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REVIEWS 2018 - Page 7

DEATHTALE: The Origin Of Hate - Album
This is old school death/thrash metal for fans of SLAYER, DESTRUCTION, DEICIDE and TESTAMENT. The band was founded in 2008, but drummer Tom Kräutner have previously played in DEMOLITION, which he founded back in 1996. "The Origin Of Hate" is their third album, and it's filled with hateful metal against all and nothing. They want blood. But are you ready to give them that?
This storm will blow you away. If you want it hard and brutal without any compromise, then this is a band for you. But if you want nice melodies, then you can continue to listen to HERREYS instead.
Release date: Nov. 16, 2018 (Art Gates Records)
NOV. 13, 2018

ELECTRIC BOYS: The Ghost Ward Diaries - Album
Electric Boys
It was a few years since I heard something new with this Swedish band last time. They called their debut album "Funk-o-metal Carpet Ride", and their second "Groovus Maximus". I'm not really sure if that was supposed to describe their music, but it's mainly groovy and funky hard rock with the roots in the 70s groove rock and 60s pop and psychedelia.
ELECTRIC BOYS was formed in Stockholm in 1988. They released 3 albums and had a couple of hits before they called it a day in 1994. In 2009 they reunited the band, and since then they have released 2 albums before this one.
I have not heard all albums with these boys, but "The Ghost Ward Diaries" seems to be a little different from what I have heard before. A song like "Love Is A Funny Feeling" is probably the closest to soul/disco music they have ever been. But there's some of that good old stuff too of course, so don't be afraid.
Release date: Nov. 23, 2018 (Mighty Music)
NOV. 14, 2018

BLACK SUNDAY: Backyard Freaks - Album
This band was founded as PSYCHOTIC PAIN in 2010, and played a strange mix of zynth, metal and rock. They did some gigs and demos, changed the name to BLACK SUNDAY and split up. In 2015 mainman Tricky T wanted to play hard rock music. So he recorded the debut album, "A Ghost In The City", and kept the name BLACK SUNDAY. "Backyard Freaks" is the second album. And what we get is some kind of hard rock with punk rock attitude. Many of these song reminds me a little of the good old TURBONEGRO when they were as best, around "Asscobra" and "Apocalypse Dudes". And that's definitely not bad at all my friend, as those are my favourite albums with that band. This album is full of sing-a-long choruses for your next party.
But before we get too exited here, I must add that even though they have many good songs here, it's not the same high quality as TURBONEGRO used to have when Hank Von Helvete was singing in the band. And the lyrics doesn't seems to be the same dirty and funny stuff either. Still a good album though.
Release date: Nov. 16, 2018 (Mighty Music)
NOV. 12, 2018

Ginger Wildheart: G*A*S*S Mark II - Album reissue
Ginger Wildheart - solo artist and frontman of The WILDHEARTS - has re-launched his own record label Round Records, which he established back in 1994. And to celebrate this, Ginger is releasing "G*A*S*S Mark II". The album features 13 songs recorded as part of Ginger's 2014 year-long G*A*S*S project, which saw the prolific songwriter record and release 3 songs every month direct to fans who subscribed to the project (subscribers also received additional demos, artwork and stories written by Ginger). After the year was up, Ginger released "Year Of The Fanclub", a CD and vinyl which featured a collection of songs from the project. And "G*A*S*S Mark II" is the second coming.
This is a wild mixture of rock songs. Some are softer, while some are more action-filled party songs. And then we also have anything in-between that. Sometimes it's even a little progressive/chaotic or almost pop. Anything from action rock to The BEATLES you could say. But most of all it sounds more like something from the 70s/80s than a album from today. This is what I call an interesting adventure. If this is good or bad is a little hard to tell though. I would say that it's a little bit of both actually.
The songs I like best must be "Friends Of Bill", "Caer Urfa" and "Petite Mort". A song that I don't really like is "Bloody Knees".
This album is only available direct from Ginger's web site, and will be released on CD and double gatefold vinyl. You can pre-order it here: round-records.com
Round Records will also reissue The WILDHEARTS' 2007 self-titled album, and also release a brand new solo album from Ginger.
Release date: Nov. 16, 2018 (Round Records)
NOV. 11, 2018

TANK: Sturmpanzer - Album
Yet another album that I have been listening to several times, but don't have much to say about. Nice with a THIN LIZZY cover - "Little Darlin'" - but I can easily survive without crap like "Field Recording Of The Field".
This is a brand new album from these British veterans. TANK was formed by Algy Ward (a former member of punk rockers The DAMNED) in 1980. They was often compared to MOTÖRHEAD, as both bands were a trio fronted by a singing bassist, and also played a similar kind of punk/metal. But we don't get much of that here. Nowadays they seems to be just another old heavy metal band.
Release date: Nov. 16, 2018 (Dissonance Productions)
NOV. 11, 2018

The TEMPTER: Turpis Rex - Album
The TEMPTER is a project that Alex Wank (PUNGENT STENCH) created with somebody called Tarpiu in the beginning of 2008. They took their time to write songs and make something they thought was special. After 2 years they were ready to record their first album, "Turpis Rex", in 1 full live session, with 2 members from OUR SURVIVAL DEPENDS ON US on bass and organ. But after that Tarpiu disappeared, and Wank lost interest in the project. So the album was never released. ..until now then.
The best way to describe this is heavy and dark metal. Maybe not exactly doom or sludge or anything like that, but something similar at least. I guess fans of any kind of heavier metal will enjoy this.
Release date: Nov. 16, 2018 (Dissonance Productions)
NOV. 11, 2018

SIX FOOT SIX: The Six Foot Six Project - Album
SIX FOOT SIX was formed by Kristoffer Göbel (FALCONER, DESTINY, ALDARIA). Inspired by his childhood heros and all the way to modern metal acts, he decided to write the songs that we can hear on this album. To make it a little bit more exiting, he also invited some guest musicians, like Niklas Stålvind (WOLF), Magnus Winterwild (AXENSTAR) and David Åkesson (QUANTICE) for example. Christoffer Borg (TASTE, ART NATION) co-mixed the album, and has also joined the band as a permanent member.
What about the music then? Well, it's mainly pretty melodic heavy metal that we get here. A song like "Pride And Glory" is a little harder and heavier though. Some songs are classic heavy metal, while some are modern metal. And it's definitely not bad at all. There's lots of good candy to discover here.
Release date: Nov. 16, 2018 (Pride & Joy Music)
NOV. 10, 2018

