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REVIEWS 2017 - Page 1

HOLLOW LEG: Murder - Digital EP
Florida doom/sludge band HOLLOW LEG return with a 2-track EP. The first recording with new drummer John Stewart (BLOODLET, CARIBOU KING), who have replaced founding member Tim Creter.
Their roots in American blues and English metal create a sound that could be compared to a mixture of doom, sludge and traditional heavy metal. And it's a good sound that they create, so I recomend you to check out this band. Too bad that it's just available digitally though (but that's better than nothing of course).
Release date: Mar. 3, 2017 (Argonauta Records)
FEB. 28, 2017

DRUIDS: Druids - Album
This wasn't really what I expected. Is it rock or pop? It almost sounds like indie rock to me, but they say that it's supposed to be good old 70s glam rock like SLADE, T.Rex, KISS and David Bowie. But I don't really know..
This is a pretty new trio from Suffolk, England. And even though they doesn't sound like glam as I know it, they actually have a couple of good songs here. It might not be any masterpieces, but it's good enough anyway.
I'm not really sure who will listen to this band though. But they will probably find their fans somehow.
Release date: Mar. 3, 2017 (Self released)
FEB. 28, 2017

THRASH BOMBZ: Master Of The Dead - Album
Italian thrash metal band from Sicilia born in December 2007 from the ashes of a death/thrash band called NECROSIS. They have previously released a demo-EP and their debut album in 2013, as well as a MCD in 2014. And after 2 years of writing and recording a new album is here.
We get some really good songs in the old school that everybody into thrash should like. There's no metalcore or progressive crap here. Just pure good old thrash metal the way it was meant to be. This is absolutely something you should give a try.
Release date: Mar. 3, 2017 (Iron Shield Records)
FEB. 27, 2017

SATAN WORSHIP: I'm The Devil - Album
Oh my God what a silly band name and album title! Not that I'm religious, but come on. I find it hard to take a band like this seriously. Especially when they have ridiculous artist names like Leatherface Perkele and Max The Necromancer for example.
I guess it's not so hard to figure out that it's satanic metal we have here. Or a mixture of heavy, thrash and black metal. And the music is not so bad at all, so if you can take their lyrics with a pinch of salt, well then this might be something that could be worth checking out.
Release date: Mar. 3, 2017 (Iron Shield Records)
FEB. 27, 2017

INFESTUS: Origen - Album
Yet another demo collection. This time from a Spanish death metal band. It contains recordings from 1993, 1994 and 2015 (the 2 last are previously unreleased). A total of 18 tracks.
The band formed in 1990 and split up in 1995. In 2014 they were back again, but split up after the recording of the "Origen" demo. In 2016 the only original member, Asog, decided to reform the band once again, but with new musicians.
I think they sounds very unfocused on the first demo. Like they recorded the music first, and then the vocalist just improvised his parts. Hardly the best I have heard. It reminds me of a recording I did with my younger brother in the 90s.
But it's already much better on the second demo. Then they finally seemed to know what they were doing at least. I wouldn't call it a masterpiece though.
The third demo is the best of these 3. But that doesn't mean that I think it's excellent. It's not bad though.
Well, this is yet another compilation for those who just must have everything. The rest of us will survive without this. There's so many other death bands that are so much better. So waste your time on them instead.
(Xtreem Music)
FEB. 26, 2017

CRYPTIC BROOD: Brain Eater - Album
Debut full length from a German death/doom metal band. Think AUTOPSY, ASPHYX and HELLHAMMER for example, but maybe with a touch of crust punk once in a while when they decide to play a little faster (which they do once in a while). Especially the first track, "A Box Full Of Bones", is a death/crust attack (even though they slow down somewhere in the middle of the song). Most of all it's a mixture of death and doom metal though. No doubt about that.
This trio started in 2013, and released a demo the same year. After that it has been a couple of split releases and a EP, "Wormhead", in 2015.
Release date: Mar. 1, 2017 (Xtreem Music)
FEB. 26, 2017

CANDLE: Demo 2016 - EP
Debut demo from a Swedish heavy metal band. Among their influences are MERCYFUL FATE and early US metal like SAVATAGE, FATES WARNING and CIRITH UNGOL, as well as some NWOBHM like early JUDAS PRIEST and SATAN.
4 tracks is what we get, and it sounds really good. This is absolutely something for the nostalgics of the 80s. A time when heavy metal seemed to be so much better.
Fighter Records is a new sub-label to Xtreem Music who will release underground heavy metal. That can be interesting..
(Fighter Records)
FEB. 26, 2017

Liv Sin: Killing Ourselves To Live - Single
The second single from Liv Sin's upcoming debut album is a bit more thrash metal/more aggressive, but also with some melodic parts. It features a guest apperance from DESTRUCTION frontman Schmier, and it's another good song. This is definitely something that you should check out.
The album, "Follow Me", will be released on April 28. I look forward to hear that.
(Despotz Records)
FEB. 25, 2017

AMMUNITION: Wrecking Crew - Single
This is former WIG WAM singer Åge Sten Nilsen's new band The WHISTLING BOYS (you will understand that when you hear the song), with members from ECLIPSE, TNT, CIRCUS MAXIMUS and WIG WAM. "Wrecking Crew" is the first single from their self-titled second album, which is out now.
As you might have figured out it's melodic hard rock that we get here. And it sounds really good. There's definitely hit potential in this song. Could be interesting to hear the whole album.
(label unknown)
FEB. 25, 2017

BATTALIONS: Nothing To Lose - Digital Album
British sludge/stoner metal band who re-release their debut album digitally on all major platforms while we wait for their second album, which they are working on right now.
What we get on this debut is 8 hard and heavy tracks, and it sounds pretty o.k. to me anyway. I don't really know what else to say..
Release date: Feb. 27, 2017 (Black Bow Records)
FEB. 24, 2017

CARNAL DECAY: You Owe You Pay - Album
Really intense stuff! What we have here is a brutal death metal band from Switzerland, and this is their fourth album.
I'm actually a little surprised that people continue to send me stuff like this, as I usually whine about it being too chaotic or just noise. Maybe they don't even read my reviews at all? Well, that's their problem then.
CARNAL DECAY don't have to worry about being chaotic or noise though. They're on the right side of the border. It might not be excellent, but it's good anyway. A EP would have been enough for me though.
Out now digitally. CD release date: Mar. 3, 2017 (Rising Nemesis Records)
FEB. 24, 2017

HOLYCIDE: Annihilate... Then Ask! - Album
Another band with Dave Rotten (AVULSED, FAMISHGOD) on vocals. And this is their debut album. The music they play is aggressive and intense old-school thrash metal. But it's not just full speed ahead into the wall all the time. No, there's a couple of heavier songs too. And they get a extra point for calling 1 of their songs "Motörhead" (and it's not a cover).
They compare themselves with bands like DARK ANGEL, INFERNAL MAJESTY, ATROPHY, CORONER, SACRIFICE and old SEPULTURA. And well, I like what I hear, so this is definitely worth checking out. No doubt about that.
(Xtreem Music)
FEB. 24, 2017

Matt Chanway: - Album
Never trust a guitar masturbator! ..because this wasn't such a good idea. Yet another guitarist who wants us all to know how damned good he is at his instrument. And sure he is. But the problem is that it's so damned boring to listen to these 6 instrumental tracks, who are filled with solos. Not exactly what I have been dreaming about, if we put it that way. A guitar album for other guitar nerds.
Somebody once said that most bands have at least 1 good song. But I wonder where that song is on this record. Because I can't find it anyway.
(Online Metal Promo)
FEB. 24, 2017

MY SLEEPING KARMA: Mela Ananda, Live - Album
A live recording with a band that I have never ever even heard about before. That's a little weird actually. And a thing that is even more weird is that it's a instrumental band. I mean, how funny is that? Not funny at all if you ask me (which you obviously do as you read this). They don't even say a word between the songs! So what's the point with this record?
Their music is very meditative and dreamy stuff that probebly fits good to smoke illegal substances to. That's nothing for me. I prefer a good old rock n roll party with lots of beer.
Release date: Feb. 24, 2017 (Napalm Records)
FEB. 23, 2017

RÜCKWATER: Bonehead - EP
Not bad at all. But they burn up their best card already in the first song, "Once More With Feeling". The other songs are not bad though. Most songs are strong material, and the bassist and guitarist share vocals. There's absolutely variation between these songs.
RÜCKWATER is a Finnish rock trio, who describe their style as alternative stoner rock. They have released 2 EPs before this one. Definitely worth checking out.
Release date: Feb. 24, 2017 (Secret Entertainment)
FEB. 23, 2017

