Archive for May 2019

In Silence – ‘The Worst Liar’   Leave a comment

A female fronted Swedish melodic metal band, who’ve been around since 2016, In Silence have scaled the heights of the scene in Sweden, becoming known for their varied and imaginative touch. Last year was a great success for them and included a slot at ‘Raise Your Fist For Metal Fest’, amongst countless other appearances. This year, they’re playing at Sweden Rock Fest, its biggest national rock/metal fest. To date, they’ve launched new material, including their EP, ‘One For All’ and the current single, ‘The Worst Liar’, which was out on May 24th, 2019.

The Worst Liar – Fast and melodic from the start, the feel’s there immediately. It’s got it all. The catchy hooks, speeding riffs, vocal skill and evident passion, heaps of easily addictive melody and genuinely conveyed lyrics. Drums rolling along nicely and rhythmically. Matched by the easy vocal rolls. Liking, especially, the gritty vocal sections, cementing the conviction. It does end a tad abruptly and could have done with being a bit longer. Smooth, seamless performance, with only the slightly abrupt finish to fault and lots more to relish.

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

For fans of Halestorm, Vixen, Love Stricken Demise, Delain.

Represented by Kingart Music, Sweden.

Posted May 31, 2019 by jennytate in Uncategorized

JR Blunk And The Music Warriors – ‘Brother To Brother’   1 comment

Introducing a new collaboration between the recently sadly deceased JR Blunk and JC Berdoo, featuring Rocky Who, on bass. ‘Brother To Brother’ is JR’s final all acoustic album, now in memorial to him.

Brother To Brother – Flowing right into the intro, with a beautiful riff and clear passion in the vocals. Fairly folky in its style, you feel this one, right through to your soul. There’s a gorgeous simplicity to it. Meaningful lyrics, sung in a heartfelt manner. Even a nice bit of slide, at the end. Always patient, never rushed, the rhythm just flows.

Corner Tavern – Louder, bolder intro here. Again, a strong folk theme, confidently conveyed. Pleasant melody, delivered with the same passion as before. A powerful vibe to this, along the lines of Seasick Steve, with even more feeling.

Game Of Stud And Whiskey – Introing on a marginally slower tempo, this is one of those laid-back singalong tracks. An appealing old world charm pervades. A little brief, but it says all it has to. Quite a country feel to this, relaxed and free.

Good Lovin’ – Opening on a slightly darker riff, with a vague flamenco echo. Very plausibly performed. Again, that voice rises, with true feeling. Soaring upwards, the track flies, like a bird. Loads of beautiful riffage and once more, there’s an easy confidence and a powerful basic foundation.

Meet Me In Heaven Tonight – Liking that strong, contemplative riff intro. Thoughtful vocals, so resonant and warm. Hopeful and intense, loaded with infectious sounds. Transporting you to another realm, this just hits that spot. Lyrically magical and so evocative, there’s a real imaginative power in here.

Screaming Eagle Flies – Introing with a similar vibe, this returns to the country/traditional format. Very brief, but succinct. Based around a simple concept, it needs no more.

You’ll Know How It Feels – A stronger, tighter riff opens, with clear intent. So much emotion packed into it. Real-life lessons within those lyrics, which just carry you away. Another heartfelt, evocative number, with a thread of true beauty shining through.

Sweet Freedom Land – String bending intro, quickly moving into an old-fashioned singalong rhythm. Very short, but it makes its self-explanatory point. A traditional one, needless to say.

Sweet Mountain Water And Clean Mountain Air – Faster pace intro’s, with a pleasant, contemplative thread, expressive and open. Like the sound of this. A memorial of sorts, ending on a short, clipped, definitive riff. Again, it wraps it all up, in a brief space of time.

Whiskey Road – Powerful riff intro’s, more involved and complex. A light-hearted thread here, delivered via a strong, heavy voice. The happy emotion’s audible and it just rolls along, lightly, till the end.

Overall – What I like best about this is its beautiful simplicity. It says so much, in such a short space of time. Very much rooted in tradition, it’s a basic format, presented with a huge volume of feeling. As a memorial album, it’s well chosen and well conveyed, with clear connections to the spiritual essence of JR himself. His vocals really bring that forward and the impressive sound quality proves the power inherent within acoustic music.

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

Standout Track – ‘Meet Me In Heaven Tonight’

For fans of Seasick Steve, country rock, The Eagles.

Posted May 30, 2019 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Brackish Tide – ‘The View From Below’   61 comments

A heavy metal hard rock band from Somerset County, Maryland, USA, Brackish Tide was formed in 2014. They launched their debut album, ‘The View From Below’, in September 2015. Next came a single, entitled, ‘Carpe Noctum’, during 2017, following a line-up change. BT are presently performing live and preparing their next album.

