Wednesday, November 30, 2016

=fudge=: "Never Stop Firing"

Welovemusic Records

Graciously sent our way by band member Jake Curtis (drums), "Never Stop Firing" is the first EP from Germany's  =fudge=. It was independently-released in May of 2014 on CD (limited to a mere 100 copies) and now, thanks to damn fine folks over at Welovemusic Records, it is available for purchase on digital platforms like iTunes, Amazon, and Spotify. Starting things off with the wicked cool "Liars and Believers", the four-song "Never Stop Firing" is the last few (nail-biting) pages of one adventurous journey that originally began back in 2012 when two industrial metal fans, Chris Techritz (vocals, synthesizers) and Paul Curtis (bass), decided to form a new band with two young guitarists that just so happened to be modern metal maniacs (Maximilian Amberger and Sebastian Michaelis). Having added in rock-steady drummer Jake Curtis, the Mainburg-based =fudge= headed into the studio with a lofty goal in mind. This five-piece band would craft a EP that perfectly reflected the various musical influences of it's band members while simultaneously creating a powerful new genre called "synthesizer metal". Based upon songs like "The Spell", "Snow", "Ascending in Bleakness", and the aforementioned "Liars and Believers" that attempt to stretch the boundaries of industrial metal and modern metal proved extremely successful! To that end, "Never Stop Firing" wasn't just a slick combination of industrial rock and modern metal. While it's true that a big part of it's strength comes from bands like Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, and KMFDM, =fudge= is much more than your typical industrial rock/metal band. There are electronic rock and synth rock elements on display here as well as some (early eighties) punk infused-new wave. And those modern metal parts? They often give way to things like U.S. power metal, melodic metal, technical metal, and (garage-worthy!) raw heavy metal. Mixing up all these things in a bubbling vat of toxic waste, =fudge= becomes a completely different creature than what one might have imagined! In many ways this clever five-piece band reminds me of the cult act, God Is LSD. Maybe not sound-wise, but just the way in which this German band effortlessly mixes harsh vocals & grinding guitars with synthesizers and a punk-like mentality. Ultimately, "Never Stop Firing" is a rather easy release to recommend and hopefully it is one that serves as enough of a springboard for =fudge=  to use as they make the well-deserved jump from underground group to well-established outfit!

Labels: , , , , , ,

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

King of None-Troubles by the Score


King of None is a riff-heavy & beer-fueled band from Finland that just released it's second EP, "Troubles by the Score", back on November 1st. The five-piece group, which is lead by emotionally-rich vocalist Miiro and (sadly) appears to be relatively-unknown outside of their home country, first hit the scene in 2015 with their self-titled EP. That particular recording was apparently "stoner rock 101 for beginners" whereas this gritty four-song EP is seventies rock and hard rock-infused stoner rock with depth and a great deal of integrity. For these self-dubbed "waster rockers", "Troubles by the Score" is the right sound to get them noticed by not just fans, but proper A&R reps. Seeing as their new EP is a name-your-price download, King of None should have little trouble reaching either party....

Labels: , , , , , ,

Monday, November 28, 2016

Free Metal Monday: Hazarder-"Against His-Story, Against Leviathan!"

Active since 2011, Hazarder is a doom/sludge metal trio from Croatia that more than lives up to the implication of it's name. This (HARSH & HARDCORE) 7-track recording from early December of 2013 is Hazarder's only full-length release and it can should be downloaded for free by clicking on this link. With a run-time that is just over the forty minute mark, "Against His-Story, Against Leviathan!" is all kinds of brutal and maybe even a little dangerous with it's no-holds-barred delivery! For that very reason you are going to want to play this one LOUD and PROUD friends!!  

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Free Metal Monday: Headbangers Latinoamerica: Crash Of Two Worlds-Part 1: Europe Bands

Released way back on December 26th of 2013, "Crash Of  Two Worlds-Part 1: Europe Bands" is a free metal compilation that features 130 tracks! Yes, that's one hundred and thirty songs from one hundred and thirty DIFFERENT bands!! These bands range from established acts to underground/unknown groups and while I have obviously not had the time to listen to each and every number on this HUGE compilation I can say that there seems to be something for everyone's tastes. To that end, every track comes with a brief description of the band's style of metal (e.g., heavy metal, progressive metal, melodic death metal, symphonic metal...) as well as a link to their Facebook page. All of which makes this free compilation a real tweet. For more information on this digital release be sure to head here.  

