The HAARP Machine – “Disclosure”

The HAARP Machine – “Disclosure” (Sumerian Records)

Holy crap, like a whirling dervish this UK extreme prog metal band will leave your head in tatters – not unlike their namesake mind control weapon! These guys seem to court controversy, complete with a Muslim guitarist who only a year ago saw the band denied entry to the US!! With matching lyrics addressing many of today’s socio political issues The HAARP Machine’s music is equally complex, diverse and certainly lush in using Asian instruments from sitars to santoors and gongs! Centered around the technically dextrous guitar work of Al Mu’min and Michael Semesky’s alternating soulful / growls songs like ‘Lower The Populace’, ‘From Vanity To Utility’ and ‘Machine Over’ drive into you amidst blast beats, fretboard warbling wizardry and exotic eastern melodies. These guys are clearly on a mission to awaken the masses from their slumber – and “Disclosure” is definitely hard to ignore!! Continue reading

Hundred Days – “Mission Exodus”

Hundred Days – “Mission Exodus” (Rogue Rock Records)

Blazing hard rock from Britain! Hailing from the cider capital of the world (i.e. Somerset – also famous for hosting Glastonbury) and named after the hundred days in the Napoleonic Wars, I’m highly proud to say these Brits stand as tall as their redcoat ancestors all those centuries ago. This is full blooded, sweaty man’s music the way it should be played – with fiery passion, loving soul and style befitting a country gentleman naturally! Yanked out rock riffs as thick as Cheddar cheese, raw rock vocals that could fell a knight and scrumpy jack thumping drums kick it on songs like ‘Suicide Joe’ or ‘Whatever Happened To You’ and stomp all over Hughie Lewis’s ‘Power Of Love’ lol! Best of all, they have a simple yet original sound beholden to none although hints of Alter Bridge, AC/DC, and Zepp are there but what more could you ask for – it’s man hugs all around mate. Continue reading

Forgotten Tomb – “…And Don’t Deliver Us From Evil…”

Forgotten Tomb – “…And Don’t Deliver Us From Evil…” (Agonia Records)

With 12 years experience and no less than 6 albums under their (bullet) belts, Forgotten Tomb are probably one of Italy’s best known black / death bands. They play a very catchy style reminiscent of Celtic Frost mixed in with black metal thrashing but also a strong rock groove – definitely not the norm but it certainly works on cool songs like ‘Let’s Torture Each Other’, ‘Love Me Like You’d Love The Death’ and ‘Nullifying Tomorrow’! Death grunt vocals mix with clanging metallic guitars amidst thick almost doom like rock riffs showing a confident wit from a band clearly at ease with their delivery while giving the impression of not being self styled egomaniacs – undoubtedly stemming from surviving near-death car accidents and hospitalizations (stay off those Ferraris boys – Ed!) lol. Continue reading

Dead Harts – “Born Into Rags To Die No Richer”

Dead Harts – “Born Into Rags To Die No Richer” (Transcend Music)

Dare I say have a nice day…as romantic as dining in a steelworks, Sheffield’s Dead Harts are certainly as rough n ready as their run down city. This is ugly, primitive hardcore from the raw, feedback drenched guitars to the brooding bass and most of all, Matthew Baxendale’s (oo’er sounds a bit posh lol – Ed) base throat destroyed ‘vocals’. Yeah, there are emocore melodies on songs like ‘All Washed Up’, ‘Headhunter’ and ‘Caesar’ but for the most part they are pit fighting assaults with heaps of aggression: when you go down you know this feral mob will kick you in. Mix early Agnostic Front with Norma Jean and Dead Harts is probably what you’d get on a bad day. But amazingly these thugs have already played at Download (!), with no less than a European and even Russian tours scheduled next year – man, I know these are hard times but are people really that pissed off? Continue reading

ABRAHAM “The Serpent, The Prophet, The Whore”

ABRAHAM
“The Serpent. The Prophet and The Whore”
(Pelagic)
I’m not the person that goes ape shit over first names used as band names. To me Abraham as a name is so bloody grey that it doesn’t say a single thing about the band. But I guess that is the way the band wants it to be seen. I hope that this will be so much more exciting musically that I’ll go ape shit over the music. Well… I don’t know if ape shit is the right description of my impression of the music. This is the kind of noisy music that I have a hard time sitting through. Continue reading

ACID BRAINS “Maybe”

ACID BRAINS
“Maybe”
(Red Cat Records)
Acid Brains made me think of an old British band from the 80s I think that played thrash metal but had a really lousy band name. Don’t know why this band chose such a moniker for the band but as they say; Don’t judge the band by its name. This could be the best thing since sliced bread, or it could be a rather dry and stale. I will not judge this band until I’ve have all the facts on the table. Continue reading

DÖDSFALL “Kronet I Svart Eld”

DÖDSFALL
“Kronet I Svart Eld”
(Unexploded)
Norwegian black metal is an institution by now. For those of you who have had your head stuck under a rock for the last 20-25 years I pity you. For the rest of us in the know it is a challenge every time a new Norwegian black metal band could be the best or the worst. Dödsfall formed in 2010 and have already two albums and this EP on their CV. This is supposed to be old school Norwegian black metal. Continue reading

EARTHSHIP “Iron Chest”

EARTHSHIP
“Iron Chest”
(Pelagic)
I have to admit that I have no idea what German The Ocean are all about. Haven’t checked them out yet. But somehow I kinda expect them to be very progressive. I have the same kind of feeling for Earthship. Just by the name I expect some sort of spaced out metal that will take me on a journey far away. Hopefully I’ll find my way home too. This wasn’t as spaced out as I thought and perhaps not even progressive in a traditional sense. This is heavy as fuck metal that I have a very hard time placing. Continue reading

EF “Delusions Of Grandeur”

EF
“Delusions Of Grandeur”
(Pelagic)
Instrumental metal, or instrumental music in general is not my forte. Perhaps I’m too used to vocal music to fully appreciate there not being any vocals. I will not believe that it has anything to do with me not being a musician. I am a strong believer in that good music is easily understood by all people into good music. So it is with some sort of trepidation that I take on this. Continue reading

HELL UNITED “Aura Damage”

HELL UNITED
“Aura Damage”
(Hellthrasher)
I have great expectations on this album. For some reason I think this will be a hell of a ride down a very extreme metal road. Hell United… taste the name. Does it not promise something great. This has to be a really rough ride for it to not be a total letdown. I will only be totally pleased if this is up there with the greatest albums in black/death metal. Continue reading