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REVIEWS 2018 - Page 7

ONSLAUGHT: Killing Peace / Live Damnation - Album reissues
ONSLAUGHT succeeded to release 3 legendary albums in the 80s before they quit. But in 2005 they were back again, and "Killing Peace" is their comeback album from 2007. It was the first new album since 1989's "In Search Of Sanity" (which I reviewed last year). And on this album they were back in good old thrash metal style, so the old fans was probably happy when they heard this. Many good songs to bang your head to. This is really good!
"Live Damnation" is a live album that was released in 2009. We get some pure thrash without any bullshit or solos or sing-along. In other words, just the way it's supposed to be done when you play aggressive music. Another great album from this legendary band.
I don't know if there's any bonus material on these re-issues, because that information was impossible to find (I didn't get any extra songs for review anyway). But both these albums is a must for every true fan of thrash metal. Simple as that!
And as you might know, ONSLAUGHT still exist and thrash all over the world. They have so far released 4 albums (the live album included) and a DVD since they reunited. They are currently working on a new album that should be released soon. Something to look forward to..
Release date: October 19, 2018 (Dissonance Productions)
OCTOBER 18, 2018

The CROWN: The Burning / Eternal Death - Album reissues
The Crown
"The Burning" is the first album by this Swedish band, which was originally released in 1995, when they were still called CROWN OF THORNS. Here they merge traditional thrash metal-based death metal with melodic and black metal elements. It's hard and heavy, but yet melodic at the same time. They have never been 1 of the big names in the Swedish death metal scene, but you should definitely give them a chance. Especially if you're into bands like AT THE GATES, The HAUNTED, DEATHCHAIN and DEFLESHED.
"Eternal Death" is the second album, and was released in 1997. It was later re-released as a album by The CROWN. On this album it's a bit less thrash and more black metal instead. But there's also elements of speed metal. It's a raw album, but still melodic. I really like this album.
After the release of the second album, they had to change the name of the band. So they simply shortened it to The CROWN instead. A other interesting thing is that Tomas Lindberg from AT THE GATES was the band's singer for a short period. In mid-2000 it was goodnight for the band, and they didn't wake up again until 2009. At that time the band was fronted by Jonas Stålhammar (GOD MACABRE, BOMBS OF HADES, nowadays also in AT THE GATES), before original singer Johan Lindstrand came back again.
The CROWN is still active, and released their latest album, "Cobra Speed Venom", earlier this year.
Release date: October 19, 2018 (Dissonance Productions)
OCTOBER 18, 2018

DANKO JONES: We're Crazy - Single
Danko Jones
Now it was a few weeks or something like that since this digital single was released, but anyway.. I have been a "fan" of DANKO JONES for many years, and seen them live a few times through the years. I don't have all their records though, and it was a few years since I saw them live last time. They always deliver a damned good show.
This song is mainly the good old DANKO JONES as we know them, but at the same time it's a little odd song somehow. It's a o.k. song, but it doesn't have the same hit potential as so many of their earlier songs have had. I guess it just takes a while before you like it.
This Canadian trio are currently working on a new album, that they plan to release next spring. That doesn't seems to stop them from going on tour though, as they will be touring in Europe from November 14 to December 15. And then they will go on a U.S. tour with NASHVILLE PUSSY and PRIMA DONNA in February 2019. Go to their web site for all dates..
(AFM Records (Europe), M-Theory Audio (U.S.), Rise Above (UK), Indica (Canada, AU, NZ) )
OCTOBER 18, 2018

THUNDERCROW: Heavy Metal Space Cowboy - Album
This band might not be in the top league, but it's not bad anyway. Some kind of heavy metal/rock n roll similar to MOTÖRHEAD, but with their own twist. Titles like "Rock n Roll Will Never Die" and "Alcohol Is My Religion" might give you a better picture of this band. My picture of them is some workers who like to party and play rock. If that is correct or not, I don't know. But hard rock and heavy metal have always been working class music, and this sounds like just that.
The band was born from the ashes from some smaller musical projects, and they are from Germany.
(Label unknown..)
OCTOBER 17, 2018

