Tuesday, April 09, 2019

Invictus-Burst The Curse


Germany's Invictus, formed in 2017 with the 3-track "Burst The Curse" serving as their debut offering, is a power/speed metal band that is fronted by Nicolas Peter (guitarist for the awesomely-named Beerhammer!). The five-piece group features three members with ties to the heavy metal/thrash band Avator and has one of the finest opening tracks in memory with this EP's title track! Influenced by many a classic German power/speed metal band (Grave Digger, Iron Savior, Primal Fear and Helloween), Invictus works best when they stick to high-end, catchy, well-crafted and blazing power/speed metal ("Burst The Curse") or gripping, straight-up power metal ("Someone Out There"). Those two numbers are the bookend numbers on this EP. Unfortunately, "Gaia" is smack dab in the middle of those two solid tracks. A poor attempt at a ballad, "Gaia" is a three minute plus exercise in patience that left me saying "What just happened to the epic band that gave me that wicked title cut?". While one can appreciated and maybe even applaud the band's attempt at creating three different sounding tracks, "Burst The Curse" would have been a better effort if Invictus would have stuck to what they are good at: engaging& energetic power/speed metal that seems almost custom-built for fans of Helloween and the like. Still, two out of three ain't bad. Especially seeing as the title cut of this EP is perfectly suited for power/speed metal compilations!

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Monday, December 17, 2018

Lords of Salem-Hell Over Salem


Based in Stuttgart, Germany and lead by vocalist Postel (a powerful and highly-expressive front-man that is easily the biggest selling point of this up-and-coming group!), Lords of Salem is a goth-laden/horror rock-infused hard & heavy rock/metal band that has one stellar EP to it's name. Released on October 31st of 2018, "Hell Over Salem" is the debut recording from this four-piece outfit that looks as if it just stepped straight out of a 1980-something post-apocalyptic movie!

Starting off with the upbeat, groovy, and ghoulish "Monster Girl" (a horror rock and roll number that oddly recalls both The Cult and the likes of Rod Zombie & Wednesday 13!), this four-track EP by Lords of Salem clocks in at under 15 minutes in length, but that's more than enough time to get the job done. Boosted by the strength of the title track and "Zombie Monkey Woman", Lords of Salem's first offering showcases a young band that already knows how to write catchy material that is filled with great hooks, inspired-samples, and colorful lyrics! Mixed and mastered by Achim Köhler (Primal Fear, Brainstorm, etc), "Hell Over Salem" is a quirky fun recording that takes its cues from everyone from The Misfits to Zodiac Mindwarp and the Love Reaction. A short and sweet EP, this release should find a huge fan base with anyone that loves the likes of (later day)White Zombie, Rob Zombie, Wednesday 13, and quite possibly even The Murderdolls.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Current playlist


Hey, there. Yes, we  have not posted anything in a while. Particularly me. I have been listening to a lot but writing very little other than a few lines here and there over at our Facebook page. Hoping to change that soon. Can't guarantee when exactly, but I'm aiming to get reviews out of the latest from Lizzy Borden, Lucifer, Kissin' Dynamite and the full length debut from Iron Hunter. I have not done an interview in years, but I briefly shook off the laziness when I saw a call out for interviews with Death tribute act Gruesome so I fired off some questions to them and will post those once I get them back.

I'm currently listening to-
All the albums above I said I'll review soon plus..
DRI-Four of a kind
Death- Human, Spiritual Healing
Gruesome-Twisted Prayers
Exhumed-Death Revenge
Armored Saint-Symbol of salvation re-issue
YOB-Our raw heart