MADISON: Best In Show - Album reissue
Here we have a Swedish melodic hard rock band that was active between 1983-1987. They released 2 albums - "Diamond Mistress" (1984) and "Best In Show" (1986). And on the last album they had Göran Edman (Yngwie Malmsteen, John Norum, MÅRRAN, BRAZEN ABBOT etc) on vocals. The album was only released on LP in Europe, and CD in Japan, where the group had major succees and also went on tour before the career was over.
"Best In Show" is now being re-released on CD in a limited edition of 1000 copies, with 2 bonus tracks included. And it's not bad at all. This is something that you should try if you like more melodic stuff.
Release date: Nov. 16, 2018 (Pride & Joy Music)
NOV. 10, 2018

DOMINOE: The Lost Radio Show - Album
It seems like this melodic rock/hard rock band had a big hit with their debut single, "Here I Am", back in 1988. The song is also well-known from a Renault-5 TV commercial. The band is still around after 30 years, and have released a new album a little now and then. When I look at the lineup of this band, it looks like a small army of members. The leaders seems to be guitarist Robert Papst and singer Jörg Sieber.
And now it's time to explain the title of this album. These 15 tracks was originally recorded for a British radio show in 2008. But parts of these recordings got lost because of a hard disk crash. So the planned radio show never happened, and the incomplete "tapes" ended up in the archives. But by surprise, Papst found the recordings again, 10 years later. Most of the original tracks have been used for this album, and only the tracks that got lost in the crash have been re-recorded.
What we get is tracks from all 5 albums that they had released at the time. They also got help from former members and longtime musical friends. The music is (as I said in the beginning) melodic rock/hard rock, but the thing that makes this band a little special is that they have background singers. I mean real vocalists that sing in the background.
Well, if you like this kind of music, then you should give this record a try. I think you're going to like it.
Release date: Nov. 16, 2018 (Pride & Joy Music)
NOV. 10, 2018

DE-ARROW: De-Arrow - Album
Looks like a 80s band, sounds like a 80s band. It's like time would have stood still. And in one way it actually have. Because DE-ARROW was an Australian band that existed between 1983-1989. So these songs are not new, but old recordings from the 80s. We talk very melodic hard rock/AOR here, and most of these songs are really good. I think of Swedish and American bands from the same time when I hear the first tracks. Later on there's a few songs that sounds more like Japanese bands from the same era.
I don't think that this band ever released a record, but just demo cassettes. So this is a collection of high quality demo recordings, put together by keyboardist Noel Hart and guitarist Dragan Stanic.
Why this band didn't get signed and became more famous is a mystery. They had all the right ingredients. But they were hardly the only band with this sound back then, and who didn't get signed. One thing is for sure though: All fans of 80s melodic hard rock and AOR should check this out.
Release date: Nov. 16, 2018 (20th Century Music)
NOV. 9, 2018

DIVINE ASCENSION: The Uncovering - Album
Progressive/Symphonic metal band that sounds more or less like a thousand others. But sure, they're hardly bad, and seems to know exactly what they're doing. So this band is o.k., even though I usually don't have much left for either progressive or symphonic music.
This is the third record from this Australian band. The album was mixed and mastered by Jens Bogren at Fascination Street Studios (SOILWORK, KATATONIA, OPETH, PERSEFONE, Devin Townsend etc.) in Sweden, and also features guest vocals from Tom S Englund (EVERGREY) on "Pursuit Of Desire".
Not much else to add, sir..
Release date: Nov. 16, 2018 (ViciSolum Productions)
NOV. 9, 2018

LACUNA COIL: The 119 Show, Live In London - Double album, DVD, Blu-ray
I can't really remember when I heard this band last time. It feels like it was long ago though. Probably when their latest studio album was released ("Delirium" from 2016). So it's not one of my favourite bands. But they seems to have some good songs anyway, and I have always had some kind of respect for them (I don't know why though). Everything is not good. And 27 tracks at once is way too much for me. Small doses works better.
But now this wasn't really made for people like me, but the real fans of LACUNA COIL. This extra special one-off show was recorded and filmed at O2 Forum Kentish Town in London, England on January 19, 2018 to celebrate the band's 20-year anniversary. And to give their fans something special, they picked a setlist of songs that they hardly ever have played live or not in a long time. So this was a unique moment in their career. And fans from all over the world was there to witness the event.
This package also includes a new book, "Nothing Stands In Our Way". This is simply a must for every true fan of LACUNA COIL. But I guess they already know that.
Release date: Nov. 9, 2018 (Century Media)
NOV. 8, 2018

SINISTER'S ARMY: Sinister - Album
New American hard rock/heavy metal band with multi-instrumentalist Peter Graigs (SCARS OF GRACE) and vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Keith Ferrari (LIGHTNING STRYKES, GANGSTER, FORTRESS 1, SONIC 13). And this debut is an explosive package filled with 10 really strong songs. These dudes are veterans, and they can really deliver. Both music and vocals is top class.
Their sound is the sound of the 80s. It's often melodic.
NOV. 8, 2018

1914: The Blind Leading The Blind - Album
Faster black metal songs are mixed with heavier death metal songs. Every song on this album has something to do with World War I. And if you think that's cool, then you better think again. War is always brutal death, and this band have created the perfect soundtrack to it. Now I have actually not read any of their lyrics yet, but I really like the music. You should definitely check this out.
The album will see a very unorthodox release date at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month (Central European Time) - the 100th Anniversary of the End of Great War.
Release date: Nov. 11, 2018 (Redefining Darkness Records in North America/Archaic Sound in Europe) NOV. 7, 2018

KJELD: Banier fan Frisia - EP
It seems like these 3 tracks have previously appeared on a split LP (I don't know with who though). The band comes from Frisia, which according to Google is an ancient region in northwestern Europe. It included the Frisian Islands and parts of the mainland corresponding to the modern provinces of Friesland and Groningen in the Netherlands and the regions of Ostfriesland and Nordfriesland in northwestern Germany. So now you have got yourself some history. Their lyrics features Frisian history, and their songs are sung in their native language. The music is Nordic black metal in the old school. Raw and a bit primitive. Machine gun drums. You know the game..
Release date: Nov. 11, 2018 (Heidens Hart Records)
NOV. 7, 2018

LOIMANN: A Voluntary Lack Of Wisdom - Album
This band formed in 2001, when the members were listening to desert rockers like KYUSS, FU MANCHU and MONSTER MAGNET. But the band's sound have evolved over the years, so nowadays it's more doom and heavy psych instead. Or stoner/post-doom as they call it.
This is these Italians third album, and it's said that the songs are shorter and more in your face this time. I know nothing about that, as I have not heard them before. But their music sounds o.k. to me anyway. It's hard and heavy stuff, but they play a little faster now and then too.
Release date: Nov. 9, 2018 (Argonauta Records)
NOV. 7, 2018

