BRAND NEW SIN “United State”

BRAND NEW SIN
“United State”
(Goomba)
Brand New Sin as a band name doesn’t say too much about the music they play. They could be death metal, thrash metal or even black metal. The truth is something totally different. This has more in common with Corrosion of Conformity’s southern tinged hardrock/metal. Continue reading

SHY “S/T”

SHY
“Shy”
(Escape)
I’m old enough to remember Shy’s debut album “Once Bitten… Twice Shy”. Not that I remember too much of it but I still have memories of it. That was in the early 80s. Now it is 2011. Is Shy still relevant even to an modern hardrock audience? Continue reading

SINCERA “Cursed And Proud”

SINCERA
“Cursed And Proud”
(Abyss)
I think I remember Fester. I know I bought that first Fester album simply because it was released on No Fashion Records, along with Marduk’s first album. Sincera is as far as I understand some sort of continuation of Fester. I had kind of expected a more retro oriented album but this turned out to be quite contemporary in its dark/black metal approach. Continue reading

SINGLE BULLET THEORY “IV”

SINGLE BULLET THEORY
“IV”
(Goomba)
There is a certain charm to the band name Single Bullet Theory. It is a statement of intent if any. I kind of expected Single Bullet Theory to be along the lines of Machine Head’s debut album but this turned out to be something totally different, yet equally good. Continue reading

Fornost Arnor – “The Death Of A Rose”

Fornost Arnor
“The Death Of A Rose”
(Witch-King Records)

Not quite as insane as The Dillinger Escape Plan but still well off the wall comes England’s Fornost Arnor who aren’t named after some quaint little village covered in roses, but a city from Tolkien’s Middle Earth! Thankfully they don’t sing about Orcs either but seem to have drawn inspiration from the likes of Opeth in producing epic musical experiences – in this case fusing blackish riffs a la Emperor and Mouth Of Sauron vocals coupled with prog melodies, acoustics, soft passages and even femme vocals. It’s quite an achievement and largely pulled off by founder Greg Chivers’s potent song writing and excellent arrangements in using each musical style (technically delivered excellently by the rest of the band I might add) on majestic songs like ‘Lady Heresy’, ‘Path Marked Unknown’ and ‘Aspire For The Darkest Hour’. As you are swept on this captivating journey by the 8 tracks on “The Death Of A Rose” you’ll visualize rolling green fields, spell bounding lakes and haunting fiery mountains – on second thoughts, mebbe Fornost Arnor have indeed taken you to Middle Earth!

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. As with many metal bands, the 90s heralded a dark period and Speed Limit tried to go with the flow by becoming more hard rock before splitting in 1994. In 2008 they made their comeback reunion and have been playing in the HM Division 2 mainly around central Europe. However, with time both their aforementioned albums have become collectors items, so as part of their 25th anniversary both albums have been reissued in a double CD, complete with 16 page booklet containing the usual rare pix etc. The 15 tracks pretty much capture the history of the band, from the Accept sounding ‘Marriage In Hell’ to the melodic metal of ‘Lady’ to the drippy AOR of ‘No Lies’ to a bizarre drunken rendition of ‘My Bonnie’ (a tribute to tour mates Nazareth?)! It’s miles away from the likes of Belphegor which is ironic as Hell Lennart used to play in Speed Limit but if you desire to enter the Austrian metal mists of time then look no further than this bumper package!