When Words Fail – “Eyes On Everything”

When Words Fail – “Eyes On Everything” EP (www.facebook.com/whenwordsfail)

Wow – I very nearly was lost for words on this amazing EP – this has to be one of the heaviest mellowcore releases I’ve heard in a while! If not for the occasional guitar melodies and William Hargreaves’s emo vox songs like ‘Over Again’ and ‘Something For Nothing’ would be just outrightly heavy tracks but due credit to the way these 5 lads from Swindon, England have intelligently weaved their passionate melodies into the fierceness of their music – as such not a case of fire n ice, but fire with fire!

Wolfcrusher – “Virgin Tapestry”

Wolfcrusher – “Virgin Tapestry” (Casket Records)

Well, after the hideous Wolfmother, Wolfcrusher thankfully show that they mean bad business, even if what they do ain’t no virgin tapestry! Actually hailing from Manchester, England, this 5 piece play metalcore with a strong groove taking in Clutch, Black Label Society and even the mighty Crowbar in places. What this gives them on songs like ‘Skeletonizer’, ‘Moving Mountains’ and ‘All Shall Pass’ is an added heavy tone that also allows the music to flow effortlessly between one style and the next, so that Gary Harkin’s vocals for example are soulful in a mellow backdrop, before the crushing brutality rolls in the next or even alternates into a cool shakin groove. Add in some reverb and feedback and Wolfcrusher live up to their name, if not the cool cow’s skull on their cover!

Satan’s Host – “CELEBRATION: For The Love Of Satan – 25th anniversary album”

Satan’s Host – “CELEBRATION: For The Love Of Satan – 25th anniversary album” (Moribund Records)

Holy Fuck!! This must be one of the cult bands of all cult bands of all time LOL! Formed in 1977, Denver’s Satan’s Host featured none other than Jag Panzer’s Harry ‘Tyrant’ Conklin, although he was then known as “Leviathan Thisiren” – although that’s nothing compared to the rest of the band of Patrick Evil and “Evil Hobbit” Lopez LOL!! With equally cheesy song titles and OTT satan lyrics of ‘Metal From Hell’, ‘Satanic Grimoire’ and ‘Witches Return’ and a primitive diddly dee style of riffing not dissimilar to early Slayer, it might be easy to dismiss this. However, back then their debut “Metal From Hell” was a cult classic! And so it is in commemorating the 25th anniversary of this album that Conklin has once again rejoined his bandmates to produce 2 new songs as well as re-record songs from each and every album spanning the career of the band! With artwork from Joe Petagno (Motorhead), it’s a superb release not in the least because Conklin’s voice is still amazing after all these years, so with the modern technology available, it’s like the older material has truly been reborn as if Satan were indeed hosting it!

Iron Saviour – “The Landing”

Iron Saviour
“The Landing”
(AFM Records)

Formed back in the mid 90s by Helloween’s Kai Hansen and Blind Guardian’s Thomen Stauch together with multi instrumentalist producer / engineer Piet Sielck, the latter of whom still remains as the only original member, gallantly forging on with the concept of a sentient spaceship (the ‘Iron Saviour’) and it’s Atlantean quest. “The Landing” is the band’s 7th album and besides hoping that the poor vessel is near journey’s end, continues the tradition of fast melodic power metal as showcased by the brilliant ‘Starlight’. In many ways the sound remains true to Helloween or Gamma Ray, although on ‘Moment In Time’ the melodies are so overpoweringly passionate they could’ve been penned by Freedom Call, whilst on ‘Faster Than All’, the band give Riot a serious run for their money in the road racin’ sweepstakes of melodic speed metal! All in all an excellent album exemplifying the German melodic power metal genre at its best.

From The Depth – “Back To Life”

From The Depth
“Back To Life”
(Rising Records)

What an amazing little debut this! Formed only 3 years ago, this top notch Italian power metal have made big strides and I have no doubt will continue to do so given their excellent music. Playing very much along the lines of Children Of Bodom with heavy, catchy guitar and keyboard melodies on songs like ‘Our Music Our Souls’, ‘You Just Have To Fly’, and ‘Nothing To You’ I was immediately hooked in by their passion and performance – despite their name they offer the most uplifting feeling! Elsewhere like on instruments like ‘Lack Of Emotion’ they show the full range of their musical dexterity but frankly I think its just a waste given they could just put more of their bloody good songs in there instead LOL.