Archive for March, 2016

Thermit – ‘Saints’

March 30, 2016

Lady Flame – Kicking straight into action with some mighty power riffs and screams, that’s what you call a perfect start).  This track’s the stuff of every speed metal lover’s dreams!  Whilst difficult to compare to any one band, as it’s more like a new spin on a compilation of all the best speed/power bands, there’s a very definite Maidenesque feel to it.  Always something to reach for, imho.  Fresh, vibrant, exciting and absolutely brimming with cracking life force, energy and spontaneity.  I love it at first listen.  This has got to be one of the most uplifting things you’ll hear this year.

Zombie Lover – Heavier flavour to this, opening with more of a downtuned scale, it still slams you with sheer force of will.  Fast-paced and full of evil intent and very disturbing lyrics.  There’s a very dark thread to this, but it somehow, manages to go straight from dark, brooding and funereal, to light and airy, with an upbeat vibe, in one fell swoop.  Impressive.  Packed with thundering riffs, drums and vocals to match; it will hit you square between the eyes.  I can actually visualise the levels being pushed upwards, as it soars higher and higher.  Ending on the most awesome power scream I’ve heard in a long time, this is going down as a must have sensation in my top albums of the year and it’s only March.

Perfect Plan – Introing with some crazy riffs, this has a more sinister sense, especially given the creepy lyrics.  There’s a lot of true talent in this band and that’s an understatement.  Slightly charged, strategic use of lighter percussion in places, yet still gaining in heaviness as the song progresses.  More screamo/growly type vocals here, befitting the lyrical material.  More of those masterful riffs and getting lighter and more upbeat towards the end.  These guys are metal magicians.  Closing on a brilliantly timed harmony.  There’s nothing not to love.

Smoke and Soot – What’s that?!  I think the song’s been hijacked by a metal viking! You’ve just got to respect the incredible vocal dexterity present here.  Rarely do you hear a vocalist quite so able to hit such tough high pitches and move instantly between that and growly, screamo style; interchanging continuously from the latter to the more melodic speed freak former.  You’ll also hear so much stunningly beautiful guitar work, it’ll leave you speechless.  I like the way the bass really comes into its own here!  That, in my experience, is another rarity, along with drummers like this one, who know how, when and where to provide more power and strength and when to drop back and fade into the background, so artistically.  Basically, this is one of those born to make music together bands.

The Story About Bird And Snake – Oh yes!  Loving that gorgeous heavy steel stringed intro!  A pure and intensely beautiful instrumental.  They really have put their unique stamp on this song and its magic shines through.  This is going to get you right in the middle of your heart and squeeze it till the last drop of blood oozes out.

Fairyland – Similar intro to the last track, but far heavier follow-ups riffs, as it segues smoothly and sexily into the next section, which is somewhat bluesy, gritty and rocky in temperament, deeply imagery provoking and really emphasises the full strength of the vocals, as they take you to places you’ll never want to come back from.  Here, I’d defy you not to join in with the sultry, catchy vocals from metal heaven, which will no doubt sing to your heart and soul and have you begging for more.  Sliding up and down those riff scales, changing the pace up and up and up, till you just want to fly with it; it’s an unbelievably sexy song.  Really going for it as it flies on towards the end, with one of the ultimately sexiest endings you’ll ever hear.  Now I really relate to those ‘never go away’ lyrics.  They’ve poured just about everything they’ve got and more into this and I guarantee you’ll never want it to end.

The Last Meal Of The King – SLAM!  Right in there with a full on metal attack.  How can you improve on such perfection as this?  I’m telling you now, you can’t.  That’s it.  I’m sold.  Its new power metal, with the volume and energy turned up to the max and beyond.  I mean it’s enough to make you sign a metal covenant, sealed with blood.  Yet again, he defeats just about every other power metal vocalist I’ve ever heard, with that incredibly dexterous talent.  There’s a slight hint of ‘Black Tide’ in this track, but these guys hit super strength level x 100.  I’ll say it again.  Metal. Fucking. Magic.

