About Gustavo Scuderi

"If I could survive to live one more time I wouldn't be changing a thing at all Done more in my life than some do in ten I'd go back and do it all over again..."

Album Review – Hyl / Where Emptiness Is All (2023)

A majestic display of Atmospheric Black Metal, bringing the cruel peace of absolute devastation, and invoking the killing quietude of an abandoned world wrapped in the soft death of snow.

Birthed in the creative cauldron that is the mind of multi-instrumentalist Rick Costantino (Schizo, Krigere Wolf), Italy/Poland-based Atmospheric Black Metal horde Hyl is a new entity that captures an atmosphere of utter desolation, of a world bereft of life, being highly recommended for fans of Ruins Of Beverast, Vemod, Mgla and Fuath, just to name a few. Comprised of the aforementioned Rick Costantino (who also goes by his initials R.C.) on the guitars and bass, Shadow (Black Altar, Ofermod) on vocals, and Krzysztof Klingbein (Vader, Belphegor) on drums, the band is releasing their debut effort, titled Where Emptiness Is All, bringing the cruel peace of absolute devastation, and invoking the killing quietude of an abandoned world wrapped in the soft death of snow. Mixed and mastered by Dionisis Dimitrakos at Descent Studio (with vocals mixed by Devo Andersson at Endarker Studio), and displaying a sinister logo by Christophe Szpajdel of Lord of the Logos and a Stygian album art by Elysivm Artwork, the album transpires Black Metal at its most powerful and enthralling, imbued with winter magic and offering a glimpse into a darkness beyond human experience and understanding.

The atmospheric intro Pvrification will beautifully darken the skies, setting the stage for Hyl to crush our senses in Into the Unknown, with the piercing guitars by R.C. embellishing the airwaves while Krzysztof begins hammering his drums in the name of Black Metal, all complemented by the grim, visceral guttural by Shadow. Their blackened attack goes on in the multi-layered, imposing extravaganza titled And Everything Dies, a lecture in Atmospheric Black Metal sounding even more venomous than its predecessor due to the pulverizing drums by Krzysztof; and the atmosphere remains dense, somber and majestic in the title-track Where Emptiness is All, where once again Shadow roars like a demonic entity accompanied by the sharp riffs and rumbling bass by R.C. in another infernal display of Atmospheric Black Metal. Then a dark, menacing intro gradually evolves into an ethereal voyage titled Endless Illusions, with R.C. and Krzysztof blasting melodic yet at the same time sulfurous sounds from their sonic weapons, flowing into the closing tune Under a Watching Sky, which sounds and feels more like an outro than anything else. I personally preferred if it was a regular song, or if it was a little bit shorter in duration, but it’s still a solid way to conclude the album.

Those three extremely talented metallers from Italy and Poland are eager to know what you think of their music, and you can do so by giving them a shout on Facebook and on Instagram, and of course you can show them your absolute support and admiration by purchasing a copy of Where Emptiness Is All from the Odium Records’ BandCamp page or webstore, succumbing to the darkest and most atmospheric side of extreme music. You’ll certainly have a blast wandering through the Stygian realms explored by Rick Constantino and his henchmen in Where Emptiness Is All, always keeping in mind that there’s no turning back once you let darkness and desolation take over your damned soul.

Best moments of the album: And Everything Dies and Where Emptiness is All.

Worst moments of the album: Under a Watching Sky.

Released in 2023 Odium Records

Track listing
1. Pvrification (Intro) 1:03
2. Into the Unknown 7:41
3. And Everything Dies 6:58
4. Where Emptiness is All 5:12
5. Endless Illusions 7:36
6. Under a Watching Sky 5:03

Band members
Shadow – vocals
Rick Costantino – guitars, bass
Krzysztof Klingbein – drums

Album Review – Ov Sulfur / The Burden ov Faith (2023)

Behold the debut album by this Las Vegas-based Blackened Deathcore beast, overflowing blasphemy, sulfur and obscurity.

The sound of a musical left-hand path that is nothing short of sonically jarring, lyrically blasphemous and utterly epic in its delivery, Las Vegas, Nevada-based Blackened Deathcore entity Ov Sulfur has just unleashed upon humanity their first full-length opus, entitled The Burden ov Faith, the follow-up to their 2021 debut EP Oblivion. Engineered, mixed and mastered by Josh Schroeder and produced by Morgoth Beatz, the album challenges the genre’s conventions while inviting comparisons to Dimmu Borgir or Behemoth in their prime, with an ominous sense of melody dotting the dark musical landscapes brought into being by frontman Ricky Hoover (Suffokate), guitarist Chase Wilson (Collisions, Sigil), bassist Ding (Efnisien) and drummer Leviathvn (Empyrean Throne, Dawn of Ashes, Deadcheck, Urilia), supported by an array of magnificent guest musicians the likes of Alex Terrible (Slaughter To Prevail) and Howard Jones (Killswitch Engage, Light The Torch).

It’s hell on earth in just a few seconds in the opening tune Stained in Rot, with Ricky already growling like a beast while Leviathvn dictates the song’s demented pace in a lecture in Blackened Deathcore by the quartet; and the band continues to pulverize our ears in Befouler, featuring the aforementioned Alex Terrible on guest vocals, with Ricky’s inhumane roars walking hand in hand with the heavy-as-hell riffage by Chase. Then we have Unraveling, featuring Taylor Barber (Left to Suffer) as a guest vocalist while epic background keys add an extra touch of sulfur to the music. Needless to say, Ding’s bass and Leviathvn’s drums sound infernal from start to finish, which is also the case in Death ov Circumstance, where its wicked lyrics (“The sky above is cloaked in endless dark / Ashes, once life, coat the lungs ov all those in sight / What a foul stench – that ov charred innocence”) spice up an already venomous sonority, or in other words, it’s demonic Deathcore at its finest; whereas hellish barks, piercing riffs and whimsical background orchestrations and sounds will embrace your soul in Earthen.

