Archive for August 2019

Fight Till Death – ‘Tales Of Torture’   Leave a comment

From Santa Cruz, California, Fight Till Death is a death thrash power metal band, which has been going since 2012. Founded by Brayton Furlong (vocals, guitar), Matt Roe (bass) and Kyle Moore (Band Of Orcs – drums), their debut EP, ‘Ruled By Hate’ was produced in 2015, with Max Zigman, (formerly of Son Of Aralius and Smargos), who later joined on rhythm guitar.

Since that first EP, FTD have supported Arnocorps and Battalion Of Saints, drawing a rapid fan base. Inspired by the likes of Pestilence, Demolition Hammer and Morbid Saint, FTD employs vicious aggression, down tuned guitars, heavily melodic grooves, lightning fast speed, cutting leads and screamo vocals. They’re a must see live act.

Jed Boole replaced Max Zigman in 2017 and the last album was created the same year. Entitled ‘Tales Of Torture’, it was launched April 2019, having been recorded with renowned metal producer/engineer Juan Urteago, from Trident Studios. His previous work includes Exodus’s ‘Shovel Headed Kill Machine’, etc. Touring to promote the new album will commence in October, with an appearance supporting crossover thrash legends DRI. Current drummer Brett Weiser will join them.

Kill – Rapid fire drum roll intro’s, followed by a hugely heavy, burning hot riff section, worthy of Venom themselves. Continuing down that same road of pure aggression, resonant of Testament, at their best, employing some notably impressive whammy and vibrato. Evil vocals, drums growing louder and heavier, battering their way to the end. To say this is some heavy shit is an understatement.

Say It To My Face – Searing guitars open, moving instantly, into a massively rifftastic section, once more, echoing Testament, at their loudest. Drums giving it their all, in a cuttingly vicious performance, growling vocals join in. Speed growing livelier and faster, this is one band who mean business. Still maintaining a clear, unstoppable rhythm, the bass comes into play, as the whammy section returns. Riffs almost stomping the darkened atmosphere into the ground. Melody’s still audible, but heavy is very much the watchword.

Tale Of Torture – Immensely heavy drum hits intro! Leading into electrified riffage, with relentless drumming support. Thrash extravaganza. Vicious lyrics you wouldn’t want to hear on a dark night. It’s just merciless. Picking up the pace some more, the heaviness just bleeds into you, with massive atmospheric pressure, as it beats your head to a pulp. Insanely physical, leaving your brain throbbing, like it’s been shaken in a combine harvester.

Reign Of Terror – Straight into another round of unearthly loud, metal aggression, making more use of vibrato and whammy in all the right places. Just intensely steel driven force. The speed alone’s a sound to behold. Some great riff melodies in there too. Reaching a level of heaviness out of this world. You’ll feel your floor vibrating. As if it wasn’t already fast enough, it speeds up even more, at the end. Closing on a hard-lined riff of epic speed.

Cult – Drums and riffs marching to an equally murderous beat. Just all-out killing aggression. Volume hitting earsplitting proportions, as those drumbeats show they’re out for blood. This is a taste of something on another level altogether. Really making use of those opportunities to introduce more whammy and lightning speed riffs. Ending on an intentful vocal, matching the explosive anger of the accompaniments.

Dirty Rig – No letup at all, it comes in on another floor destroying, wall shaking drum and riff section. Loving those riff pitches, adding visuals to the atmosphere. A steel phenomenon. Blood drenched vocals searing into your mind, dripping venom, as they enter. Electrified riffing does its thing, shredding your brain to bits. Epically heavy, from start to finish.

Trail Of Blood – Introing on a vein deep blast of solid riffage. Drums backing it up, with that same consistent level of ear obliterating volume. Becoming slightly Pantera-esque now. Gorgeous melting riff in there, amongst the metal mayhem. Really going for it with the speed vibrato and whammy, once more, towards the end, as the drumming gets more and more intense and the legendary numbers ‘666’ are burned into the vocals, to remember for all time.

Overall – ‘Tales Of Torture’ is a case in which you can see the album title being played out, within the audio. Suitably evil, it pours venom and blood from every orifice. If it’s possible for this album to get any louder or heavier, your eardrums would burst and your brain would seep out of your ears and bleed onto the carpet. What you’ll hear within ‘TOT’ is a heightened level of insistent aggression, from start to end and it’s a damned impressive sound. Mightily metallic.

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

For fans of Wreck-Defy, Testament, Venom, Pantera.


