Carcass – “Torn Arteries”

Carcass – “Torn Arteries” (Nuclear Blast Records) A legendary band in the annals of British Death Metal history, Carcass return after 8 years with their 7th studio album “Torn Arteries”. Named with reference to a demo tape recorded by ex co-founder drummer Ken Owen when he was a teenager, “Torn Arteries”, still with co-founders Bill Steer (guitars) and Jeff Walker (bass / lead vocals) remains true to serving up more – well more in fact – than their band’s name and indeed genre might suggest, while remaining true to what Walker calls the “Carcass mythos” as its 10 tracks amply demonstrate. Closer to their final,… Continue reading

Rage – “Resurrection Day”

Rage – “Resurrection Day” CD / 2LP / Boxset (Steamhammer / SPV) No stranger to line up changes in its 37-year history, fans were nevertheless delighted when founder bassist / vocalist ‘Peavey’ Wagner announced a return to the twin guitar days of the mid 90s that saw classic albums like “Black In Mind” and “End Of All Days”. Still with Vassilios ‘Lucky’ Maniatopoulos on the double bass pedals, Rage is now joined by Stefan Weber (ex Axxis) and Jean Bormann (Angelinc) on its 25th release, the aptly titled “Resurrection Day”! Together they have produced 12 tracks in the classic vein… Continue reading

Criminal – “Sacrificio”

Criminal – “Sacrificio” (Metal Blade Records) Probably Chile’s most famous death / thrash band, Criminal were formed in 1991 and draw direct comparisons to Sepultura from Brazil in their raging style and socio-political lyrical stance. Releasing 8 prior albums, relocating at different points in time to the UK and Spain, Criminal have supported Metallica, Megadeth, Motörhead and Kreator as well as playing Wacken Open Air. Still fronted by sole original member, vocalist/guitarist Anton Reisenegger (Brujeria, Extreme Noise Terror (live), Lock Up, Pentagram Chile), “Sacrificio” bears all the fruit of his exploits over the last 30 years in its 12 killer… Continue reading

ILLT – “Urhat”

ILLT – “Urhat” (Indie Recordings) Although late into metal and never really an out and out headbanger, the extreme metal alter ego of Norwegian Emmy award winning film composer Roy Westad has been undetachable since he was 15 years old as he learned to play guitar, recording hundreds of riffs over the years without having the real know how of making them into song arrangements. Lacking the experience to join bands, Westad continued in his career, writing scores for countless films and TV projects until now, aged 36, whereupon he’s felt the need to issue this debut or leave it unfinished forever, the latter… Continue reading

Brainstorm – “Wall Of Skulls”

Brainstorm – “Wall Of Skulls” (AFM Records) Following the success of 2018’s “Midnight Ghost”, power metallers Brainstorm felt this was a turning point for themselves and their fans in many regards. Fast forward to last year and despite the pandemic, the enthusiasm in writing this thirteenth album was uncontrollable, and paradoxically, the lockdown allowed the band plenty of time to get the 11 tracks to the picture-perfect standards they were hoping for, along with having two guest vocalists for the ride in Rage’s ‘Peavy’ Wagner and Orden Ogan frontman Seeb Levermann, who also produced “Wall Of Skulls”. Together they have… Continue reading

Auri “II – Those We Don’t Speak Of”

Auri “II – Those We Don’t Speak Of” (Nuclear Blast Records) Wow, the talent of Tuomas Holopainen knows no bounds! If you thought the work of this famed Finnish keyboardist / vocalist was to be awed in Nightwish, then this truly amazing side band will have you bowled over thanks to the breath-taking beauty of this incredible sophomore. Stylishly mixing folk with Celtic inspirations and epic film score soundscapes in a classic rock inspired envelope, the trio of Auri is completed by Nightwish guitarist, keyboardist and pipe player Troy Donockley and Finnish lead vocalist and violinist Johanna Kurkela, a Eurovision… Continue reading

Embr – “1021”

Embr – “1021” EP (New Heavy Sounds) Having been impressed by last year’s debut “1823”, this Alabama quartet return with a 3 tracker EP that is no less admirable! Despite the seemingly cryptic title, “1021” alludes to the fact that this release is the second in the New Heavy Sounds 10th Anniversary CD EP series. Tastefully drawing from the grace of Southern bands like Windhand and Crowbar, expect an incredible mix of trippy melancholic serenity amid a maelstrom of crushing doom sludge. As such, opener ‘Vesuvius’ lives up to its name as it erupts with chundering waves of thick, down… Continue reading

Iron Lizards – “Hungry For Action”

Iron Lizards – “Hungry For Action” (The Sign Records) ‘…No fucks given. No trends…and with no unnecessary shit in their songs…’! If you’re drawn to the dangerous side of life and like your music played with equal, living on the edge desperation, then this power trio from Paris will do it for you. Formed in 2015 and since building a formidable reputation for combining ‘..the roughest part of music history..’, Iron Lizards take it right back to Hüsker Dü, stopping along the way to pick up Gang Green followed by The Hellacopters, before ending up at Zeke’s doorstep for the party… Continue reading

Night Ranger – “ATBPO”

Night Ranger – “ATBPO” (Frontiers Music) Having sold over 17 million albums worldwide, performed across more than 4,000 stages, made over ten #1 hit videos and captivated a radio audience exceeding 1 billion, Night Ranger epitomized arena rock during the 80s. “ATBPO”, the band’s 12th studio release, stands for ‘And The Band Played On’, which is exactly what Night Ranger did during the recording of this album, despite it all taking place under lockdown conditions. For some bands, this radical change would have presented an insurmountable challenge, but the founding core of Jack Blades (bass, vocals), Kelly Keagy (drums, vocals) and Brad Gillis (lead… Continue reading

Sodom – “Bombenhagel”

Sodom – “Bombenhagel” EP (Steamhammer / SPV) Having been awarded the German Record Critics’ Award – for the second time – for their latest album “Genesis XIX”, thrash gods Sodom were keen to stay in everyone’s’ minds during these uncertain times by releasing this special EP. Recorded by the same esteemed 4-member line up including founder bassist / vocalist Tom Angelripper and long regarded guitarist Frank ‘Blackfire’ Godznik, “Bombenhagel” is a 3-tracker made up of 2 brand new songs along with its classic namesake song from 1987’s “Persecution Mania”, re-recorded to show the firepower of the new line up along… Continue reading