Thursday, July 30, 2015

Vile Display Of Humanity-Vile Display Of Humanity

Forever Autumn Records

Born in Chicago, IL in the summer of 2007 (with Seattle, Wash. serving as their current base of operations) Vile Display of Humanity is a socially-active & politically-charged thrash-punk band that is lead by Doug Mitchell and (at least on this 20-track album!) rounded out by David Foster (lead guitar), Jake Youngberg (vocals, guitar), Marty Petric (bass), and Aaron Hatch (drums). Heavily influenced by bands like The Exploited, Leftover Crack, The Misfits, Born Against, M.D.C. and Discharge, Vile Display Of Humanity approaches life with a D.I.Y. mentality in mind and that includes this self-titled album which was recorded on guitarist David Foster's laptop! Despite how that sounds, "Vile Display Of Humanity" is actually a solid release through and through and there is hardly a sour note to be found on this hardcore-leaning follow-up to 2013's "Beaten, Bandaged, & Ready". It should go without saying (as I do this same rant over and over!), but this kind of socially-conscious "crossover" is sorely missed in this day and age. There are hardly any group's left these days that know how to properly merge the meatiness of punk and hardcore with a proper message and that makes this highly pissed-off recording all the more comforting to this old punk/metal rocker. As the album also comes armed with some seriously sick raw metal riffs and it boasts a bottom-end heaviness that would make Motörhead's Lemmy smile in delight there is more than enough heavy metal love to go around when it comes to this buzz-worthy release! So, whether you are a punk or a headbanger (or somewhere in between like yours truly!) there is something here to enjoy! Just released this past May, "Vile Display Of Humanity" should pick up steam as more people start to hear about it and for the sake of our all too boring and tragically predicable scene I really do hope that is the case.

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Clouds Taste Satanic-Your Doom Has Come

Kinda Like Music Inc.

Last year Brooklyn, New York's Clouds Taste Satanic treated us to the excellent "To Sleep Beyond The Earth". A devilishly delicious combination of doom metal and post-rock, "To Sleep Beyond The Earth" proved to be a fantastic debut outing for this skilled instrumental act and it was justifiably meet with high-praise from critics and fans. Now Clouds Taste Satanic ( know...why not?) are back for round two with the forthcoming "Your Doom Has Come". It drops in September and this wicked slab of heavy (and once more quite versatile!) post-rock/doom metal builds on the foundation of album number two while adding in a few more twists and turns! Formed in 2013, Clouds Taste Satanic has steadily improved with each passing year, but this new album really finds the four-piece making the leap from the side-show to the evening's main event! Once likened to Sleep and other similar-themed stoner rock/doom metal bands, Clouds Taste Satanic has developed a key sound and it's one that should be experienced by stoners and doomsters alike. You can find out more about this quartet by heading here.

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Monday, July 27, 2015

Free Metal Monday: Beastmaker-Beastmaker


Beastmaker is a heavy rock/doom metal band that worships at the alter of Black Sabbath. Despite sounding incredibly British in nature this psychedelically-enhanced trio actually calls Fresno, California home with the name- your-own-price "Beastmaker" looking as if it's the group's sole release to date. With only three tracks in all (incl. the strong opener "Eyes Are Watching"), "Beastmaker" is admittedly a short affair, but it's a lite firecracker all the same! You can find the band on Facebook by heading here.

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Sunday, July 26, 2015

Alan Mair-"Stairway to Hell" Single

IKA Records

With a due date of August 24th, "Stairway to Hell" is the second single from Alan Mair's forthcoming solo album, "Field of One". As a one-time member of The Beatstalkers and The Only Ones*, Alan Mair is already well-known for his ability to create sonically exciting rock and roll and this new single is no exception! It serves as the follow up to his first single "Four Winds" and finds this spunky lead singer joining up with Zal Cleminson (guitars) and Ted McKenna (drums) of the Alex Harvey Band for some good old fashioned garage rock and roll! Written and produced by Mair himself, "Stairway to Hell" also features backing vocals from Emily Wright and while I could try to break down all the groovy goodness of this fun rock number I'd be better off just pointing all of you towards the video below so that you can hear it for yourself! So, sit back, crack this one up and prepare to fall in love with rock and roll all over again!! You can thank me later....

*Scotland’s first ever pop superstars, The Beatstalkers were lovingly dubbed the Scottish Beatles!
Meanwhile The Only Ones gave us the wonderful garage rock/new wave classic "Another Girl Another Planet". This (danceable) hit appears on numerous punk/new wave collections and is well worth hunting for!! 

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Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Murder Of My Sweet-Beth Out Of Hell

Frontiers Music srl

Formed in 2006 by drummer, keyboardist and producer Daniel Flore, The Murder of My Sweet is a charismatic metal band that is based in Stockholm, Sweden and well known for the stunning voice of front-woman Angelica Rylin. Back in 2012 I covered this band's wonderful sophomore album, "Bye Bye Lullaby", and now this sensational group is back with a new concept album and a new band-member in bass player Patrik Janson (Platitude). Self-described by band founder (and all-out rocker!) Daniel Flores as "an apocalyptic love story between good and evil", "Beth Out Of Hell" is both a expected return (in terms of this band's high-class cinematic heavy style and their overall top-notch ability as songwriters and performers) and an unexpected return (not only has The Murder Of My Sweet grown as a band in the songwriting department, but album number ends up being a slightly heavier and more dynamic experience!!!!). In addition to the already mentioned players, "Beth Out Of Hell" (which incidentally is a title that I flat out dig!) features the key work of guitarist Christopher Vetter (a highly-underrated musician is you ask me!) as well as voice actors and a children's choir! It works well with the band's rather distinct cinematic nature (everything from the band's name to their sound is heavily inspired by movie scores) and the (by now familiar) symphonic metal and heavy rock elements that The Murder Of My Sweet has become known for. Granted this is also a band that likes to sprinkle classic heavy metal and melodic hard rock into the mix so there is never a dull moment to be had when it comes to sitting down with this exquisite lot! With all of that in the mind here's the final score. Album number three is the album that should make people stand up and take notice of this Swedish metal band. Somehow The Murder Of My Sweet has improved upon what was already perfection and in the process they have given their fans a classic album in the making. Because of the obvious care that went into the making of this new album it is a release that is grand in scope and vision. It is all at once a thoroughly complex and technically amazing release and one that shows off this group's ability to write enchanting music. In a nutshell "Beth Out Of Hell" is a album that is chock full of style and substance and it's one of those great metal releases that should appeal to a wide range of tastes. To the band I say welcome back and congrats on this sweeping release! And to all our readers I suggest not only getting this album when it drops in August, but if you get a chance to experience this band live then by all means DO IT!

