RISE OF MALICE “S/T”

RISE OF MALICE
“S/T”
(War Prod.)
Rise Of Malice is a Greek black metal band in the old school. This is raw and basic the way it was in Norway back in the 90s. Think Darkthrone after they left their death metal to the wayward and went totally necro. There is a charm to this kind of black metal, a basic need that needs being served. I like the fact that it is only guitar, bass and drums and a voice from hell. Continue reading

THE RETICIENT “Le Temps De Detruit Tout”

THE RETICIENT
“Le Temps De Detruit Tout”
(Heaven & Hell Records)
Every once in a while you get an album that you don’t know what to think of. The Reticient’s new album sounds very much like a continuation of Opeth’s acoustic album, or any acoustic part of any Opeth album. This is a hard album to comment on as it reminds me so much of Opeth that it over-shadows everything else. Continue reading

THE SUN EXPLODES “Emergence”

vTHE SUN EXPLODES
“Emergence”
(-)
I gotta say I almost deleted the file I had on this British band simply because I couldn’t remember what it was. I am glad that I didn’t. The Sun Explodes moves in the outer circles of what could be considered hardrock. With one foot in Radiohead land and with toes spread out all over the remaining areas this album has an eclectic feel to it. Continue reading

TALES OF DELIRIA “Beyond The Line”

TALES OF DELIRIA
“Beyond The Line”
(ToReact Records)
Another band that is clearly inspired by what At The Gates managed to let loose with “Slaughter Of The Soul”. Not that I’m complaining. If that only means that we get to enjoy metal that tries to improve on what At The Gates started then I’m there all the way to the end. Tales Of Deliria aren’t straight outta the ATG box. Continue reading

Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators – “Apocalyptic Love”

Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators – “Apocalyptic Love” (Roadrunner Records)

Free the spirit baby! Unlike his self-titled debut solo album where Slash featured a number of big name vocalists from Ozzy to Chris Cornell to Kid Rock, this sophomore is solely a collaboration with Alter Bridge’s Myles Kennedy, and backed by Slash’s band of bassist Todd Kerns and drummer Brent Fitz – aka The Conspirators. Being the laid back hippy rockers that I’d imagine them to be, this ain’t no fire n ice dicing-with-dictatorship relationship back in his GnR days, and Slash has found in Myles not only a highly capable vocalist but a musical soul mate and together they’ve produced a hit winning partnership here in “Apocalyptic Love”. Slash’s all too familiar guitar tone – one of GnR’s defining points – is omnipresent throughout the 13 tracks here that also hint to a greater or lesser degree of Alter Bridge, whilst the deluxe edition containing bonus tracks like ‘Caroline’ is of the newer hybrid Velvet Revolver sound. Opening with heaps of funky wah in the title track, its LA rock n roll all the way man and then they hit the burn button on ‘One Last Thrill’ and a wave of unbridled rock energy just hits you and you’re off world man. Myles has brought the soul to Slash’s rock n roll heart and it resonates on the anthemic ‘No More Heroes’ and the deep ‘Bad Rain’. “Apocalyptic Love” kills you to death and if this is how Slash wants to check out then I’m with him cos the vibe n groove on “Apocalyptic Love” is nothing short of orgasmic so punch it baby! Continue reading

Hour Of 13 – “333”

Hour Of 13 – “333” (Earache Records)

LOL – I hope that just cos this album is called “333”, that don’t mean that it’s only half as good as Anvil’s! Still, it’s nice to see a band that has someone older than me (actually he’s younger LOL – Ed). Hour Of 13 is one of these weird musical projects, in this case between vocalist Phil Swanson and Chad Davis, who plays all instruments, although it’s hardly a collaboration from what I hear given they both record independently, and rarely interact socially, which makes a live appearance rare indeed! However, musically there is clearly something that gels these two together in the old school occult doom rock that they play, which is undoubtedly influenced by the likes of Angel Witch, Witchfinder General and naturally early Sabbath, although I would say that songs like ‘Deny The Cross’, ‘Rite Of Samhain’ and ‘Sea Of Trees’ err more to the lighter doom side sorta reminding me of Sweden’s Ghost or Year Of The Goat. It’s especially so in Swanson’s haunting voice, which is a nicer, soulful version of Ozzy’s (i.e. without the drugs LOL!), and while the music is dark in it’s atmosphere, I certainly wouldn’t call it evil by any means – and nor is it intended as such I would imagine – but appealing in its own beautiful way, rather like many horror films also from that 70s era. Continue reading

