Taking an “Adrenaline Shot” with Amken

We’ve strapped on the big boy pants for today’s featured review. Why? Cause we have a pretty bold statement to make and the wrath of thousands of Slayer fans will surely rain down upon us. By now you have heard about the highly anticipated album from the Thrash giants due out 9/11/15. What you don’t know and what Slayer fans will never admit, is that their album will fall second to another release, this one coming from a little known band out of Athens, Greece by the name Amken. Currently putting on the finishing touches of their debut full length album, the band has released the E.P. Adrenaline Shot and if the full length reflects even 10% of the high octane Thrash on this E.P., I may not even both myself with the new Slayer record at all.


Amken feature powerful bass lines that resemble the guttural vibrations of a warship engine setting sail on a course of unfiltered devastation. Their guitar solo composition is beautifully timed and phrased pairing seamlessly with the continent shattering riffs sure to destroy every club foolish enough to book a show. There is a classical old school attitude with these Athenians that rounds out their modern brutality with a flair of respect and appreciation for the glory days of Thrash.


We, as always, will welcome all your hate mail with open minds and comebacks at the ready. We have prepared ourselves for the droves of die-hard fans sure to take direct offense to us “disrespecting” their gods. We have done everything we possibly can but we cannot lie to you. Look out SlayerAmken has arrived.

2015-08-02 12.08.54

4.5/5 Horns



\m/That Metal Fan\m/

Listen to Amken HERE

Follow Amken HERE

Follow That Metal Fan HERE


Blue Balls with “Beyond De-th”

The human ear is one of the strangest devices when you step back for a second and think about it. Most people will know that two people hearing the same note at the same frequency, volume, pitch, and every other variable out there can hear two completely different sounds. What fascinates this journalist even further is that over time, our ears work with our brains to become intuitive. Our brains are naturally programmed to look for patterns in everything we can sense and sound is no different. Over time, the brain will begin to predict whats coming next in any given song. While this has become increasingly useful at surviving pits when we have no idea who the band is or what song they are playing, one band has actually proven it can completely screw you up your zen when your oh so intuitive ear gets it wrong.



Beyond De-th (no, that isn’t a typo) from Chicago is, believe it or not a Death Metal band that will give your ears a metaphorical case of blue balls as a means to finish you off in a more explosive and fantastic way than you ever thought possible.



All jokes aside, the band has an amazing way of messing with you. All of their available tracks feature stellar musicianship all the way around. Jazz infused intensity smothers the kit with intricate stick work and tight kicks. How the hell the bassists finger tips don’t break away from the knuckle and disintegrate with her constant chugging is an absolute feat and NASA needs to take her in for testing. Keeping all the pieces flowing in a cohesive and insanely metal manner is some of the best right hand chugging we have heard in some time. The “problem” lies in their limitations set on by only enlisting the one guitarist who, by the way, also burdens himself with vocals and does a bang up job. With the lack of a second guitarist, 50% of Beyond De-th‘s tracks build and build but never quite explode into euphoric bliss as one may feel they should. The other 50% you ask? Well they just rip you’re fucking head off from start to finish.



Ladies and gents, I give you the heaviest band to ever cut my ear off mid gasm. Now, if you will all excuse me, I need to go plug into some Kreator or I won’t be able hear straight for a week.






3/5 Horns







\m/That Metal Fan\m/

Check out Beyod De-th for yourselves by heading to one of the dates below:

  • August 28th- St. Louis, MO FUBAR
  • August 29th- Covington, KY Backstage Cafe
  • September 19th- Griffith, IN Sopranos   




Listen to Beyond De-th HERE

Follow Beyond De-th HERE

Follow That Metal Fan HERE

Pick Axe Preacher serve up some “Salem Justice”

“…No way man, Exodus and Testament are total dad bands. Its all about Sleeping With Sirens.” With all due respect to SWS and their fan base, this generalized sentiment has become all too common in todays metal community. While most of the younger generation of Metalheads may completely agree that thier elders need to give up the aggression driven ways of the past to make room for skinny jeans and cartoonish sized holes in various body parts, there is one band coming to us from the abyss that was formerly known as Detroit, that gives zero fucks about trendy looks and nine string breakdowns.


