Motorhead – “Aftershock”

Motorhead – “Aftershock” (UDR  Music) I’ve had me up and downs wiv M’head over the years. Following them from the classic line up of Filthy Phil n Fast Eddie thru the Robertson debacle and then the terror twins and finally Dee and surviving Wizzo. Album after album, untold gigs including one I co-promoted, along with numerous beers and fights followed by a neck like jelly and ears that would ring for days – sound familiar man? Continue reading

Artillery – “Legions”

Artillery – “Legions” (Metal Blade Records) If you’re a fan of Metallica’s “Ride The Lightning” era then don’t look back cos this one’s for you! Formed in Mr Ulrich’s homeland of Denmark back in ’82, Artillery became respected thrashers as the underground scene took off, releasing albums such as “Fear Of Tomorrow” and “Terror Squad”, both of which retain their status as cult classics to this day. Continue reading

Rhapsody Of Fire – “Dark Wings Of Steel”

Rhapsody Of Fire – “Dark Wings Of Steel” (AFM Records) Holy crap, has Luca Turilli returned to the band? Well, you could be fooled into thinking that as new guitarist Roberto De Micheli was not only a schoolmate of Luca’s, but was actually brought in by him! And so the Rhapsody Of Fire saga continues, albeit in separate directions on “Dark Wings Of Steel” compared to the earlier film score metal pioneered by Turilli. Continue reading

Betzefer – “The Devil Went Down To The Holy Land”

Betzefer – “The Devil Went Down To The Holy Land” (Steamhammer / SPV) Betzefer are Israel’s biggest metal band, well known in Europe having toured heavily over the years alongside bands like Fear Factory, Sepultura and Lamb Of God as well as playing festivals like Ozzfest and With Full Force. The band’s sound is centered around heavy groove riffing and hoarse aggro vocals very much like Down or even White Zombie, although ugly aggression is not the theme here but rather a cool rolling beat. Continue reading

Fate – “If Not For The Devil”

Fate – “If Not For The Devil” (Avenue Of Allies) Going all the way back to the mid 80s, Fate were formed by non other than Hank Shermann after Mercyful Fate’s break up. In complete contrast, Fate were an AOR band but went on to release 4 albums before their own split and hiatus for over a decade. Continue reading

Black Messiah – “Heimweh”

Black Messiah – “Heimweh” (AFM Records) Also known in their native Germany as the ‘Ruhr Vikings’, these guys have been going since the mid 90s when they first started as a black metal band, formed by classically trained bassist / vocalist Zagan. Under his vision, Black Messiah has evolved over the years into a must see live band, now playing pagan metal although retaining some blackened vestiges whilst incorporating folk instrumentation! Continue reading

Satan’s Wrath – interview with Tas Danazoglou!

With fire. With blood. With Satan. And seriously tongue in cheek!! Here comes Satan’s Wrath from Greece, bringing back all the cringe worthy memories of the 80s – Shan Siva dusts off his bullet belt as he swears to the new dark lord on the streets, Tas Danazoglou! 1. Congratulations on your new album “Aeons of Satan’s Reign”, it reminded me a lot of the bands I grew up with like Possessed, Venom and early Slayer so was that your intention as opposed to being part of the current black metal scene? Tas: yes these are our influences and of… Continue reading

Saxon – “Unplugged and Strung Up”

Saxon “Unplugged and Strung Up” (UDR Music) Bold as brass Barnsley rockers Saxon have returned, this time with an ambitious package of orchestral versions and re-recordings of their classic numbers. If this were the average band I’d say that were a gamble. But given this is Saxon, the guys who told famed promoter Harvey Goldsmith where to go, you can be sure they wouldn’t take a punt on anything that could damage their 37 year legacy! True to their reputation, they have taken some of their more epic and softer material over the years and rather than hide it away… Continue reading