Archive for December 2018

2018 Album Of The Year – ‘March In Arms’, by March In Arms   3 comments

‘MIA’ wins the accolade of 2018 Album Of The Year for so many reasons. Going way beyond impressive, it’s 10 tracks of absolute metal gold, with an added twist of meaning resonating throughout. It isn’t just the meaning in itself, but the purity of empathy and accessibility with which it’s been conveyed.

To deal with such unimaginably dark themes in such a real, poignant, yet uplifting way pays genuine tribute to those for whom ‘MIA’ was created. The sheer passion, precision and perfection inherent within its sound shows true, reverential respect for the soldiers on all sides, their loved ones and all those affected by the aftermath of war.

‘MIA’ not only expresses these dark realities so vividly, but even within the painfully palpable portrayal of such atrocities, it still succeeds in making the entire album impossibly and irresistibly infectious. Never a note out of place and loaded with major catch, ‘MIA’ is compulsively addictive listening.

Metal power, at its best, ‘MIA’ is a solidly unforgettable thrash extravaganza, fully deserving of the award of 2018 Album Of The Year.

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

For fans of Soldierfield, Ozzy Osbourne, Powervice, Farseer, Anthrax, Saxon, Dan Trigger, Fahran, Motorhead.

For closer comparisons, ‘MIA’ has the ritual drumming, darkness and depth of Satarial and Venom, the speed metal power riffs of Enforcer, the melodic vocalisation of Disturbed and lyrical profundity like no other. Even with all these comparisons combined, it stands alone, as a unique force of nature.

Read more here:

Having dedicated ‘MIA’ , in their own words, “to those who gave life, limb and service in the cause of liberty”, I would like to join with MIA in also dedicating this special feature to the same.

Posted December 30, 2018 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Deever – ‘You Need This’   Leave a comment

Featuring ex-Inglorious guitarist Wil ‘Billy’ Taylor, Deever’s debut album, ‘You Need This’, is released on February 1st, 2019. Following hot on the heels of the success of Inglorious’s 2nd album hitting number 1 in the U.K.’s official rock charts, Deever is a sound more suited to Billy’s personal tastes. Combining new-wave hard rock, punk and metal genres, ‘ YNT’ has a very traditional theme.

Most of the album was self produced, by the band, in their own North Red Studios, Darlington, UK and the rest completed at Parr Street Studios, Liverpool, by gold selling engineer, Tony Draper, with whom Billy had previously worked. He engineered and mixed the entire album. During the production, the well-known Nick Watson (Iron Maiden, Motorhead, Deep Purple, The Sex Pistols, Faith No More, The Strokes, Coldplay) was also utilised.

Soon to emerge single video ‘Only Enemy’ deals candidly with the topic of modern day loss of self-esteem, via social media induced validation obsession. Also tackling the creation of online identities, as a lens, through which all our reflections of self are channelled, ‘YNT’ has been a very real and expressive creation.

Fire At Will – Introing on a very Line Of Fire-esque riff, immediate crunch and ease of performance hits you. Catchy, yet a slight sense of melancholia pervades. Some strong, melodic riffage and vocals flow, effortlessly, till the decisive, closing drum hit. Good start, making a solid impression.

All Come Running – Opening with a decent bit of twiddly riffage, more vocal melody and instant ease, though still, that melancholic air remains. There’s a classy sense about it, but that ever present thread of gloom hovers, mercilessly. Reminding slightly of Exit State, it fades out abruptly, like its batteries are running down.

Alright – Good bass intro, setting the scene for more of a stoner-ish atmosphere. As claimed by Deever, it does have hooks, though it’s a bit too poppy to stay firmly in the hard rock camp, despite this track’s stoner edge. Musically, it’s perfectly able, but it’s just missing that ‘thing’. The spark just isn’t there.

Back Down – More riff-based intro, with an acoustic sound and a gentler, yet Darkness-esque vocal. Moving quickly, into pop rock territory, it’s admittedly catchy, at this point. Okay, this track’s got me, to a point. So far, it has to be the stand-out. Too much of an abrupt ending, though. This could have done with a slower fade-out. Wanted to savour it a bit more and it’s not fair.

