Speed Limit – “Unchained / Prophecy”

Speed Limit
“Unchained / Prophecy” 2CD REISSUE
(Karthago Records)

Despite being neighbors to the mighty metal market of Germany, little is known other than to connoisseurs, about the early 80s Austrian metal market? Well Speed Limit were one of the forerunners, beginning in the late 70s, releasing their debut “Unchained” in the mid 80s and its follow up “The Prophecy” in 1988. Continue reading

The Browning – “Burn This World”

The Browning
“Burn This World”
(Earache Records)

Straight outta big D (Dallas) comes The Browning – strange name whether it’s from one of the band members streets or the firearms company! Even stranger still is the band’s sound – a mixture of metal and electronica or ‘ravecore’ as they are now being labelled by their fans. Continue reading

Screaming Shadows – “Night Keeper”

Screaming Shadows
“Night Keeper”
(Jolly Roger Records)

Wow, I hope this album gets wider attention because it is a power / classical metal album par excellence! Screaming Shadows are a little known Italian band despite this being their 3rd album but I hope “Night Keeper” cracks it for them because it truly rates a triple A: superb musicianship in all depts; intelligent song arrangements; excellent use of melodies and most of all, played with passion and style! Continue reading

Puddle of Mudd – “Re:(Disc)overed”

Puddle of Mudd
“Re:(Disc)overed”
(Goomba Music)

Allegedly named after the Missouri River flood of ’93, this post grunge band having been going it solo for close to 20 years. Prior to working on a new album in 2012, the band have released “Re:(Disc)overed”, an album of no less than 13 classic rock covers – yes, covers! Continue reading

Nile – “Worship The Animal (1994 -The Lost Recordings)”

Nile
“Worship The Animal (1994 -The Lost Recordings)”
(Goomba Music)

Man, talk about a blast from the past! I wouldn’t exactly say these are ‘lost’ recordings but this is essentially Nile’s demo from back in 1994 which means some of you out there might not have been even born LOL. I have a special place in my heart for Nile given they were fatefully signed by Relapse Records at the Expo Of The Extreme in 1996, an event I had some involvement in at the time – as I recollect we almost didn’t allow the label into the venue owing to a mix up! Continue reading

Wolfpakk – “Wolfpakk”

Wolfpakk
“Wolfpakk”
(AFM Records)

Whoa – thundering heavy metal courtesy of alpha dawgs Michael Voss (Ex-Casanova, Mad Max) and Mark Sweeney (Ex-Crystal Ball)! Screaming vocals, smashing drums, wolverine vocals, crunching guitar and keyboards that don’t bleet like sheep – yeah, this is just what the heavy metal doctor ordered on songs like ‘Slam Down The Hammer’, ‘Ride The Bullet’ and the kinky ‘Reptile’s Kiss’. Continue reading

Axel Rudi Pell – “The Ballads IV”

Axel Rudi Pell
“The Ballads IV”
(Steamhammer / SPV)

The ballad meister bar none, it’s been 7 long years since ARP graced us with his last compilation of tear jerking, babe crooning and man sized tear ballads. Where others might cringe, ARP unashamedly adds acoustics like he does on the cover of Kiss’s ‘Love Gun’ and his personal piano tribute to Dio on ‘Holy Diver’. Continue reading

Pro-Pain – “20 Years Of Hardcore”

CD / DVD (AFM Records)

Arguably the last of the original 90s crossover bands, Pro Pain celebrate their 20 year anniversary by giving is this year’s bumper package bar none! The CD has 4 brand new songs like ‘Damnation’ featuring trademark roaring vox, corrosive guitar mit some classy rock n roll, and a stomping rhythm to boot! Continue reading

Arkona – “Slovo”

Arkona
“Slovo”
(Napalm Records)

Russian pagan metal band Arkona have been making quite a stir on the live circuit especially after the release of their “Goi, Rode, Goi!” EP that saw them expand their sound as well as their audience. Now with “Slovo” it all comes together in showing a band that has come of age in bringing together the elements making up Arkona from the folk to the shamanic to metal, all with a distinct Russian flavour complete with Stalin’s singing masses and da-da-da groove! Continue reading