Archive for October, 2016

Obzidian – ‘Obliteration Process’

October 22, 2016

From Wolverhampton, West Midlands, the home of heavy metal, come Obzidian, thrash metallers, formed in 2001.  Obzidian have toured the UK, supporting such legendary metal heavyweights as Sepultura, Arch Enemy, Crowbar and Ill Nino, earning them the title ‘one of the UK’s finest thrash metal bands’.

Two full-length albums were released previously, both of which received critical acclaim amongst the likes of ‘Kerrang’, ‘Metal Hammer’ and ‘Powerplay’.  Their first release, 2007’s ‘Damned Eternal’, was launched via Casket Records.  In 2014, they signed to Rocksector Records, through which, the second album, ‘Concrete Psychosis’, was released.

Having recently signed to Bearded Monkey Promotions, Obzidian are presently preparing for their busiest tour schedule yet, encompassing the remainder of 2016 and 2017, which looks set to be their heaviest year to date, including some significant festival slots and live gigs planned further afield, including mainland Europe are on the horizon. 

They’re now ready to release their third album, ‘Obliteration Process’, their heaviest, most detailed album so far.  Artwork and single ‘Sins Here Are Purified’ video commissioned by Andy Pilkington, of the award-winning ‘Very Metal Art’. The single is now available on youtube and soundcloud. 

Sins Here Are Purified – Decent chugging groove edged intro – gradually intensifying the heavy feel and sinister atmosphere behind the themes.  A very raw feel to the vocals, with a versatility, enabling them to go from death/black emphasis, to groove metal, with pounding rhythm and accompaniment.

Perish The Thought – Well timed follow-up, with obvious thought having gone into it.  Some classic groove laden riffs, immaculate drum fills and a very deep background storyline.  Real precision emphasis on the instrumentals and an angry energy in the vocals.

They Led The Fall – Lots of drum emphasis here, it’s a blitzing storm of drum rolls, with a positively monster vocal, spewing out its bilge, in all directions, till you’re envisioning him bleeding from the throat.

Beaten Into Submission – You actually feel the physical emphasis of the words in the title here, through the instrumentals, the lyrics and the general feel.  Brutal isn’t too strong a word.  It’s almost like a speed train coming towards you at full pelt.  There’s no escape and you won’t get out alive.

She The Shadow – A blackened intro, so in your face as to eat you alive and then step in and wear your entrails as fancy dress.  There’s a viciousness about this track, so all-encompassing, it lies beyond words.

Obliteration Process – Banging, raging, thorough battery of assault, so complete and in depth, it’ll drain your senses and cause you nightmares till the end of time.

Desolate Creed – Hammering at your door, with incensed metal violence, till you open up and let it in, when it floods your aura with darkness, doom and blood red rage.  Murderous intention, by association.

Body Of Mass Production – Increasing the speed of metallic aggression, overtaking its immediate environment, with death fuelled intent.

Mistress Of Deception – There’s a more melodic edge to this, with the riffs taking centrestage, as the vocals take on a melodious aspect, the drums beat their hardened way through their path and the bass element becomes the word, as it makes itself heard and demands your full and undivided attention.  A rolling feel to the outro, it’s done its job well.

Behind The Angels Eyes – Racing forwards, with a blitzkrieg of energy, opening up wider and wider, till it’s plain for all to see, in its boldness, determined focus and absolute single-minded intent.

Like Maggots They Infest – Oh, you’ve got to feel that tunnel like visual, invoked by the arrangements here.  A rockier, groovier vibe in here, rolling along, powerfully.  There’s a sense of letting go completely, being fully within its element.  Uninhibited metal rhythm, riffage and drumming to astound.

Raven – A clearer melody and groove to this, you’ll get right into the rhythm.  Another showcase of growly, adept vocals and collectively, going for it, showing the full instrumental dexterity and capacity for sexy sounds and memorable choruses.  A rather lovely doomy acoustic closing riff, fading out spectacularly.

Overall – Imagine being trapped in an experiment ground for heavy industrial machinery, with a psychopathic mind of its own, which is coming towards you, at full throttle, about to catch you in its threshing components, from which there’s no escape.  Combine that with being caught in a macerator, preparing to meet your horrific and terrifying doom, which you can see straight ahead, but are powerless to stop.  That summarises the power at play in ‘Obliteration Process’.  Full-scale fireworks have got nothing on this.  Heavy duty metal artillery, fully charged and ready to kill.

