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Darragh O'Connor

Writer/Reviewer @SunWrestling and freelance journalist. Bassist for hire. Check out my passion black metal project Horrenda: https://horrenda.bandcamp.com/

Frosthelm – The Endless Winter

Mixing the blackest of extreme metal with thrash breaks/parts is the thing that made me review “The Endless Winter” by Frosthelm. It was too odd to not give it a good listen to and tell you what I thought. I love this band; Frosthelm have cracked the code and managed …

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Enslaved – In Times

The danger of reviewing a band that you like is that you’ll either be too harsh or too easy on them. I had my fears that this would be the case with the new Enslaved release, In Times. Gladly, I was wrong. Enslaved are one of the first Scandinavian bands to tease …

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Shining – IX: Everyone, Everything, Everywhere, Ends

Shining were not a band to me until I got this review. I was totally unaware that they existed. Since then I have got very familiar with their back catalogue and their “controversial” outlook and themes. It with that said that these are not a happy or fun band; there is …

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Soilwork – Live In The Heart Of Helsinki

Swedish death metal time, and in the Pantheon of the “greats” of the genre we have Soilwork. Now, while I prefer the overall output of In Flames, Soilwork are an enjoyable band and have a very impressive body of work to put a live set from. So going into this …

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Conceived By Hate / Akheron – Coalition of Death

This unique offering released via Morbid Skull Records called “Coalition of Death” is  a great idea: two small bands sharing the costs of making a record by splitting it into two separate halves. I must say this is very refreshing and enjoyable. I hope this split release idea catches on.The two …

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Fozzy – Fibber Magee’s, Dublin – 06/03/2015

Midway through their well-received tour Chris Jericho’s hard rock outfit Fozzy made a pit stop in Fibber Magee’s in Dublin. The night provided an outstanding atmosphere and a great performance form all the bands involved: Fozzy, The Dirty Youth and local band Call to Arms. The night kicked off with …

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36 Crazyfists – Time and Trauma

“Time and Trauma” is the sixth studio album by Alaskan metal band 36 Crazyfists. The album will be released in the UK in about a week or so and it is awful; words cannot describe how awful it is. It sounds like something ripped from a failed metalcore abortion from 2006. Avoid …

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At The Gates – The Academy, Dublin – 30/01/2015

It is rare that I get excited about a gig nowadays; everybody has a list of acts that they want to see. And I’ve been lucky enough to see the bands that or on that list for the most part. One band that was amiss for far too long were …

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Marduk – ‘Frontschwein’

Swedish black metal icons Marduk jump back to the front with their new concept album, ‘Frontschwein’ – and it is something else!  ‘Frontschwein’ is a German colloquial term among soldiers since World War I that sarcastically described the soldiers on the front as mere cannon fodder.  It means “Front Pig” …

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Machine Head – ‘Bloodstone & Diamonds’

I love Machine Head; they’re innovators of groove metal… but this one is as dull as dishwater.  There are points that almost hurt reviewing this album, because it gets close to being outstanding – then the vocals come in and ruin it. On the surface, this is a good album. …

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Orphaned Land – Voodoo Lounge, Dublin – 06/11/2014

This gig was part of Orphaned Land’s “Mabool 10th Anniversary Show” series and had support from Benighted Soul and Mylidian. Benighted Soul and Mylidian were tight and fun bands but didn’t do anything for me. So, I don’t really have an opinion on them either way. I was there to see …

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Anthrax – Chile On Hell

Growing up a “Thrash Kid”, I had two goals to see the Big Four live and to see Avenged Sevenfold be exposed as posers and the terrible songwriters that they are. Luckily in 2012, I achieved both when I saw Anthrax dominate the Academy in Dublin (and I caught Frank …

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Sonata Arctica – Ecliptica . Revisited -15th Anniversary Edition

The term overdone or unnecessary is thrown around a lot lately. But wow, is this trash an example of it! I love the original and 2008 version of this “Ecliptica” ; Sonata Arctica are one of my favourite bands but this has ruined my opinion of them for a while. …

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At The Gates – At War With Reality

This job has a lot of pros and cons; and sometimes it is hard to continue after you hear bland act after bland act, or worse something by Avenged Sevenfold. So, it is rare to have an album that has nothing that you feel the artist could improve on. The …

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American Hi-Fi – Blood & Lemonade

Full disclosure: these were the very first band that I ever saw live. They supported Sum 41 in Dublin and I’ve had a huge soft spot for them ever since. Their brand of sugary sweet pop-punk is a refreshing throwback to the early 2000’s and holds up along with the …

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Meshuggah – I

The Swedish metal titans Meshuggah have reissued their one-song EP, “I”. The 2004 original literally one had one song but this version has four tracks to sink your teeth into. At an insane 44 minutes, this is no easy listen and if you’ve never heard the math based progressive metal machine before, …

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1349 – Massive Cauldron Of Chaos

The sixth offering from the Norwegian black metal 1349 is not overall a bad album. In fact, I enjoy the concept and image of 1349. From their name (which comes from the year the Black Death reached Norway) to their stage show. They’re a black metal band that can stand with the best …

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The Haunted – Exit Wounds

I am a huge fan of The Haunted; I have been since I first heard them. They are everything you could want in a modern metal band. The Swedish lads have carried the torch of the “Gothenburg style” of death metal for years now, not to mention the seminal “Made …

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Incite – Up In Hell

I wasn’t familiar with Incite until I was handed this review; and that was my fault. I wish I knew of these guys before. The Arizona based groove metal band Incite will smash your face in with their third offering, “Up In Hell”. This is pure groove metal: a nice …

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Amberian Dawn – Magic Forest

The melodic symphonic power metal genre is a tough one to nail creatively; there all so many bands out there that all are doing the same thing. Or at least, sound like they are. Then there is the other challenge of remaining open to the public and bringing in non-melodic …

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