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Articles by Rob McAuslan

The Year in Death Metal with Rob McAuslan – 2014

January 6th, 2015

The Year in Death Metal with Rob McAuslan

We promise (really promise!) that this will be the last lookback-at-2014 thing we post. Except maybe a podcast (and that’s a big maybe). Whatever. We’re launching yet another of our splendid genre columns today, this time with one of our long-time death metal aficionados, Rob McAuslan, taking a quick look back at the biggest things that happened (or in one case, learned about what’s coming) in the wonderfully fluffy world of death metal.

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Album: Anaal Nathrakh – Desideratum

October 24th, 2014

Anaal Nathrakh 2014 promo photo Thrash Hits

Anaal Nathrakh
Desideratum
Metal Blade
27 October 2014

by Rob McAuslan

How, if you’re Anaal Nathrakh, do you develop your sound even further into the realms of the ridiculously extreme? It’d be fair to say that in their pretty rarefied stratum, Nathrakh are already top dog – black-grind-industrial-death metal isn’t the largest of fields to be playing in, after all – but not content with this status, these Midlands misanthropes attempt to push harder and harder with each release.

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Albums: Mortals – Cursed to See the Future

August 28th, 2014

Mortals 2014 promo photo A Thrash Hits

Mortals
Cursed To See The Future
Relapse Records
07 July 2014

by Rob McAuslan

Relapse are on a bit of a tear of late, signing all manner of bands both old and new; from death metal legends like Obituary to North Carolina’s grind neophytes Columns, they’ve got new records in the works from most areas of extreme metal. It’s at least encouraging to see this kind of faith being shown in a time when the industry as a whole is apparently eating beans on toast five nights out of seven. Scooping up Mortals as a part of this recent drive may well be one of the smarter moves they’ve made.

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Interview: Beastwars on New Zealand, reissues, and taking on torrenters one at a time

August 15th, 2014

Beastwars 2013 A promo photo Thrash Hits

New Zealand’s Beastwars are sadly under-appreciated outside of their own country. Everyone we know who has heard their gutsy mix of sludge and stoner metal has converted The band have just had both of their very fine albums  – 2011’s self-titled debut, and last year’s even-better Blood Becomes Fire – re-issued on some rather swanky coloured vinyl, which was enough of an excuse for us to make our man Rob McAuslan have a little chat with their drummer, Nathan Hickey (aka Nato), about the ins and outs of watching the opportunities to tour your album all over the world slip away one illegal album torrent at a time.

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Album: Entombed A.D. – Back To The Front

August 14th, 2014

Entombed A.D. 2014 promo photo Thrash Hits

Entombed AD
Back To The Front
Century Media
04 August 2014

by Rob McAuslan

It’s always a shame when bands stop liking each other. As a result of the sheer amount of time you have to spend in each others’ company in the ‘hurry up and wait’ lifestyle of any reasonably-successful artist it’s probably unavoidable, but that doesn’t make it any easier on long-time fans. It seems like barely a week passes without some story emerging about how Band Guy A doesn’t like Band Guy B anymore, and its usually about money. Sadly but unsurprisingly, everyone’s favourite Swedish death metal pioneers have fallen foul of it too, it seems.

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Album: Overkill – White Devil Armory

July 17th, 2014

Overkill 2014 promo photo Thrash Hits

Overkill
White Devil Armory
Nuclear Blast
18 July 2014

by Rob McAuslan

SEVENTEEN albums. Overkill have to be the most constant and consistent thrash band by absolutely frigging miles. Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth and DD Verni have been the only vocalist and bassist they’ve ever had in all that time, too. There must be some sort of prize out there for this kind of longevity.

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Album: Corrosion of Conformity – IX

July 2nd, 2014

Corrosion of Conformity 2014 promo photo Thrash Hits

Corrosion Of Conformity
IX
Candlelight Records
30 June 2014

by Rob McAuslan

Lest we forget, Pepper Keenan’s almost defacto appointment post-‘Vote With A Bullet’ to the position of lead vocalist of Corrosion Of Conformity was greeted with a huge collective cheer. And as nice as it’s been to see this CoC line-up play shows, and as nostalgically-pleasing as it was to get an album from them, I don’t think I’m alone in wanting the four-piece CoC to make a return now, am I? Keenan-keening aside, IX doesn’t even nearly scratch that itch, but the highs do handily outweigh the lows of yet another Pepper-free excursion.

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Album: Crowbar – Symmetry In Black

May 29th, 2014

Crowbar 2014 promo photo Thrash Hits

Crowbar
Symmetry In Black
Century Media 
26 May 2014

by Rob McAuslan

For all of Kirk Windstein’s dalliances with Down and Kingdom Of Sorrow, all anyone really wants to know about his output boils down to these couple of questions: when is the new Crowbar album out, and does it still sound like Crowbar? The answers to these are usually “sooner than you think” and “oh, most definitely”. Ten albums into a twenty-five year career, is just “being Crowbar” enough?

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Album: Vader – Tibi Et Igni

May 27th, 2014

Vader 2014 promo photo Thrash Hits

Vader
Tibi Et Igni
Nuclear Blast Records
02 June 2014

by Rob McAuslan

Tibi Et Igni translates as “for you and for the fire” – this was a postscript attached to confidential Roman documents and meant, basically, “read this and destroy”. That’s pretty cool. What’s not so cool is the ghastly resurfacing of that most hackneyed of metal tropes – the atmospheric, keyboard-led intro. Come on guys, can we please stop doing this? Especially if you don’t have the good grace to keep it as a separate track, you annoying bastards.

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