Stryper – “Live At The Whisky”

Stryper – “Live At The Whisky” CD/DVD (Frontiers Music) One of the most controversial bands in the annals of rock history, Stryper were a Christian Metal band – and unashamedly proud of it. Deriving their name from Isaiah 53:5 and led by the Sweet brothers, Michael on guitars and vocals, and Robert on drums, Stryper went on to release the Grammy nominated “To Hell With The Devil” that went multi platinum in 1986 along with two more albums that equally went gold before the band split in 1992. However, Stryper left an ineligible legacy on arena shows where Michael would throw bibles… Continue reading

Steel Prophet – “Into The Void / Continuum”

Steel Prophet – “Into The Void / Continuum” RE-ISSUE (Pure Steel Records) Hot off the release of this year’s release “Omniscient”, which was Steel Prophet’s first studio release in 10 years, comes this re-issue made up of 1997’s album “Into The Void” along with 1996’s EP “Continuum”. For those new to the band, Steel Prophet are a legendary US power metal band who go back to 1984, when they were founded by guitarist Steve Kachinsky Blackmoor. “Into The Void” was a pivotal release in the band’s career, heralding a change in their sound which hitherto had appealed to fans of… Continue reading

Gormathon – “Following The Beast”

Gormathon – “Following The Beast” (Napalm Records) Gor-Ma-Who? These Swedes have name that is almost as puzzling as the blurring array of styles they incorporate into their music! Blending the modern pagan metal of Amon Amarth with the traditional heavy metal of Maiden in their melodies and solos, it’s the dazzlingly diverse vocals of Tony Sunnhag that really give Gormathon the ‘wow’ factor – ranging from pagan death gruff to clean singing at times and even aspiring towards King Diamond highs – phew! Amidst Tony Sandberg’s propelling double bass drums come even more melodies piling in from Stefan Jonsson’s tasteful axework… Continue reading

Zodiac – “Sonic Child”

Zodiac – “Sonic Child” (Napalm Records) Arguably the most raved about band in Germany right now, Zodiac have been on a meteoric rise since their debut at the Roadburn festival in 2013. Since then they have been on the road with Spiritual Beggars and The Sword, currently planning a US tour this year as support for stoner-legends Monster Magnet. A retro band playing a mixture of 70s classic and blues rock in the main, Zodiac make occasional forays into hard rock like on the start to ‘Holding On’ which sounds like early Maiden with its warbling dual guitar intro! Elsewhere they take the choogin’ boogie… Continue reading

When We Were Wolves – “Heartless”

When We Were Wolves – “Heartless” EP (Imperial Music) ‘…this is all we know, this is all we know…’ Fresh onto the scene come When We Were Wolves, a Welsh band that tacitly mixes the harsh metalcore of say, Parkway Drive with the altogether more melodic likes of A Day To Remember. Already garnering press acclaim in the UK for their EP last year, they have issued another follow up in the form of “Heartless”. Mitch Bock’s muscle flexing vocals ably handle his hoarse shout outs while also showing tender, heartfelt moments in his singing and pop harmonies on songs like ‘Blind’ and ‘The… Continue reading

Slash featuring Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators – “World On Fire”

Slash featuring Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators – “World On Fire” (Roadrunner Records / Dik Hayd International) Soul. This album has got so much soul I’m on emotional overload. Slash of course needs no introduction having amassed 100 million album sales worldwide, seen him awarded a Grammy, been nominated for seven more and inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame. Along with bionic Alter Bridge vocalist Myles Kennedy these two have become the dynamic duo of modern rock n roll. But even so this album is something else. It simply has so much energy pulsating out’ve it that it… Continue reading

Cannibal Corpse – “A Skeletal Domain”

Cannibal Corpse – “A Skeletal Domain” (Metal Blade Records) The beast is back. Now onto their bad luck 13th album no less, “A Skeletal Domain” sees world premiere death metal band Cannibal Corpse move into the torture, sado metal that was hitherto the domain of their ex vocalist, the visceral Chris Barnes. Now that he has moved into a somewhat more technical direction, these Buffalo natives who have long been the backbone of US Death Metal haven’t been slow to move to satiate the bloodlust of fans the world over. Sure, these guys have always been associated with gore and opener ‘High… Continue reading

Antropomorphia – “Rites Ov Perversion”

Antropomorphia – “Rites Ov Perversion” (Metal Blade Records) These Tilburg terrors take their cue from the early black / death legends of Death, Autopsy and Hellhammer with dirty, whirring guitars that cut n slice at speed and chop n tear when set to a slower kill mode. Whilst clearly influenced by the old school Antropomorphia aren’t a retro band so the musicianship is a step up from those old pioneering days but rather a modern refinement of that style with a definite emphasis on taking the finer, catchier grooves and rolling them into the violent and occult material that Antropomorphia deal… Continue reading

Audrey Horne – “Pure Heavy”

Audrey Horne – “Pure Heavy” (Napalm Records) Despite hailing from Black Metal central namely Bergen, and having members who’ve played in Gorgoroth and Enslaved, Audrey Horne is an altogether mellower affair with hints of hard and stoner rock – although it’s true that the band are named after a character in David Lynch’s cult 90s series Twin Peaks. Clean, multi layered harmony vocals with plenty of oooing and whoa – oh harmonies leaning towards ABBA (well they’re Norwegian right? – ed) groove along to Thin Lizzy melody meets rockin riffs with hints of Iron Maiden in the solos of guitars from Thomas Tofthagen… Continue reading

Iron Reagan – “The Tyranny Of Will”

Iron Reagan – “The Tyranny Of Will” (Relapse Records) A crossover super group made up of Municipal Waste’s Tony Foresta and Phil Hall, along with Ryan Parrish of Darkest Hour together with members of Mammoth Grinder, Iron Reagan take me right back to the 80s listening to DRI, Cryptic Slaughter and of course – skateboarding! From their mammoth 24 track blitz right through to the raw production this is a fitting enough modern take on that cult sub genre, fans of which are sure to lap up on socio-politically charged songs like ‘Your Kids An Asshole’, ‘Rat Shit’ and the… Continue reading