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REVIEWS 2020 - Page 1

MÄRVEL: Märvellous - EP
(The Sign Records - Release date: Jan. 24, 2020)
Marvel in action
The year was 2002 when 3 high school kids from Sweden were enjoying their exchange year in Colorado, USA. And that's also the year when these kids formed the rock band MÄRVEL. Because rock was much more fun than studies. And suddenly they got signed to the independent label New York Powerhitters and recorded their debut EP, "Marvellous". But before it was released, the band moved back home to Sweden. The label promised to send them copies of the EP and the master tapes, but that never happened.
The band has tried for years to get the tapes, so that they could re-release the EP. But that seemed to be impossible, and according to hearsay the tapes were destroyed in the Universal Studios fire in 2008.
So what do you do then? Well, why not just re-record the songs? And that's exactly what they have done here. So finally we can get the chance to hear their very first 4 songs. Not that it sounds any different. This sounds just like it could have been recorded last year (which it actually was). I can hear lots of early KISS here, and it's just as good and brilliant as they use to be. This is something that you absolutely can't miss!
Published: Jan. 24, 2020

KSMB: Bland Tomtar Och Troll - EP
(Wild Kingdom - Release date: Jan. 24, 2020)
Alonzo solo
These Swedish legends have got a lot of angry comments for what they are doing today. Mainly from old fans who love their early punk records from the early 80s. Nowadays they are more or less just a rock band, but somehow I like what I hear. The first 2 songs are actually a small surprise as they are unexpectedly vital and almost punk rock again (and I said almost). It's still very catchy and melodic though.
After that we get a soft and slow song. Almost 5 minutes without any action at all. And after that song we are more or less back to the rock music that they have been playing on the 2 latest albums. More laidback and not as interesting as the 2 first tracks.
After 2 tracks of that it's more action again, and also much better. But the last track is slow again.
And then we have the lyrics.. They definitely don't have the same bite as in their youth. It's more reflections of life from some old men instead of the sarcastic stuff that they wrote in the early days of their career. So it's obviously not so funny anymore, but deeper instead.
So, if you want punk rock, try one of their early albums instead. But if you like catchy and melodic rock in Swedish, try this.
Published: Jan. 24, 2020

MOLOKEN: Unveilance Of Dark Matter - Album
(The Sign Records - Release date: Jan. 31, 2020)
Here's a band that fit perfect in the category "heavy noise". They just love to play heavy and repeat the same riffs over and over again. And the vocals is hardly any nice clean singing, but more like harsh screaming. But if you take a closer listen, you will soon find out that this is more than just a noisey band.
MOLOKEN is from Umeå in northern Sweden, and formed in 2007. The band walked their own path already from the beginning, disregarding musical conventions and genres. But their main influences comes from death, doom and black metal, along with 70s progressive rock and hardcore. This little brew end up in something dark, menacing and crushingly heavy. They have made their own little drink that doesn't really taste like something else.
moloken.net   facebook.com/thesignrecords
Published: Jan. 23, 2020

LYKANTROPI: Lykantropi (Deluxe Edition) - Album reissue
(Despotz Records - Release date: Jan. 31, 2020)
This self titled debut album was originally released in 2017. Now they have signed with Despotz Records, who will re-release the album worldwide on both LP and CD. This deluxe edition will also include a new song, "Summernights", as a little bonus.
When I reviewed the album in 2017, I was impressed. Not that they did anything unique at all, as I also compared them with many other Swedish vintage bands, but it was so damned good. And this is of course still a damned good album.
The music is best described as melancholy vintage rock. It's vocal harmonies like The MAMAS & The PAPAS, flute loops like JETHRO TULL and electric guitars like BLUE ÖYSTER CULT. Captivating tunes are mixed with old folklore.
LYKANTROPI formed in 2013. Their latest album, "Spirituosa", was released in May 2019. Also a damned good album.
facebook.com/lykantropiband   despotz.se
Published: Jan. 23, 2020

KAUSE 4 KONFLIKT: Fornication Under Control Of King - Album
(Deadlight Records - Release date: Jan. 31, 2020)
Thrashcore is what they call this French band's music. Which is a mix of modern thrash and hardcore metal. They combine furious riffs and groovy beats, and draws inspiration from the protest movements and alert states situations. They have previously released a EP, "Behaviour", in June 2016.
These 10 tracks are fast and angry. I think that both hardcore and thrash fans will like this band.
Published: Jan. 23, 2020

