Thursday, October 31, 2013

Promiscuity - Basic Instinct


Israel isn't the first place that comes to mind when I think of sleazy, underground blackened speed metal. But then again what do I know? Of course I also find myself wondering what the odds are that today's generation of metalheads would know what the film Basic Instinct is let alone get the reference of this EP's cover-art? Regardless,  when it comes right down to this recently-released (name your own price) 4-track EP, which was reportedly written between 2011-2012 (with recording taking place this year) and clocks in at under 15 minutes, we're talking about one bad-ass, son of a witch, slab of heavy metal! Hell, I could just stop right there, leave you with the picture below, and that would be all you need to know about "Basic Instinct". In this case a picture speaks a thousand words!
When you've got Lemmy holding up your album then you know you've made it! What better endorsement does a band really need? Still, this 3-piece group, which was formed in 2010 by the pair of vocalist/guitarist Butcher and bassist Werewolf (who is also the owner of Israhellbanger Records and was the editor of  the fanzine "Evil's Best"), deserves a bit more press then that given how deliciously primal and "Toxic Waltz" worthy this 4-track EP is! With three original compositions and a (pissed-off and foaming at the mouth) cover of Celtic Frost's "Into the Crypts of Rays" it's not everyday that an EP like this falls into your lap! Speaking of the cool cover choice, which almost sounds like a cross between Venom and Motörhead (just two of  influences that help define the sound of Promiscuity), early Celtic Frost (and thus Hellhammer) would make for a good starting point. So would bands like Bathory, Italy's Bulldozer and maybe even (early) Burzum. With Steel (Sonne Adam) on drums the members of Promiscuity have the power-trio appeal down flat. You know the bands I'm talking about right? Venom and Motörhead are two bands that at one point or another had just three members, but bands like Sodom, Tank, At War and Destruction have also featured similar, trimmed-down line-ups. I don't know about everyone else, but I've always found 3-piece metal bands to be rather appealing and this Israeli band is no different. It should probably be mentioned that lead screamer/ thrashing guitarist Butcher comes from the "Cronos School For Gifted Heavy Metal Vocalists". Translation: His voice is a bit gruff. Rough vocals work though when it comes to underground metal (especially black metal/speed metal/black n' roll) and it gives a release like "Basic Instinct" a more sleazy vibe. Other then the (WAY too) short length of this EP you couldn't ask for a better release then this. Even though it's got a black metal soul the EP is more upbeat in a subtle Motörhead kind of way. It's also far from depressing which is (admittedly) another strange thing for a black metal (ish) band. But, it makes this one stand out in a good way. As the guys in Promiscuity, who no-doubt would be found sporting evil smirks on their faces, rock the joint all the way to hell and back they seem to be issuing an open invitations with "Basic Instinct". This EP is calling out to anyone/anywhere who wants to get on board.  If  that sounds like you then follow the link below...

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Wet Nuns-Wet Nuns

Throng Of Nobs

Here I am writing a review for an album that I just discovered from a band that has already called it quits. What's up with that I ask? "Sittin' on a boat, eatin' some oat, makin' a coat outta dead coyote". Those are the words that are plastered on this group's Facebook page as far as a biography goes. Alright...well, I guess that's fair enough in the grand scheme of things. I mean who am I to complain right? Then again, what exactly are we to make of this band when they lists their interests as "Women, booze, death. Enya"? The first two I can get behind and maybe I'll even level a bit of understanding for the third part there, "death". But Enya? Even I have to draw the line there. I mean sure, I've got some Enya buried deep down in my iTunes play-list, but that's a secret that no one is supposed to know about. So mums the word. Alright? Thanks. Anyway, in spite of the little bit of info we have about Wet Nuns, whose name does sound like a bad seventies porno, let's just roll on. The easiest way to describe this one would be punk blues. That's right, punk blues. Take the underbelly of blues and the attitude and anger of punk rock (and it's "three cords and the truth" outlook) and shake it up and down in a bag filled with the dirty syringes, cheap-ass beer and the rotting remains of various sewer "critters" and you've got this self-titled album just about all figured out. Sometimes it's sloppy and sometimes it's right on. It's every bit as ugly as you can imagine it would be and yet it still strikes the right cords far more often then it reasonably should have the ability to do. And even if it gets a little too far ahead of itself and threatens to descend into a bath salt-induced, "I'm gonna eat your face off sucker!", psychotic breakdown it does have it's charms. Buyer beware as always though....  

Labels: , , , ,

Broken Fate-Rising to the Dream


Formed in 2007 by Tobias John Bänteli (vocals and guitars) and Alessandro de Cicco (drums), the Swiss act known as Broken Fate offer up their latest release, the "Rising to the Dream" EP. Produced by V.O. Pulver at "Little Creek" studio in Gelterkinden (CH), the recording's intro, the ("Ride The Lightning"/"Master Of Puppets") Metallica-like "Rise", sets the mood early on for what ends up being a strong and remarkably memorable release. Guitarist/backing-vocalist Roman Leeser and bassist Dario Stutz (bass) round out this Swiss four-piece out and with a new album slated for release in 2014 this EP is a great way to get acquainted with what just might end up being your new favorite metal band! Now wait, hear me out as I realize that's a pretty bold statement! When you first look at Broken Fate and hear that they would be considered "modern metal" most people would stop there. You'd be missing out though as the only thing really modern about this four-piece is their approach to song-writing. I'll cover that a bit further down, but for now let's see where these gentlemen started out. Early on the group covered songs from the likes of Metallica, Nickelback and Fear Factory, but with others influences such as Slipknot, Killswitch Engage
Anthrax, Testament, Shinedown, Pantera and Devildriver serving as the building blocks to Broken Fate's sound this is one "modern metal band" that sure seems as if it knows what it's doing. Don't stress about the Nickleback and Shinedown reference points as Broken Fate cranks out high-velocity thrash metal more then anything else. Those thrash influences
(Metallica, Anthrax and Testament) obviously make for one release that easily tips the scales towards the heavier side of things and, other then "Fate", I'd wager that "Rising to the Dream" would find itself sitting quite comfortably in most modern day thrash collections. If you didn't know about the Nickleback covers or the Shinedown influence, and if you didn't play someone the cut "Fate" (which, despite leaning more towards a heavier version of modern rock radio is actually a pretty cool tune!), then you could almost chalk this one up as simply modern thrash and no one would be the wiser. The interesting thing is that the technical aspects of this EP showcase a band that seems well-versed in "And Justice For All..." era Metallica, or even one that remembers how sweet old Metallica and Megadeth albums used to be when the melodic solos would kick in, while the actual "modern metal" is only modern because (as previously mentioned) it adapts the appeal of (later period) hard rock and heavy metal song-writing towards it's own goals. The thrash here is actually forged from the playbooks of more modern hard rock and heavy metal acts which means that Broken Fate puts more of an emphasis on creating actual "songs" instead of just crazy and over-the-top moments of frenzy that plague a lot of today's retro-thrashers. With their hearts filled to overflowing with love for the classics (everyone from Metallica to Pantera) the guys in Broken Fate seem as if they assemble their songs as if they are a rock group trapped in the body of a thrash band! So these cuts actually rock! It might all sound strange on paper, but Broken Fate are the best of both words. They are heavy and menacing with a thrash sound right out of the mid-to-late eighties/early nineties while they also incorporate modern radio rock better ideas and the greatness of older hard rock/heavy metal. Broken Fate is how "modern metal" should sound. This Swiss act is  my new drug of choice and I'll be keeping an eye out for upcoming new album! 

