Archive for May, 2015

Stilnes – ‘Sin Destino’

May 31, 2015

Formed in Spain in 2004, thrash metal band Stilnes bring you their second album ‘Sin Destino’ – English translation, “without destiny, no fate”.

Introduccion – Wow, nice ambient opening, using woodwind instruments, in a totally unique twist.  That’s the way to build intrigue.  Very visual.  Think ‘Braveheart’ soundtrack and it instantly transports you to a Celtic landscape.  A world away from Spain, it seems, but I like the mystery.

Sin Destino – In a totally opposite direction to the intro, the thrash crashes straight in there, with a vibrant energy, enhanced by the aggressive sound of the Spanish lyrics.  Just how I like it.  Plenty of melody, lots of riffage, exilerant drumming and a breath of fresh air’s injected into the vocals.  Language is no barrier, where passion is concerned and that’s obviously here.  Great track.

Obsesivo – Nice heavy drum and guitar intro, taking it down a tone or two, but retaining that heavy vibe throughout.  Think cross between Gypsy Pistoleros and Rammstein and you’re there.  Varying the tones and bringing it back up again towards the midsection, filling the atmosphere with catchy riffs, drum beats and vocals, it’s alive with fresh energy and fades out nicely on a final riff.

Entre Ruinas – Ooh, loving that powerful drum intro and the rapid speed riffs following it.  Vocals coming in with pure aggression and mental intent.  Some nicely placed vocal harmonies and just tearing along at full throttle with thrashing intensity right to the end.

Divino Infierno – Opening gently, with a beautiful flamenco style acoustic guitar intro, it suddenly gives way to a volley of heavy riffs and drumbeats, demonstrating versatility in spades.  There are those Rammsteinesque vocals, giving it everything they’ve got.  Lots of heaviness and the whole track flows so well.  There’s a sense throughout this album of life and energy being breathed into the songs.  Filled with lots of great guitar riffs, powerful, steady, accomplished drum rolls and exuberant vocals.  Faultless.

Guerra Pacifica – Even heavier, this one certainly doesn’t mess about.  Straight in there with heavier than heavy crashes of drums, a positive inferno of angry riffs and beastly raw vocals that force you to sit up and pay attention. Oh and some really sexy riffs towards the midsection there.  Melodic beauty, combined with sheer fiery vocals and banging drums, the track just carries you along.  Thrilling vibes and a truly gorgeous fade out.

Esparanza – A fabulously assertive intro, seguing into an easy beat, you can’t fail to get into the rhythm.  A brilliantly melodic instrumental, that just drives itself on.  And the pen drumming has begun!  As we know, this means it’s hit the spot.  Some nice variations in tone and pace, all of them exciting and engaging.  They’ve definitely mastered the art of effortless performance.  Nice haunting ending.

Pesadilla Nuclear – Opening with a volley of sexy riffs, closely followed by more Rammsteinesque vocals, this would be tough to beat.  Loving the rhythm and tone of this.  Energised to the hilt, filled to the rafters with exciting riffage and impassioned vocals, it wins every time.

Veneno Y Gas – Bang!  Right in there, with a full-scale metal assault, it speaks volumes.  Upping the pace in the sexiest way, everything combines to create a brilliantly cohesive and frankly, unforgettable track.  Keeping the racy momentum all the way, it does an astounding job.

Overall, a blazing hot sizzle of Spanish thrash, to regale your senses with a powerful overdrive of metal vivacity.

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

For fans of Rammstein and Gypsy Pistoleros.  

Reanimator ‘Horns Up’

May 26, 2015

Introducing ‘Horns Up’, new album from Reanimator. Formed in 2005 in Québec. Thrash metal, with old and new school elements.

Electric Circle Pit – Coming in gradually, with an exhilarating squeal of guitars and drum roll akin to an actual drum march, followed by a blistering thrashy guitar section and some lovely thrashy vocals, everything about the performance fits with the title perfectly.  Very resonant and echoing strains of Testament and Exodus, with a new spin.  Classic intro title.