ZOMBIE MOTORS WRECKING YARD: Supersonic Rock N Roll - Album
As long as they rock it's at least o.k. But I wouldn't go as far as saying that this is a good band. The music is some kind of heavier Hells Angels rock for fat bastards in leather vest who are more interested in criminal activities than motorcycles. Or possibly like a heavier version of NASHVILLE PUSSY (a band that you should check out instead). We could put it this way: NASHVILLE PUSSY knows how to start the party, ZOMBIE MOTORS WRECKING YARD destroy the party. The outsiders from down under that will never fit in.
Release date: Feb. 24, 2017 (Napalm Records)
FEB. 23, 2017

RESONANCE CASCADE / JÄRNBÖRD: Hyperakusi - Split Album
Split album with 2 Swedish grindcore bands, who both formed in the summer of 2012. RESONANCE CASCADE are more true old-school grind and their lyrics are in English, while JÄRNBÖRD are more crust punk and sing most of their songs in Swedish (1 is in English). Both bands are really good. Especially for being grind bands. While many other bands in this genre just seems to make a lot of noise, these 2 deliver music actually. And as you might understand, I like music more than noise.
Well, if you're just going to get 1 grindcore record this year, then why not try this one?
Release date: Feb. 24, 2017 (Wooaaargh/Downfall Records/EveryDayHate)
FEB. 22, 2017

WRETCH: The Hunt - Album
US power/thrash metal from Cleveland. Definitely something for fans of bands like PRIMAL FEAR, ICED EARTH, HELLOWEEN and IRON MAIDEN.
The band released their first album, "Reborn" in 2006. This is the first album with their new singer Juan Ricardo.
They have some really good songs here. There's no doubt about that. So it could be worth checking out.
Release date: Feb. 24, 2017 (Pure Steel Records)
FEB. 22, 2017

YGGDRASSIL: All Shall Burn - Album
Viking death metal from Zaragoza that sometimes reminds me of AMON AMARTH. And their lyrics deal with similar stuff: mythology and fierce battles.
The band was born in 2013, and released their first EP, "One Step Closer To Valhalla", in 2015. "All Shall Burn" is their first full length album.
Well, I like AMON AMARTH, and I like YGGDRASIL too. What else is there to say? Check this out!
Release date: Feb. 24, 2017 (Art Gates Records)
FEB. 21, 2017

REBEL SOULS: The Forces Of Darkness - Album
REBEL SOULS is a death metal project originally hailing from Thuringia, Germany, that was founded in 2000 by then 17-year old Thomas Plewnia and Stefan Hielscher. For the drums on this record they have used VADER and DIVINE CHAOS drummer James Stewart. And what they have created is insane but yet straight-forward death metal. And it sounds just the way I like it, so I'm satisfied. And I think you will like it too my friend.
Release date: Feb. 24, 2017 (Art Gates Records)
FEB. 21, 2017

FAIRYTALE: Battlestar Rising - Album
FAIRYTALE is a German heavy metal band who blend traditional heavy metal with some Bay-Area influences. The band formed in 2000, and has released a demo in 2002, a EP in 2005, their first full album in 2011 and a digital single in 2015.
Now a new full length is here, and it sounds good to me. I think that both people who like classic heavy metal and those who like old-school thrash metal are going to like this. And if you happens to like both (which many people do), well then you should absolutely try this. It's more heavy metal than thrash though.
Release date: Feb. 24, 2017 (Art Gates Records)
FEB. 21, 2017

Thobbe Englund: Sold My Soul - Album
As you might know, Swedish guitarist Thobbe Englund have been playing with SABATON. But he also played bass for RAUBTIER for a few years. And what we can find on this solo album is a wild mixture of heavy metal. No song is like the other. The title track reminds me of stuff like JUDAS PRIEST, ACCEPT and KING DIAMOND. "The Glow" is scary doom. "Trägen Vinner" reminds me of RAUBTIER. "The Flame" is an instrumental song that reminds me of his teenage idol Yngwie Malmsteen. A lot of variation. You should not get bored while you listen to this record, that's for sure.
Release date: Feb. 24, 2017 (Metalville)
FEB. 20, 2017

Nick Douglas: Regenerations - Album
Nick Douglas is an American musician, who is probably best known for being the bass player in DORO for more than 25 years. But he has also worked for former IRON MAIDEN vocalist Blaze Bayley's band BLAZE during 2004-2005.
The songs on this solo album were written over a 15-year period, and was mainly recorded and produced at Nick's own studio. He also play nearly all instruments on this album. But for those who expect some good old heavy metal, I'm sad to say that you will be dissapointed. This is more like a laid-back rock album. It's not bad though. There's a couple of good songs on this album.
Release date: Feb. 24, 2017 (Metalville)
FEB. 20, 2017

STAMINA: System Of Power - Album
Italian melodic/progressive metal band that is the brainchild of guitarist/songwriter/producer Luca Sellitto. The band has released 3 full length albums through the years, and now their fourth album is here. It's said to be something for fans of SYMPHONY X, Yngwie Malmsteen, DREAM THEATER, ROYAL HUNT, ANGRA and similar stuff.
There's a lot of really good songs among these 8 tracks, so this is definitely something to check out.
Release date: Feb. 24, 2017 (Pride & Joy Music)
FEB. 19, 2017

JIMI ANDERSON GROUP: Longtime Comin' - Album
Classic melodic rock/AOR for fans of bands like SURVIVOR, TOTO, JOURNEY, FOREIGNER and similar. They have some really good songs here, and everybody seems to do a good job, so the only thing you could complain about is that there's a few too many slow songs. But that is hardly the biggest problem in the world, is it? If you like the bands I mentioned earlier, then you should definitely give this a chance, because I'm pretty sure that you will like it.
Release date: Feb. 24, 2017 (Pride & Joy Music)
FEB. 19, 2017

EMPIRE: Hypnotica - Album
EMPIRE is a melodic hard rock band from Germany, led by guitarist Rolf Munkes (ex-MAJESTY, ex-RAZORBACK, CREMATORY). They released 4 albums between 2001 and 2007, and "Hypnotica" is the first album, which features several well-known musicians. On vocals we have the Americans Mark Boals (Yngwie Malmsteen) and Lance King (NIGHTMARE), Neil Murray (WHITESNAKE, BLACK SABBATH etc.) play bass, drummers are Gerald Klos and Anders Johansson (HAMMERFALL, STRATOVARIUS, Yngwie Malmsteen etc.), and Don Airey (RAINBOW, DEEP PURPLE) play keyboards. The mix was handled by Stefan Kaufmann (ACCEPT, U.D.O.).
All 4 albums will now be re-issued during 2017 via German label Pride & Joy Music, so if you (like me) have not heard this band before, now is the time to discover them. People who like melodic hard rock should definitely not be dissapointed when they hear this album, because there's plenty of really good material among these songs.
And we also get 3 bonus tracks: "Spread My Wings (Acoustic version)", "Take A Look Around" (instrumental) and "Dogtown Shuffle".
Release date: Feb. 24, 2017 (Pride & Joy Music)
FEB. 19, 2017

PERSEFONE: Aathma - Album
This group play a mixture of harder and softer metal. Progressive metal to be more exactly. And just like every other progressive band, they go their own way and do their own thing with the music they create. But it's still a familiar recipe somehow: Hard and heavy parts with harsh vocals are mixed with more silent parts with clean vocals or no vocals. People who like progressive metal will probably like this anyway.
PERSEFONE formed in 2003, and released their first album, "Truth Inside The Shades", in 2004. "Aathma" gives us an interesting journey through 13 tracks, but I can't really decide if I like it or not, so I guess they're doing something right at least. ..or maybe it's just a little too advanced for me.
Release date: Feb. 24, 2017 (ViciSolum Productions)
FEB. 18, 2017

HJELLE & ORMARNA at Utbult&Borneby in Borås, Sweden on Feb. 17, 2017
Hjelle is the frontman from southern Swedish band BÄDDAT FÖR TRUBBEL, which is a band that I really like. So I just had to go to this show of course. And it was damned good! I don't think that anybody who was there went home dissapointed. Everybody seemed to like what they saw and heard this evening.
They played more or less the same kind of energetic rock/punk rock a'la Kal P Dal that BÄDDAT FÖR TRUBBEL is playing. So it's hardly any differance. But I really recomend you to check this out.
Hjelle Och Ormarna  Hjelle Och Ormarna  Hjelle Och Ormarna  Hjelle Och Ormarna  Hjelle Och Ormarna  Hjelle Och Ormarna  Hjelle Och Ormarna
FEB. 18, 2017