Novus Initium – Introing with the sound of oars, skimming through water and a motorboat, approaching. Already, I’m intrigued. Brief, but imaginative.

Tide – Instantly rocked up intro. A deliciously deep tone pervades and for similarity’s sake, you could say this is like The Doors/Nick Cave, with a more upbeat vibe. A strong ocean theme and lots of rhythm.

The Sting Of My Bitterness – Riff and drum intro, moving straight into a confident, loose rhythm. Again, there’s an underlying darkness seeping through the light. It picks up speed, in a controlled, yet laid-back way. Continuing in much the same vein, till the gritty closing vocals and final brief drum hits.

Lilith – Easily recognisable riff intro, similar to the intro and chorus to Priest’s ‘Nightcrawler’. A higher pitch to this one, but still fairly dark. Some really nice riff melodies in there. There’s a comfortable ease about this and the pace just rolls along, with that same sense.

I Am The Goat – Merging everything together well, for this intro, it rocks along, with a slightly heavier vibe and a distant Motorhead echo. This time, there’s a distinct mirror to Metallica’s ‘Whiplash’, within the chorus. Vocals quite sludgy and throaty. Curious title.

Devil’s Daughter – Low down doom tone intro’s. Now, it becomes a little lighter and looser, in structure. Liking the sound of this. It’s catchy and more memorable, lyrically and musically. Well controlled movement and flow. Yummy drumming. A standout potential. Good placing of that anthemic section, in harmony. Definitely my favourite, so far. Bringing it down, at the end, in a bluesy formula.

Lie Down And Die – Moving right into a mid-paced flow. Harder, heavier and altogether more deliciously dark. Still, the light peeks through, between the beastly vocals, during the chorus. Once again, the bluesy thread’s audible and it works well. Rumbling towards a gritty ending, it’s doom based and flows well.

Painism – Liking that ‘Breaking The Law’-esque intro). Straight into its peak, featuring monster roars, amidst the hard blues rock format. Some tasty song structures. A bit of an abrupt ending! That was a misjudgement.

So It Is Done! – Good grungy intro, very AIC-esque. That works instantly. A little bit of a sinister edge to the vocals. A good job with those vocals, though, given some of the tones are tricky, with potential for flatness. He hits them well. Nice fade-out). Cool and sexy).

Ch3No2 – A similarly grunge based intro, with an injection of sludgy doom. Again, it’s darkly heavy, with a good, catchy rhythmic melody. A well-placed closer. Adding a slight sci-fi aspect to those background vocals. Luckily, the main sound is one very much along the hard rock heavy metal lines. Very decent chorus, moving towards a final crunch.

Overall – A very palatable album, displaying a decent mixture of doom, hard rock, heavy metal, blues, grunge and sludge. Proving themselves very capable of delivering, BT have done a great job with ‘TVFB’. Plenty to be proud of here. A couple of more memorable tracks, amongst the flow of loosely laid, deftly handled arrangements and generally, a well executed album.

8/10 ********

For fans of The Doors, Nick Cave, AIC, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, BOC, Motorhead, Faith No More.

Posted May 25, 2019 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Life Of Scars – ‘When The Devil Walks In’   Leave a comment

Performing around Dallas Fort Worth and internationally, since the 90’s, Life Of Scars are a power trio, lifting reality from its hiding places and projecting it onto their music. This is a destined sound, honed over many years of experience, from which has sprung countless albums, including Hammer Witch, Demonseed and Hell Goat.

Having a significant wealth of live circuit appearances behind them, including a diverse spectrum of experience, from small venues, to support tours and opening for renowned bands, they each bring a collective mass of studio skills.

The debut album, ‘When The Devil Walks In’ is a fearless eye-opener, conveying a new and original signature, marking them out from the crowd. Within their interpretation of life is a relatable sound, applicable to your own inner world.

DWI Intro – Cutting intro, cloaked in darkness, as a sinister voice sets the scene, amidst creepy atmospherics and evil laughter.

When The Devil Walks In – A battery of drums opens, joined by hardened riffs and edgy vocals, depicting the lay of the land. Good use of voice distortion and change of pace and format, 3/4 in, as a more melodic slant takes over, temporarily, before the Dalek-like vocals return. It’s precise and focused.

With My Last Breath – High-speed drumming intro’s, adding excitement and a lighter sound, interlinking with the similar structures, as previously. A fairly Metallica-esque section, echoing the ‘Kill Em All’ era. Quite growly and intense, with monsterish vocal themes.