Rush for the Mosh – Bang, straight in there with no hesitation whatsoever.  Lyrically, meshing exactly with the instrumentals.  A great moshers song.  ‘Into the Pit”s got nothing on this!  A fabulously raucous slice of moshing paradise).

Tempted by Deviance – Oh, just got to love those opening riffs!  That’s just taken me to heaven!  A truly orgasmic track of seismic scale.  Holding melody, thrash, growl and rock in the palm of it’s hand, this is not to be missed.  Fun, catchy and just thoroughly metal, those riff scales are to die for.  Anyone who fails to get into this is dead from the head down.  Delivers with aplomb, upping the pace at the end, to a final metallic crescendo.  It screams metal!

Thieves of Society – Another raging intro, says what it means from the outset.  There’s nowhere to go but thrash.  The perfect anger therapy, it makes me want to scream with sheer metallic abandon.  It’s got to be said again – those riffs are the stuff of dreams.  Carrying a great, unforgettable beat, with the drums just hammering down on you, it’s just sheer class.

The Abominautor – Crashing in there, with a killer instrumental, the thrashy vocals jump right in next, accompanied by a truly delightful backing section.  This is one of those tracks that literally rolls and rocks along to the end.  A well and truly accomplished sound, with such a positive vibe.  Over too soon.  Slight echoes of Metallica’s ‘Whiplash’.

The Mosh Master – Could you ask for a better song title on a thrash album?  Powered along by sheer aggression and pure passion, it shouts its message out loud.  Exuberant and very Slayeresque, if ever there was a song to get off to, it’s this one.  An epically sensual repetitive metallic rhythm which works exceedingly well, with a halestorm of drum beats and such ecstatically sung vocals you couldn’t fail to notice.  Hits that spot and takes no prisoners.

Still Sick – Loud, uncompromising, rifftastic, got it all and got my attention immediately.  Lyrically engaging, musically exciting, high-level thrash at its best.  Some variation and experimentation with pace and intensity, but never losing that vibrant feel for one second.  Bordering on extreme, but retaining enough melody.  Top track again.

Off With Their Heads – Very intriguing title!  Fast-paced, thrashing guitars, with blasting drums, powering their way through, unhesitant and raw, it’s a pure bred metal hit.  Another incredibly successful repetitive streak, with an obvious theme.  Like a castle being stormed.  Not to be forgotten.

Mock A Mockingbird – Oh yes!  Turning up the volume even higher on this one, thrashing it up for all it’s worth, here we have pure metal therapy.  Filled with sex appeal and possessing you completely, it holds the power to rock!  More!  More!  More!  Truly, some of the sexiest riffs I’ve ever heard!  Fading out on a volley of those humoungously powerful riffs, it’s a classic ending.

Overall, what more is there to say?  Thrash metal perfection.  Truly, a Thrasher’s paradise.  If you can’t feel this, you’ve got to be dead.  Love it!  Love it!  Love it!  Sensual, riff powered fun.  Like riding up and down a fretboard, standing on a marshall amp!  Nowhere else to go, but 10/10.

**********

For fans of Slayer, Testament, Exodus, Anthrax, Metallica.

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DeathinitioN ‘Art of Manipulation’

May 23, 2015

My Personal Maniac Fear – Great rhythm, melody and nice gritty vocals, not unlike David Draiman’s.  This has a combination genre flavour to it.  Melodic, thrashy stuff, coupled with speed/power based metal, along with a tiny hint of death/melodeath.  It’s a successful sound with a good solid bass line.  An inviting intro.

Art of Misunderstanding – Fabulous opening blast, creating an appealing intro.  Bringing to the fore an intriguing variety of techniques and sounds, it’s a welcome breath of fresh air.  Liking some of the guitar work and the unique style and freshness of the vocals.  Ending on a sinister sounding riff, it certainly moves in a different direction to most metal songs; possessing an almost ethereal quality.

