Thulcandra – “Under A Frozen Sun”

Thulcandra
“Under A Frozen Sun”
(Napalm Records)

I loved Thulcandra’s debut – it was like an icy blast back to the heady days of black & death heavily influenced by the late & great Dissection. Since then these Bavarians have been relatively quiet, carefully concocting this new album which pretty much continues the trend of skillful metallic melodies on songs like ‘In Blood And Fire’. Continue reading

Battlecross – “Pursuit of Honor”

Battlecross
“Pursuit of Honor”
(Metal Blade)

Yeah, no kidding, with a name like Battlecross I’d expect them to come from a burned out city like Detroit, but these Blue Collar Thrashers never say die! Blurring brutal precision thrash is what they play as riffs bounce and blast into you, Gumby’s vocals shred and da rhythm is what made their city famous – motor city man! Continue reading

Diamond Plate – “Generation Why?”

Diamond Plate
“Generation Why?”
(Earache Records)

Straight outta the windy city (aka Chicago) comes the latest mid west thrash export in the form of Diamond Plate! Right off the bat, what immediately jumps out is how European these guys sound, especially Jon Macak’s vocals, which could have Kreator’s throat screechmeister Mille Petrozza hopping mad LOL. Continue reading

Svartsot – “Maledictus Eris”

Svartsot
“Maledictus Eris”
(Napalm Records)

Svartsot are a jolly buncha Danes who make merry with their lighthearted brand of folk metal. I thoroughly enjoyed their last opus “Mulmets Viser” but sadly the more miserable metallers out there didn’t so on this latest album, Svartsot journey back to a 14th century Denmark ravished by the plague! Continue reading

In Cold Blood – “A Flawless Escape”

In Cold Blood
“A Flawless Escape”
(Rising Records)

WE ALL FIGHT TO KEEP HEAVY MUSIC ALIVE! So speaketh the 5 Romans making up ICB (not the Cleveland crew) who play modern metalcore featuring throat strained vocals, fast melodic metal a la The Haunted and impressive guitar warblings that threaten to take them into the extreme metal league. Continue reading

Malefice – “Awaken the Tides”

Malefice
“Awaken the Tides”
(Metal Blade)

F–kin’ ell, I better be careful wot I say, this lot are just down the road from me LOL! But I guess they’ve done the job for me by saying ‘… Britain is an isle that has long been steeped in heavy metal heritage but when was the last time it produced an act that showed the genuine potential to bother the biggest names in world metal?..’. Continue reading

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