Archive for September 2018

Dylan Grant – ‘The Truth’   1 comment

Introducing Dylan Grant’s debut studio release, ‘The Truth’. Based out of Highland, Indiana, Dylan’s an experienced guitarist, with a 33 year history. Presently playing rhythm guitar for AC/DC tribute act, Chicago Bonfire, from Northwest Indiana, Dylan may only just be launching his own music now, but he’s actually been composing most of his life. His major influences are AC/DC, Aerosmith and Randy Rhoads.

The Truth – Very neat tight riff intro. Great breakdown, solid chords and natural rock vocals. Good catch about it and whilst it could be more ambitious in chorus terms, the rhythm’s funky, rocky and hits just the right level. Lyrically, it’s evocative of G’N’R’s ‘The Garden’, with a slight sense of Alice Cooper, in places. Sound wise, it may appear slightly basic, but listen carefully and you’ll hear some decent rock grooves in there. Generally, it’s a pleasant listen, with lots of potential to build on.

7/10 *******

For fans of early G’N’R’, Alice Cooper, blues rock collectives, such as John Mayall’s Blues Breakers and funk and fusion bands, with rocky roots.


Posted September 13, 2018 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Reaper – Birth Of Chaos   Leave a comment

A 4 piece metal band from Liverpool, UK, Reaper have so far played Bloodstock  (2017), amongst several other notable achievements and are one of Planet Mosh’s top 3 Newblood stage bands. Having also presented a night with an orchestra, (all  scores arranged by their own vocalist), played support for ex-Hawkwind bassist Alan ‘Boomer’ Davey, Wolfsbane, Wolf, Dynamite!, Enforcer, Desolator and Eradikator, Reaper have additionally toured alongside Footprints in the Custard, Raised By Owls and Hamburg’s Taste Of Greed. Their self produced debut album, ‘Birth Of Chaos’ was self released and sports cover art by Andy Pilkington, of Very Metal Art. Forming March 22nd, 2011, Reaper is a band which has existed through many changes. These include much musical experimentation and movement from pure thrash, to what is currently a non-genre specific metal band. They now include hard rock, prog, instrumental and hints of fusion. Their aim is to diversify thrash and speed metal, via incorporation of limitless concepts and notions, as necessary to meet that aim. This strategy is currently unprecedented, within the metal genre.

Possessor Of Evil – Very powerful sinister riff intro, combining acoustic and electric guitars, making for an exciting sound. Exploding into a straight-out heavy-metal speed section, with all the vocal grit to prove it, this is one thrilling metal ride. Playing around with catchy melodies, searing edge, high-end riffs and mind melting scales, all whilst throwing in aspects of fusion and mixing them up with hints of extremity. The outcome’s impressively enlivening.

Wartorn – Mighty drum intro steals the show instantly. Especially so, given those electrifying, Slayer-esque riffs. Gravel-throated vocals add a real edge, combined with that floor crushingly heavy bass. A brief, but memorably explosive slice of metal madness.

World At Redemption – Even heavier drum intro, giving no ground at all, synching brilliantly with those sheer riffs and involving vocals. Unforgiving, tactile and imaginative. Adding in a bit of funk around 3/4 in, joining it up with crunchy vocals and a speed outro, evoking imagery of fast-moving trains and head-on collisions, this is definitely the full Monty.

The Crypt – Booming intro, increasing the heavyweight essence, fittingly strong lyrics, performed with absolute acuity and precision harmonies add to the thrill. Plenty of speed action in those riffs, orgasmic to the hilt. Fabulous synchronicity between this band, the heat increases, connecting everything to perfection. The thrill is never knowing where it’s gonna go next and it’s just alive with a palpable vibrancy, almost visual, in its radiance.

Entropy – Brilliant flaming riff intro, brooking no argument. On fire, with energy and metal edge. Pointedly powerful riffage and drumming as thunderous as a violent storm. Whipping up a storm of its own, with riffs to kill and red-hot fire of passion, it just gets better, stronger and hotter. Killing energy sparks off it, as the lyrics burn through even the strongest defences. It’s the height of metal mania.