Priest – Starting with another propulsive blast, this track has more of a gothic feel to it.  Offering the usual enjoyable dark melodies, adding equally funereal lyrics, with a few well-placed screams, it steams along in its own wake.  It certainly holds an aura of mystery.

Klamstwa Dlamas – A nice touch on the cymbals, opening this one.  Lots of nice frenzied riffs following closely on its heels.  Particularly impassioned vocals, with a nice guttural emphasis here and there.  Heightening the pace and tone and chasing them up with a well timed and very emphatic drum hit, at the end, with more cleverly selected riffs, it’s an interesting song, filled with individual touches.

Generally, a great and varied short but sweet EP.  Definitely not afraid to experiment, DeathinitioN are a force to be reckoned with, honing and bringing to light a new and complex, energetic sound, combining various strands of metal.  ‘The Art of Manipulation’ stands as a prime example of the new vision that can be created by the right combination of enthusiasm, willingness to broaden your horizons and passion for the music you make.

For fans of gothic, horror, fantasy metal, death, melodeath, speed, power, thrash and all crossover forms of metal genres.

8/10 ********

 

CSOD ‘Final Insult’

May 19, 2015

Be Ready – Heavy, hard and filled with steel intent, it’s a great intro.  An accomplished, meaningful sound, well above the average punk band.  There’s a gritty determination to the lyrics, a strong thrumming basis to the guitars and a distinctly heavier than heavy edge to the drums.  Says it all.  Brilliant opening track title aswell.

Out of Control – This holds a decent direction and good solid melody, some beautifully sexy riffs and a generally cohesive sound, indicative of a band who’ve well and truly got their shit together.  Another ace.

Ride the Storm – Increasing the pace, with a catchy chorus and more tasty riffs, you can’t help but get into it.  Exciting, riff filled and passion fuelled, with a noticeably aggressive drum section, which stands out well, it rocks hard.

No Place to Go – A memorable feel, filled with anger and gravelly masculinity, there’s a stark realness to this entire EP.  Never losing its edge for a second, these guys clearly know what ‘metal’ means.

Sexsomnia – Now this track has a sense of having been dredged up from the very underbelly of metal.  An intriguing essence to it, it’s very lyrically powerful and moves to a whole new place, providing that much sought after, but hard to nail versatility that makes an EP/album.  Raging on till the end, fuelled by its own driving passion, it needs nothing more.

Game Over – Great title for a closing track and if you thought the penultimate track was lyrically powerful, this is even more so!  Just what you’d want/expect from a closing track on a  punk metal EP and more, it just screams war.  Some truly brilliantly forceful drum rolls on here, you can sense that every ounce of energy’s being thrown into this track.  A classic fadeout ending.  Fantastic job, all round.

A true masterpiece of epic proportions.  I could go on forever, but I think that sentence says it all.

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

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Roadhog ‘Dreamstealer’

May 17, 2015

Welcome to current offering Dreamstealer, from classic heavy-metal act Roadhog, from Poland, formed in 2012.

Liar – Oh yes, now this is how to start a metal album!  Immediate, forceful and fiery, it’s instrumentally and lyrically all you could want from a classic metal album opener.  Providing a taste of their trademark style, with well honed power riffs, a classic metal drum sound and exuberant vocals, it’s simply a perfect intro.

On the Witches Path – Ooh, liking the title and its intriguing connotations.  Nice smooth intro, with a lovely pure metal vibe.  A well chosen follow-up track, it differs in pace and tone, offering new and exciting melodies and certainly wouldn’t be out of place on a Classic Rock/Metal Hammer magazine album.  A clear direction and identity, with a true metallic sound, it’s definitely one for the metal purists, like myself.

Dreamstealer – Yes, loving that drum opening!  Roadhog definitely have a talent for versatility.  Carrying a fabulously upbeat feel and tone, this would go down well in the collection of any hardline fan of 70s/80s metal.  Just loving the way they carry a song.  The whole vibe simply rocks.  A modern-day class act.  Retaining the uplifting melody and generally sexy atmosphere throughout, it wins every time.

