Continuing their near 40 year onslaught, Vader show little signs of flagging with this 5 tracker preparing us for their full scale attack later this year! Formed in 1983, this Polish outfit have gone thru different evolutions over time, be it speed to thrash and finally death metal. These days, they seem to prefer extreme metal and I’d agree, having found a medium that sits comfortably between all those aforementioned styles, drawing inspiration from both past and present in keeping this veteran band very much in the fore of people’s minds. Comprising 3 new songs, this EP also contains a new version of ‘Litany’, recorded almost 20 years ago but still very much a fan favourite, as acknowledged by the band themselves, who promise to feature more songs live from this classic release. Lastly, there’s an impressive cover of ‘Steeler’ from Judas Priest which seems perfectly suited to Vader’s extreme style, capturing both its aggression and powering grooves. Blast beating in with ‘Grand Deceiver’, the whirring riffola and stampeding drums – not to mention blistering solo – show Vader still have plenty of rocket fuel in their gas tanks, but the catchy arrangements and classy melodies are what make this one count. Opening neo classically on ‘Emptiness’, there’s a subtle gear change down as does Piotr Wiwczarek vocally into a more classic death metal style but with plenty of rock n roll guitar breaks along with a slower, headbanging groove before ‘Despair’ once again ignites the fire of friction less kick pedalling, driller killer riffola and brutish drawls of ‘…there’s nobody here..!’. Capped off by Wes Benscoter’s (Slayer, Kreator) artwork, which also featured on “De Profundis” in 1995, “Thy Messenger” is an impressive foretaste in anticipation of Vader’s upcoming summer tour and next release!
Diamond Head – “The Coffin Train” (Silver Lining Music)
Battle Helm Rating
Famed forever for being one of Metallica’s influences, the sun certainly shone on Diamond Head back in the day, who even while still at school were confident enough to write their own material and play to sizeable followings. So much so in fact, that it didn’t take long before the fledgling band were supporting AC/DC and Iron Maiden, as well as attracting attention from a certain Leber / Krebs Management, who would go on to manage Metallica! However, t’was not to be and while Maiden and Def Leppard would go onto become household names, Diamond Head’s fortune took repeated turns for the worse, even though breaks came their way over the course of time. There were many reasons for this which are probably best laid to rest, however, in 2016 the band released their self titled 7th album that would see the star shining in their cosmos once again. With founder guitarist Brian Tatler now joined by vocalist Rasmus Bom Andersen, a killer writing combination would now be forged reactivating this band onto greater fortune as well as doing justice to their legacy! Despite its sombre title, this 8th album is anything but that, instead blowing my mind as a high energy hard rock album proudly taking in the band’s NWOBHM roots through Tatler, while having a modern edge thanks to Andersen. The 10 tracks definitely err towards the glory days of the band when the likes of ‘Am I Evil’ and ‘The Prince’ were wowing many a young headbanger, including myself, given their obvious heaviness yet also alluring melody, and all presented with such class thanks to the terrific musicianship. “The Coffin Train” has this in abundance throughout, with Tatler producing some of his best riffs and guitar work in many a year, while Andersen, vocally reminiscent in many places to Sean Harris, has done a superb job equally in the production of this release. Opening with the chugging ‘Belly Of The Beast’, the Zepp influences are evident in Andersen’s highs and yelps, while Tatler’s roaring riffs and kick ass licks are undeniable in making this a head shaker from the off as the twin guitar solos wail and yell as the drums go into double bass mode – wow! Burning through with even more guitar dexterity on ‘The Messenger’, you really get to appreciate why Brian Tatler is still regarded as one of NWOBHM’s greatest (if underrated) guitarists, and as the massive groove just rocks right into you graced by Andersen’s red blooded vocals, you realise that Diamond Head have lost none of their spirit and why the stars have always been in their grasp. With the crystal clear but loud sound being another plus point of the album, the guitar work once again shines on ‘Death By Design’ which is nothing short of classic and in my opinion a worthy successor to ‘Am I Evil’ thanks to its captivating lead melody, unbelievable balls deep raging riff and in no small part, Andersen’s soulful highs adding that final crucial component to Diamond Head’s winning formula. At last, Brian and Diamond Head may have found that long elusive success.
