Saturday, 31 January 2015

Detente - Recognize No Authority Expanded Reissue (CD Review)

Disc One
02.Russian Roulette
03.It's Your Fate
04.Holy Wars
06.Shattered Illusions
07.Life Is Pain
08.Blood I Bleed
09.Widow's Walk
10.Vultures in the Sky
11.Blood I Bleed (Tiina Teal 2010)
12.Genocide (Tiina Teal 2010)

Disc Two
01.Shattered Illusions (Demo I 84)
02.Vultures In The Sky (Demo I 84)
03.Widows Walk (Demo II 84)
04.Holy Wars (Demo II 84)
05.Chemical Joy (Rehearsal 85)
06.Murder Inc (Live 05/12/85)
07.Diseased (Demo III 87)
08.Wasted Time (Demo III 87)
09.All That Remain (Demo III 87)
10.Red To Grey (Demo IV 89)
11.Coming Down (Demo IV 89)
12.Loves Death (Demo IV 89)

13.An Offering (Demo I 87)
14.Evil Within (Demo I 87)
15.Obituary Fear (Demo I 87)
16.Under The Influence (Demo II 88)
17.Law And Disorder (Demo II 88)
18.Who Can You Trust (Demo II 88)
19.Piece Of My Heart (Demo II 88)

Detente (Original Line Up)
Dawn Crosby (Vocals)
Ross Robinson (Guitar)
Steve Hochheiser (Bass)
Caleb Quinn (Guitar)
Dennis Butler (Drums)

Veronica Ross (Vocals)
Ross Robinson (Guitar)
Steve Hochheiser (Bass)
Caleb Quinn (Guitar)
Dave McClain (Drums)

Detente (2009 - 2015)
Tiina Teal (Vocals)
Dennis Butler(Drums)
Caleb Quinn (Guitar)
Steve Hochheiser (Bass)

Detente were part of the thrash/speed metal scene that came out of America in the early 1980's, female fronted they were in an exclusive group of bands alongside Znowhite and Bitch.
They formed in 1984 in Los Angeles, California. The group's original line-up included Dawn Crosby on vocals, Steve Hochheiser on bass, Dennis Butler on drums and Ross Robinson and Caleb Quinn on guitars.
Their first album, Recognize No Authority, was released on Metal Blade Records in 1986.Within days of the debut album's release, the supporting tour had to be cancelled when drummer and co-founder Dennis was severely burned in an industrial accident, resulting in more than three months of hospitalization.

Singer Dawn Crosby went on to form Fear of God, who were eventually signed to Warner Bros. Records. Ross Robinson later became a producer whose credits include Korn, Sepultura, Slipknot and many other top acts.

Dawn Crosby died in 1996 of liver failure associated with a history of alcohol and drug abuse.

In 1987 Detente reformed under the name of Catalepsy with vocalist Veronica Ross from Canada. With Veronica writing the lyrics and vocal melodies for the songs "Evil Within", "An Offering", "Obituary Fear", "Law and Disorder" "Who Can You Trust" and "Under the Influence". The demos, recorded at Baby O' Studios in Hollywood, California, climbed to the number one spot on the WVVX-FM Underground Radio. The band was set to release a new album titled Beyond the Threshold under a resigning of Metal Blade Records, however, the band members each went in new directions before the album was released.

In 2007 Detente reformed with Hellion vocalist Ann Boleyn, in 2009 she was replaced by  Tiina Teal and they continue to tour and release albums.

This 2 cd set includes the original album and demos and all the Catalepsy demos.

Starting with the original album, have to say its early speed meets proto thrash metal still sounds fresh, Crosby had one helluva voice, the music is clean and fresh sounding.
Intresting that the last 2 tracks with vocalist Tiina are included, vocally so very close but musically a tad more refined and slightly faster.

The demo disc is quite something as well, considering they are just "demos" the standard is high, the music is just bas good as the debut album.
While the quality of the 1987 demos is a little poor in places the music is different, more towards mainstream heavy metal, even an acoustic ballad with 'Diseased', an intresting progression.
The 1989 demos have an even worse sound quality, and the music seems to be trying to recapture their early sound yet trying to be something different at the same time.

The Catalepsy demos are fairly typical of late 80's post thrash bands, vocalist still sounds like crosby.

This is an excellent cd set, one not only for fans of the band but for fans of the thrash/speed genre and its roots.

