Six Feet Under – “Torment”

Six Feet Under – “Torment” (Metal Blade Records) The bass. An instrument so crucial yet so painfully ignored in so many instances. I remember hearing people talking about a band, often overlooking the bassist perhaps intentionally like some unwelcome necessity or even worse, being taken for granted. Either way that’s all set to change here. Chris Barnes, the savage front man of his equally viscerally titled band, Six Feet Under has walked hand in hand with controversy as if he was courting itself! Never one to conform, yet never one to rebel, this weed aficionado has been content on doin’ his … Continue reading

Armored Saint – “Carpe Noctum (Live)”

Armored Saint – “Carpe Noctum (Live)” (Metal Blade Records) A Latin phrase meaning ‘seize the night’, legendary 80s hard rock metallers Armored Saint do exactly that, this time across the Atlantic with this mean ass mutha of a live album culled from their 2015 Wacken festival appearance as well as their headlining show in Aschaffenburg, Germany. Once called ‘the headbangingst band in LA’, Armored Saint’s reputation especially as a live act ensured this was no overstatement and now, some 35 years later, they continue to live up to their motto of ‘Saints Will Conquer’! Despite a hiatus thru the 90s, in … Continue reading

Ex Deo – “The Immortal Wars”

Ex Deo – “The Immortal Wars” (Napalm Records) Imperious! Stupendous!! Oh, the arrogance of Rome!!! Few musical acts can come close to capturing the essence of one of history’s greatest empires, yet on this unbelievable album Ex Deo have come close as close to Hannibal, the subject of this release, in fulfilling that conquest. The brainchild of Kataklysm’s vocalist Maurizio Iacono, whose Italian ancestral heritage spurred him to form this side project in 2008, Ex Deo have released 2 prior albums that certainly caught my attention for the grand symphonic metal they brought forth, yet not overtly wrapped in any … Continue reading

Immolation – “Atonement”

Immolation – “Atonement” (Nuclear Blast) One of death metal’s greatest, Immolation have stood the test of time since their inception in 1988, releasing a respectable 9 albums throughout their career. Often credited with laying the musical blueprints for later bands like Cryptopsy and Suffocation, these veterans continue to show their measure on the astounding “Atonement”. Still with founder bassist / vocalist Ross Dolan and legendary guitarist Robert Vigna, this 10th album does what few death metal releases manage to do – evoke a truly enshrouding atmosphere that is long felt after the music has ended. Considering this isn’t even a concept album, … Continue reading

Bloodbound – “War Of Dragons”

Bloodbound – “War Of Dragons” (AFM Records) A Swedish power metal band, Bloodbound might’ve been slightly late off the mark for the power metal wave of the late 90s, but they’ve certainly made their mark as a 2nd division band, playing Sweden Rock and supporting Evergrey and Hammerfall in their time. In my opinion, they could’ve been much bigger but suffered from successive changes in their singers, not to mention an early image conflict where the band would wear corpse paint, coming across as a black metal band when the truth couldn’t be any further! Taking a cue from their more famed … Continue reading

King Woman – “Created In The Image of Suffering”

King Woman – “Created In The Image of Suffering” (Relapse Records) With its long association to the hippy / flower power movement, San Francisco once again draws itself center stage thanks to the hallucinogenic potency of the mighty King Woman. Fronted by Kristina Esfandiari, who’s suffered her fair share of mental anguish from years of religious torment, King Woman might be one of the lightest bands on a label renowned for its extreme and off the wall signings, but that’s not saying their couldn’t frazzle a field of flowers. Essentially a heavy stoner psych band, this quartet are also influenced by … Continue reading

ARKANA CODE “Brutal Conflict”

ARKANA CODE “Brutal Conflict” (Metalscrap) Italian death metal for us that like Carcass and Arch Enemy. Okay, I’ll bite as I am a fan of both bands. This is ARKANA CODE’s second album. I can’t seem to have heard the first one. Not that it really matters. This wasn’t as melodic as I expected based on the bands that were name dropped in the promo send out. Not that I complain. This is death metal with a bite. I can hear the Carcass in their metal and perhaps also Arch Enemy if I listen really closely but mostly I hear … Continue reading

ELECTRIC GUITARS “Rock’n’Roll Radio”

ELECTRIC GUITARS “Rock’n’Roll Radio” (Mighty) I live 20 minutes from Denmark yet at times it feels like there is a vast ocean between the two countries. I have no idea who Mika Vandborg and Søren Andersen are but I do know how they managed to get the D-A-D Binzer brothers to guest on their album. I also do know that this is some pretty cool shit. Bluesy hardrock with a killer groove. The stuff that dreams were made of back in the days but now is more of a novelty. But that doesn’t make this any less good. There are … Continue reading

EVIL GROOVE “Cosmosis”

EVIL GROOVE “Cosmosis” (-) EVIL GROOVE sounds kinda menacing. Like a bad boy of metal that will put the naughty in us. I don’t know if that is so once I start listening to this but the groove is there. I can’t help wandering away to stuff like Skin Yard or Gruntruck. Bands from Seattle that were not that known when grunge were massive but sure as hell pack a punch so hard you’d wake up in the next week. I get that same heavy feeling listening to this. That it is like 20 years off doesn’t really matter. That … Continue reading

FROM THE SHORES “Of Apathy”

FROM THE SHORES “Of Apathy” (Metalscrap) If there is something I can’t get enough of it is good old Swedeath. It doesn’t have to be from Swedish bands as long as it has that Boss heavy metal pedal sound. Being present smack in the middle of that explosion I am damaged for life. An injury that I carry with great pride. This is a nasty piece of death metal. You get the frenzy of early Swedish death mixed with a sense of “melody” that really kills. I wasn’t hoping for much with this one but it turned out to be … Continue reading