SOUL SACRIFICE “Carpe Mortem”

SOUL SACRIFICE
“Carpe Mortem”
(Massacre)
Turkey might be known for many things but metal isn’t one of the greatest proponents to come from that country. But there are metal bands that call Turkey home. Soul Sacrifice is one of these. It would be so easy for them to just include some oriental flirts and people would go ape shit over how innovating this is. But not Soul Sacrifice. Continue reading

Rush – “Clockwork Angels”

Rush – “Clockwork Angels” (Anthem / Roadrunner)

Wow, considering I grew up listening to Rush, I never thought I’d ever be reviewing one of their albums – maybe there is a god after all LOL! For today’s metalheads, Rush may seem like a faint hark back to pre history, but if you were a kid in the late 70s and early 80s then albums like “2112”, “Farewell To Kings” and “Permanent Waves” stood alongside those of UFO, Priest and Motorhead as part of your staple diet! However, when they moved into softer rock and I erred to the dark side (i.e. thrash LOL) from ’83, I lost touch with these 3 plucky if eccentric Canadians (not touring in the UK didn’t help either eh boys) until their 2007 “Snakes & Arrows” tour when by chance I got a VIP ticket – still, it wasn’t the most encouraging performance leaving me (and probably the 3,000 other people) if anything hankering even more for those old classics. Five years on we have “Clockwork Angels” and despite the predictable big mechanistic prog inlay booklet – WTF – they’ve wow’d me again by going heavy this time! From Geddy’s hard twanging bass to Alex’s hard, squeaking guitars to Neil’s smashing cymbals for a mo I did a double take thinking I’d been taken for a ride by a cover band as even Geddy’s vocals were occasionally screaming LOL! But no, I’m pleasantly surprised to hear that messrs Lee, Lifeson and Peart have infused metallised rock into songs like ‘Carnies’, ‘Seven Cities Of Gold’ and ‘Headlong Flight’, thankfully dispensing with that (now old) ‘New World’ radio rock. But Rush being Rush, there’s still plenty of prog, ambient and bits of funk etc to make them as odd man out as they were before, all brought to fully bear by the usually superior levels of musicianship and production. Over four decades on, these guys show why they are still one of North America’s premier classic rock bands and if anything “Clockwork Angels” is an amazing return back to their rock roots that will reach out to both new and old fans: 40 million albums sold worldwide can’t be for nothing….. Continue reading

Gun – “Break The Silence”

Gun – “Break The Silence” (earMusic)

14 years since they split, Scottish rockers Gun have indeed broken the silence with this comeback album! Gun formed in the late 80s and their brand of mainstream rock saw them land support slots to giants like The Rolling Stones, Bon Jovi and Def Leppard before making it themselves and winning a plethora of awards along with a Top 40 single in ‘Word Up’! Following that, the band took a break only to make an ill timed return to coincide with the Dunblane gun massacre, prompting both name as well as personnel changes. The follow up album, “0141 632 6326” did not fair so well and led to the inevitable split. Since then, the band have being playing one off shows with revolving door line ups including the likes of Tony Jepson on vocals. Today, still with the Gizzi brothers on vocals and guitar, Gun are back and pretty much in the same vein of commercial rock that could very much fill the niche left by the likes of Thunder. Jools’s guitar still has that fire n soul and Dante’s voice is still in magic shape on songs like ‘Bad Things’, ‘Butcher Man’ and ‘Running Out Of Time’ that sees Gun reloaded and cocked to rock for a second round. Continue reading

Bonded By Blood – “The Aftermath”

Bonded By Blood – “The Aftermath” (Earache Records)

With a band name like Bonded By Blood it comes as no surprise that these guys are thrashers, old school ones at that and needless to say, heavily influenced by Exodus, despite the band actually coming from the greater Los Angeles area. Vocalist Mauro Gonzalez is straight outta the Paul Baloff school of insane vox and the rest of the band are happily thrashing along to just like bands used to back in the 80s. Thankfully, songs like ‘Shepherds Of Rot’, ‘Among The Vultures’ and ‘Show No Fear’ also show a pensive side to the band, at a guess also influenced by Norcal techno thrash luminaries such as Death Angel and Forbidden. Either way, like hungry kids at the candy store, Bonded By Blood take all they can and throw it right back at ya, hook line and sinker! Continue reading

