Archive for February 2019

VOKONIS – ‘Grasping Time’   Leave a comment

Swedish prog metallers VOKONIS have just commenced a brief European tour, supporting Skraeckoedlan, including March and May dates. The tour is being promoted by Blackbird Artists and the band are introducing new material to the shows’ audiences. The video for ‘Grasping Time’ is available to watch on YouTube. The album is to follow later this year, through The Sign Records.

Grasping Time – Classic stoner sound introing. Upbeat, rhythmic drumming, whilst utilising well, the usual down tuned riffs associated with stoner metal. The immediacy hits you instantly, through the signature mark of a band well practised at this genre, who know their stuff. It’ll strike a note with any stoner fans into more modern interpretations. Catchy, with breathing space in which to absorb it. The passion’s visually blatant facially, as well as musically. Quite rightly, the background comes 2nd to the sound and the environmental neutrality fits with the general style of the music. A very hooky number, in which it’s easy to get engrossed. Always melodic and synchronised. The chemistry shines out. Wonderfully accessible. Faultless.

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

For fans of Final Coil, Maelstrom, Baleful Creed, AIC, Soundgarden, Stone Temple Pilots.

Official video –

Posted February 27, 2019 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Gravehuffer – ‘The NoSlip EP’   13 comments

Dark doomsters Gravehuffer have recently signed to NoSlip Records and now present their debut 2 track 7 inch vinyl EP release, ‘The NoSlip EP’. The vinyl’s available in 4 different designs.

Founded in 2008, Gravehuffer’s repertoire is built upon an ethereal combo of crust, punk, metal, grind core, down tuned sludge and doom.

Originally known as ‘Krom’, Gravehuffer straddle several genres, rejecting accepted norms and conventions within the scene. A 4 piece, hailing from Joplin, Missouri, Gravehuffer stand out from the crowd, in their approach and the ultimate metallic presentation of this.

Carlo Regardas, Carcass’s lead guitarist featured on their previous ‘Your Fault’ album, released on Bluntface Records.

A 4 track vinyl EP will follow, in late winter, early spring 2019, through NoSlip Records.

Demon Face – Smooth relaxed intro, easing its way into gothic horror themes. Very catchy vocals, combining deeper and creepier pitches, painting a picture of darkness and demonic forces. Instrumentally, it’s come on since their previous work. There’s a more sophisticated air about it now and a subtle confidence clearly audible. It’s well divided, in terms of vocals and accompaniments and it certainly creates a strong impression. Lyrically, well matched with the themes and more energy about this new release. Suitably evil, right down to the satanic cackle.

Stalingrad’s Cross – Decent drum intro. An immediately roary number, with a slight comedy horror angle to it. Shrouded in so much darkness, the visual sense is quite striking. Still an edge of light to some of the riffing, though. This is definitely the lightest of the two. Shorter in length, it’s more of an amalgamation of shades. A looser strand to the vocals and more of a gravelly emphasis, fading out on a riff just vaguely reminiscent of the sound on Metallica’s ‘Bleeding Me’. Again, an audible move forward for Gravehuffer and a well produced outcome.

Overall – A well produced duo, with a marked improvement from their earlier work, clearer focus and a sharper polish. A definite step up for Gravehuffer.

8/10 ********

For fans of Zeit, Carcass, Kyuss, Electric Wizard, Witchcraft, Dirge, Motherslug, Sacral Night, Satarial, Gethika.

Posted February 26, 2019 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Usurper – ‘Lords Of The Permafrost’   Leave a comment

Renowned Chicago metallers Usurper release their 6th album, ‘Lords Of The Permafrost’, on March 22nd, through Soulseller Records. This release features Cryptobeast-era vocalist Dan Tyrantor. ‘LOTP’ showcases the band’s own special brand of heavy metal horror.

Skull Splitter – Wow, a mysteriously Baroque intro, with an eastern touch, suddenly bursting into brutal metal and monster growls. Vivid imagery from the start. Blistering riffs, hardened drums and a beast of a vocal. It’s got quite an impact and it’s as heavy as they come.

Beyond The Walls Of Ice – Kicking off with an assertive drum hit, effectively supported by the rest. Dark blackened growls stomp their way through your mind, as the ice closes in. Straight out riff centred heaviness, with plenty of equally heavy vocals and drum traffic. Battling on till the end and coming to an abrupt, definitive ending.

Lords Of The Permafrost – Heavily placed drum and riff intro, with approaching roars. Segueing into a powerful, quick paced riff section. A fairly catchy sound to this, it rattles along well. A bit more melody in here and some great riffing. Picking up the pace, with a chasing rhythm, till the sudden, dramatic end.