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Friday, July 24, 2015

Interview with Ken Cuccaro of Sonick Plague

Last weekend I covered the new self-titled album from thrash metal warriors Sonick Plague. Now it's my pleasure to post this interview that I had with the band's drummer, Ken Curraro. Enjoy!

Andy- First off I want to thank you for talking with us. Could you give us a brief rundown on the band? Stuff like who's who in Sonick Plague these days and what the current status of your band is.

Ken-Chuck Crilly guitar , Matt Dupre guitar , Sean Donnelly bass and vocals and Ken Cuccaro drums. Currant status is we are active and available for any occasion ...weddings, , funerals anything we're ready to roll!

Andy-Your upcoming self-titled release is a re-recorded version of your debut album. What made you decide to go that route verses just re-releasing it in a remastered form?

Ken- When we recorded the album the first time around we were on a shoe string budget and really pressed for time , the sound on the album was pretty bad and we really kinda wanted to do it the way we wanted to this time . Start over fresh kinda thing. And we don't know were the masters are.

Andy-And how did the deal with Pavement come about? 

Ken-It was all Chuck. He just has worked his ass off on this since the beginning. The Pavement guys are great; they've been extremely cool

Andy-What has the band been up to in the intervening years?

Ken- The band hasn't done anything in between. As individuals we all played in different bands. Myself I'm more of an adventure kinda of guy I did a lot of harp seal hunting, things of that nature.

Andy-Sounds like a good time to me! So, rumor has it you're working on new material. What can you share?

Ken-Yes we are working on new material but i really cant share the details with you. Top secret stuff. But between me and you its very groovy . Your pretty tricky Andy you slid that one in there and if I told you it wouldn't be a surprise!

Andy-Fair enough! Obviously a lot has happen between your first album and now. Where do you see the band fitting in these days?

Ken- Its really hard to say where we'll fit in now hopefully people will like it. We're at the mercy of the people who listen. I don't care really where they put us or what genre we get stuck in as long as they can dance to it.

Andy-Sonick Plague has it's influences and then your sound has likely influenced more than a few of today's bands. Care to drop any names for BOTH categories? Surely you must hear some bands and say "Hey, that's our sound!" . Right?

Ken-Oh man we have so many influences its crazy. Its such a broad spectrum everything from the Ramones to Englebird Humperdink . As far as bands we've influenced honestly I don"t know. I've had people tell me over the years that they've heard stuff that sounds like our riffs. That would be an honor. Although I know for certain Beyoncé has totally ripped us off. She's looking to get sued very soon. There's definitely a few out there but they'll never admit it. Honestly Andy we don't care about that stuff the only thing we give a shit about is people like you who listen to our stuff and dig it. That's it. We aint shit without all our friends out there its people like you that makes this worth it!

Andy-Frankly-speaking it's about time someone take down Beyoncé! I knew she ripped off Slayer and stole some of their classic riffs, but I didn't realize she ripped you guys off too! Unreal! Let's get back to the influences though. Who would you say influenced you as a drummer? 

Ken- Gene Krupa, my Pop loved the big band stuff and I loved the way that guy played. The drummers from that era are my favorites, I think that's why I never went to double bass I learned by listening to those guys. As far as metal guys, there some great ones out there. I always thought Charley Benante was great and Nicko Mcbrain was a huge influence. Philthy Phil Taylor, Mickey Dee is fantastic.So many great ones its tough. Some of these young dudes are amazing ,they fly!!!

Andy-Great list! OK, you've got the self-titled album and the band has new material in the works (which you won't tell me about LOL!). What else does 2015 have in store for Sonick Plague and where would you like to see all of this go? 

Ken- We'll take it as far as we can. Its really mid-aged crisis experiment.

Andy-I hear ya! Since you guys are active again what does your tour schedule look like? Any chance you'll hit Ohio? (Hint-Cleveland or Akron!) 

Ken-Oh hell ya!!!! WE LOVE OHIO. Damn man one of our favorite shows ever was there at the big club in Cincinnati with Death Angel, I think it was called Blondies. Our first tour we did Akron ,Cleveland, it was awesome!! The people there treated us like royalty. Great people man!!!! .But no schedule yet- we'll see what happens.

Andy-If and when you find out be sure to let me know so that I can post the information for our readers. Anyway, since we're talking about live shows and all that jazz what would be Sonick Plague's idea of the ultimate line-up? 

Ken-Sonick Plague- Motorhead- Ted Nugent -Sammy Hagar, STOP LAUGHING YOU BASTARD! (Editor's note: It was only the Sammy Hagar one that made me chuckle!) I just want to hang out with Sammy that guy's got it made- I got to find out how he does it. Every time I see that guy on TV he's so chilled, drinking his tequila and shit at the beach, hot chicks walkin' around eating some shrimp. Damn he's got it all figured out . And I really really want to go huntin' with the NUGE!!!

Andy-You and me both Ken! I love the NUGE and I dig hunting (even if my health keeps me from doing it anymore I'm hoping my children will pick it up). Since we're talking about other bands and artists anyway here's a good question. If you guys put together a album or EP of covers what bands/artists would you choose? 
Ken-I would love to do that. Right now we're working on "Burn" by Deep Purple but in the past we've done 'Free Bird", "Love Gun", and "Dazed and Confused" to name a few. I would personally love to do an old Aerosmith song- something from "Get Your Wings" or "Rocks". Of course, beefed up! I've always wanted to do "Won't Get Fooled Again" by the Who....but I get shot down every time.

Andy-That's too bad as I'm betting that Sonick Plague would do the song justice! Let's change gears some Ken. When your band's movie eventually comes out (And it will! I mean why wouldn't it?) who do you want to play your part? 

