Archive for April 2017

Satarial – ‘Blessed Brigit’   20 comments

Satarial’s history goes back to 1989, when, as A.M.S.G., they aimed to create music similar to that of Bathory, Hellhammer, and Venom. Gigs were played in underground venues and after discovery by the USSR court, both the band and their name and music were subsequently banned. Following their initial ’89 demo, the band were inactive from 1990-1992, till reuniting, at that point and changing their name to Satarial. The main musical emphasis was now black metal, with mediaeval influence, drawn from childhood inspiration. Many years of state persecution followed, owing to the band’s musical influences, contents of their performances etc. This persecution became so extreme as to imitate the level of extremity evident within their music and beyond. Far from destroying the spirit of the music, it was actually strengthened and despite many attempts to block the sale, promotion and performances, the band continued on, making more music, through various line-ups and musical experimentation, before eventually reverting back to the initial sounds and topics/themes of witchcraft and mysticism. Satarial’s whole history has been a fight for freedoms, both of thought and of expression, culminating in the 2016 release of ‘Blessed Brigit’, along with a video, entitled ‘Manifest Of Paganism’, the first track on the album. ‘BB’ is a co-release with Death Portal Studio, USA, Symbol Of Domination Prod.

‘BB’ is centred around Celtic paganism and mysticism. Combining music and natural sounds, it aims to elevate human consciousness to alternative thought forms. The lyrics are based on mystical formulas and magical spells. It’s multilingual, embracing black metal, folk and industrial, with a strong emphasis on medieval and classical music. It was recorded using mediaeval instruments, in combination with standard metal music recording tools. The album was recorded live, in as natural an atmosphere as possible, to capture the feeling and expression of extreme metal. It was mixed and mastered using an analogue system, at Jeffromixesyou Studio, in America. Made by Dark Crusader.

Manifest Of Paganism – Skull-crushing intro of epic intensity. Filled to the rafters with a heaviness akin to what I can only describe as concrete boots. The ritual aspects definitely come to life, to a fairly frightening degree, given the imaginary outcomes of the sounds used. Alternating, of course, with far less scary and more intriguing gentle elements, played out for just long enough to whet the appetite for more. Mediaeval effects redolent of castles and fortresses, bringing a lighter side to things, reassuring for the sensitives amongst us, but be warned, you don’t want to listen to the dark aspects before bed.

Horned God (The Charge Of The God) – Opening with a similar heaviness, this time, creating visions of Viking Gladiators, chasing you down with dumbbells, which they’re threatening to drop on your head and purposely dropping on the ground every few minutes, to remind you. (Yes, music does evoke some weird imagery for me). Though, this time, the sound of approaching steel is interspersed with lilting feminine vocals, offering consistent folky rhythms, which somehow, works to allay, or at least, delay the fears of encroaching death. (The fear! I’m getting the fear!) Fans of ‘Withnail and I’, unite.

Chaos – Shifting tack now, to a screamingly loud chase like thudding rhythm, again, interwoven with gentler female vocals, which briefly dilutes the fear effect, but make no mistake, the overall feel is just as effective. Shorter than the last, but likely to stay in your memory, all the same. An inspired and truly unique sound combination, so rare as to be unlikely to hear elsewhere.

Yarns Of Fate – Charging in there, with the zeal of a huntsman, on a mission to kill. Extreme metal explosion, with an almost hypnotic beat and chorus of pure ritual shamanism. Making inventive use of the mystical tools at their disposal and merging them with acute extremity, the emergent terror and spiritual surrender and adventure is quite some achievement.

Formation Of The Moon – Slight change of direction here, initially, almost like a breeze in the opposite direction on the compass point. A clear sense of feminine strength used to maximum effect, vocally speaking. Choral sounds interweave between the female archetype and the yin and yang male hunter gatherer, consistently present throughout. A real tangible sense of each power element being used for its intended purpose, in an almost totemic context. Again, it works.

Blessed Brigit – Mediaeval banquets and forces abound, as the sounds conjure the strength of the representative ages. There’s a seductive and fascinating appeal to the musical influences and instruments employed, conjuring powerful atmospherics, verging on palpable accessibility. The masculine depth of that voice is quite stunning, blending nicely with the softness and fey-like quality of the feminine. An audio-visual feast for the senses, of a celebration of musical works through the ages.

Overall – A mind opening, spiritual journey, through the possibilities of arcane metal, when taken to extreme edges, incorporating opposing influences and elements and releasing all preconceptions and expectations. I get what they’re trying to do here and I like it, not just because it’s novel, but because it’s real, profound and sustainable, as it’s truly authentic and stands out as one of a kind – a genuine rare breed.

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

For fans of Falagar, Trivax, Pentagram, Eluvitie, Deathbringer, Helloween and all forms of extreme, black, death and gothic metal, folk, mediaeval, baroque and fantasy metal.

