Warrior Soul – “Rock’n’Roll Disease”

Warrior Soul – “Rock’n’Roll Disease” (Livewire / Cargo Records UK) Old rockers never die, and legendary Kory Clarke pretty much sums that up. Starting his band (on a bet) in 1987, it took only 9 months before he was signed to Geffen Records with a multi album deal! Despite an ever souring relationship with the label, who eventually dropped the band, Warrior Soul went on to release 5 albums and in 1995, play the Dynamo Open Air as well as Monsters of Rock festivals before Clarke decided to retire the band. However, in 2007, he revived it and despite a… Continue reading

Darkthrone – “Old Star”

Darkthrone – “Old Star” (Peaceville) If you’re a fan of early Celtic Frost or slow, black doom death, it doesn’t come any finer than this. Already legendary over the course of 16 albums in their 28 year career, Darkthrone’s status as a cult black metal band is cemented in the annals of Norwegian history. Formed, and still comprised of Fenriz (aka Gylve Fenris Nagell) on drums, rhythm guitar, bass, keyboards, lyrics and Nocturno Culto (aka Ted Skjellum) on vocals, lead guitar, bass, production, this alliance couldn’t be any stronger on a release that goes right back to the roots of… Continue reading

The Rods – “Brotherhood Of Metal”

The Rods – “Brotherhood Of Metal” (Steamhammer / SPV) Like gangsters returning from the joint to street, The Rods are back. Quite possibly one of the most fearsome US hard rock bands of the early 80s along with Y&T, these New Yorkers smashed their way into the metal world with albums like “Wild Dogs”, “In The Raw” and “Let Them Eat Metal”. Formed by guitarist / vocalist David ‘Rock’ Feinstein, who is Ronnie James Dio’s cousin and played in his band Elf, The Rods were an altogether different animal, nay beast, especially when the heavy duty drums of Carl Canedy… Continue reading

Gloryhammer – “Legends from Beyond the Galactic Terrorvortex”

Gloryhammer – “Legends from Beyond the Galactic Terrorvortex” (Napalm Records) Behold, the mighty warriors of the galaxy have returned! Even if you don’t believe in the bold exploits of legendary Prince Angus McFife XIII, there’s no denying the power of Gloryhammer, whose melodic power metal is sure to energise the parts other bands cannot reach. Formed by keyboardist Christopher Bowes (lead vocalist of Alestorm) in 2013, Gloryhammer have released 2 prior albums, been nominated best ‘Up & Coming’ band by Metal Hammer Germany in 2017, and undertaken tours across Europe and North America. Influenced a whole load of intergalactic space… Continue reading

Majestica – “Above The Sky”

Majestica – “Above The Sky” (Nuclear Blast) Oh wow, if you didn’t know there was a different side to Sabaton’s guitarist Tommy Johansson, then check out Majestica – his new, power metal jewel! However, to those familiar with Johansson’s career prior to joining the Swedish war machine, then ReinXeed will no doubt spring to mind and in fact, Majestica is a continuation of what he started in 2004 – indeed the name is a tribute to their 2010 album “Majestic”. But given that ReinXeed hasn’t released anything since 2013, Johansson felt it best to re-brand – and bring in the thundering drums… Continue reading

Toxpack – “Kämpfer”

Toxpack – “Kämpfer” (Napalm Records) If German street punk rock is your thing, then look no further than Toxpack from Berlin! Mixing punk with hardcore and metal, this lot have been knocking it out for 18 years, releasing 8 prior albums that included guest slots by Mickey Fitz (The Business), Roger Miret (Agnostic Front) and Gary Meskil (Pro-Pain) as well as their last release charting at no 20 in the German album charts. As such, “Kämpfer” is aptly titled meaning ‘fighter’ and is dedicated to all ‘…dreamers, kings, losers, drunkards, heroes – and those who won`t back down…’ and is some of the… Continue reading

Heart Of A Coward – “The Disconnect”

Heart Of A Coward – “The Disconnect” (Arising Empire) Whilst I wouldn’t say that I’m all that knowledgeable about HOAC, that may be well timed in this instance given they have just changed singers from the established roar of Jamie Graham, who left for family reasons, to the rawer and somewhat more soulful Kaan Tasan, who has already drawn comparisons to the late Chester Bennington from many a fan. Still, it was hardly a spontaneous choice given Tasan was auditioned over 6 months before a formal offer was extended! As a relative newcomer, this 3rd album impresses through its sheer… Continue reading

Vader – “Thy Messenger”

Vader – “Thy Messenger” EP (Nuclear Blast) Continuing their near 40 year onslaught, Vader show little signs of flagging with this 5 tracker preparing us for their full scale attack later this year! Formed in 1983, this Polish outfit have gone thru different evolutions over time, be it speed to thrash and finally death metal. These days, they seem to prefer extreme metal and I’d agree, having found a medium that sits comfortably between all those aforementioned styles, drawing inspiration from both past and present in keeping this veteran band very much in the fore of people’s minds. Comprising 3… Continue reading

Diamond Head – “The Coffin Train”

Diamond Head – “The Coffin Train” (Silver Lining Music) Famed forever for being one of Metallica’s influences, the sun certainly shone on Diamond Head back in the day, who even while still at school were confident enough to write their own material and play to sizeable followings. So much so in fact, that it didn’t take long before the fledgling band were supporting AC/DC and Iron Maiden, as well as attracting attention from a certain Leber / Krebs Management, who would go on to manage Metallica! However, t’was not to be and while Maiden and Def Leppard would go onto… Continue reading

Visigoth – “Bells Of Awakening”

Visigoth – “Bells Of Awakening” Single (Metal Blade Records) Be still my beating heart – if Visigoth’s sophomore last year didn’t fill me with red blooded passion in search of a noble quest, then good sirs, this humble but most braven offering certainly does! Released to satiate the ravenous European hoards on the eve of their tour there, Visigoth’s epic heavy metal has been capturing knightly hearts and enamouring many a lady since they began close to a decade ago. This single may only have 2 tracks but it doesn’t lack whatsoever in conveying the incredible passion and spirit inherent in the band’s music. If… Continue reading