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Old Lines: No Child Left Behind

Baltimore, Maryland’s Old Lines is the product of former Pulling Teeth and Ruiner members Mitch Roemer and Jake Berry (guitars and drums respectively). After parting ways, this new group came together in 2010, which was completed with the addition of bassist Pat Martin and vocalist Matt Taylor. Shortly after finalizing its line-up, the band wasted little time in getting new material out there. Late 2012 saw the release of their debut full-length album, followed by the 2013 EP If You See Something, Say Something. For 2014 the four-piece return with their follow-up album No Child Left Behind. But does this one have the power to really stand out with it’s politically charged message, or does it simply lack the strength to back-up that agenda?

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Kurnugia: Tribulations of the Abyss

Kurnugia is a Death Metal band from Cleveland, Ohio, that formed in 2012. Within its ranks are veterans Duane Morris (Nunslaughter, former Manticore) on guitar and vocals, drummer Chris Dora (Soulless, Ringworm), bassist Brian Bergeron (former Sanctorum, former Nunslaughter), and finally ex-Decrepit guitarist Larry Kozumplik. This freshly formed four-piece recorded a two song EP titled Tribulations of the Abyss, which was issued by the band as a promotional CD in May of that year. However, starting in the Summer of 2014, it will see a strict vinyl pressing through Psychoslaughter Records and Sweden’s Blood Harvest Records. But does this first outing grease the wheels for the bedlam that is sure to follow, or does it actually turn listeners off in fear of what just might be?

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Endless Recovery: Resistant Bangers

Endless Recovery is a Greek Thrash Metal group that formed back in 2010. Since then, they have gone through a few line-up changes that left drummer Mike M. the only founding member. He was joined by bassist Panos A and rhythm guitarist Tasos P in 2012 (which also saw the release of their independent debut EP Liar Priest), then Mixalis S. on vocals and guitarist Giorgos S. in 2013 and 2014 respectively. 2013 also saw the release of their debut album Thrash Rider through Eat Metal Records, and for this year a brand new seven-inch EP titled Resistant Bangers through Witches Brew. But is this something thrashers worldwide need to hear, or is it something that isn’t really worth a passing glance?

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Northern Crown: In the Hands of the Betrayer

Northern Crown was founded by Zachary Randall and Frank Serafine in the hometown of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It didn’t take the duo long before they were hard at work crafting new material, a process started in October of 2013, and coming to its end in August of 2014. Fast forward a few months since the creation phase and we arrive at the point of the group’s debut outing, In the Hands of the Betrayer. While considered by the band as an EP, this exploration of the roots to Doom Metal manages to sprawl four new compositions and a cover song across a total of just over thirty one minutes. But is this a release Doom Metal fans will quickly eat up, or one well worth passing over?

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Witchmaster: Antichristus Ex Utero

Poland’s Witchmaster is easily one of the most revered names in the Black Metal underworld. Initially from Zielona Gore, but currently located in London, UK, the group’s brand of Black Metal and Thrash Metal has been rapidly developing since their debut full-length album Violence & Blasphemy dropped in 2000. But for a band that has existed as long as this one has, there is very little in the line of studio recordings to show for it, really. Up to this point, there have only been a total of four full-length efforts (the latest having been 2009’s Trucizna), two EPs, just as many demos, a split in 2004, as well as a handful of compilations. Five years after their most recent album have passed, and the only new release was the 2012 Śmierć strictly limited seven-inch vinyl EP through Witching Hour Productions. However, for 2014, Witchmaster breaks their silence and presents the long awaited fifth full-length effort, Antichristus Ex Utero, the first to feature the drumming skills of Inferno (Azarath, Behemoth) following the departure of Basti (Spinal Cord) in 2013. But does this new effort end up the new material fans have been waiting for, or is this one that is destined to get lost in the ever growing cesspool that is the Black/Thrash genre?

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Colosus: Blestem

Sometimes the Metal world really does prove itself to be surprisingly small, especially when it comes to the United Kingdom’s one man Black Metal project Colosus. The project was formed back in 2012 by Krhudd, real name Daniel Neagoe who has worked (is activity involved in) with the likes of Clouds, Deos, but most notably Eye of Solitude and Sidious. If that wasn’t enough, the latter of those two bands are currently signed to Kaotoxin Records, which is the label responsible for the release of the very first Colosus album, Blestem not once, but twice. Late July of 2013 saw the debut recording available on as a digital download, and again in October of 2014 (seventh for North America and twenty seventh for Europe) for its proper physical release of one thousand DigiSleeve CDs and one hundred cassettes. But, even after this game of association, does Blestem stand as an album worthy of a second chance, or is it something that should just be ignored until it goes away on its own?