Posted April 30, 2017 by jennytate in Uncategorized

From Eden To Exile – ‘Modern Disdain’   Leave a comment

Having played Bloodstock’s ‘New Blood’ stage, in 2015, after winning Metal To The Masses, From Eden To Exile are about to release the debut album, ‘Modern Disdain’, on 2nd June 2017.

After throwing everything they had into the album, both the band and producer Neil Hudson (Krysthla/Gutworm) feel that it’s vastly opened up their potential, released all past limitations and demonstrates the best they have to offer at present.

Gospel Untold – Rolling in there, with rapid fire drum rolls and growly roars, it’s impacting and carries a battery of riffs, which although melodic in themselves, highlight the need for some level of vocal melody/clarity, since it’d be good to be able to decipher the story behind the lyrics.

Modern Disdain – Samey and not so far easily separable from ‘G. U.’, yet does inject some differing arrangements and again, it’s really the guitar melody that saves it. Slightly short, but hey ho.

Volatile – Very fitting title, given the style, evidently favouring a hard line, aggressive approach. Interesting riffs and slightly more melodic vocals, in places, but never deviating from the deathy technique. Fading out on a roared scream.

Victim – Marginally more gradual intro, throwing in a bit more light, here and there. Generally, very dark, with a rapid pace and similar anger, yet there’s greater lyrical audibility and thematic expressions of regret, around the edges of the mostly murderous centre.

The Dreamer – Another quick-fire paced piece of rage fuelled evil. Growing even heavier throughout, those roars appear to be filled with hate and yet again, it’s the riffs that stand out.

From Eden To Exile – As the band name, this should probably be fairly self-explanatory. Though there is definitely increasing energy here, along with various alternating techniques, I’ve got to say, it’s not that unique.

What You’ve Done – Slightly more lightning energy and pace, in places, but at risk of repetition, that mostly comes across through the riffs. The drum sections do come forward a tad more in here, yet there isn’t much to distinguish it from the rest. Fading out on a solid drum roll.

Sentiment – So there’s a lot of anger in this album. That’s one thing that’s clear in ‘Sentiment’, as in every other track. It does contain some incrementally more individual riffs, with brief alternations in pace and rhythm, but otherwise, the hoarseness inducing roars continue, with no real variation.

Overall – The strength of ‘M.D’. is in its instrumental artistry. That’s one unarguable point. It is clearly accomplished musicianship and the main theme and feeling of raging resentment is definitely present. So it can be said that F.E.T.E. express themselves and their energy well. Other than that, it’s largely unoriginal, uninspiring and would definitely benefit from greater lyrical focus, but would go down well with fans of the darker, more extreme side of metal.

6/10 ******

For fans of death, black, sludge and extreme genres.

Posted April 28, 2017 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Death Blooms – ‘Self Titled’   Leave a comment

dbcoverAlt metal from Manchester and Liverpool, Death Blooms carry the torch of melodic sounds and meaning, packing their songs with strongly resonant social themes relating to the metal community and also about the struggles we all have to contend with, daily and the lessons which emerge from them. This, their debut EP, is currently hailed as one of the best underground band releases of the year.

Last Ones – Exploding into life, at full impact, it’s certainly hard stuff and doesn’t mess about. Catchy and colourful, its main draw, it rocks hard. Stand-out track.

I’m Dead – Ramping up the heavy factor, it’s a surprising mix of melodic, thrash, blackened death and NWOBHM, unexpected in alt genres, but it works. Definitely more death than alt. Then again, its’ style fits the title well.

Sick – More of a modern feel to this, which’d also fit well in metal core circles. Similar, though, to ‘I’m Dead’. Short, but acute and packed with aggression.

Hate Die – Getting heavier, still, but now, throwing in more sinister tones, it’s pure anger and really, just expresses it in and through various shades. Difficult to find anything unique or striking about it, but one thing it certainly has, in spades, is passion and enthusiasm, without a doubt.

Overall – It definitely can’t be said that these guys don’t pour their heart and soul into their work and that comes across clearly. For me, the stand-out track has to be ‘Last Ones’. However, it’s lacking in individuality markers and I have to say, general substance. Hard to find anything memorable in it, but given that it’s a debut and given the obvious energy inherent within it, that potential will hopefully be built upon, to create improved originality in future releases.

6/10 ******

For fans of melodic, cross-over and sub-genres, including metal core, grind core, death and alt metal.

Released 12th May 2017

Posted April 25, 2017 by jennytate in Uncategorized

GraViL – ‘No More Forgiveness’   3 comments

Introducing ‘No More Forgiveness’, GraViL’s new album, released on 5th May 2017. Taking inspiration from the significant chain of losses in 2016, ‘NMF’ takes strength from the pervading social negativity of today’s world, asserting the need for positive action.

