Thrall – “Vermin To The Earth”

Thrall
“Vermin To The Earth”
(Moribund Records)

Yeah, Australia certainly has its fair share of verminous creatures – and the duo of Thrall are no exception. As bizarre and lethal as their Antipodean wildlife, Thrall is like a throwback to a primordial age, playing mid tempo blackish metal with just enough off the wall riffs on songs like ‘Oblivion’, ‘Disease’s Maiming Caress’ and ‘Ecstasy not of the Flesh’ to make them anarchic affairs that are both absorbing as well as being different. Continue reading

POWERWOLF

Cheesy to some, undeniable fun to others – whatever the case, Powerwolf are a happening band with their cool canine camp opera – Shan Siva joins Matthew Greywolf in barking at the moon!

1.Firstly can I say what an immense pleasure Powerwolf have been to me right from when I first heard “Lupus Dei” to seeing you guys at the Rock Tower Festival in Lubeck last year as you guys rocked that little Triebsand place!!

Thanx, though I remember this show as none of our better ones to be honest! A quite a small stage, we had to drop most of our stage decorations and could hardly move on stage. Well, maybe that makes this show a very basic and in a way intense one then LOL!! Continue reading

Charred Walls Of The Damned – “Cold Winds On Timeless Days”

Charred Walls Of The Damned
“Cold Winds On Timeless Days”
(Metal Blade Records)

These guys are probably my fave band (or mebbe I should say supergroup) right now! From the affable, multi talented Richard Christy to legendary Steve DiGiorgio and famous Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens, this melting pot of talent have it all – incredible melodies, brutal riffola, double bass drumming par excellence and epic vocals conspire to carry on in fine style the standard set by their amazing self titled debut! Continue reading

Glyder – “Backroads To Byzantium”

Glyder
“Backroads To Byzantium”
(SPV / Steamhammer)

A lot has happened to these Irish lads since the release of their last album “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” – despite being well received and on the verge of success, vox / bassist Tony Cullen and drummer Davy Ryan quit the band. Three new members have joined: Jackie Robinson, Graham McClatchie and Des McEvoy and it’s also a heralded a change in the band’s sound, that while still melodic hard rock, is very much more American in style like on ‘Fade To Dust’ than their prior Thin Lizzy influenced approach. Continue reading

As You Drown – “Rat King”

As You Drown
“Rat King”
(Metal Blade Records)

On the face of it the town of Boras in Sweden might represent an idyllic one: rich in culture, natural beauty and happy folk. But there are exceptions. As You Drown clearly represent the alternative: heavily tattooed morose lads with plenty of angst in their faces. And “Rat King” sez it all – modern death core is probably how best I’d describe songs like ‘Conqueror’, ‘Rabid Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing’ and ‘Slaves to the Kingdom of Fear’. Continue reading

Almah – “Motion”

Almah
“Motion”
(AFM Records)

Well, with reference to their biblical name, they ain’t no virgins LOL! Fronted by none other than Angra’s vocalist Edu Falschi, this is the next Brazilian metal monster to be unleashed and what a chundering beast it is too – at times the riffs are on par with Sepultura!! Given the number of high quality musicians that have guested with Edu, I often wondered where he would take this solo project. Continue reading

Gary John Barden – “Eleventh Hour”

Gary John Barden
“Eleventh Hour”
(Escape Music)

Legend. Gary Barden was – and still is – the voice of MSG (Michael Schenker Group). I shall never forget him for saving in my opinion their Reading Festival performance in 1982 following Graham Bonnet’s sacking, who in turn had replaced him! Much more than that though, he almost symbolized the definitive voice and persona of British hard rock: a down to earth lad with a rough n ready voice, he was almost one of us in the crowd, not some fuckin pretentious rock god y’know? Continue reading

3 – “The Ghost You Gave to Me”

3
“The Ghost You Gave to Me”
(Metal Blade Records)

It seems almost fitting that 3 were formed in Woodstock back in the 90s. In so many ways they encompass the hippy offshoots of rock from prog to psychedelia to power pop to modern alternative rock – hell, I’m sure I also heard some Spanish guitar chucked in there somewhere too LOL! Continue reading

Fornost Arnor – “The Death Of A Rose”

Fornost Arnor
“The Death Of A Rose”
(Witch-King Records)

Not quite as insane as The Dillinger Escape Plan but still well off the wall comes England’s Fornost Arnor who aren’t named after some quaint little village covered in roses, but a city from Tolkien’s Middle Earth! Thankfully they don’t sing about Orcs either but seem to have drawn inspiration from the likes of Opeth in producing epic musical experiences – in this case fusing blackish riffs a la Emperor and Mouth Of Sauron vocals coupled with prog melodies, acoustics, soft passages and even femme vocals. Continue reading

Speed Limit – “Unchained / Prophecy”

Speed Limit
“Unchained / Prophecy” 2CD REISSUE
(Karthago Records)

Despite being neighbors to the mighty metal market of Germany, little is known other than to connoisseurs, about the early 80s Austrian metal market? Well Speed Limit were one of the forerunners, beginning in the late 70s, releasing their debut “Unchained” in the mid 80s and its follow up “The Prophecy” in 1988. Continue reading