SHADOW BREAKER: Shadow Breaker - Album
(Pride & Joy Music - Release date: Jan. 24, 2020)
New French hard rock band with Chris Savourey (BORN AGAIN) on guitars and Franck Moondog (The BYMZ) on vocals. And these 2 guys began their first collaboration back in the 90s already, when they did the "Dreamland" album in 1998 under the name SAVOUREY. In 2001 they founded a new band, NORTHWIND, which released an album, "Seasons", in 2002. After that life seperated the boys, but now they are back with a new band.
SHADOW BREAKER is mainly influenced by legendary 70s and 80s acts like AC/DC, WHITESNAKE, THIN LIZZY, UFO, SCORPIONS, VAN HALEN, Ozzy Osbourne, KISS, MÖTLEY CRÜE, LED ZEPPELIN, DEF LEPPARD, MSG, DOKKEN, RATT and similar stuff. So if you like those kind of bands, then this is something that you should try. Because they have plenty of good material among these 9 tracks to discover. So don't be afraid.
facebook.com/shadowbreakertheband   prideandjoy.de
Published: Jan. 21, 2020

Kill Me Today, Tomorrow I'm Sick - Soundtrack Album
(Pride & Joy Music - Release date: Jan. 24, 2020)
So, what we have here is something different, as it's the soundtrack for a German movie. There's a few rock songs in the beginning of this album. But after a few songs it's going south, with all kinds of different music that I have no interest in. Did they really have to include useless atmospheric sounds and short instrumental pieces on the soundtrack for example? I just wonder.
I like the 3 first tracks, but songs like "Good Way Down" and "Special Friend" (originally by British punk rockers The LURKERS) are not so bad either. But there's as much as 23 tracks here, so there's a lot of stuff that I don't want to hear.
Among the musicians are Matt Beck (MATCHBOX 20, Rob Thomas), Nick Buda (Taylor Swift, JEWEL), John Rhino Edwards (STATUS QUO) and Guthrie Trapp (PHISH, Ashley Monroe). Janina Dietz (JATD) take care of most of the vocals, but in "Special Friend" we can also hear actor Carlo Ljubek and Arturo Bassic (The LURKERS).
Published: Jan. 21, 2020

ELEGY OF MADNESS: Invisible World - Album
(Pride & Joy Music - Release date: Jan. 24, 2020)
Here we go again.. Yet another symphonic metal band with a queen on vocals. This time from Italy.
ELEGY OF MADNESS was founded in 2006 by Tony Tomasicchio. The first album, "The Bridge Of Sighs", was released in 2009. This album, "Invisible World", is their 4th album, and it's said to fit fans of DELAIN, WITHIN TEMPTATION and EPICA.
Well, this is not so bad actually. As a matter of fact there's some really good songs here. So you might give this a try?
facebook.com/elegyofmadness   prideandjoy.de
Published: Jan. 21, 2020

DENY: Dystopia - Album
(LP: Flyktsoda, Digital: Cramada)
DENY kicks ass with their hardcore/crust punk, and takes me back to the 90s with all its bands who started their name with Dis. There's also lots of ANTI CIMEX here, and I really like what I hear. The only problem I can find are the 2 "hallelujah" pieces, which are so at the wrong place (I guess they are supposed to be intro and outtro). But you check this out. That's an order!
Now it's 2 years since this Swedish band released their first record in a decade, the "Parasite Paradise" EP. On "Dystopia" they canalizes anger on how the world is treated, greed, domestic violence and pollution. We get as much as 14 tracks, but most songs are no longer than approximately 1-2 minutes, so that's really not a problem here.
This is hard and angry music with former members of bands like ASTA KASK, MARTYRDÖD, SKITSYSTEM, WOLFPACK and WOLFBRIGADE. I think the beer will be sinking faster than ever before when you listen to this.
deny.nu   facebook.com/flyktsodafanzine   cramada.se
Published: Jan. 18, 2020

Nick Giannakos: The Alchemist - Album
(Pure Steel Publishing - Release date: Jan. 24, 2020)
Neo-classical, instrumental guitar masturbation. Well, his playing guitar anyway. A lot of guitar. But it doesn't just sound like eternal solos anyway (even though there's some of that too of course). And that's always something positive. I'm usually not such a big fan of instrumental records, as you might know, but some of these 12 songs are actually not so bad at all.
This is the debut album from the American guitarist Nick Giannakos (WRETCH), which will be released digital (no CD or LP).
facebook.com/nshred1   purerock-records.com
Published: Jan. 17, 2020