Detonate – Straight in there, with a vicious battering ram of drum rolls and inflamed riffs. Angry, raw vocals, making their mark, with zero hesitation and plenty of venom. Skreamer fans will take to this well.

Are We Alive – Slightly more melody, but just as much angry conviction. Cool rocky rhythm, loaded with fury, nestled in a metallic bed of riffs as hard as nails.

I Am The Blood – Similar beat and rolling rhythm to ‘AWA’, but leaning a bit more towards metal core territory. The raging, incensed shouts just don’t let up, other than to make room for the guitar solos here and there. Ending on a deeply felt shout, it makes its point.

Plagues, Thieves And Murderers – Moving into more sinister territory, introed by a slight sense of mystique and a hint of eastern flavour, still it segues quickly back into full force rage and violent assaults. A spoken section reminiscent of G’ ‘N’ R’ s’ ‘Coma’ briefly interlocks one pounding assault with another.

Locate The Traitor – Opening in much the aggressively murderous way you’d expect with a title such as this, it wins hands down, where the plausibility stakes are concerned. So closely focused on its objective, you wouldn’t want to be in the shoes of said traitor. A veritable feast of evil intent.

Choke In Silence – Another prime example of pure, unadulterated rage and nightmare inducing fateful ill wishing. Some colourful riffs in there, adding more melody to the mix and packed with hammering drum rolls. Ending on a vividly empowered shout, closely accompanied by well matched riffs and drum hits and it’s done.

Fractured And Divided – Opening up a somehow larger metallic landscape, filled with far greater visual imagery and bringing in guest vocals from Theresa Smith of Metaprism. It has to be said that those vocals really do add something special to the song, opening it up even more. A more melodic ending.

Decommissioned – Banging drum intro, rapidly followed by powerfully charged riffs and full-scale roars, brooking no argument. An exercise in powered aggression is probably the best way to summarise this.

Forever Is A Prison – Introing with more of the increasingly familiar batteries of drums and homicidal screams. Very strong title, laced with profundity and dread. Injecting some very welcome riff-based melody, but ensuring there’s no respite from the blood rage, it’s insistent, determined and unstoppable.

One Eyed King – Another Skreamer sound-alike, it’s a cumulative culmination of all we’ve heard thus far. A positive explosion of metallic fire. Slightly derivative, in parts, but in no bad way and it certainly proves its worth, throughout.

Overall – Hard-hitting enough to break through any crash barrier, a thousand times over.

8/10 ********

For fans of Skreamer, Pantera, Melodeath, generally and sub-genres, including metal core, grind core and thrash and NWOBHM crossover styles.

Artwork and design by Andy Pilkington, of Very Metal Art.

Released 5th May 2017


Posted April 24, 2017 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Pagandom – ‘Hurt As A Shadow’   3 comments

Thrash, from Gothenburg, Sweden, Pagandom formed in 1987. Disbanding in 1996, after producing a demo under the name ‘Kung’, they reunited for the Gothenburg Sound Festival 2014 and have stayed together and been creating new music since. This, their current album, launched on 28/10/16, via Gain/Sony, is their 6th production. Previous releases include ‘Battery/Metal Militia’, a tribute to Metallica. Past guitarists include Anders Bjorler, formerly of At The Gates, The Haunted and Liers In Wait.

Forever – Fucking Hell, that just freaked me right out. Clever use of silence, for the initial few moments, before it suddenly bursts into life and wakes you the fuck up. Very modern sound to this, in a vocal sense. Perfect festival fayre. Lyrically and stylistically comparable to Jane’s Addiction, only much heavier and louder. Sudden ending, indicating fandom of Metallica’s stop-start school of metal.

An Entity, A Ghost – Crunchy start to this, rapid pace, with a sombre lyrical undertone. Chasing its own tail, in an insane, playful performance, evoking much visual imagery of fairground rides and stage antics, combined. Fairly short, but creates a clear impression of showmanship as their specific strength.

Hurt As A Shadow – Straight up, no-nonsense riffage introing this, followed by basic, but believable vocals, delivered with obvious feeling. Steady rhythm, with a comfortable, easy flow. Slight chugging riffs at the close; confident performance. Not much meat on this, for a title track, but it’s still adequate and well conveyed.

Behind The Words – Striking intro, definitely more power behind this. Booming out the power sounds, but it’s a tad mundane and leaves me cold. There’s definitely strength there in the delivery, but for me, it’s just missing that something.

Catapults & Trapdoors – Opening with a very apt aural scene, providing an easy visual glimpse into the story the title reveals and now, throwing in clearer passion, enthusiasm and some exciting riffage, it’s a big improvement, with much more promise.

Monochrome Vision – Great riff intro, unusually played, like a lightning bolt and joined by a clearly felt drum section, with much heaviness and sincerity injected into it. Growing in vocal strength and power, this track’s vastly more energised and it shows.