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Children of the Reptile-The Four Weapons EP


Sporting one of the coolest monikers out there(!), Children of the Reptile is a up-and-coming heavy metal band from Wilmington, North Carolina that is every-bit as epic as their name suggests! The group's wide array of influences include (but are not limited to!) Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Rainbow, Manilla Road, Loudness, Megadeth, Brocas Helm, The Lord Weird Slough Feg, Metallica, and even Thin Lizzy!! According to the Metal Archives, Children of the Reptile was originally formed in 2008 by vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Ozzie Darden (ex-Death Machine Weapons, ex-The Disasters) and guitarist/vocalist Chris Millard (Salvación, ex-Wrathlord) for a one-off show. It was only in 2009 that this U.S. epic heavy metal band became the real deal. After putting out their 3-song debut EP in March of 2012, Children of the Reptile went on to release a self-titled album in 2013. Just released on November 19th, "The Four Weapons EP" is the latest studio recording for this four-piece lot. It finds Ozzie Darden and Chris Millard backed by bassist/vocalist David "Pils" Hufham and drummer Jon Kiker (ex-Death Machin Weapons, ex-Wrathlord). While Jon Kiker has since been replaced by Chase Kelly, "The Four Weapons EP" did feature his immense skills and he should be duly credited. And speaking of (MAD) skills, Ozzie Darden and Chris Millard have the twin guitar attack style of Tipton/Downing (Iron Maiden) and Smith/Murray (Judas Priest) down pat! Simply put, the guitar solos on this EP are KILLER! For fans of real heavy metal (Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, solo Ozzy, Dio, etc.) these leads will feel like a homecoming of sorts. Meanwhile the tight rhythm section is right there in line with the strings...and so is lead singer Ozzie. Darden's voice is honest and sincere and it fits right in with the overall mentality of this 4-track recording. Easily verified by listening to just one of the songs on this tremendous EP, Children of the Reptile has a real love for the music that they have created. Whether it's the instrument number "Arrival of the Dark Child" (which slays!) or the EP's three "regular" songs ("4 Weapons", "Sieg Zeon!", and "Goblin's Treasures"), "The Four Weapons EP" is 100% authentic in it's delivery! There is nothing fake about recording or the  extremely-talented band that crafted it. God, is that every refreshing or what? Real heavy metal from a honest to goodness real heavy metal band. Who would have thought it possibly that such a cool thing still existed in 2016? Available for the low price of only $5.00 (which frankly is a steal of a deal for this twenty plus minute EP!), "The Four Weapons EP" is for fans of traditional heavy metal as well as epic metal. It's a A+ recording in a world where we all too often settle for B- releases and it comes with my highest of recommendations! 

Labels: , , , , , ,

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Roxin' Palace-Freaks of Society