Wings Of Darkness – Opening with a lighter cymbal action, immediately following it with a heavy as hell, Sab-esque drumming fest. Again, that edgy, grating vocal takes the energy up, before the riffs join it, injecting the funk and fun, ascending and descending those scales of hell, then a very slight blackness infiltrates the vocals, as it ends on a powerful shout and drum hit, in time with the riff. Stunning.

Checkmate – Searing riff intro, of face melting epicness. Thunderous drums enter, once more, till those sharpened vocals take over, commanding the level and direction of the sound. A wickedly delicious energy permeates these lyrics, at every turn. Got to love that flick between styles and genres, opening up the gates for all. Those notational rises and pitch increases are divine and it never fails to bring drama and pizzazz. Like a flaming flare, it screams with life.

Area 51 – Odd sound effect intro this time, but cleverly presented and thoughtfully composed. Spoken word section, bursting forth, onto a metallic landscape. Drumstick twirling stuff, great catchy pace and real heaviness pulses through this. Some inspired riffage and the vocals never ever lose that edge. The greatest vocal element, though, is that demonstrating expertly balanced melody and scream power, proving it can be done. Life enhancing and hugely uplifting.

Sixth Circle Of Hell – Changing direction, to more of a sombre, reflective, yet still anticipatory and edgy intro. Moving it up a gear, from there, back into all-out metal territory. Like a long shackled prisoner, breaking free from the chains, there’s a strong releasing feel to this track. Heavier and heavier, it gets, as the steel loaded drums roll on and beat their way out, to the end. An absolute ace.

The Way Of Shinobi – Rhythmic cymbal intro, followed by ever powerful drums. Slight sound and sense of computer game simulation, moving rapidly into another fiery pyre of riffs and charred-throated vocals. Brief Eastern sound surrounding, overtaken by more of that heavy-metal goodness. Immensely strong lyrics and battle-esque drumming, creating a war-cry image, before melodic heaven returns, with even more of that yummy riffing, ending the track on an improvised riff set to die for.

Overall – Sometimes, it’s hard to  do justice to the sheer level of inventive craftsmanship within an album. ‘Birth Of Chaos’ is one of them. I could write at length about the depth of talent, sincerity and passion evident within ‘BOC’. Instead, I’ll simply term it one of the most outstanding albums I’ve heard this year. So, if you like your metal eclectic, versatile and profoundly open-minded, whilst still paying homage to metal’s roots, give ‘BOC’ a whirl. You won’t be disappointed.

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

For fans of X-Method, Samarkind, El Camino, Dread, Mind Patrol, Fury UK, Avenged Sevenfold.


Posted September 11, 2018 by jennytate in Uncategorized

SINSID – ‘Mission From Hell’   Leave a comment

Founded in 2012, by ex-pro wrestler Terje Singh Sidhu (Zeho Morf), SINSID’s initial direction was as a covers band, covering classics from the likes of Accept, Manowar, Grave Digger, Megadeth, Motorhead, etc. They began producing their own music in 2014, debuting with ‘Steel Riders’ and then ‘Infernal Pit’. May 2017 saw the completion of their debut album, a 10 track, released in May 2018.

Plagued by numerous line-up changes, SINSID have brought in many experienced performers, to assist throughout this time. They’re presently a 5 piece, consisting of Terje, on vocals, Robin Wick, on drums, Sten Roger Knutsen (lead guitars), Grzegorz Urbanski (bass) and Even Havold (rhythm guitar).

The Sinsid Prelude – Tastefully performed intro of thunder and rain effects, complemented by lead guitar, cooking up a storm of its own. Sophisticated and artfully handled. Electric, tactile and considered. Fading out with closing thunder, this is one skilful and tantalising intro.

Steel Riders – Immediate, impacting and hard-hitting business. Lots of fiery, sharp riffage, feel good, yet measured tones, gradually building a crescendo of metal. Well tempered foot pedal work, cymbal hits and a genuine cohesive feel penetrates it. A decent, steadily paced construction.