Louise – Opening with cymbal hits this time, quickly seguing into groove-laden riffs, drum rolls and vocals to kill for.  You’re gonna have to join in again at this point, or you aren’t really alive.  In another slight, but brief change of direction, they throw in some viking/folky/pirate stuff, which really works well for this track, before once more, moving rapidly and fluidly back into the smooth, velvety, lightning fast riffs and drum hits to knock you out cold.  Closing with more beautifully high-pitched, high-level power screams.  Have your speakers melted yet?  They should have done by now.

Mr Two-Face – Bang!  Crash!  Slip and slide.  You’re in.  Like a car chase, in which the pursuer lures you closer with every sexual temptation possible and then recreates the same gloriously indulgent scenario over and over again.  From the mid-section onwards, it’s like being covered in chocolate and challenged to the longest, fastest sexual marathon of your life.  Full-colour images of your basest fantasies, with this song on continuous repeat.

Saints – Quick as lightning riff and drum intro, to send your metal senses reeling.  Filled with melody, speed, drive and passion, x 1000.  Here, there’s a slight ‘Dragonforce’ sound, in amongst the magic.  They’re playing around with tone, pace and tempo here and there, throwing in a very brief acoustic section, in the midst of what’s otherwise some of the most relentlessly heavy driving music you’re ever likely to hear.  It really is raining metal.  The perfect closer, ending on a higher scaled riff and drum hit.  It’s done.

Overall – A melodically magical, metallically transcendental journey through speed/power heaven.  One listen will hook you and you’ll want this for life.  There are no more words to do it justice.  Just go buy it now!

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

www.thermitmetal.com 

For fans of Iron Maiden, Dragonforce, Black Tide, Avenged Sevenfold, power, speed, melodic metal and NWOBHM.

Advertisements

Sue’s Idol – ‘Six Sick Senses’

March 17, 2016

Sue’s Idol are an American heavy metal band from Nevada, Las Vegas.

Following on from the internationally acclaimed success of ‘Hypocrites And Mad Prophets’, written and released in 2014, ‘Six Sick Senses’ was written (mastered by The Mighty Zeus; cover art by JP Fournier) and released in February 2016.  Follow-up work is already in production.

Six Sick Senses – In true sci-fi style, this intro begins with robotically formulated speech output, taking you, briefly, to another world, before the gorgeously performed slide riffs come in, with what are curious sounding vocals, (in keeping with the unusual themes of the song), sung as if from inside an echoic steel shelter of some kind.  Unmistakably powerful, hard-hitting drums and unnerving tones, played in obscure keys, this is a track requiring intense concentration.  If you wanted to be transported to an alternate universe, this is the one for you.  I keep expecting Doctor Who to step out of the Time Machine any minute.  You may need a teleportation device to make sense of this one, but it’s nothing if not intriguing.

DMO – That’s more like it.  A nice fun, predictable heavy riff and drum intro).  This is more lyrically explicable of the otherworldly imagery it maintains, through the highly unusual music, but definitely more melodic and eventually rolling towards a rockier ending.  Withnail’s about to emerge from the depths, saying, ‘I feel unusual’. Nice pace, though.

Halls Of Mourning – Now this metals it up a bit, returning us to safer, more happily metallic territory.  Here comes the catchiness I’ve been waiting for).  Ah, there it is!  The classic essential hook, ubiquitous to all good metal.  Really clear lyrics and greater musical focus, somehow.

Scion Pariah – Nice steady drum beat and riff intro, moving easily into more involved riffs.  Such an unusual voice!  Was that a G’ ‘N’ R’ influence I heard in that, ‘pearls of wisdom’ line, I wonder?  It sounds so ‘other’ in vocal style, there’s an overriding sense that he’s singing it from inside a steel chamber.  Great guitar work and they harmonise well.  The riffs are the highlight for me and there’s a definite memorable quality about that voice.

Kill Or Be Killed – Wobble effect intro, with an underwater essence, quickly merging into a marching, almost operatic metal flavour.  Very powerful lyrics, with a noticeably strong emphasis on the realities of war and this song is perhaps the strongest yet, holding an implacably plausible feel.  Fabulous acoustics and towards the closing section, you just have to join in and sing along.  Nicely catchy and familiarly believable.

