Anvil – “Strength Of Steel” / “Pound For Pound” / “Worth The Weight” REISSUES (Steamhammer / SPV)
By now this Canadian band need no introduction: having cried welfare thru their 2008 rockumentary “Anvil! The Story Of Anvil” – the highest grossing rock documentary in UK rock history I might add – these guys found a new lease of life and things certainly look rosy with their latest album “Juggernaut Of Justice”. Capitalizing upon this have been the inevitable cash ins and with a mega compilation already being released by Sony, SPV have made a prudent move to re-release (in gate fold colored vinyl no less) Anvil’s 4th, 5th and 6th studio albums. With songs featured in the rockumentary like ‘Toe Jam’ and ‘Mad Dog’, these were crucial albums in what should’ve been Anvil’s career development. Continue reading
Metal For Cancer – “Let’s Unite In Rock” (www.metalforcancer.com)
No, it’s not some kinda sick joke: the Metal For Cancer Dragon Slayer All Star Project was founded by Australian based Neo Classical and Power metal musician Richard Ofsoski, after the passing of his wife due to cancer. Being by Cheryl’s side every step of the way and witnessing the battle had a profound effect on Richard, who was determined to do something, and so MFC became his crusade. Harnessing support from Swedish musician Henrik Flyman of Evil Masquerade, the two produced the track ‘Let’s Unite In Rock’, which is very Dio sounding – and what better inspiration could one want, given his association with a similar charitable cause – Hear ‘n’ Aid – in the 80s. With 100% of the proceeds going to the Australian Cancer Research Foundation, MFC have produced an excellent song, for a worthy cause, and inspired by a legend. Continue reading
Take The Seven – “Lots Of Trouble, Usually Serious” (www.taketheseven.com)
Kicking off the new year in thankfully mellow style comes this promising band from the heart of England. Essentially playing soft punk pop, the real clincher of TTS are their unashamed melodies and harmonies on tracks like ‘Through The Crossfire’, ‘History Is Written By The Victors’ and ‘Duchess’. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that they are almost AOR, especially in the guitarwork, reminding me a lot of late 80s US bands like Tyketto in those passionate melodies. Despite the heavy sounding titles of their songs, there seems to be an unpretentious, easy going nature to the band in matching their music so TTS offer a lotta promise in the making. Continue reading
Beehler. The Man. The Band. The Legend grows….anyone who is a professed ‘Heavy Metal Maniac’ who grew up in the 80s will know who Dan Beehler is. Moreover, they’ll remember the sound that defined the band he sang AND drummed for – Exciter. Almost 3 decades on and he’s now back again with that ‘pounding metal’ sound from hell!!
Hi Dan, lemme say first off that as a fan who bought “Heavy Metal Maniac” all those years ago what an honor it is to finally interview you! I actually wanted to speak to you at Metallica’s Marquee show in ’83 but you were such a big dude I felt a little intimidated being just a 13 year old kid LOL – lemme say how much I respect you for being a drummer / vocalist. As I remember, it was only you and Zoetrope’s Barry Stern (RIP) who pounded and screamed in unison!!
Arguably one of the most enigmatic bands at the turn of the 80s, California’s Cirith Ungol remain one of the cult bands in the mists of metal history. With demand still for the band, Metal Blade will be releasing “Servants Of Chaos” and Shan Siva got a once in a life time opportunity to interview drummer Robert Garvin!
Greetings Elven ones – as a fan of Moorcock and Karl Edward Wagner I haveta say that your cover to “Frost n Fire” remains a classic to this day! I take it that you’re Tolkien fans so what did you think of Peter Jackson’s interpretation of LOTR? I must confess I sill have a place in my heart for Ralph Bakshi’s animated version….
Robert: I can’t speak for all the other members but I thought it was very well done, hoping now for a multi part Elric saga!
I haveta ask, using the name Cirith Ungol so blatantly, did u ever get into any trouble with the Tolkien people legally?