There’s No Coming Down – Strong beat introing, taking it into a similarly fast-paced arrangement. Has to be said, it’s very samey, lyrically and though it’s undoubtedly strong, performance wise, with a clear hard-lined approach, the vocals are very repetitive. Fading out on a well paced rhythmic riff, it does have definite crunch.

Just Because I Can – Speeding things up again, that’s probably its greatest strength, so far. Very little vocal change, though. Admittedly, the spoken word thread this is taking does limit opportunities for as much diversity, but it needs more variation injecting into it. A decent bit of whammy and vibrato in there, approximately 3/4 in, additional backing vocals support, till the definitive ending.

All Is Lost – A more enlivening pace intro’s. This heats things up a bit, adding a chasing theme, making good use of melodic riffage. Still the same repetitive vocal issue, rehashing the Dalek mode, but there is more riffage and that’s faultless. Good general structure and a pleasant lighter arrangement, slowing things down, till they pick up again. One thing that does stand out is the concentration and attention to detail that’s gone into this and that can only be a good thing. Reaching its conclusion, with a building anticipation, the track reaches its end.

Give Me A Reason – Instant drumming flurry intro’s. Again, those Dalek-esque vocals are unchanging. Yes, they’re passionate and yes, they’re well handled, but they’re just too repetitive and samey. All accompaniments are unquestionably proficient and I’m liking that whammy section, throwing in a bit more flavour and verve. The vocals, however, are increasingly boring and lacking that special ingredient.

Let There Be Darkness – Pleasantly heavy drum and riff intro. Still, the vocals are sticking rigidly, to the same repetitious formula. More enjoyable vibrato and some great riffing. It’s definitely more instrumentally powerful. The beat may be a bit monotone and bleak, but the delivery of the complex riffs definitely compensates.

Legacy Of Pain – Good strong bass heavy riff intro. That’s a decent start, well surrounded by the thunderous drums. Hitting a higher speed, it suddenly races along, with greater energy. It still doesn’t hit that spot, though. The riffs are certainly its biggest draw, rapidly followed by the drumming. Vocally, it needs some serious diversification. They just get jarring and irritating, after a while. ‘Whovian’ themes hugely overdone.

Overall – Instrumentally is where this shines. Taken alone, the accompaniments would win a higher score. Vocally, it’s unfortunate. Not out of poor delivery, as it’s inherently skilled, on that level, too, but simply on the basis of continuous samey repetition. Whilst spoken word vocals may be difficult to maintain, the jarring, unchanging fashion of these makes them unpalatable and lets down the rest of the production. As an instrumental, it would have worked. Sadly, it’s lyrically disappointing.

6/10 ******

For fans of Slayer, Metallica, Megadeth, Hamerex.



Official debut video link:

Music and videos:
Also available on above website.

Phil Anselmo, Abney and ‘Scorched Earth Policy’, Warbeast with Wayne Abney – vocals, July 14th 2017:

Posted May 23, 2019 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Dark Legacy – ‘The Rejects’   Leave a comment

Welcome to ‘The Rejects’, Dark Legacy’s album, brought to you by some of the members of Blutfeld.

Martii Grandiosa – That’s a bit of an intriguing intro, combining a ghostly sinister format with a high level, upbeat melody, over the top. Taking its time, at an even pace, it’s soon over and leaves an air of mystery behind.

Land Of Sorrow – Straight into a deathy vocal and a melodic riff. A vague medieval/Celtic sound pervades the rhythm and the mix of feminine and masculine vocals adds something indefinable. A very cultured track.

Earthquake – Precision timing in that intro. Right down to business, this is a slightly bigger sound, throwing in a very slight sci-fi strand, made more prominent by the other vocals singing the chorus. Some great guitar work in that outro. Very powerful and always vibrant.

The Challenge – Synth/mellotron intro, leading into a death vocal, interweaving with a gentle feminine voice. Something of a dramatic, theatrical turn to this, incorporating a bit of gothic horror. Still keeping the backing music light. Ending on a sinister tone.

The Witch – Again, opening with that synth sound, though this time, combined with a gorgeously velvet guitar riff. Drums coming in, controlled and cautious, till they speed up, approximately mid-way through. Gradually, the pace slows, with a surrounding echoic shared vocal. Like a tale of old, retold in modern format, it holds a certain timelessness.

Metal Warrior – Church organ intro, emulating sections of Bach/Beethoven, before the metal explosion takes over, placing a Malmsteen-esque riff section over the top, with complete ease. Moving into a sound combining various strands of neoclassical metal, charging between melo-death expression. There’s great beauty within it.

