Mordred – “Volition”

Mordred – “Volition” EP ( Back in the 80s, before Anthrax collaborated with Public Enemy, before Rage Against The Machine tore up the DNC convention, and before Limp Bizkit shredded Woodstock, there was a band called Mordred from San Francisco! If you remember albums like “Fool’s Game” and “In This Life”, then this 4 track EP is very much in that original style, fusing old school Bay Area thrash with funk that took the band to fame and across the world back in the day with American / European tour supports to big metal bands and heavy rotation on MTV.… Continue reading

Cro-Mags – “In The Beginning”

Cro-Mags – “In The Beginning” (Arising Empire / Mission Two Entertainment) Born out of the violence and poverty of Manhattan’s Lower East Side slums in the late 70s, Harley Flanagan went on the form one of the greatest bands in hardcore punk history – the Cro-Mags. Legendary for their gigs as well as offstage exploits, the history of the band has been well documented over the years through biographies as well as occasional altercations between the members themselves. Setting the schisms legally in 2019, Flanagan, now in his early 50s, was free to concentrate once again on his one true musical love.… Continue reading

Beyond The Black – “Hørizøns”

Beyond The Black – “Hørizøns” (Napalm Records) Formed just 6 years ago, Beyond The Black have released 3 prior albums and have enjoyed success in the German and Austrian charts, supported Saxon and Hell, as well as playing festivals like Wacken and Wave-Gotik-Treffen. Formed by lead vocalist Jennifer Haben (ex Saphir), who in 2016 recruited an entirely new band, Beyond The Black are often described as symphonic metal or even gothic metal, although the 13 tracks on “Hørizøns” might suggest otherwise, being in the main melodic rock with strong pop overtones, although not without symphonic and gothic elements. Whatever the case, there’s no denying the… Continue reading

Witching – “Vernal”

Witching – “Vernal” ( ‘…”Vernal” is a reflection of past issues that I was never able to process until I got older…being able to release this negativity and finding power in my wounds has shed light into my life..’. So speaks Jacqui Powell, vocalist of Philadelphia blackened sludge crew Witching on the eve of their astonishing debut. Formed only 3 years ago, this quintet have already landed an EP and two prior singles, turning plenty of heads along the way for not just their fearsome tunes, but equally deep and soul-searching take on issues like anger, depression and mental illness.… Continue reading

MINATOX69 “Collapse”

MINATOX69 “Collapse” (Mad4Music) Thrash metal, when played the right way is a force totally unstoppable. But then again, so is most music when done right. I have no prior knowledge about this band but I gotta say that I am looking forward to hearing what they have accomplished on this album. I am not too sure this as melodic as I am told it was supposed to be. But they do thrashes with the best these Italians. It is heavy stuff and it is extreme. So where the melodic thrash is supposed to be is a mystery to me. But… Continue reading

OFERMOD “Pentagrammanon”

OFERMOD “Pentagrammanon” (Shadow Records) I usually don’t care too much about the persons behind a band, unless they are really nasty people. To me the music is the most important thing. There are rumours circulating, and have so for years about OFERMOD’s main person. I don’t know him and cannot comment on those rumours. All I know is the music and that is enough for me. Ever since I first heard about OFERMOD I have been fascinated with the black metal that is created. So much that I have become a somewhat collector of stuff. Originally recorded in 2005 but… Continue reading

BPMD – “American Made”

BPMD – “American Made” (Napalm Records) BPMD is Bobby ‘Blitz’ Ellesworth (Overkill) on throat, guitarist Phil Demmel (Vio-lence, ex-Machine Head), bassist Mark Menghi (Metal Allegiance) and drummer Mike Portnoy (The Winery Dogs, Sons of Apollo). The band name is an initialism of their own surnames and ‘Blitz’ in the spirit of 70s bands like ELP (Emerson, Lake & Palmer) and CSNY (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young). Indeed, that is precisely what this band is all about, namely producing high quality versions of 70s songs that inspired their youth, while adding their own take on the classics of Ted Nugent (‘Wang Dang Sweet… Continue reading

Smackbound – “20/20”

Smackbound – “20/20” (Frontiers Music) Like a hammer to the head, this Finnish rock / metal band amply live up to their pounding name, yet equally possess tons of catchy melodies and grooves to make your heart soar and body rock! Fronted by classically trained Netta Laurenne, who’s also studied pop/jazz and folk singing and whose work has been associated with Amorphis, Lordi, Black Sun, Elvenking etc, Smackbound is also made up of Wintersun’s guitarist Teemu Mäntysaari, drummer Rolf Pilve (Stratovarius, The Dark Element), keyboardist Vili Itäpelto (Tracedawn) and bassist Tuomas Yli-Jaskari (Tracedawn). Given the sheer range of musical inspirations… Continue reading

Almyrkvi / The Ruins Of Beverast – Split CD

Almyrkvi / The Ruins Of Beverast – Split CD / LP (Ván Records) When worlds collide! Almyrkvi are an Icelandic atmospheric black metal duo with a prior EP and full-length release to their name. The Ruins Of Beverast is the atmospheric black / doom brainchild of one Alexander von Meilenwald, with no less than 5 full length albums under his multi-instrumentalist belt. With both bands being no strangers to split releases, this exquisite 4 tracker sees both at their finest with 2 songs a piece that will definitely not disappoint! Like a titanic sea battle, Almyrkvi open up first with the 10 minute ‘Asomatous Grove’, a dark enshrouding wall of noise… Continue reading

Living Gate – “Deathlust”

Living Gate – “Deathlust” EP (Relapse Records) Sharing a common love of both classic and contemporary death metal, Living Gate is a new band formed by Aaron Rieseberg (YOB,) Lennart Bossu (Oathbreaker, Amenra), Wim Coppers (Oathbreaker, Wiegedood) and Levy Seynaeve (Amenra, Wiegedood). Taking inspiration as much from Suffocation and Death to Tomb Mold and Blood Incantation, this 4 tracker is stoked with plenty of huge, catchy death metal grooves as well as bountiful technicality making this one visceral ride into sheer barbarism!!! As the main riff evilly hooks you in amid clanging melodies on ‘Roped’, Seynaeve’s hollow roars add to the slow, ominous atmosphere building superbly… Continue reading