Van Canto – “Trust In Rust”

Van Canto – “Trust In Rust” (Napalm)  By far the most famous metal a-cappella masters in the world, Van Canto have been bringing their unbroken power and dedication to the human voice over the course of 5 prior albums since 2006. Now expanded to an even more forceful 7 piece, “Trust In Rust” roars with more bombast and power than ever before across its 11 tracks – including a searing cover of AC/DC’s ‘Hells Bells’ and a galloping version of Helloween’s ‘Ride The Sky’ with dual male / female vocals and featuring Kai Hansen no less! Gone is original vocalist… Continue reading

Night Demon – “Live Darkness”

Night Demon – “Live Darkness” 2CD / 3LP (Steamhammer / SPV)  Oh wow, this just might be THE live album of the year! I mean, I knew that Night Demon were good having seen their sophomore “Darkness Remains” receive worldwide critical acclaim and being voted best up and coming band by Metal Hammer Germany, not to mention playing all the major summer festivals from Wacken to Bang Your Head and Rock Hard. But I didn’t know they were this good until hearing “Live Darkness” – a triple disc of pure true metal heaven in every sense of the word!! Clearly the… Continue reading

The Spirit – “Sounds From The Vortex”

The Spirit – “Sounds From The Vortex” (Nuclear Blast)  Screaming black / death from the fiery pits of Saarbrücken! If you worship at the altar of the (still) mighty Dissection or successor bands like Thulcandra, then this excellent debut is no doubt one for you. Formed in 2015, this is apparently a new band, although it’s pretty clear from the top grade musicianship on show here that these guys rank in the same league as their  esteemed aforementioned ancestors. From raw, throat rasping drawls to blast beating and savage, sabre slashing riffs it’s actually the rich melodies and absolutely tons of dexterous… Continue reading

Panzer Squad – “Ruins”

Panzer Squad – “Ruins” (Testimony Records)  Despite their jovial names of Tobi, Svenni & Henni, this ain’t no cuddly bear trio, but steaming black thrashers playing it very much in the old school! Influenced as much by early Sodom as Toxic Holocaust and any d-beat punk, “Ruins” ably lives up to its name for having 13 nasty and brutal tracks – including a cover of Shitlickers ‘Warsystem’ – that will definitely send you into a neck snapping frenzy. Initially founded in 2012 as a five piece from the Osnabrück area of Germany, Panzer Squad have been on the rampage across 2 split… Continue reading

Static Fires – “Thirteen”

Static Fires – “Thirteen” (www.facebook.com/StaticFires/)  Right now, it all seems to be happening in Wales if you’re into alt / indie rock bands, what with Catfish And The Bottlemen causing in stir up north along with English bands like Darlia also in the region. But down in Swansea, it’s Static Fires that everyone’s talking about. Having already released an EP a coupla years back, the band having been touring heavily since then, honing their skills and maturing which is undoubtedly what makes this debut so impressive. Citing alt legends like Foo Fighters and Kings Of Leon along with grungers Alice In Chains… Continue reading

BONJOUR TRISTESSE ”Your Ultimate Urban Nightmare”

BONJOUR TRISTESSE ”Your Ultimate Urban Nightmare” (Lifeforce Records) BONJOUR TRISTESSE has a band name that I can relate to. In every day life tristesse is a common part. If you don’t know the word tristesse you might now the word boredom. In Swedish it is tristess. The repetitiveness of doing the same thing day in and day out. So say hello to boredom. This southern German band are all about post black metal. I have no hard time imaging the boredom of the German life. In a way we are no different, Swedes and Germans in that we like order… Continue reading

BURIAL INVOCATION

BURIAL INVOCATION ”Abiogenesis” (Dark Descent Records) When the cover art work makes you think back to the 90s and Dan Seagrave, I for one know that I am in for a treat. Because an album with such great art work cannot be bad, can it? Is my logic correct or totally of the whack? This Turkish band play a sort of death metal that is dark and doomy. They will not win any prices for highest speed but I don’t think that really matters to this band. They seem quite contempt with plodding along in their own pace bringing us… Continue reading

CANAAN “Images From a Broken Self”

CANAAN ”Images From A Broken Self” (Eibon) I so distinctly remember that I have a CANAAN album in my collection but as I look through their discography I cannot seem to find it there. In order to calm my mind I have to look through all my Cs to see if I cannot find it in there. It might take some time but that is the only way to get my head to calm down… I have now looked but I cannot find it. CANAAN can best be described as vocalized ambient music. They work with soundscapes more so than… Continue reading

CARRIAGE “Visions”

CARRIAGE ”Visions” (Stormspell Records) I don’t know why but when I listen to this album by US band CARRIAGE I get a feeling for old Scorpions, pre “Animal Magnetism” and “Love Drive”. There is that feeling to this. I have seen this being compared to King Diamond/Mercyful Fate but to me this is much more 70s in sound than it is Denmark in the 80s. Through in some galloping Iron Maiden and even some early 70s Judas Priest and you got an album that differs from most today. But even though this brings back memories of only old stuff I… Continue reading

COLLECTOR “Liberation’s Fall”

COLLECTOR ”Liberation’s Fall” () This Boston, MA based band have some really cool guests on their debut album. Vicky from The Agonist, Chris Broderick from Act of Defiance and the late great Warrel Dane. I have no idea how they managed to get all these people to guest on their album but it sure does make it a cool piece. But no matter who guests on your album, if the music isn’t any good you have nothing. This is good. I am not totally clear on where to place it on the metal map. It seems to move between good… Continue reading