Archive for January 2018

Wail – ‘Resilient’   8 comments

From Lillehammer, Norway, Wail are a band of true heavy metal initiates, with the sound of metal in their blood. Their signature is one combining new and trad heavy-metal, with a compelling edge and an attention grabbing hook. ‘Resilient’, their new release, is a strong album, with an affective stance.
Recorded by Kjartan Hesthagen and Chris Skjenken. Produced by Kjartan Hesthagen and Ronni Le Tekro. (TNT).

Never No More – Instantly grabbing you, with its hooks, the enthusiastic energy’s immediately audible, in the trad style metal sound emerging and infecting the chorus with heartfelt passion. A great anthemic flavour characterises the track, completing the effect with upbeat vibes.

He’s Finally Here – A megalithic blast of drums opens, followed up by pointedly strong vocals, of noticeable depth. Intriguing use of synth and vibrato effects. Visually evocative of a charging band of warriors on a mission, complete with exploding light images visible through the sound. An abrupt end, but still loaded with power and it makes its point.

By Your Hand – A veritable attack of drum rolls and catchy riffs intro. A clear feel of old school metal infuses this and it’s highly capable and hugely enjoyable. Soaring vocals give it driving strength, as its lyrics create the fiery atmosphere portrayed within them. Something slightly Lordi-esque adds to the scenes of high-energy theatrical excitement, lending it that extra boost.

Dark Messiah – A shift in atmosphere indicated by the piano focus intro’s here, joined by a brief spoken section and a dramatic anthemic slant. The high emotion’s audible. A fitting catchy riff threads its way through the track, signposting the way, with its directional emphasis. That height of expression really carries the song, as it lights the surrounding atmosphere, like a star.

Initiation – Bass emphasis intro’s this, in a darker mood and a slight Savatage feel to its sound. Lots of powerful vocal harmony, bringing a very real sense of palpable physicality to the track. This is one of those songs which needs no lengthening, as its message is delivered with swift, meaningful brevity.

Thrill Of The Hunt – Big bold drum hits introing, seamlessly followed by plausible lyrics, conveying clear visual imagery of the scenes depicted aurally. That gloriously anthemic thread takes the whole thing up, at the end, in an exalted celebration. Brilliantly delivered.

Mary – A realistic portrayal of wolf-like slavering and prepping for hunts intro’s, seguing, with absolute fluidity, into a high octane section of melodic adrenaline, rising all the time. That’s how it continues, till the end, in a perfect demonstration of pack like behaviour and ritual. The level of insight within this creation is rare and remarkable. As is the natural talent with which it’s performed.

Protector – Really striking riff opening, onto a world of righteous vocal aggression sets the scene for a massively energised track, stacked with passion and creative dexterity. A short, but intensely powerful blast of expression.

Resilient – Introing gradually, this time, with the inclusion of a brief flute section, before changing gear, to a thoroughly metallic, steel drenched performance, riven with catchy melody. Again, it’s interwoven with the gentler, softer sections, increasing the heavy emphasis all the more, via that technique of careful manoeuvring and song construction. Ending on a pointed fade-out, in which the power and softness unite, in an effective and gently poignant note, it’s a well conceived finish.

Overall – An intensely powerful, expressive and atmospheric album, with plenty of intrigue, a versatile performance and tons of true to the core, heavy metal.

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

For fans of Lordi, Savatage, Saxon, Anthrax, Pantera, WASP and theatrical, operatic metal, with a heavy theme.

Posted January 30, 2018 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Courtesans and Death Blooms King 810 UK Tour   3 comments

London based doom pop rocksters Courtesans are touring with King 810 in Feb. They’re also special guests of The Flint, from Michigan, for the duration of their UK tour, ‘La Petite Mort or a Conversation With God’. As both King 810 and Courtesans perform music which challenges standard genre boundaries, utilising the darkness born of genuine life experiences, they’re optimistic about this tour. UK alt death metal band ‘Death Blooms’ are also confirmed as support for the Birmingham, Manchester and London gigs.

