Archive for October 2017

Strike Master – ‘Self Titled’   2 comments

Introducing Strike Master’s new self titled album.

Follow Me – Nice bit of bass work introing. A laid-back vibe to this, with a steady pace and an accomplished air. Surprisingly abrupt ending, though, which does just let it down a bit, but hopefully, there’ll be some longer tracks in store.

No Future – Stronger, more explosive intro, with some stop-start stuff involved and a faster pace and more constructive use of melody. Very pleasing). A markedly gory vocal style and generally, a more creative flow, giving the song room to breathe.

Boy In The Hole – Quite a deathy/thrashy technique to this opening, getting more extreme, throughout. More drum focus and vocal emphasis. Short, but to the point. Fairly resonant of Exodus’s ‘War Is My Shepherd’, in its overall sound.

As I March – Moving into this track with fluid ease, it’s a well-placed follow-up. A very strong sound, exuding power and making good use of a combo of guitar sounds and arrangements. Some great rhythm led drumming work and a slightly dark edge, employing some clever melody. Impressive performance.

Urban Phantasms – Straight in there, with a confident burst of riffage and gradually increasing anger in the vocals. Some well-placed slide guitar and again, the bass comes into play, providing that reliably darkly tinged foundation. Fairly brief, but long enough to enjoy and get the most out of it.

The Mortarist – Oh now here comes a strikingly edgy riff intro! Picking up the rhythm and adding more drum involvement, the vocals get gorier, darker and louder, impressing their strength and chilling form onto you. Fading out on a classy riff and drum section, there’s a memorable sense to this sound.

Anti Aereal Witchhunt Battery – Good classic heavy intro and catchy sense in the rhythm. Plenty of hard-lined aggression injected into this one. Liking that piercing guitar note). Lots of extreme rage thrown into the vocals, performed with bags of enthusiasm. Another abrupt ending, but it makes a fairly good impression, generally.

Chant Of Falcons – Upping the flavour of the bass factor, along with a new injection of stoner, bluesy stuff. Very favourable impressions are made of this. Clever, if unexpected change of direction. Even chucking in some rather tasty anthemic vocals). Fading out on that pleasantly memorable vein, that’s the stand-out track, so far.

Machines Of Mercy – Oh yes! Great catchy pace and sound, racing its way through the track, with high infectious energy. Almost hard to focus on analysis, as it’s so catchy and just gets you. Always a very positive sign. Ending on a final, decisive riff and drum hit, this is going to get lodged in your memory, for its exciting USP.

Born Horrible – Cool neat drumming intro, leading to the riffs following with perfect timing. Going for it one last time, the vocals throw as much dredged up impassioned gore into it as possible. Quite a visual scene’s evoked by this and still, there’s melody and a very slight bluesy edge audible. A verbal newsflash oration takes its place, just before the end and it’s intelligently placed, at that point. Closing on a final rocky paced riff, it’s done and it’s a well crafted song, with impressive structure.

Overall – A well constructed album, with plenty going for it, in composition terms, as well as in terms of its general catchiness, steadily increasing throughout and it’s variable structure, styles and techniques. A good example for many bands to follow, with a strong foundation to its base.

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

For fans of extreme, thrash and death metal, with elements of stoner and blues rock, hints of black metal and a large melodic emphasis.

http://www.metal-archives.com/

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Posted October 30, 2017 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Spreading the disease – ‘Insurrection’   2 comments

Introducing ‘Insurrection’, the skull crushing new album from Spreading The Disease.

Find My Path – Delicious bluesy intro, with unexpected folky hints! Getting harder and heavier now, it explodes, into a full on metal attack). Expressive, inventive, truly inspired, in its way of combining heavy and gentler sections and moving from blues to aggressive metal and then intermingling the two. Listen carefully and you’ll even hear a slight G’N’R’ ‘U.Y.I’. era sound in there. A genuinely original move away from their previous material, to a more eclectic, melodic sound, bound to hit a chord with many. A new and vibrant direction for STD.