After the atmospheric, enfolding interlude A Path to Salvation?, the band will crush our senses with the grandiose I, Apostate, where Ricky showcases not only his deep guttural roars, but he also delivers more devilish Black Metal-inspired screeches, sounding perfect for breaking our necks headbanging. Poetic lyrics are darkly screamed by the duo formed of Ricky and guest Howard Jones in Wide Open (“One of us, accept your feelings / One of us, let go of it all / One of us, this is the real truth / One of us, break their control over you”), while Chase, Ding and Leviathvn are merciless armed with their sonic weapons in the most sulfurous of all songs. Their second to last breath of darkness and blasphemy comes in the form of The Inglorious Archetype, with the massive drums by Leviathvn and the visceral roars by Ricky sounding awesome despite the fact that the song loses its punch after a while; and lastly, featuring guests Kyle Medina (Bodysnatcher) and Lindsay Schoolcraft (Cradle of Filth), the title-track The Burden ov Faith is a spot-on depiction of everything the band stands for, with the charming vocals by Lyndsay bringing some peace to our hearts amidst the band’s metallic savagery.

Such incendiary album can be appreciated in its entirety on YouTube and on Spotify, but of course you should purchase your favorite copy of The Burden ov Faith by clicking HERE, and don’t forget to also follow the band on Facebook and on Instagram for news, tour dates and so on. Ov Sulfur offer us all in their debut opus everything we love in this type of music, sounding absolutely devilish, caustic and blasphemous from start to finish, paving the band’s path to the underworld and, therefore, placing them among one of the new driving forces of the current Deathcore scene worldwide.

Best moments of the album: Stained in Rot, Death ov Circumstance and Wide Open.

Worst moments of the album: The Inglorious Archetype.

Released in 2023 Century Media

Track listing
1. Stained in Rot 4:14
2. Befouler 3:43
3. Unraveling 4:46
4. Death ov Circumstance 4:33
5. Earthen 5:24
6. A Path to Salvation? 1:13
7. I, Apostate 4:40
8. Wide Open 5:07
9. The Inglorious Archetype 3:46
10. The Burden ov Faith 6:50

Band members
Ricky Hoover – vocals
Chase Wilson – guitars
Ding – bass
Leviathvn – drums

Guest musicians
Alex Terrible – vocals on “Befouler”
Taylor Barber – vocals on “Unraveling”
Howard Jones – vocals on “Wide Open”
Kyle Medina – vocals on “The Burden ov Faith”
Lindsay Schoolcraft – vocals on “The Burden ov Faith”

Album Review – Sovereign Council / World On Fire EP (2023)

This Canadian Symphonic Metal band is back in action with an exciting new EP, written and composed from a place of love and vulnerability.

From headlining performances as well as supporting slots for some of the biggest bands in the metal since their inception in 2012, Ottawa, Canada-based Symphonic Progressive Metal band Sovereign Council is finally back with a brand new EP titled World On Fire, the follow-up to their 2015 full-length album Laniakea. Produced by the band’s own guitarist Joe Moon, mixed and mastered at Silver Wings Studios, and displaying a classy artwork by Martin Trottier, World On Fire was written and composed “from a place of love and vulnerability” according to the band itself, showcasing all the talent by Lisa Thompson on vocals, Joe Moon and Chris Thompson on the guitars, Shaun Vanhooser on bass and Brandon Schneider on drums, being therefore recommended for fans of Delain, Within Temptation and Lacuna Coil, just to name a few.

Gentle and ethereal keys ignite the title-track World On Fire before Lisa begins declaiming the song’s poetic lyrics (“There’s a part in everyone that is broken / All it takes is one moment / To set you back, and relive the pain / Forever chasing the smoke from the remains of what you thought you were / Now all has fallen”) in a great display of modern-day Symphonic Metal; whereas Joe and Chris extract electricity and epicness from their axes in The Wait supported by the classic bass lines by Shaun, all of course embraced by Lisa’s delicate vocals. Then we have Aberration, highly inspired by the current Symphonic Metal scene but also presenting elements from Groove Metal added to their sonority, with Brandon dictating the pace with his pounding drums accompanied by the rumbling bass by Shaun. Supported by the backing vocals by Joe, Lisa once again distills her serene vocal lines in Breathe You In, with their guitars sounding extremely melodious while at the same time bringing heaviness to their music in a solid depiction of Modern Melodic Metal; and lastly, the band delivers a more visceral, in-your-face sound in Of The Ashes, with Lisa’s vocals walking hand in hand with the drums by Brandon, putting a stylish ending to the album while living up to the legacy of bands like Xandria and Within Temptation.