DIRGE: Ah Puch - Album
Another noisey and heavy band. I don't think that this is supposed to sound nice. It's some kind of dark sludge/doom, with a singer who seems to think he's in a hardcore band. Most of these 6 songs are from 9 to over 10 minutes long. But if you think that sounds like something interesting, then go ahead, I won't stop you.
DIRGE formed in 2014, and comes from Pune in India. This is their debut, which is a concept album based on Mayan, Aztec Mythology mixed with historical events. Among their influences are CANDLEMASS, EYEHATEGOD, NEUROSIS, SLEEP, CROWBAR and ACID BATH.
Release date: October 19, 2018 (Self released)
OCTOBER 17, 2018

DESTRUCTION: Bestial Invasion Of Hell - EP reissue
DESTRUCTION is together with KREATOR, TANKARD and SODOM known as "The Big Teutonic 4" - The leading thrash metal bands from Germany. DESTRUCTION was formed as KNIGHT OF DEMON in 1982 already, and they were inspired by IRON MAIDEN, MERCYFUL FATE, MOTÖRHEAD and VENOM. They changed the name to DESTRUCTION later that year. These 6 tracks consist of their first demo recording from 1984. Obviously not their strongest moment. But charming somehow. You can almost hear the young energy through the speakers. It's not bad though. But not exactly excellent either.
These demo recordings have been completely remasterd by Patrick Engel (ASPHYX, POSSESSED, SODOM), and the booklet contains many rare pictures and extensive liner notes by all 3 original band members (Schmier, Tommy Sandmann and Mike Sifringer), as well as fanzine writer Frank Stover from Voices From The Darkside.
After the release of the demo, they got signed by Steamhammer, and released their first EP, "Sentence of Death". And the rest is history as they say.. Schmier is (as you probably know) still captain of the boat.
This is of course a must for the die hard fans.
Release date: October 26, 2018 (Vic Records)
OCTOBER 17, 2018

MONUMENTS: Phronesis - Album
Progressive metal band that sounds more like metalcore to me. And as you might know, metalcore is not 1 of my favorite genres. But I have to admit that this is hardly the worst that I have heard, even though it has a tendency to sound like pop sometimes. The best parts is when it's more like hardcore. But they combine the brutal and the melodic very good here.
"Phronesis" is the band's third album. Which consist of 10 tracks in approximately 40 minutes. And that's enough. It doesn't have to be longer than that.
(Century Media)
OCTOBER 17, 2018

CHASTAIN: The Voice Of The Cult, 30 Years Heavy - Album reissue
Well, this sounds just like they use to. And just like last time they have included 2 instrumental bonus tracks without any logical reason. But the real songs are just as good as they use to be when it comes to this US/heavy metal band. So no problem there. And the singer, Leather Leone, seems to do the performance of her life. But the other guys are also doing a good job.
It's already 30 years since this album was released. And if you don't have it yet, but are a true fan of heavy metal, then you should check this out of course.
Release date: October 26, 2018 (Pure Steel Records)
OCTOBER 16, 2018

BLOODBATH: The Arrow Of Satan Is Drawn - Album
This actually sounds like the soundtrack to a real bloodbath. Old school death metal with that classic Stockholm sound from the 90s.
As you might know already, this little "supergroup" have members from bands like PARADISE LOST, KATATONIA, OPETH and CRAFT. This is their fifth album, which includes guest apperances from British death metallers like Jeff Walker (CARCASS), Karl Willets (BOLT THROWER, MEMORIAM) and John Walker (CANCER).
So, this should of course be excellent. But is it really that good? I don't know. It's like something is missing, but I don't really know what. This is not bad though. I guess it just doesn't live up to the high standard that I'm used to when it comes to Swedish old school death metal.
Release date: October 26, 2018 (Peaceville Records)
OCTOBER 16, 2018

BLACK LOTUS: Sons Of Saturn - Album
Damned many bands with a name that start with black lately. But on the other hand we are entering the darker period now up here in the north. And a name that start with black is always more metal than, let's say YELLOW SUBMARINES for example. Yellow is definitely not metal.
But enough of my bullshit now. Let us talk about this band instead.
BLACK LOTUS is a Barcelona-based heavy and epic doom metal band. And this happens to be their debut album. The band was founded by Hug Ballesta in 2015. But it took a while to find the right crew, so it wasn't until the end of 2017 that they were ready to start recording this album.
Even though it's doom, they take influences from many different genres, like traditional heavy metal, alternative bands of the 90s, stoner rock and post metal. But in the end it's dark and heavy compositions that they have made.
Release date: October 19, 2018 (Inverse Records)
OCTOBER 16, 2018

