XERIA “Tierra”

XERIA “Tierra” () This is getting ridiculous but this is the third Spanish band this week that I have no prior knowledge of. This time we are dealing with a symphonic metal band. And as with the previous two this one is also sung in Spanish. If there are this many good Spanish metal bands out there I want to know of them all, and especially getting sent all the great albums on CD/digital so that I get to know of them all. But enough about me and more about XERIA. I don’t know if it is because they sing… Continue reading

ZEPHYRA “Fall Rise Conquer”

ZEPHYRA “Fall Rise Conquer” () My feelings for ZEPHYRA is a two headed beast. On the one side there are stuff with them that I like. On the other side there are stuff with them that leaves me hesitant. I can’t really get to grips with what they want. Or at least that has been the feeling in the past. I really hope that this new album will set me on the right path. I gotta say that all the doubts that I had in the past are gone now, this new album is one hell of an album. I… Continue reading

Bonfire – “Live On Holy Ground – Wacken 2018”

Bonfire – “Live On Holy Ground – Wacken 2018” CD / DVD / LP (Pride & Joy Music) Formed in 1972 by then teenage guitarist Hans Ziller, Bonfire have come a long way over the years into becoming a well known name in Europe, as well as being recognised internationally. As such, headlining the prestigious Wacken Open Air festival last year could not define any higher the band’s status, and this 10 track live release captures the moment superbly – especially if you’re a fan of Bonfire’s first 2 albums, including the incredible “Fireworks”! Reflecting a ‘best of’ set list… Continue reading

Hate – “Auric Gates Of Veles”

Hate – “Auric Gates Of Veles” (Metal Blade Records) Close to 30 years on, and Hate still live up to their name! With 2017’s “Tremendum” taking a step toward a darker, more atmospheric, black metal-oriented style as well as exploring Slavonic mysticism, this 11th release boldly continues further in that direction. With Vele, a Slavic deity representing the dark element of existence the central figure in most of the lyrics, this album is very much an invitation to a tradition that long pre-dates Christianity, although so much of it can be related back to today’s world. With a clear intention… Continue reading

Memoriam – “Requiem For Mankind”

Memoriam – “Requiem For Mankind” (Nuclear Blast) And the war goes ever on! Blasting back with their 3rd release comes Memoriam, the old school death metal super group made up of vocalist Karl Willets (Bolt Thrower), Frank Healy (Benediction) on bass, guitarist Scott Fairfax (Cerebral Fix) and Andy Whale (Bolt Thrower) on drums. Initially developed to fill the void left by the sad passing of Bolt Thrower’s drummer Martin ‘Kiddie’ Kearns, Memoriam soon developed into a fully fledged recording and touring band keen to satiate the blood lust of the masses for traditional English death metal. With the first 2… Continue reading

Bloody Hammers – “The Summoning”

Bloody Hammers – “The Summoning” (Napalm Records) And now the screaming starts! If you’ve already been introduced to the ghostly duo of Anders Manga (Vocals, Guitar, Bass) and his partner Devallia (Keyboards/Organ) over the course of 4 albums, then “The Summoning” will no doubt tantalise with its song titles taken from classic horror movies. Fusing a rich blend of soulful American rock with suave goth rock, the duo once again produce a lush and highly infectious affair over the course of 10 tracks. Don’t be expecting any wild satanic rides or anything striving to be extreme, but in their own… Continue reading

The Lord Weird Slough Feg – “New Organon”

The Lord Weird Slough Feg – “New Organon” (Cruz Del Sur Music) Wow, it doesn’t get any cooler than this! Named after 2000 AD’s Celtic warrior Sláine and formed by philosophy professor Mike Scalzi (vocals / guitar), The Lord Weird Slough Feg play a heady mix of classic US heavy metal (a la Brocas Helm etc) and 70s Celtic hard rock along the lines of Thin Lizzy. While their eccentricity and no frills underground production will no doubt irk some, “New Organon” is nonetheless their 10th release, attesting to both their popularity and longevity. With their previous releases themed on… Continue reading

Ravensire – “A Stone Engraved In Red”

Ravensire – “A Stone Engraved In Red” (Cruz Del Sur Music) If true metal be thy calling, then look upon “A Stone Engraved In Red”! Hailing from Portugal, this 4 piece have impressively forged their epic quest over the course of 2 albums, 2 EPs and 2 splits and now on this latest release, show their full measure impressively! Right from the sound with its twin powering guitars laced with reverb to the medieval folk melodies and tons of epic passion exuded from not only the music but Rick’s impassioned vocals, there’s plenty of soul to match the steel on… Continue reading

Black Oak Arkansas – “Underdog Heroes”

Black Oak Arkansas – “Underdog Heroes” (Purple Pyramid Records) ‘..this song is dedicated to that lady with the red hair….and the perfect derrière..’ – well them words don’t come any finer than from the man who influenced Dave Lee Roth’s image and onstage performance – Jim ‘Dandy’ Mangrum, wild front man of Southern rock’s greatest legends, Black Oak Arkansas! Formed by Dandy and schoolmate Rickie Lee ‘Risky’/’Ricochet’ Reynolds back in the early 60s, these good ol’ boys soon ran foul of their neighbours, getting charged with grand larceny and having to skip to the hills of  rural Arkansas, living offa… Continue reading

Axel Rudi Pell – “XXX Anniversary Live”

Axel Rudi Pell – “XXX Anniversary Live” 2CD / 3LP (Steamhammer / SPV) My god, does this man have any limits?! At 58 years old, having released 17 albums, sold more than 1.6 million records with his songs being streamed more than 37 million times, one must ask where Axel Rudi Pell is destined to go next? Illuminated by Blackmore, Pell has been gifted by playing with some of the best rock vocalists around, including Charlie Huhn (ex-Ted Nugent, Gary Moore, Victory, now with Foghat), Rob Rock (ex-Impellitteri, Driver) and Jeff Scott Soto (ex-Yngwie Malmsteen, Talisman, now with progressive super… Continue reading