Words Unspoken – Here, we have a more typical STD deathy/thrashy style, packed with raucous angry vibes and throwing in a melo-death aspect, working well for this track. A really great interplay of viciously emoted lyrics and thunderous instrumentals, with just enough melody over the top to make it relatable. Another track with which many will identify.

Dischord – Intrigue and mystery! Chanting opens, onto an initially gentle and increasingly heavy section, injecting catch into the rhythm and infectious anger. I suspect this is going to be a common favourite. Melody making a stronger appearance from the mid-section, along with the faster, equally catchy pace, it’s a stunningly powerful track. Returning to the mysterious chanting and tinkling windchimes at the end, it really has gone all out to create a novel technique and it works, for me, at least.

Spreading The Disease – Introing with a clearly heavily melodic riff section, joining it with anthemic vocals and pure, tight cohesion, it’s plausible and packed with rage. A fabulous sound, with top quality audio production, this will destroy your ears and blow your mind. Then you’ll go back for more.

Greed – Incredible towering and descending riff scale intro, soon accompanied by raging vocals, some tasty riff medleys and outstanding bass work. Ace rolling drum sound and absolutely impeccable timing. It’s an ace.

Save Me – Even harder, even heavier, even more powerful. Brilliantly timed and paced rolling rhythm, matched perfectly, both vocally and instrumentally. Proving enviable stamina, in the sheer force of performance, the momentum alone is mightily impressive. Even the words ‘solid metal’ seem inadequate in the face of such awesome talent. Just immense and stacked with willpower x 1000.

Whores Of War – Returning to that gorgeously guitar focused intro sound, only this time, utilising a steel string, in a truly tremendous way. Now heating things up, with a more metalled up arrangement, bringing in a catchier element, still occasionally interspersed with the steel strings, you’ve just got to love the zest involved in this track and the pace’ll get you, if nothing else does. This is what you call extreme metal impact.

Method To My Madness – A darker feel to this, with a sinister atmosphere and a sharp edge, lyrically revealing, potentially disturbing, even, for some. Though to others, its message may seem bravely outspoken and honest. Either way, this song’s gonna hit home. Distinguishable, in its lyric appropriate mass of aggro noise and sheer sense of emotional overspill, not to mention that creepy laugh, making its presence felt, sporadically, there’s certainly a unique spin to this.

Can’t Let Go – Beautiful acoustic intro, brimming with sincere emotion. Well timed accompaniments, taking it back to the acoustic section again, this time, joined by guest female vocals, bringing in a lively full metal section, filled with the inexplicably angry passion of one who’s taken too much and now had enough. Geniusly interweaving the multiple levels and forms of gentler and stronger emotions, it’s a true, heartfelt, impassioned track, whose sound and feel will resonate with most.

Brexit Wounds – Banging massive explosion of an intro! This’ll wake you up if nothing else does! Curious recitation of ‘The Lord’s Prayer’, in metal form, with the meaning of lack of faith soon making itself known. The sheer intensity of feeling within this will leave a lasting impression, that’s for sure. Stopping just short of hateful, it’s lyrics show a deep and abiding mistrust of the religious beliefs referred to, possibly born of any number of reasons or negative personal experiences, but the point is that once again, the emotion is believable and creates the anger that drives the song. Incensed, furious and embittered, the rage is what makes it.

Last Goodbye – Yum! Electrifying Slayer-esque riff introing, setting the scene for a looser, more open styled track, still pouring in heaps of raging emotion, right to the end, but just tempering it with a more electrically based foundation, apt for a closing track. Demonstrating its wares, to the highest standard, it’s a forgivably shorter track and does all it needs to, in consolidating it’s raw, enraged message.

