Sunday, September 21, 2014

Dark Hound-Dark Hound

Rampart Struggle Records
2014

Formed in 2009, Nashville-based Dark Hound is a technically-skilled, heavy (and yet oh so wonderfully melodic in all the right ways!) four-piece band made up of bassist/vocalist ET Brown, guitarists Elliot Gordon (Clorange) and Evan Hensley (Nightfall) and drummer Josh Brown (Enfold Darkness, Nashvillbilly). Chiefly a product of yesteryear's heavy metal heroes (Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Pantera, Testament and Dream Theater just to name a few!) this Tennessee outfit has plenty of love for the scene's roots while offering up a more modern day approach to what a lot of people would just lazily label traditional heavy metal. More then anything though this cool band riff is just as awesome and diverse as that list of influences would suggest with the self-titled "Dark Hound" offering a hell of a lot of bang for the buck! The group's Facebook page quotes guitarist Evan Hensley saying how he'd love to see Dark Hound "put Nashville on the map for metal!" and with a stellar-release like this one under their belts that goal does not seem all that far-fetched! As someone who has been to Nashville and witnessed first-hand it's obsession with all things country and even blues it's great to see a band like Dark Hound pull off a bit of a coup and bring some much-needed killer metal to the scene! "Dark Hound" features well-written and superbly-crafted material with plenty of finesse and charisma so naturally this rock-steady affair comes with my highest recommendation!

http://www.dark-hound.com/

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Overpower-Demo 2014



Self-Release/Independent
2014

Melbourne, Australia's Overpower (not to be confused with the Croatian groove metal/thrash metal band of the same name or for that matter the Greek rock and rollers) is a four-piece band featuring members of Right Mind, XupercutX, Bloodwolves and Caged Grave (just to name a few) that appears to be relatively new to the scene. I use the word "appears" as a link to this four-track recording just randomly appeared in my inbox with no profile information whatsoever! That wasn't by way of the actual band mind you, but a long-lost (Internet) friend/thrash metal fanatic. These kind of things happen more often than I care to admit. But then again, isn't that what Google is for? Anyway, Overpower is fronted by a guy named McCracken and unless I am mistaken (in which case someone feel free to correct me!) this recently-released EP is the group's debut outing. Falling somewhere in-between pit-worthy crossover and raw thrash, "Demo 2014" finds McCracken and crew (guitarist Heath, bass player Dave and drummer/lead guitarist Bage) cracking out (pun intended) some sick metal and the best part is it's free! Yes, fee! This is a name-your-own-price digital download and while I could make some stupid joke about how it's well-worth the price tag and all the truth is it's much more substantial then that. There's a slick side to this Australia band making "Demo 2014" a nice addition to any metalhead's digital collection. Especially if said collection has a special section that has been set aside for savage and somewhat bleak heavy metal! 

"Demo 2014" can be found here:https://overpower613.bandcamp.com/releases

Meanwhile you can find this mosh metal collective right here:
https://www.facebook.com/OVERPOWER613

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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Suburban Myth-"Crashed And Burned" Single

Self-Released/Independent
2014

"Crashed And Burned" is the second single from Suburban Myth's new album "Welcome (If Only)". It is also the second number that I've had the pleasure of covering from this alternative rock band. The last time I heard from Suburban Myth the band had issued the hit-single in the making "Welcome (If Only)" (link to that coverage posted below). While that number found Suburban Myth rocking out sweetly to the sounds of Matchbox 20-style radio rock (hence the hit-singing in the making comment!) this new single paints a slightly different picture of this Charleston, SC/Nottingham, UK act. "Crashed And Burned" is a nearly three-minute slab of near-punk alternative rock/guitar rock! Notice I said near-punk as Suburban Myth is still very much a radio-friendly kind of band, but the group's admitted Goo Goo Dolls influences are more clear-cut where a song like "Crashed And Burned" is concerned. And for that matter I have to say that I am impressed by such a discovery! To these ears "Crashed And Burned" came out of nowhere making me all the more curious as to what other "secrets" this alternative rock has in store for listeners. I wonder....

