Archive for May 2018

Hell’s Gazelles – ‘Take Your Medicine’   2 comments

Following the single release, ‘Stone Cold’, from the EP, the full EP, ‘Take Your Medicine’, is now ready for imminent release. A more experientially crafted EP, ‘TYM’ pays homage to the greats, while emulating the new wave of rock talents. With major riffs, insane vocals and catchy choruses, it’s a tour de force of modern rock.

Lyrically original, with striking riffs and greater guitar involvement, ‘TYM’ is a truly equal band effort, dealing with current socio-political and personal issues, in a compact, yet complex way.

Andy Pilkington’s (Very Metal Art) artwork summarises the essence of the feelings behind ‘TYM’ in the Dr Strangechild persona, a theme further enhanced by the background of the insane asylum, over which he presides, in such a visually blatant terror inducing manner.

Give Me Something – Awesome riff and electrifyingly fast-paced drumming intro’s, more than ably assisted by those passionate vocals and high octane, rocked up melody. Hard, heavy, animal and enormously catchy. That’s a sound straight off the next new wave of classic rock compilation, for high-end rock mags. A band who truly belong in the classic rock arena. This is where true rock magic lies.

Out Of Time – Massive sound. Crushingly heavy riff intro, immediate rhythm and vocals designed just for modern rock. This is the new, old G’N’R’, filled with penetrating beat, hard edge, perfected sleaze melody and even the odd natural power scream in there. Ending on a defiant, tight drum hit, it’s a killer.

She Devil – Instant, hard and heavy drum hit intro. Getting right down into the rhythm, those vocals need no help at all. Just made for it. So catchy, there’s a slight southern rock feel to that sound too, expertly followed by that tasty rumbling drum section, leading right into another hugely lively, powered section, showing off CB’s vocals, to the best of their Seb Bach-esque abilities. Solid classic.

Stone Cold – Razor sharp riff intro! Burning hot, in flames of metal fire. That title’s so memorable and sung in such a catchy way. Space within the vocal sections gives the stunning accompaniments the chance to shine, whilst ensuring you never forget the astounding effect of the vocal notations. Absolute born rock stars. Standout track, in a standout EP.

Take Your Medicine – Bang! Startlingly alive drum intro. Crazy pace. Instinctive rhythm and sound. Humongous catch, rare vocal dexterity and an indescribably feel-good 90’s rock nostalgia about it. Seriously good R&R, par excellence. If there’s one band who should be on your radar this year, it’s Hell’s Gazelles.

Overall – The cream of the crop. Star quality, of the moment and made for rock longevity, this is the band that’ll take you back to the best of the past, while giving you concrete evidence that modern rock still matches that quality. ‘TYM’ is the solid proof of classic rock’s evolution and most importantly of all, that rock is not dead!

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

For fans of G’N’R’, Skid Row, Sebastian Bach.





Posted May 30, 2018 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Almost Dead – ‘Lay Me Down To Waste’   9 comments

Hard-core metal band, well-known in Northern California, Almost Dead are inspired by Megadeth, Metallica, Pantera, Slayer and Sepultura. They write songs with thrash groove built into the hard-core sound and truly give it their all.

Winning the 2007 Gorilla Productions ‘Battle Of The Bands’, they won the Tournament Of Champions. Having opened for M.O.D., The Dickies and Hostility, at Slims, The New Parish and The Metro Opera House, their 4th album, ‘Lay Me Down To Waste’, has now been released.

Dysmorphia – Gorgeously ominous steel string intro, with blazing drums in rapid succession. Haunting and fiery at once. A gothic background, to a full on live round of machine-gun fire. Really cleverly designed song structure, built around a massively heavy thrash mood.

Lay Me Down To Waste – A more refined and much gentler steel string intro. Moving, with perfect fluidity, into true heaviness, still well interspersed with softer sections. Brilliantly well-built momentum, always balanced right between light and shade and totally believable. Soul stirring stuff.

Shot To The Head – Battle round of drum hits intro’s and here’s where the real hard-core hits. Vocals taking it right into the pit and giving it every single ounce of raw passion and energy. Nuclear fuelled and hugely heady. Metal rage reigns in here and doesn’t let up. Explosive ending, of such power, you can see the blood spurt and feel the fangs, as the savage wolf of your imagination rips open your leg.

Why Am I Alive? – Moving in gradually, through a brief tunnel-esque sound, the hard-core heaviness comes thick and fast. Beating drums, rabid vocals, speeding pace and riffs so heavily energised, you can lose yourself in them. This here is real metal therapy.