8/10 ********

For fans of Spreading The Disease, Boltthrower, Kyrbgrinder, satanic, extreme, death, doom and black metal, generally.

Released 28th November 2016 on Black Rock Records, via all online stores. Pre-orders available from http://www.obzidian.co.uk/ .

www.obzidian.co.uk

www.facebook.com/ObzidianBand/ 

www.twitter.com/obzidianmetal 

https://soundcloud.com/obzidian/sins-here-are-purified-1

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFdSTnayRHQ&feature=youtu.be 

www.verymetal.co.uk 

All press and booking enquiries should go through the band’s contact page or through their agents at Bearded Monkey Promotions.

 

 

 

 

 

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Toxic Ruin – ‘Subterranean Terror’

October 20, 2016

Toxic Ruin formed from the covers band, The Ruin.  They’re a thrash metal band, focusing on ever evolving sounds, incorporating pure thrash, hints of death, with old school rock ‘n’ roll at the forefront.

From eastern Wisconsin, USA, they’re a one-off band, providing the basis for most of the heavy metal music in their area, along with legends, Morbid St.

The current release of ‘Subterranean Terror’ has become massively popular in the heavy metal community and Toxic Ruin is set for even bigger future projects.

Submerged In Chaos – Very fine intro there.  Moving, gradually, into a riff filled haven.  Short, but sweet.  It’s all that was needed.

Immolation – Biting intro, of hardened metal, combining speed, power, thrash and death/melo-death.  That’s one neatly wrapped drum roll, of hammering incredible speed and precision.  Throwing in some very tasty riff melodies and adventures with a well-placed whammy bar section.  There’s a clear and inherent dark edge to this, which serves the genre sounds they aim for well.  Got the lyrics cracked, too.

Seat Of Corruption – A well constructed follow-up track.  Easing further and confidently, into the heavy feel and demonstrating a great, classic example of how good thrash is performed.  Melody, lively pace, attentively timed drums, anger driven lyrics, thrashy vocals, yummy speed riffs.  It’s got it all and it’s all bound up cohesively and neatly.  A well-organised and structured track, whetting the appetite for more.

Subterranean Terror – Chasing the metal dragon, this gets right in, with a thoughtfully arranged performance and rhythm, forming a natural continuation of the thrash, death tinged sound.  Evident progression and natural flow.  Soundalike of RAM’s ‘Sudden Impact’.

The Human Condition – Wow!  Gorgeously melodic riff intro, with a slight eerieness, beating drums and very raw, heartfelt, death edged vocals, blatantly dredged up from the depths of blackened emotion.  There’s a dark thread throughout, almost visually black, so entrenched is its sense.

Rampage – Blasting drum intro, soon crackling into vivid life, with a startlingly clear Testament feel and quality to match.  One or two particularly well thought out, delicious riffs and it’s over in almost record time, for such a complex song, but its message is clear and unmistakable.  Mind you, even the dimmest individual would have trouble mistaking the words ‘fuck you’, with which it closes.

Of What Lies Beneath – Gradually building in volume and intensity, there’s a complexity to this, in terms of arrangement and song structure, showcasing real, well honed musicianship, to rival many.

Lord Of Pandemonium – An insanely fast, power fuelled drum roll intro, quickly joined by crazed riffs, Hetfieldesque vocals and a noticeably fiery essence.  Blazing along, with fury and passion, there’s an impressive commitment to intricate compositions, carefully timed sections and a consistently and well maintained dark theme.  A well crafted piece of work.

Alcoholocaust – Drums opening, once more, with a blast of metal fuelled aggression, going on to instill their message of danger and destructive determination.  A definite ‘Tallicaesque section, towards the middle, with a positive blaze of a riff fest, increasing in pace and intensity.  The frustrated lyrics are ideal.

Toxic Ruin – Bang!  That’s the only way to describe that insistent drum intro.  Really going in for the kill, with the enthusiastically angry lyrics, fire powered riffs and drum battallion, from which there’s no escape.  Cornered in an explosive arena.  Mighty power screams and more of that unforgettable RAM type speed, power heaven.  Brilliantly placed as the standout track.  I love the melody in there.

Overall – An impressively intelligently constructed album, filled with craftsmanship of the highest standard.  You’ll have to wait till the end for the most melodic track of all, but it’s well worth the wait.  All serious thrashers, power and speed freaks should give this a whirl.