Visigoth – “Bells Of Awakening” Single (Metal Blade Records)
Battle Helm Rating
Be still my beating heart – if Visigoth’s sophomore last year didn’t fill me with red blooded passion in search of a noble quest, then good sirs, this humble but most braven offering certainly does! Released to satiate the ravenous European hoards on the eve of their tour there, Visigoth’s epic heavy metal has been capturing knightly hearts and enamouring many a lady since they began close to a decade ago. This single may only have 2 tracks but it doesn’t lack whatsoever in conveying the incredible passion and spirit inherent in the band’s music. If you are after prancing ponies then look elsewhere, for this is true metal forged from iron riff power, saintly vocals and thundering hoof beats all in search of glory! As ‘Abysswalker’ kicks off you’ll know just what I mean as Jake Rogers leads the rally of heavy riffs and pounding drums yet tempered so skilfully by his soulful vocals singing ‘…angels fire fill my raging heart as I charge into the endless night..’ before the harmonious chorus and twin melodic guitar solos from Leeland Campana and Jamison Palmer hit home unto your heart. Indeed, even more impassioned is ‘Fireseeker’ as Rogers stirring voice complements the heavy riffs laced with tender guitar melodies as the majestic track alternates in tempos, be it galloping at times while elsewhere slower to allow the music to generously soak into your soul. “Bells Of Awakening” is pure heavy metal bliss and a great foreshadow of even bigger things to come!
Totally insane. If grindcore is your thang, then you’ll be weeping with joy on this one. Going for almost a decade, Full Of Hell havereleased 3 prior albums and a shitloada singles, splits, compilations, live releases and EPs. Indeed, “Weeping Choir” comes shortly after its 2017 predecessor “Trumpeting Ecstasy”, and given this is a heavy touring band, it’s easy to appreciate why these guys are well known and respected in underground circles. This 4th album shows little sign of any noise abatement mixing in grind with electronics and the astounding vocal extremity of Dylan Walker who simply chucks everything at you from screaming variations to bowel inducing gutturals and hoarse aggression that could give any hardcore band a run fer their money. Across 11 tracks, most of which are just over a minute, the aural blitz is unrelenting although the band do occasionally gear it down and offer the odd moment of serenity. Just witness the stampede on ‘Haunted Arches’, as monster noise riffs mosh it up to Walker’s cat screeching offset by roars before an utterly insane diddly dee fret board run closes while on ‘Downward’, heavy roars conspire with massive drums to ignite the nuclear cement mixer before spinning out into hardcore – a brilliant contrast I might add – and then returning back to the chunder. Throwing you off piste again is the 6 1/2 minute ‘Armory Of Obsidian Glass’, whose droning amps lead the slow, black funeral of grim doom riffs, terrifying screams and bestial roars before giving way to a sombre ambient passage that heralds a black crescendo to close off this epic number – unreal! Returning to the animal grind on ‘Silmaril’, it’s grunts, pig squeals and screams galore on this primitive noise slaughter as Dave Bland’s drumming is anything but that given the manic frenzy. If you’re looking for a nice bit of mental demolition then check out Full Of Hell, cos they certainly live up to their name in every aspect.
