Puddle Of Mudd – “Welcome To Galvania”

Puddle Of Mudd – “Welcome To Galvania” (Pavement Music) With over 7 million albums sold and a string of No 1 hit singles across the US, Puddle Of Mudd were formed in 1991, and grunge is certainly inherent in their veins, although with enough blue collar hard rock to endear them to Fred Durst, who opened doors for the band back in the day. Forever remembered for their triple platinum album ‘Come Clean’ in 2001, things may not have fared well for founder singer guitarist Wes Scantlin in recent years, but there’s no denying his talent for writing hits, and… Continue reading

Sinner – “Santa Muerte”

Sinner – “Santa Muerte” (AFM Records) After more than 35 years, releasing over 12 albums plus a number of live recordings and compilations, you’ve gotta wonder where Matt Sinner would take his band next? Easy! Right from the opener to “Santa Muerte”, the immediate presence of a female voice in Italian singer Giorgia Colleluori (Eternal Idol) confirms that Sinner now has two vocalists – yes – and boy does she amp up the songs through her femme wilds!! And adding even more to the excitement on this releases is the addition of not one but two guest vocalists in Ricky Warwick (Black… Continue reading

Vokonis – “Grasping Time”

Vokonis – “Grasping Time” (The Sign Records) Wow, like, totally immense! Having already graced the planet with 2 prior releases, this Swedish trio have pulled out all the stops on the aptly titled “Grasping Time” and man, have they taken the bull by the horns on this one. A year in making and with most of the time living and working together, this release might’ve been the last for drummer Emil, but boy, has he gone out on a high note. Richly blending the mellow grunge moments of Nirvana with the stoner intensity of High On Fire and the depressing doom of… Continue reading

Cloud Rat – “Pollinator”

Cloud Rat – “Pollinator” 2CD (Artoffact Records) Screaming grind punk from Michigan! Over a staggering number of prior releases, 3 albums, 11 EPs and splits, a live album and various other compilations – in one decade – Cloud Rat have made a name for themselves as ‘..feral, fearsome and fearless..’ and I’ve have to agree with that on the basis of “Pollinator”, which is accompanied by an entire EP dedicated to the band’s more experimental leanings called “Do Not Let Me Off The Cliff” – man, do these people ever take a break?! But going well beyond the grind to… Continue reading

Endseeker – “The Harvest”

Endseeker – “The Harvest” (Metal Blade Records) Prepare for the Hamburg hammer! If 2017’s “Flesh Hammer Prophecy” gave you an inkling of what this death metal crew were all about, then think again cos there’s been a slight shift in their sound. If you’re a lover of Boss HM-2 then those dirty unmistakable Swe-deth riffs will no doubt have you thinking of the old school glory days of Entombed, Dismember and Grave – which is total heaven to me ha ha! Uniquely inspired by nature (!) in their take on death metal, there’s almost a philosophical feel to this sophomore, with… Continue reading

Workshed – “Workshed”

Workshed – “Workshed” (Rise Above Records) Oh dear, the bad men are at it again. Returning after 26 years are former Cathedral members Adam Lehan (guitar, bass, vocals) and Mark Wharton (drums, concussion) to revive old school passions of grind, doom and blackness like you’ve never heard them before – put it this way, if you’re a lover of early Celtic Frost, Napalm Death and Entombed along with touches of southern sludge then you’re gonna love this! Unhurriedly composed over 5 years, but now fashioned by esteemed producer Jaime ‘Gomez’ Arellano, Workshed’s signature sound is grim and vicious through its… Continue reading

Mob Rules – “Beast Over Europe”

Mob Rules – “Beast Over Europe” (Steamhammer / SPV) Formed in the mid 90s and since coming a long way than their originally envisaged ‘.. two or three albums with a renowned label and maybe play a great tour…’ to nine releases and hundreds of concerts, Mob Rules show little signs of their journey being over. Indeed, “Beast Over Europe”, while being their first live album in 14 years, only boldly proves that this melodic power metal band are here to stay for the duration! Having just released their milestone ‘Beast Reborn’ album, which crashed into the German National album chart at 37, Mob Rules selected… Continue reading

Exhorder – “Mourn The Southern Skies”

Exhorder – “Mourn The Southern Skies” (Nuclear Blast) Eclipsed back in the day by the rise of sludge monsters Crowbar and southern metal gods Pantera, the irony for Exhorder and their hardcore fans is that they were largely seen to inspire the very sound that made those bands famous! Formed in the mid 80s and hailing from Louisiana, Exhorder’s infamous debut “Slaughter In The Vatican” certainly turned enough heads back in 1990, but after sophomore “The Wall”, the band split with vocalist Kyle Thomas taking up the vocal helm for Trouble. Unforgotten by their fans as well as a new… Continue reading

Year Of The Goat – “Novis Orbis Terrarum Ordinis”

Year Of The Goat – “Novis Orbis Terrarum Ordinis” (Napalm Records) Man, could there be a more laid back band…? Right from the off when I heard their mesmerising cover of Sam Gopal’s ‘Dark Lord’ in 2014, I knew this Swedish band were onto something, and going places…in their own time. Crucially blending 60s occult rock with classic 70s hard rock, Year Of The Goat have not only recreated those sounds authentically, but have added their own finesse  to make their music a statement in its own right. While not cravers of press limelight nor touring road dogs, there is… Continue reading

Atlantean Kodex – “The Course Of Empire”

Atlantean Kodex – “The Course Of Empire” (Ván Records) As if blessed by the gods, these champions of classic epic metal return once more with their 3rd offering – and mighty it is too! Revered in the underground, Atlantean Kodex have been acclaimed over the years from awards by Rock Hard in Germany to Metal Hammer Greece, as well as playing a slew of true metal festivals from Keep It True to Up The Hammers and Hammer Of Doom. Taking influence from Manilla Road, Solstice and early Manowar, Atlantean Kodex themselves have inspired a range of newer bands in Visigoth, Gatekeeper and Lethean,… Continue reading