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

http://www.metal-archives.com/ 

For fans of Testament, Slayer, RAM, thrash, melo-death, speed, power and death metal.

 

Venus Rising – ‘Woodlight’

October 19, 2016

Beautifully melodic acoustic intro, with a gentle, lilting vocal tone, filled with natural world lyrical emphasis and oozing warmth and sincerity.  Nice relaxed pace, encouraging deep relaxation.  The title’s very apt, conjuring imagery of camp fires and gentle singalongs, in the company of elementals and a generally otherworldly atmosphere.  A lovely, comforting, soft folk rock journey, to other realms of life.  Sheer escapism.

8/10 ********

For fans of folk rock, acoustic, alternative and soft rock.

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/woodlight-single/id1161492349

www.facebook.com/venusrisinginfo

 

The Devils Music – ‘The Devils Music’

October 17, 2016

From Beyond – Wow!  That was a somewhat unexpected, mysterious intro, cleverly seguing from quiet eastern mysticism, to typically heavy, trad metal tones).  No hesitation in these vocals, going for the classic gravel- throated approach, accompanied by slamming, groove-edged instrumentals.  Some gorgeous haunting gentle riffs following the mid-section, fading out on a storming, battle metal close.  Impressive.

Can You Hear Me – ARGH!  WTF was that?!  A suitably disturbing deathly intro, brimming with blackened effect.  Growls aplenty, siren like riffs, booming bass and raining drums, pouring blood from every orifice.  One for the darker metal fanatics and only to be played late at night, if accompanied by a trained exorcist.

Break Through – Ooh, changing tack, to a church choir opening, before moving, smoothly into more of the hard stuff.  Fairground fodder, for gothic fantasy horror fans.  A slight spoken word section gets in, through the cracks somewhere there, before reverting back to the metal cheerleader stuff.  That is, metal cheerleading of the angry stormtrooper variety.  A weirdly imagery evoking track.

Phoenix – Right in there, with a breezy, metallic intro, with clearly enunciated lyrics and a vibe conjuring vague pirate metal visuals.  It’s a satisfactory slice of heavy filler.

The Smile That Hurts – Upping the pace a bit here, with a catchier rhythm, there’s a slight mystique in places, but otherwise, standard background metal fayre.  Slight Ghost type vocals thrown in briefly, after the mid-section.  Soon returning to retching screams and a downtuned bass line, of noticeable prominence, but it just ain’t doing it for me.

The Strange And Dark – Slowly, edging its way into a fantasy film soundtrack intro, continuing down the same line.  Somewhat sinister, in that same visual format, though it’s missing that vital edge.  Can’t help thinking it was meant for a well-intentioned musical stage theatre production.  Not necessarily a bad thing in itself, though its strength does seem to lie in the visuals it evokes, rather than its audio qualities.

This Is The End – Hmm, okay, slight sea change in the intro format here, yet the variation’s so brief, there’s barely time to take it in and figure it out, before it slides back into generic noise metal.  There’s an industrial, metalcore vibe to this, which may work for some, more enamoured with that scene, but just doesn’t gel for me.  That ubiquitous slamming/storming emphasis holds plenty of show, in probable stage presence terms, but just seems devoid of substance.  That brief electronic, closing section’s a bit puzzling, too.  Just hard to gauge where they’re going with this one.

Dvoid Of Light – Jesus, that nearly burst my skull open!  Hammering violence just about covers it.  Great audio production values here, with a particular emphasis on the volume and Nick Cave-esque dark threads and story line feel.  Fitting title.  Accurate sense of doom and morbid, mortal threat.

Cthulu – Fucking hell, that’s another wake-up drum roll call.  Very similar flavour to the last track.  Hard to tell them apart.  Gorey, dark extremity reigns, as does the stomping monster image it’s creating.  Yes, we get the idea.  They’re pissed off, angry and murderous.  Join the queue.  Next.

Hate – Unsurprising title – what is this?  A paintball game, in which all your mortal enemies get repeatedly and endlessly splattered, in quick succession, in a dark forest, in the back of beyond, in the dead of night, till they’re all dead and you run away, with your lethal weapons of mass destruction, loaded in the back of your van and drive off, to a secret location, where you celebrate your kill, with beer and LSD?  That’s what I’m imagining.