Labels: , , , , , ,

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Implosion Circle-The Angry And Enraged


I don't know about all of you, but when I think about Switzerland's heavy metal scene it's exactly that, heavy metal, that comes to mind. That's usually followed by flashing images of hard rock and straight-ahead rock and roll. Especially when you take into account all of the new rock n' roll, hard rock and heavy metal bands that seem to be popping up like weeds these days in Switzerland. For some reason though I seem to forget that Switzerland has a thriving thrash metal scene as well. And right there smack dab in the heat of the action is where you'll likely find Implosion Circle. Formed in 2006, and with a sound that recalls some of yesterday's greats (Metallica and Megadeth both come to mind, but the eighties thrash scene in general seems to have seeped into the sound of Implosion Circle) while also (ever so lightly ) treading the modern metal scene, this 4-piece band is bound to get both your blood and your fists pumping! While the mere mention of groove heavy thrash, or for that matter the term "modern metal", often sends people running away in fear (which I can not blame them for doing) the truth is that both of those key word combinations show up on the group's latest release. And you know what? With this bunch it actual works! On this 5-track EP, which is just shy of the 23 minute mark, vocalist/guitarist Michi Maierhofer leads a band that tackles "modern and groovy thrash metal" (there words and not mine) while never looking back! There are no side-by-side comparisons for this group though. Sure enough those early thrash influences are there for the taking, but as for the heavy groove angle? That's all Implosion Circle and it's all great. It's not so groovy that it gets sloppy or anything and it never let's up on the heavy thrash side of things so there is no way that someone could not recognize this group for what they really are (ie: thrash metal fanatics!). It's simply that "The Angry And Enraged" rocks to the beat of it's own drummer, which is this case is Mischa Blaser, while adding some "groove punch" to their modern thrash drink of choice! With guitarist Philipp Dublanc and bassist Manuel Wiget doing their things (and doing it well) this EP, which serves as the follow-up to group's 2009 debut, "Man of Contradiction", is (simply put kiddos) fun. The leads are sweet, straight-no-chaser thrash and the bass, which I have to give tons of credit to Manuel Wiget for, gives the songs on this EP that deep and heavy crushing effect! Implosion Circle gives an extra, much-needed (and damn-right truly appreciated) dose of crunchiness to modern thrash in the hope that it will help knock some common sense into it the genre. Their muscular metal packs a real wallop so don't be mistaken. When it comes time to deliver these cuts to the listening audience it's done so in heavy thrash fashion! So, we're looking at a heavy thrashing good time with a tiny scoop of groove mixed in to make things really fun. I see nothing wrong with that folks! And with Metal Message Promotions now backing this band up we could be looking at the next big thing in the making to hail from Switzerland or really anywhere! You can check this EP out for yourself right bellow and be sure to go and "like" the group's Facebook page while you're at it!

Labels: , , , , , ,

Monday, October 28, 2013

Fate-If Not For The Devil

Avenue Of Allies

The Danish band Fate, whose self-titled, full-length debut I had at one point on LP, first sprung to life back in 1984 when former Merciful Fate guitarist Hank Shermann (René Krolmark) hooked up with Maxim Reality vocalist Jeff "Lox" Limbo (Jens Meinert), bassist / keyboardist player Pete Steiner (Peter Steincke) and drummer Bob Lance (Bjarne Holm). Since then the group, which currently features the sole original member Pete Steiner, has released six studio-albums and one compilation, 2010's "Best Of Fate - 25 Years". But while the band was a hit with fans they just couldn't sustain the momentum it sounds like. Three or so years after releasing their forth studio album, 1990's "Scratch 'n' Sniff", Fate would end up calling it a day and go on hiatus for awhile. It was in 2004, after a one-off show, that the Fate name was finally resurrected and brought back to life. Now we find ourselves with studio-album number eight in the form of "If Not For The Devil". With the same line-up in place that recorded 2011's "Ghosts From The Past", which (even though I have not heard it for myself) sounds as if it was well-received, Fate has a fine new album on their hands and one that should go over big with their fans! Even though I'm not the world's foremost expect of melodic rock/melodic heavy metal, or for that matter the biggest fan of said genres, this one worked it's magic on me from the opening notes of "Reaping". "If Not For The Devil" proved to be one of those releases that I found myself longing to return to. Highlights have to include lead vocalist Dagfinn Joensen whose voice simply shines on album number eight. Have you ever had the pleasure of  coming across an album where it sounds as if the lead vocalist was custom-assembled by the gods and then dropped right from heaven into the studio? If not then now is your chance. Dagfinn's voice is in perfect sync with Fate's brand of melodic rock/melodic heavy metal and his singing is just superb. Just as bad singers can break a band, good singers can make one. And with Dagfinn's voice in the center spotlight Fate has made it! Besides the perfect lead vocals it's the killer guitar playing of Torben Enevoldsen (Section A) that really contributes to the successful nature of Fate's new album. The solos from Torben are the stuff that melodic rock wet dreams are made of and his skills are never in question throughout this new album. With Peter Steincke on bass, Mikkel  Henderson on keyboards and Jens Berglid on drums the band has a strong line-up in place on "If Not For The Devil". The consistent line-up proves to be a keen selling point for Fate's new disc as does the fact that the group (once again) had Jacob Hansen (Pretty Maids, Volbeat, Amaranthe) mix and master the material on "If Not For The Devil". For those that love melodic rock and melodic metal this album is an easy enough recommendation although that description, melodic rock and melodic metal, does need to be clarified a little. Sure enough the album brings some of the best melodic rock and melodic metal to the forefront of the genre, but there is enough hard rock on this album to satisfy those listeners who like things a tiny bit "louder". Of course in the same breath I should mention that they keyboards often give some of the songs a AOR flavor, but the guitar playing of Torben and the solid rhythm section that's provided by Peter Steincke and Jens Berglid (bass and drums respectively) still keeps the party rocking! Fate might not be for the really heavy group, but for everyone else "If Not For The Devil" could prove to be a real hit!

Labels: , , , ,

The Approach And The Execution Kickstarter campaign (Urgent Update!!!)

Cleveland's The Approach And The Execution The Approach And The Execution are looking for help in funding album number two. Faithful readers will no doubt recall that I have covered this excellent metal band in the past and have also considered them to be friends. As usually with these kind of  Kickstarter campaigns there are all sorts of goodies for those who can and do help out. Having heard some of the new material live I can tell you that it carries the same kind of spirit as album number one, "The Blood March". That being said, album number two for these Cleveland metal maniacs (with the working title of "Kings Among Runaways") should see the band move in a new, and more then likely exciting, direction as there has been some line-up changes between the release of "The Blood March" and now. You can find out more about the new album and how you can help to be a part of it by visiting the link posted below. On behalf on the band I'd like to thank everyone ahead of time for anything they can do to help fund this new album by possibly one of the nicest and most humble group of musicians I have ever had the pleasure of being friends with!

**Update! With just 3 days to go before their campaign is closed the band finds itself only half way towards it's total goal! With nearly half of their goal still to go now is the time to show your support for local talent! Whether you live in Ohio or not underground bands like The Approach And The Execution are what keeps true heavy metal alive. Often times these bands hold down full-time jobs at the same time that they give 100% of their efforts to their music. I know first-hand the dedication that these Cleveland-based musicians put into their music and without some outside help they will not be able to take that next step. Any amount will help, even $1.00! Please help if you can as The Approach And The Execution are one of the nicest and humblest bands I know while they are also one of the more extreme providers of epic metal! Their campaign fund will stop at Thursday night so now is the time to show how much excellent unsigned talent like this means to the heavy metal community at large. On behalf of the band I thank you in advance for the consideration.