SLAP GURU: Diagrams Of Pagan Life - Album
SLAP GURU started to play together in 2015. Their debut album, "Cosmic Hill", was released in 2016, and this is their second album. The music they play is blues-based psych rock, and it doesn't sound modern at all. They catch the sound of the 60s/70s, and out comes sweet music.
There's lots of variation here, and not just psychedelic rock all the time either. They can also be a little harder or more progressive. A song like "Streams On A Plain" reminds me of something softer with Jimi Hendrix. And a other favorite is "My Eerie Universe".
This is something that I recomend to those of you who like the retro/vintage trend that has been going on during the latest years.
Release date: October 18, 2018 (Sixteentimes Music)
OCTOBER 15, 2018

STONE LEADERS: Stone Leaders - Album
This band came to life in early 2016 when drummer John Macaluso (ARK, Yngwie Malmsteen, TNT, SYMPHONY X, James LaBrie, LABYRINTH, Michael Romeo) was contracted to do a drum clinic in Zagreb, Croatia. Asking the clinic organizer to find a band to accompany him in the clinic, Macaluso then met guitarist Ivan Mihaljevic and bassist Marko Karacic of Croatian band SIDE EFFECTS 10 minutes before the clinic began, and decided on what they would play. It worked so well that they knew already then that they had something special going on, so a while later John contacted Ivan to make plans for a album. Along the way they also brought in Croatian keyboard player/vocalist Dino Jelusic (TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA, ANIMAL DRIVE).
And now we get the result of that. Something they call "dark-prog" and "groove prog". It's progressive, but a bit darker than it use to be, and with more groove than the mathematical adventures that we use to get from other progressive bands. The songs are shorter and more straight to the point. And this is actually pretty good. This is something that even fans of melodic hard rock can like. Because that's what many of these songs sounds like to me.
Release date: October 19, 2018 (Vanity Music)
OCTOBER 15, 2018

MIDNITE CITY: There Goes The Neighbourhood - Album
Very melodic hard rock with a party vibe, that sounds like a product of the 80s. Very easy to swallow, but it soon comes out again. Even your girlfriend who just like pop music will like this band. If that is good or bad depends on what you want I suppose. But still I can't deny that it's pretty good after all. And if it actually would have been the 80s, and I had been a horny kid, then I would have loved this band. Just listen to a song like the opener "Here Comes The Party" for example. Probably my favorite on this record.
This is the second album from this British band. Their self titled debut was released last year.
Release date: October 19, 2018 (AOR Heaven)
OCTOBER 14, 2018

ONCE: After Earth - Album
It looks like what we have here is yet another one of these over ambitious projects. Epic, symphonic, melodic metal that makes it sound like a musical or a bombastic soundtrack to a adventure movie. If it wasn't for that high female vocals that are so typical in this genre. But if that's what you want, here you have it.
ONCE comes from North Rhine Westphalia in Germany, and formed in 2012. Their music is said to be "inspired by neo-romantic soundtrack music and includes typical elements of a classical Aristotelian drama, combined with heavy guitars and drums." "After Earth" is their debut album.
As you might remember, this is usually not my kind of style. But I can admit that there's some good songs here. So this is not totally hopeless anyway. I guess it will fit much better for fans of EPICA, NIGHTWISH and WITHIN TEMPTATION though.
Release date: October 19, 2018 (Pride & Joy Music)
OCTOBER 14, 2018

ORION'S REIGN: Scores Of War - Album
This is the kind of band that you just have to hear 1 song with, and then you know what you're going to get on the rest of the album. But if you like power metal of the bombastic and over dramatic kind, then you will probably like this anyway. They are hardly bad. Just very ambitious. And nothing wrong with that. You should stay awake when you listen to this, because there's a lot going on here, so you should not be bored.
This is the second album from this band, which features guest apperances from guys like Tim "Ripper" Owens (JUDAS PRIEST, ICED EARTH, Yngwie Malmsteen), Bob Katsionis (FIREWIND), Mark Boals (Yngwie Malmsteen) and a few others. They have also used a complete symphonic orchestra for this album.
Best song? "An Adventure Song" maybe?
Release date: October 19, 2018 (Pride & Joy Music)
OCTOBER 14, 2018

