Last year (and the year before) I got way too busy with this thing called life and missed out on a lot of quality music. I am here to rectify the error of my ways, month by month.

Here are the February 2011 releases that got under my skin, burrowed their way into my brain, made my ears bleed, or simply tickled my unmentionables:


These are the keepers. I expect to spin these throughout the year and longer.


This 2009 re-release combines a bit of the following — Led Zeppelin, Godflesh, The Grateful Dead, Korn, Tangerine Dream, Megadeth, Skylab,  Hawkwind, Dio, The Talking Heads, Dream Theater, and Steely Dan — and, miraculously, does not suck. Actually, it’s quite incredible  stonerish space rock with chameleon-like balls.

Deicide To Hell With God

Shit, piss, fuck! Glen Benton is back, full of hatred and venom, and ready to slay your silly religious beliefs. Freeway massacre music. But  seriously, don’t do that, okay? Morons would be blaming Deicide for it, me for it, and MetalSucks for it, when in reality, you were already an  imbalanced, psychopathic piece of shit. Stick a Katy Perry CD in your car, will ya?

DestructionDay of Reckoning

Old Fart Thrash that simply shows the youngsters how it’s done. Teutonic thrashback from the ’80s with fresh, crisp production, twisted guitar  tones, and the unmistakable vocals of lead throat, Schmier. Sick of “core” metal? Grab the latest from Destruction and all your ails will be cured.


I’ve always enjoyed DevilDriver live. On disc, they’ve never really blown my skirt up. Well, that has now officially changed. It took about four  spins, but Beast is a perfect description for this truly break-through performance. There is a three-song section (“Talons Out,” “You Make Me  Sick,” Cold Blooded”)  in the middle that reminds me of a basketball team going on a 12-0 run to turn a game around. This album is DevilDriver’s fast break game changer.

EarthAngels of Darkness, Demons of Light I

This soundtrack to two turtles dueling OK Corral-style will definitely be on repeat while I write my next true crime book about a father/daughter  team who have incestuous sex and kill together. Ominous, creepy, mind-bending. Almost makes me wish I smoked pot.

Ektomorf Redemption

I’m sure my praise for this one will earn me the scorn of plenty of Suckalos, but I could care less. This is groove metal that truly burrows into  your brain, worms itself around your synapses, and ticks you off for having permanently ensconced its presence in your life. You don’t want to  like it, because it is not cool to do so. Then, you realize, you have a brain of your own, and you acknowledge that this is a great fucking album. Internet tough guys suddenly appear….


With a name like Vratyas Vakyas, how can Falkenbach’s mainman not create epic Viking Folk metal? I usually get bored by this genre after enjoying a song or two per album. Such is not the case with Tiurida. It makes me want to hoist a beer stein, clutch the nearest wench closer to my bosom, then hop on board a sea-faring Viking ship to seek out new life and new civilizations, all the while, enjoying the camaraderie of my fellow Norsemen.


2011 is already turning out to be an impressive year for black metal with stellar records from Horned Almighty, Dragged Into Sunlight, Cavus, and Inquisition. Now comes this devastating 90-minute two-disc slab of blood soaked intensity from German BMers Helrunar. If you enjoyed Bergraven’s Dödsvisioner (my favorite album of 2007), you will definitely want to snatch up Sól.

HelstarGlory of Chaos

Remember when metal bands had lead singers that sang? And they kicked ass doing it? No? Well, familiarize yourself with Houston power metallers/thrashers Helstar and lead singer James Rivera in particular. Kick ass, heavy thrash power metal with an Old Fart who has more range than Meryl Streep at an art school for foreign accents. Killer production, solid riffs throughout, and a singer who knows how to fucking sing. God, I’m old.

Infernal War/KriegsmaschineTransfigurations (split EP)

Not getting your Behemoth Polish black metal fix enough these days? Look no further than this split EP from two of Poland’s finest black metallers. Infernal War’s three tracks start of with slow building walls of doom and end in a riotous fury of drums, riffs, and layered vox. Kriegsmachine, here with their first music since 2006, present two songs of unrefined black metal pounding that actually eclipses their more well-known brethren.

OnslaughtSounds of Violence

Yet, more ’80s thrashers resurrected to show the kiddies how it’s done. Loud-ass guitars, vox you can understand but are still heavy as fuck, and a modern take on thrash, are proof positive Onslaught still have what it takes to bang heads and snap necks. This is definitely the month for the Revenge of the Old Farts!