Breather – Lovely acoustic riff opening and it’s one which actually enters your heart, in an almost physical sense. Now I’m feeling it). As the beautifully smooth, mellow riffs follow, with the track continuing with the acoustic flow, it soon becomes clear that it’s a powerful instrumental, deeply felt and experienced. One word. Beautiful. Stand-out track, for sure.

Not Of Diamonds – Banging right back into life and getting right up in your face, here’s where the real, heavy energy appears. Truly great melody to this, well combined with the raw, aggressive vocals, redolent of punk, new metal and rap metal together and this is where the album really comes to life. Brilliant performance, keenly expressed.

Bridges Burn – Another intense intro, filled with obvious raw passion, I have to admit it’s growing on me; improving all the time. Fabulous drum rolls, ecstatically delivered lyrics and tasty, fiery, enthused riffs. Brief, but brilliant.

Terminal Narcissist – Again, this pounds into life, with raging energy and impressively performed profound emotion. What’s happening now? Something I didn’t expect at all. I’m joining in with the lyrics! Perhaps it’s because I relate, but you know what it really means. It’s got me by the …….. you know what and you can imagine the rest. That says it all. In fact, I recommend this track, as effective therapy, for anyone whose life has, at any point, been blighted by a terminal narcissist. That’s probably the biggest compliment I can pay it. Any song that touches anyone that deeply has to have something going for it.

No Hope To Be Lost – Oh and the crashing leaden metal continues. This vocal’s more like those early on in the album, but there’s definitely much more emotional intent here. Noticeably shorter track, but no less powerful, for that.

Flooded City – Ending on the same, insistent intensity, proving their ability to maintain momentum, this is proof of far greater volume of material, in the literal sense, solidly cemented by the wave, washing, so powerfully, over the song, at the end. They really did pour everything they had into this, the final track, culminating in a successful crescendo, in closing.

Overall – Here’s a perfect example of how to salvage an initially flailing album, but not just salvage it – grab it by the balls and shake it hard, till it delivers everything it’s got and more. Though unsure at first, this has well and truly redeemed itself. Well worth a full listen, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by just how much buried treasure Pagandom have inside them and how skilfully they bring it to the surface, with such masterful timing. Bands deserve their chance to shine and so much the better when they exceed your expectations and change your entire outlook. Gleaming treasure lies within.

7/10 *******

For fans of NWOHM, new metal, rap metal, punk and protest rock and modern takes on European metal and pop rock/metal. (Linkin Park and Skindred fans, in particular).

Posted April 20, 2017 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Tower – ‘Self Titled’   20 comments

Founded in New York City, Tower brings a new spin on old school heavy metal, with a uniquely recognised signature. Vocalist  Sarabeth Linden’s (ex Holy Diva) voice has been likened to Leather Leone, Janis Joplin and even the vocal giant who was Ronnie James Dio. Whilst the guitar sounds have been compared to Judas Priest and The Scorpions, the combined band produces a metalled up version of Ann Wilson or Pat Benatar. Tower are determined to bring their unique signature sound to the international stage.

Tower – Nice cool grungy intro, very A.I.C. like. Gradually sliding into an Avenged Sevenfold sound, but then rapidly moving into a faster, uplifting melody, maintained by highly effective, powerful, grit edged vocals. In itself, quite a feat for female vocals to achieve. Think heavier sounding Bonnie Tyler. Just too short and definitely addictive. Bodes well for the rest of the album.

I’ve Never Been More Alive – Banging drum and riff intro, with an extra screech, adding that one-off effect, before those gripping vocals come in and rock it to the ground. Holding her own, in an effortless, extraordinary way, that all powerful voice is something else.

Raceway Rock – Introing this time with a crazed cymbal effect, this has the feel of an Ozzy track, with that same energy and pizzazz. If you’re lucky, you may just catch an echo or two of Master Of Reality in there somewhere, too. Those diamond encrusted vocals will just hold you in their thrall and they’re so well matched with the equally spontaneous instrumentals. Together, they throw out the most refreshingly dazzling experience, of such enthused intensity and uplifting vibes, it’s impossible to stay down after listening to this. A metallic breath of fresh air.

Party (Ready To Roll) – Brief spoken opening, before blazing into another sensation of fresh, passion filled performance. The song actually rolls, in a discernibly palpable way, in deference to the title. If anyone was born to sing metal, it’s this girl. Absolutely stunning.

Flames – Roaring into life, with riffs of an unbelievable intensity, it’s a dramatically strong performance, proving just what Tower are capable of. Both vocals and instrumentals combine, in the most cohesively intuitive way, to show their immense power, with complete compatibility and effortless craft. A higher power’s at play here, for sure.