Feel The Same (Courtesans) – Gradual gentle intro, with melancholy feminine vocals coming in, making their mark in a highly effective, mainly spoken word format, interwoven with morose melody, both real and impacting, in a very pointed way, reminiscent of Skunk Anansie’s ‘Brazen (Weep)’. This is a sound at once, memorable and affecting, in itself, but there’s a note of absolute sincerity in that voice, which is likely to find its way into your heart immediately.

8/10 ********

Last Ones – (Edit) – (Death Blooms) – Majorly violent drumming attack opening! Vicious death growls and an astonishingly powerful sense of aggressive passion lace this with a strong signature sound throughout. It’s loud, it’s heavy and it’s unexpectedly catchy. An instant crowd-pleaser.

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

Overall – A great combo of gravel-encrusted, cutting edge hardness, displaying a unique expression of extremes, with measures of variance in between. An unlikely alliance, proving the workability of opposite ends of the rock and metal spectrum.

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

For fans of Stiltskin, Skunk Anansie, Rise To Remain, Cambion, Psython, KLOGR.



Posted January 29, 2018 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Third Angle Projection – ‘Nothin’ To You’   21 comments

Third Angle Projection, from the Midlands are a 3 piece rock band, whose present line-up has existed for approximately 2 years. Influenced by: R.E.M., S.T.P., Nirvana, Black Sabbath, The Doors, etc. They’ve already toured Germany and promoted and managed several Fests and gigs, nationwide. This current EP, ‘Nothin’ To You’, comprises 3 studio tracks, all accessible on iTunes, Spotify etc. The video for the title track can be found on Youtube. Feb will see them tour France, with She Wolf and Black Jump, performing their 1st gig in Paris, on the 10th, before returning to Germany, later this year.

Disarray Of Time – Affecting bass intro, of quite startling quality. Fairly grungy style vocals, with plenty of rhythm and stacks of gritty passion. A great cohesive feel, with a distinct sense of early Beatles in the sound and structure, combined with a clear Nirvana-esque influence in there too. Notably effective fade out and generally, a flawless performance. Good start.

Coming Down – Nice smooth bit of bluesy stuff opening. The mood slides down, almost palpably, but still stays up, while emphasising the feeling behind the meaning. That guitar’s well suited to the laid back, yet emphatic style. Catchiness enters at around the 3/4 mark, hitting its target and that closing guitar tone just melts right into the vocals, perfectly. It’s a well synchronised sound and a homely one, at that.

Nothin’ To You – Crunchy riffs intro, injecting more of that bluesy tone and again, there’s an audible Nirvana edge, moving into harder territory and a looser Pearl Jam/Soundgarden feel. Faultless sound production and fading out on a cool, relaxed vibe. It works.

Overall – A fun, chilled out EP, with a bluesy, grungy slant and a warm, familiar atmosphere. Well performed, with consummate ease and clear sincerity. ‘N.T.Y.’ hits the target and goes down well.

8/10 ********

For fans of Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, S.T.P., early Beatles and Duff Mckagan’s ‘Loaded’.


Posted January 25, 2018 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Bucktow Truck – ‘Death Wields A Six String’   7 comments

Battle Cry 1 – Very funky mid-paced drum intro, but soon moving into heavier, thrashier riff sounds and a distant, echoic vocal, with a slight sci-fi edge, blending with something approaching 80’s pop rock. A bit like The Human League, in an outdated Starbug.

Death Wields A Six String – Opening with another echoic sound, combined with more of the suits in a studio vocals. A slight Bowie-esque theme, with the metallic aspects coming after. It could be much more metallic, though and it’s a bit lacklustre. The overriding sound leans more towards dated sci-fi series soundtracks than metal material.

Freedomcult – Bit of a depressing start, but it is poignant. The riffage now takes centre stage and again, it’s all a bit 80’s, though the musicality’s undeniable. There’s definitely talent here, but it’s just a tad flat, with little discernible substance to redeem it.