Hellhammer – Great sexy electric slide riff intro. Straight into a catchy, precise rhythm, inventive breakdowns and a carefully constructed momentum within that arrangement, which, although slightly one-dimensional, shows impressive discipline and notable stamina. Ably assisted by the echoic anthemic harmonised shouts.

Sons Of The North – Great amped up, directed guitar feedback intro. Well streamed and nice Sab-esque touch to the tone. Suitably verging on that ace of spades, The Devil’s Tri-tone. Strategic number, combining a warrior veneer with stealth and intelligence. Edging towards hunter gatherer territory, with all the intrigue to go with it.

Infernal Fire – Very ‘Remainder’-esque, Fury UK strand to this intro. A very welcome sound. Moving right into a Maiden-esque section, with visual appeal aplenty. Taking the pace up and down, with the ominous atmosphere, the theatrical thread’s a very effective aspect of performance. More of a pictorial drum essence here. Gliding into a Viking-esque format, with slight melo-death overtones, it’s fulsome, varied and exciting. Throwing so much into one track, it’s evident where their versatility lies. Ending on a giant ogre’s whispered roar, the random nature of its creativity’s enthralling.

Revenge By Death – Opening with a classic hard rock riff, the star quality shines out of this. Setting up a chasing pace, woven in between enigmatic fading vocals, belying the power of their performance. Gradually building up, from a mid-paced angle, to a strong, driving rhythm, it’s supremely confident, whilst still mysterious.

Mission From Hell – Very Blue Oyster-esque intro, echoing the strains of ‘Don’t Fear The Reaper’. An impressively atmospheric nuance to this. Holding back just enough to intensify the flavour, noticeably, as it goes on and continuing that aura of mystique, till the closing fade-out. A gem of metallic inspiration.

Union Sign – Great upbeat riff melody intro’s. Such a fitting chorus harmony, filled with anthemic vibes and very slight Anthrax/90’s metal combo sound. Very catchy and very memorable. This is one of those tracks for which, brevity works.

Lost & Lonely – Beautifully haunting riff intro. Spine-tingling and breathtaking. Seguing, gradually, into an edgy vibe, within a bluesy sound. Equally light and dark, whilst retaining that slight anthemic sense. Slowly ramping up the tension, with a controlled rhythm, fading in and out, on a rapidly speeding riff. Bringing to mind the masters of hard rock/heavy metal, as it closes, ‘L&L’ is a combo of all that’s good about pure heavy metal).

Land Of Doom – Coming full circle, in a rain drenched intro, this time, with war and chaos surrounding it. Emergent quality to the sound. Once more, that classic element imbues it with an immersive thread. A little more bass involved, adding a degree of tension and a frisson of excitement. Ritualistic themes play out, becoming darker, as the volume grows. A strong warrior emphasis encompasses the track, as it slowly and rhythmically fades out, in a hypnotic trance of repetitive mantras.

Overall – ‘MFH’ is an incredibly impressive debut offering, rich with imagery and atmospheric audio. Given that it is a debut, it plays out like a highly evolved masterpiece. It’s involving, enthralling arrangements and solid structures never fail to diversify and never disappoint. Almost speaking its own language, of rich native heritage lands, it transports you to alternative civilisations. Deep, powerful and resonant, ‘MFH’ is the first of hopefully, many more accomplished pieces from SINSID.

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

For fans of classic rock, heavy metal, tribal and ritualistic metal.


Posted September 6, 2018 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Deathnir – ‘Second Sin’   Leave a comment

Influenced by classic metal giants, such as Metallica, Megadeth, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath etc, Deathnir play with a wildness and conviction reflecting the kind of straight out pure heavy metal they create.

Founded 2013,  Deathnir entered Battle Of The Bands, for the first time, reaching the semi-finals. A 4 track EP followed. (Available at

2014 saw some line-up changes, since when, they’ve played nationally, winning the ‘passionate performance award’ in 2014’s national Battle Of The Bands’ championship.

Their debut album, ‘Second Sin’, was recorded in 2017 and is now available to buy, in physical and digital formats.