Overall – 11 tracks of blistering, unrepentant, no holds barred, brain crushing metal. Could there be a better compliment than that? ‘Insurrection’ is the proof that STD have moved up a gear and in the right direction. Now, the heaviness is even heavier and there’s melody, blues, a few folky touches here and there, a wider variety of guitars, some guest vocals and an all-round greater passion and meaning thrown in aswell. Packing an enormous punch, ‘Insurrection”s an awesome sound and a great move forward for STD.

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

For fans of eclectic heavy-metal, utilising hosts of guitars, with varied influences, from widespread rock and metal genres.

http://www.facebook.com/spreadingthediseaseofficial

https://www.instagram.com/stdbanduk/
https://spreadingthedisease.bandcamp.com/releases

Posted October 29, 2017 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Sludko – ‘Consumed By Darkness’   Leave a comment

Introducing Tasmanian band Sludko’s current EP, ‘Consumed By Darkness’.

Warning Bells – Cracking explosive intro! That’s how you open a metal album! Slaying all false metal, with all that makes it real – true guitar slinging, edgy, fresh, impassioned, metallically pitched vocals and all the melody and catch to go with it. High-class audio values, razor sharp performance and even a slight WASP-esque section thrown in, towards the end. This is the biz and already, I’m hooked.

I Believed – Banging, nuclear fuelled drum intro and a plausible mood change, to one of more meaningful severity, piling on the starker heaviness, to thunderous effect, it’s what you might call a hard-lined warning of incoming attack. All in all, it’s a seriously thrash powered storm, worthy of Thor himself.

Creatures Of The Shadows – Wow! That’s really the only way to sum up the epic effect of that intro). This displays the warm familiarity and divine, heaven sent sound of the classiest, truest metal you’ll ever hear and it’s flawless, seamless and screams love of metal. Overflowing with catchy immediacy, riff led rhythm and contagious exuberance. Sludko were born for metal.

In My Fantasy – Lowering the tone, with a bass led intro, the pitch may have deepened, but the energy still shines out. Those vocals are truly gifted and the strength within them pushes them and the whole song forward. The drum rolls are tight, battle strewn and consumed with power. The cohesion creating a near-perfect resonance. It’s almost a thrash based dance of top drawer metal components, forming the completion of metallic class.

Dark Angels – Very sinister intro, resonant of Sabbath’s ‘Am I Going Insane’ intro. Rapidly replaced with immensely heavy-metal melody, so all consuming, it successfully blocks everything else out. Cranking up the volume and the power, it now becomes a feast of metal might. Dragging you along in its wake, it hooks you till the end, closing with assertive acuity, so palpable, you could mourn the end and demand a repeat.

Overall – Slayers of all false imitations of metal, Sludko play only the truest. Born heavy-metal Kings, they’re natural metal performers and ‘Consumed By Darkness’ showcases the truth of their art. Though it’s life affirming effects may be more like being consumed by light than by darkness, it’s a short, but stunningly effective demo of highly accomplished metal mastery, all consuming, in itself. In short, ‘Consumed By Darkness’ = consumed by Sludko.

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

For fans of classic heavy metal, thrash metal, NWOHM, speed/power metal.

http://www.metal-archives.com/

Posted October 26, 2017 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Marc Vanderberg – ‘Highway Demon’   2 comments

German hard rock singer-songwriter Marc Vanderberg released his 2nd album, ‘Highway Demon’, on September 7th, 2017, following the 1st album, ‘Devil May Care’. ‘Highway Demon’ is a more rock oriented and back to roots 10 track album, including 1 instrumental. Brazilian vocalist Raphael Gazal sings on every song, all music is by Oliver Deleker and Marc V., all lyrics and instruments by Marc and it was mixed and mastered by Thorsten Eligehausen, CEO of German label, darkSIGN Records, with whom Marc had worked previously. ‘H.D.’ is released via darkSIGN. The album title was O.D. and M.V.’s choice and as a pure rock title track, is a re-recorded version of a 25-year-old live number, modelled on old school 70s rock. Album Artwork by Klaus Schwartz, at Art-Works Media D-Sign. A wide variety of musical equipment was used to create the album, including instruments from different eras of rock.