Chasing the Storm – Getting straight in there, with an unshakable passion, this track delivers unhesitantly, with no compromise.  Confident, with good reason, it sends its message clearly and directly.  Another hit.

Poison Man – Loud, heavy, hard and melodic, this is a track that speaks directly to the spirits of true followers of the faith.  It’s got it all.  A rare example of a truly sincere desire to resurrect everything that was good about classic old school metal.  It succeeds.  Collectible and quite simply, divine.

Taste your Sin – More fiery riffs and rocky drumbeats raining down metal heaven, combined with equally born to sing metal vocals.  Effortless, faultless and ah, … even a  very Zeppelinesque riff or two in there!  No easy task and yet, they’ve nailed it.  Leaves you hungry for more.  Speeds along, in perfect flow, to the end.  Really hammering down that final closing drumbeat and riff, it works.

Roadhog – Vibrant, bringing the song to life with an unyielding commitment, the title track is a rare gem.  Rolling along with metallic zeal, they really have packed it all into this song.  It’s got melody, it’s got delicious riffs and vocals, it’s got sexily powerful drum rolls, basically, it’s got it all.  In fact, the album title’s so well chosen, I nearly said ‘dream’ rolls instead of drum rolls, because it’s the truth.

Run From the Devil – Yes, even more defiantly determined drum rolls, sexy melodies and riffs. I’m now singing along…. any frequent reader of my reviews knows what this means.  It means it’s done its job and reeled me in like a fish on a hook.  Exciting, life affirming, catchy, just pure heaven.

Dead of the Night – Again, straight in there with typically metallic zeal, it embodies the spirit of all metal greats.  It doesn’t need to do anything else, except provide more, because these guys have already more than proved themselves.  Loads of energised tuneage, with an unquenchable passion.  And it’s over……, but it’s done its job!

Overall, it’s already been said.  An extremely rare and precious exhibit of pure, unadulterated new wave of old school metal.  What’s not to love?  Oodles of spirit, enthusiasm and energy, all wrapped up in a highly professional and competent sound.  Flawless delivery and unwavering power.  Like being slammed into a wall of metal at top speed!  This is what you call high impact, high-velocity metal.

For all metal purists.  A must have. Out now on Stormspell Records.

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

Produced in Sweden, by Olaf Wickstrand, from Enforcer.

 

Mentally Defiled ‘Aptitude for Elimination’

May 15, 2015

Reanimated to mosh (Intro) – Very fitting horroresquestyle intro, with plenty of nice heavy creepy riffs and drum rolls, which seem to say ‘we’re coming to get you’….

Aptitude for Elimination – Great lively opening.  Some very fiery instrumentals, but the volume of the deathy vocals could just do with being brought up a couple of notches, to improve audability.  Definitely more of a deathy feel to this band.

Fashion Victim – Nice vibrant riffs, which stand out most on this track.  The vocals are slightly more audible here, but the drums could do with more power and volume this time.  Quite liking some of the guitar scales used on here.  A bit darker than the average band.

Forced to Obey – A good crashing, cohesive intro.  The collective volume improves on this track, but it’s overall sound is much the same as the previous track.  There’s some experimentation with the guitar work from the midsection on and some decent backing vocals towards the end, but generally, this track didn’t leave much of an impression.

Thrash ’til Afterlife – Ah now this is where it gets better!  Fabulous opening riffs, breathing life into it and audibly more passion within the vocals, adding slightly more melody.  Faster pace and beat, with a more enjoyable rhythm.  Consistently strong throughout.  Heavier, yet lighter, at the same time.  Good closing vocal echo technique.  Adds variety.

Retro Nerd – Now I’m enjoying the life enhancing flavour to these riffs.  A nice tasty bit of diversifying on the guitars after the midsection and the vocals here hold a monster type quality, which for this deathy style, is a good thing.

