DRAKKAR “When Lightning Strikes”

“When Lightning Strikes”
(My Kingdom)
This was like a bolt of lightning from a clear sky. Drakkar hasn’t been on my radar for a good few years now but apparently they are still going strong. This Italian band can best be described as part of that whole power metal wave we saw coming from Italy at the end of the 90s/beginning of the 00s. Continue reading

DISGUISE “Second Coming”

“Second Coming”
(My Kingdom)
Can’t say that I’m familiar with disguise even though their logo looks familiar. Most have seen it somewhere. I kind of expected this to be, well I don’t know what I expected this to be like but whatever it was the reality was something completely different. 5 years on from the previous album Disguise return with “Second Coming”. Continue reading

EXMORTIS “Resurrection… The Book Of The Dead”

“Resurrection… Book Of The Dead”
(Xtreem Music)
Not so long ago I reviewed Exmortis entire back-catalogue and I enjoyed every moment of it. Now it is time for a brand spanking new MCD to go under the knife. Will it be just as good as the old stuff but different or will it be just as good as the old stuff but a continuation. That this will be good I have no doubts about. How could it be anything but good? Continue reading

OPERA IX “Strix Maledictae in Aeternum”

“Strix Maledictae in Aeternum”
This one has been a long time coming. I remember the first time I got to hear about Opera IX and how excited I was back then. That was a long time ago and with a different vocalist. No it’s 2012 and Opera IX is back with a new album. I have had a rollercoaster relationship with the band. I’ve liked some albums while others have been less to my liking. Continue reading

PAGANIZER “Into The Catacombs”

“Into The Catacombs”
(Cyclone Empire)
For a band that is on its 8th album I am pretty new to them. I can’t even remember if I’ve heard a single album by them prior to this new one. Paganizer flies the banner of old school death metal high. This is death metal the way it sounded in the late 80s/early 90s when that whole genre exploded onto the scene only to never leave. Continue reading

RITUAL “The Resurrection”

“The Resurrection”
(Funeral Rain)
Ritual seem so familiar. I think I had a demo by a band named Ritual way back in the 80s. Not sure if that is relevant. So many bands must have had that name in mind and body over the years. This ritual started in 1993, released an album in 1995 followed by albums in 1997 and 1998 all on Wild Rags Records. Continue reading

XENOCIDE “Galactic Oppression”

“Galactic Oppression”
You might have read the interview I did with the band. Here’s that promised debut album. Al I had previously was a sneak preview. Now with the whole album it’ll be a whole lot easier to get a clear picture of what they are all about. This is heavy the way Cannibal Corpse are heavy while not even being close to CC in any way. But there is that death metal touch to this album. Continue reading

Freedom Call – “Land Of The Crimson Dawn”

Freedom Call – “Land Of The Crimson Dawn” (Steamhammer/SPV)

These guys are awesome, and yet one of the most underrated power / symphonic bands around. Co-founded by Chris Bay and Gamma Ray’s drummer Dan Zimmerman, I sorta always got the impression that the latter’s commitments had always been a bit of rein on the band’s success, cos it sure wasn’t their astounding music that I’ve always found majestic and highly uplifting! Well, the news is that Dan is no longer with the band (funnily enough given his commitments to Gamma Ray) so I greeted this with mixed feelings given how this might influence the band’s sound. Well, it has changed somewhat, with songs like ‘Sun In The Dark’ being more mainstream rock and ‘Hero On Video’ reminding me of Queen’s ‘Radio Ga Ga’ (aaarrggh – bring back Dan – Ed), although the likes of ‘Crimson Dawn’ and my personal fave ’66 Warriors’ (complete with Mongolian throat whistling) brings us back to that classic power metal sound that defined the genre. To be fair, Bay’s use of power melody continues to pervade through all the songs, but I guess on the lighter material it kinda fluffs them up. Truth be told, this is a fine rock / metal album that quality wise is probably their best work to date and given its breadth should bring the band their long deserved big time success.

4ARM – “Submission For Liberty”

4ARM – “Submission For Liberty” (Rising Records)

Describing themselves as ‘…a pure, no-gimmicks, straight-up thrash metal band..’, 4ARM are one of Australia’s premier up coming thrash bands. Hailing from Melbourne, this 4 piece play it right outta Metallica’s ‘..Justice..’ era on songs like ‘My Father’s Eyes’, ‘While I Lay Awake’ and ‘I Will Not Bow’. Mainman Danny Tomb may look and be as pumped as Danzig, but he could be (and should be) James Hetfield’s cousin LOL! Whilst this is an unreserved take on a classic sound, it’s unashamedness and measure of quality go quite a ways to tempering any crys of ‘foul’, so savour the rippa mate!