Devilfire – ‘Waiting For A Rock Star’

July 16, 2017

Ahead of their forthcoming album, ‘Dark Manoeuvres’, Devilfire bring you their latest video release, ‘Waiting For A Rock Star’. Launching straight in there, with a really classic rocky intro, cemented by the visuals and rock star images portrayed in the video. Harking back to that nostalgic 90’s vibe of rockers who looked, played, walked and talked the part, with truth and conviction oozing out of every pore, that’s what this track and video are about. The song screams ‘rock’, with all the deliciously tantalising guitar riffs to prove it. The setting’s an intriguing old country castle and its grounds, which though it may be neither here nor there, adds a sense of elusive mystique to the track, opening it up some more. Some may say it’s derivative. I say it rocks. Hard.

8/10 ********

For fans of 90’s rock, with a classic flavour.

Catch them headlining, at Birmingham O2 Academy, on August 26th and Sheffield O2 Academy HRH Sleaze, on September 2nd.

Velvet Insane – ‘Self Titled’

July 10, 2017

Four piece rock from Ostersund, Sweden, Velvet Insane was born from the original band Pure Faith, after the tragic death of their manager. V.I. was an attempt to change direction, incorporating Jesper’s love of big choruses, melodies and riffs; the intention was to create a band larger-than-life. The inspiration for the band name came from working on song production in a factory for a day. Ultimate band chemistry was discovered in the combo of: Jesper Lindgren (guitarist and songwriter), Jesper Sandstrom (bass) and Jonas Eriksson (initially drums, evolving to vocals).

November 8, 2013 saw Jesper Lindgren hosting a ‘Stjarnfall’ gig, in memory of the late manager. It featured Nick Borge, of Backyard Babies, State Of Drama, author Anders Tengner and V.I., themselves. The gig secured V.I. widespread recognition, inspiring them to record new material, with the aim of recapturing the atmosphere of that event. The result was a meeting with Rock News magazine’s Sven Moren, who wrote an article about the band’s journey to success and eventually took over as band manager in February 2014. That year commenced with a North Sweden tour and highly acclaimed gigs in Falun and Stockholm. Production work on their new material continued and their debut EP was recorded in April of that year, in Esta Studios, in Stockholm and released in May, the same year.

Line-up changes took them back to Stockholm, where their official debut EP, ‘Youth On Fire’, was recorded and released internationally, on October 25, 2014. The EP’s release culminated in widespread awareness of the bands’ work and in autumn of 2015, they toured Japan and the UK. August 2016 saw them return to the studio, to record their self titled debut album. They then toured Spain and America. The start of 2017 launched an effective radio campaign, proving their readiness for that rock industry wide ubiquitous concept, world domination.

Break Out Of Eden – Really tasty rocky drum roll intro, rapid follow-up high-level vocals and riffs, slotting right in, with effortless flow. A hard to find combo of easy listening and flawless novel rock, with a classic vibe. Mood lifting stuff, for sure.

High On Love – Riffs introing, with a slight stoner/bluesy sense and a very agreeable sound. A real old school flavour permeates this and it carries that nostalgic feel, injecting immediate appeal and visual imagery, evoking a world of associated emotions. An elusive quality these days and one to be treasured.

Help Me – Plucky riff intro here, with a catchy chorus, again, holding that déjà vu thing, guaranteeing memorability. Really pleasant vocal harmonies, which’ll have you singing along, before long. It’s one of those tracks engendering jamming visions and general likeability.

Coffee, Jazz And Arts – Opening this time, with the most beautiful acoustic section, bringing a whole new mood into things. Incorporating string components and a unique lilt in the lyrics, it actually escapes briefly, into folky territory, reminiscent of Celtic music and film soundtrack. ‘Braveheart’ fans are bound to enjoy this. It’s quite simply lovely.

My Way Of Life Is You – Back to the rock again, yet keeping a slight folky edge to it, it’s got a nice slide to it. Nice catchy pace, easy to follow and audibly derivative, in a very positive way, of a classy mix of influences, such as blues, folk, rock, with a slight and very favourable Gypsy tinge. It’s a warm cup of comfort, served in a cosy, rocky wrap-around.

Nottingman – Yummy heavier blues riff and drum intro here, upping the pace, speeding things up and changing the whole vibe, to a more casual, yet edgier mood. It’s got a great feel to it and it’s just so easy to like. Gorgeous guitar breakdowns in there and all the time, it seems to welcome you in, not just lyrically, but generally and you can’t help wanting to stay. It draws you in and makes you believe it.

