Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Enhailer – ‘Dumb Enough To Care’

June 22, 2018

Released on vinyl format, on June 14th 2018, on Burnout Records, Enhailer’s ‘Dumb Enough To Care’ album is a limited edition format, available from bandcamp.

Founded in 2014, by members of Mockingbird and Rue, the following year, their debut EP was launched and 2016 saw the commencement of the 1st album, produced at Tangerine Dreams Studio, Akron, Ohio. A string and keyboard section was introduced and ‘Grisaille’, as it was known, was released via Blackseed Records, during June 2016. Following the launch of ‘D.E.T.C.’, on Dec 11th 2017, there are plans to launch a couple of collaborations this year.

Dumb Enough To Care – Decent light hearted, steady bass intro, with lots of bluesy feel. Stoner rock, with a lighter vibe. This’ll go down well with Stone Temple Pilots fans. Nice relaxed tempo, plenty of groove and a snatch of spoken dialogue amongst the melody. Effective use of light percussion, combined with an even flow of heavy vocals and low rumbling riffs. Incorporating a touch of hard reality within the background sirens and sporadic angry dialogue. Slowing the pace down, approximately 3/4 in, bringing a more traditional stoner sound to things, there’s a good balance of experimentation with speed alternations, all whilst keeping the tone consistently low. Drums becoming more active, towards the end, deepening their involvement, as the vocals deepen with them, till they’re almost blackened, it’s a great variety of performance.

Overall – As a single extended track, it’s a good representation of the potential within stoner rock and especially its’ potential to be lighter and less doomy than is often expected.

7/10 *******

For fans of Stone Temple Pilots, Witchcraft, Electric Wizard, Kyuss.



Chandrian Kill – ‘I Collide’

June 17, 2018

Co-produced by the band and Brad Tuttle, (Seven), at Seventh Studios, USA, ‘Bring Out Your Dead’ is a 3 track EP, comprising modern, metallic food for thought, released on 7th September 2018. A preview snatch of ‘I Collide’, the 1st single, launching on 4th July, is available on YouTube. (Link below).

The sound of Chandrian Kill originates from 2 metal veterans and a lot of catchy improvisation. Nic Whitmore (vocalist, ex Number One Son), as a comeback, following an extended hiatus from the scene and an ambition for a fresh platform and Ted Clark, (ex-Moesaboa and My Life In The Making), founder of and songwriter and guitarist for C.K.

Ted and Nic commenced working on the C.K. project in 2016, initially online and physically, from Ted’s studio, in March 2018. Producer Brad Tuttle (Seventh Studios) entered the scene in April. Having great respect for Brad’s work and in particular, his latest release, ‘Dark Scientific’, Ted was determined to bring him on board. Terming the outcome, ‘contemporary melodic metal’, Ted feels it’s very unique, likening it to Deftones and Corey Taylor, with a hint of Djent.

‘I Collide’ deals with the beginnings of life, as a commentary on Nic’s concept of life’s eternal struggles. Collectively, the 3 tracks on the EP (including ‘Filter Off’ and ‘Remain Alive’) are intended as the 1st in a sequence of EP’s – this one written as a straightforward notion of life and its realities, identity and self-concept.

Set to be a lively debut for a modern, frontline metal act, ready to take the world by storm.

I Collide – Instant alt rock sound, with touches of death vocals. Strong melodic focus, clear lyrics and a movement effect going on. Slight metal core/grind core sense to this. A little repetitive and probably more for the sub genre/crossover genres than straight melodic metal. No quarrel with the sound quality. It just doesn’t have that spark and ultimately, doesn’t hit the spot. The video teaser’s a tad obscure, with a maths metal impression at the outset and though the skeleton image is thematically connected, the background’s bland and it just doesn’t grab you. Again, their musical ability’s not in question, but the track’s largely missing any standout features. Too little effect. Too much absent. Capable performers, but doesn’t do it for me.

5/10 *****

For fans of alt rock, metal core, grind core, melodic and death crossover and subgenres. (‘I Collide’ teaser video).



Sons Of The Beast – ‘The Void’

June 13, 2018

A thrash metal band from Madrid, formerly known as ‘The Beast’, Sons Of The Beast formed in 2010. Originally intended as just another 80’s type thrash band, they produced 3 releases – including their 1st full-length album, ‘Infernal Hangover … Wrecked In Space’, launched in 2013. The line-up then changed and with it, their unique signature. The next 2 years were focused on writing new songs, culminating in their 2018 return, with the current album, ‘The Void’, released on April 12th.