World Cup of course
Too many past episodes of Storage Wars
Arena football (yeah, I know, I know)

various cookbooks and not much else

Waiting for-

***What are you listening to?

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Monday, May 07, 2018


Rock Of Angels Records

British heavy metal band Monument will release "Hellhound" on May 25th, 2018. Preceded in life by 2016's "Hair of the Dog", this 12-track recording* serves as the group's third full-length album since forming in 2011. Opening by way of  the solid "William Kidd" (see official video below), "Hellhound" finds lead singer Peter Ellis (ex-The More I see, ex-White Wizzard) and crew once again mixing together the best parts of of N.W.O.B.H.M. (Iron Maiden, Judas Priest) and traditional heavy metal (everything from Anvil to Rainbow). With production courtesy of  Tony Newton, Monument's forthcoming album is arguably the strongest effort to date from this extremely-talented lot! Frankly-speaking, everything about this album rocks!! Having aimed for the "live" sound of these London metal merchants, Tony's Newton's slick production highlights Peter Ellis' soaring vocals, the thunder and lightening sensation that is the rhythm section of "Hellhound", and the album's (epic and simply tremendous!) lead guitar solos! With each and every number offering something new and exciting(!), "Hellhound" is traditional heavy metal at it's absolute finest!! It is obvious that a lot of hard work went into the construction of the songs of this high-flying disc! And the individual performances? The fact is everyone has put their best foot forward on this must-have release. Packed with heavy metal glory that will blow more than a few minds, "Hellhound" is what happens when every member of a band gives 100% effort in a studio setting. As good as all of the material is musically, Monument's new album would be wasted if the songs weren't well-written. Thank the maker of all that is metal that this isn't the case. Lyrically the album covers a lot of ground (per Monument's awesome lead singer the lyrics touch on history, urban London life, the occult and personal relationships) while musically this is what makes British heavy metal so great to begin with. It's not only the blazing leads and stunning vocals, but the beautiful way in which melody and metal madness work so well together. Ending by way of two choice cover songs (one from Rainbow and the other one from Iron Maiden), "Hellhound" is all about waving the flag proudly for true heavy metal! If you are a fan of top of the line British heavy metal, this forthcoming album should be a part of your personal collection!!

*The CD consists of 12 tracks (9 tracks plus 3 bonus tracks) while the limited-edition vinyl version will only have the 9 "normal" tracks.

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Stray Bullets-Shut Up

Sneakout Records

Active since 2007, Italy's hard rock band, Stray Bullets, offer up some easy & sleazy glam on their full-length debut album, "Shut UP". Released on January 26th, 2018, this well-crafted release serves as the follow-up to the self-recorded album, "Lost Soul Town". Having teamed up with the good folks over at Atomic Stuff Studio, a huge chunk of "Lost Soul Town' was re-written & re-recorded in order to present this enthusiastic recording! Fronted by Alex Chinaski and featuring the mad skills of guitarists Steven Evil and Nick, bassist Dave Dufford, and drummer Zen, Stray Bullets official debut is sure to bring a smile to the faces of sleaze/glam fans as well as anyone that likes (catchy and fun) down and dirty hard rock!! This hidden gem features some sinsational guitar work and more than likely it will remind some of our older readers of the heyday of the L.A. hard rock/glam metal scene. If laid back (hard & heavy) sleaze is your drug of choice, "Shut Up" is the fix you need!  

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Wednesday, May 02, 2018

AxMinister-The Crucible of Sin


Toronto, Ontario's AxMinister, fronted by vocalist/bassist Nicholas Klaus and citing bands like Megadeth, Metallica, Slayer, Iron Maiden, and Manowar as their primary influences, will release "The Crucible of Sin" on Friday, May 4th. It is a five-track EP that was produced by Ryan Jones and mastered by Harry Hess. Clocking in at just under twenty three minutes, this impressive EP opens up strong with the cut "Prey" and only gets better from there! With each passing track better than the last one, AxMinster's forthcoming EP is bound to impress fans of (rugged & tough) heavy/power metal!! Having first come together in 1999(!), AxMinister is a (razor blade sharp) group that has been tearing it's way through the scene since 2008. Lyrically the group covers topics such as film, history, politics, and religion. Guitarist Tim Smith and drummer Bas von Bismark round out the official line-up on this (classic heavy metal and N.W.O.B.H.M.-inspired) powerful metal release. Meanwhile there are some cool backing vocals courtesy of Nick Allaire. Available for pre-order at the link above, "The Crucible of Sin" is a lyrically-strong (hard & heavy) power metal recording with strong lead vocals, great guitar solos, a slick rhythm section, and inspired songs that will make you want to wave the banner of true heavy metal for all to see!! This is honest to goodness heavy metal that has been made possible thanks to hard work & dedication of true heavy metal maniacs. For more information on this heavy/power metal band be sure to check out AxMinister's Facebook page.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Devils Rage-Desolation