Anarchy Metal – A more promising intro this time, with a slightly Leppard-esque slant, but then it seems to disappear into a periodic black hole, as the sheer oddness of the lyrical dialogue kills the atmosphere stone dead. Potential exists to rock things up, but unfortunately, it’s well hidden by curious greyness. That sci-fi content may be intentional, but in this case, it just doesn’t work.

Gunts – Now it’s gone strangely Gothic. From grey to black, in one fell swoop. Oh but hang on here, cos the steel string emphasis pierces the blackness, temporarily, offering a brief respite. The riffage grows more prominent, but still, a certain darkness remains.

The Heavy Metal Warrior – A lighter sense to this intro riffage, carrying it into the light. Here’s what true metal sounds like). This might just save it, to some extent. If it wasn’t for all that misplaced sci-fi content, the metal could reveal itself more fully. As it is, there’s a sense of displacement and superficial pretence about the whole thing.

The Nihilist And The Moralist Intro – What’s happening now? It’s suddenly gone all theatrical and pantomime-ish. Where’s the metal? It then moves into weird sitcom mode, for a while. The metal does make a brief return, but there’s just so much wasted time. The kind of riffage performed during the latter half is what convinces me of the wrongness of the spoken dialogue, as the ability is clearly there, so why it’s not being utilised fully is anyone’s guess. As the guitar work is what truly stands out throughout, it’s clear that it’s what needs greater emphasis. Having said that, there’s a lot of repetition in this track, which does drag on a bit.

Warlock – Okay, now this is more like it! Exactly this kind of riffing is what metal’s made of. It seems it’s not to last, though, as this track’s over before it’s started. Balance is the key ingredient missing here. Too much of one and not enough of the other. Just missed opportunities.

80’s Church Hymn – Now they’ve gone all evangelical! Each to their own, but even if this is a send-up, some things don’t mix with metal and this is one of them. Oh good, it’s over.

Overall – A largely curious collection of random boredom inducing sounds, with some decent riffage thrown in.

2/10 **

For fans of unspecified, uncategorised genres.

Posted January 23, 2018 by jennytate in Uncategorized

X Method – ‘Sex, Alcohol, Rebel Music’   26 comments

A crossover band from San Francisco Bay Area and Central Valley California, USA, X-Method were formed 3 years ago, with the original notion having been around for some 19 years, courtesy of vocalist Abby. Debut album, ‘Sex, Alcohol, Rebel Music’ launched in August 2016, via Pavement Entertainment. It’s a combo of hard-core, heavy metal, thrash, hard rock and a bit of punk. A year before their full length album launched, they released a self titled 7 track EP, with only 600 limited editions sold.

The music of X-Method is regularly requested on air, on radio stations internationally. Including some well-known/high-profile stations throughout America and Mexico. They’re currently producing 2 music videos, filmed on location in Peru, during their 2016 tour of Central and South America. These two tracks (‘WWX’ and ‘Triangles And Sixes’), are symbolic of both the strength of X-Method’s approach and the loyalty and passion of their fan base, known as ‘Method Militia’. X-Method fans are spread far and wide, internationally and their active and popular online profile is always buzzing.

Denied What’s Ours – Gradual, thoughtful intro, beginning gently and then giving way to louder, harsher sounds, combining a blend of something edging towards death growls and a more anthemic vocal. Hammering drums and a return to the gentler techniques at the outro. A refreshing take on an intro track).

B.A.F. (Brutal As Fuck) – Heaviness Inc, straight in there, with loaded sounds and an attitude to match. Lyrically battle-esque. It means business. Thunderous drum rolls, adding to the effect and the hardness of the beat reinforces the war-like theme. That’s 1 affecting track.

When Darkness Falls – Great vibrant guitar led riff intro). Easily likeable, instantly and so melodic! It’s got that great American vibe to the notes, that just brings you in and creates natural appeal. This has got to be a standout track, for certain. Tuneful, catchily rhythmic and so uplifting. Flavoursome crunchy ending, it’s won me over immediately.

Drink From The Horn – Ooh! Intrigue abounds and it’s quickly replaced by unmistakable deathy, thrashy stuff, making a play for your attention, as it swigs, Viking like, from the Horn of which it speaks. A short, but colourful foray into the world of X- Method and its metallically visionary landscapes.