1914 – “The Blind Leading The Blind” (Napalm Records)
Battle Helm Rating
Well, if you’re gonna theme your band on the First World War, and especially its horrors of trench warfare, gas attacks and machine gun slaughter, then playing blackened doom death would seem to be the way to go! However, going well beyond a concept is this Ukrainian band, both named after the start of WW1 and intentionally formed in 2014, the 100th anniversary of The Great War. Even more fascinating is vocalist Dmytro Kumar’s historical and archaeological obsession with that war, not just studying battles and its historical aspects to great detail, but also digging to uncover lost forgotten soldiers in his personal life! As such, 1914 is no loose themed outfit, even if the guys dress up as (German) soldiers and have somewhat ludicrous titles of ‘2.Division, Infanterie-Regiment Nr.147, Oberleutnant – Ditmar Kumar’ (!), but actually are made up of 20 year + veterans of Ukraine’s underground scene covering hardcore-punk, grindcore, brutal death, black metal, stoner, noise, industrial, nu-metal, MDM. Whatever your views on the concept, “The Blind Leading The Blind” is the band’s sophomore, and an impressive one at that across its 11 tracks, including an excellent cover of The Exploited’s ‘Beat The Bastards’. With an immense and dark sound, the music of 1914 interestingly isn’t content to rest on its obvious aggression and ghastly brutality, but commendably succeeds in being powerfully atmospheric and actually moving in places, possibly because the band themselves aren’t war mongers but seem more like philosophers, pondering on what it is in man’s nature that makes him so violent. Equally, being from a country with a history and indeed, at present locked in war, their music is particular poignant ‘…because those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it..’. Of course the war theme isn’t new with Sabaton immediately springing to mind, but 1914 are less singalong, more epic and certainly far darker. Grinding slowly like a sturmmann shining his bayonet, ‘A7V Mephisto’ closes in menacingly through vicious, dirty riffs and Kumar’s dark drawls, then as the drums chatter like a machine gun, cold melodies burst like star shells as Kumar starts to get increasingly rawer until they go over the top with speed before returning to the freezing blackness of the night as defined by slow precision drum and cymbal work, contorted riffs and the ugly, visceral tones of Kumar. Bombarding in before launching a full black death assault on ‘C’est Mon Dernier Pigeon’, the drums fire like relentless artillery while a mixture of screams, roars and chants of ‘kill! kill! kill!’ amid a ferocious kick beat bring home the insanity before a slow death passage with plenty of reverb and deep bass runs set the tone for an ominous melody and Kumar growling like a beast, all humanity lost. At 10 minutes long, ‘The Hundred Days Offensive’ lives up to its title in being the longest track on the album, beginning with light acoustics before a black death epic of powerful catchy riffs, cold clanging melodies, pagan roars and mid paced double bass drumming unfolds, shifting between faster and slower speeds along with quieter pieces graced by spoken word but always exuding a captivating presence throughout. Indeed, it is this hold on the listener that 1914 have attained and whatever their eccentricities, this is a remarkable album to their credit. And just as a final thought, “The Blind Leading The Blind” was released at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month (Central European Time) – the 100th Anniversary of the end of The Great War.
American Glutton – “Fruit Will Rot” EP (From The Ashes Records)
Battle Helm Rating
Well, if ya didn’t get to hear the awesome power trio of guitarist Tommy Harrison (Dogs of Pleasure), bassist Dani Harrison (Hippie Werewolves, The Trainwreckers) and well known solo southern vocalist Raven Cain serving it up thick n mean on 2017’s red blooded debut “Dish Served Cold”, then this smokin’ 7 track EP will have you salivating for even more. Combing Sabbath’s droning fuzz with Southern boogie, sprinkled here n there with Priest and other classic rockers, American Glutton don’t hold back on their massive lashings of groove whatsoever – and all US certified grade ‘A’ I might add! Now expanded to include drummer Kirk Ferguson (Conflict Of Interest), the group has wisely expanded its sights on the heavy metal scene in Europe, where the fuzz thick drone on ‘Ego Maniac’ will have any headbanger in a fit before Cain’s laid back soul along the lines of ‘…I’ll take it anyway I can get it…’ mellows them out in true, Southern fried fashion. Then there’s the dirty riffs to ‘Heaven And Hell’ along with the thudding drums of Ferguson adding a thick fuzz carpet over the top of which comes Cain’s higher and cleaner vocals, but still brimming with plenty of sass n fire as Tommy’s guitar stokes it even more through his licks and solo. Bringing in the cowpoke blues on ‘Lies’, Cain’s Southern soul is just all heart as it’s classily backed by some deep acoustic guitar before firing off with double kick drums and massive fuzz riffs on this incredible fire n ice number that really impresses. And if there’s an outlaw in you, then ‘FU’ is definitely for you, an all out rager with aggressive riffs, rock dog vocals of ‘..we’re out of control in the midst of insanity..make your mockery out’ve humanity..’ and pistoning drums all leading up to the huge shouted out chorus of ‘…you can kiss my ass, that’s the truth…an’ if ya don’t like that…then hey – FUCK YOU!!’. Big ass grooves and big time attitude made for the big country, it’s all over American Glutton.
The latest visual cut from Cannibal Corpse is from the mind of horror FX veteran Doug Sakmann. The concept builds upon the world brought to life by Zev Deans in the previously released “Code of the Slashers” video but adds significantly to the visual gore department. Sakmann shot the concept in Philadelphia, PA and the live footage was captured by Jesse Davis in San Francisco, CA. The video stars adult performers Nadia White and Talia Satana, as well as actresses Sonja Century, Kim Reo, and actor Alex Webster as the final kill of the video.