Mountains – Slowing it down a tad and bringing the bass into play, with some gorgeous additional wah wah effects, this is a silky smooth transition, to a gravel edged metal road trip, filled with pure joy and metallic entertainment. Moving into a riff section echoing Maiden’s’ Charlotte The Harlot’, in the most beguilingly perfect way, before seguing instinctively back into a brand new take on things, it’s pure enjoyment.

Hold On To Me – Coming in gradually, with a more measured riff section, joined by those unstoppable vocals, there’s a steady beat to this and slightly more lyrical emphasis, making the themes more noticeable now. Outstanding efforts from all and catchy as hell.

Elegy – Chugging hard edged riff intro, rapidly accompanied by those crazily powerful vocals, the whole thing rocks along, with real metal intent and suitably meaningful lyrics, creating a magical blend of unforgettable metal of such true sincerity, it resonates on a very visceral level. Giving it their all, rhythmically and energetically, closing with a classic fade-out, echoing through your mind, it’s done its job, in the most memorable way.

Overall – This is one album that’s tough to beat. Those scorching hot vocals will burn their way into your brain at first listen and never leave you. Neither will the powerful magnetism between them and the instrumentals, nor the alchemically cohesive way in which they perform. Rarely are a band so well matched, in conviction, energy, passion and strength, but this truly is a match made in heaven. Tower will lift you out of the doldrums for good. One listen will have you hooked, for eternity. Truly extraordinary talents, conveying a sound that’s out of this world.

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

For fans of classic rock, NWOHM and rare female talents, such as Bonnie Tyler, Joan Jett, Toyah Wilcox and Lzzy Hale.

Posted April 19, 2017 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Pokerface – ‘Game On’   27 comments

Pokerface was formed in Moscow, in 2013. Since its creation, work has been ongoing, in terms of both production and live appearances. They’ve played alongside Sodom, Onkel Tom, Sister Sin and Knorkator. Their debut EP, ‘Terror Is The Law’, launched in 2014, via Irond/Molot, was produced by Delirium Tremens. New bassist Dmitry joined the band in September of the same year. New guitarist Maniac completed the line-up. Band influences include: Slayer, Testament, Sodom and Kreator. It’s the sounds of these very bands which Pokerface has aimed to emulate, musically and lyrically, in order to create an old school thrash metal sensation. Pokerface toured Russia with Sepultura, to promote the ‘TITL’ EP. A summer tour followed, with Overkill, Claustrofobia, Children Of Bodom and Vader. Their digital single, ‘Kingdom Of Hate’, came next.

At the start of autumn 2015, Pokerface launched their debut album, ‘Divide And Rule’, promoted through the global technocratic Balkan tour; with Thy Disease, in October 2015. The band then played some gigs, sharing a stage with Megadeth, Kreator and Infected Rain. Following another line-up change, more gigs took place in Russia, with Death DTA, Sadist and Thy Disease.

During spring 2016, Pokerface organised the ‘Step Into Inferno’ tour, taking place in Poland, Serbia, Croatia, Romania and Hungary. Yet more line-up changes followed. In summer of 2016, Pokerface participated in ‘Metal Crowd Open Air’, in Belarus, the first ever Fest of its kind. Currently, they’re promoting this current album, ‘Game On’ and have been on a Baltic tour, with Nervosa. ‘Game On’ was mixed at Navaho Studio, in Moscow and is currently being toured, internationally. Pokerface is now confirmed as main support for Holy Moses, during their 2 Russia shows, this year (2017).

The Bone Reaper – Lovely smooth riff intro, followed up by a barrage of hammering drums and growly vocal roars. UDO’s ‘Dominator’ immediately springs to mind. Same sound and rhythm, but with lots more growls and a fair bit of extremity thrown in. Great catchy pace and have to say, the drums definitely take centre stage here, though everyone else also plays their part to perfection. Short, but powerful.

The Fatal Scythe – Continuing with the same level of all-out metal attack, it leaves no room for confusion. Battering your senses, with aggressive drum work and some splendid riffs. This time, the roars and growls don’t let up at all and you’ll hear a persistent scream in the background. Rather like a repeated fairground Ghost Train ride.

Play Or Die – Storming opening here. Launching right into the metal assault and this time, arranging the screams first and the throaty growls afterwards. There’s certainly plenty of passion and no small amount of energy thrown in there. A few tasty Slayer-esque riffs to end on; it’s a track that packs a lot of punches.

Blackjack (Demonic 21) – Much more thrumming bass to this, which only adds to the enthused expression. Determined drum rolls beat their way in and those vocals actually reach past simple extremity, into melodic terror thrash territory. Short, but to the point.

Straight Flush – Driving on, down the track, the central riff takes position and does its work astoundingly well, forming a heavy message all of its own. Complex melodic extreme riff arrangements emphasise the thrash angle well and honestly, I could listen to them all day.