Labels: , , , , ,

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Dogs of Delphi-Irons in the Fire


Based in Kansas City Missouri, whose pro football team the Chiefs are very likely to remain undefeated after they destroy my hometown (not so) pro team today, the Browns (especially when it comes to our anemic and down-right offensive offense!), let me introduce all of  you to the band Dogs of Delphi. This real deal, raw, ravenous and ready to strike band is not only heavier then King Kong's (big and hairy) testicles, but their demeanor is even nastier then damn stinky ape! Dogs of Delphi, with what I expect is their debut-recording, offer up (for your listening pleasure of course!) 5-tracks of unapologetic metal. This mid-west act is every bit what you'd expect based not only upon their cool moniker and the EP's gripping title, but also the effective black and white art-work that dons this EP! This five-track release opens strong with the cutting "Voice's of the Sky" and like a mean and vicious junk yard dog, whose gone rabid and has developed a taste for human flesh, it sinks it's blood-craved teeth into you and just doesn't let go!  Not even the album's closing number, which in this case is the gut-punching title-cut "Irons in the Fire", offers relief from it's trap-jaw so don't bother saying any prayers or begging for mercy. Long after this one is (technically) over your head is still going to be rattling from all of the meaty riffs and you'll be wondering where that mack-truck is that just ran you over! Now, usually I try to steer clear of a band's self-penned description. But, in the case of the Kansas City act it is actually a fairly spot-on description. As such it would be hard for me to argue against such a fact as the following. In a nutshell, Dogs of Delphi are said to be what you would get when you combine the three bands Black Sabbath, Clutch and Corrosion of Conformity into one volatile collective. Alright, you've got me as the "volatile collective" part I added myself. The thing is it's all too real and this band's sonic destruction is downright dangerous! So, this one sure does seem to be a combination of all three (Black Sabbath, Clutch and Corrosion of Conformity) with the Clutch part having everything to do with the sound & style of lead singer Adam Vinck. As he has the same kind of gnarly vocal delivery that a younger Neil Fallon did, which is f**king wicked friends, it's easy enough to draw a line between Dogs of Delphi and Clutch. Beyond that yes, sure enough there are those definite pieces/parts of both of the (other two) previously mentioned bands (Black Sabbath and Corrosion of Conformity). But, hold on a minute or two as we check out some of the other groups that spring to mind when you're talking about Dogs of Delphi. There's quite a bit of  anything/everything that Phil Anselmo had/still has to offer the heavy metal community.  This four-piece recalls the likes of Pantera, Superjoint Ritual and Down and in this case that's far from a bad thing! It's simply that Dogs of Delphi has more the enough substance to keep them interesting. With a guitarist like Todd James on hand, who keeps himself quite busy by laying down groove-heavy riffs (with the emphasis on HEAVY!), there does seem to be a tiny bit of (let's hold off on the psychedelic please and, in it's place, how about we try it with a bit more punk fellas?) Monster Magnet. Well, there's that and then (and I'm not sure why it was that I came away with this one) I heard the familiar rumblings of the mighty Motörhead in between Dogs of Delphi's riffs. Why it is that bands like this always bring me back to Lemmy and company I just don't know. Maybe it's a genetic defect on my part?. Either way there are also a lot worse things in life then being compared to a band like the one Lemmy fronts! On subsequent listens (as this one DEMANDED that I listen to it a half dozen or so times!) I came away with the impression that Dogs of Delphi could be what an alternate universe version of Motörhead would sound like if their biggest influences had been not only bands like Black Sabbath, C.O.C. and Clutch, but also "No Life 'til Leather" era Metallica! All of that just goes to show the diversity of this Kansas City collective and how "Irons in the Fire" is a beast of an EP!  Well, that and then it shows that my mind never likes to stay in one place for too long. I will chalk that one up to all the years of headbanging and thrashing out as it would explain the scrambled egg brains of mine! And hey, Dogs of Delphi, which is filled out by the pair of  bassist Michael Christopher (formerly of Primer 55) and drummer Jason Byrd (formerly of Cherry Wench with Todd James), might not helped me any with there monstrous riffs, but you are not going to hear me complain! Maybe the group's not a well-known commodity right now, but if they keep on cranking out this kind of ball-crushing, heavy on the groove and southern fried for extra crunchiness material then that will change soon enough. Be sure to clear out the runway for this Kansas City collective when you do secure a copy of this EP. Because let me tell you, when they come down to land these 5-tracks it's going to make one hell of a heavy metal explosion and leave layers upon layers of carnage everywhere! You can snag a copy of this one on iTunes, Amazon and other sources that deal in all things digital and all things "hotter then hell and capable of drop-kicking the devil's ass all the way to heaven" metal!

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Tales Of Pain-Into The Labyrinth


Tales Of Pain, a four-piece Mexican (tried and true) heavy metal/melodic power metal band, was first conceived of back in April of 2009. At first it was all about friends just having some fun and bounding over a (obvious) shared love of bands like Iron Maiden, Helloween and Metallica. Over time though the four musicians, who are lead "Into the Labyrinth" by the highly effective vocals of guitarist Siaska Di Borja, decided to buckle down, fine-tune their craft and, no doubt spurred on by the fact that they already had quite a bit of talent on their side (as well as natural charisma and youthful enthusiasm-two things that can't be learned as you've either got them or you don't!), see where things would lead to. And man alive let me tell you what folks. We should all be very grateful that Tales Of Pain, hailing specifically from Villahermosa, Tabasco, did decide to take things as far as they could go. Especially seeing as "Into the Labyrinth", a 9-track combination of (fine as wine) traditional heavy metal and melodic power metal, is quite the inspired release! While I'm not exactly sure if this is the group's first attempt to put things to tape or not (although I assume it is) I will say that if it is then "Into the Labyrinth" is a very splendid introduction indeed! With numbers like "Dark Decay" honing in on 80's metal, before heating things up some with a bit of heavy thrash,  and a cut like "Alive", with it's majestic approach to epic metal, moving Tales Of Pain from a fresh-faced, up-and-coming band to "top of the pops" territory this one band that should benefit from today's technical age. In the past a band like Tales Of Pain would have had a hard time even moving up past the tape-trading market and into the land of independent labels. Things have changed though (as far as getting your music out there to a world-wide audience and placing it into the right hands in order to get a record contract) and in the case of Tales Of Pain they can easily use that to their advantage. Still, when it comes to this heavy metal band, which also features guitarist Eddie Maciel, bassist Daniel Arias and drummer Beliel Canto within it's ranks, I'd love to cut through some of the burdensome "red tape" for them. I'd strongly urge any and all PR friends/contacts of mine to listen to "Into the Labyrinth" for yourselves and hear why I'm so excited about what these young guys have accomplished (sound-wise) in such a short length of time! Maybe this isn't quite music built for rocking out to, but (technically-speaking) Tales Of Pain have built a behemoth of an album  riff by bloody riff! For a young band that has barely cracked the ceiling of  the underground scene, which means of course that ( and may the gods of all things loud and proud bless them for this!) they are probably playing to crowds of no more then 200 or so, this kind of dedication and achievement is even more impressive! So yes, if I was in the PR field I'd grab this band right here and now while there is still fire in their belly. For everyone else though here's another example of  what is (more or less) metal magic in all it's glory. "Through The Looking Glass", which is cut number seven, is the sound of Iron Maiden and Judas Priest converging at that exact spot in history when Queensrÿche used to be good (God, does anyone else remember that or is it just my imagination getting the better of me?). Elsewhere the band puts all of it's chips on the style, sound and even swagger of Helloween and, if I had to put my money where my mouth is, I would wager that for the bulk of heavy metal fans that is where they would get the most pleasure out of this 4-piece band! With Tales Of Pain quite effectively merging these various different elements (from melodic metal to nearly progressive metal a lot of ground is covered on this release) into one new character I'd expect great things out of this young band as the sky is very much the limit! Find out more about Tales Of Pain, and how freaking straight-up boss their sound is, at their Facebook page here:

Labels: , , , , ,

Iron Dogs-Free and Wild

Iron Bonehead

Formed in 2011, and with the 8-track "Free and Wild" serving as the follow-up to the band's well-received (and highly recommend folks!) 2012 album, "Cold Bitch", the mythical Canadian outfit known as Iron Dogs returns to the scene of the crime in order to offer up more fun loving (and highly-inspired!) throw-back heavy metal/N.W.O.B.H.M. that is nothing but a damn wild and crazy good time!  That's a mouthful for sure, but seeing as "Free and Wild" is a mountain of a metal album such high praise and admiration is warranted! Iron Dogs, which fashions it's music around the notion that nothing good happened to the heavy metal scene after the year 1983 (which seems like a fairly logical conclusion to me), might sound as if it it features a whole army of musicians but in actuality there's just vocalist/guitarist/bassist Jo Capitalicide and drummer Dan Lee. You'll want to keep that in mind friends as "Free and Wild" blows your metal-loving mind! With a mile-long list of influences* this Canadian two-piece comes across as the world's greatest, if totally unsung and unjustly underrated, garage heavy metal band with "Free and Wild", as alluded to above, being one of the most fun METAL albums that I've had the pleasure of hearing in a long, long time! Furthering the idea that less is often times more, Iron Dogs are self-proclaimed "Total Stratocaster Metal played loud, fast, and raw!" and while they might not ever be looked upon as the true "Saviors of Heavy Metal" (a vastly overrated concept) they sure as hell rock out as if the genre is on life-support and needs a kick in the ass of adrenaline! True to that description ("Total Stratocaster Metal played loud, fast, and raw!") these two Canadian heavy metal maniacs, who tap into the spirits of everyone from early Angel Witch to later day English Dogs, kick up a serious amount of dirt and debris with "Free and Wild"! Of course what's funny is that even with all of the early 80's heavy metal love going on within these 8 tracks and the absolute N.W.O.B.H.M. worship taking place here (and I'm talking about from one end to the other and from album start to album finish) these Canadian ball-breakers also had me envisioning the likes of S.N.F.U. and the Dayglo Abortions! Maybe it's the near speak-sing vocals of Jo Capitalicide or maybe it's the sloppy (in a good way) lead guitar solos, but I could see this one appealing to both punks and bangers alike! None of the album's 8-tracks overstays it's welcome with "Island of the Dead" (ringing in at 4 minutes and 47 seconds) serving up the longest run-time. As "Free and Wild" is not even 30 minutes long it does the old in and out before you've truly come to grasp with what's happened. These two solid-gold musicians whip their songs out like each and every single one of them is on fire and there's never a moment where these guys slow down to take a breath! With an obvious appreciation for album art featuring near-naked women, albeit near-naked warrior women (with their 2011 debut recording, "Ripping Torment" being the exception), the guys in Iron Dogs have achieved a real winner that works from it's album cover to the actual music within. The only down side really is that this one isn't scheduled to be released until the start of December!

*This list will give you a better idea of what we're talking about with "Free and Wild"!
When it comes to Iron Dogs the group lists it's influences as the blood, gotham city, berserks,angel witch, raven, grim reaper, attacker,acid, leige lord, manilla road, omen,brats, the beast, midieval, oz, tygers of pan tang,accept, stormwitch, ef band, tank, tokyo blade, warfare, helloween, bulldozer,cirith ungol, samson, soldier, english dogs, vice human, savage grace, riot, satan, merciful fate, evil, randy, sad iron, sabre, holocaust, mercy, savage, saxon, iron maiden 80-81, def leppard 79, grave digger, faithfull breath, high power, vulcain, heavy load, anvil, picture, crossfire, panzer, witch cross, overdrive,venom, viva, bloodgood, metal church, cerebus, leatherwolf, aragorn, hell, girlschool, raw deal, preying mantis, oral sex,broken bones, diamond head, blitzkrieg, slayer 83, crucifixion,exciter, gbh, voivod, crucifixion, brainfever,blind guardian 88', fingernails, metallica 83', viper, sortilege, zero nine, and ironcross!

CD version to be released by Dying Victims Productions

Tape version, limited to a mere 100 copies, to be released by Fuck the Mainstream - We Are the Mainstream Records

Labels: , , , ,

Running Wild-Resilient


Resilient seems to be a fitting word in regards to Running Wild these days. More or less a solo project of Rolf "Rock 'n' Rol" Kasparek (vocals, guitars and bass), with the only other musician that seems to be credited on the group's 15th studio album being guitarist Peter Jordan (who is also a songwriter, composer, producer and studio-guitarist who currently plays in Giant X and Toxic Taste), Running Wild keeps on keeping on as evident by the (surprising strong) "Resilient". As for the drums? I haven't got a clue. But then again these two musicians, who also play together in Giant X, seem to have stumbled upon the fountain of youth as Running Wild sounds straight-up revitalized! The album's opening number, the solid "Soldiers Of Fortune", sets the mood and comes off as a nod towards older, more classic Running Wild while the album's closing number, the very cool "Bloody Island" (which is nearly 10 minutes long!), finds Rolf and Peter exploring epic metal territory and having a hell of a lot of fun with it to boot! In between those two cuts there's a lot to like about the groups 15th full-length release and even if it's just the two of them, as it's anyone's guess as to who or what handled the drum parts here on "Resilient", Rolf and Peter make the best of it and have created a rather full and rich sound. As the album is a bit more well-designed and better-executed then 2012's "Shadowmaker" it's easy enough to recommend this one to both fans and casual listeners alike. While it might not be the best album that Rolf and company have ever ever released it's still a good album and a sure-fire sign that there is still life to be found in this old pirate metal band even after all these years.

Labels: , , ,

Friday, October 25, 2013

Mad Max-Interceptor


For those of you out there who are not in the know Mad Max, named after one of the greatest "dystopian future" films of all time with Mel Gibson of course playing the title character, Mad Max) , is a German heavy metal band that first came together back in 1981. One year later the group released their full-length debut, "Heavy Metal", and they were originally active between 1981-1989 before taking a 10 year break. By my count this is album number 11 for this Münster, North Rhine-Westphalia band. Now, I actually have the group's first 4 albums on CD and I love each and everyone of them for different reasons. Still, after the group's 4th full-length album, 1987's "Night Of Passion", I lost touch with Mad Max so their more "modern" albums and "modern" sound was a mystery to me as I went to listen to "Interceptor". Up front though I've just got to say how can you not love a band that names itself after one of the coolest cult films of all time, but also names it's new album after Max's own police cruiser! Awesome. Of course the beat-up beast of a truck that is featured in the album art above doesn't look like Max's sweet police cruiser, but that's neither here nor there. On album number eleven it's vocalist/lead guitarist Michael Voss (Wolfpakk, Silver, Demon Drive, Casanova and Bonfire) doing the high-speed pursuit/reckless driving and even after something like 30 years in the business, which is a long time for any band folks, he still sounds pretty freaking good! In fact it's his lead vocals and lead guitar solos that are the highlights of "Interceptor".  The thing is, music-wise at least, the album seems to lack a central theme as it goes from nearly AOR material like "Rock All Your Life" to more "heavier" hard rock moments like "Godzilla" (no, it's not a cover of the B.O.C. classic). That translates into an album that is a bit hit or miss. The opening number, "Save Me", is a surprisingly effective take of groove-heavy rock and features some earthy guitar tones that start things off in grand fashion. The down-side is that from there (or rather after the second cut, "Godzilla", which again is fairly cool) it ends up as one of those albums were it goes up, down, up and down. Still, the positives (including a neat cover of  The Sweet's "Turn It Down" and a heaver, no keys allowed, re-working of the band's rare cut "Show No Mercy") do seem to out weigh the negatives though so that's a check in the positive column. Overall I'm glad that I gave Mad Max a chance with their new music. Is it as good as their early material? In my opinion no. But it's still an album I'd recommend to fans of the group. It might not be as good as it's predecessors and it might come off as a tad uninspired at points, but it's still a solid enough addition to any one's hard rock collection.

