Skálmöld – “Baldur”

Skálmöld
“Baldur”
(Napalm Records)

Iceland is a contrasting land of fire and ice – even today volcanoes are active and erupting – so it’s easy to understand how legends of demons and dragons have risen thru the ages. Indeed, this bold debut is a concept album based on a Viking seeking bloody retribution against a not-of-this-world demon-like creature who murders his family! Continue reading

Glorior Belli – “The Great Southern Darkness”

Glorior Belli
“The Great Southern Darkness”
(Metal Blade Records)

Mon dieu – dark, swamp metal not from the Bayou but the seedy streets of Paris! Although labelled by some as black metal – and indeed they are in terms of their core sound – J’s vocals are more tortured drawls than screeches, whilst H’s guitar churns out evil dervish riffs as on ‘Per Nox Regna’, almost heading into the satanic realm of Glenn Danzig. Continue reading

DC4 – “Electric Ministry”

DC4
“Electric Ministry”
(Metal Blade)

HARD FKIN ROCK FOR THE PEOPLE!!!! Talk about kick ass, this hasta be the rockiest album of the year so far! Made up of former members of Dio, Armored Saint and Odin (remember them!), Jeff Duncan has brought the right to rock back to LA with those monstrous, swaggering rock riffs that made the mighty Saint that legendary machine. Continue reading

Bitch – “Be My Slave / Damnation Alley”

Bitch
“Be My Slave / Damnation Alley”
CD/DVD (Metal Blade)

Infamous on 80s Sunset Strip for their outrageous S&M shows that eventually got them targeted by Tipper Gore’s equally infamous PMRC (Parents Music Resource Centre) resulting in their ensuing “Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics” stickers, it’s easy to discount Bitch (and many did). Continue reading

Ilium – “Genetic Memory”

Ilium
“Genetic Memory”
(Escape Music)

Man, you can’t go wrong with a vocalist like Mike DiMeo. Ex Riot, ex Masterplan, this dude’s vocals rock! And now he’s found the next platform for his talents in the form of Aussie band Ilium, who themselves have been thru many changes since their inception in 1998. Continue reading