Rating 10/10
For Fans Of: Bitch, Acid, Znowhite, Arch Enemy, Testament, Exodus

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Womit Angel - Maggotmouth EP (CD Review)

02.Children Of Moon
03.King SM

Vile Anarchy (Drums)
J.Violatör (Guitar)
W.Horepreacher (Bass/Vocals)

Wömit Angel was founded in early summer of 2010 in Tampere, Finland, by three guys who wanted to create music that makes you to drink your ass off and to mosh your head off, just like Impaled Nazarene and Motörhead does, so it was clear from the start that you could hear the attitude in Wömit Angel’s furious and storming music. In December last year long time drummer Vile Anarchy parted ways with Wömit Angel thus leaving the two founding brothers in this rabid wolfpack.

I was expecting a full on nasty assault of the worst kind, smashing drums, screaming guitars and deathly vocals from the pits of hell, all wrapped up in short bursts of agression....
And that's exactly what i got, simple, stunning and in your face blend of punk and extreme metal.

Rating 9/10
For Fans Of: Venom, Warfare, Impaled Nazarene, Mayhem

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Tanzwut - Freitag Der 13 (CD review)

01.Brot Und Spiele
02.Brüder Im Geiste
03.Freitag Der 13.
05.Die Zeit Heilt Alle Wunden
06.Ohne Sünde
07.Der Zeitdieb
08.Niemals Mehr
09.Des Teufels Braut
10.Vorbei Ist Vorbei
12.Bis Der Morgen Graut
13.Wenn Wir Untergehen

Mike "Teufel" Paulenz (Bagpipe/Vocals)
Der Zwilling (Bass/Bagpipe)
Thrymr (Bagpipe/Shawm)
Pyro (Bagpipe/Shawm)
Shumon (Percussion/Keyboards)
Oually (Percussion/Key Drum/Electronic Drums/Riesentara/Keyboard)
Martin Ukrasvan (Guitar/Bagpipe/Tromba Marina)
Rene (Guitar)

German band formed by Teufel in the mid 1990's. starting life as a ska/punk industrial metal band, having felt he had done all he could in that field he put togtehr a new line up featuring members of Corvus Corax in 2011 to add medieval instruments to his original hybrid and created a new sound.

Last may i reviewed their album 'Eselsmesse' and was very dissapointed and gave it 3/10 for what was essentially an album of pretty naff bagpipe music as opposed to the medieval/industrial mix it was promoted as, so here we go again another album, i wonder what this will be like?

Well 'Brot Und Spiele' certainly starts off well, nice dark spoken vocal intro over some pagan metal sounds, and yes it's good, basically this comes over as Rammstein with some folk undertones.

Those bagpipes are back in 'Bruder Im Geiste' but this time they dont dominate the song.

More dark Rammstein for 'Freitag Der 13.', slow brooding, punctuated with simple riffs and minimal keyboard and a little bagpipe, all makes for a great well balanced song.

It all keeps going well till the really naff ballad 'Niemals Mehr', so i shall ignore that one and say that the rest of the album is very good.

Rating 8/10
For Fans Of: Rammstein, Turisas, Black Messiah, Arkona

Monday, 26 January 2015

Graveyard After Graveyard - Hellhound On My Trail (CD Review)

01.Out To Feed
02.Giant Of The Undead
03.Infernal Catabombs
04.Screams In The Night
05.Learn To Burn
06.Feeding Of The Hellhounds

Jocke Ringdahl (Drums)
Mika Lagreen (Guitar)
Rogga Johansson (Bass/Vocals/Guitar)

Project by Swedish musician Rogga Johansson attempting to play a different style of music, leaning more towards the thrashier, blackened spectrum of death metal. Teaming up with the "Grave" guitarist Mika and drummer of "Sinners Burn" Jocke, the trio play some invigorating black/death/thrash metal that will have you tapping your feet and bobbing your head furiously. There's a trademark riffing style, a subtle groove and lots of force in the music. This stands apart from the weak-sounding black/thrash revivalists and oozes sheer power and confidence. This is a very potent, compact and relatively fresh-sounding release featuring the tireless legend.

Here we have five furious and highly agressive songs full of pounding thrash riffs perfectly blended with death and black metal influences, the vocals are a bit rough but does fit the style well.

Last track is just a weird almost industrial noise piece, what did surprise me is the lack of a cover version of Robert Johnson's classic 'Hellhound On My Trail' now that would have been intresting.