INVICTUS: Eden - Album
(Iron Shield Records - Release date: Jan. 24, 2020)
INVICTUS formed in Bavaria, Germany in 2017 with the mission to create powerful and diverse heavy metal, inspired by the heroes of the 80s. A first 3-track EP was released in March 2019, and now their debut album is here.
These 11 tracks have most of the ingredients that you can ask for when it comes to a real heavy metal album. We get everything from speed and power metal to true heavy metal, and even a power ballad. So this should make your metal heart beat faster.
facebook.com/InvictusHeavyMetal   ironshieldrecords.de
Published: Jan. 17, 2020

EIGHTY ONE HUNDRED: Heaven In Flames - Album
(Self released on Jan. 24, 2020)
EIGHTY ONE HUNDRED are from Naples, Italy and formed in 2016, and it seems like this debut album was released in 2018 already. But anyhow, it contains 7 tracks of some kind of melodic heavy metal. They want to invent their own genre though, which they call rage metal. And they are totally o.k. to me, so maybe you should check them out?
I don't have anything else to add..
Published: Jan. 17, 2020

HAZZERD: Delirium - Album
(M-Theory Audio - Release date: Jan. 24, 2020)
HAZZERD is a Canadian thrash metal quartet, initially formed by 2 teenagers - drummer/lead vocalist Dylan Westendorp and guitarist Brendan Malycky - from Calgary. They were inspired by the early work of thrash legends like OVERKILL, METALLICA and ANTHRAX. And in 2014 the 2 boys self-released their debut EP, "Victimize The Innocent".
After that they recruited lead guitarist Toryin Schadlich and bassist David Sprague, before they finally released their debut album, "Misleading Evil", in 2017. And now in 2020 their second album, "Delirium", is here.
What we have here is pretty simple to describe, because it's exactly what you can expect: old school thrash metal. But they are doing it very good, and sound really professional. The songs are just as great as anything else in this genre, so you should definitely check this out.
facebook.com/HazzerdThrash   m-theoryaudio.com
Published: Jan. 16, 2020

ELDEN: Nostromo - Album
(Fuzzorama Records - Release date: Jan. 24, 2020)
ELDEN (the fire) formed in Karlstad, Sweden in 2012, and started to write songs influenced by MASTODON, BARONESS, The SWORD and classic bands from the 70s and 80s. A demo came out a year later, and their first EP was released in 2015. After that they took their songwriting to a new level, with heavier riffs, more distinct vocals and an overall more impressive production (according to the press release). Their debut album, "Death And Fear", was released in 2016.
Their new album, "Nostromo", is inspired by the cold darkness of time and space, and is said to be the best songs they have written (have you heard that before?). I know nothing about that, but this record sounds good anyway. Some kind of metal in the heavier league, but not heavy as shit. The heaviness is mixed with melodic vocals.
facebook.com/EldenBand   fuzzoramarecords.com
Published: Jan. 16, 2020

DOOJIMAN & The EXPLODERS: Electric Boogaloo - LP
(Beluga Records - Release date: Jan. 24, 2020)
Among the influences for this band are 60s and 70s bands like MC5, The STOOGES, NEW YORK DOLLS and RAMONES, as well as 90s acts like TURBONEGRO, EAGLES OF DEATH METAL, The HELLACOPTERS and The WHITE STRIPES. So guitar-based power pop with hit potential you could say. And the tracks that I got sounds really good to me, so this is absolutely worth checking out.
This is so catchy that it will put a big smile on your ugly face. And I really like it!
facebook.com/doojiman   belugarecords.com
Published: Jan. 16, 2020

RYTE: Ryte - Album
(Heavy Psych Sounds Records - Release date: Jan. 17, 2020)
This is the debut album from this Austrian band, where we get 4 songs that are between 7:55 to 11:54 minutes. They have been working on these songs from late 2016 to early 2018. And their music is progressive psych/doom rock, which means heavy psych rock with influences from all kinds of music, like doom, prog rock, space rock, jazz and even world music. It's mainly instrumental, even though there's some vocals in 2 of the songs at least.
Not really my cup of tea, even though it's not totally useless, but you might like it more than me.
facebook.com/rytejams   heavypsychsounds.com
Published: Jan. 15, 2020

DOOMRAISER: The Dark Side Of Old Europa - Album
(Time To Kill Records - Release date: Jan. 24, 2020)
Really good doom metal in the same style as CANDLEMASS. So this is a must for fans of that band. They put their own twist on it of course, but what we get is 8 extremely good tracks of doom. I would not want to miss this band if I was you.
DOOMRAISER are based in Rome, Italy. They have released a few albums since they formed in 2004, so there's obviously more candy to check out if you get tired of this album.
facebook.com/doomraiser   timetokill-records.com
Published: Jan. 14, 2020