Six Feet UnderWake The Night: Live in Germany

So, if live albums are supposed to suck and Six Feet Under is supposed to suck, then why is it I totally dig this record? Is it the Kiss Alive-like studio trickery with full-blown audience participation, is it the Danny Torrance redrummy vocals of SFU leader Chris Barnes, or is it that I can easily envision myself drinking way too many rum and Cokes and yelling my head off when Barnes elicits a “Scream motherfuckers!!!” command? Who knows? But, this fucking rocks! Revenge of the Zombie!


Good points throughout the record, but not enough to make we want to revisit it.

Abysmal DawnLeveling the Plane of Existence; ArtasRiotology; Battlelore Doombound; BelphegorBlood Magick Necromance; ClandestineThe Invalid; CrowbarSever the Wicked Hand; Darkest HourThe Human RomanceDr. AculaSlander; The Famine The Architects of Guilt; Full Blown ChaosFull Blown ChaosImpietyWorshippers of the Seventh Tyranny; Korpiklaani Ukon Wacka; Lazarus A.D.Black Rivers Flow; MotorjesusWheels of Purgatory; NeuraxisAsylon; TankardVol(l)ume 14; Thomas GilesPulse; Total Fucking DestructionHater


Not even worth selling on eBay. Do people still do that?

Allen-LandeThe Showdown; Bullet For My ValentineFever (Tour Edition Bonus CD); CauldronBurning Fortune; Crystal ViperLegends; ElvenkingRed Silent Tides; Hour of 13The Ritualist; MacabreGrim Scary Tales (Huge fan – major disappointment!); Most Precious BloodDo Not Resuscitate; NelsonLightning Strikes Twice; Rabbits Lower Forms; Sirenia The Enigma of Life; TenStormwarning


Was not able to get my grubby little hands on these platters.

Ava InferiOnyxBetzeferFreedom to the Slave MakersThe BrowningTime Will TellDarkest EraThe Last Caress of LightThe DefacedAnomalyDrugs of FaithCorrodedEngrainedDeep RootedFen/De ArmaTowards the Shores of the EndFolge Dem WindInhale the Sacred PoisonMarutaFoward Into RegressionMiseryEvil is CrownedNecronoclastAshesNoisearSubvert the Dominant ParadigmPrimordialStorm Before The CalmThe Project Hate MCMXCIXBleeding the New Apocalypse (Cum Victriciis in Manubis Armis)ScheepersScheepersSpellbound Dazzle Unreal Fairy TalesSvarysonWrath Upon the EarthThe Swan KingEyes Like KnivesTimo TolkkiSaana Warrior of Light Pt. 1



“I don’t know you, but I fucking hate you!”


So many mediocre (to bad) releases from well-known artists:

Crowbar, Darkest Hour, Lazarus A.D., Belphegor, Macabre, Neuraxis, Thomas Giles, et al. are all talented bands/musicians who simply failed to grab me by the throat and shred my face off with their newest releases. Some great individual songs on display, but not one of them comes close to nailing an entire album’s worth of solid material. Majorly bummed…


Lazarus A.D. – Black Rivers Flow

When I reviewed Motörhead’s The World is Yours last month, it was originally scheduled for a January release. It was subsequently pushed back to February, but I went ahead and included it in my January Blowers section as a warning to you, the metal consumer. Otherwise, it would be this month’s disappointment.

Alas, in a month of many disappointments, the next biggest one is the long-awaited new release from Lazarus A.D. I liked their debut disc, but really enjoyed them live. So much so that I truly expected this record to be one of the premiere releases of 2011. Wow, major disappointment. L.A.D. has almost completely erased their thrash leanings in favor of a more metalcore-meets-Swedish melodeath sound that just doesn’t do it for me. Sure, the musicianship is stellar and there are a few memorable choruses on display, but it is such a complete about-face from what made them noticeable in the first place, I find it utterly baffling. I understand wanting to spread your wings and try something different, but this is akin to me writing a book about the life cycle of the tsetse fly, but trying to convince everyone who reads my work that it is still a true crime offering. I’m sure others will dig it, but for me, as a L.A.D. fan, it is a major disappointment.


Let’s see if they make the final cut.

DevilDriverBeast (Feb. ’11)

Horned Almighty – Necro Spirituals (Jan. ’11)

Tuck From Hell Thrashing (Jan. ’11)


Metal Releases Listened to – 77

Bleeders – 22

Meh’ers – 33

Blowers – 22

Top 15′ers – 3

**Some of these releases are possibly late 2010 sets, first-time U.S. releases, or sneak peeks of upcoming albums.**


Corey Mitchell is a best-selling author of several true crime books.

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