http://metalmark.blogspot.com/2014/06/suburban-myth-welcome-if-only-single.html

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Luicidal-Luicidal

1-800 Prime CD
2014

Luicidal is a punk rock band from Venice, California that was formed in 2012 by ex-Suicidal Tendencies' bassist, Louiche Mayorga.  Prior to releasing their self-tiled, 12-track debut-album here the group (which also features former Suicidal Tendencies' drummer RJ Herrera) apparently spent it's time playing songs from Suicidal Tendencies' first three studio albums ("Suicidal Tendencies", "Join the Army" and "How Will I Laugh Tomorrow When I Can't Even Smile Today"). Lest you think the cleverly-titled Luicidal is simply Suicidal Tendencies version 2.0 let's clear the air out of that bubble. This is old-school (as in early eighties friends) punk rock first and foremost and other than let's say "Live For Today" and "Least to Succeed" this particular disc doesn't sound at all like Suicidal Tendencies. And no, that is not a bad thing. Not in the least. Sure, it is more than a little  surprising considering all of the former Suicidal Tendencies members that play of "Luicidal". In addition to Mayorga and Herrera you've got Rocky George (coolness!), Amery Smith and Grant Estes. Naturally One would think that an album featuring all of these one-time Suicidal Tendencies members would have a similar flow. But no. Instead we are treated (and I mean treated!) to great punk rock and that starts the very moment that "Westside Familia" kicks in! This frenzied slab of California punk clocks in at under two minutes, but man alive is it ever a banger! The previously mentioned "Live For Today" comes out to bat next followed by the band's punk rock cover of "Kumbaya"! The first of two covers of this track on this one album(!), "Kumbaya" might seem like a odd cover choice, but in hands of Luicidal it actually works rather well! From there it's a mash-up of slow crushers like "Changed World" (featuring Dale Henderson of Beowülf on vocals and guitar!), "Knife Fight" and "Least to Succeed" and fast thrashers like "Green Light" and "Killing Skating Machine". Besides featuring former members of Suicidal Tendencies and the aforementioned Dale Henderson, "Luicidal" is blessed by appearances from the likes of Keven Guercio (No Mercy), Mando Ochoa (Sick Sense) and the one and only HR of Bad Brains fame! It's actually the second version of "Kumbaya" where we find HR doing his thing and this cool reggae/hip-hop fusion piece closes out "Luicidal" on a high note! While hard copies of this album will not be released until mid-October you can download it right now off of iTunes and Amazon. "Luicidal" is a great first-step for bassist Louiche Mayorga and his band-mates and for fans of Venice Beach punk rock or old-school punk in general this one is a real no-brainer!


https://www.facebook.com/LuicidalOffical

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Metal News: England's Stiletto Farm release "January Sales" preview track "Adrenaline TV"


"Adrenaline TV" is the latest single from English rockers Stiletto Farm. Taken from the group's upcoming full-length debut album, "January Sales", "Adrenaline TV" might have a short run-time (1:25), but it packs a serious punch with it's fast & fun take on punk rockin' heavy metal! Now, I simply loved the group's 2013 single, "Bad Reception"/"Strawberry Sundae Red", (review below) as well as their 2012 debut offering "Decimation Baby" (no review, but damn it's a cool banger anyway!), but both of those singles sort of pale in comparison to this new cut! Offered free at the link below (as are the other singles incidentally), "Adrenaline TV" finds this über-talented trio speeding through a three-way stop where Black Flag, Green Day and The Ramones meet to hang out and swap tales of glory and yes, it is more than a little awesome! If their long-overdue full-length debut is anywhere near as good as this single suggests then we could be looking at a sure-fire hit for Stiletto Farm! And Lord knows these three fine gentlemen* are desiring of such success! You can find the "Adrenaline TV" single here:https://stilettofarm.bandcamp.com/

 Review of "Bad Reception"/"Strawberry Sundae Red":
http://metalmark.blogspot.com/2013/12/stiletto-farm-bad-receptionstrawberry.html

