Black Widow – “Sleeping With Demons”

Black Widow
“Sleeping With Demons”
(Smack Management)

HOLY SHIT – who needs Spinal Tap when you’ve got the real deal in Black Widow LOL? This is simply frightening – not even Beelzebub could conjure this unholy concoction! Originally formed in 1966 as Pesky Gee! (big clue in that name), following their name change and adoption of an occult image involving mock stage sacrifices, Black Widow went onto infamy be it from being banned by the BBC or besieged by religious fanatics who would preach at the waiting queues warning of the inherent dangers of witchcraft and the band LOL! Continue reading

Riot – “Immortal Soul”

Riot
“Immortal Soul”
(Steamhammer/SPV)

I honestly feel privileged to do this review – Riot are a band that I’ve known and seen since the 80s and have a tremendous amount of respect for. Centered around guitarist Mark Reale, they’ve been going thru thick n thin since the late 70s with a plethora of line ups. To me their legendary album “Thundersteel” is one of THE classic releases of all time and clearly I’m not unique in that perspective as over the years, the Riot fans have repeatedly acknowledged the “Thundersteel” line up as being the definitive one. Well, get ready for a heart attack: “Immortal Soul” not only has been carved out as the successor to “Thundersteel”but features Tony Moore (vocals), Mark Reale (guitar), Don Van Stavern (bass) and Bobby Jarzombek (drums) plus live guitarist Mike Flyntz!!!! Continue reading

Isole – “Born From Shadows”

Isole
“Born From Shadows”
(Napalm Records)

With the twilight of the gods looming in Sweden’s Candlemass, Isole are already throwing in their lot with this contemporary doom album. Whilst adopting the trademark doom riffs and soulful vocals of their predecessors, they instead go for a cleaner sound with more tranquil passages and blend in acoustics on songs like ‘The Lake’, ‘My Angel’ and ‘When All Is Black’. Whilst I prefer my doom dark and as heavy as a cobalt bomb, it’s worth appreciating the somewhat more suave approach Isole have taken – and that is not just to the funeral, but having risen the soul, to accompany its ascendency into the light. In that respect they have truly emerged from the darkness of doom. Continue reading

Skinny Puppy – “hanDover”

Skinny Puppy
“hanDover”
(Synthetic Symphony / SPV GmbH)

OMG, Ogre and cEvin Key – aka Skinny Puppy – have returned with their 14th album! These guys must be what, pushing 50 nowadays having formed SP back in the early 80s and pretty much been the forerunners of today’s trance / electro / industrial scenes? Still, there is nothing repetitive or even predictable about the samples and beats that they use on tracks like ‘Cullorblind’, ‘Gambatte’ and the ultra chaos ‘NoiseX’ – in fact, there is an undercurrent of broiling angst almost as if like two immature dads they’re once again trying to change the world in their own right. Continue reading

Vain – “Enough Rope”

Vain
“Enough Rope”
(Jackie Rainbow Records)

WTF?! This was like being flashed back to 80s LA when GnR were pounding out “Appetite..” – totally amazing man!! Vain have been kicking their street glam rock around since the mid 80s but being located in the thrash metal capital of San Francisco’s Bay Area, I suspect they may have been overshadowed by the likes of Metallica or Machine Head. Still, Davy Vain’s perseverance has payed off in bunches on this album cos it fires from all cylinders! Continue reading

BETRAYING THE MARTYRS “Breathe In Life”

BETRAYING THE MARTYRS
“Breathe In Life”
(Listenable)
I can honestly say that the more metalcore I hear the less I get it. In the end it all becomes too formulated for my taste. It’s all break downs, growl v/s clean vocals and what else. But then it is with metalcore as with all other music that becomes a trend. You gotta wade through the mud to find the pearls. I’m not saying that Betraying The Martyrs are a perfect gem but stood against all other hopefuls I’ve heard this pretty much stands out Continue reading

ELECTRIC MARY “III”

ELECTRIC MARY
“III”
(Listenable)
Judging by the name Electric Mary ain’t a black metal band. This gotta be more hardrock in the tradition of Hanoi Rocks, Gun’n’Roses or even AC/DC. Pretty basic and simple hardrock to party to. Music that I don’t seek out actively yet have no problem enjoying should I come upon it. With one foot in the blues and the other in the 70s Electric Mary feels like they’ve been born in the wrong era. This is more the thing I got to hear in the 80s when bands like Trash or Baltimore or Sweden’s Six Feet Under played on my turn table. Continue reading

HATRED EMBRACED “Suffering Of The Holy”

HATRED EMBRACED
“Suffering Of The Holy”
(FDA REKOTZ)
That this is released on a limited edition cassette and most probably is sold out by now shouldn’t put you off looking for it. This is what tape trading back in the days was all about. You heard of a guy who had this or that hard to get demo. You sent him a tape, he duplicated the original and all of a sudden two guys had that hard to find demo. Hatred Embraced have a classic death metal sound going for them. Continue reading

KIRMIZI “Isyan”

KIRMIZI
“Isyan”
(Acer…)
Turkish metal is not something you get as often as Turkish Pepper but once you get it you can bet it’s as hot as anything other Turkish. Kirmizi might sing in Turkish but can Rammstein win over the world singing in German then there should be no problems with singing in Turkish. I gotta admit that there is a certain ring to the Turkish language that I haven’t thought about before. Kirmizi has a modern metal touch to their music. Continue reading

77 “High Decibels”

77
“High Decibels”
(Listenable)
The name 77 doesn’t really tell you much about the music that this band plays. Judging by the cover this could be a Hellacopters wannabe or an AC/DC boogie woogie band. While it’s the latter that rings the most true this actually brought back memories of the great old British band Spider. Continue reading