Woke Up In The Living Room – Another instant metal hit, with faster pace and speed freak lyrics, lasting for all of half a minute, but an enjoyably upbeat half a minute, nonetheless.

Waiting For The Rain – Gorgeous acoustic intro, with softly sung lyrics and a poignant sense of pathos, yet still performed with a melody alive with hope and irrepressible joy. A big catchy element and a clear direction and sense of purpose, at once, emphatic and memorable. Beautiful.

Addicted – Haunting intro, with a lower mood and a deeper feel. Still undeniably beautiful. Oh but hold on, cos then it moves upwards, soaring straight into another realm of happier territory altogether. Absolute manna from heaven, just embodying the title’s meaning completely. Just listen to that passion, singing and screaming through every note. Never mind whoever he’s addicted to. I’m addicted to this song. Closing on a continuous riff and vocal, which, in their own way, say loud and clear, ‘there’s nothing else to say. The point’s been made’. Pure magic and so much to love. True star quality.

Triangles And Sixes – Bang! In come the drums, with zero hesitation and ultimate power. Followed by the force of the riffs and the vocals storing pure energy and real intent. Get in there. Laying down a hard line, edgy beat, overlaid with mood lifting melodies and truly orgasmic riffs. Ending on a drum and riff section with that same sense of euphoria, this is the way to metal land!

Southern Comfort – Crashing onto the scene, with electrifying riffs and raging vocals, it’s a mood which compels and commands, in gloriously metal ways. Lots of great heavy duty bass work in here and that way the guitarist has of complementing it, with those lightning flash riff endings is truly amazing. You almost anticipate fireworks, as the sparks seem to audibly fly from his fingers. Awe-inspiring, in a big way.

Wasting My Tears – Exploding into life, the catchy vibe gets straight in there, like seasoned pro’s. There’s an instant sense of audible metal rainbows in the colourful nature of this sound. It’s both hard-core and old school 90’s catchy rock, with punky hints. Much in the vein of what you might expect from an amalgamation of Skunk Anansie, Aswad and Skindred. A winning sound, through and through.

Born Into The Affliction – Oh yeah! Hard, heavy, impacting, aggressive and yet, STILL catchy. It really is hard to fault these guys, since they just seem to have it all. Rapid, incessant, insistent beat, thrashy sounds and classic old school resonance. It’s just the bomb.

Silver On My Back – Opening with the sound of a can ring pull being opened and thankfully, superseded by much less grating and far more tolerable noises. This is where the edge of protest punk enters the equation and oddly, you can still somehow hear the strains of Maiden’s ‘The Thin Line Between Love And Hate’ throughout the reinforced and heavily atmospheric noise punk metal. That’s some skill to nail, even if unintentional. It’s basically a sound which makes itself accessible to all threads and sections of the metal community.

And I Know – Now we return to the beautiful, haunting world of acoustic sounds, like Nirvana’s ‘Heart-Shaped Box’ era, but still well able to translate that into more powerfully metallic language. Maybe, as a brunette, with long hair myself, I quite enjoy the references to the girl with long brown hair aswell). There’s a really lively tang to the riffs in here and that extends to the feel of the vocals and rhythm, too. So catchy, that’s its biggest and most noticeable draw. Great tune altogether and 1 which embeds itself into your psyche.

Suicide Girl – (Cutter) – Drumming extravaganza opening, with a bit more of that electrifying riffage. This time, taking the vocal pace up a few notches, the rage just releases itself, candidly, in a continuous stream of expression, through vividly enraged screams and shouts and somehow, that’s highly cathartic.

Fuck Sobriety – Similar vein to the last track, it’s a natural follow-up. Much briefer, but you get the idea.

No Te Vayas – Getting back to the reassuringly melodic streak now, the riffs bring you home again. It’s definitely intriguing enough to warrant a translation, but the tune itself is also enough to create catch and capture attention. Really strong, supportive back beat holds it all together, freeing up the melody, to showcase its flexibility and ending on an even stronger riff. Just delicious.