Cry, Pray, Die – A sheer, full on, terror assault opens this time around. A monster of a track, sporting bloodied vocals from the depths of death tinged extremity. The pace is catchy and it cleverly ends at an unexpected point, while you’re still getting into it and it’s suddenly over. That’s the way to hook listeners in.

Creepy Guests – More terrorising of the senses and a real sense of urgency to the vocals and beat. A gorgeous bit of melody in there and those edgy vocals are really growing on me. Violent drumming, to rival most and a really nice fade-out. Possibly the stand out track.

Bow! Run! Scream! Bloody hell! Now that’s what you call an all-out, full frontal attack. The vocals really come into their own and show their chops here. There’s no arguing with that. That’s a real extreme vocal showcase to be proud of. Ably assisted and accompanied by a raging storm of crazed instrumentals, this is one volcanic performance, which actually inspired me to shout ‘Fuck Me’, at the end, this time, rather than the beginning. Really? There’s no greater accolade to a song than that. Apart from to say that even Lzzy Hale would have her work cut out to match that voice.

Jackpot – Nice bit of slide guitar, planing its way down its own neck, on its way to its metal destination. A real vibrant Slayer riff in there, too. These guys know how metal’s done. Got to love that rhythm and those multi-coloured high-tech speed riffs. Like a fun, but challenging game of high-speed ice hockey, with Slayer as supporting team, bashing out hits from ‘Seasons In The Abyss’, throughout. Just immense and should be played unendingly, to death and beyond.

Game On – Well if you thought the last track was powerful, this is one mega watt powered explosive weapon of war. Rhythmically and sound-wise, it summarises the title track well. Few female vocalists can pull off such a stunning feat of accomplished professionalism, but this one has. Truly extraordinary, in every sense.

Overall – A cataclysmic force of explosive power and energy, uniquely performed, with outstandingly rare expression. Getting better and better throughout and building, to a vicious and forceful impact. A truly mind shattering album.

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

For fans of Halestorm, Vanity Ink, Vixen, Exodus, Slayer and extreme thrash metal, generally.







Posted April 11, 2017 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Enclave – ‘New Age Disorder’   5 comments

Formed early 2008, in Vienna, by Rainer Hollenberger and Martin Zahedi, to pay homage to their musical backgrounds. By mixing speed and thrash, with melodic metal, with an old school 80’s sound, they built their own unique sounds. Their work is lyrically diverse and their reputation has earned them opportunities to play a multitude of home based shows, alongside bands such as: Exodus, Heathen, Destruction, Gama Bomb, Tim Ripper Owens, Steelwing, Skull Fist, Warbeast and Ektomorf. Their debut album, ‘United Desperation’, launched on 19th May 2012, is still available to buy.

The Infiltration – Opening with some classic anthemic power riffs and booming drums, creating a wonderfully strong, almost Viking -like sound, ending way too soon. It’s a storming intro, with lots of promise.

Capitalypse Now! – Bang! Straight in there, with an undeniably memorable power scream, of Enforcer style quality. Launching right into true speed metal territory, it’s fast-paced, catchy and highly lovable. Upbeat, loud, lyrically aggressive and powerful as fuck. I defy you not to get into this, as it holds you in its thrall and carries you away. Melodic and fun, driven and uplifting; a prize catch you’ll love at first listen.

Mediocy – Another stunning intro, packed with power, resembling all that’s good about speed/power metal; it’s an instant catch. Absolute naturals. There’s clear audible passion here and it’s great to hear. Full of fun filled riffs, heavy, lively drum sections, intensely flavoured rhythm and all that turns we power metal freaks on. Those vocals never lose that edge and it fades out on a strong vocal echo.

Shades Of War – This one bangs just as much, with potent power and happy vibes. This time, they throw in some slightly darker shades of sound, befitting the lyrics, but still, it rocks hard and lifts you up, with its frantic pace and vividly colourful sound and tones. Like an aural kaleidoscope of metal, this is sheer joy. Once it’s rocked and rolled all over you, you’re gonna want to lie back down and let it do it all over again.

New Age Disorder – Getting right in there again, with melodic metal bliss, it gives and keeps on giving. A party of classic metal sounds and all the fun and enjoyment that goes with them. Bashing out the sauce (pun intended), at high-impact, full volume, this is how it’d sound if all the most passionate, anthemic power metal bands in the world got together on stage and rocked the place to the ground.

Austrian Thrash Command – Introing this time with a drum roll to kill, suitably and enjoyably Slayer-esque power riffs and yummily tasty raw vocals. So catchy, it’s untrue. This is one of those tracks that just takes you away and holds you prisoner. Great lyrics and so aptly metal. Ending on a catchy vocal and drum hit, this is a song which should never ever end.