Labels: , , , , ,

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Halestorm-ReAniMate 2.0: The CoVeRs eP

Atlantic Recording Corporation

Don't ask me to explain the rationale behind the title of this EP or the reason that it's spelled out like that. That's like asking me to come up with a list of all of the so-called "advantages" of  our "You'll have to pass it first to see what's in it" (not so) Affordable Care Act. Your guess is as good as mine! But never mind that piece of the equation as here we have the second EP of cover's from Pennsylvania's Halestorm. The first one was released back in 2011 and featured an odd assortment of covers ranging from Skid Row ("Slave To The Grind") to Lady Gaga ("Bad Romance")! Other then maybe the weird choice of covering Daft Punk's "Get Lucky", which works fine as a hard rock number I suppose, this EP is a bit more logical. This time around the band's choices include Judas Priest ("Dissident Aggressor"), AC/DC ("‘Shoot to Thrill") and Pat Benatar ( "Hell Is for Children."). The band should get major props for covering a lesser-known Judas Priest song. As much as I love Rob Halford and his band, and they are every bit as good live as on disc, the last thing the world needs right now is another cover of "Living After Midnight" or "You've Got Another Thing Coming"! So it's cool that lead vocalist/occasional second guitarist Lzzy and the rest of the group at least try their hands at something different. Now, having said that, I am going to sound like a real hypocrite here but I loved their AC/DC cover. Sure, fire away at me about how this was one of those numbers where Halestorm didn't exactly dig that deep into AC/DC's back-catalog, but I've also loved the number and besides, having a female sing it sure as heck gives it a real "twist"!  OK, the Pat Benatar cover was cool even if it didn't quite few as if Lzzy gives it the heart-wrenching ache that "Hell Is For Children" really deserves. Pat sang this one with hurt in her heart as she conveyed the horror of child abuse. Lzzy has the skills, but not the emotional dept needed for such a haunting number. Meanwhile we get a totally unnecessary cover of  "Gold Dust Woman" by  Fleetwood Mac. It sure seems as if  the band didn't give a lot of thought to this one either as the song, while amazing when sung by Stevie Nicks, has been covered way too many times before and is just so-so. The last track on Halestorm's second collection of covers is one that I freely admit to not being at all familiar with. Lzzy and the guys take on Marilyn Manson’s "1996" and, having never heard the original (and having no desire to as, pardon my French, Marilyn Manson sucks big hairy monkey balls!), I can't say what (if anything) they add to the original. But, fair guess here, I have to imagine it's better then Manson's original cut if only for the reason that it's not Manson singing it! Overall that means that there are more good numbers then bad and, even if this pales in comparison to their last full-length studio album, "The Strange Case Of....", it's not a complete waste of time. My advice then? Sure, why not? You could do a lot worse then this EP that's for sure!

Labels: , , , , ,

Split Heaven-The Devils Bandit

Pure Legend Records

Whoa, man alive I did not see this one coming at all! Can you say loud, proud, mean, hot, nasty and heavy Mexican steel? Sure, that's a mouthful. But Split Heaven, working their way through this, their third full-length album, mean business. And when the business at hand is eighties-style heavy metal, which means you should think along the lines of Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, as served up by a sinister-sounding speed metal band? Well, that just means that business is good....damn good. Truthfully I just downloaded, burned, and then threw this one into my car stereo without a second thought and when it first hit me I would have swore that this was a metal thrashing mad German speed metal band! Wow, was I ever FAR OFF. Regardless of where it is exactly that they hail from on this fragile globe of ours they still tear it the fuck up! Heavy metal/speed metal with lead vocals that sound as if they went to the Ronnie James Dio school for metalheads? You couldn't ask for better friends. And then there are the kind of well-loved (and sorely missed) whipping lead guitar solos that can only come from a band well versed in the sound of (all things beautiful indeed) eighties metal. That's what cooking! So, what's the scoop on Split Heaven anyway? Read on. Formed back in 2003 by guitarist Pedro Zelbohr and drummer Tomas Roitman, with a demo called "Lightstorm" appearing in late May of that same year, this album looks as if it marks the first introduction of  the group's new lead vocalist (and third overall Split Heaven vocalist at that!) Gian Carlo Farjat. Or at least to tape. Maybe he's already played live with them? I don't know. But I do know one thing. Speaking of tapes, and bear with me here folks, this new album from Split Heaven reminds me of the glorious heyday of heavy metal tape trading! Here we have a band that sounds for all the world like a kick ass underground act and, if one didn't know better, you could almost pass this one off as a missed, but not forgotten, eighties/early nineties act. The thing that gives it away though is the modern production. Of course that just highlights the immense metal power of this five-piece act. With guitarist Armand "Hank" Ramos and bass player Carlo "Taii" Hernández serving as the other two building blocks for this brick house, Split Heaven are an institution that all heavy/speed metal fans should invest in! In addition to their own back-catalog, which I need to now check out, the group made an appearance on a tribute album for Metalucifer and they have shared the stage with bands from all over the globe. You've got Hammerfall (Sweden), Rata Blanca (Argentina), At War (U.S.A.) and Paul Di' Anno (Britain). They've also played with everyone from L.A Guns to Agent Steel and even bands like Stratovarius and Brainstorm in their time together. As they have quickly made a name for themselves as one of Mexico's premier metal bands they have also managed to line up endorsement deals with Washburn Guitars, Randall Amplifiers, Eden Amplification and Evans Drumheads (just to name a few)! So there sure seems to be other people besides just me who are enamored with this Mexican metal band! You can check Split Heaven out for yourself and see what all the fuse is about when this one drops in late November. I've got a good feeling that this one is going to rattle the bones of heavy/speed metal fanatics!

Labels: , , , , ,

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


It was in the early part of 1983 when Clive Burr, in what many people mistook as a sign that he would be taking a much-needed break from the music industry, laid down his drum sticks and put Iron Maiden behind him. That wasn't the case though as Clive, who was actually fired by Iron Maiden and replaced by the group's current drummer, Nicko McBrain, went right from Iron Maiden into the French band Trust. As Nicko McBrain himself had previously played with Trust it proved to be an "interesting" event for Clive Burr as the two drummers essentially swapped places! After helping them (Trust) out in the studio for awhile, and even taking some time to record with the "super group" Gogmagog (also featuring former Iron Maiden vocalist Paul Di'Annohe!), Burr decided that he wanted to form his own group. To that end fortune smiled on him as three top-notch musicians in Tino Troy (lead guitar and vocals), Chris Troy (bass and vocals) and Bernie Shaw (lead vocals), having recently become unemployed following the break-up of Praying Mantis, would fall right into Burr's lap. Originally going by the dreadful (and thankfully soon abandoned) name of "Clive Burr's Escape" the group, though sadly short-lived, would eventually be rounded out by keyboardist Alan Nelson with "Throwing Shapes" serving as their own and only release. Admittedly I knew little of Stratus before re-watching (for the first time in 25 years!) the Troma Entertainment "classic" film "Class of Nuke 'Em High". While looking to see who played a particular band during a scene that takes place at a college frat party (it ended up being The Smithereens oddly enough!) I happened to stumble across a reference to Stratus. Although I didn't catch it on my first (or rather latest) viewing of the film, sure enough Stratus actually played on movie's soundtrack! The band's number "Run For Your Life", which is also on the group's lone album, is featured on the soundtrack and, after heading over to Youtube to check out some other music by this N.W.O.B.H.M. act I went ahead and ordered a copy of 1985's "Throwing Shapes" off of Amazon. Now, even though drummer Clive Burr had just left Iron Maiden, and even Trust for that matter, the music found within "Throwing Shapes" proved to be more in line with what the Troy brothers were well known for. In other words, smooth and melodic British hard rock/heavy metal that takes it's cues, including splashy keyboards and an overly commercialized production, from AOR! The thing is even by Praying Mantis standards the band was way more mellow then anyone (press and fans of both Iron Maiden and Praying Mantis) could have imagined. In a way the album also comes off as more like Bernie Shaw's previous band  Grand Prix or even groups like Statetrooper, Tobruk and Briar. The thing is, in spite of all of that and in spite of the fact that the group's one and only album was more then likely initially dismissed by both fans and critics alike, I actually quite like the band. Sure, they are rather commercialized and even a bit "fluff" in places, but as an alternative to the heavier side of the N.W.O.B.H.M. movement it works. Or at least it works for me. You've got a top-tier vocalist here and musicians who know all to well how to craft melodic rock. The track from the movie soundtrack might have been my first exposure, but the album as a whole I found to be rather enjoyable. For melodic rock fans this band is worth a listen and you can find their "Throwing Shapes" album on sites like Amazon and iTunes. While they didn't last long past this album's release, they are still another sign of just how far-reaching the whole N.W.O.B.H.M. scene was (variety-why) and are an example of how, just when you think you've heard everything that the scene has to throw at you, there are always new acts to discover from the N.W.O.B.H.M. movement! 