DEAD END FINLAND: Inter Vivos - Album
(Inverse Records - Release date: Jan. 24, 2020)
The Finnish metal band DEAD END FINLAND has been working with their 4th album for over 3 years. But now it's finally ready to be released.
Well, I don't really know, but many of these songs reminds me of PARADISE LOST. I guess that we can call it some kind of gothic, melodic metal. Sometimes with a touch of melodic death metal, which they have their roots in. But there's also symphonic and electronic elements. It's also dark, but yet beautiful.
This is hardly an album that you listen to when you party with your friends, but more like something that you listen to and really enjoy when you're home alone.
deadendfinland.com   inverse.fi
Published: Jan. 14, 2020

COLOSSO: Apocalypse - Album
(Transcending Obscurity Records - Release date: Jan. 24, 2020)
Portuguese death metallers COLOSSO has previously released 4 albums and 2 EPs. They have been lurking in the underground since 2011, and I'm not sure if these 4 tracks will make them more popular, but it's said to be their most ambitious release yet. The story is based on the concept of the 4 horsemen of the apocalypse, and they have used a different singer on each track.
COLOSSO deliver an agressive and apocalyptic sound that will leave you breathless. This is really heavy, so don't expect a new record in speed here. They can speed it up sometimes though, but I would hardly call this band fast.
colossometal.com   tometal.com
Published: Jan. 14, 2020

(InsideOut Music - Release date: Jan. 17, 2020)
As you might know already, SONS OF APOLLO is an all-star band with vocalist Jeff Scott Soto (Yngwie Malmsteen, JOURNEY, TALISMAN, W.E.T.), guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal (GUNS N' ROSES), bassist Billy Sheehan (David Lee Roth, Mr. BIG, Steve Vai), keyboard player Derek Sherinian (Billy Idol, DREAM THEATER, Alice Cooper, Yngwie Malmsteen) and drummer Mike Portnoy (DREAM THEATER). They released their debut album, "Psychotic Symphony", in 2017, and a live release, "Live With The Plovdiv Psychotic Symphony", in August last year. Now their second studio album is here.
SONS OF APOLLO might go as a progressive metal band, but on their live release they played covers of acts like RAINBOW, Ozzy Osbourne, VAN HALEN etc., and showed us all that they are inspired by much more than just progressive artists. And that might be the reason why they are so much better and more interesting than many other modern bands in the progressive genre. I can hear lots of things here that reminds me of legends from the past - "Resurrection Day" reminds me of RAINBOW's "Gates Of Babylon". The beginning of "New World Today" reminds me of Gary Moore (r.i.p), and the list goes on..
sonsofapollo.com   insideoutmusic.com
Published: Jan. 13, 2020

...AND YOU WILL KNOW US BY THE TRAIL OF DEAD: X, The Godless Void And Other Stories - Album
(InsideOut Music/Dine Alone Records - Release date: Jan. 17, 2020)
It's 5 years since these art-rockers from Austin released their last album. But now they return with their 10th album. Now it's many years since I heard this band last time, but I think I wasn't impressed at all. And I'm actually not so impressed this time either. Everything might not be useless, but it just doesn't give me anything to listen to this, so it feels like this album last for an eternity. I think that this is just not my kind of music, and therfor you should take my opinion with a pinch of salt.
It's not always rock on this album. A song like "Don's Look Down", sounds like pop to me. Luckily not any modern kind of pop though. And that's always something positive at least.
facebook.com/andyouwillknowusbythetrailofdead   insideoutmusic.com
Published: Jan. 13, 2020

(Xtreem Music - Release date: Jan. 21, 2020)
In the summer of 1987 a couple of young boys from Finland decided to form a thrash metal band. They were inspired by bands like SLAYER, VENOM, DARK ANGEL and DEATH. The name of the band became ANXIETY. In 1989 their first demo was recorded, and they changed the name of the band to NECROPSY. A few more demos came out, and the music became darker and more death metal. They also released a split-LP with DEMIGOD and a 7" EP before it was over in 1994.
During the years they talked about putting the band together again, but nothing happened until autumn/fall 2008. And in July 2011 their debut album, "Bloodwork", was finally released. Well, a few more records, both full lengths and EPs, has been released since then.
When the band started to write some new material, they felt like it was time to do something different than the basic death metal. It was time to slow down and make it more simple. And the result of that can be heard on these 4 tracks, which are in the heavier league. To me they sound more or less all the same, which doesn't make it so funny to listen to. It's not totally useless though.
The last track, "Butcherado", is more true death metal than the rest, and therfor I like it best here.
Published: Jan. 11, 2020