2277 – Resonant, controlled riff intro and measured drum beats, together, sparking real feeling, growing louder and more intense, before coming to a sudden abrupt stop. Building the tension, to a perfect cliff-hanger.

War Never Changes – Violent drum intro, physically palpable fretwork, moving, so easily, into an electrifying ‘Tallica-esque bridge between one heavily physical section and another. A clearly defiant streak screams throughout, vocally audible and persistent in the riffage. Edging towards sinister, as you feel that invasive fingerpicking, crawling over your skin. Never mind goose-bumps. This sound leaves prickles.

Boo Or Boo Urns – One solid drum hit and ‘Tallica-esque chord intro. A more fun and light-hearted, but no less aggressive tone characterises this, though it’s over in an instant. That’s what you call a hit-and-run.

No Justice (But Who Cares) – Another banging drum hit intro’s, but this time, it evolves, rapidly, into active drum rolls, matching the energy fuelled hyperactivity of the remaining accompaniments. Proper rocked up intensity keeps this flowing, with insistent momentum, even as the tempo and tone alternates, with the changing melody. Real high octane aggro party metal, proving its chops, on all fronts. It’s a great release of highly emotionally charged energy.

Across The Mosh – Bang! The best summary of that intro! Instantly fused with a Celtic warrior vibe. Real sheer electrified riffage and unfakeable emotion. Like the scary, but exhilarating thrill of the fastest, scariest rollercoaster ride, taking you higher than any other and lengthening the ride, till all your reserves are stacked up to the nines and the fear no longer exists.

The Witching Pact – Opening with that same immediate energy and volume, but even more intensity and action. Love the laughter of evil menace and bloodthirsty thrill. Some real melody fills this with soul cleansing healing and resonance. Another thrill ride of sorts, ending on a full level power scream, worthy of ‘Heavy Metal Killers’. Refreshing and energetically metallic.

Rip And Tear – Again, that characteristically drum led intro, directing the flow of metallic energy, immediately. The power ratchets up, as the movement barrels forward, throwing a ton of steel at you. Forceful impact and fairly Testament-esque, in places. Activating the lyrics, with that hard edged heavy intent, this is gonna leave you affected, one way or another. It’s massive and it’s metal, through and through.

Mr Rampage – Blasting onto the scene, with zero hesitation and a ton of swagger, that intro says it all. More of those delightful, ecstatic power screams sporadically appear, punctuating the atmosphere with metal essence. The heavily sensuous riffage will turn you on and carry you to Valhalla, as the drums point the way. Very slight Offspring sense to the closing section, but never, for one moment, detracting from the heaviness.

Into The Void (Of Ignorance) – Changing the beat, slightly, to that of a more old school G’N’R’ ‘U.Y.I.’ sound for this intro, the direction may be moving down a different avenue, but it’s certainly no less aggressive or affecting. Loving that anthemic thread, entering the choruses here. Very fitting and adding a freer movement of expression, in perfect sync with the riffage. A wonderful improvisation style carries the rest of the track and now you can just drift away with it. Awesome.

Overall – Strong character and high-energy pervades ‘The Void’ and powerful metal spirit reigns. Mightily successful, at throwing heaps of standout features in, including the characteristic drum hit intro’s, sheer volume and vivacity within it, ‘The Void’ simply has what it takes and belongs with the best. Want to blow away the cobwebs of life and free those power screams within? Give ‘The Void’ a whirl.

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

For fans of Testament, Skid Row, The Offspring, AC/DC, Airbourne, Sacred Reich.

Official video – ‘The Void’:

2013’s ‘Infernal Hangover …. Wrecked In Space’ :

‘Thrash Metal Propaganda’ (2012 EP):

Earlier works include: ‘Of Beer And Blood’ (2011 EP) and

‘Nuclear Devastation’ (2010 demo).


Jon Tessier – ‘Slice Of Paradise’

June 12, 2018

‘Slice Of Paradise’ is the new EP from Jon Tessier. Brazilian French musician, now residing in Ibiza, Spain and working between there and Paris, France. His solo music is best summarised as ‘guitar driven alt rock pop’.

