Since the release of 'Focus' in 1993, Floridian technical death metal innovators Cynic have held onto the status of being an "elite" band. Few underground acts have been bestowed with such critical praise, but Cynic have always been ahead of their time. That sensibility is retained with the band's third full-length album, 'Kindly Bent To Free Us,' but the record is also certain to polarize Cynic fans for a host of reasons.
At first glance, it could be easy to be distracted by the plentiful guest stars, but that's not the case with Within Temptation's 'Hydra' album. In most cases, the vocals blend perfectly with Sharon den Adel's powerful pipes to provide some interesting tracks that flow well within the context of the disc.
Behemoth’s five-year drought between studio albums is a storied tale. In August 2010, the band's frontman, Nergal, was diagnosed with leukemia, which was originally thought to be too advanced for chemotherapy treatments to be effective. After finding a bone marrow match in a donor, he underwent a transplant, which was ultimately successful following an infection setback a few weeks after undergoing the process.
Jake E. Lee is one of the great metal guitarists, but has been absent from the scene for a while. Back in the early ‘80s he was in the band Mickey Ratt, which became Ratt. He was also in Rough Cutt and played briefly with Dio, but he is best known for his time with Ozzy Osbourne, joining his band after the tragic death of Randy Rhoads. Lee appeared on the albums ‘Bark at the Moon’ and ‘The Ultimate Sin.’
Of Mice & Men are in a state of transition and after a listen to the band's new 'Restoring Force' album, it appears as though the sky's the limit. Since the group's last album, the band has added bassist Aaron Pauley of Jamie's Elsewhere and his clean vocals have added the perfect compliment to frontman Austin Carlile.
Iced Earth are back with their second offering since former Into Eternity frontman Stu Block has taken over vocal duties. While many fans saw the last album, ‘Dystopia,’ injecting a bit of new life into the band, ‘Plagues of Babylon’ continues in the same manner with some fresh songwriting ideas from guitarist Jon Schaffer.