Cannibal Cops – Racing into the breach, with a killer riff section, worthy of Testament or Slayer’s best. There’s just so much fun and vibrancy wrapped up in this, it’s impossible not to love it. Packed with sheer delight throughout, you’ve just got to get hooked on those glorious riffs.

The Aftermath – Beautifully introed, with a haunting guitar solo, soon accompanied by impressively pounding drums and then seguing into another uplifting verse and anthemic heavy chorus. It’s pure therapy. Filled to the brim with melody and so much metal strength, this is one of those tracks that just gets under your skin, runs through your veins and pumps itself into your heart. Well constructed fade-out and never a beat missed.

Overall – A rare example of power metal at its best. All the songs you return to, time and again, that stay in your memory forever, will be reignited by New Age Disorder. One listen and you’ll know instantly that you need this in your life. It’s everything power metal should be, which is why it doesn’t bear much analysis – cos it doesn’t need to. It’s fun, catchy, memorable and hugely therapeutic. That’s all you need to know. Power Metal Paradise. Buy it now.

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

For fans of Enforcer, Farseer, Die No More, Def Leppard, Saxon, Slayer, Testament, Megadeth, Metallica, WASP, Reign Of Fury and all good power/speed metal and NWOHM.

Posted April 9, 2017 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Extravasion – ‘Origins Of Magma’   5 comments

Extravasion was founded in 2011, in Paris, France and it took till 2015 to find the current line-up.  Pure thrash, influences include  Voivod, Forbidden, Coroner, Aspid, Beyond Creation and Dark Angel. The artwork, by Emil (Vocals) and  Clement (Bass) and inspired by the title, ‘bankster’, (track 5), depicts the EP’s material. This, their debut EP, is 40 mins in length and is lyrically symbolic of consumer society, revolving around financial greed and love of money. The EP title is also the 3rd track title, adding more meaning to the song.

Mixed, mastered and released in Winter 2016, by Axel, at The Walnut Groove Studio, France, widely known for many other releases, including ‘Thrashback’ and ‘Adx’. Available now.

Castle – Ooh, interesting intro, of more of an ambient, alternative nature than generally expected. Something of an oceanic sound and visual, with that free-flowing wave quality about it. Then it’s over. Reminds me of the intro to something else, which maddeningly escapes me at present. Feel free to fill in the blanks, readers.

Flames Of Industry – Oh yes, that’s more like it!) Proper thrashy, explosive intro, shooting metal fireworks in every direction. Combining that with roars and growls, to blacken the atmosphere, to the edge of death territory. Rushing towards you, at high speed, this is one powerfully aggressive track.

Origins Of Magma – Banging, booming intro there – rolling into a drum crescendo and a medley of riffs, before the monster roars emerge from deep underground. A real deathy, black feel to this, yet still throwing in some down-toned acoustic riff solos. V growly and definitely one for the extreme end of the spectrum. Some nice smoking riff tones here and there and alternating between loud, growly extremity and quiet, subdued sounds. If you like your metal more deathy than melodic, this is for you.

Circle Of Life – More melodic riffage opening here and some great cohesion between that and the drums. Darkening down the tone and introing the growls, it’s a heavy duty track. Lots of darker, deathy emphasis throughout. Ending on a final drum hit.

Bankster – Ripping riffs, some classic rock and roll drumming, leading into a totally new and unexpected angle, depicting the sound and theme of an old-fashioned gangster film. Soon seguing into a fresh riff blitz, more redolent of a Slayer album. Think Goodfellas, mixed with extreme thrash. Fellow riff enthusiasts will feel more at home with this track. Merging into a more Testamentesque sound now, it’s moving into a more melodic, but still heavy, arena. Slowing the pace and ending on a lovely bit of slide guitar and a delightfully evil laugh, it’s nothing if not varied, revealing hidden depths.

Consume – Blazing in there, with some fire filled riffage, razing the place to the ground, with a very ‘Alone In The Dark’ soundalike track. Much pleasing to the ears of ‘Days Of Darkness’ fans like myself. Loads of speed, tons of power and then seemingly going in a different direction, briefly, before returning to the good old Testament vibe. Tracks like this are what ratchet up the points, making the difference between a standard review and an extraordinary one.

La Nuit – Opening with an Eastern mysterious vibe and a general air of intrigue. Gradually seguing into a raging monster of a track. Speedfreaks are us. Throwing out power and aggression, from every angle, this guitarist’s fingers have got to be bleeding after this epic riff bonanza.  So skilfully, though, it moves, fluidly and effortlessly, into a beautiful classically influenced acoustic section, before intuitively, returning to the heavy metallic sound and picking up the speed once again, whilst still alternating between those somehow, contradictory, yet perfectly melded sounds and styles. Again, we return, at the end, to the initial Eastern mysticism introed at the start, on which note, it fades out, steadily. That’s one unique, possibly even visionary technique.

