Archive for May 2015

Soul Collector ‘Thrashmageddon’   Leave a comment

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. 

Posted May 9, 2015 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Torrefy ‘Thrash and Burn’   1 comment

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

Posted May 7, 2015 by jennytate in Uncategorized

NG26 ‘Until My Heart Stops’   Leave a comment

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 *******

Posted May 7, 2015 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Savage Wizdom ‘A New Beginning’   1 comment

Sands of Time – An inventive intro, with a very resonant natural soundscape forming the backdrop, closely followed by a gentle acoustic guitar and choir, forming a meditative chant like sound.  Highly unique opening.

A New Beginning – Opening with some classic power riffs and vocals, accompanied by some well blended drum beats, steadily increasing in power and strength, along with the vocals.  Whilst some of the percussion sounds slightly tinny and the overall melody’s perhaps a tad melancholy, its overall, an okay track.  Unintrusive and not quite hitting a chord with me, it nevertheless, passes the listenability test.

Let it Go, featuring Blaze Bayley – Now, this one more than compensates, with its hard-hitting drum intro!  Featuring Blaze Bayley on vocals, it carries the distinctive sound of a Blaze song.  However, I have to say Blaze doesn’t appear to be on top form here.  This track is slightly less dour in feel and atmosphere, heightening the mood towards the midsection, with some tasty riffs and slightly more enthused vocals.  Somehow, the whole track holds something of a ghostly tone.  Still like those riffs, though).

The Barbarian – Enjoyed those opening riffs.  Definitely more life here).  Some fabulous and very fitting tribal vocals!  Still, generally speaking, the vocals could do with a bit more energy and power injecting into them.  It does have a stronger feel and more energised pace, throughout and the instrumentals are of an impressive quality.  The life force seems to grow in momentum, creating some very powerful visual imagery.  It certainly makes good use of time.  Possibly room for a bit more invention towards the end, as it did drag a bit at that point, but otherwise, a good effort.

Trail of Sorrow – Ooh, this intro’s different again, with an evil laugh, with more humour than evil and a steady pace, soon revealing a very similar sounding riff to previous tracks.  For some reason, I’m imagining a ghost train inside a circus ring, with an insane clown, grinning maniacally!  Oh hang on, what’s going on in the midsection?  We have a sudden slowing of pace and change to briefly eerier vocals, before returning to the tortured sound.  Not sure if it’s meant to be haunting, but I get the impression that if so, then it’s intended as humourously haunting. Hmm…

Do or Die – Like the rain and thunder opening here.  Oh and the opening vocals are somewhat harder now.  On the way to a nice power scream there).  Nice guitar riffs and a higher vibe, to some extent.  Better melodies and a much lighter feel.  The whole track seems more impassioned and the drum beats take full advantage of the chance to inject some hardness and heaviness.  Good closing drum beat).

Far Away – Oh, again, a change to a lovely gentle acoustic intro, with an acoustic vocal accompaniment.  Works well, emphasising the segue into a nice heavy riff and drum section well.  Some good cohesion going on here.  The backing vocals blend well together and everything just complements each other.  Great riffs in the middle, there.  Liking the progression of the guitar sections a lot. Ah and even a very well placed power scream).  Great closing and this is probably my favourite.  Enjoyed the fade-out too.

Chase the Dragon – Yes, definitely heating up as this one opens.  Lots of energy in this one.  I actually got so into this track, I started singing along to it – a sure sign that a song works!  Lots of great guitar work in here.  So good, as are the drum sections, that I’m now drumming along and about to wreck yet another pen.  This is obviously one of my favourites too.

Shattered Lives – Another good opening.  I’m definitely liking the noticeable variety in each intro. Aha, I hear very slight echoes of Judas Priest, just there!  This album definitely improves as it progresses.  Some very nice drum fills towards the midsection.  Plenty of energised riffs to be found here.  Increasing the pace and ending on another energised riff.  Good track.

Point of No Return – Gets straight in there, with the most confident riffs and rolls yet.  The vocals take on that spooky sense again.  A genuinely haunting song, with a spoken word section, befitting the style of the song and its title.  Some nice smooth, svelte guitar melodies I’m liking lots.