Cemetery Wolf – Instant battle attack. A form of heaviness reminiscent of castle wall defences and drawbridge reinforcements. Just pure, all-out war. Monster vocals, surrounded by sheer metallic force. Ending on a sound like the call of the war’s end.

Warlock Moon – Banging intro, very resonant of classic Anthrax, as thrashy as it gets. Especially echoing the riff on ‘Armed And Dangerous’. Really solidly thrash throughout. It’s a great headbanger.

Gargoyle – Deliciously heavy intro, much like Focus’s ‘Hocus Pocus’ meets the ‘Magnum PI’ theme, meets Grand Magus’s ‘Like The Oar Strikes The Water’. A very tasty Viking flavour runs through this. The Warriors are approaching and they mean business. A great combo of vivid accompaniments throws out arcs of steel. Angry, raw and aggressive. Heating up, as the pace quickens and it ends with a tremendous finale, staking its claim to metal. Powerful stuff.

Black Tide Rising – Captivating steel string intro, sucking you right into its vortex. Another fast-paced track, with a measured delivery, building the tension, as it goes. Growing in heaviness all the time, there’s a very strong battle theme about it, almost enabling you to see the blood lust, as it’s satiated. Ending acutely and definitively.

Mutants Of The Iron Age – Crazy paced riffing and drumming from the word go. Vocals really going for it here. Spewing blackened bile, till the blood’s being spilt, in front of your eyes. Loaded with brilliantly heavy riffage and battering the drums, like there’s no tomorrow. Just a wild, bacchanalian riff fest, from start to end. Immense.

Overall – Never putting a foot wrong, from start to finish, ‘Lords Of The Permafrost’ is a hugely visually accessible feast of heavy metal throughout. Bringing to mind Viking warriors and blood-filled battles, it’s about as heavy as it gets. Thoroughly enjoyable and rich with intensity. Buy ‘LOTP’ now.

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

For fans of Grand Magus, Anthrax, Exodus, From North, Alestorm, Sabaton, Bullriff Stampede.

Pre-order on:
or on:   (USA)

Posted February 25, 2019 by jennytate in Uncategorized

SCORCHER – ‘Systems Of Time’   1 comment

Starting out as a solo project, in Serres, Greece, SCORCHER’s debut demo, ‘Labyrinth’, was launched in 2011, under their previous band name, ‘TEX’. Their debut album, ‘Armageddon From The Sky’, came the following year. Meanwhile, the band name was changed to SCORCHER. 3 gigs later, they were beginning to break through the scene. In this time, they’d played support for Enforcer, Sarissa and performed at the ‘Music Breakpoint Fest’, Serres.

Some line-up changes took place and SCORCHER played at ‘Live ‘n’ Aid’, Thessaloniki and ‘Metal From Hellas II’ Fest, Athens. A 2 track EP, ‘Harbinger Of Death’ was published during 2013 and re-recorded in 2015, for use on the ‘Steal The Throne’ album. Cover art by Andreas Marshall (Running Wild, Blind Guardian, Kreator, Sodom, In Flames).

More line-up changes followed, culminating in the new album, ‘Systems Of Time’, at the close of 2018.

Nightwatch – Fast and furious, insistent drumming intro’s, with a heavy bass line backing up the frenetic riffing. Very much a classic new wave power sound, ensuring you you’re safe in SCORCHER’s naturally metallic hands. Just full of yummy speed metal, lifting the atmosphere around it, with absolute consummate ease. Great start and that’s the kind of metal I like to hear.

War Terror – Ace electrified sharp riff introing, leading into more delicious speed drumming and melodic vocals. Reminding slightly of Negative Sixx. Very catchy and feasting on some scrumptious riff melodies, making it a proper metal treat. Growing increasingly catchy, throwing in as many traditional metal hooks as possible, it’s easily addictive.

Shadowing – Great heavy drum intro, with a warning note to the vocals and an associated build-up feeling of imminent danger. Maintaining a thoroughly involving, fast pace throughout and combining the omen with fun melodies. Incorporating an even faster drum solo, before breaking into the next section, getting faster all the time. Highly melodic, coming to a well perfected crescendo, this is just a thorough speed fest.

Wired Nature – Coming in so quickly and involvingly, it’s immediately seamless. Lots of gloriously heavy riffs, an almost theatrical vocal edge and beautifully sharp. Colour and light abounds, painting explosive pictures in your mind. It’s almost moving into the musical operatic arena. Always rapidly rhythmic, ending with a sudden mysterious feminine whisper. (Note of intrigue well covered).

Systems Of Time – Gorgeous colourful cautiously picked riffs open. Again, it’s going into operatic musical territory. Certainly never losing the speed element, for a moment. Something in the vocals vaguely echoes Blaze Bayley’s style of delivery. A really fulsome sound, adding lots of variety and vigour.