Lincoln Rd – Oh now that Dylan-esque blues harmonica intro is just so striking and utterly magnetic. So much lyrical and vocal emotion, you can’t help but be moved by. It’s truly and awesomely beautiful. Somehow, that whole bass emphasis reminds me of The Stones ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’. It’s kind of like a rocked up rock ballad and I love it.

Infinity – Classically engineered timing, once again, there’s a completely seamless thread to it and it remarkably manages to blend several eras into one, bringing together 90s brit rock touches, with 50s/60s themed blues, rocky modern sections and a mysterious, magical essence, that brings them all together and wraps it up succinctly.

King Of The Foolish – Heavier terrain already, throwing down some sharper, electric riffs and hard-line drums; again, you could be in a present-day setting or a past one, introing you to the basis of classic rock and from there, it could move you into an obscure, psychedelic/prog flower power, trippy back stage lounge bar or Woodstock type gig and each time, you’d still be in the same song. It’s intensely interchangeable, in such a workable way and filled with flavour; finishing on a nicely timed reverb riff. I’ve now got Judas Priest’s ‘Revolution’ in my head. Mind bug territory, or what?

Six Steps Away – Real loveliness again. Fittingly gentle closer. Such moving lyrics and melody. Acoustic emotional offering, you actually feel the pleas behind the words. Including some tightly fitted riffs and gradually building momentum and volume, till it ends, on an increasingly distant fade-out riff. Sheer beauty.

Overall – Mesmerising, pleasantly haunting and magically escapist return to home.

9/10 *********

For fans of wide expanses of eclectic rock, from every era from 50s to present day. Blues, folk, psych, prog, hard rock or gypsy soul, stoner or soft rock – you’ll find something captivating here.

Vescera – ‘Beyond The Fight’

July 9, 2017

American Italian heavy-metal band Vescera formed in 2016. Their debut album, ‘Beyond The Fight’, was released in 2017, via Pure Steel Records. It’s composed of front man Mike Vescera, former Nitehawks members, guitarist Mike Petrone and bassist Frank Leone and Annihilator drummer Fabio Alessandrini. Vocalist Mike has previously provided vocals for Yngwie Malmsteen, Loudness and his own band, Obsession. All tracks on Vescera’s debut album were written by bassist Frank.

Blackout In Paradise – That’s one heavy duty, high impacting drum intro! You won’t hear that often. Hard-hitting vocals to match and the same can be said of the riffs – mega powered as they are. Everything comes together so naturally, it’s as if this band was meant to be. It’s one solid, highly crazed, energetic burst of excitement. Fun paced, lively feel, everyone giving their all. One thing’s for sure. You’re gonna want to hear more. To call it an impressive start would be a massive understatement.

In The Night – More focused space within the intro drumming this time, with the rest following suit, as the pace calms slightly, but definitely no less exciting. Just thoroughly metal and all that goes with it. Packed with intensely colourful riffs, equally intense melody, life affirming vocals and sheer, unbridled power. It rocks so hard, it’s beyond any words.

Stand And Fight – Racing into life, with sheer volume, power screams from metal Heaven and utterly delightful, entrancing instrumentals. Climbing up those riff scales, with a level of freedom and abandon only the truly metal will comprehend and speeding through the track, to the end, it’s just a full on metal delight.

Dynamite – Another drumming battalion introing, slightly reminiscent of Ozzy’s ‘The Ultimate Sin’ album, in places, but ultimately, moving with total accomplished expertise, into their own individual metal celebration. Turn it up to the max. Hammering it home, all the way, metallic exuberance doesn’t even begin to cover it.

Looking For Trouble – Blitzing the show, with immediate impact, there’s a slight Queen essence in here, but again, it’s just so thoroughly metal. Old school, combined with new spins and a classic line-up make this an exceptional sound. If you ever wondered what truth sounds like, in metal music format, this is it.

Vendetta – Straight in there, once again, with all guns blazing; vibrancy is something Vesecra could teach the world. Keeping the pace consistently, with highbrow momentum, the performance is just flawless. Vivid and alive, great catchy hooks and pace throughout, loaded with melody, steel force and metal thunder – it’s utterly breathtaking.

Troubled Man – With one all-powerful drum hit and startlingly clear vocal intro, it lays down the vibe and ups the impact even more. Challenging themselves to strengthen the power, every time, they’d stand up to the highest judgement. Effortless, full flavour, top-level metal. So much fun to be had within it.

Never Letting Go – Introing here, with an anthemic sound, resonant of Def Leppard’s ‘Pour Some Sugar On Me’, but even more metal, louder, faster and getting increasingly so. Hear a bit of Rainbow’s ‘Since You’ve Been Gone’ in there, too? That brilliant blend of various old school influences, added to which, their own completely unique and heavily laid down twists and vibes are what makes this whole album so damn special and so damn sexy. Ending on a classic harmony combo, it just takes you straight to metal Paradise.