Salem Justice, the second release from Michigan based Pick Axe Preacher, is a non-stop rail gun of an album from start to finish. With no warning, no air raid sirens, and not even the courtesy of a gift basket, Salem Justice will annihilate your eardrums with a relentlessness set to rival the bombing runs in Kuwait.


I’m not quite sure what snapped with this guy, but vocalist Mike Williams is pissed off and for 11 tracks he screams with such an animalistic rage that you are given no choice, you HAVE to like it. Mike Hopper has managed to create what is possibly the most disgusting guitar tones and riffs this journalist has ever heard which is in complete contrast to what most bands are doing these days. This true grit may not be pretty, but it translates beautifully in a world where things may have become just a little too crisp. The only real concern I have for the band falls on drummer, Jeff Vergiels. If this guy doesnt get a sponsorship from Gatorade soon, I do’n know how he can be expect to perform even one track from this album. His level of intensity and never ceasing movement is as scary as it is awe inspiring.


The new age of metal is here and it is presumably going to take root and stick around for at least the near future. Pick Axe Preacher have proved with Salem Justice that not only can they out play the new trends, not only can they go harder and heavier, they can do it all in Ninja Turtle costumes. Why? Because fuck you. That’s why.




3.5/5 Horns






\m/That Metal Fan\m/

Check out Pick Axe Preacher at one of their upcoming shows:

  • August 1st- Fort Wayne, Indiana @ O’Sullivan’s Italian Pub
  • August 7th- Fort Wayne, Indiana @ Skeletunes Lounge
  • August 21st- Westland, Michigan @ The Token Lounge
  • August 22nd- Wattsburg, Pennsylvania @ Wattsburg Fairgrounds





Listen to Pick Axe Preacher HERE

Follow Pick Axe Preacher HERE

Follow That Metal Fan HERE


Seraph In Travail “Bring Forth Death”

If we are being completely honest with ourselves, the last time something new or innovative came along in the world of Black Metal, we had Bush Sr. or Clinton calling the White House home. That’s not to say there haven’t been great bands in the genre. We just see the norm never being challenged. At the end of the day, you will always find that creepy Victorian vibe with evil spewing out over rather basic rhythms and chord progressions.


This cold and pessimistic view is one that TMF has unfortunately had until the recent discovery of Seraph In Travail. The Pennsylvania based group is set to release their full length album, Bring Forth Death on August 7th and of course we took the opportunity to check out the first two singles available via Bandcamp.


Does the band break the mold by doing away with keyboards and the old Victorian voice? Not even close, but then again, what kind of Black Metal band would they be if they didn’t adhere to these age old staples? Instead, the band infuses two unique elements into their sound that elevate the bands potential to break out dramatically. To start, you get ear pounded by vocals that range from Nathan Explosion lows to Danny Filth mids. That fact that there are little to no highs actually come off as a blessing in disguise, as high screeches would actually hurt the bands overall tone. Secondly, and what is probably the smartest move Seraph In Travail  made, was losing the played out habit of throttled and repetitive guitar work, and instead replaced it with trotting rhythms and haunting harmonies. This one act allows the drummer to cover a wider range of movements and it almost gives a Death Metal tone while keeping it truly Black at the same time.


So, whether you agree that Black Metal has become stagnant over the years or you’re preparing a long and drawn out speech about just how wrong we are, Seraph In Travail‘s talent, innovation, and god given skill cannot be argued. Haters, we await your emails.



4/5 Horns





\m/That Metal Fan\m/

Listen To Seraph In Travail HERE

Follow Seraph In Travail HERE

Follow That Metal Fan HERE

The Most Metal Day of The Year With “Tormenter”

July 24th, 2015 is a date that has solidified itself as nothing short of monumental for the metal world. On the one hand, a record that undoubtedly helped to shape the course of metal into what we see today dropped on this day in 1990. The 25th anniversary of Pantera‘s Cowboys From Hell serves as a humble reminder of just how far our genre has come since the days of hair metal and also, in the words of one Mayhem Festival founder, just how “Old, Fat, and Bald”, we have all Become. On the other hand, the long awaited studio return from Lamb Of God has finally dropped. Coincidentally, Sturm Und Drang finds its release date coinciding with the launch of the Summers Last Stand Tour which sees Lamb Of God setting out to absolutely destroy North America with Slipknot.