The HEARD: The Island - Album
As you might know already, The HEARD was formed by 3 former members of CRUCIFIED BARBARA. They teamed up with Skinny Kangur (DEATHSTARS) and the burlesque artist Pepper Potemkin. Now their debut album is here, which is a concept album about a mysterious island in the Baltic Sea. The songs are about the characters and places on this island, which is between dream and reality, the everyday and the supernatural.
And the music is more or less in the same direction. The roots is in hard rock and metal, but they take ingredients from all kinds of genres, and mix hard and heavy with soft and fragile. But if you must put it in 1 genre, then it could possibly go as some kind of doom. I think they have something for most kind of rockers and metal heads.
(Despotz Records)
NOV. 6, 2018

HIEROPHANT: Spawned Abortions - EP
2 fast and short old school death metal songs. 1 original and 1 BOLT THROWER cover. Pretty violent stuff. I can hear that they are not afraid to include a pinch of grind and black metal.
HIEROPHANT was born in Italy in 2010. Their first, self titled, full length was released the same year. They have released 1 EP and 3 albums since then, and played live all over Europe.
Well, if you like your death metal brutal, then this can be something for you.
(Unholy Anarchy Records)
NOV. 6, 2018

DIRE PERIL: The Extraterrestrial Compendium - Album
DIRE PERIL is an American power metal duo with Jason Ashcraft of HELION PRIME and John Yelland of JUDICATOR. They have previously released 3 EPs, but this is their debut album, which features guest vocals from Brittney Slayes (UNLEASH THE ARCHERS) on "Queen of the Galaxy" and Arjen Anthony Lucassen (AYREON) on album closer "Journey Beyond the Stars". It's said to fit like a glove for fans of ICED EARTH, BLIND GUARDIAN, SYMPHONY X and IRON MAIDEN. I'm ready to agree. Those who like classic heavy and power metal should not be dissapointed when they hear this.
These guys are inspired by science fiction. All 12 songs on this record are based on a classic sci-fi movie.
Release date: Nov. 9, 2018 (Divebomb Records)
NOV. 5, 2018

DETHGOD: Disease Called Humans - EP
DETHGOD is a Canadian death metal trio formed in Morley, Alberta in 2012 under the name AFTERDEATH. Not the best name, so they changed it to DETHGOD in 2013. I'm not sure if that was so much better though. Initially their music was comprised of both melodic and brutal death metal elements, and very soon they embraced a more technical approach as the members started to grow as a musician. Their current style is more ferocious and darker. "Disease Called Humans" is their first record, which will give you 4 tracks of death chaos. It's hard and heavy, and not much of a melody in these songs.
(Self released)
NOV. 5, 2018

HAIDUK: Exomancer - Album
I don't really know what I should think about this. It's hardly a masterpiece anyway. And therefor I don't have that much to say.
HAIDUK is a blackened death metal solo project by guitarist Luka Milojica. Main focus is fast riffs and atmospheric guitars. A demo was released in 2010, and the first full length in 2012. This is the third album.
The instrumental parts are often way too long. I want more vocals. And fast riffs? I don't think this is so fast. He also have a tendency to repeat the same riffs over and over again for a little too long, which makes it really boring to listen to. It might be fun for him to sit their and play this stuff, but it sure ain't funny to listen to. Just my honest opinion..
(Self released)
NOV. 4, 2018

HEX A.D.: Netherworld Triumphant - Album
Here's yet another band who thought it was a brilliant idea to start the record with a piano piece. I don't really get how they think. I don't put on a metal record because I want to hear a piano concert.
After that mistake I can calm down though, because then it's doom metal that I get. And that sounds good to me.
This is their third album. It's said to be this Norwegian band's most layered and organic recording so far. Their music is mainly based on heavy guitar riffs, but there's also some progressive rock in these tracks. A huge inspiration on this album have been what the hard rock bands from the 70s did in the 80s. We also get a guest apperance by former DIO guitarist Rowan Robertson in "WarChild".
HEX A.D. are hardly any amateurs, which they prove on this album. The members have been touring in Europe and Asia with artists like Blaze bayley (ex-IRON MAIDEN), Paul Di'Anno (ex-IRON MAIDEN), Geoff Nicholls (BLACK SABBATH, QUARTZ), Bernie Marsden, Tim "Ripper" Owens (ex-JUDAS PRIEST, ICED EARTH, Yngwie Malmsteen) and Rowan Robertson (ex-DIO).
Release date: Nov. 9, 2018 (Fresh Tea)
NOV. 4, 2018

NAKED SIX: No Compromise - EP
NAKED SIX are an alternative, and sometimes a little punky, rock trio from England, who formed in 2015 (if I got it right). They're influenced by everything from QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE to RADIOHEAD, as well as Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen, and LED ZEPPELIN (of course). But I can also hear some NIRVANA and other similar Seattle acts from the 90s.
5 tracks is what we get on this EP, and most of them are good stuff. The title track, which opens the record, is a little extra good though.
(Silver Linging Music)
NOV. 4, 2018

VALKYRIA: Tierra Hostil - Album
Another one of these heavy metal bands who prefer to sing in Spanish instead of English. But no problem. I'm getting used to it by now. Here in Sweden we have many bands who sing in Swedish. But I don't think there are that many heavy metal bands who do that, but mainly heavy rock and doom bands. But now it was VALKYRIA I was going to talk about here.
This group was formed in October 2014. Their first album, "Principio y Fin", was recorded in February 2016, and released in April the same year. "Tierra Hostil" is their second album.
Well, VALKYRIA is just as good as any other heavy metal band. It's mainly the classic sound, but with some modern pieces here and there as well (just a pinch though). Simply good stuff that most metal fans should enjoy.
(Fighter Records)
NOV. 4, 2018

This could be 1 of the most interesting rock bands right now. They are obviously not afraid to cook their own stew of rock and pop, and then spice it with some punk rock or heavy riffs. That doesn't mean that what they are doing is anything odd or different from the rest. But they seems to know how to make really good and catchy songs with their own identity. All these 6 tracks are brilliant!
If there's any justice in this world (which there hardly is), this band should become huge. But I guess that most of you are not even interested in a band like this. Too bad for you then. You don't know what you're missing, man. How dangerous can it be to give them a try now that I have hyped them? And if you don't like what you hear, then you can always put the blame on me, haha.
BROWSING COLLECTION is an all-female band, who formed in 2008. They are from Sweden.
(Self released)
NOV. 4, 2018

CORTEZ: No More Conqueror - Album
This is a very chaotic record. But then they call it mathcore. And they don't calm down for a second. Every song spreads in all directions. "Music" like this can easily give you a nervous breakdown. Dangerous stuff.
If this Swizz band could learn how to play, and how to make a good song, then maybe.. But just maybe, it would be better.
Now I have warned you, but in the end it's still up to you if you really want to hear this. Are you crazy enough?
Release date: Nov. 9, 2018 (WOOAAARGH)
NOV. 3, 2018