“This is the first release for us since we decided to alter our lineup and adjust our musical trajectory. We feel that the sound we have created here is still at its core very ‘Sovereign Council’ but has matured and developed into something greater. We are extremely proud of this new sound and cannot wait to see how people respond to it. We have another set of songs nearly completed as well; these new songs continue our new direction and add another new edge as well as a heavier feel. You’ll have to stick around for the next release to find out what that edge is,” commented the band about their new EP, and you can show all your support to them by following them on Facebook and on Instagram, by subscribing to their YouTube channel, by streaming their music on Spotify, and of course by purchasing World On Fire from their own BandCamp page, as well as from Apple Music. Furthermore, this is pure Canadian metal music, made entirely by Canadians (under what’s called MAPL), which means if you want to know how the Canadian metal scene is, you should definitely take a listen at the new album by Sovereign Council, a band that proudly carries the flag of heavy music wherever they go and that’s moving towards a very interesting direction with their new release.

Best moments of the album: World On Fire and Of The Ashes.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2023 Independent

Track listing
1. World On Fire 4:43
2. The Wait 4:24
3. Aberration 4:00
4. Breathe You In 3:34
5. Of The Ashes 4:13

Band members
Lisa Thompson – lead vocals
Joe Moon – lead guitars, backing vocals
Chris Thompson – rhythm guitars
Shaun Vanhooser – bass
Brandon Schneider – drums

Concert Review – Megadeth (FirstOntario Centre, Hamilton, ON, 05/08/2023)

The unstoppable MegaDave and his henchmen crushed “the Hammer” in another night of first-class Thrash and Speed Metal.

OPENING ACTS: ONI and Bullet For My Valentine

Known to locals as “the Hammer” or “Hammertown” due to its industrial roots, the city of Hamilton has always been a mandatory stop for countless metal bands form all over the world. Names like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Motörhead and so on have played at least once in their careers in such important city for the Canadian industry, and one of the bands that always returns to Hamilton to kick some serious ass is of course our beloved Megadeth. That’s exactly what happened last night at FirstOntario Centre when guests ONI and BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE, together of course with the one and only MEGADETH, took the Hammer by storm as one of the Canadian stops of their Crush the World Tour 2023, and I must say it was indeed another memorable night of heavy music for the thousands of fans at the venue.

The first band to hit the stage, precisely at 7pm, was Windsor, Ontario-based Progressive Metalcore/Djent act ONI, and although there was still a lot of people outdoors those guys put on an excellent concert, properly warming up the fans of both Bullet For My Valentine and Megadeth with their harsh and clean vocals, thunderous and intricate bass lines, sharp riffs and headbanging drums. Still promoting their 2022 album Loathing Light, the band spearheaded by frontman Jake Oni, who’s by the way a fantastic vocalist capable of switching from demonic growls to stylish clean vocals without any actual effort, put everyone to jump up and down with them during their short and sweet performance, already igniting some fun mosh pits for the delight of lovers of such unique sport. I’m definitely going to take a more detailed listen at their music on Spotify, and you should do the same to get to know more about such interesting band of the current Canadian scene.

Chasing Ecstasy
Heart to Stone
The Lie

Band members
Jake Oni – vocals
Brandon White – guitars
Martin Andres – guitars
Johnny DeAngelis – xylosynth
Chase Bryant – bass
Joe Greulich – drums

After ONI finished their solid performance, and after a quick bathroom/beer/merch break, it was time for Welsh Melodic Metalcore icons BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE (or just BFMV, if you prefer) to begin their incendiary performance for their several fans at the venue, and I must admit there was a huge chunk of the audience that was there to see BFMV first and Megadeth as a bonus, and not the opposite. Despite not being my cup of tea, I had a good time watching Matthew “Matt” Tuck, Michael “Padge” Paget, Jamie Mathias and Jason Bowld delivering a solid show on stage, mixing their classics with newer songs from their 2021 self-titled album. Songs like Waking the Demon, Knives and the closer Scream Aim Fire worked really well last night while the band had a strong chemistry with the audience during their entire set, and of course although the mosh pits (full of young kids) were not as violent as the ones from Immolation and Obituary the night before, they were still decent enough for a band that lots of people don’t consider metal.

Your Betrayal
Waking the Demon
Piece of Me
4 Words (to Choke Upon)
You Want a Battle? (Here’s a War)
Over It
Tears Don’t Fall
Scream Aim Fire

Band members
Matthew “Matt” Tuck – lead vocals, rhythm guitar
Michael “Padge” Paget – lead guitar, backing vocals
Jamie Mathias – bass, backing vocals
Jason Bowld – drums, percussion


The moment most fans in Hammertown were waiting for finally arrived at 9:15pm, when one of the most important names in the history of heavy music, Mr. Dave Mustaine, supported by his henchmen Kiko Loureiro on the guitars, Steve Di Giorgio on bass and Dirk Verbeuren on drums, collectively known as American Thrash/Speed Metal institution MEGADETH, kicked off their performance overflowing classics, heaviness and speed, all spearheaded by our beloved “MegaDave” as usual. The last time Megadeth played in Hamilton was 11 years ago, during their Gigantour 2012, and one of the bands that night was the unparalleled Motörhead, which is why I think the band’s diehard fans ignored ONI and BFMV yesterday and spent all the time prior to Megadeth outside smoking and having some beers.

Anyway, back to the concert, it was simply electrifying from the very first notes of Hangar 18, with flammable hits the likes of Sweating Bullets, She-Wolf, Trust and Tornado of Souls, plus newer songs like Dystopia, inspiring us all to scream the lyrics together with Dave, banging our heads and raising our horns nonstop, and even venturing inside the sick mosh pits formed in the centre of the floor section. I also loved the fact they played Dread and the Fugitive Mind, a very underrated metal classic in my opinion, and I wish they had kept Angry Again in their setlist, but overall it was a lecture in heavy music by Megadeth, with kudos to Kiko once again for revitalizing the band and bringing so much energy, charisma and intricacy to their studio albums and live performances. In other words, Dave knew exactly what he was doing when he invited one of the best metal guitarists of the past 20 years to be part of the Megadeth family.