*Stel - Bass/Vocals
  Davyd - Guitar
  Newt - Drums


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Friday, September 19, 2014

Hellion-"Karma's A Bitch" Single

New Renaissance
2014

"Karma's A Bitch" is the first single to be released from Hellion's upcoming EP of the same name. And of course the very cool Hellion (not to be confused with the now-defunct Washington, DC of the same name) is a L.A.-based heavy metal/speed metal band which features the eternally young Ann Boleyn and has been going on and off since 1982. The five track EP which this killer cut is taken from is due out on October 7th and so far fan's have been treated to not only this fantastic track, but the Dio-ish "Hell Has No Fury". That particular song (which lat out ROCKS friends!) can be found here and for the lovely Ann and her band (featuring Simon Wright of AC/DC and Dio fame incidentally!) it's simply a tale of getting better with age. Both "Karma's A Bitch" and "Hell Has No Fury" come packaged with the kind of youthful enthusiasm and energy that you would expect out a young band only here we're talking heavy metal anthems that have the benefit of sensational songwriting and craftsmanship! Fans of old should literally pounce of the EP when it is released as should those who just love top-notch female-fronted traditional heavy metal! My plan is to cover the EP in it's entirety once it's officially released, but for the time being I would encourage everyone to download this single and support this long-standing U.S. heavy/speed band. You can find out more about Hellion at their Facebook page posted below or by heading over to their official website: http://www.hellion.us/home 

Hellion's Facebook Page:
https://www.facebook.com/Hellion.Official

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Third Ion-"Capitol Spill" Single


Self-Release/Independent
2014

Clocking in at over five minutes, "Capitol Spill" is the debut single from Canada's Third Iron. The group, which features guitarist Justin Bender (Into Eternity), bass player Mike Young (Devin Townsend Band, Terror Syndrome, Jet Black Stare, Ten Ways, The Matinee and much more!), drummer Aaron Edgar and one-time solo artist Tyler Gilbert on vocals, is said to have formed over a shared love for progressive rock and heavy metal, science and (believe it or not) video games! The band's new single, which is now streaming at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LaLpH_nrr-E&feature=youtu.be and to these ears is very much in line with the music of The Devin Townsend Band, is just a small taste of what's in store for this progressive metal band. With a full-length album in the works (one which will also be released in a very special format-8-Bit musical renditions of every song so that the band can pay homage to their 1980s classic gaming inspirations!!!!) and the likelihood of Canadian tour, Third Iron is one four-piece band that progressive metal fans will want to keep an eye out for!
www.thirdion.com
www.facebook.com/thirdion
www.youtube.com/3rdion


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Thursday, September 18, 2014

October 31-Bury The Hatchet

Hells Headbangers
2014

Due for release on October 14th, "Bury The Hatchet" is the forth full-length album from heavy metal legends October 31. It's also the group's first full-length album since "No Survivors" and that particular disc came out in 2005! So yeah, it has been nine years since we last heard from King Fowley and company. That's nine LONG years and about eight too many if you ask me, but hey, it's better late then never! And man, is it ever good to see October 31 return with a thunderous record like this! Joining King Fowley (vocals/drums) here on "Bury The Hatchet" is ex-Overlord guitarist Brian "Hellstorm" Williams and bassist Jim Hunter of While Heaven Wept and Twisted Tower Dire. As per usual King Fowley (also of death thrashers Deceased) fills in the spaces with his perfectly-suited voice and fantastic drumming while the "string" section here is nothing short of spectacular! "Bury The Hatchet" finds October 31 rampaging through thick waves of traditional (head banging!) heavy metal and speed metal while rolling out the same (Read: Always Awesome!) kind of monster riffs and fanatical drumming that the band has become known for! For fans of October 31 the wait will have been worth it as "Bury The Hatchet" continues this band's crusade to bring traditional heavy metal back to the spotlight. With a total of ten tracks and a run-time of nearly 42 minutes, "Bury The Hatchet" is classic metal for the modern age. For those who love straight-up, fist-bangin' and head thrashin' METAL it simply does not get better then this!

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Blood God-Blood Is My Trademark

Massacre Records
2014

"Blood Is My Trademark" is album number two for German act Blood God. And Blood God is a side-project from Debauchery's Thomas Gurrath. For those who do not know the name (or at least this version of Debauchery!) Tomas' main band (musically-speaking) is a mash-up of death metal and hard rock. Here with Blood God the name of the game is hard rock/heavy metal with vocals that could best be described as coming from the Destruction/Kreator/Sodom school of thought. Influences included the likes of Judas Priest, Accept, Iron Maiden, Motörhead and AC/DC and for what this band* is shooting for it's solid enough if nothing to get overly excited about. Interesting enough the the limited edition digipak of "Blood Is My Trademark" comes with a bonus CD that swaps out the German thrash-style vocals with a "monster voice". All of which makes the second disc just sound more like Debauchery!




