Appice – “Sinister”

Appice – “Sinister” (Steamhammer / SPV) Oh wow, ever wondered what would happen if legendary drum brothers Carmine and Vinnie Appice got together to record an album – well, check out “Sinister”! With big brother Carmine making his name with Rod Stewart and Ozzy Osbourne and Vinnie drumming for Sabbath and Dio, everyone knows the skills and power these guys have, and on this 13 track monster they invited just a few (!) friends to join them in creating something truly special. From Paul Shortino (Rough Cutt, Ex-Quiet Riot), Robin McAuley (MSG) and Chas West (Ex-Bonham, Ex-Lynch Mob) among the vocalists, … Continue reading

Robin Beck – “Love Is Coming”

Robin Beck – “Love Is Coming” (Frontiers Records) Every now and then an album comes along that simply blows you away. Maybe not for its heaviness, nor its speed, let alone evilness but instead its soul carrying majesty. As remarkable as it sounds, this week’s award has to go to legendary AOR starlet Robin Beck. The US equivalent to Bonnie Tyler when she rocks, but equally comparable to Heart’s Anne Wilson in her power ballads while being as tender as Celine Dion, Beck is a top name in her own right, having begun her career as a backing singer for … Continue reading

Communic – “Where Echoes Gather”

Communic – “Where Echoes Gather” (AFM Records) Founded during the early millennium years, Communic were definitely a name – not in least because they were one of the few Norwegian prog metal bands at the time! Going from strength to strength with regular charting releases and increased touring, including an appearance at 2005’s Rock Hard Festival, the band continued to be active on all fronts until the end of the decade. Thereafter, around 2013, things went quiet as founders Oddleif Stensland (vocals, guitar) and drummer Tor Atle Andersen started families of their own in succession, prompting a hiatus until now. However, … Continue reading

Serenity – “Lionheart”

Serenity – “Lionheart” (Napalm Records) Winners of this year’s Amadeus Music Award, great things are happening for this Austrian symphonic metal band – not in the least this stupendous release based on Richard The Lionheart! One of the most notable figures in European history, the exploits of King Richard are well known and Serenity have done a very fine job on the 13 tracks here, much of which is actually based on historical fact. Although classically rooted and certainly using orchestral arrangements, there is also a heavy power metal aspect that adds energy to the material that allows it to take … Continue reading

Heretic – “A Game You Cannot Win”

Heretic – “A Game You Cannot Win” (Dissonance) A speed thrash name from back in the 80s, Heretic played shows in the LA area with no less than Armored Saint, Saxon, Metallica, Lita Ford, Helloween, Motorhead, Lizzy Borden and Malice – to name but a few! Featured on “Metal Massacre VII” before issuing their debut in 1988, the band would sadly disband after losing vocalist Mike Howe to Metal Church, ironically resulting in founder guitarist Brian Korban later forming Reverend with ex Metal Church vocalist Dave Wayne!!!! Resurrecting (no pun intended) Heretic in 2011, the band released their sophomore the … Continue reading

Kohti Tuhoa – “Pelon Neljäs Valtakunta”

Kohti Tuhoa – “Pelon Neljäs Valtakunta” (Svart Records) Ever wondered what D-Beat legends Discharge would sound like if they had a chick doing the vocals – then check out Kohti Tuhoa! Formed only 3 years ago and hailing from Finland, this noisy 4 piece have already released an EP and debut, and now in preparation for their 1st US tour, unleash this blistering sophomore. Fronted by the predatorial Helena, who along with trademark roars and hoarse shout outs belches out a fair amount of grunting and moaning as if she’s giving birth, Ville’s guitars provide the heavy nihilistic tones, shredding riffs and … Continue reading

L.A. Guns – single & tour

As the revival of the classic 80’s hard rock and heavy metal scene continues unabated in the 21st century, one reunion has long been top of the wish list of many a fan: the combination of Tracii Guns and Phil Lewis under the L.A. Guns banner. Now, what once seemed like a distant memory with no hope of return has finally come about and those supporters of the band have been amply rewarded for keeping their fingers crossed and hopes up.  Continue reading

Cannibal Corpse – Red Before Black

CANNIBAL CORPSE will release their 14th full-length, ‘Red Before Black’, via Metal Blade Records. For another preview of ‘Red Before Black’, the title track can now be streamed here. ‘Code of the Slashers’ can be viewed at: – where the record can also be pre-ordered in the following formats: Continue reading