Rating 8/10
For Fans Of: Deicide, Toxic Holocaust, Destroyer 666

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Deprive - Into Oblivian (CD Review)

01.Catacombs Of Betrayal
02.Nightsky Revelation
03.Fall Of Entropy
04.Infamous Ossuary Of Tribulation
05.Dethroned Messiah
06.Apocryphal Mausoleum
07.Immemorial Ritual Beyond Death
08.An Oath Of Necrotical Mist
09.Into Oblivian
10.Divine Blood Of the Deceased

Erun Dagoth (All Instruments/Vocals)

Hailing from Santander Deprive is a one an projected created by Erun Dagoth in 2013.
He recorded "De Vermis Mysteriis" demo and was released on cassette by himself.

In 2014, Till You Fukkin Bleed Records from Poland re-released "De Vermis Mysteriis" with three songs of another old demo of a previous project as bonus tracks.

Later last year, Memento Mori offered to release his first album in early 2015, and now its here the death/doom metal album "Into Oblivion".

For a one an project have to say the opening track 'Catacombs Of Betrayal' is very impressive, superb attention to detail with every instrument.
Musically it switches from near funeral doom to full speed black metal, the vocals whilst fairly typical of the genre do have a certain quality and you can actually hear most of the words, something rare in the world of all things "death".

The next few are more of the same but 'Infamous Ossuary Of Tribulation' just has the edge with more of that doom coming through and some clever timing changes keeps your attention throughout.

'Dethroned Emperor' is a furious couple of minutes hailing back to the early days of Celtic Frost.

The final track is a one minute piano piece, beautiful and melodic its a strange but nevertheless clever way to end an excellent album.

Rating 9/10
For Fans Of: Pyre, Darkthrone, Aeternum, Marduk

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Nailgun Massacre - Bones Boxed And Buried (CD Review)

01.Where's The Head
02.Boned, Boxed And Buried
03.Stinky Stench
04.I Bury The Hatchet In Your Face
05.Meat Locker
06.Nailgun Messiah
07.Casket Full Of Fun
08.The Doctor And The Beast
09.Mad Road Killer
10.What's In The Box
11.Lower Me Down

Bonesaw (Guitar)
Corpsechucker (Vocals)
Juggernaut (Bass)
Hairybucks (Drums)
Meataxe (Guitar)

Out of the scattered remains of the gorey Dutch underground the band were stitched together in 2010 by some of the scene’s most notorious undead veterans. Heavily disgruntled with nowadays death metal this conspiracy commenced a piercing rampage against blast beats, technique neurotics, hippies and semi-intellectuals. Blunt as fuck, brutal as hell. Bad-tempered with long greasy hair, barely covering their red necks, and a disturbing fascination for powertools, they grimly resurrected to drive rusty nails of eighties death metal into the third millenium’s cripple carcass!

So here we have 10 slabs (yes 10 because 'Whats In The Box' is a 50 second melodic instrumental) of screaming cookie monster vocals and death grunts blended (In a blender?) with pounding drums and guitars, all chugging along with the subtlety of a sledghammer through a skull as provided by a crazed serial killer in a slasher movie.

Rating 8/10
For fans of: Autopsy, Pungent Stench, Macabre, Cannibal Corpse, Death

Minutain - Inwards (CD Review)

01.Hollow Heroics
02.On Derelict Sidings
03.The Crust Of The Earth
04.Void Within
06.Burning Bright

Mikko Heino (Vocals)
Jesper Johnson (Guitar)
Pekka Loponen (Guitar)
Jouni Mikkola (Bass)
Antti Ruokola (Drums)

Minutian are a progressively inclined rock/metal group based in Helsinki, Finland. The band aspires to bring something fresh to the world of traditional rock rhythms.

Their influences are drawn from various directions, with some of the more prominent ones from bands like King Crimson, Tool, Mastodon and Oceansize, to name but a few.

The music of Minutian is quite rhythmically oriented and odd time signatures are not frowned upon. The band originates from a three song demo by drummer Antti Ruokola with which he started looking for like-minded musicians. With the forming of the current lineup the music too has found its distinctive form.

After the tragic death of guitarist Jaakko Jernberg in 2012, Minutian dealt with their loss with a lengthy process of writing new material. This work has now resulted in nine tracks of progressive rock music with originality and emotion.

The title Inwards depicts not only the overall expression of the music and the process leading to its creation, but also an underlying theme in the lyrics. A common theme wasn’t as much intentional as it was a result of shared feelings and experiences. The album's narrative tells a story of the protagonist struggling with his visions and seeking ways to mend his shattered thoughts to ultimately find safety. The story encompasses several differing perspectives.

The album is dedicated to the memory of Jaakko Jernberg. The album closes with ‘Redeemer’, a song he composed and wrote lyrics for.