Tommy Concrete: Unrelaxed - Album
Some kind of progressive metal that I don't really get hold of. Not worthless though. But I have definitely heard better. Seems like he can play though. So let him have his fun..
Tommy Concrete is a Scottish man who has been in both the punk and metal scene. It seems like he started his career in The EXPLOITED, but has also been a member of MAN OF THE HOUR and JACKAL-HEADED GUARD OF THE DEAD. He also has his own little solo career, and has released 5 albums so far (this included). Previous albums have included industrial trip-hop influenced progressive metal, 70s proto-metal/stoner doom, and psychedelic heavy metal. So be prepared for an adventure if you want to try this.
Not exactly The EXPLOITED, which I would have preferred.
(Howling Invocations)
NOV. 3, 2018

REECE: Resilient Heart - Album
I was hard when I reviewed the single, "Any Time At All", a couple of months ago. But after listening to the whole album, I can calm down and admit that I was wrong. Because this record didn't suck as much as I was afraid that it would.
This is a pretty catchy and hard rocking album. There might not be any masterpieces here, but it's definitely good enough.
REECE is named after vocalist David Reece (ex-ACCEPT, BONFIRE), and this is his first solo album since 2013. On this album he has teamed up with the Danish musicians Marco Angioni (guitar), Martin J. Andersen (guitar), Malte Frederik Burkert (bass) and Sigurd J. Jensen (drums). Some of these songs reminds me of WHITESNAKE and DEEP PURPLE, but with a modern production.
Release date: Nov. 9, 2018 (Mighty Music)
NOV. 3, 2018

FAANEFJELL: Dovrefall - Album
FAANEFJELL was formed in 2009 by 2 former members. After they had been drinking mjød (mead, like Viking beer you could say, but less delicious I suppose) in a smoke filled basement, they made 3 songs about some angry trolls. 1 year later their debut album, "Trollmarsj", was released.
The lyrics are deeply inspired by Scandinavian folklore, and are mixed in with symphonic black metal. "Dovrefall" tells the tale of a kingdom in war, the trolls against the humans. As the tale gets darker the music follows and presents the listener with a more brutal and darker sound.
Pretty o.k. stuff. And lyrics about angry trolls are better than the usual Satanic crap.
Release date: Nov. 9, 2018 (Mighty Music)
NOV. 3, 2018

SKALLBANK: Denim Demon - Single
Swedish metal/rock n roll band SKALLBANK became so happy about Hank Von Hell's return, that they decided to do a cover of the almighty Norwegian death punks TURBONEGRO's "Denim Demon", a song from 1 of their best albums ever, "Ass Cobra". Or what could the reason really be? I actually don't really get why people waste time and energy to record covers instead of recording original songs. But if they think it's funny, who am I to stop them? They are doing a good version though, so not much to complain about.
(Self released?)
NOV. 2, 2018

BUZZCOCKS: E.S.P. - Single
British pop punk pioneers BUZZCOCKS drop the first single to support the reissues of their 2 first albums - "Another Music In A Different Kitchen" and "Love Bites" - which will be released as 40th anniversary editions on January 25, 2019. Both albums have been remastered from the original tapes, and will be available on both CD and LP.
Now the funny thing is that both these albums was released in 1978. So why wait until next year to release 40-year editions then? They should have been released this year instead.
"E.S.P." is hardly one of their strongest songs. It got a guitar loop that is a little annoying, and it last for too long (4,45 minutes). They should have released something like "Fast Cars", "I Don't Mind" or their big hit "Ever Fallen In Love" instead.
NOV. 2, 2018

ALIEN: Imagine - Single
I have not heard anything with this Swedish AOR band since the 80s, when they had a hit with a cover of "Only One Woman" (originally by The MARBLES). I don't know if they try to do the same thing again (get a hit with a cover), because now they have recorded the John Lennon classic "Imagine". But they have at least made their own version of it, and not just copy the original version.
The band will by the way celebrate the 30-year anniversary of their self titled debut album, by performing the entire record at Sticky Fingers in their hometown Göteborg on November 9. So if you're a fan, don't miss that.
(Pride & Joy Music)
NOV. 2, 2018

The DAHLMANNS: American Heartbeat - 12" Mini LP
Now I just got 2 tracks - the title track and "Get It Right" - out of 6, but it sounds excellent. Just as last time I heard them. This is my new favourite band when it comes to power pop with a touch of punk rock. So if you have not checked them out yet, DO IT!
For this record The DAHLMANNS teamed up with members from Swedish rock veterans The NOMADS and SATOR. But don't expect it to sound like any of those bands (I'm actually not even sure what those guys have done here).
There also seems to be a CD version of this EP in North America, available through Pop Detective Records.
(Beluga Records/Ghost Highway)
NOV. 1, 2018

The HIJACKERS: I Don't Like You - 7" EP
Really good garage rock that sounds like it was made in America in the 60s. But it's not. This is actually a Swedish band from the 80s, who released a single, "When I Get Home", in the 80s. Now they have discovered some more material that was recorded back then, and it has been released as a 4-track EP. Really good stuff! So it would be bad if they didn't record any more stuff. But sure, we have other great bands in this genre here in Sweden that are active today. It would still have been nice to hear some more from The HIJACKERS.
(Beluga Records)
NOV. 1, 2018

SICK OF IT ALL: Wake The Sleeping Dragon! - Album
17 tracks is something that you can get away with when the songs are short. And most of the songs on this album are no longer than approximately 2 minutes. But you better make sure that there's enough variation between the songs too. And they don't really live up to that rule, even though they try once in a while. After all, this is hardcore, so what can you do? It's more or less either full speed ahead or heavy that works in this genre. Most songs on this album is in the first category.
But even though there's not that much variation, it's not bad. There's lots of hardcore anthems here. And it would surprise me if any old fans of these NYC veterans would be dissapointed.
SICK OF IT ALL formed as long ago as 1986, and this is their 12th album.
Release date: Nov. 2, 2018 (Century Media)
OCTOBER 31, 2018

HE WHO CANNOT BE NAMED: The Good The Bad And The Brutal - LP
The DWARVES guitarist HeWhoCannotBeNamed goes solo, and it sounds more punk than The DWARVES does nowadays. Or more old school anyway. A little like early G.G. Allin, when he had The JABBERS as his band, but a bit more catchy and melodic. But sure, there's some of The DWARVES here too.
The 2 songs that I got sounds very good, so this can definitely be worth checking out.
HeWhoCannotBeNamed are going on a short European tour in November to support the new album (dates on his Facebook page). The other members of the band are Keith Mueller - lead guitar, Bobby Ramone - bass and Eric Borst - drums.
And for those of you who doesn't really know who HeWhoCannotBeNamed is: His a original member of the legendary punk rock band The DWARVES, and is probably most well-known for playing naked wearing a mask. Nobody seems to know his real identity. His first solo album, "Sunday School Massacre", was released in the summer of 2010.
Release date: Nov. 1, 2018 (Beluga Records/Gods Candy/Spaghetty Town Records/Ghost Highway)
OCTOBER 31, 2018

