'Aus alten Zeiten'
German Pagan Metal octet Rabenwolf make their long awaited debut album speak for itself, 'Aus alten Zeiten' (For Old Times) is entirely in their native language and as such complements the traditional German folk music sound to the bone. Whilst not as brutal as Russian band Arkona, Rabenwolf exert a force that seems to illuminate the forests of Bavaria with a sense of beer-fests and grand banquets, all of which simmer in their music as an apt mode of conveying old by-gone times. Rabenwolf are set to become Germany's next biggest export, but also possibly one of those bands that Nuclear Blast may keep an eye on.
 RHYS STEVENSON
'Peace Was Never An Option'
Arising from the grounds of Lubeck is latest Teutonic Thrashers Devariem with their feisty and fury-loaded debut EP 'Peace Was Never An Option', collectively delivering a fluid flow of blastbeats and heart-stabbing vocals to cause anyone a hyperactive heart attack. Whilst conventionally not the newest version of Holy Moses, Devariem however bring the same brain-punching sound experienced by the latter, none the less the riffs and beats on this release are certified to leave listeners with more than a headache and more than whiplash, as far as Devariem are concerned 'Peace Was Never An Option'.
[7.5] RHYS STEVENSON
Unholy Black / Death Metal quartet Excommunicated arise from the altar with their blistering paced debut album 'Skeleton Key', musically sounding along the lines of Behemoth with the anti-Christianity level of Gorgoroth, this mind-blowing album carries a death warrant on it's audio waves in the form of ravenous riffs, bear-mauling blastbeats and venomous vocals, all in all coming together as a sacrilegious blast of 'Dark Religious Metal' - of which is best way to describe the band, a major threat to the existence of the Christian faith and the ruling presence of the Vatican City, without a doubt the perfect soundtrack to Dan Brown's novel 'The Da Vinci Code', just don't expect any repentance from these four cardinals of Louisiana.
 RHYS STEVENSON
'Bloodbath Of Satanic Vengeance'
American Black Metal / Pornogrinders Killgasm shed blood and sexual innuendo's in the most Satanic form yet with their catastrophic debut album 'Bloodbath Of Satanic Vengeance', featuring a fast and spit-in-your-face attitude in each song, the trio from California sum up the soundtrack for a real Hardcore porn movie. So much for BDSM being erotic and sex being dirty, these bad boys emit a sound that curses any sound made from the bondage of a big woman so to speak, powering drums into speeding and riffing into overdrive, this is perhaps one of the darkest releases from California, a certain 'Bloodbath Of Satanic Vengeance' has been created.
[8.5] RHYS STEVENSON
SLIME IN THE CURRENT
'Pissed On Resurrectine'
Cold and heartless sums up this Black Metal trio from Louisiana, diving into the darkest depths of war and anti-Christianity and emerging under the title of Slime In The Current. For a Black Metal album that was the band's debut and unleashed in 2009, Pissed On Resurrectine' sits in the raw vein, due to the evident guitar distortion and inaudible vocals conveying what sounds like words but at most times are misleading. This is not one of the best releases that has graced metal's darkest genre, but certainly not the worst either. In total respect the band combines an atmospheric discharge rather than speed and heaviness, so essentially 'Pissed On Resurrectine' can be dubbed 'Raw Ambient Black Metal'.
 RHYS STEVENSON