Outro – (Untitled) – OK … This is one of those sounds that make you wonder if you’ve accidentally wandered into the wrong scene. A French play, with a comedic vein and an unknown relevance plays out, but whatever. It’s entertaining and attention grabbing, so it has to win points for that.

Overall – For sheer variety, willingness to experiment with technique, styles, sounds and influences alone, this wins extra points. Whilst undoubtedly containing lots of extremity, it doesn’t neglect melody, innovative edge or instrumental skill and precision. Being noticeably eclectic, in style, influentially diverse and varied in range, with flawless performance, it deserves clear recognition and high acclaim.

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

For fans of Children Of Bodom, Amon Amarth, Slayer, Testament, Pentagram and all extreme, death, black and doom metal.

Available now.


Posted April 7, 2017 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Bloodfield – ‘Sinners Or Liars’   3 comments

Thrash metal founded in 2009, Bloodfield were bonded by a collaborative partnership between Simone, drummer and Atillio, bassist, who, following a significant absence from the music scene, began playing Slayer, Testament and Kreator covers together. Some changes took place, within the band, resulting in some line-up additions, in places and instruments change-overs, in others. The first songs followed. Within these songs, are the technical elements of old school thrash.

6:16 – Clank! That intro just put me in mind of a prison cell door being clanked shut. There’s certainly an intensely heavy vibe to this, rather like a ton weight of lead being dropped on the ground in front of you. Combine that with the spooky, sinister background sound and there, you have a recipe for heavy metal of the steel girders variety. Imagine a construction site, laying down the heaviest materials imaginable, with brute strength and that’s the feel of 6:16.

Greed – Fucking hell, that’s some heavy shit! Well, they weren’t kidding when they said this stuff was impulsive, heavy thrash. It fits the bill like a glove. Battering ram territory, with speed, precision riffs, roared vocals, deep, dark bass line and an overall sensation of having been blasted to kingdom come. This’ll resonate with fans of Obsidian and Spreading The Disease.

Envy – Banging intro, of epic heaviness. Loaded with sheer power riffs, with which Slayer would be at home. Some pretty good vocal harmonies here, with plenty of heavy grit. A steamroller’s just rolled in and decimated the scene. Thunderous beat, with rhythmic perfection and acute timing.

Gluttony – A pure battering drum volley, introing. A very Testament-esque song, highly energised and precise. Marvel at the technical brilliance of these riffs and the absolute power of its’ Slayer-esque ending. Sounds like a combo of the best bits of ‘Days Of Darkness’ and ‘Seasons In The Abyss’. What’s not to like about that?

Sloth – Blitzing it’s way onto the scene, the melody’s taken a stronger position here. Filtering into the vocals, though somewhat disturbing, lyrically, it makes great use of the creative space to inject a more melodic vocal approach, yet still loses none of its gritty, heavy appeal. Those riffs are incredibly sustained, with such powerful momentum. Drum work to behold as stuff of genius, there’s just a really crisp, burning attack about the whole song.

Sinners Or Liars – Opening with a preacher’s voice, orating biblical quotes, followed by a rapid thrash metal take-over. This really is pure old school thrash. Intriguingly philosophical lyrics and another burning hot feel to the performance. Some very tasty riffs in there, another intensely heavy volley of drums and impassioned vocals, dripping with enthusiasm and laced with metal.

Pride – Bang crash intro! Straight into battle, with an epically heavy performance. There’s a catchiness to this, which’ll hook you in no time. More of that glorious Testament-esque stuff that delights the senses and sensibilities of all metallers. An uplifting vibe, whilst retaining that ingrained, ubiquitous heaviness and closing on another Slayer-esque section. Just immense.

Wrath – Not missing a beat, opening up the metal experience, so completely that you may just feel and visualise your own metal heart opening up, to allow it in. Great fast pace, melodic sound and rhythm, with such catchiness about it, you’ll just want to escape into it.

Lust – Moving in a new direction, initially, introing with a quieter, more reflective section, incorporating light percussion, it then moves into another metallic feast. Nice use of ‘Tallica-esque stop-start sections and including some brilliantly uplifting tones, the momentum of sheer intensity is truly amazing. As is their fluid movement, from one sound and rhythm to another. Finishing with a gradual quietening, to acoustic and whispered lyrics, this will leave its’ mark.

Overall – Simply stunning. Sizzling hot metallic passion and fury is thoroughly embedded throughout. It’ll singe its way into your memory, leaving an imprint of burning hot coals, for all eternity. The sheer intensity, speed and heaviness alone is mind blowing, but add to that, the incredibly perfected Testament and Slayer sounds and it really is sensational. Invite Bloodfield to your barbecue and the food’ll soon go up in smoke.

8/10 ********

For fans of Spreading The Disease, Obsidian, Slayer, Testament and Pantera.




Posted April 2, 2017 by jennytate in Uncategorized