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This year is quickly shaping up to be a year of thrash shows that are unbelievably stacked. We already went through Overkill and Nile, and we still have Metallica and Avenged Sevenfold this year, Slayer and Lamb of God, Megadeth and Meshuggah… There’s a lot coming out way and it’s only April. In midst of this, Testament and Sepultura have teamed up for a run across the states in support of Brotherhood of the Snake, an album that I enjoyed and, them being Testament, surely meant great things were in store, right? Especially with Sepultura opening, this hardly seemed like a show to pass up on.  

Sometimes reviews don’t require an extensive, two-to-four page analysis to get the point across. As such, albums come out where the opinions are blunt and they don’t need to be justified. For Mastodon, Pallbearer, and Obituary, that’s entirely the case.  

Let’s ignore the months and months of controversy surrounding this movie for a few minutes. Just hear me out, because the moment you start thinking and discussing said controversy, then you’re going to not be able to judge Ghost in the Shell for what the movie actually is. It’s almost too simple, actually. Yet here we are with Ghost in the Shell releasing today and we can decide for ourselves if this venture into this Neo Tokyo was worth the investment.  

The world is always shocked when the evil frontman of an accomplished death metal band reveals interest in softer, more accessible music. I don’t even think it was a year ago that news broke about David Vincent of Morbid Angel fame having a country band he was playing out with, but in actuality it’s a simple explanation: they can do whatever the hell they want. Nergal of Behemoth, Poland’s blackened-death metal pride and joy, joins that collective of musicians by teaming up with John Porter on Me and That Man’s Songs of Love and Death, which could not be more of a polar opposite to the rest of his discography if he tried. Stepping outside of the prolific career he’s had, Me and That Man allows the often-demonic... 

Bands once considered djent are now morphing from the groundwork that they displayed in establishing the scene’s basics. The likes of Periphery and TesseracT have gone in their own, more progressive directions, with some acts pushing forward with new directions, such as America’s own Veil of Maya. Australia’s Northlane, however, has always been something of an interesting act. Since their second album, Singularity, the band seemed to form their own sound and mixed signature djent qualities with more focused songwriting and a larger sense of scale to their music. Following 2015’s Node, the band decided to drop their new album, Mesmer, out of the blue with little-to-no warning. Beyoncé style.  

Nearly three and a half years after initially being announced, Marvel and Netflix have finally brought together their Defenders team. While not a functioning unit just yet, the groundwork has been laid out and we’re finally up to Iron Fist, the proclaimed “Final Defender.” The controversy and press around this series has been, to say the least, polarizing, but what does a casual Iron Fist fan such as myself have to think?  

I like the idea of going to shows and seeing a wide variety of bands, particularly in heavy metal. Not every tour needs to be a conglomerate of metalcore or thrash metal on every single run, and seeing different bands on the bill help change things up. So, thus, when it was revealed that Swallow the Sun and Amorphis would be joining an already diverse pairing of Nile and Overkill at Starland Ballroom in New Jersey, it was a complete breath of fresh air.  

Every so often, a band comes along that turns the heads of everyone in the extreme metal underground. Perhaps it be for a revolutionary sound or just general greatness, bands can do this with a single song. Persefone is one of those, and as such have been getting their recognition since the release of 2013’s Spiritual Migration. Now with Aathma, the band are aiming higher than before, yet still playing it safe enough to appease their growing fanbase.  

In the day and age where literally everyone is trying to start a cinematic shared universe, Warner Bros. has already failed on their first attempt by many viewers’ standards. Almost acting  in the opposite of DC’s approach to announcing and developing one, Legendary has teamed up with the same company to develop the newly-dubbed Monsterverse, taking it slow with Godzilla in 2014 and, now, Kong: Skull Island. So does it work?  

Woah.  

Combining a low end reminiscent of High on Fire and the crustiest of crusti-punk attitude and fervor, and hailing from C Rage Records, today’s filth is the self-titled “Recluse” by Recluse.  

  The deathcore titans in Suicide Silence are back. You know that already, right? Between the numerous articles and coverage this new self-titled album has been getting, as well as the fact that their initial fan base has been in hysterics, everyone seems to be paying attention to it. To put it lightly, (and to get right to business) this album is causing a firestorm, and if it weren’t for the inclusion of clean vocals and the nu-metal influence at play, it probably wouldn’t be causing as much of a stir as it currently is.  

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