Ken-Marlon Brando, oh shit hes dead. I'm gonna have to go with Vince Vaughn for me, Chuck-Owen Wilson, Matt-John Heder, Sean-Gary Busey. I'm telling you seriously the story would make a great movie- its better than the music. Or we could use puppets.

Andy-Puppets might work! LOL! To tie in with the movie I see a whole line of Sonick Plague merchandise. Everything from your own brand of cereal to toilet paper! You'll be the new KISS! Are you ready for that kind of exposure? 

 Ken-Ya damn right we are but I won't be as much of a dick as Gene Simmons! I'm already thinking of my own line of back braces!! We are in the talks now with speedo, cross your heart bra company, Trojan, and working on ideas with Nike creating shoes for kids born with 2 left feet. I also would like to talk to someone from axe on creating my own scent so if you know anybody over there have them get a hold of me.

Andy-That all sounds great! How about Sonick Plague action figures?  Let's talk about it!! Besides drumming and obviously seal hunting(!) what special features would your figure come with? 

Ken-Definitely kung fu grip and specialized weapons for killing terrorists....., torches and such. Dude I'm a hill billy! I love weapons so anything we can get on that guy let's do it!

Andy-There's nothing wrong with being a country boy or your love of weapons! And with weapons in mind would you care to partake in some parting shots? I always give artists the last shot word!

Ken- In parting I'd like to thank you for your support, you have no idea how much it means to us . Seriously this whole thing started out as practicing to do a reunion show for our buddy we lost. I didn't think this many people even remembered us it's just been a damn blast to this point. As I mentioned before none of this would have been possible without the hard work from Chuck. He's been nonstop since we started. We also have some great partners with Pavement, Munzy, and Clawhammer- they've been great. I hope people that have never heard the record before will like it. And if you get any notion of stealing my ideas, me and you are gonna go Andy!!

Andy-No thanks Ken! I've seen your pictures and you're built a brick house! Meanwhile I'm built like grass hut!!!! A out of shape hut with more health problems than we have time to address in any one article! But seriously, thanks again for talking with us and best wishes for you and your great band! For all of our readers if you haven't had a chance to do it yet then be sure to check out my review of this band's bloody raw /super tasty self-titled CD. It's super solid thrash metal that is lean and mean and it can be purchased online by heading here. You can also pick up a sweet looking t-shirt to go along with this highly-recommended album so that you can represent Sonick Plague wherever you might roam! Righteous! For more information on Sonick Plague be sure to check out the band on Facebook which you can (and should) do by clicking here. And as always be sure to keep it LOUD and PROUD kids!

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Tuesday, July 21, 2015


Heaven and Hell Records

Hailing from Columbia, Tennessee, HexenHammer (which is German for ''Malleus Maleficarum'') was a underground speed/thrash band that was active in one form or another from 1987 until at least 1992. "Underground", which is an appropriate enough title for this release given the cult-lie status of this band(!), was originally the title of a 4-track demo recording that this proto-black metal band (or would it be blackened thrash?) released in 1990. This recently-released CD collects that obscure (and highly sought-after by fans and collectors alike!) demo as well as another 4-track recording session that the band made in 1992. Unfortunately my promo copy does not include the two bonus tracks from that session, "Committed" and "The Cutting Edge", but I'm more than happy to report the great news of this re-mastered collection and in the process I'm also going to take a stab at explaining the important place that this archival set holds in the history of extreme heavy metal and proto-black metal. Re-mastered by Jamie King at The Basement Studios in Winston Salem, NC, "Underground" was culled from the best material possible. The album's disclaimer makes note of this and therefore I'm going to make note of it. After all, "Underground" was originally recorded on 4-track and from the sounds of things even that was a very humble experience! Taking that into account the music here is not bad at all and, frankly-speaking folks, I've certainly heard much worse. Hell, I'm heard some supposed modern-day recordings that are not as good as this! My guess is the only people who will complain about the sound of this collection are the sorts who like to find something to complain about anyway! No needs to name names as these people are EVERYWHERE these days and it's not going to get any better anytime soon I fear. But, I digress. We're hear to talk about HexenHammer and this (long thought lost) collection of raw speed/thrash. Lead by lead guitarist/vocalist Ronnie Dean ( a maniacal singer and musician who is the sole original member to appear on both sets of demo recordings on this collection) and (from the looks and sounds of it) originally appearing live under cover of hooded masks, HexanHammer's sound was a lightening streak of metallic frenzy across a blood-red sky! There's no other real way to describe it! While technically more thrash than death metal, HexanHammer nonetheless drew it's strength from the likes of Venom, Slayer, Bathory, (early) Celtic Frost, Death, (early) Voivod, and (early) Sepultura. Those would seem to be the key sources of influence although we can't rule out everyone from Motörhead to Pentagram either! The things is you have to remember when this band first formed and when these recordings first came out. "Underground" was originally released in 1990 after all. That was when the thrash scene was still in full-swing and bands like HexenHammer were starting to come into there own and experiment with elements like death and extreme metal. Tape trading was all the rage so it's no wonder that "Underground" gained the legendary status that it did! At the time I was still in high school and living in the small town of Mantua, Ohio. Even though I was neck deep in tape swapping and devouring anything and everything BRUTAL THRASH  (especially stuff that would have been as seemingly evil and mysterious as this lot was!) I sadly never heard of this band the first time around otherwise I would have hunted this demo down! It was only some years later I heard the rumors. Those rumors proved true as "Underground" fits that era well and for fans of the old (thrash/death metal) tape-trading days this limited-edition CD should bring back the same kind of great memories that I have! For youngsters though this collection should serve as an example of extreme metal's roots and why it's important to gather up these recordings before they are lost to time. While you can pick up the digital copy of "Underground" here I would not settle for anything less than the full-length CD with the bonus tracks. Additionally the CD features new artwork and a expanded booklet with never before seen photos! It's a fitting tribute to this cult band that for whatever reason never made it past the demo stage of it's career.