VERITATES: Killing Time - Album
(Pure Steel Records - Release date: Jan. 17, 2020)
VERITATES play traditional heavy metal. And they really know how to deliver it, because this album is filled with great songs. And "Killing Time" is just their debut album, but it sounds like they would have made at least 2-3 albums already. So yes, I'm impressed.
VERITATES is a quartet from Cologne and Loerrach in Germany. They are dedicated to traditional power metal with a thrash edge, and are influenced by Matt Barlow-era ICED EARTH and early KAMELOT.
We also have some guest apperances here, like singer André Grieder and guitarist V.O. Pulver (both POLTERGEIST), Andreas Doetsch (WOLFEN) and Shasank Venkat (AGAINST EVIL) to name a few..
facebook.com/Veritates-376780209623287   puresteel-records.com
Published: Jan. 10, 2020

MINDLESS SINNER: Poltergeist - Album
(Pure Steel Records - Release date: Jan. 17, 2020)
Didn't this Swedish band sound like IRON MAIDEN last time I heard them? Now they sound more like their countrymen in WOLF (who will release a new album soon). Which is also good of course, as I really like that band too. So in other words they still play classic heavy metal in the traditional way, and they still do it damned good. I would not want to miss this album if I was you.
This band existed for the first time in the 80s. They released 1 EP, 2 albums and 1 single between 1983-89. In 2015 they were back again with a new album, "The New Messiah". But it's not until now that their next album since the comeback is ready to be released. Well, better late than never at all as they say.. And when it's this good, why complain if it take some time between the albums?
facebook.com/mindlesssinnerofficial   puresteel-records.com
Published: Jan. 10, 2020

DRAGONLORE: Lucifer's Descent - Album
(Iron Shield Records - Release date: Jan. 17, 2020)
Honestly, it sounds like the singer has something up his ass that should not be there while he's singing. It's totally over the top all the time in the first song, which is the title track. But already in the second song he calm down and sing more normal. And thanks for that. It would have been way too much otherwise. There's some more high screaming in some of the other songs, but thankfully not for a whole song at least.
DRAGONLORE's music is U.S. metal that reminds me of a band like ICED EARTH. So true heavy metal with a epic touch. Their lyrics are stories of war, tragedy, fantasy and more. Typical metal lyrics. I have heard both better and a lot worse in my life.
facebook.com/dragonloreband   ironshieldrecords.de
Published: Jan. 10, 2020

ACID MAMMOTH: Under Acid Hoof - Album
(Heavy Psych Sounds Records - Release date: Jan. 17, 2020)
Heavy riffs and not too much variation is a perfect way to describe ACID MAMMOTH. But if that sounds exiting to you, who am I to judge?
This is the second album from this Greek doom metal band. "Under Acid Hoof" is said to be a direct continuation of the band's self-titled debut from 2017, but darker, heavier and fuzzier. 5 tracks is all we get, but that is more than enough for me as some songs are between 7 and a half minutes to as much as 9 minutes. It's a miracle that I have not fall asleep. So I guess there is something that I might like anyway..
This is said to fit fans of ELECTRIC WIZARD, MONOLORD and SLEEP.
facebook.com/acidmammoth   heavypsychsounds.com
Published: Jan. 9, 2020

MALLET: Rock 'n' Roll Heroes - Album
(Self released on Jan. 17, 2020)
This German hard rock band celebrated their 40th anniversary in 2019, and this is actually their 12th album. Since 1994 they have been a trio, and have played up to 150 gigs each year.
Just because you can have 14 tracks on a record nowadays doesn't really mean that you have to. But luckily they have many good songs among all these tracks. And the album gives us many different styles - everything from hard rock like "Rock 'n' Roll Hero", "Eighties Coming Back" and "The Revenant" to classic rock like "Lonely Without You", "The Ocean" and "Just You And I", as well as some softer stuff like "Time For Your Life" - so you should not get tired while you listen as there's lots of variation. It's never sprawling though. They stay true to their style all the way.
Published: Jan. 9, 2020

INTOXICATE: Cross Contamination - Album
(Downfall Records)
INTOXICATE comes from Göteborg (aka Gothenburg), Sweden, and was formed in 1988 already, which makes them one of the first thrash metal bands in that area. They released 3 demo tapes before they split up in 1991.
That could have been the end, but then they were asked to reunite for a gig at Gothenburg Sound Festival in 2015. So they hit the stage with 4 out of 5 original members, and that was obviously so much fun that they have not stopped playing since then. And in November 2019 they finally released an album, "Cross Contamination", which was mixed by Anders Backelin (ex-LORD BELIAL) and mastered by Andy LaRoque (KING DIAMOND).
On this record they show us that they can still thrash like it was 1988, even though the sound is updated (probably because of modern equipment). So if you like old school thrash metal, then this is an album for you my friend. It really is that simple! So what are you waiting for?
Published: Jan. 9, 2020

