Aug 182014


(Guest writer Ty Lowery has assembled a personal list of favorite metal album covers for 2014 to date, divided into two parts. Part 1 appeared here. Once again, Ty asked his wife Heather (who he says isn’t very big on metal music as a whole) and his friend Adam (who is) to look at the album art and provide guesses about the music. Once again, please feel free to add your own favorites in the Comments.)

Alright, so the first round went pretty well for my two assistants. Where we left off, they were neck-and-neck in our little guessing game. So, time to finish this thing up and see if the trend continues. Lets get right to it, shall we?


There’s just something about the color red with me, for some reason. I really like how while the majority of this artwork is solid red, yet there’s enough variation that you can divine the angel, the demon, the symbols, and the serpents. With that knowledge, Heather was able to correctly suggest that this album was steeped in religious undertones, probably in the vein of black metal, as did Adam. He suggested that it might have something to do with atheism, but changed his mind after seeing the symbols along the bottom.

The cover art is by Valnoir of Metastazis Studio in Paris. NCS reviewed the album here. Continue reading »

Aug 162014

(Guest writer Ty Lowery brings us this review of the 2014 debut album by Israel’s Ferium, which features cover art by Eliran Kantor.)

2014 has been a great year for technical death metal. Inanimate Existence, Hour of Pennance, Artifical Brain, and Archspire have all released albums this year, and that doesn’t even begin to touch the tip of the iceberg. There’s enough heads getting cut off on a daily basis to make Vlad the Impaler turn in his sword and adopt a more subtle life of knitting and macramé. What I’m trying to say is, sometimes you just need a break from all the ridiculously fast shred.

Enter Israel’s Ferium. These guys couldn’t be pinned down by Bullseye on his best day. One moment they’re thrashing their way through a flame-tongued lead accompanied by a mid-tempo blast beat and the next they’re flaunting a swagger not often seen in metal this heavy. It’s an intricate mix of groove and technicality that lends Reflections both approachability and sustainability. There’s enough beef there to keep the thrill-seekers satiated, with plenty of rolling technicality to intrigue even the most seasoned of death metal’s veterans, and then there’s just the nicest little sprinkling of groove (that swagger I was talking about) to make the prog kids raise an eyebrow over their thick framed glasses. Continue reading »