However, it was when Dave gave a short speech about how Covid-19 and his cancer delayed the release of the breathtaking The Sick, the Dying… and the Dead! (and he received a huge shout and a round of applauses from his fans when he proudly said he beat cancer) before playing the incendiary We’ll Be Back, when Vic Rattlehead joined the band onstage during the hard-hitting classic Peace Sells, plus of course his all-time masterpiece Holy Wars… The Punishment Due, that drove all fans mental at the venue, creating a beautiful connection between the band and the crowd. Needless to say, I don’t care if the play in Hammertown, in Toronto or anywhere else in the area, I’ll be there, and based on Dave’s final words they’ll be back to this part of the world sooner than you can say “Wake up dead! You die!”

Prince of Darkness
Hangar 18
Wake Up Dead
Dread and the Fugitive Mind
Sweating Bullets
A Tout Le Monde
We’ll Be Back
Conquer or Die!
Tornado of Souls
Symphony of Destruction
Peace Sells
Holy Wars… The Punishment Due
Silent Scorn

Band members
Dave Mustaine – lead vocals, lead and rhythm guitar
Kiko Loureiro – lead guitar, backing vocals
Steve Di Giorgio – bass
Dirk Verbeuren – drums

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Concert Review – Obituary (The Phoenix Concert Theatre, Toronto, ON, 05/07/2023)

The right mindset, the right night in Toronto, with tons of metalheads celebrating the unparalleled Death Metal by one of the pillars of the genre worldwide.

OPENING ACTS: Ingrown, Blood Incantation and Immolation

The city of Toronto had the pleasure of enjoying another ass-kicking celebration of Death Metal last night thanks again to Noel Peters of Inertia Entertainment, bringing to the city a fantastic combo of pure heaviness with the bands INGROWN, BLOOD INCANTATION, IMMOLATION and OBITUARY to The Phoenix Concert Theatre. There was a massive line to get into the venue, plus another huge line to get to the merch stands before entering the floor section, which means several people missed the first band of the night, unfortunately. Maybe they could have opened the doors a little earlier, at 6pm or even at 5:30pm, because only 30 minutes between doors and the first band is definitely not enough for getting in, getting some merch, having a beer and chatting with friends. Nothing that would damage the quality of the night, though.

Having said that, a half empty venue was there to enjoy the Hardcore by Boise, Idaho-based act INGROWN precisely at 7pm, including myself and my buddy Keith Ibbitson of Lower Eastside Photography, one of the two photographers that were there in time for Ingrown, by the way. Playing several songs from their 2021 album Gun, the trio formed of Calvin Ross Hansen, Alex Marshall and Dave Shaffer didn’t waste too much time talking and simply hammered their instruments nonstop, and despite the lack of mosh pit action due to most fans still trying to enter the venue or grab some merch, it was a solid and freakin’ heavy performance, proving why those American metallers carry the Great Seal of the State of Idaho with them. If you want to know more about their pulverizing Harcore, you can find all of their creations on BandCamp and on Spotify, alright?

Slip Away
Snake Stomp
Hard Time

Band members
Calvin Ross Hansen – vocals, guitars
Alex Marshall – bass
Dave Shaffer – drums 

After a very short break, it was time for Denver, Colorado’s own Sci-Fi Death Metal entity BLOOD INCANTATION to take us on a journey to outer space with their technical and pulverizing Death Metal, spearheaded by the relatively shy while speaking, but utterly demonic while playing, Paul Riedl on vocals and guitars. Paul mentioned it was the band’s first visit to Toronto since 2019, and judging by the reaction of the crowd, who ignited some insane mosh pits while the quartet was flawless on stage, I must say their Torontonian fans have more than missed their live performances for the past few years. Their setlist might have been short, with only five songs in total including the excellent The Giza Power Plant and Slave Species of the Gods, from their 2019 opus Hidden History of the Human Race, but each song had enough elements, energy and complexity to put a huge smile on the faces of everyone at the venue, resulting in a first-class performance by one of the most underrated bands of the current Death Metal scene.

The Giza Power Plant
Slave Species of the Gods
Hovering Lifeless

Band members
Paul Riedl – vocals, guitars
Morris Kolontyrsky – guitars
Jeff Barrett – bass
Isaac Faulk – drums

Although Obituary were the main attraction of the night, there were countless fans at The Phoenix Concert Theatre eager to see New York’s own Death Metal institution IMMOLATION kicking some ass on stage, blending classics form their amazing career with songs from their most recent album, Acts of God, released last year, including the opener An Act of God, The Age of No Light, Blooded, and the closer Let the Darkness In. Bassist and vocalist Ross Dolan and his henchmen were on fire throughout their entire show, just like when they opened for Cannibal Corpse in the city last November, which obviously inspired the fans to ignite some wicked mosh pits that took the whole floor section at times. The most peculiar moments of their concert were, first, when fans started chanting “Fuck Trudeau!”, but Ross didn’t fall for that and said that was not the place for politics, that we should all leave that shit outside and enjoy their music; and then when Dan Lilker from Nuclear Assault came out on stage before the song Under the Supreme. Why didn’t he stay for the entire song no one knows, and I also think Nuclear Assault could have been part of the night (even if it was just Toronto), but that’s fine. In the end, it was a memorable Death Metal party by Immolation, and I’m sure we’ll see them back in the city really soon (as mentioned by Ross by the end of their performance).