Outro – Contemplative vibe, consisting of solo acoustic work, in a classical, flamenco style, with echoes of Santana and a general continental feel. Hauntingly beautiful.

Overall – The highest vibe, with the fullest flavour, combining the most vibrant colours of the brightest metal, with the heaviest beats, the thrashiest riffs and the strongest vocals, with the most potent lyrics and tempering it all, with a softer side, both equally adept and poignant. That just about sums up the rainbow of sounds and feelings audible in this most accessible of albums. Imagine a medley of songs from Skindred, Aswad, Skunk Anansie, Maiden, Nirvana, Reign of Fury and The Sex Pistols, with a sprinkling of Public image Ltd, a hint of death metal and echoes of Santana and Gypsy Pistoleros round the edges. This is the mind blowing sound that’d create. Gold treasure lies right here.

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

For fans of Skindred, Aswad, Skunk Anansie, Iron Maiden, Nirvana, Reign of Fury, The Sex Pistols, Public image Ltd, Santana, Gypsy Pistoleros.!home/cjg9

Posted January 23, 2018 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Wrath Sins – ‘The Awakening’   Leave a comment

Portugal-based band Wrath Sins now release their current album ‘The Awakening’. Produced by Andre Matos and Miguel Silva. Mixed by Andre Matos, at Raising Legends Studios. Mastered by Caesar Craveiro, at Raising Legends LX.

Beneath Black Clouds – Slow-moving intro, with a dark vibe, exploding into angry raging life. Lots of deep bass and riff work and it seems to move in and out of range. Fairly brief, but powerful opening.

Unquiet Heart – Banging intro, straight in there, with passion and raw aggression. A very gory feel to this, but still melodic, power fuelled and highly energised. Good quality performance, ending on a considered riff, with plenty of twang.

Shadows Kingdom – Bursting into life, with loaded drum fills, both thunderous and energetic. Impassioned vocals, matched by the riffs. Slight Trivium feel to this sound. Packed with power and an anthemic edge to the vocals, it maintains a dark thread, yet injects it with exuberant atmosphere. Good strong sound.

Collision – Doom filled flattening intro riff, creating a window of thought, before the pace picks up and chases through the fray. That Trivium sound returns, with some gorgeous melodic riffage, making good use of slide and volume. Hitting the end on a rapid set of rock hard drum beats, it’s definitely striking.

The Sun Wields Mercy – Crashing intro, in your face, with lively, colourful energy. Fast-paced, increasingly anthemic and growing catchier. Very detailed, with vocal and lyrical intrigue and a general feel-good sense.

Fear Of The Unseen – Blistering riff and drum intro, blasting onto the scene, with full force impact. Rapid fire rhythm, well-placed vocal harmonies and shouts, adding to the heightened energy. Throwing in some noticeably workable Slayer-esque riffs and rattling on till the end. Hard, heavy and impacting.

Strepidant Mist – Booming drums opening the show, with violent effect. Maintaining that pace throughout, the instrumental cohesion comes to the fore here, with the edgy, full throttle, vicious riffing and as a pure instrumental, it’s an out and out success.

Between Death’s Line – Instant hit, with that precision intro. The vocal intent is clear, in the energised aggression. Here, though, the melody reappears, permitting entry into the inner world of the song, as it plays out its creative emotion, till the last.

The Awakening – Even louder, angrier and even more vicious in its delivery, you can almost visualise the guitarist’s fingers bleeding, with the pressure on those strings. Just a monstrous rapid fest of aggression, ending on a definitive cymbal hit.

Silence From Above – Heavy-handed, hard-line riff intro, filled with dark intent. Some very classy riffs in there and once again, the Trivium vibe is audible and still, the sound is fresh and alive. Upping the volume, to a thunderous level and ending on a piercing fadeout, with a breathy space following it, there’s a real sense of thrashy nostalgia. Fans of The More I See might just hear the strains of ‘What Is Worse Than The Truth’ in that final bar. One thing’s for sure – it leaves a strong impression.