*The "line-up" supposedly features:

Mr. Debauchery - Voices and Guitars
Mr. Kill - Guitars
Mr. Blood - Bass
Mr. Death - Drums

The thing is Blood God is rumored to simply be a solo/one man project of Thomas Gurrath. Whatever the case I actually prefer Blood God to Debauchery as Blood God is not as cheesy and (for what it is and all) it's actually pretty "rocking" in a "Motörhead will always be the true God of rock and roll so let's worship at it's alter and keep the guitars slamming for as long as possible!" kind of way!


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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Audrey Horne-Pure Heavy

Napalm Records
2014

"Pure Heavy" is album number five for Norwegian hard rock band Audrey Horne. Having loved the band's 2013 album, "Youngblood", I will admit that I was a little worried about being let down by this new disc. Call me a pessimist if you must, but when your first introduction to a band comes courtesy of such a great rock record as "Youngblood" it can be hard to picture any band improving upon that. Thankfully my fears proved to be unwarranted. As it turns out "Pure Heavy" is pure bliss as far seventies & eighties-inspired rock/hard rock is concerned and for Audrey Horne the good times only get better! Now, for those who don't know this Norwegian band, which was formed in 2002 and takes its name from Sherilyn Fenn’s character in the cult TV series Twin Peaks, features musicians primarily associated with the black metal scene. We're talking about a band whose past and present members have played in bands like Enslaved and Gorgoroth so an album like this can come as quite a surprise. A pleasant surprise mind you, but a surprise nonetheless. The thing is the five musicians who are involved in Audrey Horne are such top-notch performers that it all comes across as natural! Up front on the mic you've got Torkjell Rød/Toschie while Ice Dale and Thomas Tofthagen handle guitars, Espen Lien plays bass and Kjetil Greve plays drums*. Each and every part of this band performs at the top of it's game while simultaneously blending together to form this near-perfect rock and roll machine! The individual songs present on "Pure Heavy" compliment each other resulting in this amazing collection of highly-memorable and hook-laden tracks! Favorite moments are too many to count as this is simply track after track after track of cool and buzz-worthy rock! When I reviewed "Youngblood" last year I wrote how the band "has a good sense of melody and knows a thing or two about writing catchy riffs." That is as true now as it was back then. And while I could sit here and roll off the band's influences and try to point out the references to everyone from solo Ozzy to The Sweet let's just say that Audrey Horne has their own vibe going on and leave it at that! Although I will say one last thing. If the slick combination of seventies rock/hard rock and eighties hard rock sounds like something you would want to roll with then you will love this release. Then again, even if you are not all that sure about that sort of combination chances are you'll still enjoy this release. Plain and simple it's fun. It's a fun album from a very cool rock band. And frankly speaking that will never go out of style in my book!

http://www.audreyhornemusic.com/
https://www.facebook.com/AudreyHorneOfficial


Review of "Youngblood"
http://metalmark.blogspot.com/2012/12/audrey-horne-youngblood.html

*This is the band's line-up as listed on Facebook. As the digital promo did not include any line-up information I am simply going to go by that.


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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Apothica-What Do You Stand For?


I have Alternative Press to thank for introducing me to this band. And when I say "thank" I mean that in the most sincere way humanly possible! For you see folks this female-fronted metalcore band is unreal. Calling Houston home, Apothica has already made a name for themselves and has opened for bands like Kittie, The Agonist and Otep. Although the band went through a complete overall (new name, new sound and new image!) it proved to be for the best as Apothica emerged stronger then ever. Or as guitarist Sean Littlejohn put in in AP: "darker, sexier, more sinister and more alluring"! I cannot vouch for who the band was (sound and style-wise) before the change, but I will say that the "brand new" Apothica is without a shadow of a doubt all of the above (dark, sexy, sinister and above all alluring!) and so much more! And all of that my friends starts with Apothica's outstanding set of vocalists. Yes, I said set. Sure, on paper it is simply lead vocalist Lucy LeNoir (a fabulous singer who incidentally joined the group in December of 2012). Not that there is anything simple about this dynamite front-lady! She certainly steals the show on "What Do You Stand For?" thanks in no small part to here smooth and sensual delivery. But, seeing as this is metalcore that we are talking about there just has to be clean and harsh vocals right? Cue bass guitarist Keenen Martin. Going by the line-up information that is provided on the band's Facebook page (see link below) it's Martin voice that provides the beast to LeNoir's beauty. As lead vocalist Lucy LeNoir (single handily) corners the market on all things sexy and desirable* it's the harsh undertones of bassist Keenen Martin that gives a band like Apothica the perfect one-two punch! Now, musically-speaking this Texas five-piece is first and foremost a metalcore band with one of the primary sources of inspiration being Killswitch Engage. You could also toss In This Moment and All That Remains into that discussion and it would be fine. That said, Apothica does bring other beverage choices to the party. The group ends up listing everyone from Lamb of God and Pantera to Alter Bridge as influences and from the moment "Bulletproof" opens "What Do You Stand For?" there is plenty of discoveries to be made about just who Apothica is right now and where they may be heading. With Alex King (lead guitar) and Justin Roberts (drums) rounding out the line-up and with nowhere to go from here but up Apothica is a band worth keeping an eye out for as well as one that is more then deserving of the buzz that they are generating! You can hear this EP for yourself by heading here: http://www.reverbnation.com/Apothica
*With all apologies there is simply no other way to describe Lucy LeNoir's presence on the mic. This beautiful and strong front-woman has one of the most alluring voices in all of alternative music! 

