MACBETH “Wiedergänger”

MACBETH
“Wiedergänger”
(Massacre)
Let’s get one thing clear. This is not the Italian goth metal band Macbeth. This is a German thrash band that has been going since 1985 but it is only now that I get to hear about them. But as they say; better late than never. I have a ongoing love affair with German thrash. Have had since the early 80s and it doesn’t seem to wear off either. I love bands like Deathrow, Darkness, Assassin, Exhumer and a handful more. Perhaps I can add Macbeth to that list too. Continue reading

MORTOR “Shoot ´Em Up”

MORTOR
“Shoot `Em Up”
(-)
I love mascots. Iron Maiden got Eddie, Megadeth got Vic Rattlehead and Mortor got their own. I somehow associate mascots with thrash metal. Don’t know why but that is an image so deeply embedded in my mind that whenever I see a mascot I kinda drift towards bands like Wehrmacht, Suicidal Tendencies and that sort of bands that have a bit more fun in their music. Don’t know how funny Canadian Mortor are but the sure look like a fun band to listen to. Continue reading

OBSCENITY “Atrophied In anguish

OBSCENITY
“Atrophied In Anguish”
(Apostasy Records)
Obscenity seems to have been going forever. Somewhere in my conscious dwells a memory of having read or heard about them. I do not have any memories of ever hearing them on record. But then again I could be wrong and they’ve been so bad that I’ve totally blocked them out. And while I doubt that they are the latter I will go with the memory of not having heard any death metal coming their way. It is hard to believe that this is the sound of a 23-year old band. Continue reading

OGEN ” Black Metal Unbound”

OGEN
“Black Metal Unbound “
(Kolony)
Ogen as a name doesn’t say too much. It could be either a bird or a fish. This one could go any which way had it not been for the title of the album that pretty much gives it all away. Unless it is meant ironically, which I don’t think it is. So what we have is another black metal album by a band that is pretty obscure in all its dealings. Will this blow me away in total awe or just leave me yawning? Time will tell. For some strange reason I got a Satyricon vibe from this album. Continue reading

SINISTER “The Carnage Ending”

SINISTER
”The Carnage Ending”
(Massacre)
Sinister is one of these bands that I’ve been aware of forever but haven’t really bothered checking out at all. Since the early 90s when the first album was released I’ve only come in contact with them once and to be honest I don’t remember too much of that album. So it is basically like starting from scratch now that a new album is on the table. Continue reading

As I Lay Dying – “Awakened”

As I Lay Dying – “Awakened” (Metal Blade Records)

Gotta say, never knew AILD to be this intense! Right from the off this is one tornado of an album that just rips into you and doesn’t let up. AILD have an interesting mix combining the emocore vocals of Tim Lambesis with the mello death chopping rhythms of At The Gates all those years ago. But it’s their energy and vibrant pace that really socked me: considering the band have been together for over 12 years I’d be expecting something mebbe more slower or conceptual but song titles like ‘No Lungs To Breathe’, ‘Overcome’ and ‘Resilience’ say it all that this band are far from their sell buy date! If there has been experimentation then working with famed producer (and drummer of punk rock legends The Descendents) Bill Stevenson has made all the difference by bringing in some fresh perspective without changing the band’s core style. I would say he has deffo injected some punk freneticity in the songs to make them truly vibrant while also streamlining them to make them more aggressive. Lambesis’s lyrics in this album also seem to have taken a darker, more pessimistic path but it all works and reflects the maturity and experience of this San Diego crew. “Awakened” has certainly been a wake up call for me and might be the finest hour for AILD – and then some! Continue reading

Satan’s Wrath – “Galloping Blasphemy”

Satan’s Wrath – “Galloping Blasphemy” (Metal Blade Records)

‘…now that the thousand-faced moon is risen, Satan’s Wrath is upon thee..’ – lol, not withstanding the Beelzeblurb, this Greek duo of Tas Danazoglou (Vocals, Drums, Bass) and Stamos K (Guitars) have produced one helluva catchy album that embodies what heavy metal par excellence is all about! Haunting vocals, razor ripping riffs, insane soloing and a manic rhythm set the pace on racy songs like ‘Between Belial and Satan’, ‘Slaves of the Inverted Cross’ and ‘Hail Tritone, Hail Lucifer’. Despite their overtly Satanic theme, funnily enough I wouldn’t classify these guys as such – well no more so than Venom or Possessed were back in their day – but would certainly say that “Galloping Blasphemy” has all the hallmarks of a worthy contender to Venom’s immortal ‘Black Metal’! Continue reading

Demonic Death Judge – “Skygods”

Demonic Death Judge – “Skygods” (Inverse Records)

Wow – talk about a throwback to the 90s! These Finns remind me a lot of Brit noise sludge crew Iron Monkey during their “Our Problem” era. Ultra heavy stoner noise thick riffs, Stonehenge drumming, and most of all, screaming-like-no-tomorrow vocals! If that wasn’t enough to smash some decibels into your fried out brain, DDJ also chuck in some Shamanic melodies which is enough to send songs like ‘Aqua Hiatus’, ‘Nemesis’ and ‘Cyberprick’ right out into the far beyond, cos that is what they are – totally fuckin massive man, you can feel the earth shake as the gods fall outta the sky on this one – RIP Johnny Morrow, you got the last laff after all mate! Continue reading

Pteroglyph – “Found”

Pteroglyph – “Found” EP (http://www.facebook.com/Pteroglyph)

Pteroglyph is the solo project of vocalist Jimmy MacGregor, who was in UK alt metallers Mishkin. That it is nothing like his former band is perhaps to be mourned, but his new work is something else! For a 5 tracker it contains a dazzling array of styles and combinations indicating that Jimmy has been on a journey to find his final sound, but to his credit has made excellent work of songs like ‘Emerge’, ‘Earth’ and ‘Endeavour’ (yes, they all begin with ‘E’). From chopping raw guitar riffs to fabulous warbling guitar melodies, from clean soulful vocals to screamo to deathlike growls, I wouldn’t waste your time in pondering comparisons as the one consistency of all his music is just how plainly beautiful it all is. Continue reading

Tantara – “Based On Evil”

Tantara – “Based On Evil” (Indie Recordings)

With no less than Flemming Rasmussen producing this album, it comes as no surprise that this young Norwegian band sound uncannily like late 80s Metallica! But given that old school thrash be Tantara’s game, then sounding like ‘Liberty…’ era thrash is certainly a way to make a name, especially if you chuck in some evil Slayer riffs, Sean Killian (Vio-lence) style screaming vocals and some fine Norge melodies. Tantara certainly make a good show of it all, effortlessly melding those distinct styles into fast, chugging songs that pile on riff after catchy riff on songs like ‘Mass Murder’, ‘Trapped In Bodies’ and ‘Prejudice Of Violence’. Whilst I doubt if Flemming has discovered the next successor to Ulrich & co, I bet the energy and thrash style of Tantara certainly brings back a few pleasant memories for him! Had “Based On Evil” come out during that time, I would imagine Tantara would be thrash gods now lol but alas they will haveta contend presently in being diligent students albeit with the talent for more to be heard from them. Continue reading