WHITE WIDDOW: Victory - Album
Melodic rock band who was formed in Melbourne, Australia in 2008 by some boys that was raised on 80s arena rock and artists like SURVIVOR, FOREIGNER, JOURNEY, NIGHT RANGER, STARSHIP, DOKKEN and Rick Springfield. They signed with AOR Heaven in 2010, who released their self-titled debut album the same year. But they didn't waste any time, as their second album, "Serenade", was released the next year already. It took a little longer before their third album, "Crossfire", came out though, which was in 2014. Their 4th album, "Silhouette", was released in 2016, and now their fifth album is here.
If you like melodic rock/AOR, then this is definitly a band for you my friend. There's plenty of good material to discover here.
Release date: October 19, 2018 (AOR Heaven)
OCTOBER 14, 2018

SAXON: The Eagle Has Landed - Album reissue
Saxon nowadays
After 3 successful studio albums (the first, self titled, album not included) it was time for SAXON's first live album, "The Eagle Has Landed". It was recorded during the European leg of their "Denim And Leather" tour in 1981, and released in May 1982. This re-release also includes a number of bonus tracks that was recorded at Hammersmith Odeon in London, UK in 1981 and 1982. This also became the first SAXON album with Nigel Glockler on drums, who is still a member of the band.
This is an excellent live album! SAXON really seems to be on fire here. This is a must in your collection! It's almost as good as live favourites like "Alive!" with KISS, "No Sleep 'til Hammersmith" with MOTÖRHEAD or "Live After Death" with IRON MAIDEN. But that's my opinion of course.
SAXON plan to celebrate their 40-year anniversary next year.
Release date: October 19, 2018 (BMG)
Pre-order: saxonband.lnk.to/TheEagleHasLanded
OCTOBER 13, 2018

WITCHFYRE: Grimorium Verum - Album
You might know how it is. You talk about forming a band, but nothing happens. In some cases it actually happens that you form a band, but it might take a few years. In this case they started to talk in 2006/2007 sometime, but didn't actually start to play until 2011. Then it took a couple of years to write some material, so it wasn't until 2013 that they finally entered the studio to record a 7" EP, entitled "Banshee". In early 2014 Infernö Records released the MCD/tape "Legends, Rites and Witchcraft".
This is their debut album, which was supposed to be released in the summer of 2016, but due to problems with the label it was never released. ..until now. Thanks to Fighter Records the album is finally released after 2 years. And that's really good news, as this is another good heavy metal band. Every fan of classic heavy metal should check this out.
(Fighter Records)
OCTOBER 12, 2018

WILD: Sin Piedad - Album
Traditional heavy/power metal in Spanish. I think of classic acts like IRON MAIDEN and JUDAS PRIEST for example. They have a good singer and are good musicians, and the songs are definitely not bad at all. This is definitely worth a try.
WILD started to play in 2002, but their first professional recording - the EP "Calles de Fuego" - wasn't released until 2009. Their first full length album, "La Nueva Orden", was recorded and released in 2011. Some more records has been released since then, and there have also been a few changes in the lineup through the years (the usual stuff).
"Sin Piedad" is their third full length, and it was first self released in early 2018 as a very limited CD-R. But now they are signed to Fighter Records, who have released it for real, with a worldwide promotion and distribution. And that's good of course.
(Fighter Records)
OCTOBER 12, 2018

GUTWRENCH: The Art Of Mutilation - Album
Really good death metal in the old school way. This is something that I recomend you to check out. I'm pretty sure that you won't regret it.
GUTWRENCH was one of the early Dutch death metal bands. The members also played in GODDESS OF DESIRE, CONSOLATION and PENTACLE. They recorded 2 demos in 1993 and 1994. And those demos is what this album consist of. But as a bonus we also get a track from a compilation album and 4 studio outtakes. All tracks have been remastered, and it sounds really good for being old demo recordings from the 90s.
Not much else to say..
Release date: October 12, 2018 (Vic Records)
OCTOBER 11, 2018

GATHERING DARKNESS: The Inexprable End - 7" EP
This Spanish death metal band has been around for 20 years now. But they actually started as a death/doom band. It wasn't until 2004 that they went in a different direction, and became more brutal. But for being around for such a long time, it seems like they have not released that many records.
These 4 tracks is a really intense experience, but not so extreme that you can't listen to it. No, I think that this is still good music, and I like what I hear.
Release date: October 12, 2018 (Self released)
OCTOBER 11, 2018