Suite 95 – Ooh, Judas Priest fans’ll get off on this ‘Hell Patrol’ type intro. It’s got all the right stuff. Feel-good sounds, determined enthusiasm, lively, uplifting riffs, fresh, exuberant drumming, classic smooth, slick vocals, all delivered with consummate ease. It just works, on every imaginable level.

Overall – An absolute blast of high octane, super fuelled, adrenaline buzzed metal, to excite, astound and thrill your senses, to overload. Even then, it still won’t be enough. Such a magical combo of life affirming genius as this is rare as gold dust – which just about summarises ‘B.T.F.’

10/10 **********

For fans of old school greats, such as Judas Priest, Ozzy Osbourne, Rainbow, Def Leppard, Anthrax, WASP, Queen, Saxon.

All Kings Fall – ‘Drink To The Lost’

July 7, 2017

Heavy metal band from Waupaca, Wisconsin, USA, All Kings Fall, present their debut album ‘Drink To The Lost’. Influences: Pantera, Megadeth, Lamb of God, Gwar, Jeff Loomis. Performing with the energy and aggression of thrash, with an old school flavour; they have one simple mission – ‘to keep the metal scene raw, real and heavy’.

New Year’s Eve 2016 commemorated their first year together, which was when they performed ‘Of The Earth’ and ‘Toxic Ruin’. April Fools’ Day 2017 saw the release of ‘Drink To The Lost’. (Engineered by Mark Golde, of Rock Garden Studios, remastered by Roger Walters, of Muddy Banks Studios). The album’s already received airplay on Rock 94.7 and 96.9 Fox Homegrown, amongst others. Having been featured alongside high-profile mid-west bands, such as, Morbid Saint, All Out Mutiny and Sleaze, opened for national bands, The Art Of Dying, Letters From The Fire and Adelitas Way and performed at the 2017 Michael Graves benefit has already secured them plenty of exposure. They’re presently playing live gigs most weekends, while producing their new album, ‘Grip Control’ – most tracks from which are being performed live.

Shadows Beneath My Grave – World class thrash intro – setting the scene for instant carnage and it certainly doesn’t disappoint. As their promo claims, they actually do deliver. All the right sounds you associate with high-level sleazy thrash metal are offered here. Throat wrecking energised vocals, with a catchy buzz to the whole thing, it’s an ideal start to what promises to be a lively album.

Wake Up – I already have! Track one saw to that. ‘Wake Up’ gets straight into the very sounds that ensure you do just that, though and stay awake. A distinct 9o’s vibe to this and it takes you back to all the fun, exciting bands around back then. Deliciously old school and just filled with feel-good, colourful vibes, from start to finish.

Elephant Graveyard – The melodic essence of those yummy riffs opens the show, rapidly followed by some majorly energetic power screams, along with a volley of drums, fit to knock you flat on your face. It’s a track which rains metal down on you, with relentlessly joyful momentum and you’ll just want more.

Fight Or Die – Battering your senses, with a full on, drum assault, some unusual (dodgy sounding) grunts and tastefully sleazy lyrics. This is metal that’s unafraid, unashamed and unwilling to repress its energy for a single moment. A real sense of release and tons of anger. It’s the stuff true metal’s made of. Palpable power screams, loaded with sincerity of a level rarely heard, thrash attack instrumentals and a general sense of enthusiasm to kill.

Throne Of Bone – Dare we ask?! Awesomely metal beat, instantly catchy rhythm, slightly calmer track, but definitely no less fun or impassioned. Very subtle echo of Rammstein’s ‘Mutter’, at the end, which closes it really nicely. Just fun time metal, as usual.

Bury The Hatchet – Slicing into life, with full impact heavy thrash metal, in the most exhilarating way. You’ll remember that intro riff, for certain, for its slicing motion. Lots of Pantera influence in here and ‘Walk’ fans especially’ll enjoy this. Finishing off with a battery of drum rolls; it rocks ‘hard, heavy and animal’, (to quote the great Krusher Joule).

Scorched Earth – More of that gorgeous slide riffage, with a bit of deep throated growl and a ton of thrashy vocals – complemented by some very fittingly timed drumming; these guys know how to do thrash right. Enjoy the melody in that riffage, around 3/4 in and just rock out to the rest. Aptly titled, it’s a scorcher of a track.

Grasping Water – Opening with a cavalcade of drums and a total thrash vibe, it rocks, in the most metal way. It’s almost like a summons to rock out. Definitely more of a brutal edge to it, this is one for enraged frames of mind and lessons in how to blow the roof off rock venues).