Inwards features piano arrangements by Helsinki-based composer Elias Patrikainen and has been mastered Ronan Chris Murphy, known for his work with King Crimson, Terry Bozzio and Ulver.

'Hollow Heroics' is just a huge mix of melody, stunning vocals at times reminiscent of Snowy Shaw and a superb take on modern progressive rock.
From this point onwards each track simply builds on a framework of layered sounds, brilliant guitarwork and again those vocals just soar out through the speakers.

It's when we come to 'Void Within' that there is some slight change in direction, this is slow and quiet vocal over a simple drum beat, but this one builds with near symphonic backing vocals, a neat little riff runs throughout.Half way through the song explodes and the timing changes, still slow yet upbeat at the same time, then finally the vocals get very high and the power increases.

'Manifest' is another stand out piece, simply because its the heaviest track on the album and mixes it up with the rhythms just like KoRn created when they got past their "nu" phase.

With 'Aphelion' being the longest track at just ver 10 minutes i was expecting some complex prog workout, in fact its a rather downbeat song, full of very quiet music and various keyboards, the vocal has an effect on it, actually this is kinda like black sabbaths 'Planet Caravan' and then later almost gets into doom metal with its drum pattern and slow distorted guitar.

Rating 9/10
For fans of: Sorrows Path, Snowy Shaw, Opeth, Spock's Beard

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Who Dies In Siberian Sludge & My Shameful - Split EP (CD Review)

01.The Tomb Of Kustodiev
02.And It Will Pass

By 'Who Dies In Siberian Slush' who are a funeral doom band from Moscow, formed back in 2003, initally as a one man project by "E.S" until a full line up in 2008.

E.S. (Vocals)
Flint (Guitar)
Gungrind (Guitar)
Cry (Bass)
L.K. (Trombone/Keyboards)
A.Z. (Flute)

Dual guitar playing, Flutes and Piano, wow what a start to 'The Tomb Of Kustodiev' then it just gets really heavy and slow with demonic growling vocals over drums and powerchords and that Trombone, i tell you this is quite something to listen too.

'And It Will Pass' is much more traditional funeral doom, again what makes this stand out from the rest is the use of the non traditional instruments, it simply creates another superb layer and some great phased guitar playing adds a nice tone.

This just leaves you wanting more!

Rating 10/10
For Fans Of: Cathedral, The Slow Death, Ulver, Blood Ceremony

03.The Land Of The Living

Last 2 songs by 'My Shameful' also a funeral doom band started as a two man group in 1999 and are now a three piece (though for some reason there are 4 in the promo picture!) and from Finland.

Sami Rautio (Vocals/Guitar)
Twist (Bass)
Jürgen Frohling (Drums)

By contrast from the first band 'The Land Of The Living' offers a more straight forward take on the genre, slow and painfull with a couple of breakdowns, this does exactly what you want from funeral doom.

Now 'Downwards' seems to add near gothic undertones to the mix with the guitar sound, musically the pace is slightly more "upbeat" (did i just say upbeat?), in fact this one tends to lean towards black metal in its overall sound.

Rating 10/10
For Fans Of: Triptykon, Dolorian, Wolvserpent, Doomed, Algoma

Worselder - MMXIV EP (CD Review)

01.The Sickening
02.Home Of The Grave
03.The Haven

Guillaume (Vocals)
Mitch (Drums)
Yannick (Bass)
James (Guitar)
Yoric (Guitar)

French heavy/stoner styled band have now made their album 'Where We Come From' released in 2011 and this EP from late last year available for free download on their bandcamp page.
They are now recording their next album due out later this year.

An eastern tone to the music gives this quite a 70's feel, yet 'The Sickening' is totally in the now, at times its like early Monster Magnet with elements of black album era Metallica thrown in.
Great vocals and backing vocals bring to mind the dual sounds from Mushroomhead (without the rapping!).

'Home Of The Grave' well the opening guitar is pure Judas Priest's Victim Of Changes intro, even the vocals are more high pitched, then moves into more chugging mid tempo thrash chords and a few frantic timing changes.
All this is held together perfectly by some very impressive vocals once again.

Last track on this EP is 'The Haven', the more i listen to this i cant help but feel that they have such a clever mix of styles that this really is some kind of "Progressive-Neo Thrash-Fusion", it really does have all sorts of elements from just about every sub genre of heavy metal from the last 30 odd years.

So after this i listend to their old album from 2011 and you can see how they have move forward, though the album is still the same band its a lot rawer and at times more agressive, but i suggest that you go grab them both and then wait for the new album i have a feeling its going to be huge!