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Monday, July 20, 2015

Free Metal Monday: R.A.M.-Ranthology: 1985​-​1989

Stone Groove Records

This is another free digital sampler from the fine folks at Stone Groove Records. "Ranthology: 1985​-​1989" features tracks from Airborne (no, not that Airbourne but rather the short lived one from Vassalboro, Maine!) StageFrite, and Sidewinder and it can be downloaded by heading here.

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Free Metal Monday: Stone Groove Records Sampler 2015

Stone Groove Records

Phoenix, Arizona' Stone Groove Records has this nice digital sampler available for free at this location. In addition to one of my personal faves (My Silent Wake) there are tracks from the likes of Troglodyte Dawn, Henry The Horse, Joe Nash, Starchild, Crawl, D. T. Seizure, Void of Skull, and Ultimatum. All told there are twenty two tracks here and it's yours for the taking! 

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Sunday, July 19, 2015

Sonick Plague-Sonick Plague

Pavement Music

Initially formed in West Virginia in 1984 by Tim Meehan (guitars) and Ken Cuccaro (drums), Sonick Plague is a re-formed and (by all accounts) re-invigorated thrash metal band that now calls hails Connecticut home. This self-titled CD (which can be (and should be) pre-ordered on the band's official website) was originally released back in 1988 on Anthrax Records. At the time it was known as "What’s the Purpose" and it had been released hot on the heels of the band's only other known release, 1987's "Everyone's Got A Disease". Of course that was only a four-track demo and those particular songs eventually ended up "What’s the Purpose" anyway. Sure, Sonick Plague did play with some of metal greatest band's during their all too short time together. After all they shared the stage with Death Angel, Gwar, Pantera and the almighty Voivod! They even played alongside crossover acts such as Ludichrist and Crumbsuckers!! But studio wise? Well, let's face it folks. There just isn't that much there when it comes to the studio history of this band. "And why is that important in the grand scheme of things?" I hear you asking. Well, it's worth mentioning for one reason and one reason only. And that would be the HUGE impact that "What’s the Purpose" would have on the scene! This is raw, crazy good thrash and even in it's re-recorded form here you can hear the influence that Sonick Plague's sound had on a generation of thrash metal bands! They might not get the credit they so rightly deserve, but there's little doubt that Sonick Plague's wild and crazy take on thrash paved the way for many a band to come. This updated (and super slick!) version of the band's debut album was recorded at the legendary Carriage House Studios and finds newcomer Matt Dupre (guitar) joining long-time members Ken Cuccaro, Chuck Crilly (guitar) and Sean Donnelly (bass and vocals). Matt takes over for guitarist Tony Teodoro who sadly passed away in 2012 and Chuck Crilly replaced Tim Meechan on guitar in 1987 . It was the tragic loss of Tony that compelled the original members of Sonick Plague to reunite and with new material in the works this album should do a great job of re-introducing this band to a scene that is always in need of real, unapologetic, take no prisoners and take no shit THRASH! You can check out the album's first single, "My Gun", by heading here and to further understand what I'm talking about when I say how important 1988's "What's The Purpose" be sure to check out the video below!

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Saturday, July 18, 2015

Antonello Giliberto-Journey Through My Memory

Minotauro Records

Recorded over the span of two years, "Journey Through My Memory" is the second full-length album from Sicilian guitarist Antonello Giliberto. It follows in the footsteps of 2013's "The Mansion Of Lost Souls" and finds this amazing guitarist/keyboardist teaming up with bassist Dino Fiorenza (Steve Vai, Paul Gilbert, Slash, Zack Wilde, Yngwie Malmsteen, etc.) and John Macaluso (Yngwie Malmsteen, Symphony X, ARK, TNT, James LaBrie, Riot, Jennifer Batten, Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal, Union Radio, Joe Lynn Turner, Uli Jon Roth, George Lynch, etc.). Together this powerhouse trio works it's way through ten instrumentals including the stellar opening track (and first track written for this album!), "Demeter". Inspired by a viewing of Frances Ford Coppola’s Dracula (with "Demeter" being the name of the ship on which Dracula arrives in England in the film.), guitarist Antonello Giliberto easily captures the listener's attention with this number before working his way through top-tier instrumental metal. Musically-speaking there is a little of everything on "Journey Through My Memory" with each track serving as a reflection of Giliberto's own personal experiences (hence the title). There's neo-classical material along with symphonic metal and music that seems as if it could have been cut right out of some music soundtrack.  As Antonello Giliberto goes about putting his own distinct stamp on these ten instrumental tracks the pairing of Fiorenza and Macaluso seems inspired. The rhythm section on "Journey Through My Memory" is simply fantastic and at the end of the day Gililberto's second instrumental album flows nearly seamlessly from the aforementioned opener, "Demeter", to the aptly titled closing cut, "The Art Of Ending". Primarily geared toward instrumental rock and metal fans, "Journey Through My Memory" nonetheless offers more than enough action for traditional metal fans so this one is certainly worth checking out!

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Friday, July 17, 2015

Interview with Seven Sister's Kyle McNeill

Back in late June I covered Seven Sisters' latest release, "Lost In Time". You can find this excellent 7" online here and for traditional heavy metal and N.W.O.B.H.M. fans it is a MUST HAVE! Now I present a interview that I recently conducted with lead vocalist/guitarist Kyle McNeill. I want to thank Kyle for taking the time to talk with us and I would like to encourage each and everyone of you to check out his amazing band! You can find them online here and here.

Andy-Let me start off by saying how much I love "Lost In Time". It's really something and I have to imagine that you are thrilled with the outcome right? 

Kyle-Thank you! Absolutely, we’re extremely proud of it and the response we’ve had so far has blown us away. It’s always a worry that if you put something new out people won’t enjoy it as much as you’d hoped but it’s gone better than we could’ve imagined.   

Andy- Could you talk to us about the recording process behind your new single? 

Kyle-It was a bit of a botch-job in all honesty. We decided to record it ourselves, like we did with the demo. The drums were recorded at the rehearsal studios we use and everything else was done at my flat. If you solo the drums, the sound quality is absolutely awful! I suppose it adds to the ‘old school’ aesthetic of the recordings. You’d be surprised what you can get away with when everything has come together in the mix, sometimes the parts that initially sound a bit shitty end up working the best.    