The Rejects – Classic medieval baroque intro. Dark Legacy are nothing, if not complex. Gradually building a stronger defence around the gentler segments, utilising a bigger accompaniment. Building on it, more powerfully, with every new aspect. Ending on a visually evocative seashore sound, with a doorbell pulley ringing, lightly, in the background. Very calming and contemplative number.

Zadkiel – Slowly emerging operatic intro, depicting the lyrical narrative. Very gentle, softer track, formed around the mission of the Angel Zadkiel. Highly unexpected detail to hear in any metal track and just very beautiful, co-mingling male and female vocals, making it all the more special.

Overall – ‘The Rejects’ is quite a special album, with unique factors throughout it. Borrowing from a rich combo of genres and inspirations, it’s unpredictable and the end result, eclectic. Its biggest draw is that it’s unafraid to venture into new territory and experiment with sound and style. With much to recommend it, ‘TR’ is a one-off representation of diversity, which truly pushes and defies the perceived boundaries of melo-death.

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

For fans of Yngwie Malmsteen, Hitwood, Falagar, Nightwish, Within Temptation, Leaves Eyes, Satarial, Stratovarius, Latitudes.

Posted May 21, 2019 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Spreading The Disease – ‘Mindcell’   Leave a comment

Introducing brand-new 5 track EP, ‘Mindcell’, from Southern based metallers Spreading The Disease.

Obsession – Crunchy intro, brutal, angry and raw. Heavily deathy, with melodic sections and a strong thrash element. Vocals very much shouted, in a death metal format and it seems they’ve taken on more of a metal core, industrial angle now. Bit of a mixed bag and a little inconsistent, at times, losing focus on the pace of the flow. A marked departure from their previous album.

Voices – A mysterious gong intro’s, before moving into familiar metallic arenas, momentarily, till a disconcertingly quiescent sole voice expresses its pain. Alternating that maudlin tone with loud and aggressive metal, sounding slightly more like the STD of old. Some pleasant riff melodies do appear, weaving between the angrier parts and the emotion’s definitely well conveyed, with STD’s trademark heaviness ending, but it’s a different direction for the band, which may take some getting used to.

The Anger Inside – Opening with a now increasingly ubiquitous air raid siren. Launching straight into hard line aggression. Fairly generic sounds, again, more metal core/grind core than straight out heavy metal. Solo spoken word section, interwoven with the group death/thrash vocals, ending on a final incensed shout.

Waves – Pleasant, listenable waves aptly intro, with a lighter general surrounding sound. It’s interspersed with a rawer intention, yet somehow, this just doesn’t sound like STD. More melodic, still edging towards their old crushing demeanour, with a slight in and out effect. Moving well away from the old style we’ve known them for, though. Returning to the quieter mode, with clearly plausible lyrics closing.

Conflicted – Brief drum intro, carrying the hope of a return to form. Throwing down the angry, livid vocals immediately. More of a rhythmic tempo to this one, still well delivered, with a nicely controlled pace and unarguable angry passion, but it’s just a step too far from their previous work, for me.

Overall – An unexpectedly different sound from the STD of before and whilst ‘Mindcell’ has its plus points, in places, it now seems to be moving much more in the direction of metal core/grind core/industrial metal, which, although the raging passion’s still there, just doesn’t sound like STD and it’s unrecognisable from their last 2 albums. Experimentation’s good, but please let’s not chuck the baby out, with the bathwater.

6/10 ******

For fans of grime, industrial, grind core, metal core and melo-death.

Available now on Surgery Records.

Posted May 19, 2019 by jennytate in Uncategorized

SKANNERS – ‘Temptation’   1 comment

Legendary Italian heavy metal band SKANNERS mark their return to the scene, with a new, recently released album, ‘Temptation’.
Originally formed in 1982, they’ve now signed to Alpha Omega Management. ‘Temptation’, launched in March 2019, is now available.

In Flammen 666 – Heavy as hell, steel laden intro! Immediately, that hardened hook’s present and the power screams chime with the infectious chorus. This is classic, ending on a satisfied sigh of relief).

Rays In The Darkness – Slight time delay, but the thunderous electrifying impact compensates instantly. Slightly softer vocals here, introing harmonies, at the perfect point and it really connects. Gorgeously melodic and very much, the real deal. That voice is an absolute natural born power screamer and it ends definitively and cleanly, even if I did want more.