EX DEO: The Immortal Wars - Album
This is what we could call symphonic death metal, and this is EX DEO's third album. It's filled with epic war tales, melodic death metal and orchestral parts (or epic Roman metal as they call it themselves). And I must say that it doesn't sound so bad at all. Death metal's answer to DIMMU BORGIR maybe? I'm not really sure about that. This is much better anyway.
EX DEO are probably most well-known for being a side project to Canadian death metallers KATAKLYSM, but this doesn't have much to do with the Canadians though. This is more about the old Roman empire. And the band is actually led by Italian singer Maurizio Iacono. So it's not just a side project but a real band.
Well, a damned good album anyway, so I guess you know what to do next? (Even though the album isn't out yet, you can pre-order it).
Release date: Feb. 24, 2017 (Napalm Records)
FEB. 17, 2017

SANCTUARY: Inception - Album
The U.S. metal band SANCTUARY formed back in 1985 already, and comes from Seattle. A city who has given us more than just grunge. When it comes to metal, QUEENSRŸCHE and METAL CHURCH are probably the most well-known. SANCTUARY released their debut album, "Refuge Denied", in 1988, and it was produced by no other than Dave Mustaine (MEGADETH). Their second album, "Into The Mirror Black", came out in 1990. But then came grunge, and that was it. Some members continued with NEVERMORE, who released several albums between 1995-2010.
In 2011 SANCTUARY was back again and performed at some high profile festivals in both Europe and U.S.A. The album "The Year The Sun Died" was released in 2014.
"Inception" takes us back to the early days (1986). It's a demo recording that was made prior to the debut album, which includes previously unreleased songs like "Dream Of The Incubus" and "I Am Insane", as well as some "Refuge Denied" classics. And I really like what I hear! This is so damned good! And the idea to do a cover of "White Rabbit" (by JEFFERSON AIRPLANE) was brilliant. This is a must for every true fan of heavy metal!
The group is currently working on a new studio album. And that can be interesting to hear (even though I find it hard to believe that it will be as good as this album).
European release date: Feb. 24, 2017 (Century Media)
FEB. 17, 2017

BONAFIDE: Flames - Album
Flaming cock rock in the same league as old KROKUS and possibly AC/DC. But a new thing is that they have a gospel choir on some of the songs, which makes it sounds more like BLACK CROWES and soul.
This Swedish band celebrate their 10-year anniversary this year, and this is their sixth full length album, which consist of 10 really strong songs in 41,47 enjoyable minutes.
Well, if it's rock n roll you're looking for, then this is the album you're looking for. Simple as that!
Release date: Feb. 24, 2017 (Off Yer Rocka Recordings)
FEB. 17, 2017

IN THOUSAND LAKES: Age Of Decay - Album
With that name you could think that they would be from Finland (the country of thousand lakes). But they're not.
This Spanish band existed for the first time between 1995-1998 and released a demo and a CD. In October 2013 the band was back again, and released a EP in 2014. "Age Of Decay" is their second album, which gives us 11 tracks of some really damned good melodic death metal. This is absolutely something that could be worth listening to. So check them out at once!
(Xtreem Music)
FEB. 16, 2017

AKTAION: Cancer - Single
Fuck cancer!
This band comes from Halmstad, Sweden and play melodic death metal. They have released 2 full length albums.
I think they sounds more like SLIPKNOT or something than death metal. The song doesn't suck, but it's hardly a masterpiece either.
I have been listening to this song several times now, and that's all I have to say. That might say something, but I don't know what..
Release date: Feb. 17, 2017 (Self released)
FEB. 16, 2017

PRIDE OF LIONS: Fearless - Album
Almost every song on this album sounds like it could have been the soundtrack to a movie from the 80s. The title track would have fit in a Rocky movie. We talk melodic rock/AOR in the same style as bands like SURVIVOR, FOREIGNER, TOTO, CHICAGO and similar stuff. Some songs are good, while some songs are so sugar sweet that they are pathetic. In other words it goes up and down here.
This is their fifth studio album.
(Frontiers Music)
FEB. 15, 2017

The MURDER OF MY SWEET: Echoes Of The Aftermath - Album
A band from Sweden who call their music "cinematic metal". The music is inspired by movie scores, film noir storytelling and bands like QUEEN, E.L.O and GENESIS, presented with a modern twist. So I guess we can call it symphonic metal just as well, even though I don't think there's much metal in these songs. It's very melodic stuff actually. I think I call it symphonic hard rock instead.
Pretty good stuff anyway, but not much else.
(Frontiers Music)
FEB. 15, 2017

KSMB: Ond Saga - Album
KSMB existed for the first time from the late 70s to 1982, and they are legends in the Swedish punk scene. But they never really called themselves or their music punk. They used their own term "vrålrock" (roar rock) to describe their music. And it's actually just their first recordings on the Bakverk compilation and their debut album, "Aktion", that could be called punk rock. When their second album, "Lika Barn Leka Bäst", came out it was more rock. Still damned good though.
I didn't discover this excellent band until the early 90s, when I was very into punk. And to my big surprise they actually did a reunion a few years later, and they even released a new album, "En Gång Till" (1994). For some reason I never went to any of their shows, and I have never bought that album either. But I heard it once or twice when I visited my little brother, and I wasn't impressed at all. So there's no wonder that I had mixed feelings about a new album in 2017.
The band reunited again for 1 show only at the Bråvalla festival in 2015. I didn't really expect that they would continue after that, but in 2016 they suddenly announced that they would go on tour in spring 2017. And after that they surprised us with the news that there will be a new album too.
KSMB have always had a lot of different members. Today's lineup is the 10th version of the band, and the only original members today are the 2 singers Michael Alonzo and Steppan Guiance.
"Ond Saga" begins very slow with a "ballad" that is black as the night. Very odd. But after that they start to rock. It's definitely not punk rock. Not even roar rock. It's more like Swedish rock. More like their last album, but much better. So now I can relax and just enjoy the music. Because this is good stuff. But I wouldn't cry if this would be their last album.
Something that I miss a little here is the irony that they had in their early lyrics. It seems to have been replaced by some kind of maturity. Even though it's more or less black or white in these songs. The duel vocals is still there though.
Release date: Feb. 24, 2017 (Wild Kingdom)
FEB. 14, 2017

HIDDEN DANGER: Access Denied - Album
This was extremely boring to listen to. And fact is that I wasn't really sure if I got the right album. It said that it's a album by Anthony Cacciutti, and the artwork was totally different as well. And for some reason he is called Tony in the info about this album. Very confusing! But it turns out that Anthony is the one who formed HIDDEN DANGER back in 1980. So I guess it's supposed to be a HIDDEN DANGER record anyway.
I call this heavier rock/hard rock. And then I'm not talking about any kind of 70s heavy rock that is so popular today. No, this is more like rock and hard rock that is heavy, with a dude that wants us all to know how damned good he is on guitar. I don't care how good you are when you can't make any good songs. There's too much useless instrumental stuff here too that I don't get why anybody would like to listen to.
(Online Metal Promo)
FEB. 13, 2017

TYGERS OF PAN TANG: Tygers Of Pan Tang - Album
There's often talk about being New Wave Of British Heavy Metal legends when you read something about this band. But the first song that I heard with this band was actually "Rendezvous", which is hardly a heavy metal song. And many of the songs on this album reminds me more of something with Glenn Hughes or Gary Moore (when he played hard rock) than heavy metal. But no matter if it's hard rock or heavy metal, it's a good album anyway, and absolutely worth checking out.
This album was released in Europe last year already, but now it's time for North America to get their hands on this record.
North American release date: Feb 24, 2017 (Restricted Release)
FEB. 13, 2017

HATE UNBOUND: Plague - Album
Death/thrash metal from Detroit, Michigan. Something to bang your head to when you're drunk. But it works just fine when you're sober too.
We get 10 angry tracks in the harder and heavier league. That doesn't mean that it's doom heavy and slow though. They're just not that fast. Maybe a little bit more thrash than death, if we put it that way then.
It's good, but it's not like I can hear any masterpieces. Could still be worth a try though.
Release date: Feb. 17, 2017 (Inverse Records)
FEB. 12, 2017