Devils Rage is a D.I.Y. melodic death metal band that hails from Sursee, Switzerland. Having first come together in late 2006 (with their current line-up in place since 2010!), this highly-skilled & downright scary outfit has one EP and two full-length album to it's name. Released this past March on the 17th, the 11-track "Desolation" is the group's latest album to date. It serves as the follow-up to 2015's "Impending Demise" and was sent to me by one of the group's guitarists, Patrik "Schumi" Schumacher. Lead vocals come courtesy of Stefan "Lalas" Häfliger (a brutalizing growler that is a much-feared beast on the mic!) and with a run-time of just over 45 minutes in length, "Desolation" is a perfect way to get a quick fix of top-tier death metal! Well-crafted and featuring a nice production job that plays to the strength of this simply-savage release(!), Devils Rage has delivered an album that should appeal to fans of both vintage and modern-day melodic death metal!! If melodic death metal with monstrous guitars, gritty overtones and a pulverizing rhythm section is your thing (and why wouldn't it be?) then "Desolation" should be on your short list of new albums to buy!

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Thursday, April 19, 2018

The Kut-Valley Of Thorns

Criminal Records/Cargo Records

The brainchild of vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Princess Maha, The Kut is a female alternative rock/grunge band that will release it's full-length debut on May 4th, 2018. With ten tracks in all, "Valley of Thorns" is a strong release that finds Princess Maha handling all of vocals and instruments. In a live setting (which more than likely offers a sweet sonic assault to the eardrums!) it is Princess Maha and a few of her female friends. With that piece of information out of the way, "Valley Of Thorns" deserves it's time in the spotlight. Let's take a look at the tracks one at a time. Starting things off we have the single "Mind Games" (see official video below). Falling somewhere between Melissa Auf der Maur's first solo album and a poor man's Hole, this three minute plus number wouldn't be my first choice to open an album, but it is decent enough to get the job done. From there we jump straight into the punk rock and roll track, "Hollywood Rock n Roll". Now this is more like it! Clocking in at just shy of three minutes, "Hollywood Rock n Roll" is a damn fun number that I could easily see G N' R covering! It's short and it's sweet. Slightly more punk than dirty rock and roll, this wicked little jam would have been my first choice to open the album. Next up we have "No Trace"". No doubt inspired by the band Hole, this one runs close to four minutes in length. It's a so-so number that is followed by "I Want Your Maniac". This one has L7 written all over it. From there we move on to "Rush Hour". Weirdly enough this rock song reminded me of Chrissie Hyde. As someone who likes her solo work and the cool stuff that she did with  The Pretenders, "Rush Hour" offered a nice change of pace. "I am Vain" is next and we are treated to L7-styled grunge rock that almost crosses over into heavy metal territory. The Hole meets The Murderdolls/Marilyn Manson track, "Alekhine's Gun" comes next. Personally I've got mixed feelings about this one, but I honestly see a lot of people liking this twisted track. Moving forward we have "X-Ray Eyes". Here we have classic Hole merging together with Soul Asylum and (early) Goo Goo Dolls! That might sound bad on paper, but in real life it is a vintage-sounding rocker that most certainly would have charted back in the day! "Bad Man" comes on next and it is a blast!! Take Motörhead and cross it with The Runaways. Next up you'll want to give it a bit of a modern vibe. Finnish it off with some harsh vocals that take a step or two the punk/hardcore scene and you get a number like "Bad Man". Towards the end this heavy rocker cranks up the urgency and the anger! All in all this one slays!! The last track is called "Mario". This one starts off with some love for Lemmy and the boys before it turns into a grunge-light rocker with a rather boring chorus. Ultimately it never really goes anywhere. While that is a shame, "Valley Of Thorns" has more going for it than against it. There are some fantastic riffs on this album and Princess Maha is a killer lead vocalist. As someone that just loves powerful women who know how to rock the living daylights out the stage and studio, Princess Maha's alter-ego gets major props for their first full-length album. This one gets a 7 out of 10 with the added bit about how I simply cannot wait to hear more!!

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