The Wildhearts – “30 Year Itch”

The Wildhearts – “30 Year Itch” 2CD / 2LP + pre-order bonus CD (Round Records) It’s definitely Christmas cos The Wildhearts are back – with the best live album of the year!!! Formed in the late 80s by vocalist / guitarist Ginger after he left the Quireboys, The Wildhearts are virtually a household name in the UK, achieving several top 20 singles and one top 10 album over the last 30 years, although what’s really made their reputation is being one of the best loved live bands whether it’s in a dingy club or a festival. Made for that live… Continue reading

Iron Savior – “Skycrest”

Iron Savior – “Skycrest” (AFM Records) If you want to know what German power metal is all about, then Piet Sielck, vocalist and guitarist of Iron Savior, is probably your man. Born in Hamburg, the city regarded as the German power metal capital since the late 80s, Sielck, besides being well known as a multi -instrumentalist producer/engineer, formed Iron Savior with former Helloween bandmate (and old friend) Kai Hansen and then-drummer for Blind Guardian Thomen Stauch blending power metal with a science fiction concept. Over the course of ten studio albums and a live CD / DVD, the band has… Continue reading

Gama Bomb – “Sea Savage”

Gama Bomb – “Sea Savage” (Prosthetic Records) Old school thrash metal from Ireland, underpants from China! The Emerald Isle’s answer to Tankard and other ‘fun’ thrash bands, Gama Bomb take their inspiration from ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ to computer games to cannibalism and human sacrifice!! Still, they’ve released five prior albums, including being the first metal band to release a free record in “Tales From The Grave In Space”, were the runner up (to Immortal) in the 2010 Metal Hammer Golden Gods Award and have in their time toured with Sepultura, Exodus, Overkill, Forbidden, DRI, Onslaught, Artillery and Dark Funeral as… Continue reading

Iron Mask – “Master Of Masters”

Iron Mask – “Master Of Masters” (AFM Records) Iron Mask, the Belgian symphonic power metal maestros are back with their seventh album – and guess what, they’ve got a new vocalist! By now becoming a regular feature of this band, new boy this time around is Mike Slembrouck (After All, Immanent Distance), but dare one ask if he’ll be there for the next release?! Still, what matters is that he’s got the pipes, and I’d expect nothing less from the perfectionist standard set by guitarist composer Dushan Petrossi, who of course, formed Iron Mask back in 2002. Besides that, there’s… Continue reading

Sodom – “Genesis XIX”

Sodom – “Genesis XIX” (Steamhammer / SPV) Gotta had it to ‘Onkel’ Tom Angelripper, who’s getting close to 60 years old and whose band Sodom, formed in 1981, remain one of the cornerstones of German thrash! While others have folded or compromised, Angelripper has remained steadfast in his band’s position – remaining as extreme as ever, if not in sound, then in stance. Certainly members have come and gone over the years, the latest being the departure of man mountain drummer Stefan ‘Husky’ Hüskens, but Angelripper, who’s held the band together since founding it, has wasted no time in drafting… Continue reading

Scour – “Black”

Scour – “Black” EP (Nuclear Blast) At a time when most rock stars would be happily languishing in the fruits of their success, Phil Anselmo (Pantera, Down etc etc) continues to push it to the next level. But not in some corporate advertisement, nor some ‘fun’ TV appearance, but yet another side project, for which he is renowned, and brother, is it a mutha. Wasting no effort in recruiting an extreme metal collective of guitarists Derek Engemann (Cattle Decapitation, Phil Anselmo & the Illegals etc) and Mark Kloeppel (Cast the Stone, Misery Index), bassist John Jarvis (Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Pig Destroyer) and drummer Adam Jarvis… Continue reading

Heavy Pettin – “Best Of”

Heavy Pettin – “Best Of” (Burnt Out Wreckords / Cherry Red) Scotland’s answer to Def Leppard, as so many people thought from Leppard’s manager Peter Mensch, who booked them as tour support for none other than AC/DC, to Polydor Records, who signed them after a major label bidding war for their 1983 debut “Lettin Loose” – with Queen guitarist Brian May on board as co-producer! Following more tours supporting Kiss, Ozzy and Whitesnake along with festival appearances at Reading and the Breaking Sound festival in France among others, Heavy Pettin seemed unstoppable with their winning mix of ballsy riffs, catchy… Continue reading

Serpents – “The Brimstone Clergy”

Serpents – “The Brimstone Clergy” EP (War Anthem Records) This is the second EP release from this Swedish black metal band, who’ve only been in existence for a couple of years and whose members go by cryptic initials such as ‘S’ (drums), ‘O’ (guitars / bass) and ‘H’ (vocals). That said, the quality of the music, which has an old school touch reminiscent of bands like Marduk and Setherial, along with a bountiful amount of melancholic and dark melodies, works a treat across the six atmospheric tracks here. With clanging metallic guitars, the grim riffs herald the aptness of ‘Bring… Continue reading

Electric Hydra – “Electric Hydra”

Electric Hydra – “Electric Hydra” (Tee Pee) Having blasted off at Sweden Rock, Fuzzfestival, Malmöfestivalen and SWR Barroselas Metalfest comes Electric Hydra, the latest Swedish stoner rock sensation, who are fresh off touring Europe with Lucifer, Monolord, Truckfighters and Greenleaf – among many others! As much influenced by Kyuss and Fu Manchu along with Entombed (!) in their bottom-heavy sound, the band features At the Gates / Bombs of Hades’ Jonas Stålhammar on guitar along with the incredible femme power vocals of soulful Sanne Karlsson. Formed in 2017 and having released 3 singles, Electric Hydra’s killer shows have made them prominent on the… Continue reading

Sorceress Of Sin – “Mirrored Revenge”

Sorceress Of Sin – “Mirrored Revenge” (www.sorceressofsin.com) Sorceress Of Sin may be a brand-new band, but they bring a wealth of talent and experience to bear on this amazing debut! Described as ‘melodic power metal’, I’d actually say, judging by the 10 impressive tracks here that that’s something of an understatement, for in reality they also include NWOBHM and symphonic aspects, besides which – they’re f–king heavy! From the power larynx of opera trained Lisa Skinner, who’s fronted large touring showbands across Europe and performed alongside AC/DC to Greek guitar prodigy Constantine Kanakis, who’s trained under virtuoso Ioannis Anastassakis and… Continue reading