Waves – What’s happening here? Decidedly unsure about that group vocal intro, but the faster pace works. A bit of an emotional one. Obviously personal lyrics, but at least it does rock up a bit, at the end. There’s just more rock needed.

Parachute – Drum hits intro, onto a nostalgic feeling melody. Audible vocal skill channels a lot of emotion. Brave exposure. Still a little too poppy for a rock production, but it’s evident there’s a lot of energy there, which is well utilised, to its maximum capacity.

Only Enemy – Cymbal hits open, followed by harder heavier drum hits and similarly heavier vocals. That same emotional thread runs through it, but this time, there’s a clearly defined edge to it. This has got a good pace and a more definitive ending, serving it well. So far, this album runs like an A-Z catalogue of emotions, telling its own story.

We Are – Slightly punky intro, working it into an attitude filled track, straight away. A very 90’s feel to it, bringing that same flavour of hopeful uplift out. Vaguely familiar sound, it’s quite teen rock, with that nostalgic vibe about it.

Jim – An easier, more relaxed feel about this one, getting right into the vibe. Symbolic lyrics, to those who’ve been there. Again, the pop angle creeps forward, but the realness of the emotional fallout’s clearly audible. It does have a bit of a kick to it, but once more, the tone’s just too downbeat to encourage a replay.

I Am The Cavalry – Stronger track, right from the off. Notably heavier, livelier and much more hopeful and as such, a far more powerful closer. This is the sound the rest of the album may have benefited from aiming for. Now, it veers off in a whole new direction, being really visual in its strong depiction. Ending assertively, this is where Deever’s strength lies.

Overall – A bit of a mishmash of sounds and styles, ‘You Need This’ has the basics down, but just doesn’t seem sure of its direction. A more focused line of sight would serve it well, though it is strong on emotion. Just perhaps channelling it into too many directions at once. Tracks ‘Back Down’ and ‘I Am The Cavalry’ are the jewels in its crown and possibly, it’s best means of attack. Ultimately, it does the job okay, but it’s confusing itself, with multiple angles and needs to rein itself in and pick an avenue. Preferably, that expressed, at its strongest, in ‘BD’ and ‘IATC’. ‘YNT’ – biggest lesson here? Play to your strengths.

7/10 *******

For fans of Exit State, Duff Mckagan’s Loaded (especially, ‘No More’).

Posted December 29, 2018 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Revolutio – ‘Vagrant’   Leave a comment

Italian alt metal band Revolutio formed in 2011. Two years later, their debut EP, ‘Lead The Way & The Old Days Remastered’ was launched and their live shows began. Since then, Revolutio have been busy crafting their signature sound, culminating in a full-length album, ‘Vagrant’, produced in April 2017, at Audiocore studio, by Luca Cocconi (Modern Age Slavery) and Simone Sighinolfi (Hallucinator). Following its recent release, on November 9th, 2018, ‘Vagrant’ will be distributed through Finnish label Inverse Records.

Aftermath – Opening with an air raid siren, followed by a bomb blast, a powerful sound effect’s created.

Meek And Bold – Insanely loud drum roll intro’s, chased by razor sharp riffs and monster, Rammstein-esque vocals. A good combo of melody and gravel. Harsh, steel laden rhythm and edge laces the track with cutting metal. Surprisingly impressive.

What Breaks Inside – Another volt of live electricity shoots through you, with a bolt of steel. A hint of gore to the vocals, stopping just short of sludge, though still throwing in a taste of death, like Lemmy reborn, with a touch more vocal darkness. Always, the drums keep the pace, with relentless drive. That European angle’s clearly audible, through the melody and speed. Fading out on a breezy riff. Picture a slightly edgier, darker Disturbed, meets Rammstein, meets White Wizzard, with a Motorhead flavour.