Alive In You – Beautiful acoustic intro, palpably haunting, grit filled vocals and awesomely profound lyrics. There’s no way you can hear this without feeling it. Some truly gorgeous blues riffs twang their way through to the absolute depths of you and you just feel it. It’s as long as it needs to be, to get its message through. Brief, but unforgettable.

All That I Despise – Creepy riff intro, held so well and further enhanced by that equally creepy whisper. Exploding into angry life, pulsing with audibly justifiable rage. Electrifying, acute and shocking, in its short, but pointed delivery. A majorly powerful blast of reality on the darker side of life. Testament’s ‘The Haunting’ springs to mind. Echoes of ‘Alone In The Dark’ are present there too.

Deadman – A live fire of drumming again, throwing out the power, with mighty aggression. Real hard-core stuff, once more, like a much heavier RATM, with Testament-esque riffs and Slayer-like edge. So brief, it just pounds out the anger, in one short burst.

Trash Talk – Galloping intro, chucking all the rage they can muster down, into the pit. Doing some great gory stuff with the vocals, so blackened, you can hear the sewage spilling from a drain like mouth. Maximum volume, amped up to the top of its power. Another snatched glimpse of pure, unadulterated rage.

AWOL – Booming drums intro, accompanied by a slice of classic riffage. Unbridled anger takes hold of those lyrics, driving them on, to the corner of the precipice. Very Pantera-esque here, reflecting back the strains of ‘Domination’, before it ends, in yet another blur of edgy aggression.

Kill Or Be Killed – Blasting out the molten metallic energy, at full pelt, this has got to win the prize for energised performance. This offering even evokes scenes of late-night car chases, with gothic horror atmospherics interlaced within. Yes, there’s a repetitive brevity to most of these tracks, but so much raw energy and power is packed into them, that it just doesn’t matter.

Overall – A slab of steel driven rage and blood spurting horror, like you’ve never heard before. Atmospherically dense, with visual assault and gothic mind terror. Almost Dead are masters at brevity of power. ‘LMDTW’ multiplies the energy and strength of even the heaviest of metal albums, leaving you terrorised, traumatised and gagging for more.

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

For fans of Testament, Slayer, Pantera, RATM, Metallica.


Posted May 28, 2018 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Arapacis – ‘Deja Doom’   12 comments

Self produced, at Arapacis Studios, 2017-2018, by Jerry Fielden, brand-new offering ‘Deja Doom’, from Arapacis, is a 4 track EP, minimally mastered, to maintain originality of sound.

Artwork also by Jerry Fielden, except for the front cover, by Shelle Macpherson.

Consequences Of Dreams – Very bass heavy intro, Sab-esque, ‘Iron Man’ like drum sound and a clear doom overtone. Unusually refreshing feminine vocals, revealing a gothic edge and a notably pleasant sharpness to the lyrics. An audibly effective stripped back sound to the accompaniments, bringing a freedom within it. Surprising gore vocal finale, adding another angle. Generally, it’s a novel approach, making for a versatile outcome and a comfortable listen. Relieving, even.

Drop Of Hope – Great exciting whammy style vibrato riffing opening! Truly original. Again, the acuity of those vocals gets straight into it, bringing in an unexpectedly grimy edge to the line endings. A really colourful, multifaceted approach to the guitar work in here, incorporating a combo of wobble, paradiddles, twiddly fret styles and straight out, sharpened metal riffs. Taking it up and bringing it down, in all the right places, considering that this is a more basic work, it still includes a lot of variety and if anything, opens it up, becoming all the more freestyle for it.

The Green Fairy – Good, clear, confident drum intro, asserting its place and creating a darker sound, together with the bass. The low, rumbling heaviness of the latter accentuates the pointedness of the vocals, admirably. A decent mixture of well timed gory darkness and sweetness of light peppers those lyrics and a simple, but intensely focused bass line rhythm provides the core. Ironically intriguing sound, given the title, but all aspects are audible, through the changes in melody, tone and cadence. Even visual, to some extent. Ending on a simple section and a lighter feel, the imagery’s best evoked here.

End Of The Line – A lighter sense to this intro, combining heavy and light percussion, with a softer melody. Vocally softer aswell. More of a mellow tone, generally, yet still incorporating some heavier elements, in places. Interestingly fulsome sound, given it’s built around a more basic structure. Quite laid-back atmosphere, generally, throwing in a few electrifyingly lively riffs here and there. That’s the hand of experience coming out in that riffage. It’s automatically audible. Far more instrumental basis within here, but the vocals are no less powered, for that. In fact, that voice does horror metal well. A well-rounded track, covering all angles.