“Red Before Black” was edited by Metal Blade’s own Vince Edwards and then meticulously processed by colorist/senior lead flame artist Luc Job (a pioneer in digital imagery for the last 25 years who has worked with directors David Lachapelle, Ridley Scott and Darren Aronofsky and clients like BMW, Dolce & Gabbana) who was all too happy to assist to bring the gratuitous bloodshed and gore to life forCannibal Corpse!
Cannibal Corpse are currently on tour with Slayer, Lamb of God, and Amon Amarth. Visit http://cannibalcorpse.net/tour-dates/ and follow the band in bandsintown to never miss a show near you again.
Slayer tour dates
w/ Lamb of God, Amon Amarth, Cannibal Corpse
May 20 – Youngstown, OH – Covel Centre
May 22 – Ottawa, ON – Canadian Tire Centre
May 24 – BB&T Pavilion – Camden, NJ
May 25 – Xfinity Center – Mansfield, MA
Cannibal Corpse Summer 2019 Europe Tour Dates
June 8 – Gelsenkirchen, DE – Rock Hard Festival
June 9 – Regensburg, DE – Event Hall Airport
June 10 – Budapest, HU – A38
June 11 – Novi Sad, RS – Novosadski Sajam
June 12 – Cluj-Napoca, RO – Form
June 13 – Bucharest, RO – Quantic
June 14 – Sofia, BG – Mix Tape 5
June 15 – Thessaloniki, GR – Principal Club Theater
June 16 – Athens, GR – Piraeus 117 Academy
June 18 – Skopje, MK – MKC
June 20 – Zagreb, HR – Boogaloo
June 21 – Salzburg, AT – Rockhouse
June 22 – Aarau, CH – Kiff
June 23 – Clisson, FR – Hellfest
June 24 – Lyon, FR – Ninkasi Kao
June 25 – Parma, IT – Villa Del Fulcino
June 27 – Lindau, DE – Club Vaudeville
June 28 – Graefenhainichen, DE – Full Force
June 29 – Dokkum, NL – Dokk’Em Open Air
June 30 – Aschaffenburg, DE – Colos-Saal
July 2 – Bremen, DE – Tivoli
July 3 – Kiel, DE – Pumpe
July 4 – Trutnov, CZ – Obscene Extreme
July 5 – Stuttgart, DE – LKA Longhorn
July 6 – Limoges, FR – CCM John Lennon
July 7 – Barcelona, ES – Rock Fest Barcelona
Cannibal Corpse is touring in support of their latest album, Red Before Black. Many words come to mind when you hear the name Cannibal Corpse, but one truly defines the soon-to-be thirty-year death metal veterans: Unstoppable. Produced by Erik Rutan (Hate Eternal, Goatwhore), Red Before Black serves to not only reiterate this but to once more raise the stakes, making it very clear who sets the standard when it comes to always compelling music that is equally brutal and complex. Moreover, the band have pushed themselves again, ensuring that it stands out from their catalog.
“Throughout our career we’ve tried to improve the precision of both our musical execution and our album production, while still maintaining full-on aggression. ‘Red Before Black’ continues in that direction, but might go even further on the aggressive side of things. It’s definitely precise, but it has a rawness to it that goes beyond anything we’ve done recently,” asserts bassist Alex Webster. “We really worked super hard crafting these songs, practicing them, and getting them where we wanted to be more so than on any of our previous albums,” adds drummer Paul Mazurkiewicz. “And as Alex said, musically I think it’s the most raw sound we’ve had – and at the same time I think it’s our most focused, tightest and catchiest record.”
Doug Sakmann – the maniac behind the ‘Punk Rock Holocaust’ live concert/horror comedy series based on the Vans Warped Tour as well as producer and actor for Troma Entertainment – creators of ‘The Toxic Avenger’ and ‘Class of Nuke Em High’. You may also recognize him as Sgt. Kabukiman N.Y.P.D, as he has been portraying the company’s flagship character for the last 20 years. Kabukiman hosts his own variety show – ‘Kabukiman’s Cocktail Corner’ on the Troma Movies network and is currently developing a sequel to the original movie – ‘Kabukiman Returns’.