Luna Sees – Classic power riff opening, immediately catchy vocals and ideal drum and bass background.  Picking up the pace at the mid-section, briefly, following up with some cracking guitar harmonies.  Maintaining the same relentless drive of the beat and tone, with the closing chorus.  Strong, in and of itself.

Metal Octane – Gradually increasing the opening volume, then pounding into life, with a particularly Crue-esque feel.  Well, it couldn’t very well be anything other than old school, with a title like that).  Liking the sound.  Who wouldn’t join in with that closing section?  Only a dead man walking.

Gears Of War – Another of those curious intros, designed to make you wonder wtf’s going on in the background, prior to seguing into a compellingly heavy rhythm and melody.  Alternating pace; again, there’s a clear sense that the war themes are where they’re most familiar.  Well-placed use of the acoustics and dark, doom-laden closing tones.  Well chosen ending, consisting of fading battleground sounds/scenes.  The war elements are definitely prominent.

Taste This Evil – Speed riff intro, with hard-hitting drums and a still sinister, yet more classically metallic melody.  Haunting’s not too strong a word.  Deeply intriguing lyrics, relating to the cruel and cold machinations of dictatorships.  They create a creepy sense of terror and doom well within their music.

A Minor Requiem – Very dark and fitting, with beautiful haunting piano sections.  Vocals and instrumentals blend well.  It’s actually quite compelling in its own way.  Quite unforgettable riffs and a positively doom-laden organ section at the end.  A typical, if noticeable Requiem.

Lady Painted Death – This is the kind of riff intro I like).  It’s very typically and enjoyably NWOHM.  All your favourite bands of this ilk, combined.  It’s really catchy and that’s its big strength.  Just chock-full of great fun riffs and power vocals you’ll love.  The perfect closer.

Overall – Complex, imaginative, unpredictable and rich.  Certainly not afraid to experiment, these guys are hard to categorise, as their style is so unique and unusual.  There are elements of so many weird and wonderful influences within their music and really, it just has to be heard to be fully appreciated.  If ever there was a category for ‘inexplicably complex metal’, this band is it.

10/10 ********** for rare complexity.

For fans of NWOHM, American metal, speed/power metal and experimental metal.

www.facebook.com/sues.idol.metal 

‘Six Sick Senses’ is released on Indie label ‘Crushing Notes Entertainment’. 

‘Hypocrites and Mad Prophets’ is available from Amazon Itunes and premium music outlets nationwide.  (Except for Wal-Mart)!

 

Shadows Of Violence – ‘Through The Looking Glass’

March 15, 2016

Formed in 2007, Shadows Of Violence, from Leeds, have played many UK-based towns and cities since then, making significant achievements, in reaching the finals in Bloodstock Festival, Metal to the Masses and in Mammothfest UK Underground.

The ‘Rise’ EP, from which ‘Through The Looking Glass’ is taken, was created in 2015, to wide acclaim.

Fizzing and crackling into life, in a blaze of blistering riffs and raw, angry vocals, this track doesn’t mess around.  Aggressive, menacing intent resonates throughout the sharply expressed lyrics; in themselves, strongly evocative.  I’d recommend the EP on the basis of this track alone, for its sheer stomping metal assault feel.

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

www.shadowsofviolence.co.uk 

For fans of NWOBHM

 

Skurk – ‘The Final Gift’

March 14, 2016

Ruler – Cue crackly, spooky intro, resembling a torture room… sinister music follows.  Lots of strength within the instrumentals and vocals, of a very Rammsteinesque quality.  Thought-provoking, powerful lyrics, joined by equally powerful speed riffs and this track’s certainly intriguing and unpredictable, with equal parts melody and spoken format and some growly bits thrown in.  You may not know quite what to make of it, but one thing’s for sure.  You certainly won’t be bored).

Final Gift – Much more melodious intro here, losing none of its strength, simply adding more melody and drive.  This is where the drums really come into their own and hammer themselves into oblivion.  Good strong vocal quality here.  A unique sound, yet still catchy.  Such compelling lyrics – the general feel of the song certainly lives up to the themes.