FASTLANE FLOWER: Abusement Park - Album
Some kind of modern rock/metal with a female singer. They have some really good songs here, like the third track for example. They reminds me of many of those symphonic metal bands, even though this is not really symphonic. And this band have some stronger cards as they have songs that are really good and no fake opera vocals. You should definitely give them a try.
FASTLANE FLOWER comes from Norway, and call themselves a rock and metal band. This is their second album.
(Label unknown..)
OCTOBER 11, 2018

PULVERIZED: Monuments Of Misanthropy - Album
Suitable name of the band. This Chilean death metal band will namely crush you.
This is said to fit those who prefer the early and mid-90s U.S. and South American death metal bands. It's fast and brutal, as well as hard and heavy, and the growl is pretty deep. Their lyrical themes touch the thoughts about life, death, Christianity and its moral decadence in Western Society. There's lyrics in both Spanish and English.
PULVERIZED woke to life in Santiago in 2006. After 2 demo recordings, their first album is ready to be released.
Release date: October 13, 2018 (Krucyator Productions)
OCTOBER 9, 2018

SKRAECKOEDLAN: Äppelträdet - Album reissue
Yet another Swedish band who play heavy retro rock. And this is mainly a mixture of all the other bands in this genre. They seems to build their songs on the golden riff. But unfortunately it's going nowhere. It's just riff after riff and not that much of a melody. O.k. as background music, but not much else, even though it grows a little for each time I listen.
But it's hardly any news that some bands just don't want to play catchy, and make good songs that people actually can remember. And yes, we all have different ideas about what a good song is, and we all have different taste. This is probably just for true fanatics of heavy rock though.
Most songs are in Swedish, but there are a couple in English as well. I don't know if SKRAECKOEDLAN is supposed to be the southern Swedish dialect Skånska for the Swedish word Skräcködlan (horror lizard in English).
Their music is called fuzz-science fiction rock. But it's o.k. to call it modern Swedish stoner rock as well. This is their debut album, which was originally released in Sweden in 2011. It has been hard to find, but will now get an international release.
Release date: October 12, 2018 (The Sign Records)
OCTOBER 8, 2018

REBELHOT: Uncomfortableness - Album
Italian band who play a wild mixture of 70s blues rock and funk. They released their debut album in 2016, and now a new album is here.
They have many catchy songs here, and I like what I hear. No digital effects or overdubs have been used. The majority of the record was recorded live directly into the studio mixing console.
Well, I guess that fans of blues rock and Southern rock will like this album.
Release date: October 12, 2018 (Metalapolis Records)
OCTOBER 8, 2018

OUTRAGE: Demo(n)s 1985 - Album
OUTRAGE are said to be 1 of the early black metal bands in Germany. Not that I think this sounds like black metal (at least not as we know it today). They formed in 1983, and released 4 demos between 1985-1987. And what we get on this album are the 2 demos "Outrage I" and "Outrage II" (they must have been thinking really hard to come up with those fantastic titles), both from 1985.
There's 9 tracks, and I would describe it as obscure and extreme blackened thrash metal from the underground. This is the stuff that you laugh at among your friends, but probably worship when you're alone. But I can assure you that you will survive without this experience.
Release date: October 12, 2018 (Vic Records)
OCTOBER 8, 2018

BLACK ALICE: Sons Of Steel - Album reissue
And the thought of following up on the first album with another good album does not seem to have hit these Australian guys. For most of the songs here is just so sleepy. But suddenly there's a few songs that rock. And then you suddenly wake up. But fact is that the last album I reviewed with them, "Endangered Species", was much better than this.
Last time I compared BLACK ALICE with NAZARETH, early ACCEPT and RAVEN. But this time it's more like MEATLOAF and possibly Elton John when he was rocking in the 70s. Unfortunately without any kind of hit potential at all. They even try some Jamaica rythms in 1 song. A couple of songs are instrumental, which is hardly ever funny, and in 1 of them they play blues.
This is their second album, which was privately released in micro quantity only in Australia in 1988. And it seems like the band was reformed especially to record the soundtrack for the Australian cult sci-fi HM musical feature film "Sons Of Steel".
Among the few good songs are "Hard Lover" for example.
Release date: October 12, 2018 (Karthago Records)
OCTOBER 8, 2018

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