Rating 9/10
For Fans Of: Monster Magnet, Soundgarden, Metallica, Mushroomhead, Down, Devildriver

Friday, 9 January 2015

The Sitting Bull & Bullshitters - Still Undead (CD Review)

02.Soul Seeker
03.No Flowers On Gravestone
04.Rusty Leaf
05.Musical Sensation
07.Godforsaken Goddess
08.K-Town River Banks
09.Let It Flow
10.Cry For The Ocean

Matti Suhonen (Drums)
Antti Huopainen (Organ)
Ismo Laukkanen (Bass)
Antti Lauren (Guitar)
Markku Pihlaja (Vocals/Acoustic Guitar)

Somewhere in the south east of Finland, by the river of Kymi, this small town has during the past years gathered more and more superb bands. New and old at the same time, “The Sitting Bull And The Bullshitters” has risen his big and ugly head in Karhula music scene.
The album “Still Undead” was recorded with portable studio gears in many spots, here and there. The juicy and tasteful rock of “Still Undead” is mixture of 70´s oriented rock with tiny “progy” elements including big and nice choruses. A handful of gigs will be played after the release in Finland. …Bullshitters was formed by vocalist Markku Pihlaja, mainly remembered from bands Manitou and Kaihoro. Most of the band members are known from bands Manitou and Wolftrap.

Wow if ever an album proves that looking back is the way frward then this is it!
Just a stunning selection of melodic/hard rock songs, full of beautiful vocals, stunning keyboard playing and great guitars.
This is an album of 1970's classic rock perfection but with a modern edge.
Honestly hard to pick out any one track, though have to say there is a fantastic guitar solo on 'K-Town River Banks' like a mixture of Robin Trower and Gary Moore.

You know the one thing that lets the band down is their name, not gonna make fron cover of classic rock magazine with that.

Rating 9/10
For fans Of: Deep Purple, Cavalar, Saturn, Atomic Rooster, UFO, Bad Company

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Lykaion - Heavy Lullabies (CD Review)

01.Heavy Lullaby
02.For Love
04.I Don't Love you Anymore
07.End Of Time
08.Out Of My Heart
10.Accept Yourself
11.Till The End

Alessandro Sforza (Vocals/Guitar)
Fabio Valentini (Guitar)
Valerio Lippera (Bass)
Andrea Alberati (Drums)

Lykaion are an Italian Dark metal band formed back in 2000.Their style links to the interrupted project of '90s gothic metal bands, re-reading it in a unique way, including influences from new hard rock/sleaze Swedish sounds and the romantic/decadent vision of bands like Him, To Die For and Katatonia. "Heavy Lullabies" is the band's second album, and it represents a firm step forward compared to the debut album "Nothin' But Death".

I find it strange that the opening title track should be nothing more than a glorified 4 minute instrumental intro, and it is an intro as it goes right into track 2 'For Love' which is a way better way to start the album, but you cannot get away from the HIM influence here, it has the melody in both music and vocal delivery and then the heavier chorus, what lets this down is that awful shouting vocal that keeps appearing like one of those shitty post emo/hardcore bands.

'Anthem' is not "anthemic", but it is a way more agressive song than i was expecting, solid riffs over some powerful drumming and some sing-a-long melodys.

The ballad makes an unpleasent appearence next with 'I Dont Love You Anymore', shame really because the guitar solo is awesome.

The bass/drum patterns are very "Nu-Metal" in 'Waitin' and then adds some very quiet and melodic passsages which build quite well.

'Smile' is a slow and quiet song that has some great keyboards that just save this one.

The pace picks up with 'End Of Time' which returns to HIM territory, as does the next one 'Out Of My Heart'.

'Animals' is almost another ballad, but some good pedal work on the drums and excellent guitar solo lift this one just enough.

Unfortunatley 'Accept Yourself' is shouty metalcore crap for emo's.

'Till The End' seems to not be much better, again just conforms to music for scene kids.