Influenced by Motley Crue, Depeche Mode, The Doors, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Brazilian Bossa Nova artist Joao Gilberto, etc, Jon’s is an original sound and can be heard on all online platforms.

Currently promoting the 2 singles, ‘In My Veins’ and ‘Hold Me, Hold Me’, from the ‘S.O.P.’ EP, Jon’s sound will appeal to a wide fan base.

Hold Me, Hold Me – Immediate, tight, lively riff intro. Catchy vocal rhythm, memorable lyrics, with an 80’s feel about them and a fresh, positive energy pulsating through them. Brief and basic, in its song structure, but a track in which, its simplicity and brevity is the key to its success. Brings to mind carefree summer days and cheerful vibes. Ending on another tight, definitive chord, it’s effective easy listening fodder. Highly evocative of Aerosmith’s ‘Magic Touch’.

8/10 ********

For fans of Aerosmith’s ‘Magic Touch’, The Stones and The Stone Roses.

Urze De Lume – ‘As Arvores Estao Secas e Nao Tem Folhas’

June 10, 2018

The 3rd album so far from Urze De Lume, ‘As Arvores Estao Secas e Nao Tem Folhas’, (English translation, ‘The Trees Have Grown Dry And Bare, As Have I’), references the poignancy associated with journeys, in the context of embarking and returning. It constitutes the 2nd chapter and finale of their ode to Autumn, following their last release, ‘Vozes Na Neblina’, in early 2017.

A 12 track dark folk acoustic album, it combines various instrumental contributions from string sections, to light percussion and wind instruments, including bagpipes. All wound around the sounds of nature, at its most authentic, there’s a seasonal focus, reinforced by the deep symbolism of Autumn, entrenched within the poetic narrative, interwoven with the traditional basis.

The band name is symbolic of the bands own natural roots and appraises Iberian traditions. Founded in 2009, UDL have latterly been deemed the Portuguese mascot for other similarly emerging European bands. Celebrating the gypsy soul of the old ways, UDL’s sound stands out in its eclecticism and is notable for its emotive expression.

Sobre Folhas de Carvalho – Rain intro, in which a Raven squawks, within the rustling trees and the sound of footprints, crunching into the gravel underneath and a rushing stream can be heard. A uniquely pure instrumental of nature.

As Arvores Estao Secas e Nao – Heavy steel string acoustic intro, flitting between heavy and light, with a deep underpinning tone and an audibly gentle hand, working the frets, with loving care and attention. A real poignancy resonates throughout the darkly folk tinged Baroque style, as flamenco elements strategically scattered, appear through it. The rhythmic, melodic repetition is almost hypnotic in its beauty and shelter. Genuine old world atmosphere, both haunting and arresting.

Prenuncio de Gelo – Rain Stick sounds intro, with a palpably heavy, darkly strummed guitar, as a chill breeze blows. A violin melody breaks through the dark heaviness, bringing a beautiful Celtic light to the scene. Lyrics make a gentle, sporadic and brief appearance, overlaid and overtaken by the powerful strings, which end it. Just a real natural beauty about it.

Da Tua Ausencia – Physically palpable heavy guitar intro, but still, there’s a softness within that heavy steel sound. There’s a powerful love coming through in this performance, mesmerising in its physicality. Equally so, melodically. It’s almost a testament to the true power of love, in itself. Just a beautiful guitar solo, so haunting and verging on ethereal. Pure, wholehearted and sincere.

Solidao – Mysterious didgeridoo intro, followed by amorous vocals, slightly more complex guitar work, growing faster and then slowing back down again, making room for that gorgeous closing piccolo. As the song dies out, the rain follows it. Just amazing and so touching. All throughout the track, you can literally hear the call of the wild. Entrancing and truly unique in its natural emphasis.

Fantasmas das Horas Mortas – The audible sound of a fire being built outdoors, as an owl hoots. As the fire crackles, the Celtic bagpipes take their place. Joined by the other wind instruments and the string section accompanying, it paints a real audible picture of a traditional Celtic forest, with bonfires glowing in the background. In fact, it’s easy to envision Scots warriors of the bygone eras, going off on their quests, as the womenfolk keep the home fires burning, for their return. A vision quest back to ancient times and lands.