ZARTHAS: 4 Letter Word - Single
Hip Hop-metal/rock? Nu metal? Too electronic for my taste anyway.
ZARTHAS is from Oulu in northern Finland, and have their roots in the 1990s. At that time they played metal with influences from many different sub genres. The lineup was constantly changing, but they made several demos and lots of live shows. The music has developed through the years, with more rock, electronic music and even progressive rock thrown in to the blender.
In 2011 they released their debut album, "So Mote It Be". Another album, "Spit/Ignite", was released in 2013. And their third album, "Reflections", was released last year.
Well, not my kind of stuff as I said..
(Inverse Records)
OCTOBER 30, 2018

SABER TIGER: Obscure Diversity - Album
Those of you who like Japanese/traditional heavy metal should absolutely check out SABER TIGER's new album, which was released earlier this month. They might not do anything different at all, but it's still a album full of good songs. They simply know what they're doing, and they do it damned good.
This band have been around for more than 3 and a half decades now (founded in 1981), so they are hardly a new band in the metal scene. But it's not until the last couple of years that they have succeeded to reach an audience outside of Japan.
Still not convinced? Check out "Permanent Rage".
(Sliptrick Records)
OCTOBER 30, 2018

INFECTED SYREN: Infected Syren - Album
This band was formed by some crazy circus clowns, who got tired of the circus and wanted to play some hard rock and metal instead. O.k., that's not really true, even though it sounds like that when I listen to this debut album. No, the true story is that they are from Nicosia, Cyprus, and formed in 2011. All they have released before this record is (as far as I understand it) a demo in 2012. Their music is a wild homebrew of hard rock, metal, punk, hardcore and psychobilly. A little crazy, but absolutely listenable anyway. So, are you man enough to give it a try?
OCTOBER 30, 2018

OWL MAKER: Sky Road - EP
Is this really the same OWL MAKER that I reviewed in March? Because that band was a little confusing, as each song went in different directions. But this time it's just 2 songs, and not 6 like last time. So it's a little easier to understand what's going on here.
OWL MAKER is a metal trio from Connecticut, USA. Even though they have just released 1 EP before, "Sky Road" is said to show a musical and conceptual evolution for the band. And what can I say? This sounds really good to me anyway.
I would describe this as some kind of 70s hard rock/heavy metal in the heavier league, even though it has some faster parts too (it's not shit heavy in other words). I like both songs, and if they continue like this, then they're on the right track according to my opinion. Both thumbs up!
Release date: Nov. 2, 2018 (Self released?)
OCTOBER 30, 2018

RUNESCARRED: Moonchild - Single
Interesting choice of cover. Yes, this is the IRON MAIDEN song that opens the "Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son" album. And they are doing a pretty good version of it, and it's pretty true to the original.
RUNESCARRED is a progressive metal band from Austin, Texas. They have so far released a EP, "We Are".
Not much else to add..
Release date: October 31, 2018 (Self released)
OCTOBER 30, 2018

SHALLOW GRAVE: Threshold Between Worlds - Album
There's just 4 tracks, but they are from 5 and a half minutes to 13 minutes. So I guess it's not too hard to figure out that this is heavy stuff. They are not the heaviest band that I have heard though.
These tracks oscillate between doom/sludge and just atmospheric soundscapes. And sometimes it's just a hell of a noise. Extremely monotonous too.
I guess this is supposed to be music. But it's not my kind of music.
Release date: October 31, 2018 (Sludgelord Records/Black Voodoo Records/Cursed Monk Records/minoRobscuR)
OCTOBER 30, 2018

ALASTOR: Slave To The Grave - Album
So this is the same ALASTOR that I reviewed last year then. At that time they didn't want to reveal anything about themselves, but this time they are more open. We get both photos and names, and it seems like they are from Sweden.
They have many good songs here anyway, even though many are pretty long (6 and a half to over 9 and a half minutes are nothing unusual here). They succeed to keep the songs alive all the way though, so you should not get bored. And many songs reminds me of some other bands (nothing unusual of course).
This is said to be heavy doom rock from a time when it still was something occult lurking in the shadows. Music for rebels and those who were brave enough. It's heavy and distorted darkness with a theme about death. And I really recomend you to check this out. Because this is damned good!
ALASTOR was born in 2016, and have previously released 1 album and 1 EP.
Release date: October 31, 2018 (RidingEasy Records)
OCTOBER 29, 2018

Progressive, melodic hard rock with a pinch of metal heaviness. Sometimes with a majestic touch. The band comes from Sweden, and this is their fifth album. It's actually their first new studio album in 8 years.
SEVENTH WONDER formed in 2000, and released 2 demos (2001 and 2003) before they got signed to Lion Music in 2004. They were very productive and released 4 albums between 2005-2010.
This new album could be something for fans of progressive hard rock and metal as well as fans of melodic hard rock and metal. And if you happens to like both, then this is definitely the band for you. They have many good songs here, and are obviously very talented musicians.
(Frontiers Music Srl)
OCTOBER 28, 2018

IMPELLITTERI: The Nature Of The Beast - Album
Why they waste energy on 2 covers - "Phantom Of The Opera" (from the musical with the same name) and BLACK SABBATH's "Symptom Of The Universe" - is a good question. Not that they are doing any bad versions, but they have so many of their own songs that are really good, so I don't think they have to do any covers. But that's just my opinion of course.
This is a very good band! They deliver burning hot heavy metal anthems like it still was the happy 80s. It's guitar-driven and very powerful vocals. Fans of classic bands like JUDAS PRIEST and IRON MAIDEN, as well as more modern bands like PRIMAL FEAR and DREAM EVIL, should love this album.
(Frontiers Music Srl)
OCTOBER 28, 2018

CREYE: Creye - Album
It's sometimes a very thin line between AOR and pop. If you don't believe me, just listen to a band like CREYE. This will take you back to the 80s. A time when you could hear this kind of melodic rock with a touch of pop in a movie (doesn't happen too often nowadays). So if that sounds like something interesting, then this could be something for you.
CREYE started in early 2015, and the first release was a single, "Never Too Late", in late 2016. In March 2017 it was time for the 3-track EP "Straight To The Top", and now the first full length album is here.
(Frontiers Music Srl)
OCTOBER 28, 2018