Darkness – Great creeping bass intro.  Rapidly followed by a march like instrumental harmony, interspersed with light percussion and soon moving fluidly into a good power section, with stone and sludge elements within it, doing itself total justice.  Interesting vocal style, seeming to segue effortlessly between spoken, sung and combined forms.  A very rare skill to behold.  Some really tasty riffs in there, which will just carry you away.  I think he’s using those drums as a battering ram.  The whole track maintains one of the most exciting, intriguing rhythms I’ve ever heard.  A highly skilled and polished performance.

Dead Again – A totally different, but equally heavy sound, with plenty of solid bass work, grounding it.  It barrels along, with loads of good pounding drum rolls, alternating tempo, beat and intensity at the mid-section, afterwards, morphing into a faster pace and style, with loads of ace guitar wizardry and ending decisively and aggressively.

Chaindead – One of those introes which can only be described as ‘banging’.  This track, as with all the rest, means business.  Lovely fun riffs, a steady rhythm and pace and consistently powerful vocals.  There’s a lightness about this, despite its unmistakable heaviness and just something extraordinary about it, making it even more enjoyable to listen to.

My Friend, The End – Interestingly screechy, scratchy intro, moving into the song confidently and blitzing their way through it, with fire and energy.  Some catchy hooks here and there and an overwhelmingly surprising quality.  You just never know where they’re going to go next with it.  Pure Rammsteinesque type ending.  (Though I can’t help but wonder if that title’s influenced by The Doors).

Overall – These guys have won me over with the sheer intrigue factor – demonstrating that rare ability to perform in a deeply versatile and ever-changing way, within the same album/EP.  It’s raw, intense, exciting and fiery.  For that reason alone, I recommend it very highly.

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

https://www.facebook.com/skurk/

For fans of Rammstein, experimental metal and hard, heavy, pure metal.

 

All The Above – ‘Last Ones Standing’

March 13, 2016

Right in there with a nice heavy, thrashy sound.  Great impassioned vocals, good rhythm, decent pace, easy to follow and packed with plenty of catchy heavy riffs, accompanied by an excellent rhythm section.  All in all, a great metal song, with bags of enthusiasm.  My only problem is that it ends too soon.  If this is a taste of the rest of the EP, then it’s a sign of good things to come.

(From the Battle Royale EP). 

7/8/10 *******/********

For fans of generic hard rock/heavy metal.

http://alltheabove.co.uk/ 

http://m.facebook.com/AllTheAboveUK

http://alltheaboveUK.bandcamp.com

http://youtu.be/Lkw7kATdSUY

 

 

 

Grave Cross ‘Nothing But The Night’

March 5, 2016

Welcome to the current EP from Grave Cross.

Nothing But The Night – Somewhat sinister intro of a child’s 999 call to the fire brigade, but happily, soon seguing into some very enjoyable and safely rhythmic music.  It’s nicely rocky, effortlessly catchy and a welcome relief from the disturbing intro.  It may be slightly repetitive, but there’s no denying its catchiness and it’s still a good melody, with a smoothness about it which would work well whilst driving down empty lanes on a sunny day.

The Curse Of The Witch – Drum beat and riff intro, launching straight into another catchy song.  The vocals are of a softly competent quality and it’s really quite a mellow track, yet still contains some great twiddly riffs.  At some point, I guarantee you will start singing along, in which respect, it passes the test of easy likability and you’ve got to like that classically new wave closing section.  Another fun driving song.

Grave Cross – Nice opening riffs.  Just a really vibrant song, with sunny vocals and generally, evocative of sunshine).  Some gorgeous tones and fairly fast-paced and at the risk of repeating myself, you’d enjoy driving to this one too.  A great beat to it and guaranteed to lift even the darkest of moods.

The Devil’s Skull – Loving that intro riff.  Imagine ‘The Wicker Man’ and you’re there.  Given the title, it’s got a very light-hearted feel to it.  Mid-paced, catchy, easy flow and unusual use of small percussion, adding a touch of uniqueness.  Something about the drum section around 3/4 of the way in reminds me of a boxing ring.  Bizarre images, some of these songs cause).  Anyway, an intriguing song, with unexpected twists!