Helstorm – Easing right into the intro, a typically heavy metal sound, complete with decent riffage, steady pace and mid-paced, accessible rhythm. Slightly lowbrow tone to this, but always a consistent momentum. Again, ending on something of a classic traditional vibe, if nothing else, the musicianship’s sound.

Wings Of Death – Good strong intro and buildup effect. A slight D’ianno sound to the vocals, it does seem to follow the path of early Maiden, specifically, their Self Titled release. Okay, so it could be deemed as playing it safe, but it’s unarguable that the craftsmanship’s well honed and clearly accomplished.

Metallion – Nice melodic riff intro. Well timed drum hits and an emerging signature style, reflecting D’ianno era Maiden. One clearly outstanding feature is that of steadfast patience and determination, in terms of honing and perfecting their sound. That sense resonates throughout their material and it’s one that’ll stand them in good stead.

Epitome Of Darkness – Opening with a low bass line, this time, mirroring Blaze Bayley era Maiden. True initiates will hear the unmistakable echoes of ‘Virus’ and ‘The Sign Of The Cross’. Also something of Metallica’s Black Album and And Justice For All eras. Playing around with more melodic sections, vocal anthemic harmonies and a generally upbeat vibe serves it well. As does the uplifting riffage. It’s true that the vocals do soar, at the end, audibly gaining in confidence and flying of their own accord. Good way to end on a feelgood note).

Bringer Of Evil – Wow! Lively, action filled drum intro! That’s a memorable way to start. Leading right into a highly melodic sound, showing greater confidence and once more, that uplifting feelgood vibe enters, as the mood soars, with the traditional power metal vocals. Liking the sound of this melody packed adventure into speed metal fantasy).

Dark Angel – Good confident intro, slightly reminiscent of Agincourt’s ‘Edge Of Paradise’. A plausible warmth penetrates the lyrics, building the conviction within the track. Liking the title too. In fact, the song seems to be fuelled by that title and very workably well. It’s smoothly performed and almost plays like a tribute to someone. A beautiful one, at that.

Dr Pain – Heavier, darker tone introing. Like jackboots, marching to their own beat. Nice bit of tasty vibrato, prior to the heavy anthemic vocal harmonies. Now, the riffs really come into their own, playing it, for all its worth, adding that extra oomph factor, accentuated by the solidly heavy vocals and back beat. An impressive steel lies within.

Never Go – Great, ‘Madhouse’ style intro! That’s one way to ensure memorability. Good drum buildup, providing a stark rumble to the rhythm. Some quite delicious hardened flowing riffs add that vibe, while the vocals get catchier. Speeding up, towards the close, with energetically fuelled melody, it’s a laid-back, yet simultaneously driven song, with accessible choruses, liable to lodge in your memory.

Internal War – Nice cool bluesy riff intro. Seguing straight into it, upping the pace with determined zeal. A brief, but joyfully guitar driven track, with melodic focus and another feelgood vibe attached. Easy background fodder, doubling up as obvious party metal.

Going To Hell – Stronger intro, with both drums and riffs in sync. Vocals fitting well with the accompaniments. Lyrically powerful, more instrumental presence. Audible expression in the vocals, it’s short, but then, so’s its message.

Overall – So, the first thing that stands out is that ‘Second Sin’ isn’t at all bad, for a first album and  Deathnir are a band who are going places, slowly, but surely. It may be derivative and in need of greater originality and spark, but it does improve, as it goes along and the sheer drive, determination and persistence of Deathnir shines out. As does their musical proficiency. Deathnir have achieved a lot already and are set for steadily burning success. ‘Second Sin’, as a debut, is just proof of that.

7/10 *******

For fans of early Iron Maiden, Metallica, Anthrax.


Posted September 5, 2018 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Over The Under – ‘Self Titled’   Leave a comment

Based in Poland, Over The Under are an eclectic band, incorporating southern groove metal, stoner rock and blues, with a lot of improvisation, during performances.