Overall – An all-round, relaxed, laissez faire approach to an EP, of quality, rather than quantity, which still eclectically performed, delivers some novel methods and unique features, within capable, accomplished hands.

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

For fans of Vampyre Heart, Voodoo Blood and Kyuss.


Posted May 27, 2018 by jennytate in Uncategorized

El Camino – ‘Cursed Congregation’   7 comments

A free and unrestrained band, unencumbered by conventions and genre boundaries, Swedes El Camino have taken inspiration from their native home and its physical environs. Founded in 2003, every work, subsequent to their debut, was produced at Hobo Rec, by Ulf Blomberg.

Labelling their style, heavy doom metal darkness, with some black metal elements, ‘Cursed Congregation’ certainly lives up to this. A powerful presence on the live scene, their shows so far have included: Metal Magic (Denmark), Morkaste Smaland (Sweden), Rock And Art Weekend (Sweden) Fests and also club shows, eg, Loppen (Copenhagen), Pussy A Go-Go (STHLM), Club Dissonans (JKPG), etc. They commit to their performances, with steel determination.

‘Cursed Congregation’ is available now on Night Tripper Records.

Into The Dark – Unexpectedly jaggedly edgy dark intro, with pouring rain accompanying the doom instrumentals. Very deathy vocals, a notably sinister atmosphere and a clearly blackened overtone. Slow, sluggish pace, as is typical doom and an equally paced fade-out riff. Definitely heavier, but far less thrashy than expected. The rest awaits.

Intent Of Man’s Heart – More enlivened, rumbling sound to this and very slightly more melodic. Leaning towards a more intriguing angle, now injecting some Viking aspects, with tribal elements and a hypnotic, trance-like section, continuing the same flavour, till the end. So there is versatility and even an evocation of witches brew about its gothic leanings.

Cursed Congregation – A stronger tone and physicality to this intro. Very black in nature, again, especially lyrically. It definitely depicts a very strong picture of its title and related themes. It’s certainly powerful. Strategic use of light percussion, amongst the overriding heaviness and the melody increases just before the end. A fitting close and there’s an easy, natural flow about it, brought to life, by the strong closing riff.

Penance Upon The Pyre – Straight in there, with a riveting intro, bringing the drums forward and emphasising the beat of the rhythmic focus. Quite gory lyrics, vocalised in that same gory sense. Very visual and again, the melody enters later, as it’s ending. Witchcraft fans are likely to get on with this and in particular, fans of the track of the same name.

Haexkraft 1 Domens Hand – Much more explosive intro, throwing a world of colour onto the landscape. Vivid use of earlier melody, more inventive arrangements and varied accompaniments add a richness to this. Ending on a livelier, higher pitched riff, this one will possibly make more of an impression.

The Crooked Wand – Intensely doomy intro! Almost funereal, in its darkness. Louder and fuller, the riffs are the biggest focus here. This track really brings them to life. A very slightly Viking-esque edge creeps in again, towards the end and that closing riff actually replicates the tone at the intro to Gun’s ‘Word Up’, or as near as dammit. So fellow fans will bask in that ending).

Haexkraft Il Elin – Booming drum and bass intro, sliding easily, into a melodic riff section, before vicious vocals take centre stage. Pace increasing as the riff solos come into play, intelligent pace and tempo alternations create a more diverse, yet cohesive sound. Again, that palpably soul piercing riff closes the track. There’s an impressive fluidity to the flow of this and especially, the combo of solitary and cohesive sections. It’s a very focused and well crafted piece.

Vengeance – Cymbal hits intro, followed, with instant timing, by full power accompaniments. The monster death growls are back and stronger than ever, it seems. Faster pace to this and an altogether fuller, more voluminous and voluptuous construction. More aggression, more darkness, more everything.

Stars And Silence – Another banging intro, opening onto a backdrop of blackness and doom. A very simple, but powerful rhythm invades this. Mid-paced beat, easy to follow and the general tone and atmosphere could possibly be called a ‘terror-trove’ of darkness and gloom and a very effective one, at that.

Ordeal Of Faith – Gradual, grungy fade-in riff, accompanied by heavy and light percussion, then treacle black vocals and a noticeably Carcass-esque section. Interrupted by a devoutly religious voice-over, prior to more darkly heavy-metal. Fading melodic riff closes. Another palpable imprint leaves its mark.