CITY OF THIEVES: Beast Reality - Album
Some kind of hard rock n roll for people who like AC/DC, ROSE TATTOO, GUNS N' ROSES and AEROSMITH for example. They are definitely rocking anyway, and they kick ass while they do it. This is the soundtrack to blood, sweat and beers on a Friday or Saturday while you "warm up" for a night down town or a concert.
CITY OF THIEVES made their live debut at the Camden Rocks festival in May 2015, and has been the talk of the town ever since. They are hardly reinventing the wheel of rock on this album, but it's true and genuine music that we get.
Party album of the month? Not impossible!
(Frontiers Music Srl)
OCTOBER 28, 2018

Pure Fire: The Ultimate KISS tribute - Album reissue
KISS have been more or less a favourite band since I was a kid. This tribute album features a long list of well-known rock artists. It was originally released as "Spin The Bottle" in 2004, but has now received a complete makeover with the new title "Pure Fire - The Ultimate KISS Tribute" as well as new artwork. This special multi-media edition also comes with a bonus making-of DVD that features interviews and stories from the artists, including those who are no longer with us, recorded 14 years ago.
The album was produced by Bob Kulick and Bruce Bouillet, and among the artists who got together for this tribute are Bruce Kulick, Lemmy Kilmister, Dee Snider, C.C. DeVille, Steve Lukather, Doug Aldrich, Marco Mendoza, Carmine Appice, Gilby Clarke, Jeff Pilson, Robin McAuley and many more..
What we get here is covers of classics from KISS best era, the 70s. And most of these songs are really good versions. They haven't changed much in the songs, so most songs are very true to the original versions. After all, this is a tribute and not a project where they try to do their own thing with the songs. It's just classic rock songs here, and no odd surprises or silly ballads. A party collection you could say.
This is a tribute album that is actually worth checking out. But 11 songs from a band that has released something like 30 records is not much. I think I could add 11 more without a problem. But then I would probably add songs from their entire discography.
(Deadline Music)
OCTOBER 27, 2018

The HEARD: A Death Supreme - Single
The HEARD was started in 2016 by 3 former members of CRUCIFIED BARBARA. They teamed up with Skinny Kangur (DEATHSTARS) and the burlesque artist Pepper Potemkin. They will release their debut album, "The Island", on November 2, and "A Death Supreme" is the second single from that album.
What should I say about this then? Those who expect it to sound like CRUCIFIED BARBARA will probably be dissapointed, because this is something different, and much darker. I think that this song have both good and bad parts somehow. It's mainly a slow doom metal lullaby, and I'm not sure how well it represents the album. It's not bad though. I guess that you just have to give it a few listenings.
(Despotz Records)
OCTOBER 27, 2018

SILVER GRIME: Healed By The Dark - Album
Really good epic doom metal with a singer who actually can sing. And that's an advantage of course. You won't hear any growl or screaming here. And they have this darkness that makes me think of a other Swedish band, STILLBORN. Most songs are from 6 to 10 minutes long. All 6 songs are great, but the title track is fantastic.
Well, Sweden knows how to deliver this kind of metal music. CANDLEMASS set the standard already in the 80s, and many great bands have followed. SILVER GRIME are together with EGONAUT among my new favorite bands when it comes to Swedish doom. No doubt about that.
SILVER GRIME have existed since 2014, and this is their debut album. The band features former members of Paul Di'Anno (ex-IRON MAIDEN), OBSCURITY and CLOUDSCAPE. They are heavily influenced by bands like SAINT VITUS and TROUBLE.
Release date: October 26, 2018 (Inverse Records)
OCTOBER 26, 2018

MOONSHADE: Sun Dethroned - Album
MOONSHADE was formed in 2010 by 5 guys from Portugal. Their music have its roots in the well-known Gothenburg sound, but I think more of a Stockholm band like AMON AMARTH when I hear this. Damned good melodic death metal anyway. And you should definitely check them out if you like that.
They have previously released 1 demo and a EP. And now their debut album is here. Remember where you heard about them.
Release date: October 26, 2018 (Art Gates Records)
OCTOBER 26, 2018

The FILTH HOUNDS: Hair Of The Hounds? - Album
This sounds like a forgotten demo from something like 1981, with a very melodic NWOBHM band. But it's not. It's a British hard rock/heavy metal band, and I suspect that the members are pretty young (compared to me anyway).
It's good, but I think some of these songs are a little too long for their own good ("Tonight" and "Keeping The Pain Alive"). But otherwise no problem. The reason why I think they are young, is that their lyrics seems to be about love trouble ("Tonight" and "Photograph"). But not all of them. Some seems to be about war and evil ("Jack's Nightmare" and "Dead Man's Ey"). And the reason why I think it sounds like a demo, is because it's a very rough production, and far away from the typical clean sound that you hear today. But that just gives it a bit of charm.
"Hair Of The Hound?" seems to be their second album. 8 songs in approxiamtely 42 minutes.
Release date: October 26, 2018 (Pure Steel Publishing)
OCTOBER 26, 2018

BAD RELIGION: The Profane Rights Of Man - Single
Bad Religion
Melodic punk rock legends BAD RELIGION are currently working on a new album. And while we wait for that, they release another new single. And it sounds just like they use to. So nothing new here. But I guess that's exactly like we want them to be. A safe band that never change their concept. You know what you're going to get, and you probably know if you like it or not.
"The Profane Rights of Man" is based on a historical document from 1789: a foundational principle of democracy known as "The Universal Rights of Man". The whole thing is over in 2 minutes. So it's definitely not a long song. But sometimes it doesn't have to take longer than that to explain that human rights is for everyone.
OCTOBER 25, 2018

QFT: End Of The Universe - Single
Here's yet another single from the debut album, "Live In Space", which was released in May. And in case you don't know, QFT (Quantum Field Theory) is the solo project of Linnéa Vikström from THERION (she is also the daughter of THERION's lead singer Thomas Vikström). "End Of The Universe" open the album, which I thought was a bit odd, as it's a pretty heavy doom song, and not really a album opener. This song is different from the rest of the album, but it's not bad at all.
If you don't like the other songs, then maybe you should try this instead.
(Despotz Records)
OCTOBER 25, 2018

SIR REG: Sinner Of The Century - Single
Yet another single from the latest fantastic album with the Celtic punk rockers SIR REG. And it's the last song from that album, which is a ballad (more or less). It's at least much slower than the rest of their songs. But that doesn't make it less good. Oh no. I really like this song! And that female vocals in the chorus gives it an extra flavour. Maybe she should sing some more?
When you're so good that I even like your ballad, then it must really be something special.
(Despotz Records)
OCTOBER 25, 2018

RISING: Swords And Scythe - Album
The 4th full length from this epic metal quintet is a concept album about the history of mankind seen from the perspective of cosmic cicularity. The music is everything from progressive to melodic and aggressive, as well as a little heavier.
This Danish band formed 10 years ago. On the 2 first EPs and 2 first albums they were more of a doom/sludge trio. But after that the 2 founding members Martin Nieman (drums) and Jacob Krogholt (guitar) regrouped as a 5-piece, and moved towards a more classic metal sound.
Well, they have many good songs here. No doubt about that. This is an interesting album. Just listen to a song like "Ancestral Sun" for example.
Release date: October 26, 2018 (Indisciplinarian)
OCTOBER 24, 2018