Encruzilhadas – Very mediaeval intro, powerful in its string emphasis, covering strength and momentum, as the volume grows and the jungle drums join in, with their primal beats. A countrified sound provides the overtone of what could easily be a call to hunt. There’s a well perfected ancient strand to this, enhancing its depictions, at all points. Just a rebirth of traditional cultures, capturing their essence, at each turn.

Sombras No Vento – The heavy steel string comes down again, climbing further down, into another gentler flamenco-esque section, yet still keeping that powerful, New Jersey, Bon Jovi-esque, ‘Blaze Of Glory’ basis going. Even so, the piccolo breaks back through it, bringing light back into the picture again, as the guitar softens, ending on a keenly felt emotional section. There’s just a wealth of beauty within this.

Margens do Rio Outono – An echoic acoustic intro, with touches of woodwind and dense string sections, penetrating through the accompanying rain, like sheets of steel. Again, that palpable physicality comes into play, charging the atmosphere with old world charm and tactile impressions.

Entardece em Mim – Very heavy steel imprints intro, with sporadic drum beats and meaningfully sung lyrics. Measuring the emphasis of each accompaniment precisely, the tribal drum sounds seems to grow deceptively louder, yet still, it’s equalled by the volume of the strings. Such care has gone into this and it shows. It’s just so real, wild and authentic.

Longa e a Noite – The rain returns and this time, the steel string intro takes on a stronger reverb quality. The thunder and lightning assists, along with the growing Celtic melody, collectively, adding a visual aspect, depicting both the danger of the storm and the shelter from it and its ensuing sense of safety and refuge. So real and so vivid.

Alvorado de Destrocos – Heavier rainfall opens, with the lone bagpiper audible in the background. As the rain falls, the thunder returns, as does the Raven and the bagpipes eventually fade away. A very profound sense of time travel characterises the scene, immortalising the image.

Overall – A hauntingly beautiful album, so encapsulating you in that time, that you almost resent returning to the present moment. An ethereal sense to the visual imagery reinforces its audible power. A strikingly authentic work, both captivating and outstanding, in its natural world emphasis. Proof of the necessity for more of this calibre.

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

For fans of darker aspects of mediaeval, baroque, Celtic and natural folk metal and the ‘Braveheart’ soundtrack. ‘Outlander’ fans are likely to enjoy this too.

Released 03.10.2018, via Equilibrium Music.

Official videos: (‘Entardece em Mim’) (‘Outono Eterno’)

Raging Rob – ‘Always The True Assassin’

June 6, 2018

Founded in 2014, by ex-Assassin singer Robert Gonnella, Dirk Preylowski (ex Warrant), Frank Nellen (ex-Assassin), Maik Janssen and Rudi Gorg (both ex-Human Bastard). A natural progression of Raging Mob, (Robert’s side project, during his time in China, from 2005-2011). R.M. launched their debut in 2008, winning them the top prize in 2010 Wacken Metal Battle China. After R.R. was born, they had a break during 2015, whilst Rob engaged with drug rehab. Summer 2016 saw them creating new music, which became the stunning 12 track classic thrash album, ‘Always The True Assassin’, produced in 2017 and launched in 2018.

Neverending Darkness – Instant thrash rage, exultantly conveyed, through those cymbals. Complete cohesion solidifies the effect of this infectious aggression. Filled to the gills with purity of intent. It’s loud, it’s rough and it works. It’s just got that inexplicable feeling that accompanies real thrash. The kind that comes from truth. Impressive.

Innocent Deceiver – Explosion of molten metal hits you right in the face, in just the way a decent intro should. No other way to describe this track, but full pelt metal, all the way. Everything turned up to the max and enough emoted wildness to kill all other contenders stone dead. Forceful impact, x 1000.

Disbelief – Crazed, yet controlled drum intro, opening the way for a chasing pace, rife with visual imagery and more melody, pumped with life and feel-good vibes. Cool, thrashy rhythm, hugely accessible and massively involving. More focus on the choruses and rightly so, as far as this track goes, as that’s where it’s magic lies. This is just a life affirming hit, with plenty of bounce and oodles of fun.

Cancer – True pro intro! Immediate, unhesitant, unrepentant. Just as it should be. Genuinely as thrashy as it aims to be, this is the kind of metallic aggression you might call protest thrash. It’s certainly well served, lyrically, to take that name. The same can be said for its instrumental sound and while there’s still some later melody within it, it never loses that thread of pure, real expression. There’s almost a punky edge to it, in fact. An absolute blast of freshly unapologetic raw metal.