An Act of God
The Age of No Light
Harnessing Ruin
Despondent Souls
World Agony
Destructive Currents
Under the Supreme
Let the Darkness In

Band members
Ross Dolan – vocals, bass
Robert Vigna – guitars
Alex Bouks – guitars
Steve Shalaty – drums


It was already past 9pm when Florida’s Death Metal titans OBITUARY ignited their flawless, pulverizing performance, even more infernal than when they opened for Amon Amarth in Toronto last December, closing the night on a high note as expected. This time properly promoting their demolishing new album Dying of Everything, playing nothing more, nothing less than SIX songs form the album, those being The Wrong Time, Barely Alive, War, Weaponize the Hate, My Will to Live, and the title-track Dying of Everything already as part of the encore, and you know an album is THAT good when the reaction of everyone at The Phoenix Concert Theatre was simply superb, with endless circle pits, some brutal headbanging and everyone raising their horns to one of the pillars of Death Metal worldwide.

Of course the band spearheaded by the iconic John Tardy also played some insane classic the likes of Redneck Stomp and Slowly We Rot, making it absolutely worth it heading to the venue on a rainy Sunday night. I was also impressed with the overall quality of their stage, with the lighting, the smoke and all other elements looking awesome from start to finish, and if you think of the size of the venue that becomes even more insane. That proves how much Obituary (and the other bands, of course) care about their fans, always delivering an electrifying performance no matter what. There wasn’t a lot of talking from John nor any of the other band members, and I’m fine with that because I want to see them kicking ass with their music, which probably happened because of the tight schedule before hitting the curfew at around 11pm. I’m sure Obituary, just like Immolation, will return to Toronto before we can say “Death Metal” based on their happiness after the concert was over, and I’m sure all fans that attended their concert last night can’t wait for that to happen.

Snortin’ Whiskey (Pat Travers Band song)
Redneck Stomp
Sentence Day
A Lesson in Vengeance
Visions in My Head
The Wrong Time
Barely Alive
Slow Death
Find the Arise
Weaponize the Hate
My Will to Live
Chopped in Half
Turned Inside Out

Dying of Everything
I’m in Pain
Slowly We Rot
Cat Scratch Fever (Ted Nugent song)

Band members
John Tardy – vocals
Kenny Andrews – lead guitars
Trevor Peres – rhythm guitars
Terry Butler – bass
Donald Tardy – drums

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Album Review – Overkill / Scorched (2023)

One of the pillars of old school Thrash Metal will scorch the earth to the sound of their breathtaking new album.

Recorded at Gear Recording Studio, SKH Recording Studios, JRod Productions and The Recording Company, mixed by Colin Richardson and Chris Clancy at Audioworks Productions, mastered by Maor Appelbaum, and displaying a sick cover art by Travis Smith of Seempieces Design Studio, the breathtaking Scorched, the twentieth studio album by American Thrash Metal masters Overkill, might have had its official release postponed on numerous occasions, but the wait was absolutely worth it. The follow-up to their 2019 album The Wings of War (marking the longest gap between studio albums for the band) is a lecture in old school thrash by frontman Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth, guitarists Dave Linsk and Derek Tailer, bassist D.D. Verni and drummer Jason Bittner, placing it among the best metal albums of the year without a shadow of a doubt.

Strident, piercing guitar ignite the thrashing title-track Scorched, with Bobby attacking our ears with his raspy voice and the song’s wicked lyrics (“Way down deep in the fire / Way down deep in the flame / Way down deep in the hole I dug / Way down Deep in the pain / I’m a flash in your atmosphere / Atomic wind blowing into your night / Crash and burn, let me make it clear / And give ’em just a little light”) in a beyond fantastic start to the album, and Dave and Derek rev up the band’s furious engine with their sick riffage in the circle pit feast titled Goin’ Home, supported by the classic drums by Jason. The Surgeon is another ass-kicking Thrash Metal extravaganza spearheaded by the band’s guitar duo while Bobby’s grim vocals add a considerable share of insanity to the music; whereas Twist of the Wick, one of the most demented songs of the album, will inspire you to crush your damned skull into the mosh pit to the frantic beats by Jason and the rumbling bass by D.D. Needless to say, it should sound superb if played live. And Jason dictates the pace in the neck-breaking tune Wicked Place, sounding utterly groovy while maintaining the band’s heaviness intact.

It’s then time for another visceral, thrashing creation by Overkill titled Won’t Be Comin Back, where Bobby is in total sync with the guitars by Dave and Derek, resulting in an old school Thrash Metal beast overflowing energy and rage, with Jason’s drums being once again spot-on. The ominous bass by D.D. darkens the atmosphere in Fever, being quickly joined by the introspective vocals by Bobby and a lovely Blues-ish vibe; followed by Harder They Fall, offering our ears more of the band’s acid lyrics (“Ice water flowing through his veins / Rumor has it that it comes and goes in waves / The face of fear, baby, he’s your man / With evil inside the heart, he does the best he can / The best he can”) while the music is a flawless, demolishing Thrash Metal feast showcasing all the band’s passion for heavy music, and I’m sure this will become a fan-favorite during their live concerts. Overkill keep the circle pit moving majestically with Know Her Name, an ass-kicking Thrash Metal attack led by Bobby’s evil roars while D.D. and Jason are on fire with their thunderous kitchen, making it impossible not to bang your head like a maniac to such electrifying song; and their last explosion of thrashing sounds, titled Bag o’ Bones, brings forward the band’s characteristic heaviness, rebelliousness and creativity, with Dave, Derek and D.D. adding sheer groove to the music armed with their axes, also showcasing a classic chorus with amazing backing vocals.