GRIM RAVINE: The Light Is From Below - EP
..and then it was time for something heavy again. Suffocating, atmospheric sludge metal to be more precisely. They have previously released a self titled EP in 2015, the same year they formed the band, so it's still a pretty young group.
4 songs is what we get here. And what else is there to say about this then? Well, if you like it heavy, then you should check this out. I have heard both better and worse. That's all I have to say..
Release date: Feb. 17, 2017 (Black Bow Records)
FEB. 12, 2017

CNOC AN TURSA: The Forty Five - Album
Scottish folk/black metal from the hills. These 8 tracks are based around the Jacobite Uprising in 1745, waged by Charles Edward Stuart, better known as Bonnie Prince Charlie, to wrest the British throne from George II. And I have been listening several times now, but all I can say is that it sounds good and that it can be worth a try or 2.
Release date: Feb. 17, 2017 (Apocalyptic Witchcraft)
FEB. 12, 2017

HENRY KANE: Den Förstörda Människans Rike - Album
Fast, raw and brutal crust/death metal drenched in distortion. It's a little chaotic, but still music. All lyrics are in Swedish.
This is described as a cross between NIHILIST and SKITSYSTEM with a sprinkling of NASUM. So it should fit perfect for both death metallers and crust punks. I think that even grind core maniacs could like this.
I don't have that much information, but the man behind this project is Jonny Pettersson (WOMBBATH, ASHCLOUD, JUST BEFORE DAWN), who play all instruments and sing.
Release date: Feb. 20, 2017 (Transcending Obscurity Records)
FEB. 11, 2017

RAVAGER: Eradicate... Annihilate... Exterminate... - Album
Ready for some old-school thrash? Then this is the band for you!
RAVAGER was founded in late 2014 and are from Walsrode, Lower Saxony in Germany. This is their debut album, which consist of 10 tracks in good old 80s style. They are obviously not here to create something new in this genre, but that doesn't disturb me that much, as I like the old school more than new stuff.
Release date: Feb. 17, 2017 (Iron Shield Records)
FEB. 10, 2017

SATAN TAKES A HOLIDAY: Ladder To Climb - Single
I wasn't impressed by their last single, "The Beat", but I'm willing to give them another chance. But I'm not so sure that I get any wiser by listening to this song. They're obviously a very special band. This song is actually like a mixture of the Swedish bands BOB HUND and early The HIVES. 2 good bands. But a combination of them is not a succees according to me. So my conclusion is: interesting but confusing.
This is the second single from their upcoming album "Aliens".
(Despotz Records)
FEB. 10, 2017

REGULUS: Dominion - Single
This song comes from their upcoming album "Quadralith", which will be released on March 17. The music is stoner rock. I have already heard the album, and I can say that listening to just 1 song is better than the whole album at once. But more about the album in March..
Well, if it's stoner/heavy/psych that you're looking for, then this English band could be worth a try.
(Off Yer Rocka Recordings)
FEB. 10, 2017

The OSSUARY: Post Mortem Blues - Album
This band reminds me of BLACK SABBATH with Ronnie James Dio (r.i.p) on vocals. It's described as a groovy mix of BLACK SABBATH riffs, gloomy PENTAGRAM moods, melodic THIN LIZZY/WISHBONE ASH/early IRON MAIDEN guitar leads, CAPTAIN BEYOND prog passages and epic leaks a'la RAINBOW. Well, we could just call it doom metal or proto heavy metal. But as you probably have figured out already, there's a little bit more than just that. Really good heavy rock anyway, that you absolutely should check out.
The band formed in Bari, southern Italy in late October 2014. This is their debut album.
Release date: Feb. 17, 2017 (Supreme Chaos Records)
FEB. 9, 2017

ASH AND COAL: Legacy - Album
What shall we call this then? Some kind of dark metal or melancholy post rock? I'm actually not really sure.. It's a little like a heavy mixture of Swedish pop band KENT and the latest records with Swedish rock legend Thåström. But there's also a touch of DANZIG and Nick Cave. They doesn't seems to have the most positive attitude towards the world. But 1 thing is for sure though, most people will have an opinion about this band. And everybody will probably have something different to say than the other one.
And if you have a winter depression, this album won't help. It will probably just make you even more sad. All songs are slow, so there's not much action here. I like it somehow. Just because it's slow it doesn't always mean that it's bad. So don't be afraid to check this out. Be brave!
Release date: Feb. 17, 2017 (ViciSolum Productions)
FEB. 9, 2017

GREAT WHITE is another band that I haven't heard anything with that I can remember. And they have existed since 1984. Since December 2011 the band seems to be called JACK RUSSELL'S GREAT WHITE, and the line-up of today is frontman Jack Russell himself together with longtime bassist and friend Tony Montana on guitar, keyboardist/lead guitarist Robby Lochner, drummer Dicki Fliszar and on bass we have Dan McNay.
The music is melodic (hard) rock, and it's not so bad. But the only song that could be a hit among these 11 tracks is "Blame It On The Night". And the only song with a little more action is the title track, who reminds me of QUEEN. Otherwise there's a lot of laidback stuff here.
(Frontiers Music)
FEB. 8, 2017

Stephen Pearcy: Smash - Album
I can't say that I have heard that much with RATT, where this man use to sing. Just a couple of songs from the 80s. That's all. But I have been thinking about buying some of their early albums for a long time.
Stephen Pearcy solo is probably a totally different chapter though. But there's a lot of great songs here. Like "Ten Miles Wide", "Dead Roses" and "Jamie" for example. But there's some weaker moments too. It's never really bad though. And I guess you know that 13 tracks is almost always 3 too many.
It's not the hardest rock, but I guess we can call it a mixture of rock and hard rock.
(Frontiers Music)
FEB. 8, 2017

1968: Fortuna Havana - Digital EP
I understand if you think that this is yet another one of these retro bands, but that's just part of the truth in this case. I think it sounds mainly like stoner rock actually, but with a vintage sound somehow. Or like they said in the info sheet: "the heaviness of late 60s bands like BLACK SABBATH, The WHO, DEEP PURPLE and BLUE CHEER and add a modern touch". Very good stuff anyway, that should make everybody who like heavy rock of any kind happy.
The band formed in 2013 and comes from th UK. "Fortuna Havana" is their second EP, but hopefully not the last we hear from them. They are currently working on their debut album, which I look forward to hear. They plan to released it in the fall.
Release date: Feb. 10, 2017 (Black Bow Records)
FEB. 7, 2017

VERMILION WHISKEY: Spirit Of Tradition - Album
Most songs are not longer than approximately 4-5 minutes, but the first times I heard this, I thought that these songs were too long. And there's just 6 tracks, so is it really a album?
This is a Louisiana-based band who blend metal with southern and classic rock, as well as some groove. You could simply call it stoner metal if you want to. And it's actually not so bad at all, so it could be worth a try.
Release date: Feb. 10, 2017 (10 South Productions)
FEB. 7, 2017

Al Atkins: Reloaded - Album
For some people it seems to be very hard to move on in life. Al Atkins was for example the original singer in JUDAS PRIEST, and it seems like he just can't let go of those old songs that he did with them. Even his own compositions sounds exactly like his former band. It's good. No doubt about that. But he should be old enough by now to move on and do something on his own. And you can't deny the fact that we all know how much better Rob Halford is on vocals. But in case you don't like high notes, then Al might be the man for you.
As an old fan of JUDAS PRIEST, it was interesting to hear though. So if you're also an old fan of the band, then you have to hear this. There's no doubt about that. And I'm pretty sure that you will like it too.
After a little search on this album (why include any information with the record?) I found out that this is a collection of re-recordings from his days in JUDAS PRIEST to his latest band HOLY RAGE. There's even a guitar solo from a previously unreleased demo track with JUDAS PRIEST included here (not the most important thing to hear to be honest). And there's also some guest apperances by people like Ian Hill (JUDAS PRIEST), John McCoy (GILLAN), Ralf Scheepers (PRIMAL FEAR), Roy "Z" Ramirez (HALFORD, Bruce Dickinson), Japanese guitarist Tsuyoshi Ikedo (UNVEIL RAZE), Stu "Hammer" Marshall (DEATH DEALER), Paul May (ATKINS MAY PROJECT, TEMPLE DOGS, A.N.D.) and Chris Johnson (HOLY RAGE).
(Gonzo Multimedia)
FEB. 6, 2017