Haexkraft III Vaegs Aende – Gothic atmosphere prevails once more, as a tribal beat consumes the song and it’s being. Creepy voice, pleading to be taken by Satan, in the midst of entrancing rhythms. A more simplistic rhythmic centred arrangement dominates and closes this finale and it’s all a bit too dark and brooding, in the end, so it’s almost a relief, but it is undoubtedly skilled and impressively focused.

Overall – A patently dark, funereal offering, with enough gloom and doom to satisfy any gothic fan or funeral cortege. Unmistakably talented and faultless delivery. Especially impressive focus and driven dedication to darkness, but you can have too much doom and this leaves a lingering air of despondency.

8/10 ********

For fans of Carcass, Witchcraft.

Available now, via Night Tripper Records.


Posted May 20, 2018 by jennytate in Uncategorized

MaterDea – ‘Pyaneta’   24 comments

Currently, one of Italy’s most famous bands amongst the Pagan and Celtic genre, founded in 2008, from a collaborative project between 2 of its members, from which, the band name emerged, ‘MaterDea’ was also the title of the Celtic soundtrack for a brief film, on which the collaboration was based. In itself, ‘MaterDea’ stems from a collection of influences, of various origins, surrounding the concept behind the band.

Influenced by Genesis, Jethro Tull and Led Zeppelin, their sound is best summarised as neo-classical light power metal. Devised as strong, spiritual music, with fantastical elements, it succeeds in this colourful purpose. All 7 band members bring classical training to this vibrant sound. Having 4 albums under their belts, to date, (‘Below The Mists, Above The Brambles’), 2009, ‘Satyricon’ (2011), ‘A Rose For Egeria’ (2014) and ‘The Goddess Chants’ (2016), ‘Pyaneta’ is their 5th and is due for release on June 8th in Europe and July 6th in North America, via Rockshots Records. (Released on 8th May in the UK).

Back To Earth – Whale song opens onto a sci-fi-esque, otherworldly narrative, gradually exploding into full pelt metal. Memorably powerful feminine vocals, much in the vein of Lacuna Coil, Nightwish and Delain. Dealing with the themes and lyrical duties with complete ease, there’s no hesitation, as she just moves straight into it, swimming through and with it, easily. A notable fluidity encapsulates the track, holistically, as it ends on another voice-over, extolling love as an immediate and central panacea to all.

The Return Of The King – Ethereal beauty haunts this intro, incorporating a combo of light sounds, before evolving, once more, into powerful metal. Again, it just flows, so naturally. Vocally and instrumentally, it is one. Pure melody. Some very intriguing accompaniments in there. Great fast pace, gathering momentum, as it goes, eventually ending on a bestial whale cry, amongst the sound of breaking glass. It’s unique and capably performed.

One Thousand And One Nights – An Eastern vocal intro’s, on to rapidly deployed heavy-metal instrumentals. A quickened pace pushes it along, purposefully, as its power grows. More than ably assisted by those driven riffs. Ending on the Eastern vibe, to which it returns, a world of power infuses its sound, as that tight, determined drum hit closes it. Strength in spades and an individual touch, to go with it.

Pyaneta – Introing with a heartbeat and an underwater breathing sensation, it moves in, very carefully, with the accompaniments, as there’s a very slightly more restrained sense to them, in places, here. Any fan of operatic metal’s going to get on well with these vocals and that sax is just sumptuous. Filled with mystery and enigma, it’s a thrilling delivery and full of surprises.

Neverland – Opening with a flock of seagulls in the background of the sound of manual labour, planing off and soaring into vivid melody. Palpable accompaniments and magical sounds interspersing it. Loaded with catchy rhythms and melodies, this is a standout track, for sure. Particularly, where the finale’s concerned. There’s enough power and momentum in the finale alone, to fuel any fire of metallic passion.

S ‘Accabadora – Male vocals introing here, in a worshipful tone. Celtic sounds follow, before and surrounding the feminine, lighter vocals. Heavily melodic, with a lyrically narrative style. Combining light and shade, soft and heavy, as the powered accompaniments flow in and out and around the vocals. There’s just so much beauty pulsing with life and energy, throughout this and it closes on a strong drum finale. Just beautiful.

The Legend Of The Pale Mountains – Opening onto an aural scene of mediaeval forests and lakes, complete with violin and accordion, to accompany it. The electrifying riffs hit at that point. Gentle, feminine vocals join them there, telling their story, till the full on instrumentals take over, on and off. Eventually ending on a diminishing fade-out, it’s said all it needs to.