Labels: , , , ,

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Breached-Left Behind

Self-Release/Independent Release

The Toronto rock collective known as Breached was formed back in 2010. "Left Behind", which was recorded in between Canadian and US dates of this past the spring and summer, is the third EP from Breached and follows hot on the tracks of their second EP, the acoustic release, "Revolution Sessions". As this was my first exposure to this four-piece I really wasn't sure what to expect as their description, "loud rock", doesn't give you much to go on hint-wise. Then again, the band also came packing the requisite "recommended if you like..." part that (oddly) included the likes of Alice In Chains, Incubus, Staind, Deftones and Alexisonfire. I'm not sure what was going on with that Alice In Chains one other then the fact that Breached did include a stripped-down cover version of their "No Excuses" on their last EP. Well, it's either that or whoever suggested that this band would suite fans of that Seattle band was smoking something mighty green and mighty fierce! Up front, and thrown squarely in your face so that there is no way you can miss it, there is some fairly blatant apparent Staind love going on with this bunch. Although, to be fair and all, that kind of love has been done in much worse fashion then this band is capable of pumping out and the EP's second track, "Piece By Piece", actually had me envisioning the bastard offspring of Staind and Fall Out Boy! Oh, and then there's the fact that vocalist Bobby Noakes isn't really all that bad of a band leader. His vocals suite the style of rock here and give Breached, which is actually quite melodic when they choose to be, a fair shot at evolving into something more original. Perhaps I'm being a little too rough on this band. Unlike groups like Incubus and Staind these Toronto rockers don't make me want to shove crochet needles all the way into my eardrums! So hey, that's a positive right? Right?


Labels: , , , ,

The Fury-Sex (2013 Re-Issue)

Minotauro Records

Well now what do we have here? If this LP isn't the surprise re-release of the year (that honor would have to go to Mox Nix!) then it sure as hell must be up towards the top of the list! For Italy's Minotauro Records it sure does seems as if 2013 has been a banner year for the record label as far as re-releases go. And now comes the news that Island Park, New York's The Fury (featuring the one and only S.A. Adams!) will be getting the same kind of  royal treatment that Mox Nix did! It's a well-deserved moment for The Fury as these guys, who were grossly underrated, deserve not only another listen, but such star-studded treatment. Why? Well, we'll get to that point in a moment. First though one last note in regards to The Fury's new home. It's been a case of so far, so good (or at least in regards to 2013) for Minotauro Records and while I only received the music for "Sex" (meaning I haven't seen the finished product for myself) chances are pretty good that whole package will make for a must-own for heavy metal fans. This is one label that does good work and really knows what fans and collectors are looking for. So kudos to them for this signing. Alright, on to New York's own The Fury and why this is one band that deserves to be more then a mere footnote in the annals of metal. Now, I've covered S.A. Adams (who handles both lead vocals and guitars here) before with the 2010 issue of "Unearthed". The link to that review is provided at the bottom of this article. I bring that review up as there are obvious correlations between the recordings that make up "Unearthed" and the music of The Fury. While I'll leave it up to you the reader as to whether or not to read the whole back-story behind "Unearthed" (and how this band was the next step for S.A. Adams before he would go on to embark on a rather successful solo career) there is one connecting point that sticks out. While S.A. Adams had been playing in a Judas Priest/Iron Maiden kind of band (prior to the "Unearthed" recordings) everything would change for him after he went out and witnessed a Motörhead/Wendy O. Williams/S.O.D concert. From that point on he set his mind of forming a new band that was part punk and part metal. The "Unearthed" recordings drew from punk bands like GBH & The Stooges as well as the more "metal" groups of the day such as Motörhead, Exciter, Raven and so. In much the same way The Fury, which first came together in 1987, was a band that drew from both punk (Sex Pistols, GBH, Dead Boys) and metal (Motörhead,Raven and, as pointed out by my contact from Minotauro Records, Gotham City!). And, even if the above art-work for this re-release doesn't suggest that such a band lies in waiting (although it has to be said that it is MUCH better then the original cover which featured what looks like a blow-up sheep sex toy!), the picture of the group right below does paint such a picture I'd argue!

As I'm not exactly sure who played what besides vocalist/guitarist S.A. Adams (the Metal Archives lists both "past" and "last known line-up" band members) I can at least give a run down on the group's whole catalog. After releasing four demos between 1989 and 1990, which might be some kind of record!, the group released the 4-track, 7'' EP "A Dozen Thorns" in 1990 on Network International. Limited to just 400 Copies, and reportedly (per the Metal Archives again) a "poster/pack", it set the stage for The Fury's 1992 (self-released) full-length album "Sex". The only other release was the supposed 1990 VHS, "Reflections of the Unwasted Time" (which reported documented the early years of The Fury). This re-release features bonus material including a copy of live cuts that (I would assume) were pulled from The Fury's live, 1990 cassette tape. While the group was often tagged as just "power metal" the true story is represented not only on the studio cuts, but in the live versions. Here we see a "real" heavy metal band that was very much in vogue with the underground crossover movement. The only difference being that while most crossover acts of the day played over-the-top, lightning-fast thrash, with which there is nothing wrong with, this 3-piece band drew from the more Motörhead side of things. Well, there's that point and then there is the fact that The Fury most definitely had that (then familiar) New York vibe to them! Imagine Neil Turbin era Anthrax (before they went from denim and leather heavy metal to a more stream-lined thrash style) or maybe even a raw, (much more metal then punk) garage rock version of  Manitoba's Wild Kingdom. Along with maybe even The Rods and (early) Twisted Sister those were just some of the New York group's that carried that city's (then) unmistakable vibe. And The Fury, God bless em', were right there in the middle as well just doing there thing as evident by "Sex". During their (far-too) short time together The Fury would go on to support not only bands like Metal Church, Overkill, Blitzspeer and Non-Fiction, but most impressive of all, Manowar! Not too bad for a little band from Island Park, New York right? Sadly "Sex" would be the only full-length album released by The Fury as a proposed follow-up failed to make it from concept to reality. Of course these day S.A.Adams is a more well-known name then back in the day thanks to his successful run as a solo-artist, but that doesn't take away the need for a re-issue like this one. If the idea of a New York band that drew from acts as diverse as Raven and the Sex Pistols scares you (if you are a heavy metal purist through and through) then just look at "Sex" as if it were like Motörhead going through an 80's metal time-warp! The Fury were a cool band back then and, as this inspired collection affirms, they still are. Be sure to keep your eyes out for The Fury's expanded re-issue of "Sex" and if you'd like to see what S.A. Adams is up to these days then be sure to check out his website right below. 