Overall – All the right ingredients for a loud and thrashy metal Fest.

8/10 ********

For fans of Trivium, The More I See, Testament, Slayer.

Posted January 15, 2018 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Shadowpath – ‘Rumours Of A Coming Dawn’   13 comments

From Berne, Switzerland, Shadowpath, a melodic dark metal/symphonic death prog metal band, are influenced by power, prog, symphonic and death metal, with an open-minded sound and a healthy disregard for traditional genre limitations. Their music aspires to a free-form dream world, of changing moods and emotional landscapes, depicted through fantasy elements and meaningful lyrics, with uplifting impact.

Prelude To Agony – Thunder and rain intro, setting the scene instantly, for a magically powerful atmosphere, the beautiful female vocals are well suited to matching. Enormous melody, within such a short time. Haunting.

Chaos Equation – Opening mysteriously, with a pounding, yet exploratory sound. Imaginary visual escapades are evoked, of entering an enchanted forest. Very much in the vein of Leaves Eyes. Any fan of operatic and folk metal will get along with this. Gorgeously tuneful riffs and some strangely fitting growly male vocals, adding to the equation – pun intended. It’s a well titled track, showcasing an effective interplay of sounds, creating sheer magic.

Seed Of Hope – Immediate pathos in those mesmerising feminine intro vocals. Thunderous instrumentals pushing forwards, following them and a lovingly performed piano section. Breath-taking beauty lies within this sound, weaving in and out of the sporadic growls and you can feel the rain of the piano notes hitting your head, as they flow. Those gorgeous vocals are just hypnotising and they close the song with more of that sense of wonder.

The Impossible Chain – Bass work introing here, with increased percussion emphasis, gradually building, to a more filled out sound, moving into the growls again, before the hauntingly ethereal piano tones take over. Such palpable emotion in the softer female vocals and such strength within the gentility. It’s almost a perfect exchange of male to female aspects, each demonstrating their highest potential. Brilliant soundtrack of the shoreline, with the waves hitting the shore. Breaking up the track, like a brief interlude, before the next section, you could be forgiven for thinking it was another song beginning. More pronounced piano emphasis and a soaring sense follows, more drum rolls and a combo of extraordinary vocal power and concentrated accompaniments. A long, but worthwhile track, filled with mystical qualities and incredible skill.

Another Inquisitor – Pounding, immediate power introing, followed, this time, by masculine growls, before the feminine element joins them. Racing pace gaining momentum, whilst the extraordinary high vocal range comes to light, emerging into a full on theatrical style, straight out of the classiest musicals imaginable. A real vocal and instrumental cohesion shows itself here and there’s an audible sacred tone, almost devotional, in its nature. The growls then return, to close it.

Deny Me – Lowered tone introing, with a deeper emotional feel. The mood soon lifts, through the cutting, light bringing instrumental edge. The vocals join in this same uplifting element and the melodic focus is huge. Bringing the whole sound upwards, in flight, the rest’s a medley of joyful surrender and release. Just magic.

For A Final Ultimatum – Drumming extravaganza opens, with a simply gorgeous, glasslike percussive sound, lending it a wintry aura. Gory growls immediately follow, chased by the lighter feminine vocals again, in an equal exchange of opposites, blending together, so amazingly. Again, the higher vocal range appears, growing catchier, by the second and ending on a precise impressively high-pitched tone. Stunning.

Beta – Mysteriously enigmatic intro, moving into a darker mood, but still retaining that light within it. It seems the light always breaks out, showing the strongest power, throughout ‘R.O.A.C.D.’ A vocal solo section interweaves the accompaniments, with more growly input, in places. A beautiful melody comes into play, becoming increasingly catchy, throughout. Those riffs are just sublime. Fantastic soaring, electrifying pitch in there and the track ends with rain, in a naturally perfect visual auditory close.