9/17/14 Update!

After going straight to the source yesterday afternoon it turns out that Lucy LeNoir performed all of the vocals on the EP! I want to apologize for the oversight on my part. Of course this new information only adds to my respect for her as a singer and makes me appreciate Apothica all the more! 

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Lelahell-Al Insane​.​.​.The (Re​)​Birth Of Abderrahmane

Horror Pain Gore Death Productions
2014

Active since 2010, Lelahell is a three-piece band from Algiers, Algeria. With a 2012 EP entitled "Al Ihtiquar" already to their name (featuring a cover of Mayhem's "Freezing Moon" nonetheless!) this death metal/extreme metal outfit now offers up the debut album "Al Insane... The (Re)Birth Of Abderrahmane". Featuring 10 tracks in total and falling just shy of the 41 minute mark "Al Insane... The (Re)Birth Of Abderrahmane" was mixed and mastered by Ivan of Anthropocide Studio (Abominable Putridity, Aborted Fetus) and features some cool cover artwork courtesy of Kaamos Illustration (Hypocrisy, Pain).While the 2012 EP* was a one-man project of Leahel (Carnavage, ex-Neanderthalia, ex-Litham, ex-Devast) this new album finds Lelahel (vocals, guitar) joined by bass player Nihil (Barbaros) and drummer Slaveblaster (Barbaros, ex-Devast, ex-Orcus (live) and ex-The Kult ov Satanåchiîa). Between the three musicians there is a experience and it most assuredly shows on the group's initial Horror Pain Gore Death Productions offering! To the music's advantage Leahel's vocals lean closer to the black metal side of things while the actual music in question is nothing short of brutal, technically-savvy Cannibal Corpse/Suffocation-style death metal! The guitar playing of Leahel is rugged and riff heavy. Dare I say it's almost thuggish? It hits the sense like a boxer hitting his target and when you add to that some sick & sinister bass playing and a billion-miles per hour drumming it turns into a hail-storm of extreme metal! The only downside is that some of the cuts here do tend to blend together, but that's such a minor complaint that it's hardly worth mentioning. All told this is some bad ass death metal for fans of aggressive, over-the-top and speed-enhanced extreme metal! If that sounds like you then drop what you're doing and snag a copy of  "Al Insane​.​.​.The (Re​)​Birth Of Abderrahmane" for your personal collection!

https://hpgd.bandcamp.com/album/al-insane-the-re-birth-of-abderrahmane

*Per the Metal Archives.

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Mausoleum Gate Interview

Recently I had the opportunity to chat with Finland's Mausoleum Gate. In case you missed it I just reviewed the band's phenomenal, self-titled debut-album. The link to that is posted below this interview. I want to thank the band for taking time out of their busy schedule to talk with us and encourage each and every one of you to check out this amazing band and their N.W.O.B.H.M-infused take on hard rock/traditional heavy metal. If their debut album is any indication at all (and again, it's a absolute killer release!) then Mausoleum Gate are going to be huge in the near future!

Andy (A)-Mausoleum Gate-whose who and what is it all about?