Review of S.A. Adam's "Unearthed" 

Labels: , , , , , ,

Nomad Son-First Light / Pilgrimages of Doom

Metal on Metal Records

For those of you who do not know the name Nomad Son, or have yet to read my review of the group's latest studio-album "The Darkening" (link below), then perhaps a (brief) history lesson is in order. First formed in 2006 by Forsaken bassist Albert Bell, and filled out by members of the classic rock/progressive rock band Frenzy Mono!*, this doom metal group recorded a 2-track demo in 2007 (which went unreleased although both of the songs on it, "Shallow Grave" and "Empyrean Fade", were later included on a promo compilation by Metal On Metal Records) before releasing their debut-album, "First Light", in the summer of 2008. My first exposure to the group came by way of the Metal On Metal Records' promotional compilation, "Compendium Of Metal Vol. 5", with their track "Can’t Turn The Tide" (also available on the group's sophomore recording, "The Eternal Return"). Otherwise my first true "full-length" exposure to Nomad Son came from hearing, and then obviously reviewing, 2013's "The Darkening". That's an important distinction to understand so that when I say that I recommend this expanded re-release (of the initially out-of-print "First Light") solely for the excellent "Pilgrimages of Doom" side it's not taken the wrong way. Had I taken the natural journey with this Malta-based band from "First Light" all the way to "The Darkening" then I would have seen the natural evolution of this 5-piece act. Unfortunately I went about things backwards so, while "First Light" is a good album and (in retrospect) a fine starting point for Nomad Son, it simply pales in comparison to the group's killer album "The Darkening". However, it does effectively show what the band's initial intentions were when they first put together this act and how (over the course of three distinctly different albums) how they achieved their goal. In that respect it's a good listen. Alright, with that part out of the way let's dive right into the real joy of this re-release, the "Pilgrimages of Doom" DVD! When the idea of re-releasing the out-of-print "First Light" first came up the guys in Nomad Light decided to add in this special bonus so that both fans and newcomers alike would get maximum enjoyment out the product. And I'll tell you what folks, maximum enjoyment is an understatement as far as how much I enjoyed the DVD side of this one! The DVD side is just jam-packed with goodies (up to and) including professional, multi-camera live footage taken of the band between 2009 and 2011 (which really impressed me!), an interview with the band from when they played at Headbangers Open Air XII festival, a slide show and more! Here's the actual run-down as clipped from the Metal Archives with a few comments (marked by **) thrown in for good measure on my end:

Tracks 1-5 taken from Hammer of Doom VI festival (29th October 2011, Wuerzburg, Germany)

**Right up front I have to say that I was not expected the band to be as good live as they were on tape. Now that might sound bad I realize, but consider the fact that far too many bands these days get really doctored up thanks to extreme studio measures. Consider Black Sabbath for a moment. While their latest album sounds sharp enough and nice and clean it is painfully obvious how much of it is spit-shined. Especially as live footage of the group these days requires the listener to overlook just how awful Ozzy sounds in person! With Nomad Son you have a band that I'm now able to see and appreciate in a new light . The group's live material is tight and the group comes across as if the music is simply a natural expansion of their inner souls.

Tracks 6-13 taken from Doomsday IV festival (12th February 2011, Wakefield, UK)

** The band covers "Relentless" by Pentagram here. As one of their influences it's a cool number to hear Nomad Son play!

Tracks 14 and 16 taken from Headbangers Open Air XII festival warm-up show (22nd July 2009, Planet Alsen, Itzehoe, Germany)

** And another Pentagram cover shows up in "Sign of the Wolf"! Nice, very nice...

Track 15 - interview with the band at Headbangers Open Air XII festival, hosted by Andreas "Neudi" Neuderth (

**This is quite nice as well.

Track 17 and 18 taken from Doom Shall Rise VII festival (10th April 2010, Goeppingen, Germany)

** In this clip we get a Trouble cover with "At the End of My Daze". So, two bands that have greatly influenced the development of this Malta act get covered! Nothing wrong with that at all!

Track 19 - taken from the band's appearance on "Generation" TV show (11th March 2009, on Maltese TV)

So yes, my observation of this re-release is pretty straight-forward. The thing is even if you have "First Light" already the bonus DVD, which is something like 2+ hours in length!, makes it well worth the money to pick it up again! Nomad Son sound AMAZING in a live setting and it's my goal now to try to see this group for myself before it's all said and done. And even if the band does get tagged as "doom metal" it's simply much more then that. Here's a band that usages Hammond organs and one which set out with the sole purpose of combining not only their shared love of band's like Black Sabbath, but their personal influences which includes classic bands like Uriah Heep! As the members all have different backgrounds in music and comes from all of these different walks of life they are able to combine these different elements not only on tape, but also in a live setting! And the one other thing that the DVD does is make me appreciate their new album even more! This is (simply put) one of the better "new" bands today in the doom metal scene and a huge reason for that is because with Nomad Son you've got a band that chooses to walk within the scene while also walking outside of it. This re-releases CD/DVD combo really helps to tell another part of the story of just who Nomad Son is and why they are destined to play an even bigger part in the future of doom metal. You can find out more about this must-own item here:
* I must credit Leif Krigen (Metal Squadron Mag) for the in-depth and highly informative interview he did with bassist Albert Bell. Prior to reviewing this CD/DVD, as (long story short) it took me sometime to find a proper device that would play this import releases' DVD side, I had read over the interview several times and found out a lot of useful information that I hadn't know before. I've included the link for the interview below as it is a good read for fans of Nomad Son and newcomers alike!

Review of "The Darkening" 

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, October 21, 2013

Markradonn-Final Dying Breath

Bluntface Records

I can't be one hundred percent positive, but I'm still fairly certain that this is the first time that I've seen guest credits listed on a death metal-styled album for the trombone! In this case it's Alexis Regazzi and the track in question is "Frenzied Winter Sorrow". Granted, there are also trumpets (Chris King), French horns (Nick Weaver) and even Didgeridoo credits (Dennis Bottaro) on "Final Dying Breath" so maybe the trombone doesn't seem so odd given it's shared company? Whatever the case Markradonn, which is lead by multi-intrumentalist/ lead vocalist Haniel Adhar (who also produced, recorded and mixed "Final Dying Breath"), is "interesting" if nothing else! Because the band felt that the use of digital samples would come across as "fake and sterile" they decided to just add a full-time brass section and a full-time timpani* player (which admittedly is cool) to a sound that also incorporates hand percussion, natural drums and, like earlier hinted at, aboriginal instruments! Those last three elements were added in so that Markradonn's sound would give off a "ritualistic" vibe and , sure enough folks, it most certainly does! And what's the really weird thing about "Final Dying Breath"? Well, as strange as all of that sounds on paper (and even I would have to acknowledge that it not only sounds crazy, but that the next part of all of this makes me sound Bellevue Hospital bat-crazy!), it actually works well within the confines of Markradonn's take on extreme music and, yes it's crazy I realize, but I can totally dig what these guys are all about! At face value it might not seem as if a band like this could (technically-speaking) really be a death metal band, but take away the brass instruments and all of the other "unusual" elements and sure enough that's just what you get-death metal. In fact these fine folks are influenced by Floridan death metal. So, while the group is said to draw it's influences from "multiple sources such as Black Metal, Soundtrack Composers and Aboriginal music", this is still very much a death metal album at heart. As there is no real way to explain how all of this works though, especially if you are standing on the outside and staring in through the proverbial window, I've included all of the various links that were provided with this promo so you can experience this one for yourself!