Rise Against Failure – Epically good drum intro, heavy-metal machinery follows. A steel drenched battering of full-scale thrash metal. It’s just crazy and enjoyably so. Again, that punk element returns, along with the protest thread. Metal made to be played loud. Proper party stuff. In fact, let’s not analyse it any further. Just get in the pit and feel it.

Soul City – Deeper, bass led intro, with doomier elements, but just as loud, just as joyful and just as palpably intense. Vocally centred, full of feeling and firing exuberant aggression at you, like a loaded gun. All accompaniments in sync and nothing but high octane thrash.

Enough – Cymbal intro, breaking down into an energised riff section, displaying perfect precision, accompanied by hammering drums and vocals of pure, unrestrained rage. That beautifully sensuous riff solo, towards the end, just sings out and speaks to your senses. Still, the anger never leaves those vocals. There’s a feel to this leaving clear impressions on your memory.

Freakshow – Banging explosive drum intro! To call that impacting’s an understatement. Racing pace, steel toe capped hard edged heaviness and again, that pure emotion, emanating from those vocals. The whole essence of this track’s just an exhortation to forget everything and rock. A potent and much-needed message, if ever there was one.

Manifesto – Ace sleazy riff intro, bringing a guitar focus in, with clear vocal aggression, once more. Only it’s linguistically ramped up that much more, matching the insistent mood of those accomplished speed riffs, perfectly. A briefer track, but if anything, even more powerful.

Fight – Opening with an even stronger riff section, Ozzy-esque in nature and catchily so. The rage actually increases in here, along with the accompanying, escalating riffs. The pace growing faster, as the momentum grows, the title’s succinctly enveloped and embodied in the sound.

Resolution 588 – Crackling fiery intro, sizzling with fury and passion. Metallic overdrive, as the heat intensifies. Pace alternations only add fuel to the fire. It’s just a total ballsy, blitzkrieg of full volume, full power thrash metal. Over in record time, evoking a heightened sense of playful, chasing speed and flames of red hot fire.

Walk All Over You – AC/DC cover, done instant justice! Given the simplicity of the basis of most of AC/DC’s riffs, that may not seem like such a difficult task, but the fullness of the power of their sound is much harder to replicate and they’ve nailed it.  The fact they’ve achieved it immediately and maintained it throughout speaks volumes about their talents. (TBF, though, the closing scream had to be adapted, as no one could ever imitate Bon). Still, Rob’s done a cracking job at adapting it and it rocks! Hard!

Overall – A flaming hot slice of the genuine article. No holds barred, true heavy thrash metal, straight from the heart. A real limited edition collector’s item. You won’t hear thrash played stronger than this.

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

For fans of Ozzy Osbourne, AC/DC and Axemaster.



On My Command – ‘Apparitions’

June 3, 2018

Originating from Brisbane, Australia, On My Command was founded by guitarist and vocalist Sean Mackay. Inspired by old school metal, such as Iron Maiden, Metallica and Judas Priest. Comprising aspects of traditional, NWOBHM, thrash and power metal, their debut album, ‘Apparitions’, available to buy in physical and digital formats, was officially released on March 20th, 2018.

Phenomenal cover art by famous metal artist Andreas Marschall (Hammerfall, Kreator, In Flames, Obituary, Blind Guardian, etc). The follow-up album is already underway and O.M.C. is prepping to begin live performances. Sean Mackay is currently the solo artist.

Opening The Tomb – Slight delay, before a stratospheric style monolithic opening. Very brief, but packing enough power in, to more than compensate. A perfect evocation of its title.

Apparitions – Instant, banging power intro! The horse men ride towards the target. A powerful narrative, with strong accompaniments, very visually stimulating, overlaid by a clear power metal theme. A fairly simple rhythmic structure, focused enough to convey its message.

The Seer – Effective guitar lead intro. Taking it straight into heavy metal territory. A thrashier thread to this one, throwing in some snatches of more complex fretwork and much greater melody. This one holds the catch and that open, freestyle quality embodies the riffage. The drumming gets further into its stride, as the song goes on. An easily listenable, Maiden-esque track.