The Family – Another barrage of opening riffs and here, the drums are emphasised.  An apt emphasis for this track.  Various vocal styles are employed later on and I’m feeling the combo of stronger drum work, vocals and accompanying power riffs.

Beyond Redemption – It gets even stronger and louder.  Enjoying the sense of passion being thrown into this, even if I would like more melody.  Whilst ‘shouty’ vocals may not be quite my scene, they do their job well here and there’s a feel of the album becoming progressively heavier, with each track.  There’s certainly a lot of skill here.  Nice closing shout.

Merchants of Hope – Ah, a very nice and different touch, using a spoken film line as the intro.  That followed by a volley of speed riffs, solid drum fills and rhythmic lyrics works well.  There’s good consistency and cohesion in this song.  Ooh and a very well placed film line closing the track.  It’s a good story (line) based contribution.

Soldier of the Underground – Even greater faster, heavier riffs and drum rolls, accompanied by even heavier vocals this time, going to ever greater lengths to give it their all.  It’s definitely a well chosen closing track.  The vocals are going from ‘deathy’/’growly’ to ‘screamo’ in one swift move.  Brilliantly held ending note.  Open to all sorts of visual interpretations.

Overall, a promising album, with an increasingly fresh and alive feel to it, the further in you get.  Has a depth within it which is sometimes difficult to achieve.  Standout track – Thrash ’til Afterlife. For those whose tastes enter the ‘death’/’black’/’screamo’ arena.

7/10…… although the closing track may just push it up to 8/10.

*******/********

Internal Conflict ‘The Rising Tide’

May 11, 2015

Darkest Before Dawn – Opening with some truly tasty guitar harmonies, it’s a pure instrumental, with a flavour of what’s to come.  It’s a great hook and a nice intro.

Self Made Asylum – A crash of drums, combined with angry vocals and riffs, blended with backing harmonies, all clearly designed to rain down their particular brand of metal damnation.  A gentler mid-section, containing a brief vocal acoustic part, before returning to the screaming, shouting lyrics and blasts of guitars and drums, ending on a final aggressive shout.  Typically metalcore.

Baying For Blood – The title says it all.  The drums open with real zeal here, just crashing into life, joined by an assault of thunderous riffs and murderous vocals.  Continuing in much the same vein, whilst powerful in itself, it could do with an injection of individuality.

A Thousand Times – Battering the drums with aggressive passion and throwing considerable energy into the vocals, this one contains slightly more melody.  Otherwise, though, not much here to mark it out from the previous track.  Samey, but still holds a lot of energy.  Ending on a gentler solo riff.  Nice touch.

Another Day – Forgettable intro.  Dark melody, with lots of angry emotions thrown into the vocals and a brief spoken section.  You can definitely hear where the expression’s coming from.  Ending on a volley of screams.

Undertow – A slightly different intro, consisting of a rather morose guitar solo, then backed up by heavy drum fills.  Something about this track seems to sound like an endless intro, I’m afraid.  I’m almost imagining a life-support machine being switched off.  Not sure if that’s an intentional atmosphere, but if so, it’s succeeded.

Lessons – A drum solo opening, which does make a slight change. Quickly followed by screaming lyrics and some fitting guitar work.  Other than a very brief even heavier drum fill and a little more guitar melody in the middle, I’m unable to find much of note.  Predictable and lacklustre.

The Rising Tide – Now this one starts well in the sense of feeling more like a mid-section than an intro.  Again, though, hard to add anything that hasn’t already been said.  Except for briefly in the mid-section, where the riffs do get a bit more exciting, it’s much the same.  There is a little bit of a decent melody going on there, but ultimately, it needs much more. I do like that closing riff.

Deprivation – Opening shouts and an accompanying barrage of instrumentals.  There is imagery, to some extent, of machine-gun fire being shot, but there’s also a distinct feel of the vocalist throwing a tantrum.  The technique creates an impression that the song’s ending, only to continue on and on.

