Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Slander-Resolution Defiance

Stormspell Records
2017

English heavy metal band Slander, formed in 1990 and initially only active until 1993, released it's full-length debut album, "Careless Talk Costs Lives", way back in 1991. Now lead by vocalist Martin Moffwood (Stonefist), Slander are back on the scene with their long-anticipated sophomore LP. Clocking in at just under 38 minutes, Slander's "Resolution Defiance" comes along some 26 years after the group's critically-acclaimed debut. It also serves as the follow-up to Slander's 2013 split with Twisted State of Mind. Along with new and improved vocalist Martin Moffwood, Paul Snape makes his studio debut as Slander's bass player. He joins guitarist Ian Snape (2014-present) and founding members Andy Saxon-Lamb (guitars) and Andy "Eddie" Edwards (drums). With these new members in place, Slander comes out with all guns blazing and they make up for lost time with album number two. Things open up strong with the slightly-atmospheric "Lazarus" (a one minute instrumental opener) which runs straight into the metallic muscle punch of "Backs Against The Wall". The (riff-heavy) metal rocker "The Machine Keeps on Rolling" is next and it's followed up by the equally-awesome "When We Die". From there we have the slick title cut, the N.W.O.B.H.M.-infused "Take Me Down", and the powerful "Juggernaut". The album's longest track, "In a Dark Place", closes things out with a bang. It's a hard-edged/rock-steady take on classic heavy metal and it is beyond epic! Ultimately this is as perfect an album as one can get! And no, I don't say that lightly. From start to finish Slander's new album gets a A+ grade! Thanks to the addition of second guitarist Ian Snape and the marked improvement that is Martin Moffwood, Slander's new album is a step forward from what was already a dynamite sound! When it came to Slander's debut, N.W.O.B.H.M. meets eighties heavy metal is the description I used when I first heard it. Those influences are still here, but on album number two they have been merged with creative and highly-memorable heavy/hard rock. With Any Saxon-Lamb on one side and Ian Snape on the other, "Resolution Defiance" features some of the best guitar work that I have heard in a very long time! Whether it is the general riffs (which are energetic and just plain fun!) or the simply killer guitar solos, "Resolution Defiance" greatly benefits from having Andy Saxon-Lamb backed-up by a second guitarist. Special praise should also be given to Slander's new & improved rhyme second (I'm loving Paul's bass work and the always reliable drumming of Andy "Eddie" Edwards!) and the great vocal work of Martin Moffwood. Collectively-speaking, Slander circa 2017 is the best line-up to date and it has produced an album that cannot be topped! Even though it hasn't been officially released yet, "Resolution Defiance" is my vote for the heavy metal album of the year!! We can only hope that it doesn't take nearly as long for album number three to arrive!




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Monday, December 11, 2017

Current playlist-end of 2017 edition

kreator

To be honest I missed a lot of releases the first half of the year and have been trying to play catch-up the second half of the year. I am still way behind in getting around to hearing all the albums I wanted to this year. Over all it's been a good year for the styles of music I like. Here is what I am checking out recently.

Listening to-
Kreator-Gods of violence
Blood Feast-The future state of wicked
Horrified-Allure of the fallen
Primitive Man-Caustic
Morbid Angel-Kingdoms disdained
Bell Witch-Mirror Reaper

Reading-
Nine lessons I learned from my father

Watching-
Twilight Zone the complete series
The Broncos trying to not get a high draft pick.
The Capitals getting it together and getting hot.

Feel free to add what you are listening to, reading or watching in the comments.

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Thursday, December 07, 2017

Clamfight -III

CF
Argonauta
2018
New Jersey's Clamfight has their aptly named third studio album album III hitting shelves next month. Gone are the album covers that looked like they were drawn by a middle schooler, but they stay the course with thick and slow slabs of fuzzy heaviness. We get five tracks in all this time around. Most of the songs require some degree of patience from the listener to allow the band to plod away and get to their destination. The music itself leans towards the basic side, but the tones and the bands quest to twist those tones certainly helps their cause. They don't compromise what they are trying to do on any of these songs, but instead hope we will hand in their and ride along on this winding, snail paced trail they lay out. Overall I think each of their studio albums has been better than the one before it and III keeps that trend going. This is likely I'll revisit soon as it's definitely one that needs a few spins to really take effect.

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Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Legendry-Dungeon Crawler

Non Nobis Productions
2017

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is the home base of operations for epic traditional/power metal band Legendry. Formed in 2015 and currently comprised of vocalist/guitarist Vidarr (Defeat, ex-Bare-Sark), bassist Evil St. Clair, and drummer Kicker, Legendry has two full-length albums and one demo to it's name. The eight song "Dungeon Crawler" is the latest recording from this (classic metal loving) trio and it arrives one year after the group's well-received debut album, "Mists of Time". The epic 10-minute title track opens up Legendry's newest release in grand fashion. It name checks not only the title of the band's 2016 (Mists of Time), but one of the group's inspirations (Pagan Altar). Other influences include Manilla Road, Cirith Ungol, Brocas Helm, Omen, Wishbone Ash, Uriah Heep, Jethro Tull, King Crimson, Yes, and Lords of the Crimson Alliance (whose "Swords of Zeus" they cover!). Along with compelling lyrics and the album's vintage vibe (especially in regards to the album's production), "Dungeon Crawler" features some truly fantastic music! On a few of the tracks the band is joined by guest keyboardist Drea, but overall it's Vidarr, Evil St. Clair, and Kicker that are responsible for all of the great metal on display here. With it's splendid mixture of epic metal, American power metal, classic metal, and seventies-infused prog(!), "Dungeon Crawler" is a smashing success and one album that I am glad to have stumbled upon. With bands like Legendry alive and well the true heavy metal scene is in good hands!