Outside of his work with Troma, Sakmann is an accomplished producer and director – having produced over forty feature films and many TV projects, music videos, short films & commercials. Doug also creates monsters and horrific blood & gore as a skilled SPFX Artist and FX Supervisor around the world.
Most recently Sakmann co-produced and created SPFX for Troma latest movie directed by studio head Lloyd Kaufman – ‘Shakespeare’s Shitstorm’ – a Tromatic take on Shakespeare’s final stage play ‘The Tempest’ that will be released this Fall. You can also see his handiwork in the horror film ‘Cut Shoot Kill’ as he produced, created FX for and is featured in the movie now available on Amazon Prime and most VOD outlets. For more info: http://www.dougsakmann.com/
Black Star Riders release a video to accompany their new single “Another State Of Grace”. Acool performance videothat introduces the new band lineup, featuring Chad Szeliga (Drums) and Christian Martucci (Lead Guitar), who join Ricky Warwick (guitar,vocals), Scott Gorham (guitar) and Robbie Crane (bass). See the video HERE
Vocalist Ricky Warwick says “We wanted a video that was direct, straightforward and uncompromising. To portray the power and meaning behind the song!”
The single is taken from the forthcoming album of the same name, another stunning collection of songs that will further develop the band’s burgeoning reputation as one of the most essential contemporary rock acts. Recorded at Sphere Studios in Burbank, California in February 2019, “Another State Of Grace” was produced & mixed by Jay Ruston (Stone Sour, Anthrax, Uriah Heep).
The album is available on CD, vinyl and vinyl picture disc, limited edition boxset and limited edition light green vinyl. Album pre-order is available
After a lengthy period off the road, Black Star Ridersare back with a 15 date UK & Ireland Tour with special guests Stone Brokenand Wayward Sons. Dates for Black Star Riders 2019 UK & Ireland Tour are:
Thursday 10thOctober O2 Academy, Bristol
Friday 11thOctober Corn Exchange, Cambridge
Saturday 12thOctober O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire
Sunday 13thOctober William Aston Hall, Wrexham
Wednesday 16thOctober Academy, Dublin *
Thursday 17thOctober Limelight, Belfast *
Friday 18thOctober Braehead Arena, Glasgow §
Saturday 19thOctober O2 Academy, Newcastle
Sunday 20thOctober Rock City, Nottingham
Tuesday 22ndOctober De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill
Wednesday 23rdOctober O2 Academy, Bournemouth
Thursday 24thOctober University Great Hall, Cardiff
Friday 25thOctober Steel Mill, Wolverhampton
Saturday 26thOctober O2 Academy, Leeds
Sunday 27thOctober O2 Ritz, Manchester
For the first time in three decades, POSSESSED have released a new album entitled Revelations Of Oblivion. Today the band premiere the official music video for new song ‘Graven’. The video was directed by Scott Hansen of Digital Thunderdome (WILLIE NELSON, DEICIDE, CARNIFEX, PRONG) and stars renowned Swedish actor, Peter Stormare (FARGO, PRISON BREAK, THE BIG LEBOWSKI).
Jeff Becerra comments, “We are extremely excited to release our new music video for the song ‘Graven’. This is actually our very first cinematic music video. I want to say thank you to my good friend Peter Stormare for everything and for being such an amazing inspiration. Of course, thank you to my band mates. And to Nuclear Blast.”
Order Revelations Of Oblivion here: nuclearblast.com/possessed-revelations
“This album from start to release has been a fantastic experience. All of us in Possessed hope you enjoy this newest release and we look forward to touring and creating much more new music in the future. We appreciate all of your support and dedication.Hope to see you during our upcoming tours & shows soon. Thank you to each and every one of you for your inspiration and dedication to Possessed.” ~ In Fire & Hell ~ Jeff Becerra & POSSESSED
Revelations Of Oblivion was recorded at NRG studios and Titan Studios with Jeff Becerra as executive producer and Daniel Gonzalez as co-producer for the album. Mixing and mastering was handled by Peter Tägtgren (HYPOCRISY, PAIN, BLOODBATH) at Abyss Studios in Sweden. For the artwork, the band enlisted Polish artist Zbigniew Bielak (PARADISE LOST, ABSU, DEICIDE, GHOST, GORGUTS) to create a piece that brought back the notion of true fear that was once associated with the idea of evil.
