I probably haven't for a long time. Oh, sure, th...
Shape of Despair
By Michael O'Brien | 05 June, 2015
The wait was long, but it was worth it
It’s been a long time between drinks for Finland’s Shape of Despair. After releasing two great albums and one OK one between 2000 and 2004, the band has largely been quiet, save fo...
The Plague Within
By Michael O'Brien | 03 June, 2015
Paying lip service to the past
As much as I’ve always wanted to be into everything that long-running doomsters, Paradise Lost, do, the truth is that my enjoyment of their albums is more an exception to rather than representat...
IX - Everyone, Everything, Everywhere, Ends
By Michael O'Brien | 23 April, 2015
There’s few surprises to be found but it’s a solid offering nonetheless
I feel like I’d be on pretty safe ground if I said that I don’t think I’d find too many people who would argue with the assertion...
Home is Where the Hatred Is
By Michael O'Brien | 27 February, 2015
31-minutes of savage oppression
Despite an awful lot of ridiculousness, a heavy metal band’s name will often give a prospective listener a reasonable idea of what the band in question is going to sound like. This is far from ...
A Swarm of the Sun
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...
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&...