Overall – Oh dear.  Promising start and certainly not short on enthusiasm. There’s some good stuff here, but really?  Samey.  Repetitive.  Boring.  Continuous special auditory effects, replicating an endless battering ram of cacophonous fairground noise, to accompany the roller coaster and ferris wheel?  All very well for the techno contingent, as is the electronic stocking filler, but for metal purists like myself, there’s only so much of that stuff you can take.  A disappointing pretence of a title it doesn’t live up to.  The Devil’s music?  I don’t think so.  Where’s Ozzy, the Prince of Darkness, when you need him?  Now I must go and comfort myself, with some strong sedatives.

4/10 ****

For fans of industrial, techno, metalcore, grind core, death, sludge, black and extreme metal.

https://www.facebook.com/thedevilsmusicuk/

https://twitter.com/devilsmusic666

ITUNES ORDER: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/the-devils-music/id1120543964

 

 

Zombie Rodeo – ‘Cult Leader’

October 16, 2016

Nameless Rider – Good punchy intro.  There’s a classic feel to this melody, with plenty of grit, pounding heaviness and a solid thud to the bass.  Neat little bit of cymbal action after the mid-section, during a brief rhythmic alternation and closing on a decently hard, crunchy beat.

Silver Medicine – Very classy AC/DCesque drum intro there and a vague nod to Whitesnake’s ‘Too Many Tears’, recognisable in the chorus.  In saying that, this is much heavier, with a bit of a party rock sound, which to my ears, is very pleasing.  There’s a definite catch to it and you might just find yourself getting carried away by it.  This is a good thing.

Cult Leader – Ouch!  Well that feedback intro was a slight shock, but never fear, it soon segues into a hard edged, rocky section.  The distortion effect around the mid-section kind of fits with the whole anarchic feel.  It’s a mash-up of styles, really, showcasing a combo of stoner, doom, dark, growly death and straight up melodic rock.

Personal Hell – Now the doom element comes into play, to great effect, with a sinister, funereal sense and a breakthrough of light, as the melody progresses.  Carrying a distinct Sabbathesque thread, the tone in itself is intriguing, catching the same sort of mood found captured in much of Sabbath’s material.  An eerily effective finish, making its mark quickly and cleanly.  It doesn’t need to say any more.

Replacement Memories – Back to that doomy, darkened instrumental feel, moving fluidly into a slightly bluesy lyrical and melodic slant.  Varied influences appear to come to the fore here, with particular emphasis on blues and an edge of psychedelia, as you envision the dizzying feel of a fairground ride, under the influence of some chemical stimulant.  Nice closing touch, in that echoic finale, with a bit of vibrato thrown in.

Overall – An enjoyable nostalgia ride, down through the humble beginnings of hard rock, heavy metal, blues and psychedelia, with lots of visual imagery, evoking everything from Woodstock festival, to back room gigs, in dodgy, back street pubs.

7/10 *******

For fans of early Black Sabbath, Hendrix, The Doors, Pearl Jam, Paul Weller, Clapton and Ceam, John Mayall’s Blues- breakers and Soundgarden.

 

Baleful Creed – ‘Baleful Creed’

October 10, 2016

Hailing from Belfast, Northern Ireland, Baleful Creed are a hard and heavy classic stoner rock and metal band.  Influences include Black Sabbath, Danzig, Fireball Ministry, AIC, Soundgarden and Kyuss.  Their story begins with the production of their debut EP ‘Killing Time’, in 2009.  The second EP, ‘Buried Beneath’, closely followed in 2010.  Their next EP, ‘111’, came in 2012, when all their music was collectively released by their bandcamp digital online store.

Next, the last two EP’s were merged, remixed and remastered into an album, for CD release – this became the self titled debut (album), released on 29th December 2013.  Preparation work took place in 2014.  2015 saw them touring and creating new material for the next album, recorded on 18th December 2015.  It would be completed in early 2016, at Manor Park studios – the site of all recordings to date.

Baleful Creed’s music has been spread far and wide internationally.  The band have featured in Powerplay and Fireworks.  They’ve supported Bill Steer’s (from Carcass) band Firebird.  They’re the only band to be top 10 finalists in 2 TBFM factors in 2012 and 2014 – beating stiff competition, consisting of hundreds of other bands.