Andy- How did the new songs come together?   

Kyle- Like many a heavy metal song before them, they started with a riff! For me, songs usually start with a main hook/riff and I develop it from there. I almost always get the music totally finished before I start with lyrics and melody. Lyrical themes, however, are normally decided at the beginning of the writing process. I find it helps me shape the song and aim for a sound that suits the words.  For "Lost In Time" the lyrics were a joint effort between Graeme and me. I’d finished the music and just needed some help finalizing the ideas I had, the best lines in that song are his! Wicked Steel was a classic ’15 minute’ composition. The whole song kinda just fell out in an afternoon; those always end up being the most fun to play live!    

Andy- Seven Sisters is now a full-fledged band. Could you tell us about your new members? 

Kyle- Yeah, they’re both pricks!  Nah, in all seriousness they’ve both really contributed to the development of our sound and the progress we’ve made. I met Adam when I first moved to London, we go to the same university and ended up living together for a couple of years. He was supposed to be a temporary bass player until we found someone permanent but we latched onto him and didn’t let go!  It was that Graeme recruited Steve. I’d met Steve a few years back when he was organizing a festival called Full Thrash Assault and Graeme had known him for a long time. I had no idea he played drums so I was pleasantly surprised! This lineup is a bit of a happy accident really. We’d all hung out before at one time or another so it wasn’t like trying to play music with complete strangers. I don’t think it could’ve worked out any better.    

Andy-As good as you are as a lead singer I do have to ask why Seven Sisters didn't just start that way? 

Kyle-Well, thank you! I don’t particularly think of myself as a singer, I doubt I ever will. When Graeme and I started jamming, we didn’t really have any plans of getting a full band together it was purely for fun. We got Josh to sing as a favor so when we decided to get an actual band together he decided it was best not to commit as he already sings for Dark Forest.  I didn’t really think I was capable of singing heavy metal at all. The first few practices my voice was awful, it was just there out of necessity more than anything. I learned some technique and with more practice I found my comfort zone. I’ll never admit that I’m a ‘proper’ singer; I’ll always be a guitar player!    

Andy-Besides the line-up what has changed for Seven Sisters since the band first came together? 

Kyle-Personally I think the biggest change is that we have a ‘band dynamic’ now. It makes such a huge difference to the overall sound of the music. People have said that they prefer the demo songs live and I reckon that’s because the sound of four separate people playing together will always be better than the same person playing guitar, bass, and programming the drums.    

Andy- "Lost In Time" fits in nicely with your first release and yet it seems as if the band has tightened things up and even improved upon a sound that was already great. Is it the new blood or has the band just become better with age? 

Kyle-It’s probably a combination of both! Even now we’re still evolving and finding our feet sound-wise. We’re a very young band, this lineup has only been playing together for ten months, so with that in mind I feel like we have a long way to go before we can say we’ve definitely our ‘sound’ refined.    

Andy- For our readers who might not be familiar with that sound how would you describe it? What is Seven Sisters?

Kyle- A combination of riffs, wizards, and dual guitars! We’re definitely within the same sound aesthetic as the early 80’s heavy metal bands of the NWOBHM movement. I’d like to think that we aren’t a carbon copy of any one of those bands in particular; we just take influence from them and make our own version of it.  The more material we write, the more prog rock seems to be creeping its way in. I think in my ideal world we’d a brilliant combination of Yes and early Iron Maiden.
Andy-How has the response been to Seven Sister's live shows? 

Kyle-So far, so good! (So what?) We’ve had plenty of positive feedback! A few people have been to our gigs from the very beginning and they all say we’ve come a long since then. We recently played at the Heavy Sounds Festival in Belgium. That was a big eye opener. The quality of the stage shows and the energy of the bands put us to shame so we worked hard on that when we got back in the practice room! I still think we’ve got a long way to go but then again I’m a bit of a perfectionist when it comes things like this so we may never be good enough in my eyes. The important thing is that other people enjoy us, and that seems to be the case, which is good!     

Andy-What are some of the bands you've played with?

Kyle- We’ve actually got a pretty good track record going, here goes:  Ambush, Portrait, Amulet, Ranger, Rabid Bitch Of The North, Air Raid, Dungeon, Sacral Rage, Desolator. There are quite a few more as well that were involved in festival lineups. We’ve managed to play with most of our favorite modern metal bands!    

Andy-Do you guys plan to tour behind the release of "Lost In Time"? 

Kyle-Well, we have a few good gigs lined up at the moment but we don’t particularly have a ‘tour’ so to speak. We’re still getting our name out there but hopefully we’ll be touring sooner rather than later!    

Andy-If Seven Sisters could play with any modern bands who would they be? 

Kyle-Considering we’ve already played with Portrait, Ambush, and Ranger, it’s a pretty tough question! I’d personally really love to play a gig with Lord Fist; I love their album! Obviously, there are still bands going today that we’d love to play with. Maiden, Priest etc...  One can only dream!    

Andy-How about any classic bands? If you could just snap your fingers and play with any band or at any legendary concerts what would they be? 

Kyle-Absolutely hands down, Thin Lizzy the Live And Dangerous London show in ’76.  They are the best band that ever existed and probably every will. That isn’t opinion; by the way, it’s cold hard fact.  A personal one for me would be to support Frank Zappa during the Roxy And Elsewhere tour; he’s one of my biggest heroes!    

Andy- Good choice! Similar question here, but if Seven Sisters could play on any tribute album whose would it be and what song would you choose? 
Kyle- Again. Thin Lizzy!  I think it would be toss up between "Black Rose" and "Cowboy Song". Graeme and me would probably arm wrestle for it after a few Holsten Pils.    

Andy-LOL! So, what can fans expect from Seven Sisters for the second part of 2015? How about beyond that?

Kyle-A lot of gigs! If all goes to plan we’ll be playing up and down the UK quite a bit in the next few months. We’re really keen on getting into Europe and playing some shows over there so hopefully we’ll manage that. Who knows, we might end up crossing the pond some day and playing in The States!  Our aim is to keep progressing musically and getting our name out there. We wanna be playing all over the world and bringing good ol’ heavy metal back to the forefront. The scene over here in the UK is absolutely full of brilliant bands that could be extremely successful in their own right. The quality of the underground heavy metal scene is so good right now that it baffles me it’s still underground. So hopefully for us it’s onwards and upwards!    

