Operation: Mindcrime – “The New Reality”

Operation: Mindcrime – “The New Reality” (Frontiers Music) On what must seem like an epic (if cathartic) journey for Geoff Tate following his acrimonious split from Queensrÿche, comes this final album making up the concept trilogy created by Operation: Mindcrime, the musical collaboration that he created. Recorded as part of a mammoth studio recording session 2 years ago where Tate invited a series of guests including John Moyer of Disturbed, Simon Wright (ex AC/DC, Dio, UFO) and Brian Tichy (ex Whitesnake, Foreigner) to contribute to creating fantastic albums that told stories, as exemplified by the likes of “The Wall” by … Continue reading

Jess and the Ancient Ones – “The Horse and Other Weird Tales”

Jess and the Ancient Ones – “The Horse and Other Weird Tales” (Svart Records) If the first 2 releases from this impressive Finnish psychedelic rock band were enough to blow my mind then this 3rd release just simply had me jiving n groovin’ along to the fantastic material on show here! Notably also raising the (black) eyebrow of King Diamond who had them as his opening act for his North American tour in 2014, Jess and the Ancient Ones are one of those few bands that grab you instantaneously through the power of their incredible songs and then just hold … Continue reading

Crom – “When Northmen Die”

Crom – “When Northmen Die” (Pure Steel / Legend Records) Formed by ex Dark Fortress guitarist Walter ‘Crom’ Grosse, this is his namesake solo band with its inspiration unmistakably taken from Conan and musically Bathory and early Manowar. As such, if its epic warrior metal that you crave, then look no further as this is what Crom is all about. Yet while some songs may be hard and involve stirring Nordic choirs, in the main Crom is about ballads and usually sorrowful ones about fallen heroes, mourned brothers and missed friends, often using gentle acoustics and deep folk melodies with strong … Continue reading

Minas Morgul – “Kult”

Minas Morgul – “Kult” (Trollzorn) It’s been 20 years since this German black metal band walked this earth, and without any let up, they bring us their new – and 6th album – simply titled “Kult”! With an undoubted Lord Of The Rings influence, their name is taken itself from the dark tower of black sorcery, this Teutonic sextet rage and blast beat effortlessly, but equally, they offer more with cinematic elements, plenty of powerful atmosphere through a liberal use of pagan melodies and occasionally socially conscious lyrics allowing for a different take on the 10 epic tracks here. Hugely … Continue reading

Hard Action – “Hot Wired Beat”

Hard Action – “Hot Wired Beat” (Svart Records) Oh wow, these Finns may have an unremarkable name for their band, but they sure know how to rock! Clearly weaned during those long winter nights on a steady diet of The Dictators, MC5 and especially Hanoi Rocks, this 9 track sophomore has it all from fast rockers and spazzed out punkers to cool cruisers and soulful crooners. Most of all though, it’s all catchy and instantly addictive thanks to the relentless guitar machines of Gyntsä (who also handles vocals and could give Mick Jagger a run for his money) and Ville, … Continue reading

American Glutton – “Dish Served Cold”

American Glutton – “Dish Served Cold” EP (From The Ashes Records) Oh yeah baby, check out the monster grooves on this one! With its rich history in rock music, Jacksonville FL once again comes up trumps with American Glutton. Despite their strange name, there’s simply no messin’ on this handsome 5 track debut EP. A power trio made up of guitarist Tommy Harrison (Dogs of Pleasure) and bassist Dani Harrison (The Trainwreckers), both from the Denver scene along with well known solo southern rocker (and University of Central Florida professor!) Raven Cain on vocals, “Dish Served Cold” may be titled … Continue reading

AGONIA BLACK VOMIT ”Cosmosatanic Wisdom”

AGONIA BLACK VOMIT ”Cosmosatanic Wisdom” (Symbol Of Domination) I have had some really cool Italian black metal meetings over the years. One that comes to mind is Handful of Hate. A band that I discovered by chance but turned out to be really cool. I have the same kinda hope for AGONIA BLACK VOMIT. This album did not start on a high note for me. I thought that this was perhaps going to be some sort of doom black metal but that was just the first track. By the second the pace picked up and it became a much more … Continue reading

ASTARIUM “Drum-Ghoul”

ASTARIUM “Drum-Ghoul” (Symbol Of Domination) For some reason I actually thought that I was familiar with this Russian band but apparently I am not. I honestly think I am going insane. I have such a hard time ciphering between fact and fiction these days. This is supposedly symphonic black metal. I gotta say that listening to this it isn’t what I thought it might be. I kinda expected it to be bombastic over the top symphonic but it is much more restraint. In a way this is like a really grim horror story that slowly evolves. It took me a … Continue reading

CANVAS “Worry”

CANVAS “Worry” (Basick) I honestly don’t know what kind of label Basick is but the stuff I have heard them releasing has all been on the more modern side of things. And CANVAS are no exception. This isto my ears what modern metalcore sounds like. Or melodic post hardcore as they like to call it. And I can actually agree on that description. There is a post feel to this. And I actually like it. The chaos, the sense for melodies. The energy. This wasn’t as awful as I feared it could be. Instead this turned out to be really … Continue reading

GRIMGOTTS “Lions Of The Sea”

GRIMGOTTS “Lions Of The Sea” (Stormspell Records) I honestly don’t know what GRIMGOTTS mean or what it is. Other than a cool metal band on one of my fave labels. But apparently they are British and they play a sort of symphonic power metal. I have not seen a single Harry Potter movie but I have seen the prequel. So I can in a way relate to this being influenced by that kind of fantasy writing. This is in no way bad but I still feel that there is something missing. I would have liked for this to be even … Continue reading