Killer Be Killed – “Killer Be Killed”

Killer Be Killed – “Killer Be Killed” (Nuclear Blast Records) Killer Be Killed is the super group founded by The Dillinger Escape Plan’s vocalist Greg Puciato and Soulfly / Sepultura vocalist / guitarist Max Cavalera, featuring Mastodon bassist Troy Sanders and former The Mars Volta drummer Dave Elitch.  Musically, they’ve gone for a fusion of their above bands, although interestingly Puciato’s own mathcore is probably in a minority except in some of the math-like choruses, whilst Cavalera forms the backbone with his (still) angry Sepp rhythms – along with some tribal drumming to remind us of the old days –… Continue reading

Whitechapel – “Our Endless War”

Whitechapel – “Our Endless War” (Metal Blade Records) The saw is the law! Tennessee deathcore crew Whitechapel are back in what must be their most mature and certainly polished album to date. Despite their trademark aggro core vocals courtesy of Phil Bozeman, extensive monotone and blast beats, “Our Endless War” really does roll smoothly like a well oiled machine! Songs like ‘Let Me Burn’, ‘Psychopathy’ and ‘Mono’ meld into one another like melted butter but moreover, there is a strong groove throughout that soon gets you into its possessing mosh pit beat thanks to a heavy djent element in the… Continue reading

Elvenking – “The Pagan Manifesto”

Elvenking – “The Pagan Manifesto” (AFM Records) Elvenking are regarded as the best known of the Italian folk metal bands, formed in the late 90s and now, 8 albums later releasing what is probably their most mature and ambitious release! Opening with the 12 minute ‘King Of Elves’ shows the band’s confidence in taking on a song of epic proportions that not only includes Amanda Somerville (Avantasia, Kiske/Somerville) on guest femme vocals, but also has elements of rock and pomp rock. That’s not to say Elvenking have forgotten their roots – no way – when you check out the epic… Continue reading

Arkona – “Yav”

Arkona – “Yav” (Napalm Records) With all the furor currently enveloping the Ukraine this latest album could be almost the catalyst to spark that much feared WW3! A giant step away from their previous albums that were traditionally Russian folk, “Yav” is a concept album based on Slavic mythology, where Yav is the world we live in, and Nav a dark, opposing dimension whilst Prav is the spirit world. Perfect really for a movie, but for Arkona it forms the basis for frontwoman “Masha Scream” Arkhipova’s philosophy that while we want to see the world as Yav very often it… Continue reading

Portrait – “Crossroads”

Portrait – “Crossroads” (Metal Blade Records) Aptly titled following the departure of long time guitarist and contributor Richard Lagergren during Christmas past, the speculation has been hot as to the future of this Swedish heavy metal band. But no – they are still around, now with modified line up following David Olofsson moving up into the guitar ranks and Hypnosia’s Cab Castervall joining on the bass. The bottom line is, they still sound hugely like an amped up Mercyful Fate from Per Lengstedt’s falsetto vocals a la King Diamond right down the evil riffs n melodies that could be courtesy… Continue reading

Pet The Preacher – “The Cave & The Sunlight”

Pet The Preacher – “The Cave & The Sunlight” (Napalm Records) Straight out’ve Copenhagen, this heavy stoner blues trio have no doubt spent their youth in that city’s hippy community – Christiana – where they have garnered a wide variety of spiritual, musical and extra dimensional experiences! Speaking of gravity, these guys certainly have their fair share, from the deep rumbling bass of Torben Wæver Pedersen to the anvil pounding trommel of Christian Von Larsen. Add the deep, reverb drenched guitars of Christian Hede Madsen, along with his soulful preacher man meets hoarse rock dawg vocals that might be more… Continue reading

Satan’s Satyrs – “Die Screaming”

Satan’s Satyrs – “Die Screaming” (Bad Omen Records) Hot off their success at Roadburn comes the grindhouse doom of Satan’s Satyrs! Inspired by some fool’s entire collection of trashy pulp 60s n 70s schlock movies, Satan’s Satyrs sought – and pretty well succeeded – in putting together a band in all their cheese n glory that should be designated a Biosafety Level 4 contaminant. I mean, where the fuck do I begin?!!? From the loon pants to the velvet shirts and the outrageous hippy afros – and this is the least offensive part – I can only cringe at Clayton Burgess’s… Continue reading

Epica – “The Quantum Engine”

Epica – “The Quantum Engine” (Nuclear Blast Records) Last year was the 10th anniversary of this Dutch band, who celebrated in style with a 70 piece orchestra, choirs, guests like Floor Jansen and massive special effects at a show specially themed ‘Retrospect’. Needless to say it was sold out with attendees from 45 countries. In fact, so extravagant was the concert that during the set, Coen Janssen announced that ‘Retrospect’ would be filmed for a DVD. Given all that then the expectations bar was indeed set high for “The Quantum Engine”! Well, Epica certainly still live up to their name… Continue reading

Xandria- “Sacrificium”

Xandria- “Sacrificium” (Napalm Records) Epic, symphonic, bombastic  – such is how I’d describe the majesty of Xandria. Now with new Dutch Ex Libris vocalist Dianne van Giersbergen, who incidentally fits like a glove with her delicate Tarja like soprano vocals that brilliantly match founder guitarist Marco Heubaum’s lofty playing as well as his ambitious material. Opening with the 10 minute title track, it’s clear that the band have set their sights high as although musically “Sacrificium” sounds just its 2012 pivotal predecessor “Neverworld’s End”, it is a definite step up with songs like ‘Stardust’, ‘Come With Me’ and ‘Our Neverworld’… Continue reading