This beast of an album, a serious contender for album of the year by the way, is available for a full listen on YouTube and on Spotify, but as I know you’re a true diehard thrasher you can purchase it from Overkill’s own BandCamp page, or by clicking HERE or HERE. You can also find more details about the band, their tour dates, plans for the future and other nice-to-know details on Facebook and on Instagram, that of course if you don’t follow them already. In a nutshell, Overkill will scorch the earth, scorch our brains, scorch the good and scorch the bad armed with their thrilling new album, setting fire to the entire scene once again, just as we all expect from one of the pillars of our beloved old school Thrash Metal.

Best moments of the album: Scorched, The Surgeon, Twist of the Wick, Harder They Fall and Know Her Name.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2023 Nuclear Blast

Track listing
1. Scorched 6:13
2. Goin’ Home 4:31
3. The Surgeon 5:33
4. Twist of the Wick 5:34
5. Wicked Place 5:00
6. Won’t Be Comin Back 4:30
7. Fever 5:33
8. Harder They Fall 4:23
9. Know Her Name 5:11
10. Bag o’ Bones 4:37

Band members
Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth – vocals
Dave Linsk – lead guitars
Derek Tailer – rhythm guitars
D.D. Verni – bass
Jason Bittner – drums

Guest musician
Michael Romeo – orchestrations

Album Review – Imperial Demonic / Beneath the Crimson Eclipse EP (2023)

As above, so below, this Northern Ireland-based Melodic Black Metal horde will see you in hell armed with their breathtaking debut effort.

Having first emerged back in 2021 in Belfast, Northern Ireland as a solo project by drummer Cameron Åhslund-Glass (Celtachor, Darkest Era, Overoth), paying homage to the more polished Black Metal sound of the late 90’s and early 2000’s, but currently comprised of Cameron together with Andy Heathen (Celtachor, Overoth) on vocals, Daniel Dempster (Overoth) and Kacper Lewandowski on the guitars, and Gareth Murdock (Alestorm) on bass, the pulverizing Melodic Black Metal horde Imperial Demonic has just unleashed upon humanity their debut effort, a fantastic EP titled Beneath the Crimson Eclipse, bringing the fire and brimstone back to modern Black Metal. Recorded at Third Level Audio, engineered and produced by James Reeve and the band’s own Kacper Lewandowski, and displaying a sinister artwork by Romanian artist Luciana Nedelea (with logo by Nox Fragor Art and album cover arrangements by Anaïs Mulgrew), Beneath the Crimson Eclipse brings forward a fusion of fury and triumph, aggression and melody, with the band pursuing a heavier, more aggressive territory with relentless blast beats, melodic hooks and visceral lyrics.

As a creature crawling from the underworld, the band begins their caustic sonic attack with The Furnace, an imposing Black Metal aria where Andy roars majestically accompanied by the infernal drums by Cameron, kicking off the EP on a beyond sulfurous note; whereas Daniel and Kacper extract strident, piercing Black Metal riffs form their axes in Ways Of The Secular Flesh, offering us all nonstop action while Gareth hammers his bass like a maniac. Then once again embellishing the airwaves with their pulverizing riffs, bass lines and blast beats, the band brings forward The Path Of Night, living up to the legacy of contemporary Melodic Black Metal while Andy sounds inhumane on vocals as usual; and keeping the level of sulfur and obscurity as high as possible, Andy screams in anger in Dawn Of The Infernal Age, supported by another infernal performance by Cameron on drums in a lecture in Melodic Black Metal. Lastly, closing such fantastic and intense EP we have Beneath The Crimson Eclipse, offering us all more of the band’s austere sounds with Gareth and Cameron making sure the atmosphere remains as sulfurous as possible, while Daniel and Kacper fire their undisputed Black Metal riffs nonstop for our total delight.

This precious gem of darkness is available for a full and detailed listen on YouTube and on Spotify, but you can certainly show your utmost support to the guys from Imperial Demonic by clicking HERE and purchasing your favorite version of Beneath the Crimson Eclipse. Don’t forget to also start following the band on Facebook and on Instagram for news, tour dates and more of their Stygian music, showing all your appreciation for their wicked creations. In the thrilling Beneath the Crimson Eclipse, Imperial Demonic delivered exactly what they said they would, sounding heavily rooted in that scorching Black Metal sound from the 90’s and 2000’s without sounding repetitive or outdated, and I can’t wait to see what’s next in the career of Cameron and his horde.

Best moments of the album: The Path Of Night and Dawn Of The Infernal Age.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2023 Black Lion Records

Track listing
1. The Furnace 3:40
2. Ways Of The Secular Flesh 4:44
3. The Path Of Night 7:20
4. Dawn Of The Infernal Age 4:49
5. Beneath The Crimson Eclipse 6:02

Band members
Andy Heathen – vocals
Daniel Dempster – lead guitars
Kacper Lewandowski – rhythm and additional guitars
Gareth Murdock – bass
Cameron Åhslund-Glass – drums

Album Review – Orphans of Dusk / Spleen (2023)

Nine years after releasing their last offering, this New Zealand and Australia-based entity returns with their most mature album to date, one that should gather the world’s gothic-doom scene’s attention.