Mausoleum Gate (MG)-Mausoleum Gate was formed back in 2008 and nowadays the line-up is: V.P Varpula-voc,Count L.F-gtr,Kasperi Puranen-gtr,Wicked Ischanius-bass/keys and Oscar Razanez-dr/perc. Mausoleum Gate plays traditional heavy metal based on NWOBHM and adding elements from 70's heavy and progressive rock.

A-How did the band first come together and what made you decide on your current moniker?

MG-Well it was through an add how Wicked Ischanius and I met. Then there was also our first drummer Pasi Tolonen. That was the first step really. If you mean with the word "moniker" the name of the band then that was really a result of changing ideas. I remember that I first thought something like "Litihium Gate",heh. But the name is cool in many ways really: It's quite unique as a band name and has straight similarities to bands like Mercyful Fate and Black Sabbath or Pagan Altar and so on.

A-After the release of your debut EP you had the chance to play at Germany's Metal Warning Festival. How in the world did that come about?

MG-I must correct this: The festival was at Helsinki,Finland. Otherwise your information is right: We played there with Cloven Hoof and Sargofagus among others. Actually we got there because Metal Warning organizers were interested in our demo EP. That was a huge chance for a first gig I think.

A- Now, Your compilation CD "Gateways for the Wicked / Obsessed by Metal Sessions" includes a seven minute plus bonus cut. What made you decide on including "Through the Aeons of Sorrow"?

MG-It's really "Through The Dark Aeons Of Sorrow". Well the track was originally recorded at the same 7'' sessions as Obsessed By Metal and Infernal and released in the internet only and got quite popular there. On the other hand it was a bit too long for 7'' so we decided to put it on that compilation on CD so it's available on physical format too. And I think CD nicely puts everything we have released before the full length in one package.


A-Could you tell us about the creation of "Mausoleum Gate"? Before conducting this interview we talked briefly and you mentioned how it was a long process. How so?

MG-It truly was.The actual recording didn't take so much time but it got a lot of time to get from one point to another: To record,to mix and so on. To arrange schedules was challenging. You must remember that we had our day jobs and other activities. The songs are also from a quite long period of time. Some of them are older than songs on our latest releases and some are newer. The title song "Mausoleum Gate"  for example started during the days when the band was formed and last ideas to the song came last year.

A-Before we go any further can I just say once more how impressed I was with your self-titled album! Has the album received similar high praise and are you happy with how it all turned out?

MG-Sure! We are very happy and very pleased about this reception we have had. It's quite impressive and much more than we expected. I'm glad you like the album 'cos we really just wanted to make music that we like. So it's more than pleasing to hear that there are so many who share this vision.

A-What are the chances of your debut album getting a vinyl release?

MG-There's going to be a vinyl release with gatefold sleeve and insert. Unfortunately it seems that vinyl release will be delayed a bit and will be released a couple of weeks after the compact disc/digital release.

A-That's awesome to hear (the fact that it will be seeing a vinyl release and not the fact that it will be delayed) seeing as I certainly won't be the only one looking to buy a LP copy of it as well as a CD one. After your debut album drops what's next? What are your plans as far as touring in support of it, etc?

MG-Well we have this Keep It True festival in April in Germany and possibly a few other gigs in Finland but we will inform from them as soon as we have something confirmed.

A-In our e-mail exchanges you talked about the possibility of another release on the horizon. Possibly a single of sorts if I'm not mistaken. Would you mind sharing that information with our readers?

MG-Well that plan is a bit open yet. We have actually recorded more material than we have on the album. Time will tell what happens to them.

A-Hopefully they will be released sooner then later. Especially as I'm now trying to get my hands on as much music as possible from Mausoleum Gate! Back to the band though. It's not just your name that links you to bands like Mercyful Fate, Black Sabbath and Pagan Alter is it? Atmosphere-wise "Mausoleum Gate" has the same kind of mystical vibe as those three older metal acts. Is that something that has natural evolved over the years?

MG-It's really was a natural process like everything has been with Mausoleum Gate so far. I like to have some mystical atmosphere in music - maybe somehow tragic and sad atmosphere too. I see that we have the same kind of mood in melodies as Sabbath or Pagan Altar have: That same kind of fatal,dramatic feeling. Also some supernatural vibe is present too in my opinion like Mercyful Fate had

A-And speaking of your sound, Mausoleum Gate draws it's influence from so many different directions. Was that so much a collective decision or are the various tastes of each and every band member that diverse?