Andy-Are you guys working on any new material? 

Kyle-We are! We’re actually pretty close to finishing our EP and it’s turning out to be something we’re super excited about. It’s going to be a summary of everything we’ve done so far but also adding new elements to our sound to keep people interested (and ourselves!).    

Andy-Awesome! Has there been any interest from record labels? I mean I find it amazing that Seven Sisters hasn't been scooped up already! 

Kyle-Again, thank you for the kind words! We have had a few labels approach us, and we came very close to signing a deal for the 7”.  With no disrespect to the labels that have approached us, they’re all great; we just haven’t found the right one yet. There’s no need to rush these kinds of things. The plan for us will be to demo the EP and then send it out and see if anyone is interested in releasing it for us!    

Andy-That's understandable. I'll let you have the last word Kyle. Is there anything we didn't touch on that you would like to address? 

Kyle-Firstly, thank you for having us! I’d just like to give some bands a ‘shout out’, a bit of a UK listening recommendation! Check these metal warriors out:  Eliminator, Wytch Hazel, Dungeon, Dark Forest, Amulet, Ascalon, Toledo Steel, Desolator, and Insurgency!  Cheers!

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Thursday, July 16, 2015

Inside Metal: Pioneers Of L.A. Rock And Metal II

Metalrock Films

First things first. I'm really late with this review and for that I'd like to apologize. And it's not just to Metalrock Films I might add, but to all of you-our faithful readers and fellow metal fanatics. Blame it on summer and time just slipping away or just blame it on my old age and forgetfulness(!), but whatever the case I'm late to this party and that is nothing short of unacceptable! Still, it is what it is and here we are so let's just cut to the chase and throw out the one true (obvious) observation here. This is the follow-up to part one and (no big surprise here) it is just as essential as the original "Inside Metal: Pioneers Of L.A. Rock And Metal"! Part II picks up the ball and runs it in for a touchdown! Every-bit as good as Part I, "Inside Metal: Pioneers Of L.A. Rock And Metal II" adds further credence to the importance of L.A.'s hard & heavy scene and does it alongside interviews with the folks who were actual there to witness it all! There's far too many names to name, but let's just say that these musicians were and still are the real deal! Whether you were there the first time around or you are new to L.A.'s scene you'll learn something new and interesting and it's all seen through the eyes of people who loved the music and the city! As much an homage to a time and place that will never be forgotten as it is a top-notch music documentary this spectacular DVD is assembled in such a way that you can almost picture yourself back in the club days along with all of the other crazy fans. Credit must go to everyone involved with the creation of this series as it truly does a great job of presenting the scene for what it really was. As it's priced under $10 (at least on Amazon) it's a small investment for what will ultimately prove to be one of the best heavy metal documentaries of all time!! In fact it's a steal at that price when you take into account all the goodness that is packed into this 95 minute documentary! With Part III due out sometime in the (hopefully near!) future the only thing that could be better than having these wicked cool docs in your collection would be soundtracks! I'd love it if they could put together a CD package with rare music from L.A.'s early hard rock and heavy metal scene, but maybe that's just not possible? I don't know. What I do know is how you can pick up not only these two DVDs from Metalrock Film's official page, but t-shirts and even a hat! There is even a nifty deal where you can get a signed theatrical release poster of Inside Metal (signed by director Bob Nalbandian!), both DVDs (also signed), a Inside Metal hat and Inside Metal XL shirt, and Metalrock and Inside Metal stickers (coolness!) for $99 plus $3 shipping! Even though I already have both DVDs I might have to go for that deal myself! After all I am a fan first and foremost! 

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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Realm Unseen-The Origin


Released on June 30th, "The Origin" is the 7-track debut EP from (self-dubbed) "groove metal" band Realm Unseen. The band, which is based in Islamabad, Pakistan and boasts influences as diverse as KoRn, Tool, Cannibal Corpse, Pantera, Yngwie Malmsteen, Led Zeppelin, and Pink Floyd(!), is every bit as odd and disturbing as the above art-work suggests with the lead vocals of Mohammad Ahsan Khan of particular interest. Opening weirdly-enough by way of a Art Bell clip, "The Origin" is available for free by heading here, but please be aware of what you are getting yourself into before hitting that download button! Musically-speaking these guys are all over the place with "The Origin" making that "groove metal" tag seem a little  limited and short-sighted. Whatever the case it is free and seeing as normality is (at best) an illusion (and something that I can't in all good conscience condone!) this 7-track EP makes for a unique listening experience especially in this colorless world of cookie cutter metal bands and their paint-by-the-numbers recordings.

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Fallen Angels-World In Decay

Cyberdyne Records2015

For the uniformed, Fallen Angels is a five-piece thrash metal band that is based in Seattle,Washington and currently lead by Bradzilla (ex-Semesus, ex-Disinterment, ex-If But for One). Active since 2002 (and not to be confused with the numerous other bands that are sporting this very same moniker), Fallen Angels also includes guitarist/vocalist Erik Hanson (former live guitarist for Skelator), guitarist Matt Be Roth, bassist Carl Larsson (Sol Negro, Waking Hour, ex-Skelator, ex-Evangelist), and drummer Steve Spitzbart (former live drummer for Usurper, ex-Beltfed Weapon) with Hanson and Larsson the only original members left of the band since first forming all those years ago! The upcoming "World In Decay" is actually Fallen Angles' third full-length release and first sign of (studio) life since 2011's "Engines Of Oppression"! It was produced by Grammy award winning producer Michael Rosen (Forbidden, Testament, Death Angel, Flotsam and Jetsam, Tesla, Vicious Rumors) and this collaboration makes perfect sense once you get a proper feel for what Fallen Angels is all about. For you see this is a band that is influenced by the likes of (early) Metallica, Megadeth & Anthrax, Testament, Slayer, Forbidden, Exodus, Overkill, and Annihilator with the forty-plus minute "World In Decay" serving as the ultimate tribute to the not only the Big Four and the Bay Are scene of old, but  thrash metal's glory days in general! "World In Decay" is a dream come true for old-school thrashers like myself and if there is any album that should finally put Fallen Angels on the map then this is it! Really the only difference between Fallen Angels soon to be released classic and yesteryear's classic thrash metal is this album's production. Not that it is a bad thing or anything, but "World In Decay" has more of a modern day production feel going for it because, well, it is a modern day production! Pretty much everything and everyone comes across as clean and clear which does stand in stark contrast to the (slightly-rough) production standards normally associated with old-school thrash. But it's all cool my friends as you are going to want to hear each and every little aspect of this wicked thrash attack! Especially if you love any of the above mentioned influences or bands like Death Angel, Lääz Rockit, Evildead, Atrophy, Whiplash or Xentrix. Officially due to drop on August 4th, "World In Decay" is one of the best thrash metal albums that I have heard in long time. As such I not only want to recommend it to our readers, but I want to add a big thank you to Asher Media Relations for sending it my way! You can check out the group's video for the gnarly "World In Decay" track (and the disc's first single!) "Nightmare" below and then be sure to head over to the group's Facebook page so that you can keep up to date with what just might end up being one of your new favorite thrash metal bands!