Legacy Of The Woods – Birdsong and an aura of enchantment intro’s, replaced by tuneful acoustic riffs and beautifully melodic vocals. Heightening the power and heaviosity, it races along on a thread of metal gold. Spinning a tale of old world mystery, as it speeds along its path, it’s just full on melody till the end, when the birdsong returns. Gorgeous.

Coven Of Balzaares – Thunder intro’s, a piano section, mysterious children’s laughter and a heavier accompaniment and then masculine vocals enter. Seeming to blend in with the feminine ones, at certain points, the masculine aspect does gain in strength, though still interweaves with the feminine. Lots of soaring tones in here, picking up more power, as they go. Definitely a greater mystique to this, generally.

Metamorphosis – Sounds of tinkling chimes and a short voice-over, before the instantly involved vocals come into play. More than competently supported by big instrumentals and an air of affecting passion and power. So melodic, in fact, it’s the melody that drives this, all the way and one way or another, it’s going to leave a lasting impression.

Bourre del Diavolo – Wolves howling at the outset, the pumped up accompaniments get straight in there, with a real Celtic flavour and a hurried tone and rhythm. Sharp, affected male vocals narrate their story, in another language, complete with evil laughter. Brief female vocals play a part, before being drowned out, by the excitable male and it closes on a child’s mobile, playing a nursery rhyme. Odd way to finish, perhaps, but memorable, regardless and maybe, that’s the point.

Overall – I have nothing but compliments for ‘Pyaneta’. It’s a blissful album, from start to end. Narrating a wonderfully fantastical tale, with all the skills and passion inherent within it. A metallic, mythological storyboard, combining old and new world wonder is the closest summation of this standout album. A definite example of all killer, no filler, with mysterious touches, accentuating the metal.

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

For fans of Lacuna Coil, Nightwish, Delain, Frost Giant, WYKAN, Within Temptation, Pagandom, Satarial, Xael, Northhammer.

Pre-order link:


Posted May 17, 2018 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Hell’s Gazelles – ‘Stone Cold’   4 comments

Originating from Oxford, quartet Hell’s Gazelles now offer up the single ‘Stone Cold’, from their brand-new EP, ‘Take Your Medicine’, released 27th July 2018. Five tracks of new wave heavy rock, with traditional influences. H.G. have so far supported Black Moth, The Treatment, Desert Storm and also played Bloodstock Open Air and HRH Road Trip, etc. Fronted by Cole Bryant, engineered at The Ranch Production House, by Chris D’adda (Wayward Sons, Toseland), production and recording and Neil Kennedy (Creeper, Milk Teeth), mixing and mastering.

H.G. have created an edgy classic rock and metal sound. The band’s overriding aim is to perfect the art of songcraft, bringing that out in their music, along with their passion and driving influences, both new and old.

Marking the EP release, with a one-off local show, HG will perform at The Bullingdon, Oxford, on Friday 20th July. To hear what John Challis (a.k.a. ‘Boycie’, Only Fools And Horses, The Green Green Grass) has to say about the event and EP, check out YouTube. (Link below).

Vocalist Cole Bryant refers to his lyrics as having double meanings, to reflect the truths and realities of all arenas of life, especially at this point in time.

In line with the engaging, irrepressible performance of ‘T.Y.M.’, Andy Pilkington, of Very Metal Art, does the duty of featuring ‘Dr Strangechild’, the eccentric scientist, within the cover. Svenja Block Photography.

Stone Cold – Massive intro! Forceful, impacting and wildly catchy. Instantly, you can hear that those vocals were born for this track. It’s very true to say that Cole brings it to life, coming off the line endings, with hugely powerful expression, like few can replicate. Mega drumming stamina characterises the whole song and particularly, the finale. Hard grooving riffs really get to work, laying down the hard-line rock, throughout and the rhythmic beat’s infectious. This is true rock, at its best. Completely at home with itself, it screams with perfect synchronisation and there’s not a note out of place. Welcome to hard rock heaven. Buy this. Buy it now. The next Seb Bach has entered the room.

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

For fans of all great 90’s rock and metal. (Official Stream – ‘Stone Cold’).

Event Ticket Link:

Boycie’s feedback:


Posted May 14, 2018 by jennytate in Uncategorized

IGNITOR – ‘Haunted By Rock & Roll’   5 comments

Original heavy-metal giants IGNITOR have now launched the official video for the title track from current album release, ‘Haunted By Rock & Roll’. Produced by guitarist Stuart ‘Batlord’ Laurence, featuring Lydia Gallardo and her husband ‘Hands’.