Highway Demon – Nice motorbike engine roar intro! Rapidly followed by a classic metal riff and vocal, making the whole track what it is – a true metal warrior’s anthem. Added to which, the lyrics are a perfect partner, completing the feel of old school, with a modern twist, providing joyful sounds and energy, keeping it going, with a fast, fun pace and screaming metal. Instant hit.

Blue Eyes – Cool rocky intro, with all the genuine feel to add to it. Immediate, honest and drenched in passion. This is a must for all those ardent fans of old school rock and metal. Catchy as hell, there’s everything to love within it and it ends on the smoothest riff, topping it off coolly and tastefully. Awesome.

Bad Paradise – Moving smoothly, once more, into more made for metal stuff, it’s just packed with all that true metal’s made of. Noticeably succeeding in creating an upliftingly joyous sound, regardless of the more serious nature of the lyrics, it closes on an equally smooth outro, of perfected speed.

The Last Battle – Gloriously involved intro riff, engaging, warm and hugely melodic. Sustaining that same welcoming metallic feel throughout, throwing in some luscious paradiddles and twiddly riffs for good measure, it’s got pace, rhythm, melody, sound and feel nailed. Deserving of compliments on every level, it proves that fact in its careful, perfectly timed fade-out.

How Do You Feel – Soft, beautifully haunting piano intro, with clearly felt lyrics. One listen and the accompanying melancholy will penetrate through you, threatening to drown you, as the message of the words continues on. The following riff entrenches that message in such a rarely performed way, spreading poignancy through the rest of the song and hitting you so hard, it almost overwhelms you. If any track’s destined to give you goose pimples of empathy, sending shivers down your spine, it’s this one. Verging on heart stopping, ‘HDYF’ is so literal in the performance of its question, it’s likely to answer its own question. Beyond powerful.

Indispensable – Straight in there, with a seemingly effortless flow, already, it’s a crystal clear demonstration of its lyrics in action. Those riffs are just incredible. Conveying so much emotion, in all its glory, ‘Indispensable’ is a storehouse of sincerity and such a privilege to hear. Outstanding.

You’re Like Poison – Taking the mood back up again now and rocking it up, big time, this is a real night driving song). Audible Alice Cooper influence in that ‘poison running through my veins’ line and it works so well for this track. Lots more delicious riffage and yummy melody, creating so much catch, along with those effortless, seamless vocals. Another hit and that’s it.

When I Turn The Key – More metal aceness runs through this, including some tasty power screams too. Oh there’s the inevitable ‘666’ reference and it works). Growing catchier by the second, it’s a cavalcade of melody, enlivening your senses and it just makes you want to go with its flow. Stunning.

The Final Chapter – Opening with thunder and more biker stuff, inexorably following it with more metal glory. The whole thing is just a massive feast of all that makes metal great. Ending as it began, flawless and fun, that’s all there is to it.

Total Eclipse – Drumming intro, an epic feast of all things metal). Get that creative gift of a riff, it’s got that sound of melting chocolate, sliding down your throat and filtering through your soul. Finishing on another drumming fest, it’s over before you know it and by now, you know the ‘Highway Demon’ has possessed your spirit.

Overall – An immense and inexplicably good pleasure ride through a land of metal dreams and fantasies, leading to positive outcomes and wish fulfilment. ‘Highway Demon’ is a rare gem of cohesion of all the best ingredients, composing great, enjoyable and memorable metal you love, with a passion. Truly outstanding.