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Sunday, December 03, 2017

Jacobs Moor-Self

Self-Release/Independent
2017

Jacobs Moor is a progressive power metal/thrash metal band that has been active since 2010. Self-produced by the band members themselves (Richard Krenmaier-vocals, Rupert Träxler and Johannes Pichler-guitars, Stephan Först-bass, and Rainer Lidauer-drums), "Self" is the latest studio album from Jacobs Moor. It was sent my way courtesy of drummer Rainer Lidauer. Having covered the band's 2014 debut album, "All That Starts", and the 2015 EP, "The Evil in Me", I looked forward to diving straight into this recording. After a brief instrumental introduction ("March of the Flies") we cut right into the heart of the matter with "Watching Atrocities" (see video below). This powerful piece rips the album wide open and leaves little doubt as to the fact that this five-piece band is back and as killer as always! Not that there was any doubt whatsoever. Given the strong effort that was was "The Evil in Me", "Self" merely reaffirms the mad skills of this technical and precise power/thrash unit. Making our way through the heavy thrash of "The Absence of Me" and the sick title track (progressive metal with muscle and might!), "Self" proves to be a remarkably consistent album. Not so much in a style kind of way. It's actually impressive songwriting and the overall performances of everyone that wins the day. It seems pretty obvious that the material on "Self" has been re-written and re-worked to maximum efficiency. When it comes to "Self" there is also a lot of variety to be found. While technical power metal is primarily what is on display, "Self" goes a long ways towards adding a little bit of everything to the mix. It's all here from the blues to modern day extreme metal. There are touches of classic metal and hard-edge thrash. Harsh and clean vocals give way to sensational drumming while the stringed instruments are nothing short of dynamic! "Self" is the rare kind of album where every song gels together and yet each track could work on it's own. Opening with the shortest track on the album ("March of the Flies"), Jacobs Moor ends "Self" with the longest cut of the bunch. Clocking in at over eleven minutes(!), "Hopeless Endeavor" shows of the many talents of this veteran act. Now in their seventh year together (it's almost eight years really), Jacobs Moor should be a household name by now. The fact that they are not is a tremendous shame. Maybe "Self" will end up being the band's winning ticket? Let us hope so. Because quite frankly this Austrian metal band has sat on the sidelines for far too long.



Video for "Watching Atrocities":


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Thursday, November 30, 2017

Tricounty Terror-Revenge

Emp Label Group
2017


Tricounty Terror (vocalist Tessa, lead guitarist Kelsey, rhythm guitarist Erica, bassist Cera, and drummer Andi) is a Texas-based group that just dropped "Revenge" last month. By the looks of it this eight-track album serves as the band's studio debut. If that is indeed the case, "Revenge" is a hell of an introduction for these hard & heavy rockin' ladies! On "Revenge" the listener is treated to a (whiskey-soaked) mixture of punk metal and Southern rock/metal. Toss in a nod or two of appreciation to Lemmy and Angus Young and you have one album that is a total blast from start to finish! For the five fierce ladies in Tricounty Terror it's all about being as loud and rowdy as humanly possible. Fast, furious, and real as fuck, "Revenge" also showcases a well-tuned band that isn't afraid to cut through all the bullshit and just ROCK IT! There's nothing phony about these five musicians or the ass kicking sound that they produce. Much like Motörhead before them, Tricounty Terror is the right kind of band to unite the punks and the metalheads.  Available wherever righteous punk rocking metal like this can be found, "Revenge" is a album that you are going to want to play Loud & Proud!!

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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Wraith-Wraith

Self-Release/Independent
2017

Here's a fun fact kids. There sure as hell are a lot of bands out that called Wraith. The other day I found this out the hard way. While searching online for more information about the English hard rock/melodic metal band Wraith (all for a possible review that quite possibly will never happen) I somehow managed to stumble upon Indiana's Wraith. If not for a particular cover track (more on that shortly) I probably would have just skipped over this band. Up front I should probably add that when it comes to this Wraith there isn't a lot to go by. It doesn't seem as if there is a Facebook page for Indiana's Wraith and there is no listing of the band in the Metal Archives. So, as far as line-up information goes I've got nothing. Not that it matters. When it comes to any band it is the music that counts. In regards to Wraith we are talking about a sick mash-up of crossover, street-legit hardcore, (raw) garage metal, and blackened speed metal! The cool thing about "Wraith" is that it puts that short, but sweet noise in-between a sample from Army of Darkness and a cover of Motörhead's "The Hammer"!! Admittedly having seen the band's cover choice I just had to give this one a spin. Ultimately I am glad that I did. This eight song release might not be very long, but it sure does get the job done. Hopefully this is only the first piece of the puzzle for this mysterious band as I would love to hear more.  

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Deep Fryer-Rockin' Right Hard

Self-Release/Independent
2017

Deep Fryer is a hardcore/punk band from Fredericton, New Brunswick. The group is made up of Mike Erb (vox), JE Sheehy (guitars, vox), Jake Spencer (bass), and Kyle Clark (drums). In November of 2016 the the band put out it's self-titled debut. This EP comes almost one year after the release of "Deep Fryer". Along with the equally satisfying "Deep Fryer", "Rockin' Right Hard" is available as a name-your-own-price digital download. It features four songs and is a tremendous call-back to the (chilled) hardcore scene of the nineties. And just like the good old days, Deep Fryer writes about it's own hometown and the things that are most important to the members. The lyrics cover things like hockey and local landmarks. In a time when everyone is just so freaking serious, Deep Fryer take a laid back approach to everything. If you ask me, we sure as hell could use more bands like that now.

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