CARCHARODON: Bukkraken - Album
This is an Italian trio who formed in 2003. The initial intent was to mix extreme metal with blues and doom/sludge. After some demos and EPs the band released a first full length, called "Macho Metal", in 2008. A few more records has been released since then.
This new album sounds mainly like doom/sludge, even though they add some MOTÖRHEAD and PANTERA here and there. They are heavy, but absolutely not slow. And I have definitely heard worse in my life. Most of these 9 tracks are good stuff.
Release date: October 26, 2018 (Argonauta Records)
OCTOBER 24, 2018

INFECTED: Dark Centuries - Album reissue
INFECTED was formed in 1987 already, which makes them one of the very first thrash/death metal bands from Switzerland. They released a EP in 1988, and the debut album, "Dark Centuries", in 1989. This re-release includes all tracks that they recorded, and it's actually not so bad. This is very good as a matter of fact. It's just the intro that I don't really like (but that's hardly anything new, and no one seems to care).
What else should I say? I actually don't know.. But in case you didn't really get it, this is something that you should check out at once.
Release date: October 26, 2018 (Vic Records)
OCTOBER 23, 2018

SICKNESS: Plague: Ornaments Of Mutilation And More - Album
Another useless collection of songs. Some kind of death metal that should not make anyone happier (but what do I really know? there's so many psychos who think that the more extreme the better). There's as much as 22 tracks from different recordings, and the sound quality vary a lot. But even though I don't understand this, there's actually people who love this (the one who release it for example). But if you want it to be noisey and extreme, go ahead.
This seems to be a bunch of sick men. Or what do you say about titles like "Yes, I Killed Her" and "Murder King" for example? If you want intelligent lyrics, then this is not the band for you (but then you probably don't even listen to extreme music at all).
SICKNESS was formed in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA in 1992. They recorded a demo in 1994, a full length album in 1995 and a 5-track promo in 1997. They also recorded 4 tracks (in 1997) that was never released. All that stuff is included here. So if you're more of an Florida death metal fan than I am, then this could be of interest to you.
Release date: October 26, 2018 (Vic Records)
OCTOBER 23, 2018

JÄMMERDAL: The Strange Is Here - Album
This band formed in 2013, and comes from Malmö in southern Sweden. They play rock with focus on groove and dynamics, and their influences comes from many different directions, but first of all from blues and folk music. The music is catchy, but not too catchy (in Swedish we have the word "lagom", which I don't think exist in any other language, at least not in English).
There's just 6 tracks here, but it's definitely a album, as the last song is 13 minutes long. They are a little more adventureous in that last song, while the rest is just good old rock.
I think they are pretty good. Maybe not any masterpiece on this album, but definitely good enough for me. But that's just my opinion about them, so go ahead and give them a try. They're worth it.
(Kingart Music Management)
OCTOBER 23, 2018

DAYS OF JUPITER: Panoptical - Album
Swedish band DAYS OF JUPITER play a melodic and heavy type of hard rock/metal. They are said to combine American modern metal with classic hard rock from Europe, and have been around since 2010. Their debut album, "Secrets Brought To Life", was released in March 2012, and it has been rolling ever since. "Panoptical" is their 4th album.
Well, this is actually very good. I think of a band like SPARZANZA for example. Maybe not exactly like them though. But (the big but) some more variation between the songs, and just 8 tracks instead of 12, would have been so much better. I think this album last for a little too long actually.
Release date: October 26, 2018 (Metalville)
OCTOBER 23, 2018

RIOT HORSE: Cold Hearted Woman - Album
In 2006 the Danish/Swedish band SONS OF TOMORROW decided to take a longer break. So guitarist Neil Schuttman thought it was finally time to form a new heavy rock band, with classic bluesy, groovy and heavy riffs inspired by classic acts like LED ZEPPELIN, BLACK SABBATH, The BLACK CROWES, MOUNTAIN etc. After several changes in the lineup, Neil had finally found the right members in 2011: singer Andreas Stdow (DARKANE), drummer Jonas Langebro (BAI BANG) and bass player Joacim Sandin (BAI BANG).
Their debut, "This Is Who We Are", was released in 2014. And "Cold Hearted Woman" is their second album, where we get some of what I described earlier, but also some Southern rock influences as well. The sound is in the best 70s tradition, and I really like what I hear here.
Release date: October 26, 2018 (Metalville)
OCTOBER 23, 2018

SWILSON: Swilson - Album
This reminds me of the American punk band DEAD BOYS somehow, even though this is a little bit more rock n roll. But there's also a touch of NEW YORK DOLLS and 70s KISS. Most of all it's a rock n roll band from the New York area, with former and current members of The DICTATORS, The STALLIONS and The BAMBOO KIDS.
I have been listening to this album several times now, and it's not bad. It might not be a hit album that will send them to the stars, but it's simple and catchy rock n roll that should fit perfect for those who like good old rock from the 50s, garage rock from the 60s or punk rock from the 70s.
Release date: October 26, 2018 (Vanishing Point Records/Fuzzy Warbles)
OCTOBER 22, 2018

Warrel Dane: Shadow Work - Album
On December 13, 2017, Warrel Dane (SANCTUARY, NEVERMORE) passed away in São Paulo while recording the follow-up to 2008's "Praises To The War Machine". "Shadow Work" was supposed to be an 80 minutes long opus, and while all instruments had been recorded, Warrel passed away before completing all vocal tracks. Now we get 41 minutes of music instead, which contains Warrel's vocals tracked during pre-production and the actual recording sessions.
The music is mainly heavy and sometimes technical metal. I would like to call it progressive metal actually. And it's actually not so bad.
I really don't know what else to say. I hate when people die, even though I might not have been a big fan of his music. I like this album anyway, and I liked that demo with SANCTUARY that was released a couple of years ago.
Release date: October 26, 2018 (Century Media)
OCTOBER 22, 2018