Jeff Becerra explains: “Working with Peter was a fantastic experience. We put a great deal of thought into who we wanted to produce our new album. Since we hadn’t made an all-new material release in well over 30 years, it was essential that we found the right person. Peter’s name kept coming up over and over, and after speaking with my bandmates they all really liked Peter as he is more organic, and somebody we felt would fit in well with our process.”
Revelations Of Oblivion will be available as follows:
• CD jewel with O-card
▪ Black, White, Clear, Swirl
Album Art T-Shirt
• Album Art Longlsleeve
• Album Art Hoodie
• Box set (limited to 666 worldwide)
◦ Includes the following items:
▪ Single Vinyl – Live At Bloodstock Open Air 2017
▪ Double Vinyl – Revelations Of Oblivion
▪ Blu-ray – Live At Bloodstock Open Air 2017
▪ CD – Live At Bloodstock Open Air 2017
▪ CD – Revelations Of Oblivion
Order Revelations Of Oblivion: nuclearblast.com/possessed-revelations
Turilli / Lione RHAPSODY – the new group featuring original RHAPSODY members Luca Turilli and Fabio Lione, completed by former RHAPSODY members Dominique Leurquin, Patrice Guers andAlex Holzwarth – recently announced the release of their debut album Zero Gravity (Rebirth And Evolution), on July 5th, 2019 via Nuclear Blast (King Records in Japan & Rest of Asia). After revealing new track ‘Phoenix Rising’ a few weeks ago, the band has now launched the first part of an album trailer series. Watch as Luca discusses his reunion with Fabio after all these years.
Pre-order Zero Gravity (Rebirth And Evolution) now: http://nblast.de/TLRhapsodyZeroGravity
Pre-order the album digitally to receive ‘Phoenix Rising’ instantly (via Amazon and iTunes only).
Pre-save the album via Spotify: http://nblast.de/TLRhapsodyPreSave
Listen to ‘Phoenix Rising’ in the NB New Releases Playlists:
http://nblast.de/SpotifyNewReleases / http://nblast.de/AppleMusicNewReleases
Comprised of 10 tracks, the record was produced by Luca and Fabio themselves, whilst Simone Mularoni (Domination Studio, San Marino) took care of its recording, engineering, mixing and mastering. Guest appearances by Elize Ryd (AMARANTHE) and Mark Basile (DGM) among others round off Turilli / Lione RHAPSODY’s first studio album. The contemporary cover artwork was designed by Stefan Heilemann (EPICA, PAIN, LINDEMANN etc.), who has previously worked on both Luca Turilli’s RHAPSODY records.
Luca states, “Zero Gravity (Rebirth And Evolution) is much more than an album title. It is a real band mantra underlining the evolution of a great artistic collaboration, a modern day approach and the intention to evolve the band’s sound to a new frontier, conceptually, musically and lyrically. This debut album will definitely present the multiple faces of our new band: modern ultra-heavy guitars, a vocal roller-coaster inspired by QUEEN’s masterworks, dramatic arrangements, breathing soundscapes enriched by ethnic music elements from different continents and surely the most emotional and intense lyrics we ever had. The new artwork realized by Heile represents the synthesis of such evolution and the deep heartfelt message related with it!”
Adds Fabio, “Zero Gravity (Rebirth And Evolution) represents the perfect evolution of a musical vision we had, a great artistic collaboration to create a new fresh sound with amazing ideas, great production, hard work from great musicians and people involved and most importantly, a fantastic start for this new band. The new artwork realized by Heile represents the synthesis of such evolution in music and an amazing work that underlines the musical adventure you will have and feel listening to the record.”
In support of the album, the band set up a crowdfunding campaign to finance the recording process, through which they collected an overwhelming amount of €60,000 from their loyal and dedicated fanbase.
Turilli / Lione RHAPSODY live:
05.07. E Barcelona – Rock Fest
06.07. I Taneto di Gattatico – Circolo Arci Fuori Orario
09.07. H Dunaújváros – Rockmaraton
11.07. CZ Vizovice – Masters of Rock
26.09. FIN Helsinki – The Circus