TesseracT – “Perspective”

TesseracT – “Perspective” EP (Century Media)

TesseracT play modern prog metal and on this acoustic EP, they have definitely gone into the spiritual dimension judging by ethereal songs like ‘Dream Brother’ and ‘April’ that lean more towards The Doors or even Pink Floyd, while ‘Eden 2.0’, is more in the djent vein with its funky chopping rhythms drawn seemingly from the likes of Meshuggah. New vocalist Elliot Coleman has an amazing voice, high and clean, that adds even more atmosphere to the music, giving the listener an almost trance effect in combination – little wonder then that TesseracT are being worshiped as the next rock n roll deities of India! Continue reading

Nightmare – “The Burden Of God”

Nightmare – “The Burden Of God” (AFM Records)

Wow – these French guys have been going since 1979 when they started as a NWOBHM influenced heavy metal band and whose career could be veritable nightmare given they were signed to ill fated Ebony Records, had personnel problems owing to the direction of the band which ultimately led to a 10 year hiatus until 1999! Their second coming however, has been better blessed with the Amore brothers taking a more prominent role in the band, better label support and regular touring, including playing the major European festivals. Shifting their sound more towards melodic power metal, there are still HM roots in the guitar work and it’s certainly heavy on ‘Children Of The Nation’ although most of the material is actually slow to mid tempo. Additionally, Jo Amore’s vocals on songs like ‘The Preacher’ give them an almost techno prog feel a la Savatage rather than what might expect from a traditional power metal band. Still, I’m impressed by the epic but melodic groove of ‘Final Outcome’ and the longevity of this band against adversity is truly commendable so bravo mes amis! Continue reading

Viking Skull – “Cursed By The Sword”

Viking Skull – “Cursed By The Sword” (Transcend Music)

Ingredients: 2 parts Whiskey, Motorhead, Sabbath & Maiden; 1 part WASP and a cupful of AC/DC. Yup, can’t go wrong there! Hailing from the English steel town of Corby, comes Raging Speedhorn’s alter ego – Viking Skull, who started off as a spoof band and having impressed Jack Ass’s Bam Margera to the point where he drafted his brother Jess in as drummer, have become a band in their own right (or wrong LOL – Ed). Clearly a ‘very metal’ band, VS play a booze laden dirty biker rock n roll that is ideal for getting pissed to, or just being a downright pig in general: hoarse, Lemmy-esque vocals, blues boogie stripper club riffs, and a good ‘ol boy rhythm define barroom songs like ‘Machine Gun Honey’, ‘My Bitch Talks Too Much’ and the defining ‘You Look Like I Need A Beer’. Don’t be expecting any Vikings, but you will be right outta yer fucking skull after ‘eadbanging to this LOL! Continue reading

Sacred Blood – “Alexandros”

Sacred Blood – “Alexandros” (Pitch Black Records)

As ambitious as it is titled, this a concept album about none other than Alexander The Great! Greek epic metal trio Sacred Blood have set themselves as mighty a task as their Macedonian hero did in conquering Persia – but as bold as Alexander they rise to it with no less than 15 stirring tracks like ‘Phalanx Invicta’, ‘Before the Gates of Ishtar’ and ‘The Battle of the Granicus (Persian in Throes)’. With some modern metal hints coming from Maiden, the rest is pretty much in the epic / folk vein steeped in ancient culture and mythology but delivered in the same battle arousing fervor as those Greeks who went to forge an empire in the sands of time. Truly I would’ve only thought something of this magnitude possible from Manowar or Virgin Steele, but I’m really happy its a Greek band and the Hellenic metallers should feel proud for this, as it has done the Macedonian’s life true to his legend! Continue reading