EPPING FOREST: Lebabvoid - Album
Chaotic black/death metal from Portugal. It's fast and brutal and really intense. Some songs are more or less chaos, while some of the songs are a little better. I would hardly call this a masterpiece. I have definitely heard better black metal in my life.
Conceptually, "Lebabvoid" focuses on the similarities of the mythological universes from the different ancient civilizations. It takes the Sumerian myths as a background for a brand new universe, giving birth to newly refurbished deities and myths.
Release date: to be announced.. (Unexploded Records)
FEB. 5, 2017

HEREZA: I Become Death - Album
This is an intense experience in the beginning. But after a couple of songs they calm down a little, and it gets much better.
The band comes from Croatia, and are described as death/punk, which I thought sounded interesting as a combination of old-school death and punk use to be a perfect combination. But the problem (or whatever I should call it) here is that I can't hear that much punk. But that's just a small detail that doesn't really matter, because the music is good anyway. Maybe not a materpiece, but good death metal anyway.
"I Become Death" is the band's debut album, which deliver 10 tracks in 30 minutes.
Release date: Feb. 2017 (Godz ov War Productions)
FEB. 5, 2017

HOSTAGE OF FATE: III, To Bring You Back - Album / Takes Life - EP
Like it wasn't enough shit to deal with. Now I have to torture my ears with this shit too. Some kind of death metal/grindcore/post metal mixture that sounds like noise rock. But the EP was at least a little better than the album. Always something, but is there really people who actually like this?
This is a duo from Rhodes, Greece. ..and I don't have much else to say actually.
FEB. 5, 2017

BUZZCOCKS: Spiral Scratch (reissue) - EP
Like the British man said between every song when he saw AVSKUM live: "That's a classic!" And yes, this EP is definitely a classic.
It's 40 years since this EP was originally released, so it will of course be re-released this year. And this is a must for everybody who like punk from the late 70s, so you probably already have this excellent EP. Otherwise, here's your chance.
"Boredom" is my favorite, but "Time's Up" and "Breakdown" are also classics. The only song that is a little weaker is the last track, "Friends Of Mine".
(Domino Recording Company)
FEB. 4, 2017

IRON MAGAZINE: Queen Of Hell - Single
This is a new band with Danko Jones and John Calabrese from DANKO JONES, and Jussi Lehtisalo and Tomi Leppänen from CIRCLE. Canada meets Finland in other words. And it's a mysterious brew that they have made. It's rock anyway, that's for sure. But I just don't really know how to describe it, because there's no real hit potential at all in this song. And I'm honestly not sure why this band even exist. I hope they had fun anyway, but it doesn't feel like I want more of this.
(Ektro Records)
FEB. 4, 2017

ONE DESIRE: Hurt - Single
Melodic hard rock from Finland that sounds like their Swedish label mates ECLIPSE.
This is a new band, who will release their debut album in the end of March. But the members are not exactly new. Singer André Linman formed STURM UND DRANG when he was a teenager, and they released 3 albums. Guitarist Jimmy Westerlund is a seasoned musician/song-writer/producer.
This is a must for everybody who loves melodic hard rock. I really look forward to hear the album.
(Frontiers Music)
FEB. 4, 2017

HEAVY METAL KIDS: Hit The Right Button - Album
No, they don't play heavy metal and they are hardly any kids anymore. Their music sounds like classic rock/hard rock. And isn't there some glam rock in some of the songs? Anyway, this album was originally released in 2003, when the band had recently reformed, and this was their first new release since 1988. It sounds like it could have been recorded in the 70s/80s sometime though.
There's many catchy and good songs among these 13 tracks, so it's definitely a album worth checking out. No doubt about that!
(Dissonance Productions)
FEB. 3, 2017

The UNGUIDED: Brotherhood - EP
The first track, "Nighttaker", is more melodic than what they have done before. But they have at least not become a pop band, like SONIC SYNDICATE (where some of the members comes from). The second track, "Daybreaker", is on the other hand harder than anything that I've heard with them before.
These 2 songs are good, but the problem is that they doesn't make me look forward to a new full length album. Not much of a teaser then..
This is the first recordings with new singer/guitarist Jonathan Thorpenberg, who replace Roland Johannsson. The band is currently working on a new album, which will be released later in 2017.
(Napalm Records)
FEB. 3, 2017

SLEATER-KINNEY: Live In Paris - Album
Female South Park rock with a pop punk nerve might be a good description to this. But I don't know.. Good music anyway.
"Live In Paris" consist of 13 tracks performed live on March 20, 2015 at La Cigale in Paris, France. It includes songs from nearly all 8 studio albums that the band has released. And it's a very good recording. No doubt about that.
I don't know what else there is to say..
(Sub Pop)
FEB. 3, 2017

DESERT KINGDOM: Desert Kingdom - Album
DESERT KINGDOM is a place where you drink "Whiskey" and play the "Doghouse Blues" at the "Mafioso Opera". Isn't it? Well, it's also a stoner rock (aka desert rock) band who release their self titled debut album in February. 10 tracks of loud and heavy rock that should please fans of DOWN, CORROSION OF CONFORMITY and PENTAGRAM.
I have definitely heard weaker debut albums, so I recomend you to check this out.
Release date: Feb. 3, 2017 (Black Bow Records)
FEB. 2, 2017

SKELETAL: Dreadful Life - Album
SKELETAL is a death metal band from Jyväskylä, Finland who formed in 2007. This is their first full length album, where we get 8 tracks inspired by classic death and thrash metal bands from the late 80s and early 90s. So if you like that kind of stuff, then this is a album for you of course. Because it's really good material they have here.
Release date: Feb. 3, 2017 (Inverse Records)
FEB. 2, 2017

R.I.P: In The Wind - Album
"Street Doom" is what this quartet from Portland call their music. It's like a mixture of bands like SAINT VITUS, PENTAGRAM and MOTÖRHEAD. But that doesn't really mean that what they're doing is something unique. No, I have heard many, many bands who play something similar during the latest years. But now I happens to like this kind of psychedelic 70s heavy rock, so I just don't care if they sound like a hundred other bands. And this debut album is of course worth checking out.
Release date: Feb. 3, 2017 (RidingEasy Records)
FEB. 2, 2017

NAILED TO OBSCURITY: King Delusion - Album
This is described as melodic doom/death metal with influences from bands like OPETH, KATATONIA, PARADISE LOST and AMORPHIS. It's melancholy and heavy. Not something for those who want a true death metal album. But if you think a mixture of doom and melodic death metal could be something interesting, then this is absolutely something for you to discover.
This German band has existed since 2005. Their debut album, "Abyss", was released in 2007. "King Delusion" is their third album.
Release date: Feb. 3, 2017 (Apostasy Records)
FEB. 2, 2017

XANDRIA: Theater Of Dimensions - Album
Symphonic "metal" with a female "opera" singer isn't really my thing. It's so damned majestic, and I don't really like opera either. So those songs who are best here is those where she calm down on the high notes. Like "Death To The Holy" for example. Suddenly it's more metal as well. Why they had to include as much as 13 tracks, and why the title track had to be as long as 14,22 minutes are good questions though. But I guess that fans of symphonic/opera metal will be very pleased anyway.
Release date: Jan. 27, 2017 (Napalm Records)
FEB. 1, 2017

UNDRASK: Battle Through Time - Album
Debut album with a melodic death metal band from North Carolina. They have previously released a self titled EP.
"Battle Through Time" is a concept album that tells the story of a man lost to eternity - forced to fight and die repeatedly throughout time and alternate realities. And when it comes to the music, fans of bands like AMON AMARTH, CARCASS and early IN FLAMES should not be disappointed.
(Self released)
FEB. 1, 2017

HORISONT: About Time - Album
It sounds like they have tried to do a forgotten classic from the 70s. This reminds me of Swedish hard rockers like BLACK TRIP (nowadays called VOJD) and DEAD LORD. But also an old Swedish band like NOVEMBER (not that it sounds exactly like them, but anyway). "Night Line" reminds me of STATUS QUO in the verse and THIN LIZZY in the chorus. And the list goes on.. I could name more influences, but let's just say that this band has created a damned good album! This is more or less a must for everybody into 70s hard rock. I'm not joking!
Some of my favorites are the Swedish song "Letare" and "Night Line". But there really is no bad songs among these 10 tracks. I might also add that instead of just playing the same old bluesy hard rock as so many other bands, they have added some influences from AOR as well.
HORISONT formed in Göteborg, Sweden in 2006, and "About Time" is their fifth album.
European release date: Feb. 3, 2017 (Century Media)
JAN 3, 2017