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Monday, July 13, 2015

Crazy Fenton-Turn Off The Silence


For those of you who might have overslept and missed out on the news bulletin, Crazy Fenton is the alter ego of Norfolk-based artist/veteran musician Clive Aliker. And just like any other caped crime-fighter this cool super hero comes action-packed with sleek weapons and special powers! But unlike Superman, Spider Man or The Hulk this secret agent of truth, justice and the Norfolk way of life isn't blessed with the ability to fly, outlandish speed or extreme physical strength. And those sleek weapons I talked about? Well, you'd likely never find Batman or Iron Man using them! For you see when it comes to Crazy Fenton's "weapons" we're really talking about his words and his instruments. And instead of otherworldly abilities these special powers come in the form of music that inspires and transforms the listener in a refreshingly bold and bright way! That's the beauty of Crazy Fenton's new album "Turn Off The Silence" and yes, it is real positive news that you can use! Of course it's not like this artist just fell out of the sky into our laps. Keen observers will no doubt have noticed that I covered "Cool Ella" back on the 3rd of July. That particular single served as our initial contact with this amazing artist and now we get to share in the joyous experience that is a full-length Crazy Fenton album! Self-dubbed "Psychedelic space rock pop" (a description which really isn't that far off!) Crazy Fenton would have just been called "alternative rock" or "college rock" back in the day. But now we're saddled with far too many descriptions and specifics to truly enjoy life and the music that it provides. So what would I suggest instead? Besides just sending you straight off to this upbeat album? I'd point out the likes of The B-52's, The Church, Violent Femmes, Wall Of Voodoo, Camper Van Beethoven, XTC, and (early) R.E.M.and say that if you like any of these acts then you should dig Crazy Fenton. Then I would add the likes of (later day) The Beatles and the Beach Boys' classic "Pet Sounds" as other sources of inspiration as well as the early psychedelic rock/pop movement. You take all these different bands and their various styles and mix them up in a big bowl. Toss in a heaping handful of clever wit and stupendous creativity and there you have Crazy Fenton. If this album doesn't make your Monday a little more tolerable then I am afraid that there might not be any hope for you my friend!

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Free Metal Monday: Divebomb Summer-2015 Sampler: Volume II

And this would be volume number two of Divebomb Record's summer samplers. This one features twenty tracks in all and it's a mixture of good (Picture, Chastain, Shotgun Messiah, Grinder, Reverend, Addictive, and Sultan) and so bad it's ugly (Slave Raider? Really?). Thankfully the good times outnumber the bad times (Slave Raider is TERRIBLE! Did I mention that already?) so I'm happy to recommend this one. Just do yourself a favor and skip that first track all together!

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Free Metal Monday: Divebomb Summer 2015 Sampler: Volume I

As the title points out this is part one of two free samplers from Divebomb Records. With a total of 25 tracks it does a great job of showcasing some of the labels latest releases as well as showing off some of their upcoming ones. There's tracks from the likes of Poltergeist, The Horde Of Torment, Wild Dogs, Betsy, Pierce, Holosade, Aftermath, and Powermad and it can be downloaded for free be heading here

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Thursday, July 09, 2015


Test Your Metal Records

Formed in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul in 1996, Hibria is a heavy/speed/power metal band that is fronted by Iuri Sanson and influenced by groups as diverse as Metallica, Iron Maiden, Pantera and even Deep Purple! In 1997 Hibria released it's first demo entitled "Metal Heart" and since then the group's ever-expanding catalog has grown to include one other demo, a single, a split release, a live album, a video, and a handful of full-length studio albums!! The self-titled "Hibria" is actually album number five for this Brazilian band that also features guitarists Abel Camargo & Renato Osorio, bassist Benhur Lima, and drummer Eduardo Baldo. It follows 2013's "Silent Revenge" and with 11-tracks in all it offers more than enough metallic thrills to keep your blood pumping and your heart racing! Custom-crafted and geared towards fans of (uptempo) heavy/power metal and (aggressive) technical speed metal, "Hibria" is a nice way to get your rage on without having to even step foot outside! This one is nice and heavy and it's got wicked leads, catchy choruses and everything else that you love about tried & true classic heavy metal. "Hibria" is well-worth tracking down and in case it isn't obvious enough this CD comes with my highest recommendation! 