BONDED: Rest In Violence - Album
(Century Media - Release date: Jan. 17, 2020)
Old school thrash metal for all the money. And this kicks serious arse, man! Most of the songs are fast and brutal with a touch of MOTÖRHEAD, but they also have a few that are heavier. A good combination so that you won't get tired too fast.
This band features German thrash legends like Bernd "Bernemann" Kost and drummer Markus "Makka" Freiwald (both well-known from SODOM and KREATOR). The other members are Chris Tsitsis (SUICIDAL ANGELS, DESTROY THEM) on second guitar, Marc Hauschild on bass and Ingo Bajonczak (ASSASSIN) on vocals. There's also 2 guests on the title track: singer Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth (OVERKILL) and former KREATOR bassist Christian "Speesy" Giesler.
Well, the year has just begun but this is a very strong album that might end up on many best of 2020 lists in the end of this year. That's how good I think this is.
bondedofficial.com   centurymedia.com
Published: Jan. 8, 2020

BLESSED BLACK: Beyond The Crimson Throne - Album
(Release date: Jan. 17, 2020)
BLESSED BLACK formed in Cincinnati, USA in October 2017, and are now ready to release their debut album. Their music is stoner/doom that is said to fit fans of KHEMMIS, The SWORD and PALLBEARER. Among the 7 tracks are new versions of their 2 previous singles: "The Black Gate" and "Stormbringer".
And as you might have guessed already, this is heavy stuff. Not extremely heavy though. More like BLACK SABBATH heavy. So there's definitely a melody. And this is actually not bad at all. I think you should check them out.
Published: Jan. 7, 2020

SILVERLIGHT SHADOWS: Black The World - Single
(Released date: Jan. 9, 2020)
Australian stoner rockers SILVERLIGHT SHADOWS release their new single, "Black The World", which is taken from an upcoming split with MONARCHUS.
This high octane trio formed in 2016, and are said to be "part punk, part thrash and 100% rock and roll". They soon recorded their debut album after just a handful of jam sessions, and another album was released in 2017.
Well, after too many listenings I can establish that this is absolutely not bad. A very catchy song that makes me want to hear some more.
Published: Jan. 7, 2020

SELF DECEPTION: Hell And Back - Single
(Ditto Music)
Oh shit, this is definitely not my kind of stuff. Should I call it nu metal or melodic, modern rock? Does it really matter? I don't like it anyway. Simple as that. Too much pop music for my taste. They label this as hard rock though, so maybe I should be kind and call it modern hard rock then?
SELF DECEPTION is a Swedish band who will release their 4th full length, "Shapes", in February. And this song is the first taste of that. I liked their EP, "Endorse The Art" (2019), much more than this, so they are not totally hopeless anyway.
Published: Jan. 6, 2020

CABAL: Midian - Album reissue
(Vic Records)
CABAL was Killjoy's (Frank Pucci), from NECROPHAGIA, side thrash/death metal band in the early 90s. CABAL recorded and released 1 album, "Midian", in 1990. This album has now been rematered and re-released. And this is a very good album that you should not miss if you like good old thrash and death metal. He was definitely not an amateur, because this is really well done.
Sadly Killjoy passed away in 2018, so this re-issue is a tribute to him. Besides all Killjoy's lyrics, the booklet also contains a special In Memoriam written by Bob Bagchus (ex-ASPHYX), Mirai Kawashima (SIGH), Scott Carlson (REPULSION) and Kam Lee (MASSACRE).
Published: Jan. 5, 2020

CEREMONY: Retribution - Album
(Vic Records)
CEREMONY was founded in the Rotterdam area in 1989 by Peter Verhoef on guitars (ex-PHLEBOTOMIZED), and released 2 demos, 1 7" EP and their debut full lenght, "Tyranny From Above", in 1993.
The album was re-released by Vic Records in 2016, and due to this succesful re-issue and the demand for more, CEREMONY actually reformed the same year and started working on new songs. And now their second album, "Retribution", is here, which gives us a fat dose of death metal. It's less downtuned than their debut album, but more complex and with some slight black metal touches instead. Not bad at all.
This album was previously released in a small edition by the little Dutch label Doc, but has now got an worldwide release by Vic Records about a month ago.
facebook.com/Ceremony-The-Netherlands-772478876162300   vicrecords.com
Published: Jan. 5, 2020

