Druglord - Enter Venus (EP) (2014)

Smoky. Hazy. Cloudy. No, we aren’t talking about your favorite bar or club. This is the work of Druglord, the pride of Richmond, Virginia. And if their debut, “Motherfucker Rising,” wasn’t enough to convince you, this new four song masterpiece should do the trick.


Vesperia - An Olden Tale (2013)

It seems like a dick move to say that a bands rise to greatness was inevitable, but with Vesperia, it actually was. On this, their second full length album, their production matches their intensity, and leaves you breathless. If “An Olden Tale” doesn’t get your horns up, it may be time to check your pulse.


Mammoth Storm - Rite Of Ascension (EP) (2014)

With the mighty Draconian laying so silently due to outside forces, the members can’t be expected to sit still. But with Mammoth Storm, guitarist Daniel Arvidsson takes up bass and vocals for a stoner doom project that is miles away from anything his main band has done.


Junius - Days Of The Fallen Sun (EP) (2014)

A band that may have faded to the periphery after their last outstanding release, Junius was laying in the cut, waiting to return to the spotlight. Their new EP isn’t just a return to form, but an advancement of their sound in a significant way.


Maelstrom - 3725 (2013)

We are no strangers to the work of Maelstrom, a solo post rock project from Italy. After two years and now three albums worth of material, it has become painfully clear that where Ferdinando Valsecchi goes, we follow. The new album, 3725, is as beautiful as it is ambitious.


Queen Elephantine - Scarab (2014)

Trust me when I say that we aren’t the ones who get to decide what genre tags apply to whom. But when the word “drone” gets floated around in relation to a band, we tend to pass. Queen Elephantine aren’t what we’d call drone; or maybe they are just the next wave of what it could be.


Aeverium - The Harvest (EP) (2014)

Whatever your musical choice is, you’ve heard those generic, radio friendly versions of the best and brightest. Aeverium aren’t as watered down as most of the pack, but every strength they have is diluted by making their music too accessible to the masses. “The Harvest” is a mixed bag.


Astral Domine - Arcanum Gloriae (2014)

It’s been too long since a symphonic metal album tickled our fancy the way the latest album from Astral Domine. It’s powerful, moving, and yet, at the same time, peaceful. I might not be able to say “Arcanum Gloriae” is perfect, but it treads dangerously close.


Gods Tower - Roll Out (EP) (2013)

Gods Tower may have the look of a one dimensional, full speed ahead folk/thrash band, but there is a lot of heart dwelling underneath the surface. Two tracks may not seem like a large sample of their variety, but “Roll Out” is a hell of a lot deeper than the tank on the cover indicates.


Feridea - Reborn In Time (EP) (2014)

We’ve beaten the dead horse until it died a second death. Symphonic metal is a crowded arena, and only the best and brightest stand out. Feridea aren’t bad at what they do; but what they do just isn’t enough to separate themselves from the pack.