Rolling In The Fire – A bit of a strange intro there, but it does add a touch of mystery. Refreshingly cool and easy, with all that constitutes catchy, high octane, memory cementing metal. Just a great melody, laid-back, but tight rhythm, with a slightly looser edge to the riffs. Loving that final laugh).

Cut My Heart – A more sombre tone opens, blasting open the well of emotion evidently present. Getting heavier and angrier, it tells a story of pain and fighting a battle with life. Beautifully displayed narrative. Strong vocals, conveying the power of will and the struggle to maintain it. Same emotivity expressed in the riffs. Darkness pervades, as reality’s existence bites. More precise power screams close, with the heavy drum beats.

Demons Of Tomorrow – Introing with the most amazing riff melody! A speed element drives it forward. A strong anthemic strand lives within this, giving it life. Medicine for the soul. Combining traditional metal sounds, with new wave aspects and an overriding speed/power essence. Beautiful complex melodies. Pitch perfect vocals. Intense rhythms. All you could want and always a deliciously heavy close.

The Eye – Highly emotional, gentle intro, this time, accompanied by gradually emerging drums and then exploding into life. Massive melody, beautifully structured, reflecting the movement between heavy and light, gentler and harder textures and so much passion, as it grows catchier. True catharsis.

Lost In Paradise – Opening with a group vocal, flowing right into another complex mood. Quicker pace, absolute ease of delivery, faultlessly performed. It’s got the metal edge, the timing and the sense of rhythm to make it a hit. Classic stop start section, building up to the close and a defined drum hit and riff ending. Seamless.

The Letter – Crushing intro. This is heaviness incarnate. There’s a certain zest to the riffs and line endings. That passion is definitely palpable. Descending down the riffs scales, as the beat comes down. It’s real hit territory, with the kind of hooks every metal head thrives on. Sharpened electricity sings within the riffs. Ending acutely, brooking no argument. There’s definitely a special essence to SKANNERS.

Back To The Past – Blazing right into life, with frenetically executed riffs. The vocal strength is very much along the old school lines, hitting the heart of metal. Melodies to kill, so accessible, gorgeously sexy high-pitched riffs and just addictive. Alternating the flow of the rhythm, with some tonal variations, towards the end and closing on another awesome cackle).

Pray With My Angel – Gorgeous riff melody introing. Again, moving straight into the moment. You just want this song to wrap its wings round you and embrace you. It’s pure beauty, from start to finish. Including the fade-out.

Always Remember – A more emotional intro again, with something of a Celtic echo. Demoing a gentle vocal, surrounded by an equally light accompaniment. Getting stronger and heavier, from there, in a soaring melody. The melody stands on its own, with a real anthemic presence. Returning to the lighter thread, at the end, it’s a rich and meaningful finale.

Overall – It’s always hard to put into words the sheer beauty, excellence and originality of an album like this, when you hear it. ‘Temptation’ really is incredibly special and such a rewarding listen. There’s a genuinely soulful feel, from beginning to end and it’s one which catches you, right in the heart. A warm, engaging and affecting work, which heals, from the inside out.

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

For fans of DIO, Emerald, Savatage, Heavylution.

Posted May 18, 2019 by jennytate in Uncategorized

MORTADO – ‘Rupert The King’   Leave a comment

MORTADO is the new project of legendary Italian vocalist GL Perotti. The band launched new album, ‘Rupert The King’ on 26th April 2019, throughout Europe, as a co-release, between Self Distribuzione Milano and CODE 7/Plastic Head UK, on behalf of Blasphemous Records.

New Blind Illusion cover single ‘Blood Shower’ is available to stream and download, at their bandcamp page and on spotify.

The video for the track, ‘Rupert The King’ is also now available on YouTube.

MORTADO began in 2018, when Gianluca GL Perotti (founding member) was contacted by Manuel Togni (drummer for SOULPHUREUS, SPELLBLAST and session player for Uli Jon Roth, Blaze Bayley, Kee Marcello, Doogie White), following his departure from EXTREMA.

GL fronted one of Italy’s greatest ever metal bands. During his time in EXTREMA, he recorded 6 studio albums, 3 EP’s, a live album and DVD and ‘best of’ album, in addition to numerous singles – 2 of them, chart-topping tracks, via a collaboration with hip-hop band ARTICOLO B.

EXTREMA’s live catalogue includes; opening for Italy’s biggest rock band VASCO ROSSI, Metallica, Megadeth and Suicidal Tendencies; Sonoria Fest, ’95, alongside Faith No More, Paul Weller, Rollins Band, Paradise Lost and Biohazard; Sweden Rock Fest 2006, with Alice Cooper, Deep Purple, Def Leppard, Anvil, Arch Enemy, Cathedral, Celtic Frost; a European tour, with Death Angel, 2008; opening for Motorhead, 2009; Vans Spring Classic 2013, alongside Millencollin, 2013 and numerous Italian Gods Of Metal Fests. GL also launched 2 albums with REBEL DEVIL and 1 with ALLEHELLUJA.