Official Website:


Labels: , , , , , ,


Self-Release/Independent Recording

Alice, Texas-based Cruxiter are a band that I stumbled across by accident awhile back. I had almost forgot about the group when I happened upon the link to their Metal Archive's page while cleaning out the bookmarks on my phone. The group, which is pretty much a continuation of  the band Hammerwhore (only with one new member in lead guitarist Miggy Ramirez), was formed in 2011 with two demos following later that same year. But, while the member's previous Hammerwhore (whose 2005, self-titled, full-length release was well-received) tuned their guitars towards all things crossover and heavy thrash (which was said to be similar in sound and nature to Toxic Holocaust), this band rocks out to an entirely different beat altogether. In Cruxiter, and their freshly-baked 4-track EP (due for release tomorrow as a matter of fact!), we find musicians that have turned their attentions towards playing a (fairly traditional) style of heavy metal, but one that also pays tribute to the sounds of 80's hard rock and, most importantly (and rather obviously on their part) the N.W.O.B.H.M. movement! Only here we find a group that doesn't so much lean on Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, which seems to be the case for most retro-worship/N.W.O.B.H.M.-inspired bands these days (no need to name names as most people should already be aware of the more "well-known" acts out there these days which are peddling nothing but recycled riffs!), but rather one that keeps things focused on the more hard rock end of the British metal scene of old. What's really interesting about that fact though is that in lead vocalist/former Hammerwhore member Joe Gonzalez (who also played in the bands Mass Torment and Screams Of Winter) you have this one-time black metal musician who played in both the black metal band Sempiternal and (it's short-lived off-shoot) Corpus Satanas! Sure, it's not the first time we've seen a black metal musician try their hand at true heavy metal, but I'd wager that few of them would sound as natural in such a setting as Joe Gonzalez does! Anyway, let's get back to the actual music at hand which, as laid out above, is more rooted in all things eighties then mere words can truly describe. But the thing is it works. In fact it works quite well and (somehow) it never feels as tiring as a lot of  the retro-rock and metal acts do today. With Cruxiter there's a certain amount of charm to be found in their old-fashioned assembled numbers. Especially on the splendid, nearly-hard rock number "The Church/Mayeve". The vibe of this sound is enchanting and it makes up for some of the shortcomings of this Texas band. Elsewhere we're treated to both the studio version of "Traveler" and a live version. Both are cool although the live one, which is about ten seconds longer, comes off as much more sinister thanks to some epic lead vocals that (at least in a live setting) recall Ronnie James Dio! With those two other demos in their back-catalog, as well as some misc. promo material it seems, this Texas-based 5-piece makes the most of their time on this short EP. Off the three studio tracks (with the one other track called "Tall Dark Glass") it's "The Church/Mayeve" that is probably my favorite.and should appeal to both fans of  the N.W.O.B.H.M. scene and artists like Dio. While it's not a perfect (some of those "shortcomings" included a rather blah rhythm section and the band's habit of slowing things things too far down when they would be better served putting the peddle to the metal) it still beats a lot of what passes for "retro-metal" and "modern hard rock". You can check it out for yourself at the link below.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Free Metal Monday-Gojira/Kvelertak Split Live EP

While I have not had a chance to listen to this free 6-track EP for myself I still thought I would pass it on to you, our faithful readers. This free digital download features 3 live tracks from Roadrunner Records label-mates Gojira and Kvelertak and can be all yours for the taking. The track-listing for this free EP is:
 1. Gojira- "L’Enfant Sauvage"
 2. Gojira – "The Axe"
 3. Gojira – "The Gift Of Guilt"
 4. Kvelertak – "Kvelertak”
 5. Kvelertak – "Bruane Brenn"
 6. Kvelertak – "Evig Vandrar"

You can get the download for yourself by simply filling in a few lines right below.

Labels: , , , , ,

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Roadfever-Wolf Pack

Avenue Of Allies

Call it a "Whoa!" man's intuition or call it a (rock and roll) religious awakening, but there was just something about the art-work for "Wolf Pack" that told me that I would love this Swiss four-piece from the word go! . Whatever it was that tugged at my inner (vibe) strings sure proved to be spot-on right. Still, that is of no real help to you, our faithful reader and fellow fan of all things rock and roll/heavy metal, so let's stay on focus and discuss where a band like Roadfever fits in the grand scheme of things. Or at least as far as the rock and metal community is concerned. Before we go all the way there (and sink our teeth into the meat of the matter as it pertains to "Wolf Pack") I do need to make one statement ladies and gents. As I sat down and listened to this 11-track album, which is actually Roadfever's sophomore output, a thought popped into my head like one of those big light-bulbs that you see appear over the heads of cartoon characters when they get a "bright" idea. I could pretty much guarantee that had the female-fronted Roadfever, and their guitar-driven, Southern Rock/Classic Rock-leaning, heavy and hard power rock approach to life music, been around in the mid to late eighties (and maybe even the early part of the nineties) they would have been the real deal and quite likely have become a wildly popular and famous act! From the lead vocals of Stevie "Manou" Pike (Sharper, State of Mind, Manou and the Moneymakers) to the drumming of Pascal Bavaud (Rash Panzer, State of Mind, The Persuaders and the Red Eyed Farmers) everything here of "Wolf Pack" just about lives and breathes in the afterglow of all things eighties! Although let's be perfectly fair here. Even if these rockers have an eighties buzz about them it's not as if "Wolf Pack" is just an excuse to get all nostalgic about the "good old days". Instead we find Roadfever threading the needle between the past (Lynyrd Skynyrd, AC/DC, ZZ Top, Kiss, Blackfoot and even Van Halen appear as influences here) and the present with a style that is neither old nor expressly new. If anything the band, which also includes guitarist David Patriat and bassist Jessie Be, comes across as just Roadfever, meaning of course that the four are on to something new and that ain't easy! When it comes to Roadfever both the body and spirit are willing and everything about "Wolf Pack" speaks volumes about not only their professionalism and skill as actual musicians, but also there ability to infuse the material on album number two with actual emotion! And yes, there is a difference boys and girls. Having so far shared the stage with the likes of Blackfoot, Scorpions, Trust, Uli John Roth, Pretty Maids, Rhino Bucket, Eric Singer Project and Little Caesar, which is interesting as quite a few of those acts serve as influences to these Swiss rockers, this is one band that deserves a wider audience and should click with the American market. With one other full-length album and a DVD release to their name ( "Wheels On Fire" and "Live in Geneva" respectively) the band seems poised to take that next (much-heralded) step into the main-stage spotlight. Can a band that hails from Switzerland really conquer the American market with a style of hard rock that is Southern-styled and custom-fitted with 80's influences? How about one that has a lead singer who is equal parts Stevie Nicks, Janis Joplin and Taylor Dayne while also one of a kind original? Sure, why not!! After all rock and roll is a universal groove as is good, straight-up hard rock. So a band like this can and should make a splash on the worldwide stage.

Labels: , , , ,


Atomic Stuff Records
Formed in 2009, with "Interferenze" serving as their grand debut, Seta are a five-piece electro/rock band from Verona, Italy. For this young act, whose lyrics happen to be entirely in Italian, the album "Interferenze" serves as the connecting point between the past, present and future. Only with Seta it's all eyes pointing forward as they aspire to "sound consistent". To that end they most certainly do succeed as "Interferenze", in a fashion that is often times reserved for the likes of (early to mid period) Depeche Mode or, in a way even I can't quite fully explain, a less-polished (but way more rock-oriented) Duran Duran. The contrast between music such as this and the album's opening sample of "Sid Vicious is Dead" is striking in more ways then one. True, anytime a album opens with samples clipped from (what I would assume to be) a British broadcast alert and then (dramatically) shifts right into Italian it's going to come across as nothing less then radical. In the case of Seta though it's not just that "unique" combination that counts for something, but it's also the strange allure that comes from positive, forward-thinking, edgy rock being broken up by these softer synth moments. The graceful synths are the work of Alberto Rossetti (keyboards/synth, samples) and even at the highest level of usage they are never overpowering enough to flood over the rock reality of this recording. Lead by Luca Tosato, whose voice has all the hallmarks of  a top-tier rock star (only without the bloated sense of self-entitlement that comes along with such a title), Seta offers the listener something different, a new choice if you will. Even within the electro/rock genre these Italians stand out as the music here almost has the feel of a movie soundtrack, but one that has transposed into the more traditional setting of a rock and roll LP. While it does feature quite a bit of  no-nonsense, heavy guitar rock, which comes courtesy of Lorenzo Meuti, these musicians do understand the delicate balance that is achieved by bringing melody into the equation. Rudy Ferrarese (bass) and Matteo Ortolani (drums) are the last two pieces to this puzzle and all told Seta, and their full-length debut album here, were a more then pleasant surprise. In the end this one comes with my sincere recommendations.

Labels: , , , , ,