MELIAH RAGE “Dead To The World”

MELIAH RAGE
“Dead To The World”
(Metal On Metal)
OK, this is in no way a new release but since I only discovered it recently and seeing as MELIAH RAGE is a band with a pedigree this one deserves a mention. I remember the band from the first time around. I can’t remember if the band was considered second or third wave thrash back then or if I even liked them back then but that doesn’t really matter now. Continue reading

RITI OCCULTI “S/T”

RITI OCCULTI
“S/T”
(Epedemie Records)
I haven’t come upon many bands that don’t use a guitar in their sound. The latest being GALLHAMMER on their latest album but apart from that I can only think of two acts in my record collection that has chosen to not include a guitar. This sounds like the soundtrack to Armageddon. The final battle between good and evil where nobody wins and the world goes under. Continue reading

SILENT LEGES INTER ARMA “S/T”

SILENT LEGES INTER ARMA
“S/T”
(Eisenwald)
I gotta say that I’m not that familiar with German black metal. We can talk about German thrash. That I know plenty about but German black metal… That one is pretty much a blank to me. SILENT LEGES INTER ARMA might help me a bit on my journey to get a fuller comprehension of what German black metal is all about. Continue reading

SONS OF AEONS “S/T”

SONS OF AEONS
“S/T”
(Lifeforce)
SONS OF AEONS? Is that even possible? For an aeon to have a son. OK. I’m not the one to question the choice of band name. As long as the music is good a band name can be how strange or bad as it wants to be. I know that there are people out there that don’t think the label Lifeforce are any good at picking bands but I gotta hand it to them. Continue reading

Kiss – “The Casablanca Singles 1974 – 1992”

Kiss – “The Casablanca Singles 1974 – 1992” (Mercury / Casablanca / UMC)

I guess there are few bands in rock history that come as extravagant as Kiss. From their live show to their image to lifestyle they were virtually a household name who indelibly touched the lives of millions of teenagers who grew up in the 70s – and still continue to be a top act to this day! Back in the days of 45 rpm vinyl they released a total of 29 singles for their label, Casablanca that were in a breathtaking range of edits and mixes, some for the public while others were solely for radio airplay or promo. Many of these versions did not make it onto their albums and so became much sought after as collectors items. Well, Kiss have now tracked down and assembled all of these singles and still true to their merchandising reputation have packaged it all in a beautiful die-cut shadow box with a limited edition, etched silver metal plate and ribbon-pull magnetic closure, custom KISS 45s box with 26 collectible picture sleeves from original single releases around the world, including Japan, Germany, Holland, Spain and Britain. Also included is a booklet which tracks the genesis and chart history of each single represented in the package and four individual KISS masks! From the German version of ‘Calling Dr Love’ to the Japanese ‘Shout It Out Loud’ to the Swedish ‘Love Gun’ this is true nostalgia from the tacky memorabilia to the original mixes. Naturally released in a limited edition, this will undoubtedly be lapped up despite the price by anyone ranging from Kiss fans to collectors thus perpetuating the legend known as Kiss. Continue reading

In Aevum Agere – “The Shadow Tower”

In Aevum Agere – “The Shadow Tower” (Pure Steel Records)

Awesome. Italian doom that conjures a witches brew of Angel Witch’s raw guitar work with Candlemass’s suave angelic melodies and the dark rhythms of Solitude Aeturnus – simply irresistible!!! Main man Bruno Masulli (Loadstar, Power Beyond, Savior From Anger) has definitely evoked something not of this world with songs like ‘The Last Farewell’, ‘Ire Of Solitude’ and ‘Son Of Unknown’ for they are definitive doom – in epic proportions that would make Messiah Marcolin blush and Tony Iommi shake from the classic riffs right down to the perfect sound mix. All in all an absolute gem of an album and the perfect way to finish off the year in fine epicus doomicus metallicus style!! Continue reading

Ion Vein – “IV v2.0”

Ion Vein – “IV v2.0” EP (Mortal Music)

