Sabaton – “The Great War”

Sabaton – “The Great War” (Nuclear Blast) Commanding headline shows at the largest European festivals, such as Polish Woodstock in front of half a million people along with high profile tours in Australia, Asia and both American continents, the Sabaton army seems undefeatable. Indeed, with 20 years under their (bullet) belts, these Swedes are even more popular than before, ably stepping into Manowar’s headlining slot at this year’s Hellfest following a tremendous performance the day before at Knotfest! With this huge milestone in mind, what better way than to base their 9th release on World War I, remembered by many… Continue reading

Graham Bonnet Band – “Live In Tokyo 2017”

Graham Bonnet Band – “Live In Tokyo 2017” (Frontiers Music) Following the issue of last year’s “Parole Denied – Tokyo 2017” when founding Alcatrazz members, Graham Bonnet (vocals), Jimmy Waldo (keyboards) and Gary Shea (bass), reunited after 33 years for a unique series of shows in Japan, comes “Live In Tokyo 2017”, also recorded in March 2017 after a very special show featuring a number of Rainbow, MSG, Impellitteri, and Bonnet solo classics as performed by the man himself – and who has been in the rock n roll business for over 40 years! With 16 songs that are nothing short of… Continue reading

Death SS  – “Rock ‘n’ Roll Armageddon”

Death SS  – “Rock ‘n’ Roll Armageddon” (High Roller Records) A cult band if there ever was one, Death SS was formed by Steve Sylvester (aka Stefano Silvestri) and guitarist Paul Chain (Paolo Catena) in 1977, combining elements of theatrical horror rock as influenced by Alice Cooper, Arthur Brown’s occult shock rock and proto heavy metal. Despite changing trends over time, Death SS have largely remained true to their style and loyal fans, with most of their albums being released on Sylvester’s own label, Lucifer Rising. Indeed, coming 5 years since its predecessor, “Rock ‘n’ Roll Armageddon” was released last… Continue reading

Cro-Mags – “Don’t Give In”

Cro-Mags – “Don’t Give In” EP (Victory / Arising Empire) ‘.. Lemmy came to me in a dream and said, ‘Take it back mate, it’s yours, you started it.’.’. Synonymous with New York Hardcore along with Agnostic Front must be the Cro-Mags, who came fighting outta the gutter to deliver hard hitting combinations like “Age Of Quarrel” and “Best Wishes”, and together brought hardcore to the metal masses. Formed by a then 14 year old Harley Flanagan, who was already touring as the drummer for The Stimulators, it wasn’t long before he would hook up with Parris Mitchell Mayhew, forming the… Continue reading

Bullet – “Live”

Bullet – “Live” 2CD / 2LP (Steamhammer / SPV) With 6 releases now under their bullet belts, Swedish heavy metallers Bullet felt the time was right for their first live album – and what better way than to record it than in front of ‘..headbanging maniacs who thirsted for heavy metal and a good time..’! Recorded at 3 gigs in Germany from our 2017 “Storm Of Blades” tour and the 2018 “Dust To Gold”, the band even placed mics into the audience to get the full experience of a Bullet gig, which the 18 tracks taken from across their albums –… Continue reading

Various Artists – “Rawkaholic Volume 1”

Various Artists – “Rawkaholic Volume 1” (Rock’N’Growl Records) Oh wow, this could be compilation of the year! Although I’m not really one for collections, when they’re done well and offer something going beyond the standard rehash of prior numbers, then they certainly get my attention as “Rawkaholic Volume 1” has done. With 15 exclusive and previously unreleased songs, it’s the sheer range of bands that impresses here, with every track a winner to boot. From recognised names such as Vardis, Desolation Angels and Airforce to cult bands such as Blackmayne and Playhouse, newer acts like Krashkarma and Rat Bastard Syndicate,… Continue reading

Denial Of God – “The Shapeless Mass”

Denial Of God – “The Shapeless Mass” MCD (Osmose Productions / Hells Headbangers) Formed by the brothers Ustumallagam (vocals) and Azter (guitar) who are both still part of the band’s line-up today, Denial Of God began in 1991 and is one of the longest continuously running Danish metal bands of all time! Playing horror black metal inspired by Mercyful Fate, Death SS and Venom, this renowned trio (completed by drummer Galheim) are now back after 7 years with this mini release made up of a new track, a re-recording of 1995’s ‘The Statues Are Watching’, along with covers of Bathory’s ‘Call From The Grave’… Continue reading

Concrete Winds – “Primitive Force”

Concrete Winds – “Primitive Force” (Sepulchral Voice Records) If you like your death metal to sound like the onslaught of war, then “Primitive Force” is certainly a fitting declaration! Formed from the ashes of Finnish band Vorum, who in their time put out 2 releases and twice toured Europe, Concrete Winds is the next incantation, blooded in death and wailing in punk noise insanity. Fuelled from the burning embers of Venom, Possessed, and Sarcofago, Concrete Winds stoke it up further on this nasty 9 tracker, recorded almost as a live album with some songs presented by the bile gut vocals drawls, cemented further… Continue reading

Empyre -“Self Aware”

Empyre -“Self Aware” (www.empyre.co.uk) Ballsy Brit rock with plenty of heart to go with their fire, Empyre are fast rising up the ranks as festival rockers to take note of! Formed only 3 years ago, this 4 piece have drawn from the classic rock gods of the 70s for their fire but equally have a hint of Seattle grunge melancholia in their soul to have everyone taking about this long awaited debut. And its well worth it – if anything for the fact that it comes across as an album you’d expect from a veteran name band, which I guess… Continue reading

Rotting Christ / Varathron – “Duality Of The Unholy Existence”

Rotting Christ / Varathron – “Duality Of The Unholy Existence” split 7″ EP (Hells Headbangers) Oh wow – the gods of Greece have returned – and together! Both pillars of the Hellenic metal scene since the late 80s, Rotting Christ are credited with defining the Greek black metal sound prevalent in the early 90s but today incorporate greater melody as well as goth atmosphere into their music while Varathron, largely keeping to their core style, have also added more melodies into their music. However, the one constant in both cases is the strong Hellenic vibe, be it through epic riffs befitting… Continue reading