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

For fans of old school metal, such as Judas Priest, new wave, speed and power metal, including Taberah and Soulforge and of course, masters of neo-classical metal, such as Yngwie Malmsteen.

https://www.facebook.com/markvanderbergofficial

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGqrRAOIJZV2Oefo4oV4haw

Posted October 20, 2017 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Ben Blutzukker – ‘Riptide’   1 comment

Welcome to ‘Riptide’, Ben Blutzukker’s 2nd EP. Classic heavy metal, with thrash, death and black elements. Formed in 2015, Ben is a solo artist, influenced by bands such as Satyricon, etc. This 5 track, 21 minute EP includes a title track accompanied by a video, Bram Stoker influence for the 2nd track and a cover song for the 3rd track, initially performed by Mercyful Fate, King Diamond and Mementum Mori. The lyrics generally deal with standard problems facing most musicians. ‘Riptide’ was released on 6th October 2017. It’s available to download, stream or on CD.

Riptide – That’s 1 strong intro! Heavy as lead bars, being thrown down on the ground and run over by a road roller, driven by a crazed killer. For a solo effort, it’s a damn good production, with equally proportioned vocals and instrumentals, plenty of thrash and just enough death influence to make the vocals clearly audible. There’s a slight horror themed edge to it, but generally speaking, it’s more Dave Mustaine than Frankenstein, in vocal sound terms. Dark, solid and accomplished, it makes a great impression.

Stab By Stab – Even harder and heavier, like a slab of concrete landing on your feet, whilst the echoes of the sound perforate your eardrums, as some nearby sadist repeatedly drops the same slab on your feet, till they break and you fall through the ground, whilst still being deafened by the reverberations. That’s the level of intensity of these instrumentals. So intense, in fact, that you lose focus on the vocals. Somehow, it seems not to matter that there’s no real variation in rhythm, pace or chorus, as it’s just so incredibly heavy, as to leave indelible imprints on your skull.

Six Second Sex – Another booming intro, but this time, changing the pace and incorporating more sharp, snazzy guitar riffs. Throwing in a brief gentler section, with female vocal contributions, not leaving much to the imagination, it soon hardens back up again, with more horror-esque lyrics, which definitely don’t hold back…. It has to be said. It’s a monster of a track, that’s for sure. Almost scarily intense, you wouldn’t want to meet this song on a dark night.

Bloodlust – Bang! Straight in there, with unquestionably heavy metal and even scarier lyrics. Akin to a vampire film dialogue, fear inducing enough to force you to run for your life, it’s confident, unhesitant and equally concrete-heavy, both vocally and instrumentally. Ending on a dramatic, acute riff and drum hit, that’s what you call a killer track.

Loose Ends – Fucking hell! There’s no other term to describe, accurately, the astonishing power of that electric riff intro. Except imagine Slayer, in full creative flow, turned up to the max and throwing all their aggression in and you’re there. Still, that Megadeth sound returns, though, in places and it’s actually really well-suited to this style. Lifting the atmosphere, with a lighter, more upbeat section, briefly, it still never loses the shocking heaviness. Ending on a gradually lightening percussive sound and a slight reverb riff, the cymbal hits finish it and it’s a stark metallic imprint.

Overall – Shockingly sharpened, acutely heavy production, almost frightening in its degree of intensity. Stunningly polished, given it’s only the 2nd EP from Ben and leaves such an astonishing impression, it can only promise even better material, to come. Certainly living up to its thrash, death and black metal influences, within the stark heavy-metal, it surpasses all expectations. Perfect fright night/Halloween material.

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

For fans of Megadeth, Alice Cooper, Slayer, Trivax, Satarial, Carcass, gothic metal, generally.

Posted October 17, 2017 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Scars Of Sense – ‘Horizons’   7 comments

Introducing ‘Horizons’, debut album from Kent-based alt folk rock band Scars Of Sense.

My Muse – Energised drum hit intro, joined by equally lively riffs, violins and surprisingly gritty vocals – a combo creating a sound both unusual and more resonant of cross-over genres than one individual style. Intriguingly spiritual lyrics, which will work well for all those of an alternative mind-set. Lots of unmistakable passion in there.

Stuck – Slower in places, but still rhythmically folky, with that consistently gritty vocal form. This is what might happen if The Levellers and Kyrbgrinder combined their talents and styles. Interesting lyrical 90’s focus.