Just in case all of this isn’t enough to get your cold metal blood pumping, today also sees La Puente, California‘s Tormenter re-releasing their sophomore album Prophetic Deceiver on Static Tension Recordings. While the band being signed to a label is something we highly commend, the music is what we are all here for, so lets get this started.


I can sit here and tell you how the albums recording quality is immaculate, the guitars are tight, the vocals and drumming is the “Bees-Frickin-Knees”, but you won’t truly grasp the abundance of kick ass Tormenters Prophetic Deceiver has to offer. So instead, let’s try this: Close your eyes and picture, if you will, Slayer and Exodus having a musical baby. Got it? GREAT! Now imagine Obituary and Ascendancy era Trivium have a musical child of their own. These two babies grow up together, they fall in love with one another, then during a night of sweat whips and passion, the condom breaks. The ensuing serial killer, i mean… baby, with its sweet guitar licks and unstoppable double bass would get you in the ballpark of the absolute madness that is Tormenter.


Pantera milestone, a Lamb Of God milestone, and now a Tormenter milestone. We here at TMF are making it official. July 24th, 2015 is the most metal day of the year. Check out the links below to find everything Tormenter.

5/5 Horns



\m/That Metal Fan\m/

Listen to Tormenter’s Prophetic Deceiver HERE

 Follow Tormenter HERE

 Follow That Metal Fan HERE

TMF President talks with Unsigned Countdown

For musicians just starting to find their footing, the underground can sometimes be a dark and rather intimidating place. With millions of things that can hinder or halt a bands progress all together, finding great or even just slightly helpful advice can be like finding the elusive holy grail.


Lucky for you, people like Jason Roeseke and his podcast, Unsigned Countdown exist. The show, mush like That Metal Fan, is dedicated to assisting unsigned and underground musicians with tips and advice on just about every subject imaginable. In their latest episode, Jason sat down with TMF President and Founder Andrew Tanner. Check out the conversation below and be sure to like and follow Unsigned Countdown for more little holy grails…

Follow Unsigned Countdown HERE

Follow That Metal Fan HERE

Death Pit are “Here To F@$k S@$t Up”

With the news of After The Burial‘s Justin Lowe being found dead, (may he rest in peace), the seemingly self inflicted demise of the Mayhem Festival and all the other incredibly sad and sometimes ridiculous debates that have been flooding the newsfeeds of the world lately, we here at TMF needed a break. A distraction if you will. For us, and anyone else feeling a little strung out on the gloom, Mecosta, Michigan locals Death Pit are exactly the type of nonsensical Old School Crossover Thrash that was needed. If even for only five songs or so, the band take us away from the ever growing media buzz kill.


Now, when we say the term Old School Crossover Thrash, we mean exactly that. Many Underground bands, (don’t worry, we wont call you out directly) who cling to this title to their music end up being judged to that end and they seem to fall flat due to a lack of, you guessed it, that Old School Crossover Thrash feel. Death Pit is a four piece that captures the spirit of booze fueled ragers at local clubs, littered with lovely badasses bleeding from their noses onto patch riddled denim vests in a subtle way that says, “I could care less about what you think”.


Not on element of the Death Pit machine stands above the rest on any of their gorgeously vile tunes all of which are available via the bands Reverbnation page, a link to which you will find below. This boys and girls is raw Thrash Metal at its core. A boiling toxic ooze whose only purpose is to encase you in a hardened cocoon of speed and aggression.


So, to the boys who are  “Here To Fuck Shit Up” we thank you for the wonderfully killer distraction. Now, enough with the sappy thank yous, get your ass back in that pit!

4/5 Horns



\m/That Metal Fan\m/

Listen to Death Pit HERE

Follow Death Pit HERE

 Follow That Metal Fan HERE