Reverence – “When Darkness Calls”

Reverence – “When Darkness Calls” (Razar Ice Records)

Reverence is a Detroit based old school power metal band featuring Todd Michael Hall ( Jack Starr’s Burning Starr, Harlet), Bryan Holland (Tokyo Blade, Arrest), Pete Rossi (Sanxtion,Overland), Steve “Doc Killdrums” Wacholz (founding member of Savatage, Crimson Glory), Ned Meloni (Burning Starr, Funny Money). With that in mind it hardly comes as a surprise that Reverence play blistering heavy metal at an intensity that leaves younger bands in awe and older bands with envy! Soaring, epic HM vocals with a bit of sass chucked in for good measure, motorin’ to the max rhythms and jet fueled twin guitars that chug furiously, squeak and wail orgasmically on headbangers like ‘Phantom Road’, ‘Bleed For Me’ and ‘Devil In Disguise’ – anyone who wants to know what pure heavy metal is about today (or that it even exists – Ed) check out this baby, cos it fuckin rules!!! Continue reading

Apocalypse Warhead – “Opening The Silos”

Apocalypse Warhead – “Opening The Silos” (Inverse Records)

Prepare for Armageddon! This is brutal death / thrash straight from Slayer’s “Reign In Blood” era – no wonder AW gets the thumbs up from messrs Lombardo and Hanneman!! Hailing from Finland, AW is the one man project of Tuukka Laitinen, the former guitarist of the Finnish hardcore/metal legends Rytmihäiriö. Founded in 2001, “Opening The Silos” is actually AW’s debut although it doesn’t come as a surprise when you consider that Laitinen does it all from the vox, guitars and bass as well as the drum programming, not to mention all the music and lyrics to missiles like ‘Cold Cunts Full Of Fire’, ‘Extermination Of Human Life’ and the aptly titled ‘From Hell’. Expect roaring polar bear vocals, insane Hanneman type thrash riffing and a completely out of control drum machine on this mayhemic countdown to extinction for the year! Continue reading

Stone Magnum – “Stone Magnum”

Stone Magnum – “Stone Magnum” (R.I.P. Records)

Stone Magnum are a relatively new stoner / doom band from Michigan who have an ancient sound going right back to Ozzy era Sabbath or Liebling Pentagram – albeit even more insane! Whilst the music is pretty much in that same classic style with heavy fuzz tinged and down tuned guitars, songs like ‘Grave Of Cryptic Sorrows’ and ‘Am I Really Insane’ are also graced with some excellent melodies that should garner respect from fans into Candlemass. But it’s Dean Tavernier’s vocals that truly give us something to think about: always raw, but at times in the wailing Ozzy vein whilst at others more hoarsely sinister and aggressive like on ‘Locksmith Of Misery’ such that when he morbidly drawls ‘..I am the bringer of sorrow…’ you can damn well believe that you don’t want him over for Christmas ha ha! Continue reading

The Addication – “The Addication”

The Addication – “The Addication” (Inverse Records)

Hailing from Finland, The Addication blend chopping thrash a la Puppets or Justice era Metallica with heavy doses of cool warbling melodies in an amazing concoction guaranteed to fire up the frozen wastelands of their homeland! Kenny Jones’s vocals alternate to the beat ranging from soulful to almost trippy to raw rock out as the rhythm section threatens to run amok like a mad moose – that is until the tight n heavy guitars of Hector Jimenez and founder Hank J. Newman kick in with those unbelievably catchy modern melodies like on the irresistible ‘From The Ashes’, ‘My Testament’ and ‘Last Seconds On Earth’. With this in mind The Addication possess some definite stand out qualities that should see this excellent self titled debut garner them more support and real recognition. Continue reading

Mystery Blue – “Conquer The World”

Mystery Blue – “Conquer The World” (Road Show Productions)

Sacre bleu! Mystery Blue are a French HM band from the same era as bands like H-Bomb and Satan Jokers who toured with the likes of Motorhead, Saxon and Def Leppard on the Continent in the 80s. Despite their meteoric rise they succumbed to the all too familiar internal squabbles resulting in a 6 year dormancy. Reactivated by founder guitarist Frenzy Philippon, they have slowly built up their following in the true metal market. Still very much with an 80s HM sound but now with a female vocalist in Nathalie Geyer, Mystery Blue continue in the same dogged style with high end femme vocals, crunching metallic guitars, suave melodies and driving rhythms including double bass drum runs on songs like ‘Cruel Obsession’, ‘Ticket To Hell’ and ‘Guardian Angel’. As one of the originals, the strength of Mystery Blue is that their material still sounds fresh and energetic having been enthusiastically played with a vigor and panache that few bands could equal after all these years! Continue reading

BY THE PATIENT “Premonitions”

BY THE PATIENT
“Premonitions”
(Deathbound)
Lately I’ve come upon more Danish bands than I’ve done in the last two decades. I like it. It means that the Danish metal scene isn’t as dead as it might have seen. In my youth Denmark was the closest pale to go if you wanted to see any great metal bands since most tours stopped in Copenhagen. Continue reading

KERION “Cloudriders PT1”

KERION
“Cloudriders Pt1”
(Metalodic)
It is with great anticipation that I approach albums by bands that I know nothing about. You’ll never know when that special band will appear. If you don’t dare to take the chance you’ll never know what you could get. So I’ll take on Kerion with the greatest of anticipation. Continue reading

LORD OF THE GRAVE “Green Vapour”

LORD OF THE GRAVE
“Green Vapour”
(The Church Within)
I’m not too familiar with the label The Church Within but the bands that I do have come upon have all been good. I kinda like the idea of a label dedicated to the more doomy end of the metal spectre. I find great comfort in the darker and more melancholic end of things. Continue reading

MANTICORE “Behold The Ascension Of The Execrated”

MANTICORE
“Behold The Ascension Of The Execrated”
(Deathgasm)
I know not to judge a book by its cover or a band by its name but when I saw the name Manticore I got vibes of a thrash metal band in the vein of the second wave. Bands that followed in the wake of Metallica; Slayer, anthrax and Megadeth. Don’t know how right I am but I’ll hope for the best. Truth be told I was as far off as I could have been. Continue reading

MASTERSTROKE “Broken”

MASTERSTROKE
“Broken”
(Dynamic Arts)
When you recognize the label better than the band that’s when you know you’ve overdosed on labels. For some reason I recognize the label Dynamic Arts but can’t place any bands on it. I know that I have a couple of records released by them but what they are is in the clouds. Continue reading