The album on which it’s based is their 6th album release, officially launched on November 24th, 2017, via EMP label group/Ariescope Records. It’s the 4th video from ‘HBR&R’, after Hatchet (‘The Ballad Of Victor Crowley’), ‘No Sanctuary’ and ‘To Brave The War’. Those last 3 are viewable on YouTube.

EMP label owner Dave Ellefson (Megadeth) acts as executive producer on ‘HBR&R’.

Founded in 2003, by Stuart ‘Batlord’ Laurence, guitarist and founder of ‘Agony Column’ and ex ‘The Offenders’ drummer, Pat Doyle, IGNITOR’s mission was to return to genuine, old school heavy-metal and bring that sound back home to Austin, Texas.

Standard line-up changes resulted in Jason McMaster (Watchtower, Dangerous Toys, Broken Teeth, Evil United) taking over on vocals, with his first outing on ‘Spider Queen’, back in 2007. Well-known in the Texas metal scene, Jason is considered a veteran of metal.

By 2015, IGNITOR had brought guitarist Robert Williams (Witches Mark) and bassist Billy Dansfiel (Agony Column) on board. Thus began a 3 year promo drive, performing live, with the new line-up, supporting legends such as, Grim Reaper, Helstar, Jag Panzer, Raven and Cage. These new, enlivened tracks would form the album, ‘Haunted By Rock & Roll’.

IGNITOR will appear at Chicago’s longest standing heavy metal Fest, ‘Alehorn Of Power X’, on July 28th, at ‘Reggie’s’, Chicago. This is set to be the 10th presentation of the event, which has aimed to promote the cream of the heavy-metal underground, since 2006.

Haunted By Rock & Roll – Banging, loud, instant catch, with consummate, high-level drumming, classic metal visuals and all the surrounding gothic darkness and implied threats to prove it. Great, fast-paced, highly melodic riffs and top-notch production. The sound quality rocks hard, as do the satanic lyrics, well honed power screams and carefully, tacitly designed scenes. Just enough mild horror-esque anticipation to keep you guessing, on the edge of your seat and a strong air of absolute metal professionalism and supremacy, marrying sound and visuals well.

Overall – A classic heavy metal video, with ‘headbanging, crowd puller’ written all over it.

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

For fans of old school greats, such as Alice Cooper, Ozzy Osbourne, KISS and Skid Row.

Video link for ‘HBR&R’: (‘Hatchet’) (‘To Brave The War’) (‘No Sanctuary’)

Posted May 13, 2018 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Old Man Wizard – ‘Blame It All On Sorcery’   6 comments

California-based ‘Old Man Wizard’ make a comeback, with new release, ‘Blame It All On Sorcery’. A 10 track album, released today, combining prog, metal and hard rock, charting their journey over time, since the first album, with all the personal and professional challenges inherent within it. It’s been several years in waiting. The band are now proud to present it.

Beginnings And Happenstance – Very neat slide riff intro, with a very bluesy angle. Seems it really was just a very brief intro, though, as it’s over in no time, but it’s provided a decent taster.

Sorcerer – Gorgeous flowing acoustic opening, from which a world of mystery emerges. Fairly pathos filled vocals, adding a darker thread, gradually gaining in strength. As the accompaniments provide the light and the intriguing glimpse into mediaeval corners, it unfolds into a well blended combo of prog, old world, metal and varied rock, both enlightening and refreshing, in equal measure.

The Blind Prince – Instant voluble intro, coming straight off the last track, so spontaneously as to seem as if there was no separation between tracks. Drum heavy and quite psychedelic in nature, it never misses a beat and it’s ending, while you’re still contemplating it. Impressive.

Never Leave – Lovely sound to that smooth acoustic intro. A flair of colour and Latin style rock enters. Actually, there’s a hint of flamenco in there, along with a bit of Baroque. Beautiful lyrics and still, a slight melancholic note, in between the lighter shades. Ending on a triangle hit, in sync with the closing vocals, it’s very much a folding track, revealing various depths, as it moves.

Cosmo – Much more vivid and almost violent, in its expression. The moods are well conveyed, as they change. A strong beat, there’s a lyrical quality about it, showing the ever-changing flow of emotions, well supported by profoundly performed instrumentals. As it moves towards the end, you’re left with a desolate sounding guitar tone, closing, liable to stay in your memory for some time to come.

Somehow – Really lively, folky intro, adding a whole new colour into the mood). A catchy note comes into play, bringing a more playful angle I could listen to forever. Brief, but very memorable.