The Oracle – Again, the intro riff and drum hits cut you, as they meet. A brief spoken oration over the top gives way to a  Battlelore-esque hardened sound, gaining in aggression and vocal depth. Still, that gory essence remains, sliced apart by those melodious feedback riffs, utilising the wah wah pedal well, in that moment. Taking the pace down, to a slower, more comfortable tempo, adding a relaxed, catchy riff, loosely performed, before closing with more feedback. Arguably extraneous, they could have lost the feedback, as the song speaks for itself.

Ozymandias – Crazed riffing intro’s, onto an atmosphere of seriously heavy metal, verging on Sab-esque stuff. Only the sludgy vocals remove it from that echo, though a trace of Ozzy’s still evident in the throaty feel. A solid steel accompaniment stays consistently throughout. Nice fade out on a well chosen note, perfectly executed.

Eclipse – A sinister, ominous opening, based around a creepy riff, cymbal and eventual drum roll. The riff growing increasingly more melodic, as the track evolves into a pure instrumental. Quite delicate, yet strong construction.

Silver Dawn – Intrigue seeps into this active, physical intro, evoking imagery of a film montage, cutting to different scenes. A fairly visual track, moving from quiescent stealth, to hard, heavy metallic territory. Obvious confidence pours through the vocals, filtering grit and gravitas into your senses.

Requiem – Gentle, yet insistent steel strung solo acoustic riff intro, soon accompanied by an equally textured vocal. Electric, bluesy sections follow, growing in power and volume, as do the vocals. Amazing immediacy and soul sings through it, scorching your being, with darkness, light and shades in between, as it swings from heavy steel blues, to gentle sentimental melancholy.

Daydream – Opening on a folky and aptly dreamy note, yet somehow, carrying a hint of wild west atmosphere. Raising the mood and volume, reinforcing the backdrop, with a metal fortress of power. Lots of loaded European tinged riffing, with a steel heavy drumming background. A real strength infuses those vocals, with everyone taking their turn, with backing vocals. Generally, it just grows in Titanic stature, till the end.

The Great Silence – A gust of wind intro’s, in the much revered and emulated ‘Holy Diver’ vein. Sound effects of gentle clattering of objects in the breeze, accompanied by the sense of a lurking presence, with a menacing, threatening edge. Invoking a strong ominous atmosphere, your thoughts are left to run wild and imagine. A powerful physicality conjures chills, as you feel the cold of the haunting breeze seep into your bones. It goes on just a tad too long, evoking a sense of time standing still and the silence stretching out, into oblivion. This just over eggs the pudding a bit, with needless overrun. Whilst it captures the element of dread, as time drags on, it becomes frustrating and wastes space and potential for more music. Okay, we get the hint. Now, stop it.

Overall – All in all, ‘Vagrant’s a bloody good album, with plenty of bite, but ‘TGS’ is interminably long and spoils what could otherwise have been a magical ending. A wasted opportunity to consolidate a largely majestic album. Lose ‘TGS’ and you have something approaching perfection.

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

For fans of Rammstein, White Wizzard, Motorhead, XII Boar, Crowning Glory, Battlelore, Amon Amarth.


Posted December 23, 2018 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Trey Lunabomber – ‘Brown Noser’   Leave a comment

Introducing Trey Lunabomber’s new solo track, ‘Brown Noser’. Returning to his punk roots, for this track, it emulates his previous band, Freedom Club, in sound and substance. FC was a family concern, in which he and brother Brandon, (current Electric Vengeance guitarist, Trey’s other project) participated.

For anyone wanting to dig deeper into Trey’s stage name, it was adopted in relation to certain aspects of his dramatic stage performance, whilst in Freedom Club. This current solo track, ‘BN’, was recorded on the same analogue equipment used for FC, so as to recreate that same punky, lo-fi sound.

Brown Noser – Instantly punky sound hits you hard, much in the style of The Sex Pistols. Still, there’s a light-hearted aspect to this, keeping it fun and easily accessible. Short track, in keeping with the punk ethos, ending on a drum roll and a buzzy guitar riff. It’ll work well for short attention spans. A complete diversion from the heaviness of EV, it’s a short, sharp message, with a touch of feedback on the final riff. A good choice for a punk party piece.

