I SPIT ASHES “Inhaling Blackness – Reflecting Light”

I SPIT ASHES
“Inhaling Blackness – Reflecting Light”
(Massacre)
I Spit Ashes are another new German metal act making a name for themselves with their debut album. This is metal that makes me think of a less death metal Dark Tranquillity or a more controlled At The Gates. There is a strong Swedish air to this album. I like that it makes me think Swedish metal. This was a positive experience. Continue reading

SCORNAGE “ReaFEARance”

SCORNAGE
“ReaFEARarce”
(Massacre)
Scornage as a name seems so very familiar yet I can’t remember if I’ve heard the music before I got sent this new album. Any which way this is thrash metal the hard way. Nothing fancy going on here, just plain in your face thrash. This is brutal the same way Legion Of The Damned are brutal. Continue reading

SYBREED “God Is An Automaton”

SYBREED
“God Is An Automaton”
(Listenable)
Sybreed made me think Fear Factory when they burst onto the scene in the 90s. I really liked the sound Fear Factory presented. It felt fresh and new and got me to look deeper into the whole industrial scene. Sybreed will not have that effect on me simply because I do not need to dig anywhere to fully understand where they are coming from. Continue reading

UNHERZ “Die Wahrheit liegt dazwichen”

UNHERZ
“Die Wahrheit liegt dazwischen”
(Massacre)
That trends goes in cycles are nothing new. What once was regarded as over and done with comes back to haunt us again. I’m not saying that all hardrock of the 80s was bad. It was just some that were worse than other. Some were really good and has therefore stayed with me. Like this Belgian band Underdog that impressed me back in the 80s. Not that Unherz in any way sound like Underdog. Continue reading

VESEN “This Time It Is Personal”

VESEN
“This Time It is Personal”
(Soul Seller)
I wonder how many Norwegian black metal band you can fit into one Volkswagen. They seem to be everywhere and there’s no escaping them either. Vesen made me think of Dödheimsgard just by looking at the cover. That was before I got to hear the music. That made me thing of Vondur. I honestly don’t know what to think of this. Continue reading

Grave Digger – “Clash Of The Gods”

Grave Digger – “Clash Of The Gods” (Napalm Records)

Grave Digger are one of Germany’s earliest metal bands, beginning in the early 80s and still going strong largely thanks to the dedication of frontman vocalist Chris Boltendahl. With a strong following in their home market “Clash Of The Gods” is their 16th album no less, and with the classical theme still strongly part of their ethos, they’ve chosen to turn back the clock right to the ages of Greek mythology! Grave Digger’s music is equally classical, being essentially 80s Euro metal although Chris’s gruff voice definitely stands out as being exceptional to that era. Whilst not being as eccentrically serious as Manowar, Grave Digger nevertheless do justice in their own right to songs like ‘God Of Terror’, ‘Warriors Revenge’ and ‘Medusa’ which are played at varying tempos, some heavy, some melodic, some epic and others more singalong – especially to their own name lol – essentially covering the full heavy metal spectrum both in fine style and as one of the original purveyors of it! Continue reading

Knight Fury – “Time To Rock”

Knight Fury – “Time To Rock” (Pure Steel Records)

The latest supergroup from the US, Knight Fury brings together founder guitarist Chris Sanders (ex-LIZZY BORDEN), drummer Ken Mary (ex-TKO, ex-Accept, ex-Chastain, ex-Alice Cooper etc etc) and none other than Megadeth’s bassist Dave Ellefson in a traditional heavy / power metal band with symphonic and epic elements. It’s certainly a departure from the individuals’ own bands and quite refreshing not to hear any obvious elements of them in the Knight Fury sound – and arguably why would they need to, given it is a brilliant power package featuring crunching rock riffs, power rhythms and beautiful melodies on cool songs like ‘Battle For The Castle’, ‘Awaken’ and ‘Believe’. Newcomer vocalist William King fits in effortlessly with his clean, high end vocals which complete this circle of upliftingly powerful yet passionate music that used to be fashionable in the 80s, yet never had a market of its own – why I do not know – so “Time To Rock” is a timely welcome indeed! Continue reading

All Hail The Yeti – “All Hail The Yeti”

All Hail The Yeti – “All Hail The Yeti” (AFM Records)

In an almost impossible possibility, AHTY are a heavy stoner band hailing from LA – West Hollywood to be specific! Complete with lumberjack shirts, I guess what sets these hill billys apart is Canadian vocalist and tattoo artist Connor Garritty’s ugly aggro core ‘vocals’ and moreover, some serious melodies and hippy choruses amidst the sludge of ‘I Am Wendigod’, ‘Judas Cradle’ and ‘When The Sky Falls’. Additionally, the band don’t rely just on one tempo but in many cases, have an upbeat groove to their sound. So while being heavy, AHTY are very accessible to the masses – hence being a fave at the Whisky-A-Go-Go – unlike the dope hazed smog of EyeHateGod or Buzzoven, whose inspiration can be heard there throughout, albeit without the extreme, uncompromising and drug fueled nihilistic rage that spawned those bands. Continue reading

Cultfinder – “Black Thrashing Terror”

Cultfinder – “Black Thrashing Terror” EP (Eldritch Lunar Miasma)

Every now and then a band comes along that pulls out the stops and brings the shit. England’s Cultfinder have done just that with only 3 songs. Going back to the days of old black thrash when the two comfortably swirled around the same foul smelling trough, “Black Thrashing Terror” reminds me of similar obscene beasts like early Napalm Death, Onslaught and Iron Monkey where the music owed itself as much to the heaviest of metal as it did to the crustiest punk. And so it is too with Cultfinder, although the well executed musicianship of this trio should not be overlooked in bringing to life the true evil of songs like ‘Archangel Burial’ and ‘Witching Curse’. Nasty stuff indeed with no hint whatsoever of compromise – you can either like it or fuck off. Continue reading

Shades Of Dusk – “Squalor”

Shades Of Dusk – “Squalor” (PRC Music)

These guys are apparently one of the top underground bands from Montreal, QC – and I believe them! This is quite astonishing melodic death metal which is easily up there with the top ranked purveyors of this style i.e. Dark Tranquility or The Black Dahlia Murder. Listening to the likes of ‘Morning Qualm’, ‘Priapism’ and ‘The Satyr’ its clear that Shades Of Dusk are a grade A complete package ranging from superb delivery to some of the best song writing I’ve heard in this genre – implying some serious brainpower as well as musical dexterity! But what I really like best is how they incorporate hints of other styles from technical death metal riffs to emo core harmonies to neo gothic licks to bring both a dark and yet also illuminating atmosphere that pervades the entirety of “Squalor”. As I said, quite superb for an unknown band. Considering their talent and potential I really hope they don’t get passed over simply for being Canadian because they deserve so much better. Continue reading