Ten years after the band’s inception, and nine since their last offering, the 2014 EP Revenant, New Zealander/Australian Gothic/Doom Metal entity Orphans of Dusk opens their goth-doom gasket again, coming back to life to present Spleen, their haunting new full-length album.  Mixed and mastered by Simon Cohen at Studios 301, and displaying a classy artwork by Moreno Matkovic (with additional artwork by Luciferium War Graphics, Irina Micic and the band’s own guitarist James Quested), the album picks up where Revenant left with a greater focus on dark hooks carried by excellent gothic vocals and guitar harmonies brought forth by Chris G on vocals, the aforementioned James Quested on the guitars and synths, and Mike Wilson on bass, supported by guest drummer Jonas Schütz (Cyclopean Walls, Sacrosanct, Diësis). The band’s most mature offering to date, and one that should gather the world’s gothic-doom scene’s attention, Spleen is highly recommended for fans of Type O Negative, Woods of Ypres and My Dying Bride, among others, offering the listener eight memorable songs with powerful riffs, weaving heaviness and beauty into a lush gothic atmosphere.

The vibrant and dense intro Welcome Black sets the tone for the rest of the album, darkening the skies and bringing sheer doom to our hearts before the band smashes our senses in Wasted Hero, with the sluggish, massive drums by Jonas dictating the song’s thunderous pace. Moreover, Chris’ deep vocals, most probably inspired by the unparalelled Peter Steele (RIP), match perfectly with the lugubrious riffs by James. In the somber I’m Going To Haunt You (When I Die) we’re treated to caustic lyrics growled by Chris (“Shadows grow over your own / A bitter chill descends, are you sure you are alone? / Such rage, it can defy the grave”) while Mike enhances the song’s density and darkness with his puissant bass lines; and it’s then time for a nine-minute aria exhaling melancholy and obscurity titled Aurora Australis, where the synths by James help the band generate an enfolding atmosphere. Needless to say, Chris is once again spot-on with both his enraged guttural and somber, clean vocals, sounding hypnotizing from start to finish.

The title-track Spleen keeps the atmosphere dense and muggy, blending the absolute heaviness of Doom Metal with the groovy feeling of Gothic Metal and Rock. It definitely feels like their personal “tribute” to Type O Negative, I might say, whereas Victim of a Vampire is even more touching and melancholic than its predecessors, a beautiful creation by Orphans of Dusk spearheaded by the minimalist but sharp guitars by James and the low-tuned bass by Mike. The instrumental interlude Magic Keys will then drag your soul to one final ride with Orphans of Dusk titled Falling Star, once again showcasing poetic words (“All alone but together we’re here at last / A violent zone, looking up to long black clouds / You wish upon a star”) embraced by a slow, heavy-as-hell goth-doom sonority. As a matter of fact, the CD version of the album comes with an exclusive bonus named A Spell of Bad Luck, definitely worth the investment in the physical copy, offering a nice hybrid of Gothic and Doom Metal where Chris’ deep vocals are nicely complemented by James’ keys and Jonas’ pounding drums.

Chris, James and Mike are eager to know what you think about their album, and you can easily get in touch with them via Facebook or Instagram and know more about the band, their plans for the future, tour dates and so on. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to their YouTube channel and to stream more of their music on Spotify, and above all that, to grab a copy of the excellent Spleen from their own BandCamp page, or from the Hypnotic Dirge Records’ BandCamp page or webstore (or click HERE for all things Orphans of Dusk). Gloomy, inspiring and extremely detailed, Spleen is a fantastic return to action by Orphans of Dusk, and may that represent just the first step as they restart their journey through the dark and grim lands of Gothic and Doom Metal.

Best moments of the album: I’m Going To Haunt You (When I Die), Aurora Australis and Victim of a Vampire.

Worst moments of the album: none.

Released in 2023 Hypnotic Dirge Records

Track listing
1. Welcome Black 1:44
2. Wasted Hero 8:18
3. I’m Going To Haunt You (When I Die) 6:37
4. Aurora Australis 9:07
5. Spleen 8:20
6. Victim of a Vampire 6:41
7. Magic Keys 2:22
8. Falling Star 6:52

CD Exclusive bonus track
9. A Spell of Bad Luck 5:29

Band members
Chris G – vocals
James Quested – guitars, synths
Mike Wilson – bass

Guest musician
Jonas Schütz – drums

Concert Review – Disturbed (Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, ON, 05/01/2023)

Over ten thousand fists were held high in Toronto on another breathtaking (and very emotional) performance by one of the most important metal bands of the past three decades. 

OPENING ACT: Theory of a Deadman

Concerts on Mondays are always exhausting, it doesn’t matter who’s playing, the time of the year, and even if you’re on vacation or not. However, it didn’t look like a Monday last night at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, with THEORY OF A DEADMAN and DISTURBED continuing the Canadian leg of the Take Back Your Life Tour 2023 before heading to Europe for several summer festivals, and then returning for the US leg of the tour. The ingredients for the same type of awesomeness from their last appearance in the city back in 2019 were there, including thousands of avid fans (many already off from college or university, which means nothing to do the next day), an ass-kicking new album, a very decent weather and so on, turning it into another memorable night of modern metal music in the city.