Robert: A company in the US Saul Zaentz bought the rights to make “The Hobbit” and the LOTR in animation. We asked permission to use the name for our band and it was granted. I still have the letter granting us permission to use it. In retrospect we should have used a different name as everyone thinks this was something that held us back as it was to hard to pronounce or remember. Continue reading
“Unleashed And Dangerous” MCD
LOL – with names like Dude Rock and Pete Sin, be prepared for some serious kick ass rock n roll – although tempered by remaining members Gary Dainty and Roxx Hydi! And that’s pretty much the essence of London’s WS, GnR fire mixed in with the cool groove of Buckcherry on songs like ‘Fakeness’, ‘Drugs And Angels’, and ‘I Want More’. It’s not too threatening but not exactly wimpy either so I can see a wide appeal for these guys, especially if they have a good live act to match, cos their musicianship is certainly up there and they’ve got bunches of energy! Continue reading
“Under The Grey Banner”
Wow, I’m feeling anything but grey after listening to this stupendous album! Closing off the year in style comes this fine, fine symphonic metal band from Sweden who also seem inspired by the neo classic sounds of Hans Zimmer and Lord Of The Rings – wow, I mean WOW! Needless to say songs like ‘Dunir’s Forge’ and the awesome ‘Fire And Brimstone” reflect both the passion and classic nature of these themes with a musicianship that’s second to none. Elsewhere, like on ‘Throne Of Bones’, the band almost opt for a Falconer style folk spoken word, while the delicate ‘Ivory Shores’ could’ve only been conceived by the Elves themselves. Much more than just a musical release, this astonishing 5th release by Dragonland could almost be a concept album – hardly a surprise when you consider that their first 2 self produced albums were based on The Dragonland Chronicles – and is certainly worthy in stature to anything conceived by Howard Shore for LOTR. Continue reading
Metalli neo thrashers may not be the most suave metallers out there, but these Yorkies know their stuff in keeping to the basics of solid, crunching riffs, chugging rhythm and gruff vocals. This EP is mixture of new tracks like ‘The Rules Of Engagement”, which incidentally features Annihilator’s riff meister general Jeff Waters, as well as older material like ‘Severance’ and a re recorded version of ‘Darkness’. “Evolution” is also a limited edition release, with the first one-hundred orders receiving signed copies with a free exclusive poster. All in all a nice little appetizer from the steadily growing English band. Continue reading
“Of Love And Death”
(Pure Legend Records)
Crom was formed in the late 90s as the initial side project of Dark Fortress guitarist Walter “Crom” Grosse as a tribute to Bathory. However, it has since become his full time one man project and quite amazing it is too, not due to any brutality or evil or playing – but the overwhelming passion and emotion inherent in the powerful melodies and ambiences making up the 9 songs herein. Essentially playing epic melodic rock metal, Crom’s music is also tragic, dwelling on the all too familiar theme of the fallen hero, made all the more sad by the fact that he wearily fights on even in his doom, if only for honor. As such, songs like ‘My Song For All The Broken Hearts’, ‘Reason to Live’ and ‘My Destiny’ are highly emotionally charged but also beautiful from Grosse’s soulful vocals to the choral harmonies to delicate guitarwork, all of which have a strong Nordic style. Joining Grosse, who guitars, bass and backing vocals, are Seraph (Dark Fortress, Noneuclid, Revamp) on drums and V. Santura (Dark Fortress, Triptycon, Celtic Frost) on additional guitars and backing vocals. Despite being 3 years in the making, “Of Love And Death” is nothing short of superb in pretty much every aspect from its songwriting to production to playing. But more importantly, it is also unique, showing that the pen is indeed mightier than the sword, and also reflective of one man’s passion and dedication. Crom, I salute thee! Continue reading
“Fire And Forget”
Named after the various personal injuries suffered by the band members (not to mention those brave enough to enter their mosh pits!), as well as their no nonsense style of metal, England’s Skeletal Damage are sort’ve a new version of the old school being guys who grew up to the sounds of Metallica, Megadeth and Pantera. Raw heavy riffing, Hatefield gruff vox and precision double bass drumming typify songs like ‘Kissing Knives’, ‘Where Angels Fear To Tread’ and ‘The Dogs Of War’. However, it’s not an all out thrashblast assault, as Skeletal Damage have indeed learned from the great ones in carefully tempering their furor with slower but the non the less heavy passages. All in all this debut pretty much sez what it does on the tin – although they should supply a pair of earplugs to go with it! Continue reading