4X: Extreme Essentials

Dimmu Borgir – Abrahadabra

Taking symphonic metal to a new level, this album features more than 100 musicians including the Norwegian Radio Orchestra and Schola Cantorum Choir.  This might be my favorite extreme release of the year.

Dimmu BorgirGateways


Absurd History 4.5/5

Metal Storm 8.0

Angry Metal Guy 3.5/5

Iron Maiden – The Final Frontier

The British pioneers continue their streak into this new decade with another solid release, proving why they are still relevant over 30 years into their career.

Iron MaidenSatellite 15…The Final Frontier



Pop Matters 8/10

Rock Sound 8/10

Volbeat – Beyond Hell / Above Heaven

I’m not really sure this qualifies as extreme music, but this Danish band share the same magazine pages and websites as the rest of these bands, so I figure they must belong here.  Influenced by Elvis and Johnny Cash as much as by Slayer and Metallica, they are definitely unique.



Sputnik 5/5

The Number of the Blog 4.5/6

Lords of Metal 79/100

Black Label Society – Order Of The Black

Sometimes more of the same isn’t a bad thing and that really rings true with this 8th album from Zakk Wylde‘s blues-infused southern metal band.

Black Label SocietyCrazy Horse


Rock Sound 8/10

Sputnik 4/5

Metalholic 8.1