Rating 6/10
For Fans Of: Emil Bulls, HIM, AFI, As I Lay Dying, Bring Me The Horizon

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Various Artists - Let's Start A War Vol 1 (Cassette Review)

01.Bewitcher- Speed ‘Til You Bleed
02.Infernal Execrator- Daemonicult Patheosodomization
03.Infernal Execrator- Singatheos Regimentum Mastema
04.Phantasmal- The Reaper’s Forge
05.Terra Caput Mundi- We Are The Tank Crew
06.Bastardizer- Enforcers Of Evil
07.Seven Sisters- Onward They Ride
08.Wolfshead- Division Of The Damned
09.Angel Sword- Gamble Or Die
10.Angel Sword- Louder
11.Chalice - Witchfynder

"WAR ON ALL FRONTS is a print fanzine from Belfast, Northern Ireland which grew out of the ashes of the previous Northern Blaze zine in 2010. In early 2014 we unleashed the mammoth WOAF A.D.MMXIII edition which in 112 content-packed pages aimed to summate a whole year in the Metal underground via our in depth interview and review style (focussing on but not limiting itself to the Heavy, Speed, Doom, Black, Death, Thrash, Occult Rock and Crossover/Metalpunk sub-genres.)
In early 2015 they are seeking to top previous accomplishments with a retrospective of 2014, with even more writers and content than before and a challenging and unique approach to structuring interviews (influenced by, among other things, Plato’s dialogues and Gnostic mathematics) in order to break even more boundaries in the realm of Occult zinestry. Our multi-faceted approach will be complimented by the good cheer of our first time ever real-ale/craft beer section, and by a sombre dedication to humanity’s darkest hour on the centenary of The Great War 1914-1918.

For the first time as well WOAF is branching into releasing new music, firstly through Let’s Start A War... Vol. I compilation tape, which will be expanded with new bands and tracks for the covermount CD edition, and through further cassette and possibly vinyl releases on our new record label division. We are fighting a war- ON ALL FRONTS!"

Bewitcher are a duo from USA  featuring "Unholy Weaver Of Shadows & Incantations (guitars, vocals, drums) and Infernal Magus Of Nocturnal Alchemy (bass, drums)".
Seriously frantic punk/metal in the vein of Motorhead and Toxic Holocaust.
Infernal Execrator hail from Singapore and consist of Lord Ashir (guitars/vox), Shairan (guitars), Antichristo Xul (bass), Christslaughter (drums)".
They create an intresting mix of death and black metal and would appeal to fans of bands like Angelcorpse.

Phantasmal are another american duo clearly set in the ancient ways of 1980's blackend thrash metal.

Terra Caput Mundi are yet another duo, this one has a weird way of looking at things and a skull crunching sound to match.

Bastardizer from Austrailia offer Venom influenced Black and Thrash metal.

Seven Sisters from london feature Josh Winnard ex Wytch Hazel, this band continue to fly the flag for the resurgence of modern NWOBHM influenced bands, one for fans of Amulet.

Wolfshead are a Doom laden band from Finland in the style of Pentagram and Pagan Altar.

Angel Sword are also from Finland and take their influence from the likes of Tank and Tygers Of Pan Tang.

Finally Chalice, whose EP i reviewed last week, another old sounding band who play traditional 1970's style heavy metal

Rating 10/10

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Bestial Invasion - Silent Wonders (Single Review)

01.Silent Wonders

Unknown Nastya (Vocals)
Metal Priest (Bass)
Evgeniy Maestro (Guitar)
Ivan Semenchuk (Drums)

Bestial Invasion from Ukraine were formed last year by the ex-bass player of VIOLENT OMEN.
The info supplied states "real old school technical thrash metal in keeping with the best traditions of MEKONG DELTA, ATHEIST, CORONER. The microphone stand is possessed by the charming Anastasia, whose voice reminds Dawn Crosby (FEAR OF GOD) or Melanie Bock (MEGACE), and it distinguishes her in favorable manner from sterile ARCH ENEMY copies, which flooded the scene recently. On the threshold of a full-length album’s release, the band makes their first appearance with a vinyl single 'Silent Wonders', whose B-side assigns MORBID SAINT’s cover version. Produced by Don Doty (ex-DARK ANGEL)."

The music on both btracks is really good, definatley does have that authentic old school feel, great raw drum sound, crushing basswork and quality riffing and solos, but the vocals? Well they really dont suit at all, maybe if she had gone for a Arch Enemy style would have fitted better, but still cant really base everything on 2 tracks will have to wait for the album.

Rating 7/10
For Fans Of: Otep, Raven, Voi Vod, Mekong Delta

Monday, 5 January 2015

Violent Sky - Critical Mass (CD Review)

01.Take Your Time
03.Shadow Man
04.Frances (In The Gallery Of Stars)
05.Cargo Cult
06.Cold Blue Fire Part 1
07.Cold Blue Fire Part 2
08.Vertigo Feeling
09.December Dew
10.Nadsat Boys
12.Gulf (Between You And me)
13.Under The violent Sky
14.Thanks Tom

Win Smith (Vocals/Bass/Guitar/Keyboards)
Steve Good (Guitar)
Al Mogg (Drums)

Violent Sky from London feature members of "Seventh Seance", "Black Poets" and "Ghostfire".
In june 2014 they announced that after a recent session with "Ghostfire" (A steampunk styled band in case you dont know) they were going to go into the studios to record "a selection of the most righteous dark prog metal possible".