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Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Killer Khan-Kill Devil Hills (2015 Re-issue)

Heaven and Hell Records

There are some reviews that just about write themselves and then there are other times where you find yourself struggling to even come up with a proper opening. There is no need to guess where this one sits in the grand scheme of things as it's now taken me well over an hour to even get this far! And that was after coming back to do this review for the third time!! I'm just not sure if I can come up with right choice of words to fully convey the importance of this album. Truth be told I've covered Killer Khan's full-length debut in the past. As you can see here it was once a part of my Forgotten Gems series and now I'm tasked with talking about this re-mastered and expanded re-issue. Honestly I feel as if everything I said back then (which was March 29th, 2012 to be exact) still rings true with the only real difference between then and now being a more-improved sound and the inclusion of two bonus tracks. Otherwise this is still one of the best damn (true) heavy metal albums that you can have in your personal collection. Let me say that again so that it's perfectly clear to everyone. As far as true blue this heavy metal gems go it does not get any better then this 1999 album! Originally self-released back in 1999, "Kill Devil Hills" was Killer Khan's full-length debut and thanks in no small part to this band's particular choice of influences it ended up being a timeless example of classic/traditional heavy metal at it's purest and most sincere form! But first a brief history lesson is in order. Formed in 1994 and initially known as Holy Moses (under which name the band issued two full-length albums-one in 1995 and the other one in 1996), Killer Khan was based in Moorsevile, North Carolina and lead by vocalist/guitarist Killian Khan. As mentioned "Kill Devil Hills" was the first album that this U.S. metal put out under the name of Killer Khan. Technically-speaking it's also the only album that "Killer Khan" issued in their brief existence as the follow-up album, 2001's "Rock 'N Roll Forever", was originally released in 1996 while the band was still known as "Holy Moses"! Confusing as that may be there should be no confusion as to the strength of this album!! Killer Khan's classic sound & style drew it's inspiration from the eighties U.S. metal scene of old as well as bands like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and (Ozzy-era) Black Sabbath. With a lead vocalist who could have easily slid his way into into a Ozzy Osbourne tribute band (see my previous review for more on this tidbit!) and a backing band that was well-regulated and fine-tuned to near perfection this traditional heavy metal band released one of those rare A+ recordings that every self-respecting metalhead should have already had in their collection! If you didn't have it before now then you absolutely must pick up this stone cold gem now that it has been re-mastered and expanded! Hell, even if you already have this album in collection I would still suggest buying this version as it has a much-improved sound and it tacks on two excellent bonus cuts in "Abomination" and "Aceman (Part II)"! Sure enough this is the same album that I fell in love with all those years back only this time around it's even better! "Kill Devil Hills" has definitely stood the test of time and thanks to Heaven and Hell Records it is getting a new lease on life! As this is a limited run though I would I act fast while it is still available. With only 500 copies it is sure to sell out and once it's gone it's gone! For fans of Killer Khan this is a must buy, but it also comes recommend to fans of eighties metal, N.W.O.B.H. and of course Black Sabbath! 

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Monday, July 06, 2015

Free Metal Monday: Ripple Music - 5 Year Anniversary Compilation

Ripple Music

Here's another fantastic digital compilation to start your work week off on the right foot! This 24-track sampler(!) features artists from Ripple Music's impressive roster of artists and it serves as a celebration of "the great music that has helped fuel the label's energies and creative juices". That is their words, but I'll gladly second that notion and add that if you are into cool stoner and/or heavy rock then you'll want to add this compilation asap! Available as a name-your-own-price download by heading here, Ripple Music's 5th Anniversary sampler shows just how vital smaller labels and PR firms can be and why the heavy metal community should do all they can to support such ventures.

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Free Metal Monday: "Hello Tokyo...OMP...Re-Armed And Ready...Volume II" Compilation

Today's Free Metal Monday offering comes from Online Metal Promo and the Japanese webzine Breath Fresher. "Hello Tokyo...OMP...Re-Armed And Ready...Volume II" is a 30 track(!) compilation featuring a mix of current, unreleased, and demo original songs from established and up and coming bands from the United States, Belgium, Canada, Germany and Singapore. It can be downloaded for free by heading here and the bands that are featured on the expansive compilation include:
1. The Rods
2. Broken Teeth
3. Ostrogoth
4. Canedy
5. Maxxxwell Carlisle
6. Corners of Sanctuary
7. Zephaniah
8. Vanlade
9. Diamond Lane
10. Gundriver
11. Kara and the Dam Band
12. Lords of the Trident
13. Witchcross
14. DH Project
15. Ravensthorn
16. Azraels Bane
17. Immortal Guardian
18. Chamber Sixx
19. Blood of VanGogh
20. Salem’s Lott
21. Swirl
22. Desecrate
 23. Strangelet
24. Decypher
25. Delta Rose
26. Hasta La Muerte
27. Hessler
28. Sorizon
29. Omnislash
30. The Black Monolith

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Friday, July 03, 2015

Crazy Fenton-"Cool Ella" Single


The brainchild of Norfolk-based artist/veteran musician Clive Aliker, Crazy Fenton is a upbeat psychedelic/garage rock project whose (highly-infectious) sound takes it's cue from sixties rock, seventies punk and eighties new wave. "Cool Ella" is a new single from Crazy Fenton's upcoming album, "Turn Off The Silence", and for those of us who still love (fuzzy & distorted) jingle-jangle garage rock it's a absolute godsend! If the rest of Crazy Fenton's new album is anywhere near as much fun as this single is then we could be looking at a real (golden-oldie) gem in the making! You can watch the new video for "Cool Ella' by heading here and be sure to check back here often as I will try to secure the whole album for review.

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Wednesday, July 01, 2015

My Hollow-On Borrowed Time


Due to drop on July 31st (and more than a little likely to explode on contact when it does!), "On Borrowed Time" is the latest release from Toronto, Ontario's My Hollow and as suggested by it's sweet art-work it has all the subtlety of two-ton anvil slamming down on a set of pearly whites! It follows the same set of blue-prints that this (highly-regarded) band laid out on their 2012 debut EP, "Cold Dark Days", and that of course means more heavy & harsh metal from a group that is all at once progressive and groovy as F**K! You can actually hear the wicked raw title track at the bandcamp link posted above, but perhaps a word of caution is in order before you head that way. As it's over five minutes long this album's aggressive opening title track is a stone-cold beast and a blood-crazed one at that! And just like you would do when faced with any wild animal you don't want to turn your back on it! Because if you do make that mistake with the ferocious title track "On Borrowed Time" it will tear you to shreds! And to think that is just ONE of the album's fierce new numbers! Yep, you are going to want to pre-order this one so why not just stop what you're doing and take care of that business now? Personally I can't think of any good reason why you wouldn't want to pull that trigger.

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