Glass Jaw – Whoar! That’s the sound I just made at the outset and so will you. Power screams of maximum power and a whole heap of energy. Short, but immense, with a glaringly strong message. Lyrically astute; this’ll stick in your mind.

Drink To The Lost – A final battlecry drumming intro, throwing in some great backing harmonies and exuding aggression – they really go for it this time, upping the power even more, if that was even possible. You’re left in no doubt about AKF’s will to rock.

Overall – Fucking Hell! Like the spirit of thrash metal itself, emanating a fuck ton of energy and every last bit of passion and zest left within it. It’ll wake you up, shake you up and rattle your entrails, like a bag of broken bones. Get some now.

10/10 **********

For fans of Skid Row, Pantera, Anthrax, Megadeth, Metallica, Amon Amarth, Trivium, Carcass and Taint.

Facebook: @allkingsfall

Instagram: @AKFbandofficial

Twitter: @AKFbandofficial

Booking Contact – Mike Gill

14 Pieces – ‘This Narrative Forlorn’

July 6, 2017

Anticoagulant – Opening with an encroaching warning sound, ‘Jaws’ style, before launching into immense heaviness. Melo-death vocals characterise the track, supported by similarly performed instrumentals and it does have catch. Equal parts melody and death, so something here for both melodic and growly extreme fans.

Lost In Darkness – Positive drum attack intro and getting heavier all the time. Clearer bass involvement here and it really comes into its own, providing a secure concrete backdrop. More riffage and harmonies, constructively employed backing vocals and really, just more of everything. Blending the melody with the death aspects well, that strategic blend makes it an easier listen then many melo-death tracks. There’s a spark of light to this, which is at once, intriguing and free.

Meat Puppett – Introing with some pleasant and very agreeable riffage, before bringing in another combo of heavy and light. Enough growl and death vibes to fit into metal-core, as well as melo-death territory, yet it holds an almost proggy experimental thread, opening it up to a more freestyle angle. There’s an audible freshness, yet it doesn’t stray too far from easily definable genres. Comfortable enough.

Consuming Obsession – Wall of sound, hitting you, in a very metallic way. Extreme vocals make an appearance, soon blending, once more, with softer, background melodic ones. Definitely more growl to this one, though. Slight echo, if you listen carefully, of G’N’R’s ‘Double Talkin’ Jive’, riff wise and just a harder overall sound. Edging into the kind of productive anger that works, when taken into the studio. The rawness is escaping.

Asphyxia – Upping the pace, speed and heaviness; this is a volume increase on that raw aggression I referred to above. Varying the vocals, to include deeper melodic sections, these work well with the growlier bits. Now the energy’s releasing itself, adding more plausibility and though it may seem a curious place to throw it in, that laughter at the end does make me smile.

Transmutation – Good confident, bold intro, really going for it this time. Making the most of the closing track, they really do throw the passion into this one. It’s always a great sound to hear. Just more of everything makes this a really strong, powerful track. Pity it ends there, but it’s a great closer.

Overall – Clear effort wins the day here. A good example of what can be achieved, with solid equal band efforts, with passion and energy thrown in. Enjoyment of process shines through and generally, it’s just a decent piece of metal, increasing in plausibility, with every track.

7/10 *******

For fans of melo-death, extreme, black and thrash metal.

EP available on: Google play, Amazon, Spotify, ITunes and all major online retailers.

BROOMFILLER – ‘Third Stage Propellor Index’

July 5, 2017

Agnostic Orgasmic – Crashing into life, with a very 70s/80s vibe – tons of melody, plenty of the punky attitude they’re going for and the whole thing comes together really nicely. Carrying an uplifting air to it, something about this says, ‘breath of fresh air’ and I’m liking it. Lots. An easy listen, performed with that sense of laid-back professionalism with which you can relax instantly. Encouraging start.

Figure It Out Quickly – Really chilled out sound, before bursting back into life, with more of that fun punkness I’m digging so much. Short and sweet, but you get the message. It’s all about light-hearted fun.

How Long, So Long – Nicely played riff intro and the vocals just flow into life, with effortless ease. Liking those twiddly paradiddles and the catchy chorus, making it so pleasurable to listen to. An abrupt end, yet it doesn’t seem to matter, as somehow, it’s already proved its enough.

High School Reunion – Very tasty old school punk riff intro, from which everything else just flows again. Varying the tone, here and there, alternating the pace and tempo, in such a workable way, to create a really listenable sound. Slightly sinister edge to the melody, in places, but picking the catchy lighter vibe back up again, in all the right places. Ending on a well-placed slide riff; job done.