I first heard them on the GASP Radio show, where on the facebook page i made a comment that the track playing sounded like David Bowie fronting a Hendrix tribute band, they then sent me a copy to review, i wonder what to expect?

'Take Your Time' is a fairly straight forward indie tinged rock song with a vocal that reminds me of Robert Palmer, i wonder if every song is going to remind me of a different vocalist?
Guitar solo at the end is quite stunning!

The next track is 37 seconds of pointless filler, again an example of a band making a seperate track out of something that should be tacked on at the beginning of the next song.

However that little mistake is soon laid to rest as 'Shadow Man' kicks in with a dirty/grungy blues styled rocker with more inspired guitar work, great solid bass work and drum beats to match.The vocals seem to be all Mr.Smith and very good they are too.

In terms of song structure, 'Frances In The Gallery Of Stars' is not a million miles away from Black Sabbath's Heaven & Hell, this one is slow, brooding and very anthemic, great vocal delivery again almost folk rock tinged and more of that excellent guitar work.

Up next is another bloody filler, so onwards to 'Cold Blue Fire Part 1/Part 2' , slow moody start with some early Bauhaus sounds lurking, in fact quite a lot of Bela Lugosi's Dead and Hollow Hills detected by my braincell.No vocals on Part 1, Part 2 changes the pace with some modern gothic rock music and with rhythms not unlike The Mission God's Own Medicine era.Gets frantic towards the end with the drums and guitar!

'Vertigo Feeling', now this was the track i originally heard, still has that Bowie style circa Scary Monsters and have realised that the music is not so much hendrix but the legendary Jeff Healey Band.Still a brilliant track, full of rhythm and power.

That 'Heaven & Hell' vibe returns for 'December Dew', this however is more haunting complete with some nice synth and an emotive vocal performance, nicely mixed to create an intresting mix of melody and agression.

The album is now becoming increasing more intresting following on from the last few tracks 'Nadsat Boys' retains a dark ambience to start with, then turns into a hard rock/goth song, this one is driven by the vocals, dark and dangerous yet the level remains the same over both quiet and heavy musical backing.Really nice f/x on the guitar sound.

Third strike for another filler, oh dear, but hey ho after 47 seconds comes 'Gulf Between You And Me' with some more of that screaming hendrix/healey guitar work.
This one really is a guitar workout, backed with some pounding bass lines.

'Under The Violent Sky' is more of that modern blues rock, more of that guitar sound which i love and another solid track.

You know the last track, well its another filler, this one seemingly more pointless that all the others!

Quite an album all in all, apart from the fillers, one thing this is not though is dark progressive metal, in fact the only word to take from that is "Dark", if anything this is a fine example of a modern take on classic rock blended with gothic rock, except the ones that are blues.
I like stuff like this, it doesn't fit into any obvious genre, its a mixed bag and highly listenable again and again.

Rating 8/10
For Fans Of: Jeff Healey Band, The Cult, The Mission, Ghostfire, Godzilla Black, Joy Division

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Gypsy - Twisted Levity EP (CD Review)

01.Gimme Your Load
02.The Shoemaker
03.New Boy In Town
04.Turned Into Stone
05.Judgment Day

Soumalya Das (Guitar)
Soumya Basu (Bass)
Shibaji Bose (Drums)
Sankalan Samaddar (Vocals)
Swarnabha Gupta (Sitar)
Sayandip Pahari (Vocals)

From Kolkata in India, formed in may 2013, the band describe themselves as a hard rock meets glam metal band with a sitar player!

While 'Gimme Your Load' certainly has touches of the american glam style of early motley crue, it has to be said that this has more in common with mid 70's hard rock, endless riffs and some high pitched vocals, all with a radio friendly swagger.

I dectect some old Saxon riffs here on 'The Shoemaker' in fact the overall feel here is NWOBHM, then comes 'New Boy In Town' a funky little rocker that has some stunning and dirty sounding guitarwork thrown in over a great "live" sounding drum pattern, kinda Red Hot Chili Peppers style, except could that be a sitar solo through some f/x pedals? just WOW!

'Turned Into Stone' returns to the NWOBHM style of say Diamond Head, its a fast moving solid piece of classic rock.