(Vic Records)
The first song is 10 and a half minutes long, and the next is 11:44 minutes long. And this is actually not such a good band, even though everything doesn't suck. The songs in the second half of this album are not so bad though.
The titles are a chapter on their own: "At The Epicurean Gynaecologist", "Knee Deep In Blood I Wade", "Gangling Menstrual Blood-Broth For Supper", "Blood-Drenched Bowels In My Bed" and "Tampon Gourmet" are just a few crazy examples.
VISCERAL EVISCERATION was a doom/death metal band from Austria, that existed between 1991-1996. They are described as a blend of PARADISE LOST and AUTOPSY. After 1 demo and 1 album they changed the name of the band to AS I LAY DYING, but due to difficulties in the lineup they split up soon after that.
I would guess that the material on this album is both the demo and the album, or as the title says, lost tapes.
facebook.com/visceralevisceration   vicrecords.com
Published: Jan. 5, 2020

LOVEKILLERS feat. Tony Harnell: Lovekillers feat. Tony Harnell - Album
(Frontiers Music Srl)
Norwegian band TNT released their 2 strongest albums, "Tell No Tales" and "Intuition", back in the 80s. The lineup included guitarist Ronnie LeTekro and American vocalist Tony Harnell. It doesn't seems like these 2 gentlemen are going to work together again, but LOVEKILLERS might be a pretty good substitute as they try hard to do the same thing (more or less). Which means melodic hard rock with strong melodies.
The differance here is that Mr. Harnell have been writing with Alessandro Del Vecchio (bass, keyboards), Nigel Bailey, Pete Alpenborg, Marco Sivo and Jonas Hornqvist this time instead of LeTekro. But somehow they have succeeded to make something that sounds very similiar to those 2 classic albums that I mentioned in the beginning. And how can you say no to that?
Published: Jan. 4, 2020

(Frontiers Music Srl)
PRAYING MANTIS was originally formed back in 1973, but it wasn't until 1981 that their debut album, "Time Tells No Lies", was released, and they became one of the most influential bands of the NWoBHM (New Wave Of British Heavy Metal) movement. It seems like the band has existed a little now and then through the years, and their second studio album, "Predator In Disguise", wasn't released until 1991. But after that they have continued to release new albums every 2-3 years. Among the many members who have came and left the band through the years are Dennis Stratton (IRON MAIDEN), Doogie White (RAINBOW), Gary Barden (MSG), Bernie Shaw (URIAH HEEP), Bruce Bisland, Mike Freeland, Gary Mackenzie, and many others from the British rock scene.
This recording comes from their apperance at Frontiers Rock Festival V in Milan, Italy on April 28, 2018, where they performed both old and new songs. And it sounds like they did a really good work there, because this is definitely not bad at all. So if you're looking for some British hard rock with a lot of melody, then this is something that you should check out as soon as you can.
Published: Jan. 3, 2020

A NEW TOMORROW: Universe - Album
(Frontiers Music Srl)
A NEW TOMORROW were formed during 2009 in London by vocalist/guitarist Alessio Garavello (Ex-POWERQUEST, ARTHEMIS) and bassist Andrea Lonardi. They were later joined by Tim Hall on drums and Michael Kew on guitars. Their influences came from powerful rock bands like ALTER BRIDGE, FOO FIGHTERS, METALLICA and GREEN DAY. After 10 years of existance they finally got the chance to release their debut album in December 2019.
Their music is powerful but at the same time very melodic. This is not bad at all. I think you should give them a try at least.
Published: Jan. 3, 2020

The MURDER OF MY SWEET: Brave Tin World - Album
(Frontiers Music Srl)
I might not dislike symphonic metal as much as I have been thinking that I do. I'm at least man enough to admit that there's actually a few good bands in this genre. And as you might have guessed by now, The MURDER OF MY SWEET is among those few good acts that I like. Because what I hear when I listen to this album is several great songs, with lots of heart and soul.
"Brave Tin World" is their 5th studio album, where the music is labeled as cinematic/symphonic metal. These Swedes are often compared with bands such as WITHIN TEMPTATION, NEMESEA and DELAIN. So if you like bands like that, then you probably know what to do next..
Published: Jan. 3, 2020

HOUSE OF SHAKIRA: Radiocarbon - Album
(Frontiers Music Srl)
HOUSE OF SHAKIRA is a Swedish melodic hard rock band that was originally formed in Stockholm back in 1991. Their debut album, "Lint", came out in 1997. "Radiocarbon" is their 9th studio album.
What we get here is nothing but the finest kind of melodic hard rock, but yet they have found their own style somehow. Song after song is great. I can't see any reason why you not should check this out.
Short but sweet review..
Published: Jan. 3, 2020