The band chosen to be Disturbed’s opener, North Delta, British Columbia-based Alternative Rock/Metal act THEORY OF A DEADMAN, hit the stage precisely at 8pm armed with their fusion of classic and modern Rock N’ Roll, plus a brand new album named Dinosaur, entertaining most of the fans who were already at the venue. And I said most of the fans because I was one of several who were not entertained at all, I mean, I’m either getting too grumpy with age, or my growing taste for extreme music is now blocking me from enjoying anything that’s way too soft like the music by those Canadian rockers. They’re competent musicians, no doubt about that, and some of the songs from their setlist worked really well like Bitch Came Back and Bad Girlfriend, but overall it was a semi-snooze fest with their boring cover version for Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game being the icing on the cake (in a bad way). Not even the snippets from Guns N’ Roses’ Paradise City and Pantera’s Walk made me bang my head, perhaps because they were just snippets, but that’s fine. At least the younger kids were enjoying the show, so it’s all about our personal taste for music, right?

Sweet Caroline (Neil Diamond song)
Bitch Came Back
Two of Us (Stuck)
Wicked Game
Better Off
Santa Monica
Hate My Life
Rx (Medicate)
Paradise City (Snippet)
Walk (Snippet)
Bad Girlfriend

Band members
Tyler Connolly – vocals, guitars, piano
Dave Brenner – guitars, backing vocals
Dean Back – bass, backing vocals
Joey Dandeneau – drums, backing vocals


It was close to 9:30pm when the main attraction of the night, Chicago, Illinois-based Alternative Metal titans DISTURBED began their always electrifying performance, driving everyone at the venue crazy already to the first few notes of their new song Hey You, from their 2022 album Divisive. David Draiman, Dan Donegan, John Moyer and Mike Wengren were obviously sharp and focused, and not even the fact that their stage was not as detailed or innovative as the one from 2019 took away the energy from their entire set.

Songs like Ten Thousand Fists, The Game and Indestructible sounded as awesome as usual, but their new songs Bad Man and Unstoppable, plus the ballads A Reason to Fight and The Light, were the ones that stole the show and made yesterday’s performance so captivating. Bad Man was amazing because David himself said the band was eager to play that song live to their fans, and the feedback form the crowd, with tons of headbanging, fists raised in the air and some mosh pits put a big smile on the faces of the band members. And when they played the other new song, Unstoppable, they came out all wearing Toronto Maple Leafs jerseys, talking about how the “curse” of not advancing to the second round of the playoffs has been broken after 19 years, and that it’s time for the Leafs to bring the Stanley Cup back to Canada. Well, let’s see if the Maple Leafs are as unstoppable as Disturbed in the coming weeks, right?

And although it was supposed to be a metal concert, which means speed and heaviness, it was during two of their ballads that things got serious and David took the moment to send powerful messages to everyone at the concert. As you might already know, every single time Disturbed play A Reason to Fight, David gets very emotional and dedicates it to his deceased friends Chester Bennington (Linkin Park) and Chris Cornell (Soundgarden, Audioslave), among others, always saying he’s tired of losing such close friends to suicide and talking about the importance of reaching out to your friends and family when you suffer from mental issues; however, this time David (in tears, by the way) opened up and mentioned that he also has to deal with addiction and depression (in fact, all members of the band have to do so as well), and that around eight months ago he almost joined his friends on the other side. That was a shocking moment for all of us fans, but it also showed no one is safe from mental diseases, and that we must all stay together to fight that, saying that mental issues are like an invisible cancer growing inside of us and taking over our entire body until it’s too late.

The other emotional moment of their performance connected with that message, when he called fans Sean and Charlotte (who were part of the Meet & Greet with the band earlier yesterday) to the stage, both going through tough times and suffering from mental issues, before playing the beautiful The Light. Actually, it was the second Sean who was supposed to be on stage all the time, but apparently John Moyer confused him with another guy, and there he was the “wrong Sean”, visibly drunk, enjoying his time with the band on stage. Anyway, those fans had the pleasure of enjoying the entire song sitting near the drums, while David asked everyone to raise their lighters or smartphone flashlights when he said the words “the light”, creating a stunning effect inside the arena while reminding everyone of the positive power of music in our lives.

One of the most electrifying moments of the concert was of course when they played their undisputed hit Down With the Sickness, with all fans jumping up and down, engaging in some action inside the mosh pits, or screaming the famous “Oh, ah, ah, ah ,ah!” together with David during the entire song, and after everyone got down with the sickness there was still time for another incendiary song, the excellent Inside the Fire, inspiring all fans for one last round of insanity inside the pit on a Monday night. So remember, everyone, to keep banging your heads while enjoying high quality heavy music like what Disturbed are always providing us with, and if you need any type of mental help or support in Canada you can contact the Canadian Mental Health Association, COAST Hamilton, the Suicide Prevention Middlesex-London, or the Distress Centre of Ottawa and Region, among others. We all want to see YOU at the next Disturbed concert in Toronto, raising your fists in the air together with one of the most important metal bands of the past few decades.

Hey You
Ten Thousand Fists
Are You Ready
Bad Man
The Vengeful One
A Reason to Fight
Land of Confusion
The Game
The Sound of Silence
The Light

Down With the Sickness
Inside the Fire

Band members
David Draiman – vocals
Dan Donegan – guitar
John Moyer – bass
Mike Wengren – drums

This slideshow requires JavaScript.