Baleful Creed – A true heavy stoner essence to that intro.  A bit like a heavier version of The Answer.  I can hear them on the Crobar album already.  It’s a really cool, comfortable listen.  A real accomplished, consummate pro feel to it.  Plenty of thrumming bass aswell as velvet smooth riffs that slide down like a glass of iced chocolate on a hot summers day.  Effortless drum fills and flowing vocals, with a background sense of a well chosen mix of stoner heavy influences.  An impressive opener.

Autumn Leaves – Ooh, there’s a definite doomy, hard emphasis there, that’ll pull you in hard.  Catchiness abounds in here, both lyrically and melodically.  Intelligently created and rightfully owning the magic escapist thread, like no one’s business.  Gravel, grit, attention to detail, atmosphere in spades.  You just have to love this.

Iluminati – Opening with an unquestionable drum hit, following on from that with a bass heavy section which just echoes through the floorboards.  The whole thing just fits like a glove.  Great melody, gorgeous choruses, heavenly riffs, musical drum rolls, cohesion incarnate.  It’s got it all and it carries you happily away, as you float on a magic carpet of metal.  Sheer heaven.  This is one of the most blissful songs I’ve heard this year.

Crazy Man – Moving with complete fluidity, right into a stunning guitar riff I’d be happy to climb inside and listen to endlessly.  If ever there was a lyrically and musically seductive track, it’s this one.  Real, truly powerful and sexily catchy.  You need this in your life now.  That’s one of the strongest choruses I’ve ever had the great fortune to hear … in my ENTIRE life.  Absolutely enthralling.

Misanthrope – Bringing the beat down a notch, to Clutch- esque proportions, I’ve just imagined them walking into one of my favourite rock venues, plugging in their amps and getting straight down to business.  There’s a genuine magic captured within the sound and rhythm of this band.  They belong at the very heart of where metal lives strong and true.  You’re gonna get into these drum beats and imagine yourself transported to the metal paradise of your own imaginations.  Uplifting, meaningful, intense and addictive.  There’s even a very slight Rammsteinesque rhythm at the end).  Got the magic and mystery down, sensationally.

Double F.S. – Oh yeah, that feels good.  See how sexy this album is?  A nicely downtoned opening thrudding riff and bass line, setting the scene for a visually enhancing track, from the start.  Gravelly, American West Coast imagery lives and breathes.  Listen carefully and you may just catch a bit of Crue influence in there, somewhere.  Perfect escapism.

Hex – Heaviness incarnate intros this and it positively bleeds it all the way into the track.  A seriously born to rock band.  Oh those vocals are just divine.  Manly, gritty, sensual and naturally rocky, with an inbuilt groove and bluesy leaning.  Made for metal.  Really catchy rhythm.  Classic closing drum hit.  Pure divinity.

Her Promise – Exciting, fun driven riff intro – a classic vocal line and pace and everything melds together, so cohesively.  This opens itself up fully to the joy and expressionism of rock.  You will join in, cos you won’t be able to help yourself.  It’s gonna suck you into a vortex of metallic joy – especially during that closing riff.  I tell you, the Gods of Metal have opened up the floodgates of metal heaven and rained it down on the world for this song.  Truth, sincerity and utter 100 % conviction.

Thorazine – Back to doom, with a Sabbathesque intro, worthy of ‘Black Sabbath’ itself.  Darkness permeates, whilst light drips through every hole in the enclosure.  Passion resides in every beat of these lyrics.  A mysteriously fading mid-section, with a wave like underwater essence, removing you to a world of ambient space, till the delights of hard edged rock return, to suck you right in and trap you forever in the density of metallic destiny.

Suffer In Silence – Now that there is one of the classiest intro riffs in existence.  Gliding so easily from one pace and rhythm to another, it’s simply unstoppable.  There’s such a rabid intensity to this, it’ll touch even the deepest, darkest moods.  Immense riff changes and drives after the mid-section and all so, so beautifully played.  The vocals really do get right down to the absolute depths of emotion and it’s all finished off with a sublimely intense drum roll.

Overall – Here, we have the very heights of rocky, metallic emotion, expression and experience, all wrapped up in the most creative, soulful, and in-depth way.  It’s an album which exudes elemental forces on a scale unheard of in this life.  If there’s such a one-off genre as ‘angelic metal,’ this is it.

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

if I could rate them out of 100, they’d get the whole 100%, with additional extras.

