King Diamond – “Songs For The Dead Live”

King Diamond – “Songs For The Dead Live” DVD / Blu-Ray (Metal Blade Records)  With announcements made last year of even more activity from Denmark’s most famous falsetto vocalist, “Songs For The Dead Live” is the first of these fulfilments. Featuring two full shows recorded at Philadelphia’s Fillmore in November 2015 and Belgium’s Graspop Metal Meeting in June 2016, the focus of both is 1987’s “Abigail” album, which sold over 175,000 copies in North America alone and whose fan favourite songs continue to be a staple in today’s live set! Consisting of 18 tracks each, including other King Diamond choice… Continue reading

Quiet Riot – “One Night In Milan”

Quiet Riot – “One Night In Milan” (Frontiers Music)  Originally formed in 1973 by none other than Randy Rhoads, Quiet Riot became a name in LA’s hard rock scene until they exploded with their 3rd album, “Metal Health” that went on to sell over 6 million copies and become the first heavy metal album to reach the top spot in the Billboard 200! With a classic line up of Kevin DuBrow (vocals), Carlos Cavazo (guitar), Rudy Sarzo (bass) and Frankie Banali (drums), the band’s success was matched by its volatility especially in DuBrow, leading to many line up changes, break… Continue reading

Carnal Forge – “Gun To Mouth Salvation”

Carnal Forge – “Gun To Mouth Salvation” (Vicisolum Prod)  Carnal Forge are back!!!! Near legendary during the millennium years for touring with just about band from Exodus, Testament, Halford, Immortal, Amon Amarth, Nile, Primal Fear and playing just about every damned festival in Europe from Sweden Rock to Summer Breeze to Fuck The Commerce, Carnal Forge’s brand of melodic death / thrash stood them alongside In Flames, Soilwork, The Haunted and Arch Enemy (and even more so when these bands diversified their original sound) for over 10 years thanks to 6 blistering albums. With all the band members taking a break after the… Continue reading

Ancient Bards – “Origine (The Black Crystal Sword Saga Part 2)”

Ancient Bards – “Origine (The Black Crystal Sword Saga Part 2)” (Limb Music)  This Italian power / symphonic metal band have been around since 2006, formed by keyboardist / orchestrator Daniele Mazza, who began The Black Crystal Sword Saga on their initial 5 track demo. Steadfast in his quest, Ancient Bards has risen over the years to become a name across Europe and Japan, playing alongside bands like Korpiklaani, Eluveitie, Turisas, and Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody as well as festivals like Wacken, Made of Metal and Female Voice Metal Festival – to name just a few! While there have been the… Continue reading

Lugnet – “Nightwalker”

Lugnet – “Nightwalker” (Pride & Joy Music)  If ‘lugnet’ means ‘tranquillity’ in Swedish, then this couldn’t be further removed from the truth! Stoked and rippling in 70s hard rock and classic rock glory, it’s bands like Lugnet who not only capture the sound of that era authentically, but rather than retro hashing it, have brought it into modernity and actually paved a future for it. “Nightwalker” has it all in bunches! From the incredible compositions to the sheer range of 70s styles on show here – including stoner, blues rock and doom – it’s all performed superbly thanks to the… Continue reading

Magnum – “Live At The Symphony Hall”

Magnum – “Live At The Symphony Hall” 2CD / 3LP (Steamhammer / SPV)  Following the release of their hugely successful “Lost On The Road To Eternity” album, which many including myself saw England’s most famous pomp rockers return full circle to their roots, Magnum embarked on a 42 date tour, culminating in a final show at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall last April. It was truly a special moment for vocalist Bob Catley and guitarist Tony Clarkin, not because they both live in the area and as such this was a hometown gig – but somewhat embarrassingly, Magnum had only played Birmingham… Continue reading

Evergrey – “The Atlantic”

Evergrey – “The Atlantic” (AFM Records)  And so we come to the concluding album of the trilogy that began in 2014 with “Hymns For The Broken”. “The Atlantic” is Evergrey’s 11th release and as we might expect from this Swedish band renowned for their complex and progressive material, it’s deep and in this particular case, also highly diverse. Viewing life as a journey across the ocean taking in its experiences of beauty and darkness, fortune and grief, love and hate, despair and joy and everything connected with it, what could be more apt than to title this album “The Atlantic”?… Continue reading

The Three Tremors – “The Three Tremors”

The Three Tremors – “The Three Tremors” (Steel Cartel)  ‘…Three times louder than a sonic boom, three fingers on the hand of doom!..’. F–k yeah, no kidding! That’s exactly what you get here from Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens (Judas Priest, Iced Earth, Dio Disciples), Harry ‘The Tyrant’ Conklin (Jag Panzer, Satan’s Host, Titan Force), and Sean ‘The Hell Destroyer’ Peck (Cage, Denner / Shermann, Death Dealer) – and not just from one but all simultaneously!!! If air raid crescendo screaming is what you crave then these 3 renowned sonic shockers will give you what you’re looking for in the 12 searing… Continue reading

Dust Bolt – “Trapped In Chaos”

Dust Bolt – “Trapped In Chaos” (Napalm Records)  Wow, like 12 years on and Dust Bolt are here with their 4th album – and even singer / guitarist Lenny Bruce is surprised! Despite his very humble posture of almost feeling knighted at his band’s success, Dust Bolt have come a long way, at each step growing but always in line with fans’ expectations but never forgetting their past of ‘… playing every shit hole that has electricity…’! “Trapped In Chaos” is pay dirt for all those years of dedication and focus, containing 11 tracks of Dust Bolt’s trademark thrash n burn, but… Continue reading

Come Taste The Band – “Reignition”

Come Taste The Band – “Reignition” (AOR Heaven)  With their origins going back the late 90s as an acclaimed Deep Purple tribute band, playing hundreds of concerts throughout Scandinavia, Come Taste The Band have unsurprisingly been involved in collaborations with Glenn Hughes, Graham Bonnet, Joe Lynn Turner, Bernie Marsden and Norwegian singer Jorn Lande. After celebrating their 20th anniversary in 2017, guitarist Jo Henning Kaasin sat down with vocalist Doogie White (Rainbow/Michael Schenker) to write new material resulting in this amazing album, featuring not just White handling lead vocals for 6 of the 8 tracks, but Joe Lynn Turner singing on the remaining… Continue reading