Bloodbound – “Stormborn”

Bloodbound – “Stormborn” (AFM Records) Majestic power metal from Sweden! Taking the chugging riffola of Judas Priest graced by operatic choirs a la Powerwolf along with trademark melodies, Bloodbound go right for the throat with their epic, chest beating metal that is as powerful in its sword wielding as it is in its heart, along with singalong potential coming across as a lighter (or mebbe I should say less serious) version of Accept or Manowar. It all harks back to the inspiration behind the band’s name that originates from the dark ages when men made ‘blood oaths’ linking the two… Continue reading

King Diamond – “Dreams Of Horror”

King Diamond – “Dreams Of Horror” 2CD (Metal Blade Records) Celebrating 30 years in his namesake band, King Diamond has chosen to mark his anniversary with this compilation personally selected by himself across his 12 studio albums, from 1986’s “Fatal Portrait” right up to date with “Give Me Your Soul….Please”. Divided into 2 CDs spanning his respective careers with firstly Roadrunner and more recently Metal Blade, each of the 23 tracks has been remastered by the King and his long time guitarist buddy Andy LaRoque, both confident that these are the ultimate versions of each of these songs and no… Continue reading

Monster Magnet – “Milking The Stars: A Re-Imagining Of Last Patrol”

Monster Magnet – “Milking The Stars: A Re-Imagining Of Last Patrol” (Napalm Records) WTF – didn’t we already hear this one?! Well, yeah baby, but this one is in a whole new groove. If last year’s “Last Patrol” proper was for the mainstream, then ‘….Re-Imagining…’ is the full on, tripped out version that MM main man Dave Wyndorf imagined to be in the style of the 60s – and then some! Re-mixed, re-arranged and re-recorded to that end in terms of the six original songs, there are also two live bonus tracks in ‘Last Patrol’ and Donovan’s ‘Three Kingfishers’ as… Continue reading

Korzus – “Legion”

Korzus – “Legion” (AFM Records) Blistering Brazilian Thrash! Founded in 1983, Korzus are probably the oldest thrash band in Brazil and possibly in South America, making them cult legends cemented by their six studio and two live albums, and one DVD – not to mention becoming the first Brazilian Jagermeister sponsored band. Throughout their career various members have played in Agent Steel, Sepultura and even become personal friends with the likes of Formula 1 racers like Ayrton Senna! All of this has no doubt had an impact on Korzus, whose aggro thrash has remained as razor sharp as it ever… Continue reading

Skálmöld – “Með Vættum”

Skálmöld – “Með Vættum” (Napalm Records) Skálmöld was founded in 2009 and has since become Iceland’s biggest metal band. Playing Viking Metal that is true to their heritage in the land of fire and ice, there is a definite battlefield spirit as the band takes heavily from heroic, folk and mythic stories on their epic songs like ‘Að vetri’ and ‘Með drekum’. Featuring a 3 pronged guitar attack that could keep a fire breathing dragon at bay, lead vocalist Björgvin Sigurðsson’s harsh, sea dog vocals sounds like he spends a lot’ve time in Iceland’s wild but unforgiving landscape shouting defiantly… Continue reading

Blodhemn – “H7”

Blodhemn – “H7” (Indie Recordings) Screaming black metal from Bergen! A one man project formed in 2004 by multi instrumentalist Invictus, Blodhemn has grown in strength over the years and now with this second offering is even poised to play shows with a live line up, supporting Mayhem across Europe no less!! Sourced from the pure essence of evil especially in its abrasive screaming and raw metallic guitar sound, Blodhemn is also progressive in harnessing dark melodies to complement the megaton blast beats stretching songs like the mid tempo epic ‘Holmengraa’ or the nihilistic ‘Fandesvenn’ and pure blackness of ‘Flammenes… Continue reading

Usnea – “Random Cosmic Violence”

Usnea – “Random Cosmic Violence” (Relapse Records) Screaming doom noise from the sludge gutters of Portland, Oregon! Thankfully there are only 4 tracks on this album – but boy are they heavy muthas!! Each clocking in around 15 mins a piece, together they make a massive wall of noise characterized by mammoth distorted guitars with heaps of distortion and reverb – in fact so much that I can barely hear the bass (do they need one lol – ed) – and Zeke Rogers who is clearly content to demolish his drum kit by knocking 7 bells out’ve it after each… Continue reading

Guns N Roses – “Appetite For Democracy 3D”

Guns N Roses – “Appetite For Democracy 3D” DVD / 2 CD (Universal Music Corp) With the bar lifting this year with filmed concert footage taking a new level both in terms of sound quality and cinematic capability, Axel Rose must have been one of the contenders much sought after so it comes as little surprise that we finally have this Guns N Roses extravaganza – and all in 3D! Thankfully you won’t need any pesky specs although you might be reaching for your earplugs as the sound literally makes you feel like you’re there at The Joint in the… Continue reading

Whitesnake – “Live in 1984 – Back To The Bone”

Whitesnake – “Live in 1984 – Back To The Bone” DVD / CD (Frontiers Music) With the high quality of official recordings these days, along with their frequency, there seems to be little point to bootlegs – that is, unless they come from the personal collection of Dave Coverdale! An ultra rare compilation of audio and video recordings as well as unheard demos from the band’s acclaimed 83-84 line-ups featuring John Sykes, Neil Murray and the late and lamented Cozy Powell, there is also an extraordinary emotional bonus content featuring legendary keyboardist Jon Lord performing his last ever show with… Continue reading

Obituary – “Inked In Blood”

Obituary – “Inked In Blood” (Relapse Records) One of the cornerstones of US and especially the Florida death metal scene, Obituary set the standard in the late 80s with their debut “Slowly We Rot”. The band were resilient throughout the grunge years, building a hardcore following across the growing international death metal scenes before reaching mainstream success with “The End Complete” in 1992. With the band disbanding for a brief hiatus in the late 90s, fan demand saw the inevitable reformation in 2005. Now onto their 9th album, “Inked in Blood” was financed by a Kickstarter campaign which raised so… Continue reading