For fans of Down, The Answer, Kyuss, Electric Wizard, Witchcraft, Corrosion Of Conformity, Cathedral, Clutch, AIC and other high-level stoner rock.

www.facebook.com/BalefulCreed 

http://twitter.com/balefulcreed 

http://balefulcreed.bandcamp.com/ 

Album available from:

http://balefulcreed.bigcartel.com/

http://balefulcreed.bandcamp.com/ 

‘Crazy Man’ video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLti-Z9h30

 

Stagewar – ‘Killing Fast’

October 9, 2016

Stagewar was founded in 2003.  Known for their exuberance and commitment to the sound of true metal, Stagewar liken themselves to ‘a monster truck, running over the other traffic in a traffic jam’.  

The first demo, ‘Tools Of Power’, was released in 2003.  During Emergenza, they won first place in the Hessian finals 2004.  The second demo, ‘Dead Or Alive’, followed.  From 2006-2008, ‘Pressure’, ‘Living On Trash’ and ‘Uncle Jack’ were launched.  Their first album, ‘Living On Trash’, launched in 2010.

In 2011, their sixth demo, ‘Turbo Thrash Party’, was released.  In 2012, they began working on ‘Killing Fast’, their second studio album.  Their first European tour also took place during that year.  The second European tour, in 2013/2014 was focused on the new album, produced in 2015/16.  Their first professional music video for the track ‘Isolated’, came out in 2016 and Bellaphon Records released the next album.

Living Hell – Fucking Hell, that woke me up!  That’s just about the loudest, most banging intro ever.  It continues down the same track, with crazed riffs, anthemic party metal vocals and heavy as steel drums, beating the life out of the atmosphere.  That’s what you call a metal intro.

Trapped In Life – Just as enthused, with more cymbal action, more melody and more metal mayhem.  Instant love.  Catchy hooks, memorable rhythm, energised vocals, this is just fun, with a capital ‘F’.  Aw it’s over!  Too soon and I want more.

No Place To Go – Proper explosive drum intro there!  Got to love those bloody brilliantly rhythmic sexy riffs and the general feeling of sheer excitement and metal bliss.  Reminds me of Anthrax’s ‘Antisocial’.  Join in and bang your head.

Isolated – Another crazy, electric fuelled ride through metal terrain.  Packed with fun time riffs, driving beats and uplifting tones – it does the trick in no time.

Multiple Murder Death Killer – Right in there, no holds barred, giving it both barrels.  More of that Anthrax sound, this will transport you back to ‘Fight ‘Em Til You Can’t’.  Mosh pit stuff in spades.  Red hot flames of furious riffs, unforgettable vibrancy and just, altogether awesome.  Slight sense of Ozzy’s ‘Soul Sucker’ in there too.

The Song I Wrote For You – Racing down the driveway, into the pit, you’ll get right into the beat immediately.  So catchy it just hits the spot.  There’s that gorgeously anthemic metal sound again that just delights, without any space for doubt.  Blistering, pounding riffs, drum hits and red hot vocals, that reel you in at first listen.  The only down side is it’s just too short!

My Place My Rules – Oh yeah, that’s how to intro a thrash power metal track).  OMG those riffs gets sexier, faster, more intense and totally orgasmic.  You’ll want this to go on forever.

No Fucks Given – A sheer, mountainous volley of drums, to beat down and blast through the walls, this is blazing fury of the most metallic nature.  A magical, angry romp through the land of metal.

Still Alive – Boom!  That’s the way to do it and that’s the metal message in here for all to see.  You can hear a groove rock thread in here, so reminiscent of Def Leppard’s ‘Wasted’, it’s like a deep-rooted groove connection, being pulled up from the roots.  Unrelenting metal pressure.  Just magic.

Waste Of Time – A much gentler acoustic intro, in a ‘Planet Caravan’ style, initially, before blasting right into another joyful, lively demo of truly powerful metal.  You’re gonna love some of the fabulously entwined twiddly paradiddles in here.  A great breathy, roomy, whispered drum section, pulled off with such immense, masterful skill, it’s an absolute thrill.  Closing with some ace, enthused riffage and soaringly confident vocals, it’s got buzz factor written all over it.

Inside Your Head – Beautifully done swooping intro, like the wings of an eagle in flight, with an enormously strong metal soundtrack, this one’s got determinedly careful, intricately timed instrumentals, with gritty heaviness and gentle, wave like sections – a combo which works well, in this case.  It’s got an appeal about it which holds your attention and keeps it.

Crash Course – Straight in there, with a bang and a crashing collision of metal well worthy of its title.  Slower pace, towards the end, till the frenetic riffs which close the track.  There’s a haunting power in ‘Crash Course’.