Overall, unremarkable and dare I say it?  Boring.  Sorry guys, but though there’s undoubtedly a lot of good musicianship and naked emotion in here, it just lacks something and needs a lot more room to propel it upwards into something resembling a truly unique contribution.  At present, nothing here makes it stand out from many other metalcore albums I’ve heard and it does itself an injustice in that respect.  It starts off more promisingly, but then something happens towards the middle, making it seem lacking in vitality and originality. Okay for generic metalcore fans.

5/10 *****

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Soul Collector ‘Thrashmageddon’

May 9, 2015

Army of the Dead – Oh, radio broadcast intro regarding flesh eating cannibals – a definite change from your usual intro – happily, it’s rapidly followed by some brilliantly thrashtastic guitar riffs, accompanied by some truly maniacal sounding vocals.  Has he swallowed a helium balloon, I wonder?  It’s a nice touch, though – that psychopathically exilerant sound.  I’m pleased to say those rifftastic breakdowns continue, while the weird, but catchy vocals get more intense, throughout.  A novel ending, consisting of ghoulish noises and a nice melodic fade out riff.

The Cursed Land – Opening with a siren like riff and some crashing drum beats, this one almost creates an impression of powered riffs chasing each other up and down fretboards.  More nihilistic vocals in here, which you wouldn’t want to hear down a dark alley at night.  In fact, the whole track holds a distinctive sense of being chased by a crazed stalker.  Oh, there it is, that very definite compulsion to drum along with it.  Closing with an evil laugh, which actually differs from the usual ‘evil laughs’ ending metal tracks, in its comedic slant and sheer exuberance.  Not a track to forget in a hurry.

Thrashmageddon – Brilliant confident opening.  No holding back.  Just what I’d expect from a track entitled ‘thrashmageddon’.  This one, though, adds something extra with those evil vocals and some well-placed harmonies.  The volley of riffs and thunderous drums definitely live up to standard and more.  Everything about it just screams ‘thrash’.  Some truly orgasmic bits in there.  This is thrash, with a twist.  The scary vocals just add that something and it closes with a final unhesitant riff.  If you want thrash, this is where its at.

Bless My Gun – Bang!  Crashing intro, brooking no argument.  Harmonising well, plenty of decent melodies here.  Some Metallicaesque stop, start stuff in there, followed by some screaming vocals, without being screamo.  There is much range and versatility in these vocals and I’m really liking those riffs and the sheer adrenaline fuelled intensity.  Sexy, exhilarating and fun.  Hammering the drums with metallic force, working those frets to the edge and vocally challenging the possibilities, till all boundaries are broken, fading out on a very nicely played Tallicaesque riff, this track nails it.

Lord of Fire – Getting faster and more intense, this track just storms right in there, with powerful intent.  Continuing with the ferocity and aggression factor, it’s aptly titled.  Holding clear echoes of classic metal Titans, in style and sound, it’s a very classy track.  Testament fans, behold the new Testament!  One of those whose riffs have you singing them!  No!  Why is it over?!  Again!

2000 Years in Lies – Some great drum hits open this one, just rattling along with the accompanying riffs.  These instrumentals were born to go together.  The vocals melt into the song so naturally.  You can’t help but think these guys were forming a band in a shared womb.  Gathering momentum, with ferocious speed and drive, these are riffs to die for.  I’m going to hurt my throat screaming along to these lyrics.  Catchy isn’t even in it.  It goes way beyond that. Just heaven!

Horrorhouse – Ooh, very scary intro here, with creepy sound effects from a horror movie. I can actually see the trap door opening…. very well composed riffs for this section.  The whole sound is just taken up a notch or two, collectively, for this track, which works well.  Imagery spot on.  A very strong song.  Toning things down in the midsection, with a gentler, but incredibly sexy sound.  Hotting things back up again, the frenetic riffs return, along with the hard and heavy drum rolls, crashing through the crash barriers with a legendary force.  It just battles on till the end, with a fucking perfect scream.  The stuff of legend.

