Wolfpakk – “Wolves Reign”

Wolfpakk – “Wolves Reign” (AFM Records) The brainchild of Mark Sweeney (ex-Crystal Ball) and Michael Voss (Mad Max, Michael Schenker), Wolfpakk is their melodic metal all star project – and ambitious it is to say the least – featuring no less than 26 all star guests! Quite how the 2 vocalists manage to pull this cast is beyond me, but on this 4th album there’s Biff Byford (Saxon), George Lynch (Dokken), Rudy Sarzo (Ozzy Osbourne), Ronny Atkins (Pretty Maids), Rudy Sarzo (Ozzy Osbourne), Tony Harnell (TNT), Chris Holmes (W.A.S.P.), Oliver Hartmann (Avantasia), Timo Somers (Delain), Brad Gillis (Night Ranger), Pasi … Continue reading

Cloven Hoof – “Who Mourns For The Morning Star”

Cloven Hoof – “Who Mourns For The Morning Star” (High Roller Records) Long gone may be the outlandish costumes, along with the tongue in cheek names of ‘Wind’, ‘Fire’ and ‘Earth’ – but thanks to the spirit of Lee ‘Air’ Payne, NWOBHM legends Cloven Hoof are not just still going, but very much onto a 2nd lease of life! Bolstered by the growing ‘true’ metal movement along with a resurgence in NWOBHM, Cloven Hoof release this follow up to 2014’s “Resist Or Serve” album, and a mighty fine one it is too! Immediately noticeable is that it is not a … Continue reading

Jupiter Falls – “Faces In The Sand – Part One”

Jupiter Falls – “Faces In The Sand – Part One” (Broken Road Records) These guys have gotta be one of the hottest bands in the UK right now! Formed just 4 years ago, they have meteorically risen from having their debut produced by Roy Z to touring with Jake E Lee & Red Dragon Cartel before delivering a sophomore to worldwide critical acclaim, along with more dates in the UK as well as in France. Well on their way to stardom, now comes this 3rd album and it’s nothing short of a blinder! Besides their impressive song writing, it’s the awesome … Continue reading

A LONG WAY TO FALL “Hatemosphere”

A LONG WAY TO FALL “Hatemosphere” (Rockaine Records) I know that it gets old very quickly but I feel so old when I hear any of these modern metal bands. I have no idea where they are coming from and where they want to go. I feel no connection to them. But as I start to dissect them I realize that most of them are just metal bands and that the emperor’s clothing shouldn’t matter. And it is there I start with this band; they are a metal band. I have been trying to get into this whole modern metal … Continue reading

FULL LEATHER JACKETS ”Forgiveness Sold Out”

FULL LEATHER JACKETS ”Forgiveness Sold Out” (Red Cat) I know that I am old when all I can think of is Stanley Kubrick’s Vietnam movie Full Metal Jacket from 1987 whenever I see this bands name. I have not seen that movie or any other Vietnam War movie for that matter but the name got stuck in my head. Hopefully that will only be beneficial to the band. That this was going to be trad there was no questions about. But trad in what genre? I immediately get old Iron Maiden vibes from this. So that alone was comforting. This … Continue reading

HEXER “Cosmic Doom Ritual”

HEXER “Cosmic Doom Ritual” (Vendetta Records) I honestly don’t know what to expect from this band based on the band name and the album title. The name tells me this is going to be black metal (could be doom) but the title implies doom or stoner. I guess there is only one way to find out. By grabbing the goat by the horns. I was wrong about what this band is all about musically. This is doomy for sure but in a funeral doom way. This is heavy as fuck and slower than a sloth. You gotta have the patience … Continue reading

MALKAVIAN ”Annihilating the Shades”

MALKAVIAN ”Annihilating the Shades” (Finisterian Dead End) I LOVE French metal bands. So it wasn’t an option to not review this album by a for me new French lot. This promises to be metal as fuck and heavier than a rhino in heat. That alone wets my appetite. And with the track record I have with French metal this could very well be this week’s high light. This is thrash. THIS IS THRASH! From the very go I knew that this was going to get my blood pumping. This is the kinda thrash that pummels you into a pulp in … Continue reading

NORD “Play Restart”

NORD “Play Restart” (Geenger Records) I did an interview with a band called Nord a while back. That was a Danish lot. This is not them. This is a Croatian lot. I don’t get sent a hell of a lot of metal from the Balkans but when I do I sit up and take notice. This band isn’t as metal as the rest but they still have a vibe to them that is dark enough for me. This is rather modern sounding in a way that I am not the greatest connoisseur of. I do enjoy it but I am … Continue reading

SVARTSTORM ” Иллюзия Выбора (Illusion Of Choice)”

SVARTSTORM ” Иллюзия Выбора (Illusion Of Choice)” (Requiem Distribution) I kinda expected this to be another Russian black metal act but it turned out to be so much more than that. I’ve been listening to this at work and I am super impressed by what this band offers up. It is symphonic, melodic and very modern sounding. I find myself wanting this is my CD collection displayed right in front of everything else. This is the album that has impressed me the most this year. Even that they sing in Russian is a bonus. It adds to that rural feel … Continue reading

VICINITY “Recurrence”

VICINITY “Recurrence” (Mighty) Norway hasn’t been on my map lately. But in the recent weeks I’ve almost been bombarded with great new Norwegian releases. The metal scene in Norway isn’t as dead as I thought it was. I have been a progressive fan since the first time I heard Pallas back in the 80s and with Dream Theater entering the scene everything changed. I cannot say that I am that well versed in music theory but I do know if I like what I hear and that is all that matters. To my ears this isn’t as intricate as Dream … Continue reading