Overall – a good piece of work, if a little samey in places.  However, one of its highlights for me is its diverse intros and guitar riffs.  The whole album holds a slight haunting effect, but comes into its own when utilising power/speed modalities.  An album with greater potential and IMHO, the vocals have a tendency to sound a bit tortured and could do with losing that aspect and focusing more on power style vocals, for which there is definitely obvious capacity and which would bring a fresher flavour to the album.  On the whole, though, good album. 8 out of 10.





Posted May 3, 2015 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Mortal Strike ‘For the Loud and the Aggressive’   Leave a comment

For the Loud and the Aggressive – Bloody hell, this says it all, right from the outset.  Definitely more of a spoken track than a sung one, but very powerful, in its own way, all the same.  Gets its message across well, with a combo of edgy speed guitar riffs, hard and direct drum rolls and well, not to put too fine a point on it, loud and aggressive vocals).  Short, meaningful, to the point.

Here Comes the Tank – Can’t argue with that intro.  Very visual in its’ style.  Well honed instrumentals, confidently delivered, combined with equally competent and sharp vocals.  Nice gritty finale.  Job done.

Outburst of Fury – Opening with the track title itself, they couldn’t have put it better.  Hard driven, remorseless, determined flow of riffs and rolls, getting better all the time.  Oh and even a nice well placed scream in there.  This just rattles along with metal fury, right to the end.  Liking it lots.

Against the Wall – An opening barrage of rocket fuelled drum rolls, closely chased by some war tinged angry lyrics.  Good portions of very appropriately placed backing vocals.  Liking those melodies.  Great battle shouts at the end, proclaiming war, to the death.

Smash the Tyrants – Storm the Gates – A gradual intro, flowing into some deliberate, chugging guitar riffs and  steady, unhesitant drum rolls, blending perfectly with the riffs and raw, slightly growly vocals.  Some nicely placed sinister guitar effects, with a very sexy Slayeresque riff or two.  Fabulous vocal delivery, brilliantly befitting the title and again, the song heats up as it progresses.  Getting heavier and heavier, in tone, volume and sheer velocity, it doesn’t hold back at all.  A well executed track.

Strike – Bang!  This one opens with a very Slayeresque style, incorporating the screams, riffs and drum beats with perfect cohesion.  Aggressive, energetic, clean, expert delivery.  This band knows how to excite and utilise the right technical strategies and skills to hold attention and memory.  Has a great beat to it.  Affecting and intense, it holds you in the palm of it’s hand.

One Against All – A slightly gentler intro, gradually barrelling along into its groove. Aha! Some very definite Rammsteinesque vocal qualities there!  Like that!  Ratcheting up the aggression, this one simply burns with confrontational energy, all the way through, displaying parallel aggro, instrumentally and vocally.  An unarguably strong performance.

The Tides of War Arise – 1 – Oh yes, some very catchy opening riffs there!  Unmistakable sexy riffage, shortly joined by some fabulous drum action, well worthy of air drumming dreams.  Slightly greater instrumental emphasis, including some more Rammstein like vocals.  Crazy pace towards the end.  Holds its own very well indeed.  An almost pointedly sharp outro.

Unleash the Hounds of War – 2 – This track puts me in mind of a full-scale mortar attack.  When you hear the lyrics, you may get some idea of why, but as you’ll also hear, as with other tracks, the sheer violent and menacing intent is well matched by both vocals and accompaniments.  Pulsating with killing rhythm, it hits you full force.  Hiding some awesome guitar harmonies in there, it’s used the opportunities for musical diversity really well.  Unyielding in its murderous message, you can’t fail to grasp its meaning.

Zombie Attack (Tankard Cover) – Forceful riffs, furious tone and pace, aptly repetitive and descriptive in its vocal message, it’s a good closer.  Short, succinct, to the point.  Says all it needs to, in a short timeframe.  No more was necessary, really.  Would make a fun Halloween theme.

Overall, has it all.  Professional delivery, encased in a very fun and thrill filled, intense ride of metal pleasure.  Absorbing, sexy and powerful.  Enough said.  10 out of 10.



Posted May 1, 2015 by jennytate in Uncategorized