Articles by John McLaughlin
Horrible tragedy has long been known to result in moving acts of self-expression, and the poignancy of ‘At the Expense of Humanity’ is built on how real the motivation behind it is. – By John McLaughlin
It is clear in both a live and studio setting that this pair has incredible musical chemistry, and at some point this musical secret from New England will be discovered by the rest of the world. – By John McLaughlin
In a genre that became known for being overrun with clones, at no point does ‘Destroyers of the Realm’ feel generic or overdone, and at no point does any particular element feel out-of-place or excessive. Dethlehem has crafted something that holds plenty of depth, while remaining catchy, easily digested, and fun to listen to. – By John McLaughlin
After the wildness and spontaneity of ‘The Formulas of Death’, the band has unveiled ‘The Children of the Night’, a more subdued and restrained variant of the psychedelic sound they developed on their previous album. – By John McLaughlin
Tribulation’s transformation from old-school Swedish death revivalists to psychedelic prog-death adventurers was a major shock to many of the band’s old fans, but for better or for worse, it has turned the band into one of the more interesting names to watch in heavy metal. The band discusses the change and the inspirations behind it with John McLaughlin below.
This album is impressive on all fronts, built on a foundation of high-energy bluesy stoner rock riffs supplemented by fuzzy-but-sharp, extremely ear-pleasing guitar tone and some of the nastiest, most ferocious vocals the genre has ever seen. The Midnight Ghost Train is a band with personality, and it beams through on this album. – By John McLaughlin
Elder were already on to something special four years ago, and I doubt many would have complained if they had stuck to their guns and kept rolling with what they had. But instead, they chose to keep pushing forward, and they’re better off because of it. – By John McLaughlin
The quality of the band’s riffing has improved on ‘The Revenant King’, no doubt, but the biggest difference here is vocalist Jake Rogers, who has seems to have leveled up a few times since the previous release. – By John McLaughlin
While their earlier material was somewhat rough around the edges, ‘Nyemba’ represents a major step forward in the songcraft and performance department. – By John McLaughlin
This album could very well ruin your good mood, but you’ll likely feel better at the end for it, and the goosebumps will linger across your body long after the album is done. – By John McLaughlin
John McLaughlin asked Erik Nilsson and Jakob Berglund from Swedish duo A Swarm of the Sun some questions about their new album ‘The Rifts’.
Do you dig the theme song from Knight Rider? You’ll dig this at least as much, but don’t think that Loops of Doom gets by only on nostalgia, because it’s extremely well-composed with a very chilling atmosphere. – By John McLaughlin
For all of the band’s strengths, it just feels like something is missing, like the album is less than the sum of its parts. And it’s a shame, because a lineup this talented should certainly be capable of hitting it out of the park. – By John McLaughlin
Soma is soul-lifting and empowering despite its darkness, majestic without being snooty or flowery, and, above all, incredibly well-written and performed. – By John McLaughlin
If you’ve ever doubted that the spirit of Teutonic heavy metal is alive and well, Return of the Reaper should prove otherwise. – By John McLaughlin
John McLaughlin had a chat with Christian Lindell of Portrait in which they talked about heavy metal and the new album Crossroads.
It is immediately clear from the opening notes of this EP that Ranger’s goal is to get you to headbang. If you have functioning ears, enjoy riffs, and aren’t a terrible person, they succeed. – By John McLaughlin
The Cult Of Vestal Claret is full of top-notch infectious doom riffs and just about every song on this album is an earworm. – By John McLaughlin
This album is fuckin’ dark, just as the band’s previous albums were. – By John McLaughlin
John McLaughlin spoke to Dave Nuss, the mastermind behind Sabbath Assembly, about his inspirations and beliefs, and learned some key details about the future direction of the band.
Cormorant’s biggest strength has always been in the raw emotiveness of their music, and Earth Diver is incredibly powerful. – By John McLaughlin