Ordinary Day – Intro here reminding me slightly of AC/DC’s ‘She Likes Rock ‘N’ Roll’, whilst also echoing slightly, Black Bikini Alpha’s ‘Swag’. Those references aside, it’s just another pleasant listen, with an easy rhythm, with plenty of catch. Perhaps less substance to this one, but still, difficult to find any negatives about it. It’ll do fine.

A Different Way Of Falling – Lovely acoustic riff intro there, before moving fluidly into a gently amped up section, with intriguingly thought-provoking lyrics. Slightly samey in some ways, but again, no real bad points to note. Good wind down material, for a warm spring day.

Amputake – Okay, now it gets markedly heavier, at least at the outset, but yes, it’s still keeping a fairly heavy thread, in the choruses. Now the drums really come into effect and it’s as if a metal robot’s suddenly taken over. It does alternate between heavy and light, but it’s an interesting touch, if slightly perplexing as to why it’s introed at this point. The vocals flex their heavier muscles here, to quite positive effect. Ending on an energetic shout, it’s versatile, if nothing else.

Milly – Returning to gentility, just briefly, before heaviness comes into its own again. Rather maudlin lyrics, with a sound to match. Fairly percussive, in its general sound and introing a slight sense of R.E.M.’s ‘Losing My Religion’, towards the close. You get the impression there are many different influences behind it and the outcome’s a bit of a mixed bag, sound-wise. No bad thing.

Tears Me Apart – Nice harmony intro. Lifting the mood back up again, (slightly, at least), but there’s just so much ease of flow, you just can’t help but be carried away by it. Quite brief in length, but it wraps it all up in the short time it has to do so. Creates a sensation of floating down a river. All in all, a relaxed, enjoyable listen.

Trant So – Opening up, with quite a classy lounge type sound, interwoven with heavier sections. Lots of melody and it’s a well chosen closer. Just a very melodic track, maintaining the laid-back feel that’s characterised the album throughout and proving consistency and self assured confidence, to the end.

Overall – A great listen, composed of a fitting mixture of punk sounds and influences, ranging from old school 70s/80s, to 90s modern and 00’s new wave. Laid-back, easy vibe, with positive flow and lightness of touch, for mood enhancing quality.

7/10 *******

For fans of Green Day, R.E.M., Linkin Park, The Clash, The Superphone.



Cherokii – ‘Hurricane’

July 4, 2017

Two-piece punk n’ roll band, Cherokii, from Oxford, formed June 2015. Tipped as band to watch in 2016, they’re known as one of Oxford’s liveliest live acts. Becoming renowned for their exciting, high-impact presence and performances, they’re now known as ‘Royal Blood on steroids’. Cherokii’s demo ‘Warehouse’ and singles ‘Hurricane’ and ‘The Boy Who Cried Wolf’ have been played on BBC introducing and they’ve also supported Raven Eye and Electric Six on stage. Having already played several gigs at Oxford’s O2 Academy, they’re now confirmed for numerous festivals, including: Wychwood, Common People, Riverside, OXROX and DPM, in Repaix, France. Aiming to move up the ladder, from local to national band to watch, 2017 looks like a big year in the making, for Cherokii.

Hurricane – Immediate rocky intro, moving into an unusually rap-like section, with a bluesy undertone. Easy beat, rolling rhythm, confidently performed; it’s clearly got potential. Echoes of noise and pop rock combined, it’s a sound more reminiscent of chart rock, than heavier fayre, but the audible enthusiasm should compensate and its commercial viability will take it far. A tad repetitive, especially towards the close, would definitely benefit from more focus on injecting individuality and a greater range of notation, but as an early work, it’s a good start.

The Boy Who Cried Wolf – Instantly noticeable intro, with well honed lyrical timing. Very visually evocative of Native American culture, throwing in Tomahawk sound effects and ritual imagery – a unique approach in itself. Again, though, awkward to categorise, genre specifically and as such, hard to place in your imagination, as a live act. However, such one-off styles as this can hold hidden benefits, in memorability terms and there’s often much to be said for acquired tastes. It’s vocally diverse, being equally sung and spoken and the cultural references may reflect the need for more modern socially representative genres within the industry.

Overall – An acquired sound, which though brave in diversifying and differentiating itself from the crowd, could benefit from the use of catchy hooks and inclusion of some standard rock sounds, with which fans could identify. The clashing sounds and influences in each track leave room for confusion too, as it’s initial styles are more generically derivative, whilst the second track leaves the impression of being far more culturally influenced. Given it’s punk n’ roll nature, it’s surprisingly devoid of any discernible punk sound, leaning much more towards the Native American atmosphere. Whilst it may not be for everyone, Cherokii’s music may open up a niche market and succeed in bringing Native American (specific) rock to the masses.