These Chi – town metallers have been going since the mid 90s when they were formed outta the ashes of Latent Fury by guitarist Chris Lotesto. Initially more of a prog / power band in the Queensryche vein, Ion Vein have been content to release tracks over time rather than albums and their style has evolved in line with the changing roster of band personnel who’ve graced their line-ups! With “IV v2.0” the band seem to have gone more for a straight forward modern heavy metal approach with the three songs ‘Seamless’, ‘Fool’s Parade’ and ‘This Is Me’ being very much in the Nevermore, Armored Saint or even Novembers Doom vein. Vocalist Scott Featherstone sounds like a more metalized version of Dio, while Lotesto’s furious, chopping riffola and fluid technical lead breaks could give Annihilator’s Jeff Waters a run for his money. Completing the Ion Vein assault are Rob Such and Chuck White on bass n drums respectively, who equally kick it to the max on this powerful EP to see us off nicely into the new year! Continue reading

Malchus – “Caput Mundi”

Malchus – “Caput Mundi” (Soundmass Records)

Named after the servant who spied on Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane (and got his ear cut off for it lol – Ed), this Polish band play an equally dark yet progressive brand of metal! Taking from the full range of sounds from death like drawls to wailing prog vocals amidst choral harmonies, Malchus brilliantly weave them into powerful dark riffing, flowing folk melodies and technical power drumming on epic songs like ‘My Hypocrisy’, ‘Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam’ and ‘Stripped Of The World’. Besides the excellent mix of brutality and melody, Malchus manage to create a spiritually charged atmosphere with their material that’s hard to ignore, such is the passion in it! I can’t seem to find too much on them (that isn’t in their native Polish) which is a pity cos they are one talented band who are definitely worth checking out! Continue reading

Relics Of Martyrs – “Scenes Of Blood And Betrayal”

Relics Of Martyrs – “Scenes Of Blood And Betrayal” (Noiseheadrecords)

Martyrdom, blood, betrayal…well these guys should know all about it as they come from the middle eastern country of Jordan! Made up of Armenians and Arabs, Relics Of Martyrs play old school thrash very much the vein of Sepultura during their “Beneath The Remains” era and Kreator’s “Endless Pain” days – not a bad combo at all! Amr Atieh’s versatile vocals alternate between growls to screams on songs like ‘Hidden In the Sand’, ‘Judas Between Us’ and ‘The Martyrs Journey’, all of which are scourged by that classic underground sound of distorted guitars, muffled bass and dull, thudding drums – just like it was in the 80s! Not ones to turn their backs on their roots, there are middle eastern melodies in there too, but for the most part it’s dirty hate filled thrash written by those whose people have endured genocide and oppression thru martyrdom for centuries: prepare for a real history in violence. Continue reading

Pospolite Ruszenie – “Swiebodzic”

Pospolite Ruszenie – “Swiebodzic” EP (Soundmass Records)

‘Pospolite Ruszenie’ is a term used to describe the old style mobilization of the Polish population usually in response to a war. Likewise the Polish medieval rock band Pospolite Ruszenie have been assembled from the members of Celtic band Open Folk, who use traditional instruments like bagpipes, recorders and viola de gambas along with rockers from Illuminandi, Budzik and Rumor using modern bass, drums and guitars. Musically, songs like ‘Lament Over Jesus’, ‘Ascribe Unto The Lord’ and ‘Lord God, The Almighty’ indicate alternative, modern interpretations of medieval and renaissance music very much in the rustic style of Blackmore’s Night but even more folk! Jan Trêbacz’s hurdy gurdy vocals are certainly that, mostly baritone and soulful but at times he breaks out into growls accompanied by heavy riffing only to be offset by beautiful pipes n flutes lol! Still, I enjoyed “Swiebodzic”, whilst not being a knees up opus in the Korpiklaani vein, it can certainly be appreciated for what it is as a faithful reproduction of period music in the eyes of rock. Continue reading