Killing Fast – Louder than hell, the drums take centre stage in this astoundingly heavy title track, demanding attention and giving it all to the end.  Lovely escapist riffs 3/4 of the way in, dragging you into another land.  Ending on one of the sexiest, most classic closing riffs you’ll ever hear.

Overall – Magnificent metal magic.  The stuff of your sexiest, most thoroughly metallic dreams lives here.  Stagewar’s own ‘monstertruck’ rampage reference is actually spot on.  ‘Killing Fast’ lives up to every word and then some.  Monstrously delightful.

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

For fans of Reign of Fury, Anthrax, Megadeth, Metallica, Exodus, Slayer and all the best power speed thrash metal on the planet. 

www.facebook.com/stagewar 

http://www.metal-archives.com/ 

Zen Juddhism 2 – Zen Juddhism

October 3, 2016

Introducing the second offering from Zen Juddhism, an eclectic band, combining various influences and styles, resulting in a sound comprising multiple rock sub genres and crossover rock genres.

Better Not Wait – Lively drum and upbeat riff intro, quickly followed by some very striking Chrissy Hynes sound alike female vocals.  In fact, it’s got a clear Pretender’s type sound and feel to it and is in its own way, a welcome deviation from standard rock fayre.  More like pop rock, in essence, but very high quality, with a classy edge.

Stage Fright – Off on another tangent, there’s a Jamaican sense to this, with much more of a reggae rock slant.  I keep expecting the man from Del Monte to make an appearance.  A real rhythmic focus here.

A Murder Of Crows – Back to a typical rocky intro, but there’s a slight darkness to it, which is very visually stimulating.  It’d fit well in the back room of a chilled out lounge rock venue.  Lots of bass emphasis and a quieter mid-section; it reverts to a generic rock beat, with easy, effortless guest vocals from Steve Erida, forming the flow to the backdrop.

They Live – Those Pretendersesque feminine vocals are back, with a slow, smooth, relaxed pace, proving easy on the ears.  Not the longest song, but plenty of upbeat bass involvement and a noticeable melody.

Hawaii Five – O – Opkar Hans guests as vocalist on this one.  One thing all the vocalists have in common on this album is an easy listening, relaxed tone, blending the whole thing together well.  There’s an unsurprisingly Hawaiian theme to this, providing a very pleasing backdrop and keeping the mood high.

Journey To The Centre – Now they’ve incorporated a grungy aspect, with a slight sci-fi element in the intro.  Some may remember Marlene Rodriguez from the last release, who features again on this track.  Spoken word section in the midst of things, alluding to the outcomes of reality TV and exhorting people to do something real with their lives.  Really bluesy, melodic rhythmic riff section there, which stands out well, before the slightly dulled vocal tones return, to leave you with their message.

All Of It – Featuring Pammie Moore, this track moves away from the sound of the rest completely, featuring a violin section and finishing before you know where you are. It just isn’t long enough to be able to absorb it properly.

All Our Leaders – Going off in a new direction, resembling a protest song, with a folk rock leaning, but still retaining a gentle reggae rock atmosphere – it makes its point.  A pleasant listen.

No-one Buys Music – Pammie Moore returns on vocals, emphatically railing against the ever present scourge of internet downloads and the subsequent loss of actual physical music sales.  Point made well, in a gentle, listenable tone.

idk – Here, Marlene Rodriguez brings a trance element to proceedings, as she vocally mesmerises, as ever.  The drums become more noticeable towards the end, but I’ve been too hypnotised by Marlene’s voice to notice much.

Purple Friend – Not quite sure what’s going on here, but it’s a mix of sung and spoken word, between shared male and female vocals, with more of a rap rock focus than anything else.  It could just do with a bit more lyrical clarity, to reinforce the song’s meaning, as it just comes across like a dodgy acid trip, but otherwise, it’s a fair listen, with its strength lying in the melody.

Overall – An unusual production, with a combo of themes, sounds and crossover styles and forms, which could slot into various sub genres.  More like an experimental project than an album with a clear destination, going in an obvious direction.  Not one for the purists, but open-minded genre dabblers will be in their element.  If nothing else, it’s consistently uplifting, making it good to zone out to. 

6/10 ******

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For fans of combination rock genres, reggae rock, rap rock, blues, jazz, continental rock, soul rock and R&B.