Born from their original intention to create catchier, more commercially based material, came the edgier, more powerful genre of Bay Area thrash metal. The rest of the line-up was formed, from live members of Dennis Stratton, Blaze Bayley and Will Hunt. The debut video for ‘Rupert The King’ was shot and directed by Daniele Farina, (known for producing other videos, for major Italian metal bands).

The album was financed through crowdfunding, via a Music Raiser campaign, produced by Carlo Meroni, at the A.D.S.L. studio, in Milan and launched by Blasphemous Records. There’s been massive demand for MORTADO’s gigs, in the wake of the publicity about the band.

Rupert The King – A shrill beeping intro’s, …. then it explodes into a very deathy vocal growl. Classic metal accompaniments surround it. Well produced sound, precision timing, loaded with extremity.

In The Middle Of The Night – A blast of metal opens, with all the controlled fury you’d expect of such a seasoned band. Good underlying bass sound. The rhythm increases, as the riffs hit their stride, with plenty of punch. Getting heavier and edgier, till the end.

Babylon’s Flag – Cymbals hit the intro pace, hard and the metallic aura grows. Effortless vocals, building momentum, it gets catchier, as the track progresses. Ending on a final crash of drums and a thunderous atmosphere, it’s certainly a strong sound, though so far, it’s not quite connecting.

No Escape – Gritty vocals intro, more of an old school vibe here. The delivery’s exemplary and the audio production consistent, but it just doesn’t have that something for me. Plenty of inventive paradiddles and oozing metallic spirit, but the hooks are missing.

Double Face – A battery of drums opens. An upbeat sense to it, within the clear vocal aggression. Good bit of well-placed bass and a strategic in and out effect in there. A lot of passion and you can’t fault the performance. Stacked with great features, though it needs more catch.

Dangerous Deal – Bang! Unarguably heavy intro. Dark, deathy and accomplished. This one’s a bit catchier. More of a narrative thread to it and a steady pace, within the random alternations and sounds of background riots.

The Great Spirit – Gradually fading in, with a traditional Native American chant. Effective touch. Liking the sound effects. It’s unusual and more memorable, for that. A bluesier feel to this and a gentler melody. The rhythm’s quite hypnotic. As is the sound, generally. A nice addition, breaking up the sameness.

Venom – Explosive intro and here, the Blaze Bayley influence is instantly audible. It’s rabid, rapid and radically different. The best track yet. A clear standout number. Well employed whammy and riff scales and this one hits the point where melody and thrash combine. That’s what was needed and it works).

The Art Of Soul – Angry rage meets a cymbal attack intro, followed by heavy accompaniments. Again, this is better. Now, it’s catchy! A strong Pantera-esque echo adds the extra touch. Great vocal harmonies form an effective rhythm and the high melody hits the riffs at just the right point, taking the whole track in the hoped-for direction. Bringing it to a building crescendo, the finale’s heavy and hard, like a block of steel.

Secret Society – A drumming blitz intro’s, returning to growly death vocals, but quickly combining them with the more melodic side of thrash. Pace doing it equal favours and it flows this way. A very pleasant fading riff, at the mid-section and a gathering thunder infiltrates the drums. Great riff melodies there and the passion and conviction’s audible, through the lyrics. A well-positioned action movie chasing pace provides that additional atmospheric edge, as it tumbles to an end.

Blood Shower – Heavy drum and riff intro, much in the classic metal vein. Great effective Metallica-esque stop starts and a real metallic drawl to the vocals. Monster-ish and melodic, all at once. Increasingly thrashy, as it paints the bloodstained picture. Liking the placing of guitar melodies in here and the twang effect, adding a note of extra power. Coming to a crashing crescendo, at the finale, it’s a strong note to end on.

Overall – So ‘RTK’ took a while to get into its stride, but once it did, it really picked up, at the latter end. That was where its real strengths lay and those last few tracks contain the power, driving the album. Flawless, in performance and production terms, it combines a lot, within one album. Though it didn’t initially connect, during the deathier segments, I’m happy to say that picture changed, within the latter tracks and once the thrash and melody had met in the middle, its attraction came to life. Give it a whirl and stick with it, till the end, cos it’s worth the wait.

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

For fans of Pantera, Blaze Bayley, Bull Riff Stampede, Anthrax, WASP.