Sons Of Thunder – Lively, ecstatic drum roll intro’s. Fast-paced riffing following soon after. Picking up the thread and running with it, the melody and rhythm grows and while the vocals aren’t as strong as they could be, the instrumental precision and focus makes up for it. In fact, fans of Sebening Embun will recognise echoes of riffage from ‘Shattered Reality’, within this. That’s got to be a good thing, as anyone able to even come close to replicating Iwan Finlayson’s guitar genius has to have something approaching star quality.

The Fallen – Gradual rumble of drums and corresponding riff momentum intro’s. Surprising, as it does, with a Viking-esque section, proving very workable. Bringing light and heaviness with it, in equal measure, a riveting vibrancy raises the mood, whilst underpinning it with a lightly sombre tone. The lighter theme wins out here, though, as the melody heightens. Rapid ending, creating stronger lasting vibes.

Starfighter MMCXVI – Verbal voice-over introing, leading into a heavily dark and then increasingly lighter riff section. A warrior theme overrides this, lyrically memorable, imprinting instrumentals and a good, strong rhythm. That classic metal beat just infuses it with palpable old school sounds and it works so well. Driven, enthused and plausible. Undeniable hit quality, with catchy lines to prove it.

Traitorous Apprentice Of The Dark Arts – Wow! Massively impacting intro! Obliterating doubts and crushing them flat, this is the kind of high-end style and volume that classic metal is made of. After hearing this album getting gradually into its stride, this track is where it’s arrived. Crunching drums, mind trampling riffs and oh dear, a de-stabilisingly abrupt end. Well I dunno what happened then, but whatever it was, it ruined a perfectly good closing section. There’s an art to going out on a high and leaving listeners wanting more, but it has to be carefully developed. Not just thrown in at random!

Peace And Vengeance – Sweeping cymbal action and an intriguingly unusual mystical ambience intro’s, before moving right into a heavy steel section. A slight eastern thread surrounds this sound. Actually, it works quite well. Some very tasty sharpened riffs enter the fray, just as it closes! They may be late to the party, but at least they’re there and they add a striking sensation!

Walls And Borders – Gradual build-up of a wall of sound riff intro and it’s highly effective. Strange lyrical edge, which does to some extent, subtract from the atmosphere, which may have been better served by a slightly sleazier lyrical style, but there’s no denying the strength of feeling behind that riffage. A tad repetitive, but again, the vigourous melody and metallic flavour compensates.

Through The Dardanelles – Battle-esque, marching drum roll introing, surrounded on all sides, by an army of sound. Enlivening, exuberant and action packed. This is definitely standout track material. All powerful, with a mighty, gargantuan, statuesque strength resonating throughout, continuing on to a genuinely beautiful riff solo section, of haunting ethereality. Once more, that captivating Viking mood returns, bringing with it, the stealth of centuries and closing with the same, like as a phalanx of Viking warriors, closing in on their targets and blocking any prospect of escape.

Manu Forti – (Bonus Track) – Immediate, precise, glittering riff intro. Gleaming melody and huge atmosphere. Slight Celtic feel and pure, high octane metal, made for escapism. The melody’s the overriding thread here and it’s vivid, alive and vibrantly enjoyable).

Overall – Aptly titled, given the level of visual imagery and general sensory stimuli within it, ‘Apparitions’ is a colourfully metallic album, of many strengths. Though there is still room for improvement and growth, in places, it wins a lot of points for experimental prowess and ultimately, it’s a fun and engaging listen.

8/10 ********

For fans of Iron Maiden, In My Embrace, Sebening Embun, Northhammer and Falagar.

Apparitions is available from and
via iTunes/Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon Music and Google Play or on CD.

Three audio tracks can be viewed at: (‘Starfighter MMCXVI’). (‘Traitorous Apprentice Of The Dark Arts’). (‘The Seer’).


Hell’s Gazelles – ‘Take Your Medicine’

May 30, 2018

Following the single release, ‘Stone Cold’, from the EP, the full EP, ‘Take Your Medicine’, is now ready for imminent release. A more experientially crafted EP, ‘TYM’ pays homage to the greats, while emulating the new wave of rock talents. With major riffs, insane vocals and catchy choruses, it’s a tour de force of modern rock.

Lyrically original, with striking riffs and greater guitar involvement, ‘TYM’ is a truly equal band effort, dealing with current socio-political and personal issues, in a compact, yet complex way.