Words Like Fire – Sexy acute riff intro, setting the scene instantly). Gaining in speed, resonating heavily, with that anthemic sound, getting right in there and grabbing your soul, so you’re drawn in and trapped in the feeling of the melody. This has got to be the standout track, for certain and you won’t forget it. Something similar to elements of March In Arms’ ‘MIA’ album burns right through you. It may be seen as slightly repetitive, but to my mind, it’s seductively so and that’s one thing guaranteed to etch a song into your soul.

Void – Mysterious element entering the scene now, with a mystical sound introing, before bursting into shards of metallic pleasure again. A real speed feast of epic melody and liveliness. This is just one of those tracks that only the dead behind the eyes could fail to like. Well held note, near the end and a fabulously dramatic drum hit and riff closing.

In The End – Beautifully emotional riff opens onto a visual scene opening up before you. So accessible, blowing up into a heartfelt message, exploding into a vibrant soundscape. Here may be said to be the wild card, in a sense, given the full spectrum of emotions it connects you with, through so many colours and shades of light variations. It’s what you might call a true multi-sensory experience, proving, beyond doubt, what such skilled musicians as this can do with a song and the instruments through which it’s played. Spectacular.

Remembrance – Another light filled explosion of colour and metallic acumen. Easy to get into, blitzing its way through the track, with some real wow moments scattered strategically, but effortlessly through it. Those soaring vocals just lift it into the stratosphere and it genuinely will wow you, with the incredible vocal gymnastics and sheer synchronicity. Ending on a perfect Malmsteen-esque riff section, it’s utterly mind blowing.

Overall – A complete wow fest, growing in power and stature, with every track. A rare, outstanding and shining example of the mind blowing beauty that metal really is. This has amazed me and I have nothing but praise for it. ‘SOT’ is up there, with the best and you should enrich your life, by buying it and listening to it, this instant.

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

Standout Track – ‘Words Like Fire’

For fans of March In Arms, Negative Sixx, Blaze Bayley, Shahyd Legacy, Yngwie Malmsteen, Marius Danielsen.

Posted February 24, 2019 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Flat World Theory – ‘A Brand New View’   Leave a comment

Emerging alternative rock band Flat World Theory combine atmospheric rock with grunge, through energetic shows, at which their music connects with the audience, on a very personal level. Delivering a reliable frequency of gigs and releases, FWT are fast becoming a popular fixture in the scene.

Falling – Instantly catchy Oasis-esque riff and vocal intro’s. There’s a great beat to this and the production and sound values are spot on. It just bursts onto the scene, with pure raw enthusiasm and obvious passion. Real feelgood stuff, with a strong 90’s Brit rock flavour. This could easily become addictive and it’s quite powerfully visual. Lots of fun, melody and chord based riffage, consistently sunny and echoing the Virginmary’s ‘Northern Sun Sessions’. Bubblegum rock, at its best.

I Found Away – Snazzy riffage introing, followed by some well timed, equally rhythmic drumming. Now, it’s moving further towards Pulp territory, but still retaining the heaviness. It’s a good workable combo of rock, grunge and Britpop, with a bit of punky edge thrown in. Good definitive ending. (And yes, ‘away’ is supposed to be one word).

Lower Your Love – Slightly lighter-hearted intro, but not losing its edge at all. A little bit free and improv sounding and again, that gorgeously nostalgic 90’s sense pervades. A well defined gritty, grungy vocal edge, which, once heard, is likely to be hard to forget. The words ‘signature sound’ definitely show all over this.

I Am The Forest – Tasty heavy riff opening, setting the scene for a more thudding sound and feel and that’s just how it continues. Catchy, hook filled stuff leaves you wanting to go back and relive your teen years, adding a lot more fun, this time around. Building the tension, more and more, till the end, it certainly makes its mark.

Wrong – Confident, Oasis-esque drum roll intro’s, with harder riffs and a sharper vocal edge. Quickly getting into a catchy rhythm, in a delicious tone, much like a slightly heavier version of The Wonder Stuff. The great strength of this is the momentum with which it grows heavier and heavier. It’s just a really fun, lively listen you can rock out to, party style.

Overall – ‘A Brand New View’ is exactly that, really. Upbeat, refreshing and melodic, it’s full of life and happy vibes. Cast your mind back to your favourite 90’s Brit rock bands and then add a harder, heavier, grungier edge and you’re there. Proper light-hearted party rock.

7/10 *******

For fans of Oasis, Blur, Pulp, Placebo, Elastica, Embrace, The Wonder Stuff, Jellyfish, The Virginmary’s.

Posted February 23, 2019 by jennytate in Uncategorized

USURPER – ‘Beyond The Walls Of Ice’   Leave a comment

Chicago metal extremists USURPER now have a new track released as a YouTube sample listen. ‘Beyond The Walls Of Ice’ is taken from the imminent 8 track album, ‘Lords of the Permafrost’, due for release on March 22nd, through Soulseller Records. It can be pre-ordered online.