John Garcia: The Coyote Who Spoke In Tongues - Album
The trend to do an acoustic album continues.. This time it's ex-KYUSS member John Garcia who is playing acoustic rock. It's a very relaxed record, but I like what I hear. Some songs might be a little longer than they should though. But that's all I have to complain about.
I'm not sure how happy old desert rockers will be about this album, but I think you should give it a try at least.
(Napalm Records)
JAN. 31, 2017

JAPANDROIDS: Near To The Wild Heart Of Life - Album
Indie rock? Well, that doesn't happen to often that I get that for review. But it's rock at least (even though this is on the border to pop sometimes). Their songs are catchy enough to dance to. And I guess that's not so usual here.
I don't have much to compare with as I usually don't listen to this kind of stuff, and that's probably the reason why it feels like so many of these songs sounds more or less the same.
What I like most with this band is actually their reasoning why 8 tracks is the perfect number of songs - "because 8 songs is the standard template for a great rock n roll album". And after that they mention some classic rock albums by The STOOGES, Bruce Springsteen, LED ZEPPELIN, BLACK SABBATH, METALLICA, Patti Smith etc. So why couldn't they make music like that instead? Not that they're bad, but it would have been more interesting at least.
JAN. 31, 2017

Majestic power metal from a Brazilian band that has been playing since 1997. There's both rough male vocals and melodic female vocals. It's said to fit fans of bands like ANGRA, NIGHTWISH, BRAINSTORM and MYSTIC PROPHECY. Not something that I use to listen to, so you can take my opinion with a pinch of salt.
I guess they're not so bad, but to start the album with a 2,27-minutes intro is not such a good beginning. And the songs are a little too long for my taste. But I think that for those who are more into this style than me, it's probably a golden treasure.
(Megahard Records)
JAN. 30, 2017

AVENFORD: New Beginning - Album
Formed in Hungary by 2 guitarists in the summer of 2012, who were influenced by MASTERPLAN, Jorn Lande, Yngwie Malmsteen, IRON MAIDEN and similar stuff. The guitar men soon moved to UK, where they recorded their first album, "Mortal Price", which was released in 2014. "New Beginning" is their second album, and it's said to be stronger, harder and faster. The album was produced by Roland Grapow (MASTERPLAN) and features many guest apperances (I'm not gonna bore or tease you with any names here, I let that be a surprise instead).
(Pride & Joy Music)
JAN. 29, 2017

ACRANIUS: Reign Of Terror - Album
When they describe it as brutal slam death metal, then I expect a noise terror. But this was actually not so bad. It's far away from a masterpiece, but I can at least listen to it a couple of times without getting a nervous breakdown. And I think I have been listening to this album more than just 2-3 times now, as I expected that I would do. So this could actually be worth checking out if it's more extreme metal you're looking for.
ACRANIUS formed in 2009 and comes from Germany. This is their third full length.
(Rising Nemesis Records)
DAEMONIAC: Spawn Of The Fallen - Album
There isn't that much to say about all these extreme metal bands from the underground. I think I've said just about everything already. This band has the good taste to play death metal in the old school though, and as you might know I like that more than all these brutal and technical noise makers. But I can't say that I have found a new favourite band. They're not that good. But at least better than many other bands.
These Italians actually went all the way to Sweden and Sunlight Studios to record this album, and to get the right 90s sound. I'm impressed, but they're still nothing but another copy of what the Swedish bands did in the early 90s.
(Xtreem Music)
MALOIC: Death - Album
Why they call this old-school death metal is a good question. Because to me it sounds more like melodic death metal.
The band comes from India, and is said to be something for fans of AMORPHIS, DARK TRANQUILLITY, OBITUARY, CANNIBAL CORPSE, RUDRA and AMON AMARTH. And who am I to disagree? It sounds really good to me anyway, so this is definitely something that I will keep. There's no doubt about that.
It would have been nice if I had something more to say about this record, but unfortunately I don't.
(Self released)
JAN. 27, 2017

ASTRADICA: Front Row - Single
Good old heavy metal in JUDAS PRIEST style, but with more ingredients involved. Definitely a good song anyway. So this is of course something that you should check out if classic heavy metal is what you like.
ASTRADICA was founded in 2009, and is a trio from Drammen, Norway. They have been working on their debut album for 2 years now, but I'm not sure if it's out yet or if it's about to be released. This song must obviously be from that album anyway.
BONAFIDE: Smoke & Fire - Single
Swedish rock band BONAFIDE will release their sixth album, "Flames", on February 24 via Off Yer Rocka. This is the first single from that album. A good song in good old cock rock tradition. Less AC/DC than it was before, but I like it, so it can be interesting to hear the new album.
The band celebrate their 10-year anniversary this year.
(Off Yer Rocka)
Greg Graffin: Making Time - Single
BAD RELIGION frontman Greg Graffin goes solo, and this song sounds more like some kind of soft country pop than punk rock. I like it though. But I can say at once that I wouldn't like to hear a whole album with this stuff.
This song comes from Greg's new solo album, "Millport", which will be released on March 10 via Anti-. On the album he has also involved some colleagues from the LA punk scene, including SOCIAL DISTORTION members Jonny "Two Bags" Wickersham, Brent Harding and David Hidalgo Jr., with BAD RELIGION co-founder Brett Gurewitz producing the whole thing.
NIGHTRAGE: Affliction - Single
Already another single from the new album? Maybe they should release the album instead? Well, it's another good melodic death metal song, so I have no reason to complain. This track features a guest apperance from Lawrence Mackrory (F.K.Ü.). And well, I don't really know what else there is to say about this song that I didn't say about the last single. The new album seems to be good anyway, so check out this song while you wait for that.
(Despotz Records)
JAN. 27, 2017

What this temple gives us is psychedelic, blues-based doom rock with the roots in the 70s. Not exactly anything new at all, as there's plenty of these bands nowadays. There would be no problem to name at least 5 bands just from Sweden who play the same kind of music (this band is not from Sweden though). But I happens to like this kind of stuff, so I have no problem with that. And HEAVY TEMPLE is another good band, so I can't see why you should avoid them.
4 tracks is what we get, and 2 of them are over 8 minutes long.
The EP will be available on good old cassette and digital formats to begin with. It will be released on other formats at a future date (why they sent out this promo 3 months in advance is a really good question though.. They could just as well released the record earlier then, instead of let the world wait for several months).
Release date: January 27, 2017 (Van Records (CD)/Tridroid Records (Cassette and digitally))
JAN. 26, 2017

DESERTED FEAR: Dead Shores Rising - Album
DESERTED FEAR is a melodic death metal trio from Germany, who released their debut album, "My Empire" in 2012. "Dead Shores Rising" is their third album. And it's not a bad record at all. I really like this. But for some reason I don't have anything else to say about this album. They are hardly doing anything unique. I don't know if that can be the reason why I don't have that much to say, or whatever it could be..
Well, check this out anyway. End of the story!
Release date: Jan. 27, 2017 (Century Media)
JAN. 25, 2017

KROKUS: Big Rocks - Album
1 of the most famous hard rock bands from Switzerland release a covers album. Usually I think they sounds a lot like good old AC/DC, but there's actually no song by them here. No, instead they have concentrated themselves on classic rock (their roots). Like QUEEN, The WHO, The ANIMALS, Neil Young, LED ZEPPELIN, STEPPENWOLF and ROLLING STONES for example. Why they decided to re-record 1 of their own songs, "Backseat Rock N' Roll", is a good question though.
These veterans have been rocking since 1975, and sold over 15 million records worldwide. This album is proof that their career is far away from over yet, because it's a really good record. And they actually try to do something own with most of the songs, and not just copy them straight off.
Release date for Europe, Japan, Australia: Jan. 27, 2017 / USA: Mar. 10, 2017 (Century Media)
JAN. 24, 2017

Interesting that people are still releasing cassettes in 2017. Pretty cool actually.
What we have here is 2 sludge bands. TWINGIANT participate with 2 previously unreleased tracks, while INTO THE STORM gives us 2 tracks from their "Where the Merfalo Roam" album. It's pretty good stuff from both bands, so this can actually be worth checking out (if you happens to have a tape recorder then). It's not something that you must have though.
(Tridroid Records)
JAN. 23, 2017