Overall – Pure magical stunning beauty. Almost impossible to articulate the level of true, passionate, accomplished musicianship and song-craft within this album, but it’s almost angelic. Bands and albums of this nature don’t come along often. ‘R.O.A.C.D.’ needs to be heard and it needs to be known. It holds extraordinary power and sheer magnetism and it’s truly amazing, awe-inspiring and rare.

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

For fans of Leaves Eyes, Lacuna Coil, Nightwish, Evanescence, Aonia, Delain, Apparition, Middnatsol.

Released October 6th, 2017.

Posted January 13, 2018 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Sacral Night – ‘Darkness Process’   3 comments

Founded in 2013, by Amphycion, (ex Necrowretch), ‘Darkness Process’ is the debut release of the unveiling and exploration of the darkest depths of gothic horror, via INFERNO Records. Featuring Antoine Volat (Electric Shock), Mick Hellstrom (Lonewolf/Elvenstorm), Morkk and Amphycion, (Sanctuaire/Necrowretch). ‘D.P’. was preceded by a live gig in June 2017, playing alongside Finnish band RANGER. (Feel Now The Funeral Quest). Sacral Night’s next appearance will be at Courts Of Chaos Fest 2018, in France, performing with Manilla Rd and Tokyo Blade.

Darkness Process – Banging dark intro, hitting you immediately. Killing riffs, a  doom flavour, with a blackened, funereal atmosphere and strategic power screams thrown in, bringing the whole thing up out of the depths and into the light, whilst upping the frenetic pace of the riffs, leaving you with a sense of intrigue and mystique.

Fullmoon Creep Sacrifice – Another shocker of an intro, this time, speeding up the riffs sooner, to a racing rhythm. Sinister echoic acoustics, creating a sense of darkened imagery of black masses and sacrificial rituals. Still, though, those power screams infiltrate the darkness, piercing it with light. A good, workable combo of heavy hardened doom, speed, power and black gothic terror metal, proving that light and dark can co-exist within metal.

When The Coven Is Opening The Pit – Invading your aural senses, with intense, insistent volume, this is an uplifting sound within the noise of deathly intent. Great power resides within those Enforcer style screams. Farseer fans will get this too. Increasing the pace, with the momentum, you get a sense of a rising light, within the dark. Only one criticism – it’s not long enough!

Under The Moonlight – Straight in there, with ultimate force, drumming attack and free, exalted vocals, filled with exuberance, showing their power scream chops once more. Those speeding melodic riffs just carry you away, ably assisted by the full force strength of the drumming, with which it closes. This is a special one and no mistake.

Witness Of Death – Opening this one with blistering riffs, accomplished drum rolls and a melodic edge to the vocals. The sound just echoes through your mind, like some sort of impeccably timed omen. That bass ending is just perfection, adding the ideal finishing touch. Making a bold statement, in such a short time, it may be brief, but it registers and you won’t forget it.

Overall – Sacral Night and ‘Darkness Process’ will stay lodged in my mind, for one main reason – their U.S.P., which is their fresh, novel approach to combining darkness and light, in such a refreshingly successful way. Much is spoken of ‘genre defying’ bands, but few possess the genuine ability to live up to that ambition. ‘D.P’. Proves that S.N. do and it’s truly eye-opening to hear it in action. If you need convincing that power screams, melodic riffs and doom drenched gothic horror metal can work well together, take a listen to ‘D.P’.

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

For fans of Enforcer, Venom, Satarial, Black Sabbath, Farseer, RAM, Vantablack Warship, Trivax, Mortad.

Posted January 12, 2018 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Narcos Family Band – ‘Pink Blues’   Leave a comment

A combo of R&R, punk, hard-core and a hint of metal, Narcos Family Band is the original R&R/punk lifestyle familiar to all initiates. On New Year’s Eve, they released their new EP, ‘Pink Blues’ on King Pizza Records.

Leopard Stealth (I’m Gone) – Nice cool upbeat riffage introing, in a very bluesy style. Instant catch! Rapidly joined by equally catchy vocals, good steady rhythm, which rings in your ears, in a very positive way and it’s a brief, but engaging track.

