Accept – “Symphonic Terror – Live At Wacken 2017”

Accept – “Symphonic Terror – Live At Wacken 2017” 2 CD / DVD/ 3 LP / Blu-Ray (Nuclear Blast Records)  Oh wow, as if headlining the world famous Wacken Open Air festival wasn’t a lifetime event in itself, but in 2017 Accept chose to include a 50 piece orchestra – onstage!! Ambitiously splitting their 2 hour set into 3 parts, the first being a mixture of new songs like ‘Pandemic’ and older tracks like ‘Restless & Wild’ performed by the band only, the second part featured guitarist Wolf Hoffmann accompanied by the orchestra playing tracks off his “Headbangers Symphony” solo… Continue reading

Artillery – “The Face Of Fear”

Artillery – “The Face Of Fear” (Metal Blade Records)  With their debut “Fear Of Tomorrow” still considered a cult classic, this Danish thrash band have been on a roll since their reformation just over a decade ago. Steadily releasing albums and returning to touring, Artillery are one of the few old school thrash bands that can proudly proclaim to have generations of fans from fathers to sons and even grandchildren who come to their shows! No spring chickens themselves, the core of the band has always been the Stützer brothers – Michael & Morten – whose heavy but catchy riffing has been… Continue reading

Sodom – “Partisan”

Sodom – “Partisan” EP (Steamhammer / SPV)  All fired up on the eve of the extensive “TV Headbangers Ball Tour 2018” alongside Exodus, Death Angel and Suicidal Angels, Sodom’s founder frontman Tom Angelripper is equally gleeful at his new line up – and totally killer it is too made up of returning longtime guitarist Frank Blackfire (Sodom, Kreator, Assassin), along with new bloods guitarist Yorck Segatz (Beyondition) and drummer Stefan ‘Husky’ Hüskens (Asphyx, Desaster). Needless to say, little incentive was needed to dish out this napalm 3 tracker EP and given how old school it sounds – not to mention… Continue reading

Alunah – “Amber & Gold”

Alunah – “Amber & Gold” EP (www.alunah.co.uk)  It’s been a year since the departure of founder vocalist guitarist Sophie Day, who fronted Alunah across 4 albums, including “Solennial” which was released earlier this year. Few actually wondered how and if these Brummie earth muthas could return but hey, they have – and in fine style too! However, as Sophie’s departure was for life choice reasons and given she is still working with the band behind the scenes, hubby guitarist Dave Day wasted no time in finding a replacement in Siân Greenaway – and what a catch she is too! Although… Continue reading

Sunflower Dead – “Coma”

Sunflower Dead – “Coma” (Combat Records)  Crystallised in 2012 when Michael Del Pizzo (Two Hit Creeper – Vocals, Accordion, Piano), Anthony ‘Jaboo’ Amen (Two Hit Creeper – Lead Guitar) and Jamie Teissere (Droid – Guitar) had the idea of starting a new band, Sunflower Dead have returned with their 3rd album – and a new line up including Christian Olde Wolbers (Fear Factory, Poweflo) on bass and Brian “Brett” Weir (Downplay, Starset) on drums! Playing an alt rock metal style that reflects their name in being able to sooth and touch with heart rendering melodies and croons, while at the… Continue reading

Organic – “Carved In Flesh”

Organic – “Carved In Flesh” (Testimony Records)  Wow, these guys might be from the Italian province of South Tyrol, but they play old school Boss HM-2 Swe-deth that would cause an avalanche! Formed in 2013, the band released their first EP “Death Battalion” in 2014 and constantly performed live over the years, which certainly shows on the 11 sterling tracks delivered with excellent precision tightness and lashings of brutality!! A four piece who deliver a massive sound comparable to larger bands, expect full marks on the trademark sound of predatory growls, dirty syrup thick riffs along with nasty solos, distorted bass,… Continue reading

Einherjar – “Norrøne Spor”

Einherjar – “Norrøne Spor” (Indie Recordings)  In Norse mythology, the Einherjar were those warrior dead who were chosen by valkyries to be brought into Valhalla to sit at Odin’s table. And so too is it with the Norrøn Heavy Metal of the band known as Einherjar! Following in the footsteps of viking metal bands like Unleashed and Enslaved, Einherjar formed in 1993, coincidentally in the historical viking town of Haugesund, so it’s pretty clear that Norse culture is rich in their veins. Going through the waves of metal that have swept Norway, Einherjar themselves have felt black, folk and even… Continue reading

Flat Earth – “None For One”

Flat Earth – “None For One” (Drakkar Entertainment)  If you’re a fan of HIM’s rock metal and admire the prog tones of Amorphis, then you’re gonna love this new Finnish supergroup! Formed by ex-Amorphis bassist Niclas Etelävuori with former HIM members Mikko ‘Linde’ Lindström (guitar) and Mika “Gas Lipstick” Karppinen (drums) while recruiting Polanski singer Anttoni Pikkarainen along the way, Flat Earth certainly incorporates some popular aspects of both bands, but equally has its own strong measure of grungy melancholia throughout the 11 tracks making up this debut. Together with a big sound from producer Hiili Hiilesmaa (HIM, Amorphis, Apocalyptica,… Continue reading

Blaze Bayley – “December Wind”

Blaze Bayley – “December Wind” (Blaze Bayley Recordings)  Blimey, ol’ Blaze Bayley must be on a roll or something! Having just impressed me with “Infinite Entanglement Part III – The Redemption Of William Black”, along he pops back with yet another new album, this time as a solo artist. What then could this release be? Also featuring the acoustic talents of classical / flamenco / rock guitarist Thomas Zwijsen, who himself had a Maiden tribute album called “Nylon Maiden” in 2013, and collaborated with Blaze on 2012’s “The King Of Metal” and it’s “Russian Holiday” EP follow up in 2013,… Continue reading

Burning Witches – “Hexenhammer”

Burning Witches – “Hexenhammer” (Nuclear Blast Records)  Metal maiden mayhem! “Hexenhammer” is the sophomore offering from this all female 5 piece from Switzerland formed in 2015, mentored by Schmier from Destruction and now signed to Nuclear Blast to deliver their sonic shock!!! Playing a crucial mix of classic heavy metal inspired by Judas Priest especially in the screaming crescendo vocals of Seraina Telli, not forgetting the twin axe mistresses of founder Romana Kalkuhl and new trooper Sonia Nusselder, as well as the more modern metal tones of Iced Earth, Burning Witches are certainly on fire, while not forgetting their femininity… Continue reading