DARK MESSIAH: Dark Messiah - EP
Winnipeg groove thrashers is what they call this band. And they're said to fit perfect for fans of METALLICA, SLAYER, PANTERA, MEGADETH and ANTHRAX. So if it's you they talk about, then you should check this out of course. That doesn't mean that they sound exactly like those bands. I think that it's mainly PANTERA and heavier stuff with METALLICA that have made their sound. Because it's definitely not fast. It's good anyway.
They didn't include that much information about this band, so I don't really have much else to say..
(Self released)
IMPALERS: Styx Demon, The Master Of Death - EP
Danish thrashers goes bezerk on 2 new songs ("Megalodon", "Styx Demon") and 2 covers ("Death Comes Ripping" by MISFITS, "Prowler" by IRON MAIDEN). They're inspired by the German thrash scene from the 80s. It's powerful and aggressive. But they can be melodic too. Pretty good stuff that might be worth a try.
When it comes to their own songs, I think I like "Styx Demon" best. And when it comes to the covers, "Prowler" is the song that I like most.
(Evil EyE Records)
RAJALLA: Diktaattori - Album
13 tracks of angry Finnish thrash metal with a pulse of punk. All lyrics are in Finnish and tell stories about issues like guilt, life choices and responsibilities. Simply daily life.
The band comes from Helsinki and was founded in 2011. This is their first album. And it doesn't sound so bad, so why not give it a chance?
Unfortunately I don't have much else to say about this..
(Inverse Records)
JAN. 22, 2017

IQ: Scrape Across The Sky - Blu-ray (DVD and Double Album too?)
In the beginning it sounds like a symphony that becomes some kind of symphonic/zynth rock after a while. It takes almost 4 minutes before the singer finally open his mouth and start to sing, and then it start to sound like progressive and symphonic rock. I guess I should also add that this first song is as long as 20 minutes (!). Well, if you have read some of my previous reviews of stuff like this, then you should know what I think about that. And it's not the only 20-minutes song. There's actually 1 more. And 1 song is 15 and a half minutes. But most of the other songs are around 6-8 minutes.
This was filmed and recorded at The Boerderij in Zoetermeer, Holland in December 2014, and features tracks from the "Road Of Bones" album, along with some other live favorites. It might be something for those who get a hard on by listening to GENESIS and similar bands. I don't. The music doesn't suck, but it takes an eternity to listen to this recording (I just got the music), and it's a journey I only do once.
JAN. 21, 2017

PAIN OF SALVATION: In The Passing Light Of Day - Album
Well, this progressive metal band is hardly lazy. They kick off the album with a song that is 10,22 minutes long, and end it with a even longer song that is 15,31 minutes long. Between those 2 songs we can find tracks who are everything between 3,23-9,05 minutes.
I think their music is very melancholy sometimes, but they also have a hard and heavy side. They definitely go their own way, but it's still music and not just experimental and advanced. Sometimes it's more progressive rock than metal.
There's many good songs on this album. Now I have not heard this band before (as far as I can remember), so I have nothing to compare with. And this Swedish band is hardly new, as they formed back in 1984 already. There has been some line-up changes through the years, and the only original member in today's line-up is Daniel Gildenlöw (lead vocals/lead guitar).
JAN. 20, 2017

Liv Sin: Let Me Out - Single
Swedish hard rock/heavy metal band SISTER SIN split up in the end of 2015. A band that I saw live several times through the 13 years they existed. Now their female singer Liv Jagrell is going solo under the name Liv Sin, and this is her first single. I can say at once that it's harder and heavier than SISTER SIN, but you will reconize Liv's singing, so don't worry about that. It's not that much harder. And it's a really good song, so I look forward to hear the new album, "Follow Me", which will be released during the spring. The album was produced by Stefan Kaufmann (ACCEPT, UDO) and Fitty Wienhold (UDO).
(Despotz Records)
JAN. 19, 2017

ANCESTRAL: Master Of Fate - Album
Power metal band from Sicily in Italy who formed in 1999. After a couple of demo recordings they released their first album, "The Ancient Curse", in 2007. And it has taken some time since then, due to lineup changes for example, but now their second album is ready for release.
Many of these songs reminds me of good old HELLOWEEN around the "Keeper Of The Seven Keys" era, and they end the album with the HELLOWEEN song "Savage". So this is definitely something for those who like that band.
Release date: January 20, 2017 (Iron Shield Records)
HABITUAL SINS: Personal Demons - Album
Debut album from a new US metal band. But their music isn't new. It's true 80s heavy metal for the whole coin. Possibly with a touch of power metal too sometimes. And the members are said to be veterans in the American thrash and power metal scene.
This makes me think of ICED EARTH for some reason, and that's not bad stuff. This can definitely be worth checking out.
Release date: Jan. 20, 2017 (Pure Steel Records)
UNITED: Subconscious Endeavor - EP (Demo?)
I'm not sure if they want us to think that this is a real EP, because it sounds more like a lost demo tape from the 80s. And that's actually what it is. UNITED only existed less than a year, and this demo recording was never released. Until now.
Music wise they're lurking around in the domains of QUEENSRŸCHE and MÖTLEY CRÜE. And these 5 tracks are really good stuff. Maybe not any masterpieces, but it doesn't always have to be excellent to be good.
It seems like these men from the SF Bay Area want revenge, because last year they decided to give it another try. They are currently working on new material, and a full length, titled "Passed Presence", will be released during 2017.
(Self released)
WITCHUNTER: Back On The Hunt - Album
They might not have any anthems here, but it's a good album that this Italian heavy/speed metal band have made. It's very old-school/80s. So if you happens to like that kind of stuff, then this can be a band for you. Among the better songs are the 70s hard rocker "Achilles Last Stand", which reminds me of the UFO classic "Lights Out".
WITCHUNTER formed in 2007, and this is their second full length. They have also released a split album with WITCHCURSE and a live EP.
(Blasphemous Art Records)
JAN. 18, 2017

FIREWIND: Immortals - Album
It's already 5 years since this Greek melodic power metal band released their last studio album, "Few Against Many". The members have simply been busy with other activities, and time flies away. Main man and guitarist Gus G. has for example been playing with Ozzy Osbourne (since 2009), and he has also released 2 solo albums.
But now FIREWIND are finally back with a new album, which consist of 10 really strong tracks. And no true fan should be dissapointed. There's traditional heavy metal, epic hard rock, power metal etc. Many of these songs makes me think of what Yngwie Malmsteen sounded like back in the 80s. And that's not a bad rating.
European release date: Jan. 20, 2017 (Century Media)
JAN. 17, 2017

BALFOR: Black Serpent Rising - Album
BALFOR is a Ukrainian black metal band featuring KHORS, RAVENTALE and ex-HATE FOREST members. They define their style as Barbaric black metal. The music is dark and dramatic, but also epic and melodic. There's also some death metal involved in their brew.
They have released a couple of records through the years, and have been touring in Europe too, so this is absolutely not a new band. But they're not exactly well-known either. I think you should give them a try though, becuse this is good stuff.
Release date: Jan. 15, 2017 (Drakkar Productions)
JAN. 16, 2017

The EXPLOITED: Exploited Barmy Army - 3 CD Box Set
These Scottish veterans was together with English bands like G.B.H. and DISCHARGE among the harder and more aggressive punk bands. They formed back in 1980 already, and are still around today.
This collection consists of as much as 62 songs. Most of the songs are live, while some are studio recordings. It's actually 4 albums on these 3 CDs: "Apocalypse Tour 1981", "Totally Exploited", "Live On Stage" and "Dogs Of War - Live". So if you already have those albums, this is probably nothing for you. But if you never have heard this band before and want a really fat collection, then this could be something for you. But maybe you should not listen to everything at once, because many of the songs are on all 4 albums.
"Sex & Violence" must be 1 of the most irritating punk songs ever made. But otherwise it's mainly damned good stuff. Just listen to classics like "Punk's Not Dead", "Exploited Barmy Army", "Mod Song" and "(Fuck The) U.S.A." for example. This is true punk, mate! No doubt about that.
(Westworld Recordings)
JAN. 15, 2017

FOREFATHER: Engla Tocyme - Album
This is the third album from this British band, who play Pagan metal. It was originally released in 2002 via Angelisc Enterprises. Now the album will be re-released with 1 bonus track: "Loyalty Bound".
Their metal is nor hard or fast, but more melancholy, even though they can speed it up once in a while. I wouldn't go as far as calling it dream music though. That's probably the best description I can come up with. I think you have to listen to know if it's something for you. And I recomend you to try them, because I think they're really good.
Release date: Jan. 15, 2017 (Heidens Hart Records)
JAN. 14, 2017