Posted August 30, 2019 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Illucia – ‘111’   1 comment

A traditional heavy metal band, from Bangalore, India, Illucia was founded in 2014. A trio, strongly inspired by the titans of heavy metal, such as Saxon, Omen, King Diamond, Accept, Manowar, Judas Priest, Dio, etc. Having performed live throughout the last 5 years, whilst prepping and recording original material, they’re now ready to unleash their debut 6 track EP, ‘111’ – due to be launched later this year.

Combining the traditional sound of old school heavy metal and rock ‘n’ roll, ‘111’ aims to get your metal taste buds frothing, at first listen.

Intro – Beautifully poignant classical string, piano and acoustic intro. Brief, but very meaningful.

Lucy – Razor sharp metal riffs and heavy drums hit immediately. Highly unusual vocals, performed with a slight cultural marker, anthemic and cohesive from the start. Almost crossing into hypnotic trance territory, yet never losing its metallic flavour. Vibrant riffing. Group vocals give it the edge, straight away. This definitely has that indefinable, but unmistakable sense of escapist metal. Heavily riff centred, it ends on more of the same twangy, exuberant riffs.

Seraph Fiend – Opening with more sexy riffage. Very resonant of the greats of the golden era of metal. Melody, rhythm, catchy accessibility, the works. Deliciously heavy, whilst still remaining uplifting. Some simple descending riff scales play alongside the darkened metal vocals. Here, the drums loosen and it’s an abrupt, but memorable end.

111 – A short blast of metal riffs and drum’s intro’s, before moving into tangy Rose-esque vocals. Utilising the in and out speaker phenomena well, the timing’s flawless and for a debut, this is shaping up to be one impressive piece. Fast-paced shredding, warmly atmospheric and fairly G’N’R’-esque in style, echoing the ‘UYI’ years. Picking up the pace some more, the riffs really show what they’re made of. Maintaining the momentum, right up to the line.

The High Priest – Drum rolls open. Similar to the late great Bonham’s intro to ‘Rock And Roll’. Bringing it up and down in all the right places. There’s a cultured maturity to the sound and style, flowing naturally. Vocals lifting at just the right points. The riffage is immense and truly addictive, in places. Employing just a touch of whammy. Fading out on a vocal harmony.

Decimation Of The Circle – (D.O.T.C.) – Speed riffing intro’s, with zero hesitation). Showcasing that traditional mirror, from the off. Sound building, steadily, the edge clearly shows. Vocals climbing, as the drums grow more thunderous. Acute, heavily melodic and taking it up to siren level, eventually hitting its climax and then bringing it back down, to fade out, on a return to the classical form of the intro.

Overall – If this is a taste of things to come, then ‘111’ makes an excellent starter. Falling easily into the category of debuts you can’t quite believe are debuts, it’s got it all and it’ll blow you away. Highly recommended, ‘111’ is a refreshingly edgy, diverse EP, emphatically metallic and convincingly delivered.

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

For fans of Pantheon, G’N’R’, Iron Maiden, Hammerstroke, Slayer, Metal Church.

Posted August 29, 2019 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Black Income – ‘Loaded Gun’   Leave a comment

Newly released on August 23rd, 2019, on limited edition yellow vinyl, ‘unSOUND’ is the new album from Danish alt rockers Black Income. Featuring lead single ‘Loaded Gun’.

Influenced by the dangers inherent in current society and consequent decision-making, by those in power, the video features a few pertinent symbols, perhaps best left to the imagination.

Following on from the acclaimed album ‘Noise Pollution’, back in 2016, ‘unSOUND’ is a similar sound, boasting 9 tracks of heavy grooves and fiery riffs, stacked with melody and speed. Though it is a progression from ‘NP’, it still hasn’t lost the essential BI identity.

Having over 50 live appearances under their belts, BI have opened for the likes of Exumer (US), Bullet (SE), Tygers Of Pan Tang (UK) and more. Highly internationally esteemed, having had more than 1 million digital streams, BI are in fine form. Since the line-up was completed, in 2017, by Grammy award winner bassist and long-standing friend Michael Gersdorff (Superfuzz – DK), the material’s gone from strength to strength.

Loaded Gun – Introing with a blast of metal and a good powerful melody, resonant of Bryan Adams’ ‘Summer Of ’69’. Lots of heavy drumming forming the backbone. A strong anthemic flavour to the vocals. Tasty electrified riffage. Hitting those notes with precision. Swooping downwards, before soaring higher again, with that catchy melody, it’s memorable, with a well deployed beat. Very listenable.

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

For fans of Final Coil, Dan Trigger, A.I.C., Foo Fighters, QOTSA, Them Crooked Vultures.


Posted August 27, 2019 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Screamer – ‘Highway Of Heroes’   Leave a comment

Due for release on.October 11th, via The Sign Records, ‘Highway Of Heroes’ is the 4th studio album from Swedish metal band Screamer.

