Album of the Day: Bolt Thrower – Those Once Loyal


Label: Metal Blade Records

Too many bands carry on when their best days are behind them, releasing material that doesn’t compare at all with what they have already done. So whilst it’s sad that we will never have another album from Bolt Thrower – especially considering the circumstances around them disbanding, following the death of drummer Martin Kearns – all credit should be given to the band for not releasing material that they were unhappy with. It leaves Those Once Loyal standing as a fine monument to the band’s memory, being the equal of any of their earlier, classic albums, and leaving the memory of one of the best British death metal bands utterly untarnished.

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Album of the Day: Visigoth – Conqueror’s Oath


Label: Metal Blade Records

In power metal, as in many areas of life, one rule reigns supreme: go big, or go home. And by Gandalf’s beard, do Visigoth go big on Conqueror’s Oath. This is power metal of the most triumphant kind, full of epic battle hymns, designed to have you approaching your day at the office as if you were striding in to battle, with a muscular confidence and real power. As reminiscent of old Iron Maiden and Dio as it is more modern bands like Grand Magus, Conqueror’s Oath is an album of such quality and talent that it’s sure to win over even the more cynical and grim of metal fans.

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Album of the Day: Cannibal Corpse – Red Before Black


Label: Metal Blade Records

Sometimes, after a bad day, you want music that takes you somewhere else – whether that be some calming ambient vibes, or psychedelic explorations of space, or atmospheric black metal that recalls forests you have never visited. And some days, you want music that sounds like a murderous rampage, and for days like that, it’s hard to do better than Cannibal Corpse. Their latest album, Red Before Black, was as strong as you’d expect from such a reliable band of veterans, and as time goes on, its place within their discography becomes clearer.

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2017 Favourites – Part I

It doesn’t feel like that long ago since I was writing my list for 2016… and yet, at the same time, it feels like a lifetime has passed. 2017 has been a very busy year, and very trying in parts. As a result, I’ve had less time and energy for The Sound Not That Word than at any time before, which has resulted in less reviews being posted. It’s something I’m still not entirely sure how to balance, and may well see my writing take on different forms in the coming year. We shall see.

Anyway. Enough of that for now. Everywhere else is doing lists, and so am I. Writing this is a good opportunity to go over releases from the year, to remember how good some were, and to give coverage to some I never got to write about. As always, these are my favourites – better records may have been released this year, but these are the ones I enjoyed most. The first twenty will be in alphabetical order, over two posts; with the top five given their own ranking. Enjoy!

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2015 Favourites – I

Maybe I’ve just been more engaged and up-to-speed compared to previous years, but 2015 has felt like a year in which highlights were plentiful. Albums worthy of being excited about have been released on a consistent basis, and there’s been a few surprises too, whether it be relatively new acts making their presence known, or veterans reminding everyone that there’s something to be said for longevity. As such, my end of year favourites is large enough to be spread over several posts over the coming days and weeks, making sure each album can be given its due.

The first few sections will be done in alphabetical order, as I think that ranking such a varied selection of records is somewhat silly. There are, however, a few releases this year that stand head and shoulders over the others, and deserve special mention, and will be featured in their own special, final list. And, as before, it’s worth noting that these are favourites, not a “best of”. These are records that are maybe not the most technical, inventive, or creative – or perhaps they are – but they’re ones I found myself coming back to once the initial thrill had worn off.

So, without further preamble, here’s the first selection.

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In Solitude – Sister


Label: Metal Blade

Sister Official Video: Youtube Link

What do you think of when someone says “goth metal”? Keyboards, probably. Or Scandinavian women in corsets singing pseudo-operatic vocals, whilst behind her a bunch of guys play pretty basic Euro-metal. Either way, it’s a term that fills me with dread, and I wish it didn’t exist, not least because then I could describe this album as goth metal and not feel like a total fool.

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