PICTURE: Live!! 40 Years Heavy Metal Ears 1978-2018 - Album
My favorite song with this band has always been the first song that I heard with them, "Eternal Dark". I think I heard it on 1 of all these heavy metal compilations that came out during the 80s, or maybe it was 1 of the hard rock shows on the radio that we had here in Sweden back then. A favourite is always a favourite, and this live album doesn't really change that. Sure, they have some more good songs here, but I can't hear any new favourites here. Nothing sucks though. And that's always something I suppose. They are simply a good heavy metal band. No more no less.
PICTURE was 1 of the first heavy metal bands from the Netherlands. They formed in 1979 and went seperate ways in 1987, came back for a few years between 1996-1999, and reunited once again in 2008 (that's the information I have found anyway, so I'm not really sure why they celebrate 40 a year too early). They have released several albums through the years.
This live album was recorded during their touring in Europe. Since 2016 the lineup includes the 4 original members Ronald van Prooijen (vocals), Jan Bechtum (guitar), Rinus Vreugdenhil (bass) and Laurens Bakker (drums), as well as second guitarist Appie de Gelder. They are currently working on material for a new studio album, which will be released in 2019. This album is a very good introduction to the band, as you get a lot of old material as well as some newer songs.
Release date: October 26, 2018 (Pure Steel Records)
OCTOBER 21, 2018

SHELTON/CHASTAIN: The Edge Of Sanity, 88 Demo Session - Album
In search of potential bonus material for future MANILLA ROAD re-releases, bassist Phil Ross listened to various unlabeled tapes he found in Mark Shelton's (r.i.p) house. In addition to some exciting live material, he discovered demo recordings that David T. Chastain and Mark began to work on in 1988. And that's what this album consist of.
What we get here is some kind of raw mid-tempo heavy metal, with elements of thrash and US metal. But there's also some progressive and epic parts here and there. There's just 4 tracks. 2 of them are approxiamtely 4 and 5 minutes, while the other 2 are as long as 11.49 and 21 minutes. Those long songs are by the way different versions of the same song.
Mainly good stuff. Fans of CHASTAIN and MANILLA ROAD should like this. But I guess most fans of heavy metal could like this. So give it a try.
Release date: October 26, 2018 (Pure Steel Records)
OCTOBER 21, 2018

THRASH BOMBZ: Prisoner Of Disaster - Album
Sorry, but what an ugly album cover! I guess it's most of all the colors that I don't really like - Purple and green. It looks like shit.
Luckily the music is not as bad as the artwork. They are not in the top league when it comes to thrash metal, but they are definitely not the worst that I have heard (and I have heard a lot through the years). No, this is pretty good old-school thrash that I think most metal heads will like. So please, give them a try at least.
THRASH BOMBZ comes from Italy, and was born from the ashes of the death/thrash band NECROSIS in December 2007. They have released 2 cassettes, 2 albums and 1 EP (if I got it right?). So this is their third album then.
Release date: October 26, 2018 (Iron Shield Records)
OCTOBER 21, 2018

IRON LAMB: Blue Haze - Album
This band has really developed since last time I heard them, which was a few years ago now. It's not just pedal to the metal MOTÖRHEAD death n roll (or what ever you should call what they played before). No, they have actually calmed down. You can still hear the MOTÖRHEAD influence, but there's also a lot more than that. It's heavier, but also more melody.
Change your style very much, and still keep the same name of the band, can be very risky. But I really like this! And I guess it's not impossible that fans of other Swedish rock bands, like MÄRVEL, DEAD LORD and BOMBUS for example, might like IRON LAMB too. They have in other words picked their influences from many different places.
This is the kind of album that is hard to stop listening to. I don't know how many times I have heard this now, but I still like it.
Release date: October 26, 2018 (The Sign Records)
OCTOBER 20, 2018

MALPHAS: The 39th Spirit - Album
MALPHAS comes from Philadelphia and was founded in 2012. Their debut EP, "The Conjuring", was released in 2015. "The 39th Spirit" is their first full length.
Progressive, blackened melo-death is what they call this. And it's said to be something similar to bands like CHILDREN OF BODOM, AMON AMARTH and DIMMU BORGIR. That doesn't necessarily mean that they sound exactly like any of them, but it will at least give you an idea of what this is. I would said that this is more like a mixture of all 3 bands, and then some.
Release date: October 26, 2018 (Via Nocturna)
OCTOBER 20, 2018

Is the singer really singing any words at all? Because he's singing extremely fast in the first song. It sounds very funny. It also sounds like they have used some vocal effect on his voice. And it's more or less impossible to hear any words at all.
Groovy nu-death metal is what I call these 5 tracks. And I have heard a lot worse. It's hard and heavy, but not slow. Put that first song on if you want somebody who doesn't like metal to leave. He or she will definitely run like hell in panic.
AWAITING SACRIFICE comes from Indianapolis, and started their journey in 2012. They soon released their debut EP, "Defection". But due to recording issues and various disputes the album was taken down. The band was unable to survive this turbulence, and though they were nearly done with their second EP, they were forced to take an extended hiatus.
It wasn't until late summer 2018 that they had recovered from that shock. 3 members remain, and 2 are new. And the second EP, "Uprise", which they thought was lost forever, is now done and ready for a CD release. At the same time they are putting the last touch on their full length debut, which they plan to release next spring.
Release date: October 26, 2018 (Label unknown..)
OCTOBER 20, 2018

NAZARETH: Tattooed On My Brain - Album
So, what does NAZARETH sound like in 2018 then? Actually not so bad I must say. But 13 tracks are a few too many. It would have been enough with just 8-10 tracks.
These Scottish veterans have been around for something like 50 years now. There's just 1 original member left though (bassist Pete Agnew), since their singer Dan McCafferty had to leave the band due to health issues in 2014. And that makes this album the first record with NAZARETH without his voice. New singer is a guy named Carl Sentence (ex-PERSIAN RISK, Don Airey). He does a really good job, even though he doesn't sound like old McCafferty. The other members in today's lineup of the band are Jimmy Murrison (longest serving guitarist in the band's history) and Lee Agnew (drummer since Darrel Sweet's death in 1999).
This is as a matter of fact their 24th studio album. And it's not bad for a band that has been around for so long, and have (as far as I know) not had any bigger succees since the 70s. This album might not become such a big succees either, but it's definitley not bad.
(Frontiers Music Srl)
OCTOBER 19, 2018

RHODIUM: Scream Into The Void - Album
Debut album with a pretty fresh power/prog metal band from Athens, Greece. Their frontman, Billy Vass, is from New York though. And this is definitely not bad at all. They seems to be very good musicians, and blend modern heavy/power metal with progressive parts and good melodies. This is absolutely something that you should lend your ear to.
And don't let the fact that they call it power/prog scare you. After all this is mainly good old heavy metal in a modern package.
OCTOBER 19, 2018

SIROLL!: Doble O Res - Album
This record has honestly just been played as "noise in the background". But it's hardly any deeper music. They call it extreme crossover metal, which in this case is the same as a mixture of hardcore, death metal and groove metal. It's said to fit fans of CANNIBAL CORPSE, LAMB OF GOD, DIMENSION ZERO, PANTERA, PARKWAY DRIVE, HATEBREED, SEPULTURA etc., if that might give you an idea.
The band formed 10 years ago, and they are from Catalonia. They have released 2 albums and 1 EP before this record.
(Self released)
OCTOBER 19, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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