Finally comes 'Judgement Day' (No pun intended), a slow melodic near ballad, this one builds then falls back to allow some john sykes style guitar work and then a sitar solo, it works well, just like jim sullivan did with his Lord Sitar crossover album way back in the late 1960's.

Rating 9/10
For Fans Of: Classic Rock, Deep Purple, Diamond Head, NWOBHM

Friday, 2 January 2015

Apocryphal Voice - Pain & Pleasure (CD review)

01.Underneath The Mask
02.A Failed Species
03.As Fire Itself Dances
04.Tonhue Of Kali
05.Muddy Trail
06.Inner Turmoil
07.Rebel Angels
08.Waves Of Transparency
09.Megalomaniac Euphoria

Juhani Jokisalo (Guitar/Bass/Vocals)
Ville Salonen (Drums)

Apocryphal Voice is a metal duo from Finland formed in 1999.
The roots of Apocryphal Voice come from around '98-'99 when Juhani felt compelled to create something very different from the conventional and soothing styled Absent Silence he was as a bassist in at the time. Something dissonant and intense art demanded to come forward due to emotional turmoil. He left the old band and found out that finding musicians driven for rebellious unconventional form was nearly impossible, so a drummer Ville Salonen landed as the only other member for this new band.

"The Sickening", a strange and anguished burst of 3 songs, was recorded in late 2000 to be merely a demo, and it was sent here and there to numerous small labels. A label called Rage Of Achilles somehow got hold of the demo and was willing to release it as an official mini-cd.

During following years the album "Stilltrapped" was composed, with the unflinchingly sincere overall theme of personal depression. Little by little, it was self-produced and recorded, with the exception of drumtracks recorded last and in an actual professional studio.

'Underneath The Mask' may have a "nice" little piano opening but it soon becomes a raw yet melodic take on black metal in the style of early darkthrone and satyricon.

The speed increases with 'A Failed Species', very much a drum driven piece with frantic double pedal work, some intresting and clever timing changes keep this one less predictable.

Up next is an 8 minute monster called 'As Fire Itself Dances', straight forward riffs and more frantic drumming are tempered with some quality vocals with that perfect blend of agression and harmony.

'Tongue Of Kali' sticks to the same idea, then comes 'Muddy Trail' a slower and at times almost confusing sounding song, seems to be a bid muddled with none of the instruments really following obvious chord structures, with these strange timings at the forefront the high speed pace of the double pedal work seems to be the only constant, throw into this some near industrial synthlike breakdowns and you have a very intresting piece.

'Inner Turmoil' is another raw song, this one goes for a rough vocal and sounds more like a demo than a finished song, whilst the next song 'Rebel Angels' has an early death metal sound.

An epic 11 minutes of awesome is next 'Waves Of Transparency' just has it all, slow and fast, weird and normal, various vocal styles and endless timing changes.
This one is the first to really stand out as "Avant-garde", the obvious choice of band to say this sounds like is early Celtic Frost.

'Megalomaniac Euphoria' ends with some fast and venomous vocals with drumming to match, this song seems to carry on the feel of the previous song without the quiet bits!

Rating 9/10
For fans of: Darkthrone, Satyricon, Celtic Frost, Mayhem

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Chalice - Chalice EP (Cassette Review)

03.Merlin's Lament
04.Raise Your Chalice


Traditional heavy/doom metal band from the misty mountains of Vermont, there is little information on them, in fact i recieved none at all and their facebook page was no help either, still this is a limited edition cassette release of just 95 copies from the 'War On All Fronts' label.

Coming out with some pure NWOBHM sounding music on 'Witchfynder', solid riffs, pounding drums and some quality screaming vocals.

'Gaudete' is a mixture of neo pagan folk and NWOBHM doom, beautiful vocals really make this one something a bit special.

At 11 minutes 'Merlins Lament' starts with a slow and simple guitar strum, soon turning into another occult/folk song, the heavy side of things is more up to date, a crushing but melodic heavy metal workout that towards the end borderlines some proto thrash.

Finally a symphonic beginning greets 'Raise Your Chalice', this one is reminiscent of early 70's guitar lead rock blending the power of say Blackmore and the dual guitar sounds of early wishbone ash, then somehow ends up like Judas Priest.

Totally brilliant little EP, sure they are looking back for their influences but have produced a solid modern heavy metal record (err sorry tape).
One to look out for this year.

Rating 10/10
For fans of: Amulet, Blood Ceremony, Cathedral, Crystal Viper, The Oath