Archive for May 2018

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

Demolition Train – ‘Bound By Horror, Sealed With Blood’   1 comment

Founded in 2009, by Apostolis Korakas (guitars), Vasilis Korakas (guitars), Nikos Niavis (drums) and Michalis Papadimitriou (bass). Created with one basic mission in mind – to rock out! Loudly. As loudly as possible.

After some false starts initially, the first 2 years were spent trying to secure the full line-up, whilst producing early music. By 2011, they were ready and their demo EP, ‘Kill Your Boss’, (a sentiment to which many can surely relate), was released. Following a couple of temporary exits from the band, to pursue postgraduate education overseas, Witchkiller, from Steamroller Assault came on board, as bassist. The resulting power trio remain.

Their debut album, ‘Unleash The Hordes’, was launched in 2015. They’re currently promoting the next one, entitled, ‘Bound By Horror, Sealed With Blood’, via Eat Metal Records.

The Night Of The Wurdulak (Intro) – Creepy sinister scream intro’s, along with an equally ominous, but highly intriguing bass line. Funeral bells accompany the dark, slide riffs and the percussion slots right in. A really imaginative, visually evocative piece, making good use of rhythm and shady melodies, to solidify the picture, in your mind. Excellent starter. Edge of the seat stuff. Fits the rain and greyness outside, perfectly.

Beast Of Hades – Intense riff opening. Immediate insane riff fest, of real thrash material. Proper lyrical thrash stuff, too. So damn catchy, you just lose focus, as you find yourself wanting to sing, shout and mosh along. Huge rhythms, cemented in place by clearly seasoned drum sections. An overtone of darkness, coloured by thrashtastic tones and aural hues. Skilled delivery, high quality sound production and flawless performance.

Witchkiller – Massively visual, witch hunting intro, with all the verbals and surrounding public courtyard sounds to go with it. Opening onto an evil sounding vocal, with matching riffs, makes this an instant and memorable ace. Breaking down into a doom melody, in the classiest way and interlacing it with power riffs and thrash vocals, it’ll appeal to fans of most metal genres. Successfully conveying the emotion of the moment and their considerable skills of metallic dexterity, this should go down a storm with most.

Wendigo Screams – Instant power riffs and screams intro and this time, I had to scream along. Top quality here. Of the type of stuff that belongs on ‘Heavy Metal Killers’. Everything from R.A.M., to Anthrax is audible in here and it works screamingly well. Enormously catchy, pressured steamroller action speeds and rocks it along and you’ll want this and in particular, those infectious power screams, on endless repeat.

Dawn Of The Necromancer – Ace, lively, sexy, crunching bass line introing. Throbbing vocals follow, enhancing that orgasmic sense some more. Thrashing mad, like a bastard, it’s gloriously hellish and I love it and so will you. That rhythm and pace is crazed, contagious and just sees it through. Dark, sensual and playing with melody, within the darkness, it’s absolutely faultless.

Symphony Of Horror – Instant speed riffs intro, onto a landscape of pure metal. Classic thrash vocals hit the mark immediately and carry you along in their wake. Hugely catchy rhythms again, capably assisted by the drums and their pure steel backdrop. Just an immense feat of metal masterdom. Want escapism? Fast, loud, metal escapism? Try this.

Blood On Satan’s Claw – Banging explosive drum intro, getting straight into an epic riff fest, with equally epic melodies. Some very tasty Slayer-esque electrifying, sharpened riffs in there and a real power element overlaying the whole thing. Ending on a traditional speed power sound, you’ve got to love it and that’s it.

Grim Reaper – Immediate, immaculately timed vocals introing. Doesn’t miss a beat. Perfected thrash is what this is. Just thrash, to the bone, all the way through. Aptly evil vocals depict the tone of the theme and the darkened sense emanating from it, yet without becoming too blackened. Everything’s in perfect sync and the sound embodies the title.

Nocturnal Rite – (Outro) – Measured tones and an eerie sense intro this, with classy atmospherics. Actually building the ominous atmosphere, growing creepier and darker, it then ends on a light percussion, meeting and closing the darkest point, like the light at the end of the tunnel. Perfect and truly unique, ideal closer.

Overall – It’s a remarkably rare album that can clinch the rage of Pantera, coupled with the speed and melodies of R.A.M., the power of Enforcer and the thrash force of Anthrax. ‘B.B.H.S.W.B.’ achieves it, saying it all, in itself, but taking into account, the multitude of immense talents and skills inherent within the entire performance, it’s got to win full points for the mightily impressive outcome. Metallic mastership epitomises ‘B.B.H.S.W.B’.

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

For fans of Pantera, Enforcer, R.A.M., Exodus, Slayer, Anthrax, Down, C.O.C., H.O.D., Megadeth.


Posted May 2, 2018 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Defeater – ‘Endless Ray’   2 comments

Introducing Defeater’s current EP, ‘Endless Ray’.

Endless Ray – Gradual intro, with synthesisers and an air of mystery, moving into a party metal section, moving up a gear, when the edgy feminine vocals come into force. Those screams are impressive and the riffs provide the central power, ably supported by the drums. It does have to be said that the accompaniments provide most of the melody in this case and that whilst they are enthusiastic, the vocals could do with more presence. There’s a sense that the vocalist’s focusing too much on volume, at the expense of melody and therefore, losing some of her potential. The vocal sound quality’s hiding in the shadows and needs to come forward.

Evil Strike – Enigmatic bass driven intro, opening onto some great riff melodies and again, the power screams are capable, but more vocal range is needed. Here, the drums drive much of the track, adding speed and energy. The main thing with those vocals, though, is there’s just too much focus on power screams and more needs to be channelled into actually singing. The potential is there, as is audible, through the screams. It just needs to be brought forward.

Bleed For The Gods – (Agent Steel) – Far more powerful intro, of top instrumental quality. More melodic vocals this time, though she needs a more powerful microphone. Generally, a great catchy pace and rhythm, with lots of energy and just what you’d expect from a standard power metal track.

Galactic Domination – (Rehearsal) – Opening gradually, but this time, it’s actually a lot louder and stronger. Loads of cymbal involvement and somehow, it’s got that exuberant, playful sense of natural improvisation, colouring it, significantly. This is much more like it. A pure instrumental, showing the full sound potential within the rhythm section. A full on, energised jam session, with all the light-hearted fun to add to it. However, the sound levels are deafening and do need to be better controlled, as my ears rang so much, I had to commit the ultimate sacrilege and turn it down. Still enjoyable, though.

Overall – Okay, so ‘Endless Ray’ didn’t grab me as much as it might have, but it still holds a lot of potential. Its main strength is the instrumental speed and melodies. Ultimately, the singer may just need more time and confidence, as well as a stronger microphone, but her power screams are of undeniable notational quality. Collectively, the fun, light-hearted energy is ‘ER”s U.S.P. The vocals just need to match the accompaniments’ melodies, to bring it all into synch.

6/10 ******

For fans of Vixen

Posted May 1, 2018 by jennytate in Uncategorized