Reviews by Simon Crawley

  • OHHMS - The Fool
  • OHHMS

    The Fool

    By Simon Crawley | 07 June, 2017

    With the debut release of Bloom in October 2014, Kent’s (U.K.) OHHMS sidled up warmly to fellow The Metal Forge contributor Simon Milburn. And when 2015’s Cold came out, that was that – Mr. Milburn was won over ...

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  • Warbringer - Woe to the Vanquished
  • Warbringer

    Woe to the Vanquished

    By Simon Crawley | 08 April, 2017

    Thrash is a highly coveted strain of heavy metal. Its speed, groove, and gritty aggression are elements diehard fans hold dear and get very protective over when the progressive arm of metal sidles up to it. In some ways, death and black metal have...

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  • Havok - Conformicide
  • Havok

    Conformicide

    By Simon Crawley | 20 March, 2017

    Havok is a band I only came to know at the time they unleashed 2011’s Time is Up upon modern day thrash. One cannot ask for a better introduction. Time is Up remains a personal favourite and go-to album when my mood lends i...

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  • Bear Mace - Butchering the Colossus
  • Bear Mace

    Butchering the Colossus

    By Simon Crawley | 20 March, 2017

    In keeping to the gruesome theme, this is an album that, like a bear trap, will crack both the air and your bones as it smashes closed upon your stumbling across it. With beginnings dating back to 2012, this five-strong band hailing from Chicago l...

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  • Kreator - Gods of Violence
  • Kreator

    Gods of Violence

    By Simon Crawley | 30 January, 2017

    This is the 14th studio album from the German thrash legends, and its whipping ferocity was conceived amidst the rising levels of hate and resentment gripping our planet all in the name of religious beliefs. This powerful theme soaks every minute ...

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  • Fetid Zombie - Epicedia
  • Fetid Zombie

    Epicedia

    By Simon Crawley | 14 December, 2016

    An album title like Epicedia comes across as being almost tongue in cheek, but then there is always the appropriate sense of stating the obvious that also works. Go ahead and spin this, the creation of renowned metal personality Mark Ridd...

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  • Anaal Nathrakh - The Whole of the Law
  • Anaal Nathrakh

    The Whole of the Law

    By Simon Crawley | 18 November, 2016

    Imagine any apocalyptic scene where the world is burning and the sea is galloping towards the shoreline with devastating intent – you can be sure that the soundtrack to such events will be courtesy of Birmingham, England’s Anaal Nathra...

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  • Darkthrone - Arctic Thunder
  • Darkthrone

    Arctic Thunder

    By Simon Crawley | 07 November, 2016

    Black metal, and that of the Norwegian persuasion in particular, definitely occupies a stark corner of the heavy metal realm. To that extent, Darkthrone was always one of those potently bleak acts that somehow conjured one’s respect. Their f...

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  • Insomnium - Winter's Gate
  • Insomnium

    Winter's Gate

    By Simon Crawley | 06 October, 2016

    With a steady flow of studio album releases since 2002’s In the Halls of Awaiting, Finland’s Insomnium reveal its seventh in Winter’s Gate. Consisting of a single 40-minute track, this is a conceptual album insp...

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  • Soilwork - Death Resonance
  • Soilwork

    Death Resonance

    By Simon Crawley | 30 August, 2016

    Amidst the Swedish melodic death metal veterans’ ongoing tour to support their 2015 studio album, The Ride Majestic, fans are treated to over an hour’s worth of music consisting of two brand new songs and 13 rarely released tr...

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  • Hammers of Misfortune - Dead Revolution
  • Hammers of Misfortune

    Dead Revolution

    By Simon Crawley | 15 August, 2016

    There are those bands and styles of metal that ooze that sense of ‘epic’, taking the listener on a journey of riffs, melody, hooks, guitar solos, and dramatic vocals all tied to a string of stories or overall theme. Hammers of Misfortu...

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  • Defiled - Towards Inevitable Ruin
  • Defiled

    Towards Inevitable Ruin

    By Simon Crawley | 21 July, 2016

    The Japanese death metal juggernaut that is Defiled has been crushing skulls and taking names for 22 brutal years. Much like their home city of Tokyo, this is metal of monstrous proportions. In the five years since Defiled’s last full-length...

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  • Monsterworks - Black Swan Annihilation
  • Monsterworks

    Black Swan Annihilation

    By Simon Crawley | 11 July, 2016

    There is a striking air of enthusiasm about the UK’s Monsterworks which is also admirable when you think that the band has been around for well over a decade, churning out albums and sticking together as a unit the entire time. The release o...

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  • American Head Charge - Tango Umbrella
  • American Head Charge

    Tango Umbrella

    By Simon Crawley | 08 June, 2016

    Drugs, breakups, reunions, and death – all too common a thread of themes in the music business, and Minneapolis’ American Head Charge are another one of those bands. It’s been just over ten years since the band’s last album...

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  • Artillery - Penalty by Perception
  • Artillery

    Penalty by Perception

    By Simon Crawley | 26 April, 2016

    A band significant enough for its role played in the early days of thrash metal, Artillery is still around and has also survived two significant break-ups. The Danish thrashers unleash their seventh full-length studio album and fourth since their ...

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  • Bushwhacker - The False Dilemma
  • Bushwhacker

    The False Dilemma

    By Simon Crawley | 10 March, 2016

    While I’m not quite sure what’s in the name, as a bushwhacker links to the American Civil War and these chaps are from Canada; one thing I did come to understand about The False Dilemma is that it requires a few listens to beg...

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  • Black Cobra - Imperium Simulacra
  • Black Cobra

    Imperium Simulacra

    By Simon Crawley | 25 February, 2016

    There is plenty of down-tuned, steamroller riffage and heaving tempo to soak up with Black Cobra, but also a significant hardcore thread running through the band’s sound. The inherent changeability of sludge metal and the way it can chaotica...

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  • Lumberjack Feedback, The - Blackened Visions
  • Lumberjack Feedback, The

    Blackened Visions

    By Simon Crawley | 01 February, 2016

    Entirely instrumental albums are always somewhat of a grey area in terms of overall appreciation and enjoyment. The absence of vocals accommodates that extra element of risk of not capturing the listener’s attention. The instruments are left...

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  • Venomous Concept - Kick Me Silly VC III
  • Venomous Concept

    Kick Me Silly VC III

    By Simon Crawley | 19 January, 2016

    Heavy metal in 2016 gets off to a blistering start and the evidence is right here in the third full-length studio album from ‘super group’ Venomous Concept. The band’s brand of ear-searing grind punk is that bucket of icy water t...

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