Posted May 17, 2019 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Allagash – ‘Cryptic Visions’   Leave a comment

Allagash are a quintet, from Newfoundland, Canada. Formed 2015, initially designed as a side project centred around aliens and unsolved mysteries, specifically pertaining to the Allagash abductions, the plan was to release a vinyl album, via crowdfunding. The plan worked. Cassette tapes were added. Everything sold out fast, including additional band merch. Allagash created a new EP, ‘Canadian Encounters’ (2018). Subsequently, the following positive acclaim brought gigs performing alongside renowned bands Voivod and Anvil. Raw Skull, from the Netherlands, then re-released their material, on CD, throughout Europe.

This, their 3rd album, ‘Cryptic Visions’, was launched on May 6th, 2019 and Allagash are now looking for press and label support, both for distribution and promo. A couple of line-up changes have taken place and ‘CV’ is a studio creation, with multiple techniques, adding to the volume of sound and the general quality of the work.

Intro – Slow move into the intro, carefully done, with a political oration clarifying the concept and meaning of the album. Nicely conveyed.

Beware The Light – A flurry of metal opens, in a delightfully fast tempo. Powered vocals, gritty and sexy as the chase down pace of the drums. Good catchy rhythm and flow. Easing into a lighter, more percussive based section, with echoic vocals and a gradually faster pace returns. A real haunting echo to the tones in here, marking them out from the crowd. Ending with a scary statement from he who must not be named. Yes, that’s right, the president whose name strikes fear into the hearts of the rest of humanity. Sent a shiver down my spine, for sure.

Evil Intent – Apt follow-up title. Crazed riffing steals the show instantly. Blisteringly melodic, well supported vocals, brimming with justified confidence. Immediately, it knows how to create catchy hooks and memorability. There’s something really unique about this sound. The vocals are strikingly strong and the back up from the accompaniments is something else. It really is like it’s from another world, in the sense in which it’s combined such sophisticated sounds with classic hints and speed metal structures and blended that with something hard to pinpoint, but truly unique. Now it’s reminding me of that ever elusive riff I’ll never be rid of. That’s the way to cement a song into your memory!

Strange Metal – Now I’m intrigued. Instant battle drums kick with a force inexplicable and everything’s in sync. A very visual one, with a notable warrior thread ringing through it. Darkening the melody, at the end, just prior to a gorgeous acoustic section, combined with a fairly ‘Civil War’-esque narration, alive with feeling. Versatility card astutely delivered here, proving their ability to move, with complete fluidity, from heavy metal, to soulful acoustic and spoken word format. Mesmeric.

From The Dark – Immediate speed hits home, blitzing through the air. Great loosened, laid-back riffs there, making all the right moves. Vivid electricity rends the atmosphere, as that haunting voice tells a tale of darkness and terror. A fabulous melody runs through this, working brilliantly with the pace. Just a little bit of an abrupt ending there, but it’s an effective way to leave you wanting more.

Privacy Invaders – Banging intro, very Ozzy-esque, echoing ‘Over The Mountains’ and ‘Bark At The Moon’. Still very much their own, though. Good heavy pounding beat there, retaining its essence, as it melts into a darker section. Beautiful steel string outro, accompanied by a rising tide surrounding it. Profoundly, fading out on an echoic riff. Slightly resonant of Sabbath’s ‘Spiral Architect’.

Under Watchful Skies – Again, leading right into another memory of ‘Spiral Architect’, with a sadder refrain. Lots of twang in these riffs, gently delivered….. and then,…… the mayhem begins!) Lyrically meaningful, quickened pace and a damn catchy melody. Darkness descends, through a light filled sound. Running with the heightened melody and matching it in pitch, it ends on a gorgeously shrill tone.

Eagle Lake – Deep, baritone sound intro’s, as if submerged, under the sea. Plucking notes, cautiously and keeping the bass most prominent. Palpable depths personified. Bringing in some fluid motion riffs, gathering pace and volume, as if coming up from the deep. Quickly, the rhythm gathers speed, throwing in some whammy and a few electrified riffs, then the drumming takes over and a Celtic aura floats over the track. Swimming through the rough, towards the shore now, the sea foam becomes audible, with the simultaneous haunting tones, replicating the cries of the Sea Lions. Again, that Celtic vibe comes back into play, within the sense of the song. Spine chilling words end the track, in combination with a medieval sounding riff of such inherent beauty, it pulls at your soul, as it fades away. A stronger strummed riff follows it, for the finale.