5/10 *****

For fans of cultural niche rock and Native American music in particular.


Zero Tolerance – ‘Abismal’

July 3, 2017

Founded in 2010, Zero Tolerance from Chile, originally played covers, while finding their feet, till familiar enough with each other to play originals. Their debut gig locally, the same year, was well received, so they played more. 2011 was beset with difficult life circumstances, meaning things were put on hold till 2012, when their debut album was produced. They toured the album locally, to positive acclaim. It was eventually recorded in 2013 and finally released in 2014. At present, ZT are gigging infrequently, to allow them to focus on completing the second album. They remain as eager as ever to take up opportunities, as they become available. ‘Abismal’ was recorded in Quillota, Chile, at drummer Pablo’s Chilean-Colombian record label HQ – ‘WP Records Label and Distro’, which Pablo runs, in conjunction with his colleagues.

Intro – Banging, heavy intro. Plenty of steel and no bullshit. Just pure metal, ramped up to the max and already, it’s killer territory. Certainly no filler here. Chugging riffs, vibrant energy and a great impression, instantly. Exciting and fresh, it’s left me wanting more.

Cataclismo – Another crushingly metallic intro, stunning with its immediacy and wasting no time in showcasing its versatility, with vocals straddling black/death and Latin American thrash and sound to kill. The production values are simply amazing. Just feel the rolling thunder behind those battlecry drums and explosive riffs. Like Viking metal, violent thrash and everything in between, combined. You just can’t fail to be impressed by the palpable power driving this.

Falso Creador – It gets even louder, pushing up the power and ramping up the anger. The lyrics alone hold so much intensity, but together with the head splitting instrumentals, amount to what I can only describe as murderous expression, whose volume alone could kill.

Zero Tolerancia – Sheer magma flows from the top and keeps on flowing. There’s no escape from the death rays of metal sound emanating from ‘ZT’. Such unshakeable conviction exudes from every facet and it’s plain to see why they’ve taken their time with this release. Art like this is certainly not perfected overnight. It’s a volcano of face meltingly red-hot lava you can feel, as its energy pours down the mountain, surging through you and burning into your soul.

Agonia – Riffing its way through the fray, with the sheer abandonment of excess, it’s another killing track of inexplicable loudness and aggression, with a shockingly abrupt ending and a permanent impression of irrepressible energy. Readers of John Lydon’s book, ‘Anger Is An Energy’ can do no better than listening to this track, to comprehend that term fully.

Ahogando el Tormento – Never letting up for a minute, the hammer force drums take over here, not merely making their presence known, but battering their way onto the scene, with such force of will, you have to hear it to believe it. The ferociously fire fuelled riffs aren’t far behind. Just an insanely energised concoction of some of the angriest, rawest metal you’ll ever hear. I swear those vocals are almost monster like, growing increasingly so, by the minute. All in all, a monstrous melting pot of molten metal.

Colision – Pantera fans, delight! Taking flight, with the ‘Cowboys From Hell’ style riffs, this flies in a new direction, while keeping the vivid blood red energetic anger. Prepare to be heavily metallicized and never recover. Beating down every door in sight, it’s an unspeakably vicious metal attack.

Morfina Inmaterial – Changing the atmosphere, swapping the aural assault, for film score like darkness and creepy intrigue, just briefly at the intro, before bringing the incensed impassioned anger back again. Maintaining that relentless fired up fury, till the end; you needn’t worry that the anger’s dissipating, as it’s going nowhere soon. The energy’s so involving in here, it’s taking you with it, wherever it chooses to go.

Esclavos Del Poder – Opening with a one-off lightning cymbal hit, the animal-like dredged up, blood ravaged vocals hit you again, before you’re treated to some mean and moody riffs, much in the Zakk Wylde vein. Really going for it, with a full on, powered, high-impact cohesion of team effort metal, to blow the cobwebs away and strip the last of the skin from your face. Brutal isn’t the word.

Abismal – Introing the long-awaited title track, with another scorching riff, it doesn’t disappoint. No time’s wasted here. Wholehearted, face ripping metal you wouldn’t dare mosh to, for fear of losing a limb and bleeding out from every orifice, as all your vital organs are ripped from you. That’s about the strength of this metal. A better testament to the power of heavy metal, I can’t imagine.

Overall – A brutal, steel-edged monster of an album. Get the migraine therapy ready, cos you’re gonna need a lie down in a dark room, with maximum strength pain relief after this. Can you think of a bigger compliment to metal than that? No. Didn’t think so. It’s the hardest, heaviest, strongest steel toe capped boot of metal you’ll ever hear.