Pretty Thing – Bass led opening, in a sleek, considered tone, which might have worked better for the previous track title, but still, it’s got a hooky sound to it. This is very much a group effort, when it gets into its stride, which it rapidly does and there’s more of a thoughtful tone throughout. Slightly repetitive, in tonal terms, but it is entertaining and you’ll notice a wider selection of instruments than tends to be usual. That adds an element of intrigue and generally, it works.

Pink Blues – (Title Track) – Triangle intro! Very unusual and unexpected and it leads into the wild vocals and edgy riffs, like a pack of wild dingoes, creating a sound at once, memorable and enigmatic. Collectively enthused and the overuse of the whammy bar may just grate a bit, but that twang in the riffs is sexy and catchy and it’s certainly not forgettable.

Hammer It Shut – Feedback screech introing, before seguing into steady vocal rhythm and riffs, with a bit of slide. Gathering pace and momentum, the sax adds a quirky flavour and it’s a bit of a brief track, with a tunnel like outro, but all in all, favourable enough to warrant further listens.

Overall – A short, but colourful adventure, with a healthy dose of twangy riffage, an air of vocal intrigue and a generally agreeable sound. The saxophone input adds a sense of richness and the only criticism I’d make is that some tracks are a little too short. Otherwise, an upbeat, recommended listen.

7/10 *******

For fans of Living Colour, Suede and The Stones’ ‘Goats Head Soup’ era.

Pre-order link: –

Posted January 11, 2018 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Xael – The Singles   3 comments

Signed with Test Your Metal Records, Xael are a sci-fi death, symphonic and folk metal combo, founded by Nassaru, of Rapheumets Well/Enthean, also featuring Sorgiem Daniel Presnell, Tuurm, Alex Rush from Enthean and Xolotol Fernando Ortega and other guest artists. Influences: Septic Flesh, Iron Maiden, Augury, Wardruna and Fleshgod Apocalypse. Their debut album, ‘The Last Arbiter’, is being released in separate singles, rather than launching the full album, as yet.
The album title is about the narrative of the story about a central character’s journey, in chasing the impossible and fighting (against) the inevitable – in this case, attempting to subdue the forces of nature. It’s intended as old world style, within metal extremity and harshness, aiming for a creative depiction of humanity and nature.

Apathy Of The Immortal – Intriguing intro – acoustic-based, distant vocals, opening, with a tinny sound, as if it’s being performed underwater. Uncertain whether that’s a deliberate sound effect, but it’s very distorted. Vocals moving into deathier territory, becoming growly and the riffage more melodic. There’s an echoic sound, like that of a large hall, in a great cathedral or museum. Pity the acoustics aren’t working, in this case, since they hold the potential for a much grander outcome, but whatever’s happening with the production environs and handling is just drowning out what would otherwise be a decent sound.

The Last Arbiter – Much clearer intro, initially, taking it up a few notches, with a higher tone, but this time, the tinniness overpowers it, till it sounds like the hounds of hell are on their tails, riding stallions and warhorses, on the way to the apocalypse. There are definitely some good sounds trying to break through here, but again, the drastic production just lets it down, to an almost deafening degree. A slight sci-fi-esque closing section’s just about audible, but by then, it’s too late and that overwhelming harshness has destroyed what could have been an interesting ending.

Watchers Of Xan – Opening up with an eerie didgeridoo sound, the newly added female vocals do help to take the edge off the rugged audio values and there’s an enigmatic mediaeval sense in what follows. Unfortunately, though, the track’s too short for that to make enough difference. Shame to say it, but a simpler recording process would probably have saved it.

Overall – What’s dismaying about this is that what might otherwise be potential for quite great sounds is wrecked, at every turn, by overambitious, poorly handled production. The best that could be said about this is that ridding it of its sound effects and taking it back to basics, in terms of simpler audio production and recording techniques could well remove the distraction and show it at its best. There IS good musicianship in here. It’s just being killed by its surroundings and sound management.

3/10 ***

For fans of folk and mediaeval metal.

The Last Arbiter video –

Apathy Of The Immortal video –

Posted January 9, 2018 by jennytate in Uncategorized