Beyond The Walls Of Ice – Thudding heavy bass and riffs introing, with a very mosh friendly beat. Proper growly vocals, darkly conveyed and lots of catchy, mid-paced riffing. Plenty of slide and bottleneck style, commanding most of the track, with a very heavy presence. Ending definitively, on more of the same. It definitely does create an aural impression of icy visual landscapes and given that, it’s ease of performance and it’s clear production, it does its job well.

8/10 ********

For fans of Amon Amarth

Pre-order links:   (USA).

Posted February 20, 2019 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Motive – ‘Fight The World’   Leave a comment

Founded June 1999, Motive now has a new line-up, enhancing the new wave, decimating sound with which they identify.
Their current album, ‘Fight The World’, was launched on December 1st, 2018 and is universally available, through all digital platforms. Presently on tour in America, they’re 6 shows down, with 14 more to go and plans to add to that figure.

Thrash Priest – Blistering intro, making an immediate indelible impression. That really is a full force metal attack. The steam roller effect here’ll go down well with fans of Spreading The Disease. It’s a sound edging towards blackness, but with more of a thrash focus, leaning heavily on the heaviness itself. One thing that can definitely be said for this is that it’s intense and immensely so. Picture a gigantic boulder coming towards you, in slow motion, then gathering speed and add a heavy metal soundtrack. Now you’re there.

One With The Water – Now the riffs take centre stage, with the heavily thrashy vocals, carrying a hint of death. There’s actually a Viking-esque sound to this, along with some great exciting fretwork and it’s played at breakneck speed. This is one of those indefinably catchy tracks, with that something unique and special about it. Heavy’s an understatement and it’s just delightfully forceful and ferocious.

Boycott Your Boycott – Another blistering opening, like a metallic aperture, tearing itself to shreds. Lively, lethal and energising. Magnificent shredding, melodic and crushing, in equal measure. Loaded with power and Lamb Of God echoes, this should come with a ‘warning – risk of exploding eardrums’ label.

Evil In The Devil – Change of tack now, moving down a gear, with some gentle acoustic tones, still sinister, but revealing a lighter side, at least initially, till it bursts back into life again, with menacing aggression. The level of power within this is quite awesome. Liking the vocal changes, from low-down masculine depth, to blackened, full frontal anger. It really does depict its title well.

Grass Ain’t Greener – Drumming hitting the nail right on the head, with instant rhythm and earsplitting all-round sound. The driven rhythm leads the way here, ably assisted by catchy tones and a deadly and increasingly blackened vocal. Alternating, at the mid-section, with a briefly slower pace, then the aggression hits again. Like coming face-to-face with a rabid, slavering beast.

An Act Of God – Drumming blitz intro’s, with a catchy melody and memorable pace. Some fabulous bass work, laying down a solid foundation and an exhilarating rhythm speeds it along. A real headbanger, with undeniable mosh appeal.

Goodbye Again – Very stop start, Metallica-esque style to this one, but with even more thrash and tasty heaviness. Again, that Viking edge creeps back in, adding colourful visuals. Experimenting with pace alternations and reloading with more of the by now familiar speed. Real passion in those vocals and a very slight southern blues echo, at times. The heaviness is unrelenting and deliciously so.

Digital Slave – Immediate hit, getting straight in there, with a fast-paced thread and a vocal sound like a sped up Crash Test Dummies, crossed with a classic southern blues crunch. It’s wild, untameable and free.

Fight The World – Banging intro, solid and brooking no argument. A damn good heavy metal title track. Quick paced, with a rapid-fire drumming fest and another Lamb Of God echo. Real thrash material, with deathy leanings and a well-defined ending. Acute, like a volcanic eruption.

Headstones And Pictures – Another instant hit, opening with probably the catchiest, moshiest sound yet. Filled to the brim with terrorising metal and packed with volume. That rumble of thunder returns and this time, the boulder’s picked up speed and is about to crush you flat. Truly decimating. All over before you know it, but not before it’s blown your brains out, with a full-scale steel assassination.

Overall – Powerful doesn’t even begin to cut it. ‘Fight The World’ creates a solid impression of doing just that, with all guns blazing and a sniper ready, just to cover all angles. It’s monumentally thunderously aggressive, from start to finish. You wouldn’t want to screw with Motive, that’s for sure. Prepare to blow your own brains out, with sheer volume and power alone. A monster of an album.

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

For fans of Spreading The Disease, Obzidian, Lamb Of God, Devildriver, Dez Fafara, Killswitch Engage, Kyrbgrinder, Boltthrower, Line Of Fire.

Posted February 19, 2019 by jennytate in Uncategorized