Known for their electrifying, thunderous sound, equally voluminous both live and recorded, Screamer emulate the Gods of traditional classic metal, whilst bringing a unique, enduring interpretation.

‘HOH’ follows the former 3 albums, ‘Adrenaline Distractions’ (2011), ‘Phoenix’ (2013) and ‘Hell Machine’ (2017), all of which were released through High Roller Records. The band have now moved on to The Sign Records.

Formed in Sweden, Screamer always keep it real and focus on the basic essentials.

Aiming for no more than performing to as many as possible, this simple approach has kept them actively touring, internationally. So far, they’ve toured alongside Bullet (2012 and 2018), Striker (2013), Evil Invaders (2013), Night Demon (2019), Satan (2019) and RAM (2019) etc.
Their festival appearances include Headbangers Open Air (2013), Rock Hard (2014), Summer Breeze (2014), Frost And Fire (2018), Muscelrock (2012, 2014, 2017, 2019) and Bang Your Head (2019). This is just a minuscule snapshot of their activities, to date. Now boasting 300 shows plus, their reputation has been well and truly cemented.

They’ve really gone to town on the song composition on ‘HOH’. This will be the first album with a full line-up, from which, they’ve evolved, as a band. The new album is also their first created with an external producer, whose input has polished ‘HOH’, to the max. Individually, each track offers something different and collectively, the tracks hold the power to sustain their ethos of all killer, no filler.

Recorded at The End Studio, mixed at the renowned Sunlight Studio and mastered by Patrik W Engel, from Temple Of Disharmony, ‘HOH’ contains 9 main tracks and a bonus CD/vinyl exclusive intro. Screamer are ready to embark on their European tour, after the launch of ‘HOH’.

‘HOH’ is available to pre-order now.

Intro – Good controlled intro. Moving, smoothly, into the riff. A slight sci-fi element enters. Building the tension,, gradually, it ends on a screeching riff.

Ride On – Straight in there, with a powered riff, very much in the style of Die No More. Vocals kick in, with a power matching that of the riffs. An anthemic quality suffuses this. Combining the sounds of classic G’N’R’ and Priest and still sounding fresh. Hell’s Gazelles fans should dig this. Strong, sharp, to the point.

Shadowhunter – Coming in, clearly and unhesitantly, with an electrifying riff. Melody abounds, very much a traditional sound, with visions of the night infusing its atmosphere. Immaculately timed, evidently enthused and so, so catchy. Standout track right here. Great power screams end it).

Rider Of Death – Right in there, with fast-paced riffing and melodic vocals. Taking you right back to the old school sound, in an instant. Very decent audio production. Again, those screams do it a lot of justice. The riffing’s immense and so precise. Not a beat missed. Contagious and addictive.

Sacrifice – Taking the tones up a bit now, spacing out the drums slightly and still retaining that intensely infectious flavour. True metal therapy. This is the sound all staunch metal fans are after and it carries the massively catchy feel with it. So engaging, involving and atmospheric. Songwriting and melody at its best.

Halo – Another thrillingly fast rhythm. Chasing you down and filling your head with action sequences. Palpably exciting. More group vocals here. An edge of acuity to this, still intently melodically focused. Consistently precise, it ends on another riff, seeming to steer into the skid).

Highway Of Heroes – Opening with a solid couple of drum hits, followed by that same electric riff sound. Naturally metallic vocals. The melody’s what this band are all about and it shows. That’s the obvious strength of their sound. Hugely anthemic and singalong catchy. The pace just carries you away.

Out Of The Dark – Straight out metal riff intro’s. Back to the days of traditional old school metal, once more. Just melody filled and genuinely accessible. In fact, I’d defy you not to get into this one. You could call it party metal, but that just wouldn’t do it full justice.

Towers Of Babylon – Very Powervice-esque intro! Thought-provoking, but still catchy lyrics. These guys really are masters of melody and masters of the skilled art and craft of songwriting. Absolutely flawless delivery and never losing or even compromising on the catch or the rhythm, for a single moment).

Caught In Lies – Riff shredding opens, onto a metallic landscape worthy of the best. The vocals really shine here, showing their strength, in abundance. Such intuitive flow, taking you with it. This here is real feelgood metal, at its best. High-calibre melody, to the nth degree. Getting inside you, like a welcome contagion. Just pure metal bliss, from start to finish.

Overall – ‘Highway Of Heroes’ is very aptly titled, as that’s exactly what it is. This is what would result if all the old school Gods of metal got together and jammed, incessantly. It’s on another plane of genius and addiction altogether. Faultless and relentlessly enjoyable, ‘HOH’ is the epitome of melodic metal songcraft.