MG-There certainly is a variety in our musical tastes in this band but of course there are similarities too. Otherwise it would be hard to get music together, heh. I think the way these different tastes mix in our music is something that gives the band its own sound. That's one thing we try to achieve really: To have the sound of our own which at the same time brings out something from our influences.

A-You've already played with Sargofagus and Cloven Hoof. Who are some other classic bands that you would love to perform with?

MG-Well there are some in Keep It True Festival to me at least - like Uli Jon Roth (ex-Scorpions). I also remember listening Exciter's "Violence And Force" in cassette back in 80's and now we're playin' on the same stage. That's great. Of course to me it would be massive to play with likes of Mercyful Fate, Maiden, Sabbath etc.

A-Where do you picture the band being in five years?

MG-I can't say really but I hope we continue to make music. We have got so far so why couldn’t we go on further really? There’s lot to say musically I think.

A-Where can fans find your new album and other information on the band?

MG-This will be a good place to start:

https://www.facebook.com/MausoleumGate

Also our bass player Wicked Ischanius' blog is worth checking for:

http://semi-minus.blogspot.fi/2013/04/semisti-miinuksella-productions-small.html

A-I'll have to check that out then! OK, to round things up I usually let band's have the last word. Is there anything else you'd like to add or anything that you would life to share with your fans?  

MG-Let's keep it simple: Keep It Heavy!

A-I couldn't agree more!


Review of "Mausoleum Gate":
http://metalmark.blogspot.com/2014/09/mausoleum-gate-mausoleum-gate.html

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Monday, September 15, 2014

Megasonic-Intense

Mausoleum Records
2014

Megasonic is a Belgian-based trio whose influences include the likes of Van Halen, Ozzy, Aerosmith, Saxon, Savatage, Whitesnake, Metallica, UFO, Iron Maiden, BLS and Alter Bridge. Add that all together and you end up with a band that is part classic hard rock and melodic heavy metal with a few symphonic rock and progressive metal flourishes. The band, which is made up of lead vocalist/keyboardist/drummer Dimitri Verhoeven, guitarist/keyboardist Jeroen De Bock and guitarist/bassist Lieven De Wolf, is only a few years old from the looks of it with the thirteen track "Intense" serving as their debut outing. With eleven original compositions and two covers (Paul Gilbert´s "Down to Mexico" and ABBA´s "Does Your Mother Know") "Intense" is a solid (if unspectacular) release. There are some inspired moments such as "Demon's  Lust", "Witches  Brew" and "Future Shock" (three tracks which incidentally run one right after another with "Future Shock" the best of the three) as well as "Eye Of The Storm" and  "Run  For  Cover". But then you've got a real clunker like "Man  In  The  Moon" (a tiring ballad which is just lame) and other numbers that are merely so-so ("Bombs Away", which comes across as part Van Halen and part Riot is so close to being good that's it's discouraging!). The two covers end the album with "Down to Mexico" likely chosen to pull in guitar rock fans and ABBA´s "Does Your Mother Know" serving as more of a novelty then anything else. For Megasonic an album like "Intense" is a good starting point as it does feature some highlights ("Future Shock", which arguably is the heaviest number here, is a nice little banger all it's own!) and it paints the picture of a band with much more to offer if given time.

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Children Of Technology- Future Decay

Hells Headbangers
2014

It's been sometime since we last heard new music from Padua, Veneto-based Children Of Technology. Or at least a full-length album. Sure, the band did give fans the "Mayhemic Speed Anarchy" EP, but even that was two years ago! Enter "Future Decay". Lyrically-speaking it's time to revisit the band's post-nuclear war/Mad Max world while musically it's fairly run of the mill thrash/punk. On the plus side Paolo "DeathLörd Astwülf" Astolfi really rocks here. All at once he reminds me of Destruction's Schmier and C.O.C.'s Mike Dean and that's nowhere a bad thing! If only the music was a tad more, well, inspiring. Nothing really jumps out here. As much as I was looking forward to some slick crossover material this one just feels substandard. It's almost as if "Future Decay" was one of those studio obligations records. You can't blame it on lack of experience either. It's true that this is only the band's second full-length album since forming in 2007. But, here's the thing. There has been a TON of material (splits, singles and a demo) issued by the band over the past seven years! That makes an album like this one even more of a WTF kind of moment. For fans this one might past, but for everyone else? Pass.

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