Overall – If you haven’t already got the idea, it’s a fun  CD to drive to.  Or even just to listen to in the background, to brighten up a dull day.  Fun, effortlessly light-hearted and it’s got the riff factor down well.  Likably catchy, with a new wave essence.

8/10, for sheer likability. ********

VladPromotions for more info.

BattleX – Imminent Downfall

March 4, 2016

Break Your Bones – Nice guitar break and drum intro and a very noticeable and pleasing Hetfieldesque voice – full of that same grit and melodic passion.  Liking the melody, pace and general catchiness of the song, which is inherently likeable and filled with great, zingy riffs, harmonies and fun, engaging metal.  The ideal pub metal for diehards).

Raise Hell – Good bluesy intro there.  Imagine a harder edged version of ‘The Answer’.  I dare you not to get into it immediately.  Just gorgeous.  Warm, rocky and convincing.  Brilliant drum fills, riffs aplenty, vocals full of edgy, gritty, metallic energy and packed with a 90s/naughties flavour.  I hear a slight ‘Black Tide’ influence in there too.

Final Confrontation – Dropping the bass intro right down, to a more sombre, macabre feel and slower pace, before the speed riffs kick in, with more of those fab, fun drum rolls and of course, another taste of those born to rock vocals.  So much catchy melody, you’re just compelled to get involved. Riffs from paradise and just a real feel good sound.  Love it.

Face To Face – Fast-paced intro, only slowing down marginally, before speeding right back up again and launching straight into a very ‘Testament’ like sound.  If you like ‘Days Of Darkness’, this is for you.  Faultless.

Dignity – Single note opening, with more of a vocal emphasis and doing it justice in a big way.  Anthemic and powerful.  I’m just loving those vocals and riffs.  The drums hold an even heavier quality here and every harmony is performed immensely well.  Sexiness in spades.

The Hierophant – Beautiful acoustic opening, with something of a mediaeval Folky feel, till the vocals morph into a spoken word form, moving fluidly between spoken and sung form.  This here is the versatile capacity of BattleX, in full flow.  It really brings out their skills and talents in the most profound way.  Once you hear this, you’re going to want to hear it forever.  There’s true magic in that voice and you need it in your life.

Whispers In The Sand – Here’s something different!  Very much a reverb kind of intro, moving rapidly into a groove metal sound.  Intriguing lyrics and glorious riffs.  You’ve got to love the way he plays around with those drums and just the absolute, immaculate timing.  Sheer brilliance.

Circus Of Trust – A more even flow to this.  Imagine the songs you’d choose on the metal jukebox at your favourite music venue and this would be amongst them.  It’s essentially, a safe, adaptable song, to get you in the mood.  Short and sweet, its strength lies in its rocky essence.  With hints of ‘Municipal Waste’, there’s even a little bit of growl, towards the end, for those who like the blacker stuff .  Still retaining that Testament feel, it may be short, but you’ll get a lot out of it.

The Ascent – Now this is definitely more along the flamenco guitar lines.  A very deeply continental flavour to it.  Brief, but flavoursome.  A bit of a wild card, again, it’s versatile and breaks up the heavy, for a short interlude, though some of us might prefer the heaviness consistent.  Still very beautiful in its own way.

Imminent Downfall – More of the flamenco-esque style to this intro; soon seguing into heavier territory.  Something about that voice is just so appealing and seems to hold a very classic old school tone to it.  Immediate, strong and reminiscent of all your favourite classic artists combined.  Made for total engagement.  Exquisitely timed closing section.  Memorable in a humungous way.

Overall – One of those rare gems which gleams with metal magic.  Impacting, hard-edged, groove metal, with bluesy twists and power screaming throughout.  Buy it now.  You’ll never want to be without it.

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

For fans of Metallica, Testament, Municipal Waste, power/speed metal, stoner, groove and blues rock.

www.facebook.com/battlexband