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

For fans of Hell’s Gazelles, Powervice, Journey, Saxon, Whitesnake, Judas Priest, old G’N’R’ line-up, Live, Die No More, White Wizzard.

Posted August 23, 2019 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Twin Seeds – ‘Parallel Knight’   Leave a comment

Portuguese metal band Twin Seeds have released a video for their track, ‘Parallel Knight’, from the forthcoming EP, ‘Red Powder’, due for release on September 6th, 2019.

Founded by Diogo Ferreira, Twin Seeds is mainly instrumental music, much in the vein of Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Paul Gilbert, Buckethead, Scale The Summit, Dead Combo, Mono, Pink Floyd, Dream Theater and Deftones. TS aims to merge all the sounds and genres of the aforementioned artists, as an experimental project, to catalyse further exploration into the philosophies and feelings rooted in those sounds.

Parallel Knight – Instant hit of clearly Vai-Satriani-esque riff melodies). Much like their brand of colourful psychedelia. A very refreshing change from the standard and highly listenable. Good to see the focus being and staying on the music. The visuals are mainly muted background colours anyway, adding to the restful element of the music. There are drums, but it’s mostly two guitars, with one doing most of the lead work and the other supporting. Strongly atmospheric and hugely enjoyable. I could easily listen on endless repeat. A new Vai-Satriani hybrid is born).

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

For fans of Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Slash’s solo material.


Posted August 20, 2019 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Dizastra – ‘Vae Victus’   Leave a comment

Ahead of their forthcoming album, ‘Elder Sun’, expected later this year, Dizastra have independently released their new video single, ‘Vae Victus’. Following on from 2015 EP ‘Hell’s Gate’, ‘VV’ is the first single on ‘ES’.

Hailing from Montréal, Canada, Dizastra combine black, thrash and melodic metal, to create a sound at once evil and malevolent.

The theme of ‘VV’ is an image of riding a dragon through Hades and as such, it attempts a concoction of screamo vocals, thunderous drums, earthshaking bass and lively solos.

As heavy as it sounds, ‘VV’ actually illuminates the tiny budget they were working within, to bring to light the Tolkien-esque narrative, of time travel and fantastical adventure. It conveys an internationally popular and accessible mixture of wizards, warriors, battle and friendship.

A quartet, boasting Wacken Metal Battle Canada finalist and long-standing participant of Québec’s Heavy Montréal Music Fest, Matt Conti, Dentis Stoisin, Nathan Afilalo (Dissension) and Petey Giampa (Venomenon) complete the line-up. Dizastra have been identified as an emerging strength in Québec’s heavy metal underground and also throughout Canada. ‘ES’ looks set to solidify their place in the collective memory of fans and bands alike, as heavy metal titans.

‘VV’ was mixed, mastered and recorded by Carl Roberge and co-produced with Carl Roberge and Dizastra. It’s available to stream and download, on all main digital platforms.

Vae Victus – Unusual orchestral intro. From wurlitzer to instant speed metal, with fantasy images, the death thrash vocals add the evil maleficence. Much like an action fantasy superhero movie, it’s definitely got the intrigue element down. Great power riffs, clear passion and good striking contrasts between scenes. This’ll keep you interested and on your toes. Lots of changing scenes and a strong thrash emphasis throughout. Still more power and speed than thrash, though.

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

For fans of RAM, Enforcer, Portrait, Altheniko, In Solitude, Cast Iron, Pantera, Trivium.

Posted August 17, 2019 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Strike Master – ‘Strong As Hell’   Leave a comment

Mexican thrash band Strike Master have now launched their debut single and video, ‘Strong As Hell’, taken from the forthcoming EP, ‘Death Based Illusions’. Due for release in November 2019. Three singles and associated videos will be released, ahead of the full EP, planned to be physically and digitally available.

Strong As Hell – Rapid intro, with jungle drum beats joining the thrash riffs. Pantera-esque thrash vocals, echoing the track ‘Domination’, in places. Lots of percussive emphasis. Sound values could definitely do with being boosted. Timing well kept. Slightly rough production, somewhat rushed, but the overall quality is good.

Strong As Hell video – Much better audio production on here. Some classic clips of rehearsals and live shows. A shot of the Golden Gate Bridge and some random scenes of various other places. Flash photography intermittently. Plenty of enthusiasm there and a traditional thrash metal feel. Just nothing memorable and it’s missing the excitement and verve. All in all, an average track.

5/10 *****

For fans of Pantera, Testament.


Posted August 13, 2019 by jennytate in Uncategorized