Blue Öyster Cult – “Hard Rock Live Cleveland 2014”

Blue Öyster Cult – “Hard Rock Live Cleveland 2014” 2CD / 3 LP / Blu-Ray (Frontiers Music) With their origins going back to 1967 (the year I was born!) and still with members Eric Bloom (vocals, guitar and keyboards) and Donald ‘Buck Dharma’ Roeser (guitar, vocals) the cult of BÖC is nothing short of legendary – right down to that umlaut later inspiring Motörhead, Mötley Crüe, Queensrÿche and even Spın̈al Tap!!! Fusing psych rock, 70s hard rock and of course, heavy metal, the band has sold over 24 million albums worldwide, and their musical influence on the rock world is… Continue reading

Annihilator – “Ballistic, Sadistic”

Annihilator – “Ballistic, Sadistic” (Silver Lining Music / Neverland Music Inc) If you’re a fan of Annihilator’s first 3 albums (“Alice In Hell”, “Never, Neverland” and “Set The World On Fire”) then you’re gonna love this!!! Jeff Waters, Annihilator’s founder / guitarist / vocalist / songwriter / producer, has taken it right back to the essentials of frantic aggression and old school guitar wizardry brought even more into your face thanks to today’s modern studio technology to create what the man himself regards as being ‘ the top 3..’ of the band’s albums. Formed in 1984, Annihilator have been going pretty much non stop for… Continue reading

Temperance – “Viridian”

Temperance – “Viridian” (Napalm Records) Well, if Amaranthe can do it, so can we! Certainly, the comparisons are undeniable given the use of 3 vocalists (2 male and 1 female), with the band members having at least 10 years prior experience and most of all, their killer mix of melodic metal, passionate pop and catchy dance beats. However, thanks to the massive amounts of talent inherent in this Italian band, Temperance are certainly no mere (carbon) copy. Indeed, “Viridian” is a huge release, its 11 irresistible tracks containing many stylistic variations additionally including hard rock, symphonic and power metal – but in all… Continue reading

Konvent – “Puritan Masochism”

Konvent – “Puritan Masochism” (Napalm Records) Fast stepping up in the footsteps of Danish metal bands like Mercyful Fate and Artillery come Konvent – aptly named given they’re all ladies whose brand of doom death is not just grim as one might expect, but rivetting in its dark and morbid atmosphere on this gripping debut! Formed only in 2015, the band are already well known in Denmark and have played at the internationally renowned Roskilde Festival adding to their growing appeal. Now comes “Puritan Masochism” and man it doesn’t pull any punches whatsoever in having an uncompromising sound more befitting an… Continue reading

Magnum – “The Serpent Rings”

Magnum – “The Serpent Rings” CD / 2 LP / Deluxe Boxset (Steamhammer / SPV) Oh wow, Bob Catley and Tony Clarkin are simply on a roll – following the charting success of 2018’s “Lost On The Road To Eternity”, Magnum are back again with an absolute winner that it sure to appeal to the hearts of its lifelong fans – who seem to be as timeless as the band themselves!!! When most groups in their maturity might be contemplating something more marketably modern, Clarkin – ever the perfectionist and traditionalist – seems to have actually gone back to the… Continue reading

Pyogenesis – “A Silent Soul Screams Loud”

Pyogenesis – “A Silent Soul Screams Loud” CD / LP / Boxset (AFM Records) Concluding their 19th Century ‘steampunk’ trilogy, alt metal band Pyogenesis have gone for breath in their coverage of Napoleon, Freud, Frankenstein and Marx to match the incredible depth and utter emotion of their music here! Formed in the early 90s by singer and guitarist Flo V. Schwarz, Pyogenesis have played different styles such as melodic death metal, alternative metal and punk rock during their career as well as being seen as one of the originators of gothic metal in the early 1990s. “A Silent Soul Screams… Continue reading

Victorius – “Space Ninjas From Hell”

Victorius – “Space Ninjas From Hell” (Napalm Records) Certainly living up to their name, Victorius play an excellent pedigree of epic power metal that is sure to set your heart and soul aflame! Cheesy they may well be, with comparisons to Powerwolf and Gloryhammer immediately springing to mind, but chivalrous  in their metal they certainly are, with no less than 4 prior albums under their belts and European tour supports to Freedom Call, Grave Digger, Majesty and Van Canto. With previous themes of fantasy, battle, and dinosaurs (!), Victorius now seem to have gone  for a new image and concept… Continue reading

Blasphemer – “The Sixth Hour”

Blasphemer – “The Sixth Hour” (Candlelight Records) Not to be confused with their UK namesakes, this Italian blackened death band have been a long running act in the underground since being founded in 1998 by guitarist Simone Brigo, touring Europe and US over the years, as well as playing many festivals. Themed on the last day of Jesus Christ, the path that led him from the Gethsemane to Golgotha, “The Sixth Hour” is Blasphemer’s 3rd full length album, and features an all new line up made up of veteran musicians that really cut the mustard across the 12 fiery tracks here, but equally bringing… Continue reading

Rage – “Wings Of Rage”

Rage – “Wings Of Rage” CD / 2 LP / Deluxe Boxset (Steamhammer / SPV) Wow, these guys have been going for 37 years and amazingly on this 25th studio album, show little signs of flagging – actually, they’re even more intense and ambitious than before!!! Heavy metal, speed metal, power metal…Rage has seen it all through even  venturing into progressive metal and in 1996, becoming the first metal band to record an album with a full symphonic orchestra in Lingua Mortis. Formed in 1984 by Peter ‘Peavy’ Wagner who still leads on bass and vocals, Rage have understandably been through … Continue reading

Moloken – “Unveilance Of Dark Matter”

Moloken – “Unveilance Of Dark Matter” (The Sign Records) Born in the bitter cold of northern Sweden comes the grim but beautiful music of Moloken, which perhaps unsurprisingly is very much like the land itself! Throughout the last 12 years Moloken has been fusing together influences from post death/doom/black metal along with 70’s progressive rock and hardcore, the result of which is a highly charged mix of intense, dark yet also highly atmospheric music that can be heard on this impressive 4th release. Clearly confident in their musical stance, and no doubt affirmed from tours with Cult of Luna and… Continue reading