Founded 2013, the same year their debut self titled LP was released. Having done 2 tours so far, the 1st of which, (Cowboys From Space Tour, 2016/2017), comprised 56 gigs, mainly in Poland and including Germany and Czech Republic. The 2nd, (100% Tour), consisted of 100 gigs in 100 days, leading to the 2017 world record in daytime live gigs. Beating the previous record of 65, that was an entirely independent tour, taking in Poland, Czech Republic, France, England, Belgium, Holland and Germany. This achievement proved the ability of independent bands to organise and perform a landmark tour such as this, via large-scale self-promotion and that’s just the start.

Cold – Gorgeously tuneful, sinister acoustic intro! Such power and grit in that voice and such darkness in the atmosphere. Like a hardened, metal edged Crash Test Dummies, with an essence of Corrosion Of Conformity,  a slight flavour of Down and a hint of Avenged Sevenfold. Massive mystery and omen injected into that bluesy, stoner sound. Just delicious and addictive. Rare, beautiful and captivating. Savour it well and drink it in.

Freak – WTF’s happened now? Complete change of direction, into heavy, metallised funk. Extreme like, only with a harder, Pantera-esque feel. Fabulously immediate, rhythmic and catchy, packed with melody. Instant hit quality screaming from it, really strong sound, upbeat, yet steel heavy, its structure’s class and its memorable air impressive.

If You Pay – Wow! Tangy, fresh melodic funk edged, razor-sharp southern groove intro. Faster, chasing pace, great memorable beat, fabulous towering/ descending riffs and tasty, gravel soaked vocals. Genius use of lyrics, echoing the ghosts of southern groove rock classics of yesteryear. A pop rock feel to the chorus melody, towards the end, but still surrounded by that hard-line metal aggression, combining it with funky licks. Fantastic.

Madness – Opening with a searing riff, setting the scene for a fun, groove filled track, with catchy melodies and some stop start sections scattered throughout. Frantic, yet well-controlled drumbeats, holding the precision paced rhythm. A shorter, but immensely lively and likeable track.

R.I.P. – Eerily powerful riff intro, creeping towards a lighter toned devil’s tri-tone! Again, a classically memorable rhythm’s employed, within a highly upbeat arrangement, with solid reinforcements. Imagine a harder edged version of Metallica’s ‘Black Album’, with a southern groove laced through the rhythm. Fading out on an echoing vocal harmony, to the rumbling, rolling background of an oncoming train, in the distance, straddling a dusty, gritty, desert-like landscape around it. Hugely effective, high-calibre territory.

Smoke – Introing with a low down bass line, a slow, but steady, snakelike drumbeat and a visually evocative impression of a guy opening a beer, sighing with satisfaction and lying back in his chair, while the music washes over him. Moving, so fluidly, into a matching southern blues rock groove, with a reassuringly unforgiving tone. Once more, that essence of Crash Test Dummies re-appears, accompanied by the sound of uncompromising heaviness. Sheer delight. Throwing in some twiddly para-diddles for good measure, this is one to kick back and relax with. So plausible in its rich conviction. Some great airy riffs, injecting the breath and space into the song, at just the right point. Slowing down, gradually, at the end, leaving the impression of emerging chaos, amongst the cymbal hits, it’s a classy stroke, ensuring a memorable finish.

70 Cl – Doom heavy intro, traditionally stoner-ish, yet uplifting, with an alternating lighter atmosphere. The heaviness still rules, though, especially lyrically. The playful rhythm and melody may seem to conflict with the lyrics, but it just doesn’t matter, since the music speaks for itself. A clean, acute, definitive ending.

Overall – ‘OTU’ is a rich, chunky album, filled with delicious southern rock groove, hard-line blues, with a strong metal edge. Tasty, powerfully atmospheric and laced with grit, one listen’ll hold you in its thrall. Give it a spin, sit back and imagine the deep South. Rare gold.

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

For fans of Line Of Fire, BERDOO, Corrosion Of Conformity, Down, Black Stone Cherry, BlackBerry Smoke, Obey, Avenged Sevenfold, Lynryd Skynyrd, Live, Crash Test Dummies, Damn Yankees, Alice In Chains.


Posted September 2, 2018 by jennytate in Uncategorized