Innocent Hands – Instant colourful aggression opens this time. That sound’s interplayed with The Lightning Seeds style vocals, as that ‘Lucky You’ nostalgia hits you. A great build-up sound to the accompaniments, as their full dramatic impact hits, while they come to life, bringing a burst of brightness with them. It’s a good resonant finish.

The Last Ride Of The Ancients – A quite Beatles-esque intro, evoking recollections of ‘An Octopus’s Garden’, ‘Hello, Goodbye’ and Paul McCartney’s ‘Live And Let Die’. Really melodic, quick paced and lively, with a party rock sense to it, yet still building in the flamenco sections. Quite an extraordinary feat of achievement.

The Vision – Deeply expressive chord introing, leading into a macabre lyric section. It does, though, contain both lightness and darkness. Viking metal unexpectedly adds a stronger theme, as does the mediaeval thread following it and in fact, ending the track. A spectacular skill is shown, for blending and incorporating various eclectic styles and genres and making them work together. Just very profound and very versatile. There’s something in here for everyone.

The Long-Nosed Wiseman – The loudest, most powerful intro yet! Here’s where the proper heavy-metal comes into play. Injecting a deeply morose, grungy tone, with a doom flavour, altering the mood, from exuberant, to darkly contemplative, in an instant, taking your thoughts with it, a stark realism pervades its atmosphere. There’s a sense of a dark tunnel, from which, the light at the end gradually emerges, symbolised further, by the carefully strategic use of light, small percussion, towards the end. The close itself is sudden and dramatic, consolidating the ever-changing possibilities of nature.

Overall – Unlike anything I’ve heard previously, ‘B.I.A.O.S.’ is a deeply reflective and unpredictable album, of random changes and musical experiments. Highly impressive, in the extent and nature of its willingness to differentiate, from one style to another, in such a diverse way. In ‘B.I.A.O.S.’, you’ll find something to suit most moods and something to fit most genres. A concept album, with a difference. One whose concepts become clearer, through not categorising or defining itself as such. A truly developed and evolved concept album, whose creators are yet to realise its true value.

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

For fans of everything from early pop rock, through to psychedelic, alt rock and grunge blues, to prog, heavy-metal, Viking and mediaeval, Baroque stuff, with folk and Latin and flamenco touches.

Released 11th May 2018.

Posted May 11, 2018 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Desensitised – ‘You’ll See’   Leave a comment

Desensitised are an emerging band from Nottingham, UK. An all-female band, already featured on BBC Radio, throughout East Midlands, their new single, ‘You’ll See’, is released on 12th May 2018, via Sound-Hub Records. The associated video is available to watch on YouTube.

You’ll See – Slight delay, before you’re hit by full volume rock. Well powered feminine vocals, with a slight punky edge. Strong, but slightly tinny sounding drums and cohesive bass and guitars, conveying good band solidarity. Fairly short, pop rock material, fading out on a slow riff. Generally, it’s a bit basic, though well vocalised. In melodic terms, it definitely errs more on the side of soft rock, than anything metallic, but all in all, a decent effort, adequately performed.

Video – ‘You’ll See’ – Classroom scene, with punk attitude, interspersed with band live performance shots. Schoolgirls audition the song, to school staff. Cut to apathetic crowd at a gig, in similarity to the earlier apathy shown by the teachers, towards the music and the pupils, towards school work and environment. Crowd apathy, though, gradually turns to interest, as they stand up and get into the music, but it still feels forced. Maybe that’s the point – people have to want to do things, or any apparent interest shown will be nothing more than a show. Some truth in that. A form of punk protest, perhaps. Ending with a dark look from the vocalist, in black make up, sporting the Goth look, it tends to have a Wednesday Addams effect, on the whole. More than anything, the video just contributes to the punk mood already there in the song. Ultimately, this’ll probably go down best with a younger audience.

5/10 *****

For fans of Alanis Morissette, Anastacia, Pink.
http://www.instagram/DesensitisedUK  – ‘You’ll See’

Posted May 5, 2018 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Released Anger – ‘Revenge’   5 comments

 Presenting Released Anger’s current album, ‘Revenge’. Formed November 2004, their debut EP, ‘Violent Instincts’, was recorded 7 months later and launched in November 2005. Produced at Baseline Studios, it comprised 5 thrash tracks. At the time of its release, there was a change of drummer and a bass player entered the band.

Their 1st full-length album was actually their 2nd release, entitled, ‘Faces Of Fate’, consisting of 10 tracks and a cover of ‘Whiplash’. That production was completed at 222 Studio, during August 2006, in just 8 days. Released on various record labels, (Eat Metal, Released Anger and Kill Again), it’s available in physical format, via standard retailers or through digital means.