I saw… – More delightful opening riffs and those drums are battered with a vengeance.  Yet again, the vocals prove their sheer dexterity, range and repertoire and if nothing else, their impressive stamina.  The riffs get faster and racier in parts, expertly moving between different paces, styles, tones and general technical skill.  Like a metal battering ram, it hits you full in the face.

The Stone Face – Again, opening with some chocolatey riffs, just melting into your heart and veins and refusing to let you go.  The vocal quality and tone seems to have taken on the alienesque helium swallowing sound again, but for this band, it just kind of works).  It’s certainly memorable.  Very catchy chorus!  Something for everyone and not to be missed.  A metal extravaganza.  Just the most fabulous fun filled scream at the end, almost like a fox and a dog mating at full moon).

One Day in the Front – Er okay…. a trumpet intro!  Different, at least, but doesn’t last long, before seguing into the comfortingly familiar mega riffs, drum rolls and weird, but fun otherworldly vocals.  The only criticism I’d have is that the unusual vocal sound makes it harder to focus on the lyrics, but nevertheless, they’re still clear and it’s such a unique sound that you just can’t forget it.  Oh those amazing riffs just get better and better and better!  Hooks aplenty.  That singer is just freaking out big time and it’s ace.  Crash bang ending.  Done.

Pure Fucking Evil – Dunno what’s with the can opening intro, but WTH?  Does it matter?  I think not.  Quickly followed by the purest of metallic riffs, drum hits and vocals to shock, confuse and delight.  The sheer energy being thrown into this is phenomenal.  Got to love it.  Passion, excitement, verve and er, oh, a rather vile burp at the end, but never mind.

A metaltastic journey into the bowels of hell.  It’s got it all.  If there’s one album every metalhead should possess in their collection, it’s this one.  To quote Classic Rock/Metal Hammer Mags, “someone asks you what heavy metal is.  You hand them a copy of…… ‘Thrashmageddon’, by Soul Collector”.  Stand back, all false gods of metal, as this is The Holy Grail.

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

For fans of Testament, Slayer, Anthrax, Metallica.

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Torrefy ‘Thrash and Burn’

May 7, 2015

Thrash and Burn – Great solid heavy intro.  Immediately embodying the title well, with lots of very thrashy riffs and suitably powerful drum hits.  Very growly lyrics.  Volcanic in nature, this song certainly does as the title says!  Fast-paced and ending on the lyrics, ‘thrash and burn’, with a well-placed fade-out riff, it’s got a lot going for it and they couldn’t have chosen a better opener.

Thrash and Burn 2 – Starting with a more sombre, mellow, stonerish riff, Thrash and Burn 2’s almost a volcanic after effect… until the screamo lyrics return with a vengeance.  ‘There’s no escape’ is describing the song exactly as it is.  This track holds a very definite exciting feel to it, making you wonder just where the instrumentals are going to go next.  Unleashing a variety of stormy riffs and thunderous drum beats, it does its job well.

Incineration – Straight in with a succession of energy fuelled riffs, there’s no doubt as to where the emphasis of this track lies.  Always good to have an instrumental track on an album – especially with guitar wizardry of this calibre.  I like the sound of this a lot and could listen to it on endless repeat.  For when you’re in need of pure, unadulterated, sexy riffage.

Direwolf – A slower start, with a different vocal take, initially.  Somewhat harmonised, deep, distorted vocals, interspersed with more screamo style.  Explosive riffs throughout.  A definite uplifting feel, emphasised all the more by the vibrant guitar tones.  Some incredibly skilled guitar work here – aligned with the aces of rock/metal history. A Hendrix for the modern age.

