Zandelle – “Shadows Of The Past”

Zandelle
“Shadows Of The Past”
2CD (Pure Steel Records)

Zandelle formed in the mid 90s and play ‘true’ metal – which is no mean feat if you’re from the NYC area! Essentially combining US and Euro metal as well as early power and melodic elements they offer a full range whether its on power rockers like ‘Bringer Of Doom’, a heavier cover of Whitesnake’s ‘Bad Boys’ or an excellent slow power ballad in ‘Angel’, which reminded me a lot of Manowar (perhaps unsurprising given they are also from the same area). Continue reading

DEVASTATOR “Conjuring EVil”

DEVASTATOR (Us)
“Conjuring Evil”
(WAR)
I really, really love Kreator’s first two albums “Endless Pain” and “Pleasure To Kill”, so much that anything released today that even resembles those albums gets my thumbs up. So when I heard Devastator’s “Conjuring Evil” I knew that this would be right up my alley. Continue reading

ENID “Munsalvaesche”

ENID
”Munsalvaesche”
(code666)
Enid is a strange beast. Not that it is hard to understand their music. This is more of an emotional journey than a full on metal frenzy. I usually do not want to be transported back to the medieval but it’s hard not to when listening to Enid’s “Munsalvaesche”. I don’t understand the fascination for the medieval that seem to exist in Germany with fairs and festivals. Continue reading

LION SPLICER “Slicer”

LION SPLICER
“Slicer”
(-)
We got readers. WE GOT READERS!!! Lion Splicer is made up of two brothers who seem to love metal so much that they’ve started a band together. And they seem to like Battle Helm too since they’ve sent us this, their debut album, to be reviewed. That this sounds like it was recorded in a rehearsal room doesn’t bother me that much. Continue reading

LIVARKAHIL “Signs Of Decay”

LIVARKAHIL
“Signs Of Decay”
(Listenable)
In today’s extreme metal scene it’s not enough to just be extreme, you gotta stand out to even have the slightest of a chance to get noticed. In the case of Livarkahil it has to be the band name. Not only is it hard to pronounce correctly, it is also so strange that you have no idea what it means. Musically this is brutal death metal done in the Polish school of fast and technical. Think Decapitated, Hate or early Vader and you get a pretty good picture of what to expect. Continue reading

SACRED GATE “Creators Of The Downfall”

SACRED GATE
“Creators Of The Downfall”
(-)
For one reason or another I don’t seem to hear that new power metal releases. The ones I get my hands on are a welcomed break from all the extreme metal I get subjected to (and love). German Sacred Gate came as a, if not breath of fresh air at least as an gush of air that broke the monotony of same, same and even more same records that floods my computer. Continue reading

SIRANNON “Semper Caliga”

SIRANNON
“Semper Caliga“
(Unmerciful Death)
I might not have given the impression that I like corpse painted black metal bands but the truth be told I find it fascinating to find out what hides behind the make-up. Sirannon have that ancient Scandinavian sound going for them that I like. It’s like being transported back in time when I hear harsh, primitive black metal with no symphonic or twisted turns Continue reading

Beehler – “Messages To The Dead”

Beehler
“Messages To The Dead”
(Pure Steel Records)

I’ll say it once again: Dan Beehler is the TRUE voice of Exciter. If you were a “Heavy Metal Maniac” and grew up in the 80s like I did then you’ll know who this guy is. Along with bands like The Rods, Anvil and (early) Metallica, Canada’s Exciter pioneered the US speed and thrash movement into what it is today. Exciter were a power trio in the same destructive vein as classic Motorhead except that Dan cranked it up a notch by drumming AND singing simultaneously!! Continue reading

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