Batman: Arkham City – “The Album”

Batman: Arkham City
“The Album”
(Sony Music)

‘Batman: Arkham City—The Album’ is the official soundtrack album of the highly anticipated game ”Batman: Arkham City’, fast touted to become THE best console game EVER. Fittingly, Sony have assembled 12 diverse artistes from Serj Tankian to Coheed & Cambria to Black Rebel Motorcycle Club to create brand new tracks exclusive to this unique collection of songs. Continue reading

Soley Mourning – “Zaire”

Soley Mourning
(Saltdog Records)

Despite their seemingly dark name and equally exotic album title, these lot are nothing to do with Toto, but are hard rockers from the Black Country (that’s Birmingham not Biafra LOL). What all the fuss is about though, is that from tracks like ‘Groundhog Saturday’, ‘Double Drop’ and ‘Way Down Low’ is that they alternate between the light hearted blues rock of the Black Crowes and the heavy funky groove of Zepp – and they do it pretty damn good too! Continue reading

Dreamcatcher – “Soul Freedom”

“Soul Freedom”
(Rising Records)

Quite a surprise this one – a new prog / symphonic band from the northern English city of Leeds no less! Taking inspirational elements from the likes of Dream Theatre, Kamelot or Nightwish, Dreamcatcher have formed their own multi layered style incorporating the full range of instruments but thanks to Jacob Hansen’s production (and guest vocals on ‘Take Hold’) are always to the fore in the mix and in harmony! Continue reading

Cheerleader – “Vegas Or Bust”

“Vegas Or Bust”
(Angry Shark Records)

Unashamed Amerophiles, these Swedes have certainly made an impression having just landed the support slot on Warrior Soul’s recent UK tour purely on the basis of this rock out debut! Originally called ‘The Shit’, this 8 legged rock machine where formed when Supragod guitarist Joan Vieru hooked up with the Elk brothers and drummer Andreas Westerland. Continue reading

Soul Healer – “Kings Of Bullet Alley”

Soul Healer
“Kings Of Bullet Alley”

Soul Healer….? Bloody hell, these guys could sear your soul at 50 yards! Kick ass rock n roll metal is the best way to describe these 5 Finns!! Vocalist Jori Karki has one of these definitive gravelly vocals, whilst guitarists Sami and Teemu alternate between soothing and smacking you with their chugging riffs and clear n proud melodies. The rhythm? Don’t even ask, with the rest of the band stonking Teemu and Timo on bass n drums respectively are galloping like an reindeer on heat LOL! Continue reading

Exxplorer – “Vengeance Rides An Angry Horse”

“Vengeance Rides An Angry Horse”
(Pure Steel Records)

Holy time travel – am I back in ’84?! Fuckin Exxplorer, the US metal band who recorded “Symphonies Of Steel” are back – and best of all, it sounds just like it did back in those early days: raw guitar, early heavy / power metal melodies and most of all, original vocalist Lennie Rizzo’s high end vocals. Continue reading

Behemoth – “Demonica”

“Demonica” 2CD
(Metal Blade)

Going on 20 years old this year, Poland’s Behemoth commemorate their 20th anniversary with the release of this 23 track double CD boxset, which is limited to 10,000 copies and comes digibook slipcase complete with a 44-page book including rare photos and lyrics. There is also an even more limited double vinyl pressing available as a gatefold of 250 copies! Continue reading

Morton – “Come Read The Words Forbidden”

“Come Read The Words Forbidden”
(AFM Records)

Wow, I think that Morton come from the Ukraine and what a change they make from the black / death dirge that frequently comes outta the former Eastern Bloc! The brainchild of well known producer / musician Max Morton, his namesake band produces division one power metal which should go down a treat as it very much has a German sound but also has a Russian operatic tinge Continue reading

Thrall – “Vermin To The Earth”

“Vermin To The Earth”
(Moribund Records)

Yeah, Australia certainly has its fair share of verminous creatures – and the duo of Thrall are no exception. As bizarre and lethal as their Antipodean wildlife, Thrall is like a throwback to a primordial age, playing mid tempo blackish metal with just enough off the wall riffs on songs like ‘Oblivion’, ‘Disease’s Maiming Caress’ and ‘Ecstasy not of the Flesh’ to make them anarchic affairs that are both absorbing as well as being different. Continue reading

ALLELE “Next To Parallel”

“Next To Parallel”
The impression I had gotten just reading the press material on Allele was that this would be another of those Djent influenced releases but “Next To Parallel” is nothing like that. This is a completely different beast. This is much more of a progressive metal release in the Fates Warning school than the Dream Theater one. Continue reading