10/10 **********

For fans of Pantera, Kyrbgrinder, Boltthrower, Skreamer, In My Embrace, Eternal Fear, Satarial and all forms of brutal, viking, extreme thrash metal. Abismal.rar

Also available physically, for $7 US. Contact bandpage or

After Dusk ‘The Character Of Physical Law’

July 2, 2017

Heavy metal from Athens, Greece, founded in 1998, After Dusk have so far produced 3 albums, played at various festivals and venues and completed their demo, ‘Senses Of Dusk’, in 2005. Their 1st album, ‘The Witch’s Pact’, was produced and self released in 2006, as a limited copy release. ‘Hybris’, their 2nd album, came out in 2008, released internationally, in 2009. 3rd album, ‘The Devil Got His Soul’, in 2012 and a single entitled ‘Gamma Ray Burst’, in 2013. ‘TCOPL’ was released in May 2017, in an attempt to merge all their influences (heavy, thrash and black metal). Self produced, engineered, mixed and mastered by George Emmanuel. So far, their music’s been highly and widely acclaimed and was very well received by Metal Hammer.

The Character Of Physical Law – Crashing intro, as heavy as fuck! Setting the scene in an instant, it’s clear from the off where we stand with After Dusk. Heavy metal all the way. Turning up the volume and keeping it at max, there’s darkness and light, a bit of gothic stuff, a sinister edge, heavy riffage, solid drums aplenty and melody, suffused with concrete slabs of blackness. Ending on a well timed cymbal hit, one thing this doesn’t suffer from is samey monotony. It’s a positive feast of eclectic metal, combined, to produce a sound as hard, definitive and heavy as hell.

Masters Of Earth – Back into the loudness and atmospheric echo chamber we go. Lifting the mood here, the vocals soar upwards, slotting so perfectly, into the collective skull crushing metal sound. Throwing in a cleverly placed power scream, the freshness and feel of the pounding instrumentals hammers at your brain.

A Phantom Epiphany – Sliding right in there, with some well classy sleaze riffs and anthemic power vocals, the noise of all-encompassing steel overtakes you, leaving no room for anything else but metal. Filling the space in your head with violent, spirited metal, finishing on an all-time, unforgettable riff you’ll be hooked on forever more. (Guess the sound-alike source).

A Corpse With A Smile – Rare, penetrating organ intro, the vocals just fly through this and the riffs match the sense of upward flight, taking centre stage, briefly, for some exceedingly fine melodies. Slight Ozzy-esque vocals in here, a tad reminiscent of ‘Over The Mountain’, fittingly enough. Losing none of that hard as stone essence, the drums come into focus again, towards the close, showing once more, what they’re made of.

Mindinfestation – Right in there, losing no time at all, with a magnificent riff display of sheer brilliance. Power is the word, where this track’s concerned and again, you’ll be reminded of another elusive track from rock’s back pages, on which they build, so inventively, creating their own unique formula, which rocks so hard, it ends on a leaden drum hit you’d be hard-pressed to find replicated anywhere. Sussed it out yet? Yep. It’s Maiden’s ‘Where Eagles Dare’. A damn fine riff on which to construct your own signature spin and they do carry it off with aplomb.

Pyroclastic Flow (Honeydoom) – Ooh, introing with an electrifying riff, highly reminiscent of Judas Priest’s ‘The Ripper’. Carrying on, down those magically metallic riff scales, with their own thunderously heavy performance, searing those riffs onto your brain, with blazing firebrands. Never resting on their laurels for a minute, introing a new, mind meltingly beautiful melody, just before the closing drum finale; ‘PF’ has to be a hit.

Even The Sun Must Die – Bang! Drumming extravaganza opening, just in case you thought for a moment you knew what to expect. Vocals just as powerful, but taking a slight backseat, this time, with a notably gentler tone, allowing a stronger instrumental focus. Fist pumping choruses, battering your senses, with those hard-line drums and penetrative riffs – it’s another hands down winner.

Take The Bitterness Away – Introing now, with a gentle acoustic/electric combo, touching your senses so softly, yet so powerfully. Taking things in a whole new direction, there’s so much inherent beauty, emotion and expression wrapped up in this. You’ll feel it moving and flowing right through you. A metal song made for the heart. Simply gorgeous.

King Of Misery – More electricity, hitting you full in the face, in riff form – it’s very welcome and interweaves heaviness and gentility, with absolute accomplishment. Just a glorious riff fest, made of all the right ingredients. Injecting so much catch into those riffs, giving those epically heavy drums one final outing, it ends on a cohesive vocal, riff and drum combo, so effortlessly delivered, it need do no more.