Crash – A sound cleverly resembling the title, lyrically and structurally. Maintaining rhythmic ease, it’s a fairly simple thread, into which a lot of feeling has been thrown. It’s evidently been a very cathartic process.

Crystals – An energy increase is felt at the intro, with an airy, catchy sound following. There’s a real appeal held in the violin parts, which really makes the song. This is much like an aural breath of fresh air, consisting of both darkness and light.

Energy In Noise – Slight edge of protest, punk sounds in here, carrying a harder feel. You can’t help feeling the title, as the angry energy releases itself. Some very pleasant wah wah effects in there and generally, plenty of truth.

Into Clouds – A more guitar-based track, showcasing an interchangeable theme of trading smooth riffs for complex fretwork. Still, demonstrating the same consistent folk sound, though and always bringing in that now familiar grit. That’s the main emphasis of this track, really. Gritty sound and lots of it.

Eternity – Re-introducing the drum emphasis, upping the heaviness in the riffs, but never losing the hauntingly gentle atmosphere of the violin sections. There’s a very strong thread of heavy and light, throughout.

The Struggle – Based around a simpler vocal theme, with an obvious catch, the whole song just lifts itself up, through the sound, which lets it breathe and releases the emotions of the moment. Very effective and more light than dark.

Back On The Ground – More of a downbeat flavour to this, though filled with emotional honesty, which is always, ultimately, trustworthy. Basic and very brief, but connecting, which is what counts. A highly transparent song.

Tune For Action – Zipping the positive energy back up again now, you can’t help getting carried away with this one. Much like being carried downstream, in a flowing river. Apt, in its own way, for a closing track. A very positive lyrical message in this, it’s quite visually evocative of carefree, long, light summer days, spent outdoors, enjoying the elements. A pleasant and fitting way to end.

Overall – A generally light-hearted, upbeat listen, to the sounds of summer, from a grit-edged, alt folk rock perspective.

7/10 *******

https://m.facebook.com/scarsofsense/

Posted October 15, 2017 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Scars Of Sense – ‘Self Titled’   Leave a comment

Introducing the debut self titled EP from Kent-based folk rock band Scars Of Sense.

Forgotten – Uplifting, fresh, lilting intro, exploding into a gravelly heavy folk rock sound, not often heard and pleasingly novel. An unexpected treat, vibrantly offset by the use of woodwind instruments, showcasing the musical possibilities available in the folk rock genre, for instrumental eclecticism.

Fresh – Well titled, given its unique and unusual nature. Imagine The Levellers, with a grittier edge. Now you’re close. Liking the variations of instruments used and the overall positive energy and alternative atmosphere emanating from it. Adding a beautifully rare melodic touch on the recorder, clarinet and violins. Ends a tad abruptly, but certainly makes an impression.

Space – Great buzz to the fun, quirky pace and it’s much more memorable than most folk rock material – an aspect much improved by the use of such a great mix of instruments, so often neglected in rock genres. Intelligent rhythmic alternations and a noticeably cohesive performance.

Awake – Hauntingly lovely and very visually evocative. A huge strength lies in its move away from conventional methods and it will work well for all fans of gypsy, celtic, folk alt rock. Refreshingly tuneful, workable combo of instruments, proving what can be done with a little ingenuity.

Overall – A vibrant, life affirming sound, drenched in positivity and still grounded in reality and truth. It makes a very pleasant change to hear something moving in its own direction, for once and willing to push past rigid, standard boundaries. This demonstrates a highly flexible, yet workable mix of sounds, adding another dimension to the world of alt, folk rock and proving there are real opportunities within it for unlimited musical resources.

8/10 ********

For fans of The Levellers, The Corrs, Venus Rising, Maydaze, Turisas, Tyr.

https://m.facebook.com/scarsofsense/

Posted October 14, 2017 by jennytate in Uncategorized