Andy Pilkington’s (Very Metal Art) artwork summarises the essence of the feelings behind ‘TYM’ in the Dr Strangechild persona, a theme further enhanced by the background of the insane asylum, over which he presides, in such a visually blatant terror inducing manner.

Give Me Something – Awesome riff and electrifyingly fast-paced drumming intro’s, more than ably assisted by those passionate vocals and high octane, rocked up melody. Hard, heavy, animal and enormously catchy. That’s a sound straight off the next new wave of classic rock compilation, for high-end rock mags. A band who truly belong in the classic rock arena. This is where true rock magic lies.

Out Of Time – Massive sound. Crushingly heavy riff intro, immediate rhythm and vocals designed just for modern rock. This is the new, old G’N’R’, filled with penetrating beat, hard edge, perfected sleaze melody and even the odd natural power scream in there. Ending on a defiant, tight drum hit, it’s a killer.

She Devil – Instant, hard and heavy drum hit intro. Getting right down into the rhythm, those vocals need no help at all. Just made for it. So catchy, there’s a slight southern rock feel to that sound too, expertly followed by that tasty rumbling drum section, leading right into another hugely lively, powered section, showing off CB’s vocals, to the best of their Seb Bach-esque abilities. Solid classic.

Stone Cold – Razor sharp riff intro! Burning hot, in flames of metal fire. That title’s so memorable and sung in such a catchy way. Space within the vocal sections gives the stunning accompaniments the chance to shine, whilst ensuring you never forget the astounding effect of the vocal notations. Absolute born rock stars. Standout track, in a standout EP.

Take Your Medicine – Bang! Startlingly alive drum intro. Crazy pace. Instinctive rhythm and sound. Humongous catch, rare vocal dexterity and an indescribably feel-good 90’s rock nostalgia about it. Seriously good R&R, par excellence. If there’s one band who should be on your radar this year, it’s Hell’s Gazelles.

Overall – The cream of the crop. Star quality, of the moment and made for rock longevity, this is the band that’ll take you back to the best of the past, while giving you concrete evidence that modern rock still matches that quality. ‘TYM’ is the solid proof of classic rock’s evolution and most importantly of all, that rock is not dead!

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

For fans of G’N’R’, Skid Row, Sebastian Bach.





Almost Dead – ‘Lay Me Down To Waste’

May 28, 2018

Hard-core metal band, well-known in Northern California, Almost Dead are inspired by Megadeth, Metallica, Pantera, Slayer and Sepultura. They write songs with thrash groove built into the hard-core sound and truly give it their all.

Winning the 2007 Gorilla Productions ‘Battle Of The Bands’, they won the Tournament Of Champions. Having opened for M.O.D., The Dickies and Hostility, at Slims, The New Parish and The Metro Opera House, their 4th album, ‘Lay Me Down To Waste’, has now been released.

Dysmorphia – Gorgeously ominous steel string intro, with blazing drums in rapid succession. Haunting and fiery at once. A gothic background, to a full on live round of machine-gun fire. Really cleverly designed song structure, built around a massively heavy thrash mood.

Lay Me Down To Waste – A more refined and much gentler steel string intro. Moving, with perfect fluidity, into true heaviness, still well interspersed with softer sections. Brilliantly well-built momentum, always balanced right between light and shade and totally believable. Soul stirring stuff.

Shot To The Head – Battle round of drum hits intro’s and here’s where the real hard-core hits. Vocals taking it right into the pit and giving it every single ounce of raw passion and energy. Nuclear fuelled and hugely heady. Metal rage reigns in here and doesn’t let up. Explosive ending, of such power, you can see the blood spurt and feel the fangs, as the savage wolf of your imagination rips open your leg.

Why Am I Alive? – Moving in gradually, through a brief tunnel-esque sound, the hard-core heaviness comes thick and fast. Beating drums, rabid vocals, speeding pace and riffs so heavily energised, you can lose yourself in them. This here is real metal therapy.

Alive In You – Beautiful acoustic intro, palpably haunting, grit filled vocals and awesomely profound lyrics. There’s no way you can hear this without feeling it. Some truly gorgeous blues riffs twang their way through to the absolute depths of you and you just feel it. It’s as long as it needs to be, to get its message through. Brief, but unforgettable.

All That I Despise – Creepy riff intro, held so well and further enhanced by that equally creepy whisper. Exploding into angry life, pulsing with audibly justifiable rage. Electrifying, acute and shocking, in its short, but pointed delivery. A majorly powerful blast of reality on the darker side of life. Testament’s ‘The Haunting’ springs to mind. Echoes of ‘Alone In The Dark’ are present there too.