Overall – A simply stunning, fired up album, full of sheer delights, from start to finish. Metal mastery, magnificently displayed.

10/10 **********

For fans of old school metal, eg Iron Maiden, Metallica, Judas Priest, Ozzy Osbourne, AC/DC, Megadeth, Alice Cooper; new wave artists, eg, Sebastian Bach, Trivium, White Wizzard.

R.U.S.T.X. – ‘T.T.P.M.’

June 29, 2017

Fire At Will – Electrified intro, right in there, with a ton of power and an equal amount of energy and drive. Great melody, catchy pace and a whole heap of expression. Liking those vibrant riffs and a nice bit of thrumming low bass comes into play there. Ease of flow in the vocals, ending on a solid harmony, it’s an immediate win.

Frontier Heroes – Drumming central, tasty lowered vocal tone, upping the sex appeal, with grit and gravel aplenty. Safe to say it rocks. The higher backing vocals work very well indeed, as do the catchy riffs and general pizzazz. This is one sexily delicious track.

Journey Arrives – Instantly moving piano and riff solo introing, together creating combined heaven. Brilliant duet harmony, before rocking it up with the amped up instrumentals. Those blazing riffs are just scrummy. Loads of active drum fills and pleasantly upbeat air about it. It works.

T.T.P.M. – Gorgeous unusual riff sound introing this one, with an almost ambient spiritual reverb sound about it, before blazing into life, with plenty of metal strength and uplifting feel. A ton of really colourful high-speed power riffage and animalistic drumming adds even more life and verve, leaving an insatiable craving for more. Curious proggy, experimental alternation going on from time to time, throwing in a range of diverse tones, tempos and techniques, leading up to an eventual mellower ending, leaving some amount of intrigue behind.

Brothers And Sisters – Drum centre stage again and this time, a real classic rock sound about it, with an old school flavour, catchy and feelgood territory, big time. You know all those tracks you find on compilations of the best rock songs of all time? Well this belongs on one of them. That finale has to be one of the classiest endings ever. If that doesn’t get you into R.U.S.T.X, I don’t know what will.

Too Late – Okay, that’s an unexpected electronica type intro, which is just a bit piercing for my ears, but points for diversifying. Luckily, the yummy heaviness soon returns, rocking and rolling onto the scene, bringing warmth and passion with it. It’s what those without any real concept of rock’s common appeal to all laughingly call ‘Dad Rock’. In other words, its’ catchy, profound resonance will hit the radars of all rock lovers, present and future, at some point, irrespective of supposed social barriers. It does what all great rock songs of generations do and breaks down all those barriers, with a sound that unites.

Kallikantzaroi – Similarly high-pitched light percussive intro this time, incorporating some scratchy lightning riffs, which grow in intensity and volume. Now, though, we get to hear more from the female vocals, which in themselves, hold something of a nostalgic sound, in a made for metal sense. Here, they throw in some curiously placed reggae/hip-hop sounds, interwoven with more proggy stuff, with some spoken word sections, before returning to the heavier angles, ending on an oddly intriguing sound, almost defying description, though containing some of the same lighter percussion as at the intro. Make what you will of the spoken bits, with strange scratchy accompaniments, but they just seem a touch too much (pun intended) and would be best omitted, as they just confuse an otherwise impressive track.

Treason – Another well-placed piano intro, now combined with riffs, creating an initially melancholy tone, happily bursting out of which, comes aptly rocky harder heaviness. Notably Dickinson-esque vocals, suiting the track well. Getting into its stride, with increasingly furious riffs, to the end, going down well – it rocks hard.

Dreams Of Tomorrow – The gradual beauty of that piano intro’s gonna hit you instantly and wow, this time, beautifully performed female vocals are joined by a hauntingly lovely violin section. Imagine a rocked up version of Roxette’s ‘How Do I Get You Alone?’ and you’re there. Catchy, lively and just divine.

Xeros Never Forget – Lovingly conveyed acoustic intro, filled with deep emotion and delightfully fey-like wonder, much in the vein of Venus Rising, proving just how versatile R.U.S.T.X. are. As a pure instrumental, it ends the album well, adding another dimension to their repertoire, leaving a well timed sense of wonder.

Overall – A memorably passion infused treasure chest of rockily diverse delights, to keep you hooked and guessing till the end.

9/10 *********

For fans of old school rock and metal, such as Iron Maiden, Def Leppard, Free, Whitesnake, modern prog, such as Dragonforce, Mostly Autumn and female fronted old school rock, eg Vixen and Roxette.