Thrashcan – Bloody hell, that intro nearly scared me lol! Such is the power of Thrashcan.  Energy driven screams and growls, to challenge the rise of the creature from the Black Lagoon.  Loving that gorgeous riff in the midsection.  Driving on, with menacing intent, this one definitely says what it means.  Maintaining the frenetic momentum, relentlessly, to the end.  It speaks volumes.

Axewound – Supercharged riffs, torrential drum beats, deep throated growls and shouts to conquer Satan himself, this one screams its message from start to finish.  A battle hardened piece of war, fading out on a fabulous aggressive drum roll and a final roar, it never lets up on its dark assault.

The Unholy Offspring of Lightning and Death – Fabulous title!  An almost electrifying guitar intro!  Closely followed by more of the by now familiar hard-hitting drums and crazed growls and screams, dredged from the very depths of life itself.  Fast, furious, trawling every last ounce of energy and throwing it in for all it’s worth, a metallic battering of drums, briefly interspersed with a storytelling vocal quality and rapidly closed with a final ramming of drums, vicious riffs and one last defiant scream.

Overall, a thrasher’s paradise.  Epic musical quality, with an absolute intent.  Confident, energetic delivery, evoking imagery of a monster emerging from a swamp, with the express intention of exterminating the entire human race.  Powerful’s too small a word.

9 out of 10 *********

For fans of Skreamer

NG26 ‘Until My Heart Stops’

May 7, 2015

Never Enough – Definitely moving up a gear from ‘Open Your Mind’, with a promisingly heavier intro, the vocals are grittier and crunchier.  Liking some of those breakdowns and drum rolls.  A good cohesive sound, with a more effortless feel to it.  Nice opening.

Daylight Breaks – Returning to slight echoes of ‘Open Your Mind’, before flowing into a slightly heavier sound again.  Chris’s vocals have now entered the arena of recognisability.  Always a good sign.  Catchy, with a nice smooth fade out.

Save It For Me – Very listenable.  Quite a memorable melody.  Some good edgy riffage there.  Enjoying the brief acoustic section and the ensuing return to heaviness.  Closing well, with a very defined end.

Barely Breathe – Lots of use of melodic riffage here.  Holding those vocal notes well.  Some decent hooks and just as I’m getting into it, it’s over!

Afterlife – Intriguing title.  A fresh sound to it.  Uplifting in places.  Doesn’t hold my attention as well as other tracks, though.  An okay backing track.

Cease Fire – A stronger opening.  It does sound more vibrant in places than the previous track, with some well utilised riffs and stronger drum rolls, but somehow, lacks impact, generally and its strongest section, to my ears, is actually the brief acoustic section in which the vocals are enhanced and show their full power.

Out Of My Life – The drum sections are good in here and they’re the standout element in this track.  It’s a mellow track, reflected in the vocals and guitar tones.  A well emphasised title in its overall feel.

Little Indiscretions – Definitely a harder, edgier intro, with some nice use of heavier drum hits and sharper, more pointed vocals.  Fun chorus.  Catchy edge.  Liking the rolling emphasis, interspersed with some great melodic harmonies.  Some very nice guitar licks in here, increasing in intensity and building in tempo and pace.  Another very definite end.

You Sold Me Lies – Liking the beat of this!  Gradually heightening the heavy factor and emphasising the vocals very plausibly.  Over too quickly!

Song For Mozaz – Oh dear! A ballad, which although never my scene, does reflect versatility and holds a lot of feeling.  The plausibility vocal factor is definitely well reflected here.  Some lovely piano segments and the vocals grow stronger throughout.  Perhaps a nice touch, as a closing track, regardless.  Good sound quality and very vocally powerful.

Overall, a very listenable album, with a very definite change of direction since ‘Open Your Mind’, even if it does seem to lose its way in places and leave you wondering just what direction the band are trying to follow with this new material.  However, it’s well produced, with some very nice catchy hooks and definitely emphasises a different atmospheric quality, especially reflected in Chris’s vocals and as a whole, it does show growth and promise.

Out on Holier Than Thou Records.

7 out of 10 *******