Deadman – A live fire of drumming again, throwing out the power, with mighty aggression. Real hard-core stuff, once more, like a much heavier RATM, with Testament-esque riffs and Slayer-like edge. So brief, it just pounds out the anger, in one short burst.

Trash Talk – Galloping intro, chucking all the rage they can muster down, into the pit. Doing some great gory stuff with the vocals, so blackened, you can hear the sewage spilling from a drain like mouth. Maximum volume, amped up to the top of its power. Another snatched glimpse of pure, unadulterated rage.

AWOL – Booming drums intro, accompanied by a slice of classic riffage. Unbridled anger takes hold of those lyrics, driving them on, to the corner of the precipice. Very Pantera-esque here, reflecting back the strains of ‘Domination’, before it ends, in yet another blur of edgy aggression.

Kill Or Be Killed – Blasting out the molten metallic energy, at full pelt, this has got to win the prize for energised performance. This offering even evokes scenes of late-night car chases, with gothic horror atmospherics interlaced within. Yes, there’s a repetitive brevity to most of these tracks, but so much raw energy and power is packed into them, that it just doesn’t matter.

Overall – A slab of steel driven rage and blood spurting horror, like you’ve never heard before. Atmospherically dense, with visual assault and gothic mind terror. Almost Dead are masters at brevity of power. ‘LMDTW’ multiplies the energy and strength of even the heaviest of metal albums, leaving you terrorised, traumatised and gagging for more.

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

For fans of Testament, Slayer, Pantera, RATM, Metallica.


Arapacis – ‘Deja Doom’

May 27, 2018

Self produced, at Arapacis Studios, 2017-2018, by Jerry Fielden, brand-new offering ‘Deja Doom’, from Arapacis, is a 4 track EP, minimally mastered, to maintain originality of sound.

Artwork also by Jerry Fielden, except for the front cover, by Shelle Macpherson.

Consequences Of Dreams – Very bass heavy intro, Sab-esque, ‘Iron Man’ like drum sound and a clear doom overtone. Unusually refreshing feminine vocals, revealing a gothic edge and a notably pleasant sharpness to the lyrics. An audibly effective stripped back sound to the accompaniments, bringing a freedom within it. Surprising gore vocal finale, adding another angle. Generally, it’s a novel approach, making for a versatile outcome and a comfortable listen. Relieving, even.

Drop Of Hope – Great exciting whammy style vibrato riffing opening! Truly original. Again, the acuity of those vocals gets straight into it, bringing in an unexpectedly grimy edge to the line endings. A really colourful, multifaceted approach to the guitar work in here, incorporating a combo of wobble, paradiddles, twiddly fret styles and straight out, sharpened metal riffs. Taking it up and bringing it down, in all the right places, considering that this is a more basic work, it still includes a lot of variety and if anything, opens it up, becoming all the more freestyle for it.

The Green Fairy – Good, clear, confident drum intro, asserting its place and creating a darker sound, together with the bass. The low, rumbling heaviness of the latter accentuates the pointedness of the vocals, admirably. A decent mixture of well timed gory darkness and sweetness of light peppers those lyrics and a simple, but intensely focused bass line rhythm provides the core. Ironically intriguing sound, given the title, but all aspects are audible, through the changes in melody, tone and cadence. Even visual, to some extent. Ending on a simple section and a lighter feel, the imagery’s best evoked here.

End Of The Line – A lighter sense to this intro, combining heavy and light percussion, with a softer melody. Vocally softer aswell. More of a mellow tone, generally, yet still incorporating some heavier elements, in places. Interestingly fulsome sound, given it’s built around a more basic structure. Quite laid-back atmosphere, generally, throwing in a few electrifyingly lively riffs here and there. That’s the hand of experience coming out in that riffage. It’s automatically audible. Far more instrumental basis within here, but the vocals are no less powered, for that. In fact, that voice does horror metal well. A well-rounded track, covering all angles.

Overall – An all-round, relaxed, laissez faire approach to an EP, of quality, rather than quantity, which still eclectically performed, delivers some novel methods and unique features, within capable, accomplished hands.

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

For fans of Vampyre Heart, Voodoo Blood and Kyuss.