Following the debut album’s release, were ‘Virus’ 7 “(2009) and ‘Monarch In Life’ (2010), split with Dead City.

Released Anger are well experienced in live performance, in European countries thus far and have supported the likes of: Attacker, Blitzkrieg, Brocas Helm, Sodom, Enforcer, Whiplash, Acid Death and Flotsam and Jetsam.

Revenge – Dark, heavy intro, extreme, to the point of blackened. Ragingly fast rhythm, chasing vocals and a fair bit of repetition. No denying the skill behind the momentum of that pace, though. Not necessarily for those of a more melodic persuasion, but the craftsmanship’s unarguable.

Problems Remain – Fresh, confident drum intro, closely followed by a catchy bass line and a collective thrash section. Vocals clearly blacker than most thrash pipes, but this is definitely much more melodic, on an instrumental level. Good pace to it, building the intensity, while dropping back down to lower, deeper bass lines and experimenting with tempo, beat and thrash possibilities. All of which work. Open-minded and versatile.

Fight Back – Great, intense thrash riff opens, setting up the speed of the pace, from the start. Again, those vocals are much more black than thrash, but there’s a definite edge to the sound, giving it a razor sharp quality. Decent vibrato whammy bar section adds an intriguing air, just before the raging drum and riff finale, meeting the vocal extremity.

Mind Penetration – Boom! That’s the best way to define that intro. A melodic edge throws shafts of light into the darkness, bringing it up, out of the shadows. Classy riffage, increasing the melody. Great momentum’s maintained and all the time, a familiarity seems to penetrate the sound, expressing the title well.

Inner Enemies – Loud, insistent and determinedly thrashy best sums up that intro. Another scene setting track, with a bit of stop start division within it. An exhilaration permeates this, especially within the pace and power qualities running through it. There’s now a definite catchiness within those riffs and bass lines. Love those vocals or hate them, you can’t deny they’re performed with precision and absolute consistency and that’s got to take some skill to maintain, without ripping your throat to shreds. Darkness and light, in equal measure.

Certain Death – Instant mega fast speed defines this track. Astounding pace blazes a trail of fire through the track, as those screaming extreme vocals match it, adding fuel to the fire. A very brief, but shockingly powerful slice of major thrash action.

Justice – Wow! One more piece of thrashing mad insanity, from the off. Reminiscent of Pantera’s ‘Hostile’, in rhythm, sense and lyrics and in particular, lyrical, well, hostility. A speed demon of fiery awesomeness hits the mark, continually. So much so, it’s triggered a Tourette’s-esque line of ‘fuck’s’, exiting my mouth.

Human Slavery – Bang! Straight in there, with instantaneous catch, via rhythmic pace and thrashy riffage to kill for. Forget any notion of rest or relaxation, for even a moment, cos it ain’t gonna happen. If this is anything, it’s a guaranteed wake-up call and it’s the kind that shakes, stuns and rattles you awake and then keeps you awake. That riffage in itself, is enough to get off on. Add those drums and you’re there. Brilliant team effort to shake the foundations, till they fall and it succeeds.

Scum – More of that ace and awesome speed-freakery intro’s, chasing you down, till you relent. Very Anthrax like, ‘A.I.R.’-esque, ‘Welcome To Your Nightmare’ thread bleeds through this and if you’re not screaming along to that riff by now, check your pulse, cos you’re clinically dead. Just a raging battle to metallicise your senses.

Silent Killer – Battering ram of metallic drumming, raging, hunter like lyrics and palpable riffage, in the mode of a killer, who’s anything but silent. An acutely sharp, patently insistent piece of evil, to match Slayer’s most therapeutic, anger releasing tones.

War – Even faster, blitzkrieg of mighty fretwork, of finger bleeding epicness. Slowing things down, intermittently, before taking it back up again, to incredible pace, this is all-out gory extremity, of nightmare inducing proportions. Just a blizzard of speed riffs, with vibrato included. Absolute steel.

Overall – ‘Revenge’ really says it all. Brilliantly depicted, within this epic fire of lightning fast darkness and extremity. This well and truly woke me up and I’m pleased to say, changed my mind about the sound I wasn’t sure about, initially. In fact, it just got better and better. So the blackened vocals may not do it for me, but the riffs certainly do, as does the general thrash intensity and the precision of delivery. Metal mania.

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

For fans of Pantera, Exodus, Slayer, Anthrax, black and extreme metal.

Posted May 4, 2018 by jennytate in Uncategorized