Powerwolf – “Best Of The Blessed”

Powerwolf – “Best Of The Blessed” CD/ Earbook/LP Boxset (Napalm Records) Well, Attila Dorn and Powerwolf certainly know how to celebrate 15 years of success in becoming Germany’s most successful modern heavy metal band in 2019! Here, on “Best Of The Blessed”, the band’s first greatest hits album, they give you plenty of reasons – be it 16 songs on the CD that include fresh re-recordings of classics like ‘We Drink Your Blood’, or in the case of the Earbook, a further 14 live tracks recorded during the Wolfsnächte 2018 tour, and finally, going for the throat in the LP… Continue reading

Ensiferum – “Thalassic”

Ensiferum – “Thalassic” (Metal Blade Records) The very first of Ensiferum’s albums to be based around a theme, this 8th release titled “Thalassic” translates from the ancient Greek ‘…of or relating to seas..’. Indeed, with song titles like ‘Andromeda’ inspired by Greek mythology, “Thalassic” sees Markus Toivonen & co try something a little different conceptually, if not musically where the 11 tracks (including 2 bonus numbers) continue to revel in the band’s winning formula of heroic tales told through deep and often fast folk pagan power metal. Although still featuring Mikko P. Mustonen’s dramatic orchestrations, the emphasis of the material… Continue reading

Tokyo Motor Fist – “Lions”

Tokyo Motor Fist – “Lions” (Frontiers Music) Well, it doesn’t come finer than this – take the talents of Danger Danger singer Ted Poley and combine it with those of guitarist/producer Steve Brown of Trixter – and the result is this kick ass debut that is sure to have any melodic rocker of the 80s rejoicing! The hugely catchy melodies are only one aspect of this amazing band, so if you also like big hooks and a ballsy rhythm, then that’s where Greg Smith (Ted Nugent, Rainbow, Alice Cooper) and Chuck Burgi (Rainbow, Blue Oyster Cult, Joe Lynn Turner) make… Continue reading

Svärd – “The Rift”

Svärd – “The Rift” EP (Argonauta Records) Featuring Tim Nedergård (Guitars, Vocals), Björn Pettersson (Guitars, Vocals) and Pierre Stam (Bass, Vocals) of Swedish melodic death band In Mourning, together with Cornelius Althammer (Drums) of German funeral doomsters Ahab, Svärd is the band forged from a friendships of over 10 years, the result being this heavy as f–k five song EP with the promise of a full length album in the not too distant future! Mixed and mastered by Jonas Kjellgren (Sabaton, Hypocrisy, In Mourning, October Tide, Amorphis, etc), the supercharged sound on “The Rift” is befitting the powering metal laid out by this lock downed quartet, who,… Continue reading

Mike LePond’s Silent Assassins – “Whore Of Babylon”

Mike LePond’s Silent Assassins – “Whore Of Babylon” (Silver Lining Music) Wow, there are so many good songs on this album it’s hard to choose any favourites! Anyone who thinks that modern heavy metal is dead should check out this incredible release by Silent Assassins, cos it’s totally stoked to the gills with everything a headbanger could dream of, thanks to the talents of Symphony X bassist Mike LePond – and the awesome band he has put around him, together forging 10 tracks stoked in the fires of metal gods like Maiden, Priest, Saxon and Manowar.  Joining LePond, who plays 4 and 8 string basses… Continue reading

Mantar – “Grungetown Hooligans II”

Mantar – “Grungetown Hooligans II” MCD (Brutal Panda) With little sign of calming down their storm, the Bremen duo of Mantar have now decided to record this mini album paying tribute to some of the artists who influenced them into becoming one of the heaviest and most sonically destructive acts today! Going back to the early 90s when Riot Grrrl, MTV and ‘Alternative’ were cool words buzzing around a very uncool, post Cold War Germany, the duo of Hanno Klänhardt (Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards) and Erinç Sakarya (Drums) were stoked by the DIY aggression and attitude of bands like Sonic Youth,… Continue reading

Ahab – “Live Prey”

Ahab – “Live Prey” (Napalm Records) Ever since forming the band in 2004, Ahab have been exploring the oceans in creating their very own subgenre, ‘Nautic Funeral Doom’. Inspired by wretched tales of castaway cannibalism as starkly depicted in Théodore Géricault’s “Le Radeau de la Méduse”, William Hope Hodgson’s shipwrecked horror novel “The Boats of the “Glen Carrig””, and of course Herbert Melville’s classic “Moby Dick”, Ahab have plodded their way through 4 full length studio albums prior to this first ever live release recorded at the Death Row Fest 2017 in Jena, Germany. Trudging out massive, droning riffs from… Continue reading

Falconer – “From A Dying Ember”

Falconer – “From A Dying Ember” (Metal Blade Records) It’s been 6 years since we last heard from this Swedish folk power metal band. But that’s hardly a surprise when it comes to Falconer, whose cult following (including myself) have taken it in their course over the last 20 years during which time this unusual band have issued 8 prior albums. I say ‘unusual’ given the unique vocal style of actor/singer Mathias Blad, whose minstrel like performances, while quirky to some, have defined Falconer’s sound much to the delight of its fans. Formed by guitarist Stefan Weinerhall after the dissolution… Continue reading

Förgjord – “Laulu kuolemasta”

Förgjord – “Laulu kuolemasta” (Werewolf Records) Translated as ‘songs about death’, the title of this 5th album from Förgjord (whose name itself means ‘destroyed’) is as impressive as the 25-year reign of this cult Finnish black metal trio! Intentionally obscure and almost clandestine in issuing their releases, Förgjord have steadily forged a style over the years unfettered of rules yet confidently keeping to their own canon of being vicious yet melodic, while steadfastly raw throughout. “Laulu kuolemasta” is no less of an album, with 8 songs (plus 2 haunting interludes) that exude darkness and penetrating cold in line with the… Continue reading

Gloom – “Rider Of The Last Light”

Gloom – “Rider Of The Last Light” (Spread Evil) As harsh and beautiful as the Finnish taiga comes this superb debut by Gloom, who feature members of Nekrokrist SS. With elite level raw and bleak slide riffing that instantly sinks its fangs into you and even more evil melodies to beckon you unto the dark side, all the 8 tracks here epitomize top quality black metal and clearly reflect plenty of thought, in both their arrangements as well as underlying compositions from the duo responsible for this ‘…raging suicidal melancholy…’! With a resounding shotgun blast the aptly titled ‘Bleed’ kicks off a magnificent… Continue reading