Overall – ‘Cryptic Visions’ is well titled, as it is so visual, throughout. This is, without doubt, one of the most unique, unusual and haunting albums I’ve heard, to date. Abundantly adept musicianship makes it what it is and there are some beautiful sound and style combo’s flowing through it; all of them affectingly executed. A gorgeously palpable album, fluidly delivered.

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

For fans of BERDOO, Black Sabbath, Joe Satriani, speed metal, generally, Ozzy’s ‘Essential’ era, Fury UK, Kiss Of The Gypsy.

Posted May 15, 2019 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Concrete Funeral – ‘Ultimum Judicium’   Leave a comment

A straight out death/thrash combo, from Calgary, Alberta, Concrete Funeral have been busily self promoting and performing ever since 2015. Sustaining a reputation for crushing live delivery, they’ve so far performed alongside Archspire, Battlecross, Disciples Of Power, Kataclysm and Toxic Holocaust.

Bringing a wealth of inspirations, including Warbringer, Zakk Wylde, Onslaught and Hypocrisy, CF’s technique results in a signature sound, echoing Death, Exodus and Lamb Of God. Taking particular influence from Hobo With A Shotgun, CF utilises a great deal of comedic horror within their material. Together, the quartet that is CF bring decades of experience with them. Due for release at the end of May, ‘Ultimum Judicium’ precedes an anticipated Canadian tour.

Ultimum Judicium – Coming in gradually, with a mysterious sci-fi-esque intro, with a warning narrative, the thrash then comes to life. Brief, but effective.

Speak Of The Devil – A strong drum hit opens, followed by a blitz of metal riffs and deathy thrash vocals. Unquestionably heavy, it’s a battery of acidic metal attack. Good momentum, keeping the throat ravaging screams going and hitting a harder, faster, more frantic pace, accumulating speed and rage, till the end.

Drown – Melodically heavy riff intro’s. Drums beating in equally heavy fashion. Frenetic one minute and slower, the next, the bass does a good job here, marking its presence, in all the right places. Very gory vocals, exploding with rabid rage. A strong, powerful rhythm keeps it heavy, all the way. Notable drum presence, throughout. The thrash is very much alive and well here. Great closing riffs, sliding into oblivion.

Holo-Comb – Immediate speed dictates the pace, in a deliciously heavy thrash format. Battering down the walls, those drums make themselves heard. Still, there’s melody and a well-placed bit of whammy and vibrato, in amongst the killingly heavy thrash. Lots of death influence, bringing things to a crashing crescendo. Affecting and explosive.

Code Adam – A blitzkrieg of riffage opens. Great catchy rhythm, right from the off. Noticeably riff heavy, those lyrics drip with venom. Edging towards blackness, growing heavier and heavier, whilst still injecting the melody, just where it’s needed. This couldn’t get much harder. Ending on a naturally vomitous vocal, it’s said its piece.

Toxic Fuck – A well honed riff intro melts into the rest, throwing in the vibrato early. Acute, sharp, electrifying riffs characterise this. Very deathy vocals again, spewing out bloodied words. Getting faster, the chase is on, as the nightmare takes hold. Quick as lightning, it’s over, with a few short hits and screams.

Mattress Stains – Drums beating their way into the intro, there’s a slightly sinister sound to the ‘Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star’ references, I must admit. Once more, the blackness overtakes. Highly death fuelled, the pace picks up and the dying screams make their mark. A slight stop start section, just before the end, when the incensed riffs join the savage vocals, for one last shout.

Carnival Of Contradictions – A blood shower of metallic rain intro’s. Speed, strength and stamina are the order of the day here. A driving heavy beat rules this track and it’s relentless. Well woven melody around the mid-section. Gaining speed and strength, as it continues, the poisonous venom screeches for release. Definitive, unarguably heavy finale.

Stabbed To Death – A precisely timed round of drums and riffs intro’s. Leading right into a melodic section of hate filled aggression. Shorter, but in no way lesser, this closer is really just pure anger, vividly expressed.

Overall – Well, there’s one thing that can be said for ‘Ultimum Judicium’ and that’s that it’s undeniably heavy. A real rage fest of death screams and solidly intense accompaniments. The momentum of the level of aggression expressed within this is impressive and it never gives rise to doubts, at any level. Its production is faultless, its audio values are sensational and its craftsmanship, second to none. An extraordinary blitz fest of thrash/death storms, to tear down the walls.

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

For fans of Venom, Exodus, Slayer, Zeit, Boltthrower, Usurper, Ordnance, Chugger.

Released May 31st 2019 – self release
Distributor – Distrokid

Posted May 14, 2019 by jennytate in Uncategorized