GOTHIC: Demons - Album
This is said to be one of the oldest Romanian metal bands. They formed back in 1993, and "Demons" is their fourth full length album.
What we get is melodic death metal, but not with the classic Gothenburg sound for a change. No, this is somehow harder and heavier. And it's not bad at all. There's many good songs among these 8 tracks. So this is something that I think you should check out.
Release date: Jan. 14, 2017 (Loud Rage Music)
JAN. 13, 2017

GENTLE SAVAGE: Introduction - EP
A Finnish rock band with a singer that sometimes reminds me of Ozzy Osbourne in the 80s. Their music is said to be a mixture of classic rock, blues and hard rock. But I think it sounds more like good old rock n roll in the same style as ROLLING STONES. It's very catchy and not so bad at all, so this could absolutely be worth a try.
This EP is their first official release, which includes 3 tracks.
Release date: Jan. 13, 2017 (Inverse Records)
JAN. 12, 2017

THYRANE: Black Harmony - Album
"Symphonies of Satanic black metal" is the description to this. This is an old demo from 1997, that was re-released on CD in 1998. And now it will be re-released again. But not just on CD this time. It will also be released on LP and cassette. All formats will be released in limited editions of just a few hundred copies.
The band formed under the name THORMOON in 1994, but changed the name to THYRANE in 1995.
Well, they're not so bad. I have definitely heard a lot worse than this. They are actually pretty good, so I think you should get yourself a copy.
Best song: "Enthroned By Antichrist".
Release date: Jan. 13, 2017 (Woodcut Records)
JAN. 11, 2017

HEREM: III - Album
Fat and heavy, but still something that I actually can listen to. This doom band comes from Finland, and formed in 2005. They have released 3 albums since then.
"III" gives us 5 tracks where we get everything from slow doom to sudden trippy melodic phrases and pounding sludge rock, which is topped off with growl vocals.
Could be worth checking out.
Release date: Jan. 13, 2017 (Inverse Records)
JAN. 10, 2017

I'm not really sure if I should call this action rock or sleaze rock. There's a little bit of both I guess, but more BACKYARD BABIES than early The HELLACOPTERS you could say. The band comes from Finland, and they're influenced by 80s and 90s hard rock and glam rock like HANOI ROCKS and BACKYARD BABIES, as well as harder and heavier bands like METALLICA, IRON MAIDEN, MEGADETH, The MISFITS and MOTÖRHEAD. They took their first steps in 2010, and their first EP, "Troubles Distilled", came out in 2013.
I can hear the hard rock and glam influences in these 7 songs, but not that much of the harder and heavier stuff. They seems to be a very good band though, so they can definitely be worth checking out.
Release date: Jan. 13, 2017 (Secret Entertainment)
JAN. 9, 2017

BACKYARD BABIES and Bubba Jones at Klubb Undergrunden/Pulsen Konferans in Borås, Sweden on Jan. 7, 2017
It was a very long time since BACKYARD BABIES played in Borås, but this was a little special event where you either had to win a ticket or be invited. A co-operation between a company called Fristads Kansas (working clothes) and Klubb Undergrunden because of some kind of partnership between Fristads Kansas and BACKYARD BABIES. It was of course sold out very fast. About 400 people.
The first artist was a man called Bubba Jones, who just stood there with a electric guitar and played and sang some rock music. Pretty o.k. but not much else. On the other hand I have not heard anything with him before.
Bubba Jones
BACKYARD BABIES use to play on big stages nowadays, so I guess it was a long time since they did a club gig on a small stage. And the stage at Klubb Undergrunden is definitely not large. It's not much room to move around. They did a good show though, even if it was a little chaotic sometimes due to the small space and a full house.
Backyard Babies Backyard Babies Backyard Babies
JAN. 8, 2017

GRAVE DIGGER: Healed By Metal - Album
This German heavy metal band has been around since the early 80s already, and they still know how to deliver true classic heavy metal. There's many anthems on this album, and many of these songs reminds me of what bands like ACCEPT and JUDAS PRIEST sounded like in the 80s (when they were as best according to me). So I guess it's pretty obvious that I really like this.
If you miss the sound of the 80s, then this might be the band you're looking for.
Release date: Jan. 13, 2017 (Napalm Records)
JAN. 7, 2017

FAMISHGOD: Roots Of Darkness - Album Another one of these doom/death metal bands. And this is more doom heavy than death fast actually, with really deep growl vocals. Very dark and gloomy. The songs are way too long for me (7,40-10,33 minutes), and it's not the most fun to listen to. But if you think this can be something for you, then I won't stop you. It's hardly the worst I have heard, but it's not a record I will play more than 3-4 times.
This is their second album, and you get 7 tracks. The singer is Dave Rotten from AVULSED.
(Xtreem Music)
GOAT WORSHIP: Blood And Steel - Album First album from a Brazilian black metal band, who are inspired by the early albums with BATHORY. So if that sounds like something that you like, then I recomend you to check out this band, because they're really good.
But even though I really like it, it seems to be impossible to come up with anything else to write. So just let the music do the talking instead..
(Xtreem Music)
GUTTED: Martyr Creation - Album The fourth album from this Hungarian noise death metallers. They prefer to call it technical/brutal death metal though. But to me this is just a hell of a noise. Total chaos! Shit like this get deleted at once. But if you think that classic death metal is too simple and want something more advanced, then this is the shit for you. Otherwise I recomend you too avoid this.
(Xtreem Music)
JAN. 6, 2017

UPRISING: Uprising - Album
They start with some fucking introduction for almost 2 minutes that doesn't make me any happier. It's dark and grey outside, and I have been irritated all day. Now I have to listen to this black metal band too, that isn't too good. Total hate! But this is on the other hand hardly made to make people happy. So I guess they have succeeded.
This is their debut album, and that's all I know, because this band solely wants to be known for their music and nothing else. Maybe they should start making good music then?
Release date: Jan. 6, 2017 (Tridroid Records)
JAN. 5, 2017

MISANTHROPIA: Omerta - Album
MISANTHROPIA is a symphonic black/death metal band from the Nijmegen area in the Netherlands. Their debut album, "Rise Of Necropolis", was released in 2006. "Omerta" is their third album.
This might be something for fans of CRADLE OF FILTH and DIMMU BORGIR. It doesn't sound exactly like them, but it's something similar at least. I don't really know how else I should describe their sound, but it's a really good album anyway. So you should check this out of course.
Release date: Jan. 6, 2017 (Via Nocturna)
JAN. 4, 2017

POWERWOLF: Blessed & Possessed Tour Edition - Double Album
What we get here is their latest studio album, "Blessed & Possessed", on 1 record and a live recording from the Summer Breeze festival in 2015 on 1 record. That's a total of 26 tracks. I'm satisfied with hearing the live recording just a couple of times. There's too much talking/screaming between some of the songs, which might be entertaining when you see them live, but it's not so funny to listen to at home. But the studio album was very good, even though they sing "hallelujah" in so many songs that it can make people think they're religious.
Majestic power metal is probably the best description to this. It's like a mixture of SABATON and HAMMERFALL somehow. So if you like that, then this is definitely a band for you.
Best song: "Armata Strigoi"
Release date: Jan. 6, 2017 in Europe and Jan. 20 in North America (Napalm Records)
JAN. 3, 2017

DEATHWISH: At The Edge Of Damnation - Album / Demon Preacher - Album
This Brighton-based band was along with bands like ONSLAUGHT and XENTRIX part of the British answer to the Bay Area thrash scene in the States. DEATHWISH released their first album, "At The Edge Of Damnation", in 1987. And the music is classic 80s thrash/speed metal. But that doesn't necessarily mean that they sound exactly like everybody else. They had their own twist somehow.
Their second and last album, "Demon Preacher", came out in 1988. For some reason these 2 albums didn't make any bigger success, even though they're both really good. But maybe the times have changed, because now these 2 albums have been re-released. And I recomend you to check this out.
(Dissonance Productions)
JAN. 2, 2017

MORDANT: Demonic Satanic - Album
Death/Black/Thrash metal from Sweden for fans of DISSECTION, NIFELHEIM, NAGLFAR, early TIAMAT and similar stuff. It's really raw and filthy, but there's still a melody, so it's definitely not any primitive chaos here. And thanks for that. This is really good stuff that you should check out at once!
(To The Death Records)
JAN. 1, 2017

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