6/10 ******

For fans of The Sex Pistols, The Courtesans.



Posted December 21, 2018 by jennytate in Uncategorized

The Overthrone – ‘The Plague’   Leave a comment

A Stockholm-based melo-death band, The Overthrone are heavily influenced by bands such as Trivium, In Flames, At The Gates, Sylosis and more. Positive acclaim earned from their EP singles led to their inclusion in some Spotify playlists, under New Blood and New Metal tracks, alongside such Titans as Slipknot, Architects and Revocation.

T0 now present their debut EP, ‘The Plague’, ahead of their full length album, due for release in 2019.

Intro – Deep, bubble like intro, quickly growing into a dichotomy of rolling boulders and windchimes, overridden by what sound like starting bats, rhythmically deployed, in a gradual build-up to an almighty explosion……. ending abruptly.

Inferno – Slight delay, before it kicks in, but then,…… bang! Unhesitant, remorseless, straight-out aggression. Some tasty Slayer licks engage with death style vocals and a rapid-fire flurry of drumming. Audio quality top-notch. Definitely leaning further towards the black metal area. Straight out, focused attack. Throat tearing vocals surround a gory atmosphere. There, the melody begins, backed up by increasingly heavy, pounding drums. It’s a great interplay of metallic sounds, fading out gradually on a bed of song.

Dusk – Opening with a wide-mouthed tunnel effect, employing a good bit of wah wah, moving into another blackened sound, with a slightly earlier melody, this time. Still, those same pounding drum rolls flavour it with heavy power. The rhythm speeds up, to a frenetic chase, ending on a definitive drum finale.

The Plague – Banging explosive intro! Full on dark metal assault, with a strong thread of blackness. Throwing in some plausible growls to go with it. Here, those Slayer-esque riffs kick in again. Momentarily, moving into quiescence, till the darkness and gore returns. It’s just very deathy. Closing on an angry roar, there’s a lot of power in here. The Trivium influence is audible at this point.

Downfall – Another explosive bang of an intro. Drums making their claim for dominance and dominion. Speed riffs join them and once more, the pace hots up. This time, it’s edging towards Viking metal territory, with that warrior feel about it. Almost a ritual beat to it, then melting back into melodic zone. It’s a very assertive track. Becoming more melodic, towards the end, the death growls still persist, though. Fading out, onto a more profound and sombre outro, there’s definitely some kick to this.

Overall – Good quality production, with a lot of passion within it. Hard to fault, really, though death vocals can grate, after a while. The only minor criticism I’d make is it needs more melody, to balance it out, but it is melo-death and as such, needs to represent both melodic and death metal, as it does. On the whole, it’s clear to see why ‘TP’ has won the acclaim it has. It’s a strong sound, confidently delivered, with plenty of volume.

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

For fans of Skreamer, Trivium, Mortad.

Links to follow.

Posted December 19, 2018 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Hitwood – ‘Orrido’   Leave a comment

Introducing new release, ‘Orrido’, from Hitwood, Italian melo-death solo band, featuring guest vocalists. Carlos Timaure guests for this new track, bringing black metal contributions.

Orrido (Lyric video) – An earthquake hits at the intro, featuring its aftermath throughout. Very lyrically dark, in places, depicting themes to which many will relate. Interchangeable images of sepia tinted wreckage and destruction, versus bright, colourful wings. A very expressive track, with very pertinent themes. Throughout the video, the lyrics are inaudible, but always visible. Quite deep instrumentals here, with plenty of bass and an abiding sense of hopelessness. A decent track in the sense of conveying emotions and experiences and a more confident departure from the earlier material. Arguably less melodic and increasingly downbeat, but unsurprising, given the points of focus. Its main need for improvement is in the inaudibility of the vocals, which, despite coming from a black metal angle, are impossible to locate, letting the track down. So musically speaking, a bit mediocre this time, but the point is made.