EDGE OF FOREVER: Native Soul - Album
(Frontiers Music Srl)
EDGE OF FOREVER start their album with an a-cappella song. A different idea. But after that we get some melodic hard rock in the good old tradition. Nothing new here at all, but just as good as it always has been, so there's no reason to complain at all. Just sit back and enjoy the ride.
The band was originally formed by producer, singer and keyboardist Alessandro Del Vecchio in 2002. They released 3 albums, and now EDGE OF FOREVER return with a revived lineup, featuring guitarist Aldo Lonobile (SECRET SPHERE), bass player Nik Mazzucconi (LABYRINTH) and drummer Marco Di Salvia (HARDLINE).
Alessandro have been collaborating with the Italian record label Frontiers Music for many years now. He has been producer, songwriter and musician for albums with artists like HARDLINE, JORN, REVOLUTION SAINTS, The END MACHINE, FIND ME, FIRST SIGNAL, HAREM SCAREM, HOUSE OF LORDS, and many others. So if you want high quality melodic hard rock, then this is the album for you.
Published: Jan. 3, 2020

VULCANO: Bride Of Satan - Single
(Mighty Music)
VULCANO is another band who will release a new album, "Eye In Hell", in March 2020 on Mighty Music. And here's a taste of that: "Bride Of Satan" (sounds very evil, huh?).
The band were one of Brazil's first metal bands of note. They actually existed before the most well-known Brazilian band SEPULTURA. VULCANO has always been a DIY (do it yourself) band, but for the first time in almost 39 years they have signed with a record label.
What about the music then? Well, it's black/thrash metal that we get from these guys. That's what they call it anyway, but I think that this song is more thrash than black. No matter what it's a good song anyway, so you should check it out of chourse.
vulcanometal.com   mightymusic.dk
Published: Jan. 2, 2020

JUSTIFY REBELLION: Crowd Control - Single
(Mighty Music)
JUSTIFY REBELLION is a hard-hitting heavy metal act from Denmark. This song is taken from their upcoming album "The Ends Justify The Means", due in March 2020, and is about the individual, its place in society and the majorities who don't feel like or can't say no to the greater powers which are pulling the strings. It is impossible to acquire new personal skills if you are just following the majority with stubbornness just to maintain your own self image.
JUSTIFY REBELLION take their inspiration from several metal genres. The new album is mainly centered on the darker aspects of humanity and society, with the topics on the record varying from greed, war, lust and drugs to vulnerability and self-realization.
"Crowd Control" is a powerful metal anthem to bang your head to. It has a touch of groove/thrash metal actually. Good stuff anyway.
facebook.com/JustifyRebellion   mightymusic.dk
Published: Jan. 2, 2020

GHOST SHIP OCTAVIUS: Blizzard - Single
(Mighty Music)
Well, this song is probably pretty good. ..if it wasn't for the vocals, which is in Japanese. And I don't really like that, as it sounds so wrong for the song. So no thanks. Now I don't mean to be disrespectful towards the Japanese people here, because they are usually cool, and their language is also cool. But not just for this song.
This single is their take on a Japanese classic. So if anybody is disrespectful its GHOST SHIP OCTAVIUS.
This US progressive metal band features former members from NEVERMORE and GOD FORBID. Their second album, "Delirium", was released in February this year, and it was much better than this single. Always something I suppose?
facebook.com/GhostShipOctavius   mightymusic.dk
Published: Jan. 2, 2020

FREDDY AND THE PHANTOMS: Freedom Is A Prison - Single
(Mighty Music)
"Freedom Is A Prison" is the second single from the coming album, "A Universe From Nothing", by these Danish hard rockers. The song's main theme is the paradox of freedom - cause once you have ultimate freedom, you're trapped in a prison of endless possibilities. Or is it the other way around?
This is a damned good song where they build up a raw shuffle rock beat, and then a catchy and melodic chorus on top of that. There's also a untraditional distorted a clavinet- solo. This song will be stuck in you head for a long time my friend.
facebook.com/freddyphan   mightymusic.dk
Published: Jan. 2, 2020

CHRONICLE: They Have Returned - Single
(Mighty Music) This is the first single from a new band from Denmark, who play melodic/technical death metal. And they are absolutely not bad at all. I really like this song'
"They Have Returned" is taken from an upcoming album, which will be released in March 2020. And if there's more great songs like this, then I look forward to hear that album.
This is said to be something for fans of early CHILDREN OF BODOM, early DARK TRANQUILLITY and The BLACK DAHLIA MURDER.
facebook.com/ChronicleOfficialBand   mightymusic.dk
Published: Jan. 2, 2020