Gaskin – “Edge Of Madness”

Gaskin – “Edge Of Madness” (High Roller Records)

Despite being rightly categorized as a NWOBHM band, many wrongly associate that wave of metal with the speed and power of the more popular bands. Gaskin, on the other hand, were one of the many less well known bands and rather than being ‘metal’ played a melodic metallised rock that drew inspiration from the British blues tinged hard rock of the 70s rather than punk. I can’t remember when the band folded but “Edge Of Madness” is the band’s 4th album and aptly titled given that Paul’s personal life saw him going thru depression, divorce and attempted suicide before picking himself up on the slow, hard road to recovery. Thankfully the reputation he made in those early days never left him short of friends and with the growing interest in ‘true’ metal, Gaskin got a new lease of life playing festivals like Headbangers Open Air in Germany. According to Paul, it has taken around five years to produce “Edge Of Madness” which may come as a shock to some, and even more so when listening to songs like ‘Heart Of Thunder’, ‘Lost & Lonely’ and ‘Mans’ World’ (featuring Hawkwind’s Nik Turner on guest sax), which scarcely show any signs of modernity, but continue in that same old harmonized blues rock style. Some might say its dated, but I haveta respect Paul Gaskin for continuing in fine style to do what he both loves and is best at. And with a cult following behind him, who’s to say there isn’t method behind his madness? Continue reading

Dead City Ruins – “Midnight Killer”

Dead City Ruins – “Midnight Killer” (www.facebook.com/deadcityruins)

Ironically this hard rockin’ Aussie crew formed in London in 2007, but despite releasing an EP called in “Lost In London”, homesickness took its toll and the guys upped and left back for sunny Melbourne, reforming the band with old schoolmates no less. Essentially straight outta the AC/DC book, DCR’s music is wholesome, straight up no nonsense hard rock n roll. Warbling melodies, riff raff guitar and beer soaked rhythms prepare you for Jake’s searing vocals, which owe as much to Axel Rose as Bon Scott both in style and sass on songs like ‘Highway Girl’, ‘Where You Gonna Run’ and ‘Damn My Eyes’. With enough fire to propel them back to England via Dubai, DCR are all geared up to invade Europe yet again for more tits LOL! Continue reading

Shadows Chasing Ghosts – “Lessons”

Shadows Chasing Ghosts – “Lessons” (Small Town Records)

Despite all it’s made out to be, London can be a pretty angry city and the five lads making up scream rock band SCG are no exception. Forming straight outta school and right into the economic recession these guys certainly have a lot to shout about from Trey Tremain’s screamo vox to Matt n Jack’s hard abrasive guitars. However, they’ve also got enough heart and nowce to also incorporate some cool harmonies and catchy melodies to give songs like ‘Rest Easy’, ‘Now Or Never’ and ‘The Hunter’ some sensibility beyond the aggro. Continue reading

BILOCATE “Summoning The Bygones”

BILOCATE
“Summoning The Bygones”
(Code666)
I might contradict myself when I say that your geographic origin doesn’t matter seeing as I’ve countless times have told you that I have a fondness for certain geographic areas. But it really doesn’t matter where you come from as long as the music is good. Unless you come from the Middle East. That is really a blank spot on the metal map. Continue reading

BODYFARM “Malevolence”

BODYFARM
“Malevolence”
(Cyclone Empire)
Whenever the words Holland and death metal are mentioned in the same sentence I pretty much go bananas. I have over time come upon so many great Dutch death metal acts that I am just waiting for the first total dump to land in my knees. From what I’ve read about Bodyfarm this might not be that first one. And I was right. Continue reading

DEHUMAN “Black Throne Of All Creation”

DEHUMAN
“Black Throne Of All Creation”
(Kaotoxin)
These Belgians are being described as old this or old that. And while I still like my old Merciless, old Morbid Angel and old Suffocation it would be nice to hear something that doesn’t repeat what has already been done. But then again who am I to complain. If the shoe fits, wear it. So it is with great anticipation that I approach this album. Continue reading