6/10 ******

For fans of Ordnance.

Released 7th December 2018.

Posted December 14, 2018 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Aftermath – ‘Smash Reset Control’   Leave a comment

Formed in Chicago, in 1985, Aftermath launched their 4 track demo in 1986. Another demo, ‘Killing The Future’, came in 1987.

Developing their own signature brand of speed tech thrash led to them being hailed as a groundbreaking thrash crossover band. This reputation was cemented by the appearance of 2 of their tracks, ‘War For Freedom’ and ‘When Will You Die’, on Metal Force Magazine’s ‘Demolition: Scream Your Brains Out’ compilation, in 1988.

During that same year, there were some additions to the line-up, with some continuing line-up changes through 1989. By then, the band’s sound and techniques had also changed. This was demonstrated by the launch of their new renowned demo, ‘Words That Echo Fear’. Another line-up change followed. From this point, Aftermath became a cutting-edge prog tech thrash band.

Following on from that, 1990 saw Aftermath in talks with Roadracer Records, ending in a live 4 track demo, before transferring to New York’s Big Chief Records. However, BCR folded mid-way through recording sessions, prolonging the release’s completion. Four years later, an album begun in 1990 was self released, with managerial support, via Zoid Recordings.

Some stark alterations to the scene had taken place between 1990 and 1994. By that time, ‘Eyes Of Tomorrow’ had been re-released, via Thermometer Sound Surface/Zoid and then re-re-released in 1998, as a remastered format, through Black Lotus Records.

In a well-publicised legal battle, Aftermath prosecuted world-famous millionaire rap star Dr Dre, for ownership rights to the Aftermath name. The defendant, Interscope Records, signed Aftermath, who soon after, revealed a new release, under the band name, Mother God Moviestar. The electro-metal debut launched in 1998. The case has become infamous, throughout American law schools, in relation to trademark dilution.

Aftermath have gone on to successful acclaim, as a main genre inspiration. Their success has brought them a book feature, (‘A-Z of Thrash Metal’), various high-profile gigs, including California’s Ragnarokr Metal Apocalypse, Hamburg’s ‘Headbangers Open Air, etc, the release of a box set (2011’s ’25 YEARS OF CHAOS’), on Area Death Productions, a vinyl format, ‘When Will You Die’, on F.O.A.D. and a 2015 reissue of ‘EOT’. Launched on Shadow Kingdom Records, featuring bonus contents and an extended booklet, it was re-mastered by Paul Logas (Pantera, Steel Panther), as was their next release, ‘Killing The Future’, re-issued on Divebomb Records. This marked their 30th anniversary.

2017 highlighted a new beginning for Aftermath, as work began on their current 11 track album, ‘There’s Something Wrong’. An original concept album, featuring a traditional crossover thrash, tech/prog combo, ‘TISW’ is a social comment on the faults of modern society. A philosophical call to arms, with an associated lyric video, ‘Smash Reset Control’, accentuated, thematically, by the artistry and chosen colours. A return to form for the band, ‘TISW’ is more thrash and speed based, generally.

The first single, ‘Diethenasia’, is a powerful testament to its themes, with all the drive and merciless aggression to show for it. The linked video (directed by Davo Paul) matches the song’s chaos. Aftermath are a breed apart. Here’s the audio version of ‘Smash Reset Control’.

Smash Reset Control – Unusual space rock style intro, followed by heavy thrashy riffs and a light touch on the drums and cymbals, with a vivid visual pace, creating imagery of some kind of athletic exercise. Morphing into a mainly electro track, with repetitious thrash riffs, which taken alone, with a bit of melody thrown in, might have done the song more justice. The hardly audible lyrics are equally repetitive and add no flavour. The drums actually seem to be struggling to keep up with the pace and it’s all a bit dull, really. Main issue? Obscure, unsuited genres trying to merge with the thrash. It just doesn’t work.

4/10 ****

For fans of space rock, electro, sci-fi metal.


Posted December 11, 2018 by jennytate in Uncategorized