Sleazy Rider Records

Originally known as Modern Middle Ages, Roxin' Palace is a (somewhat sleazy) hard & heavy band that hails from Italy and was formed back in 2011 by Crown, guitar player of Revoltons and Hell, ex-drummer for Elvenking. This 13-track album is Roxin' Palace's second full-length recording and it was just released last October.  Available on iTunes for the unbelievably low price of only $4.99(!), "Freaks Of Society" follows the group's 2013 self-titled debut and it finds Crown and Hell backed by two new members, lead vocalist Al and bass guitarist Gian. These two talented musicians replace the departed Axel (vox), Slaver (guitar), and Garret (bass). Having heard some of the group's previous album (which you can read about thanks to the good folks over at Sleaze Roxx) this new line-up seems to be a improvement over the old one. Or to put it another way, "Freaks Of Society" provides a clear cut case of addition by way of subtraction! With the short and sweet title track serving as little more than a brief introduction on Roxin' Palace's brand new album, "Monsters Love" (this album's second track) is the heavy crunchy that actually gets the party started!! Running close to five minutes in length, "Monsters Love" is a (guitar rock-worthy) song that combines the appeal of classic bands like Guns N' Roses, Skid Row, and (early) Mötley Crüe with the vibrant colors of modern day hard rock. The same slick set of circumstances applies to the album's third number, "Gangs Eraser", as this wicked fun cut takes from the past and the present in order to roll out a rock-steady song that is just DYNAMITE! Thanks to influences that run the gamut from The Beatles to Megadeth(!), Italy's Roxin' Palace is able to offer a lot more bang for your hard earned buck. When you stack this up-and-coming quartet next to your average, everyday sleaze rock/hair metal/glam metal revival band you'll quickly notice just how much these other influences help out when it comes to an album's overall listening experience. Sure enough, because of the way in which "Freaks Of Society" was written, performed, and produced it does have the same lively feel of vintage band's like Guns N' Roses, Skid Row, Dangerous Toys, Ratt, Kik Tracee, Faster Pussycat, and Shotgun Messiah. There's nothing wrong with that picture. Not at all. Actually, that's a big part of why this album is as fun as it is! For those who loved the mid-eighties to early-nineties hard rock and/or hair metal/glam metal scene this disc should be a real hit!! It's just that the guys in Roxin' Palace stretch their creative wings nice and wide by adding in some harder moments ("Rockers of the Eagles" and "F.A.N.") that wouldn't be too far removed from the likes of Alice Cooper, Mind Funk, "Black" to"Load"-era Metallica, Leatherwolf, and "Slave to the Grind"-era Skid Row. With bad ass ready-steady rockers ("Thai of Mine", "Postatomic Hotel", "Monkey Junkie", and "Little Lizzy") and the obligatory ballad ("L.A. Mist"), "Freaks Of Society" is damn fine any way you slice you! But what happens when you toss in some punk rock Poison ("F.A.N."), dive bar hard rock ("Neighborhood Stars") and sleazy & easy garage metal ("Fading Idol")? Well, that's where the aforementioned "party" comment comes into play. Carrying around a copy of "Freaks Of  Society" is akin to having an instant party at your fingertips! Just add some cold beer and hot women to the mix and you are all set!

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, November 21, 2016

Free Metal Monday: Nevesis-Nevesis

Horror Terror Records

Based in Paide, Estonian, Nevesis is a hard & heavy power trio that was formed back in 2008 and is said to be influenced by everyone from Led Zeppelin to the Foo Fighters. Currently comprised of Erki Reim (guitars, vocals), Bert Järvet (bass) and Ken Koemets (drums), Nevesis is self-describe as "psychedelic heavy speed rock", but I'm guessing that might be the group's newer style as their 2012 self-titled album (which you can download for free by clicking on this link) is more classic hard rock than heavy speed rock. It's also a stone cold groove that is way too good to be giving away for free! With nine rich songs and some fantastic performances from the three members of this largely unheard of  ROCK band, "Nevesis" is a terrific debut album that I wish I would have heard back in 2012! Reportedly the group has a new album in the works and you can hear one of the numbers ("Rock 53") by heading here. Incidentally it is also free for the taking...

Labels: , , , ,

Free Metal Monday: Meteor Vortex-Cosmic Labyrinth


Just released on November 18, the name-your-price "Cosmic Labyrinth" is a (guitar-heavy) tripped-out space ride from here to eternity and back from the psychedelic stoner rock/metal band known as Meteor Vortex. Yes, that is a mouthful of an opening sentence/band-description, but give a listen to this Kouvola, Finland-based power trio first before you tell me that said description doesn't fit this JAM BAND to a tee! Available by clicking on the link above, "Cosmic Labyrinth" is a three-track extended-EP that should help some of you groove your way through another moody Monday morning! For now it is a digital-only recording, but apparently there are plans underway for some kind of a psychical release. 

Labels: , , , , , ,

Free Metal Monday: The Lizzies-Play to get laid

See note below...

She Does Records

The Lizzies (who should not be confused with the four-piece band from Madrid that gave us the killer "Good Luck"!) are a raw as f**k punk rock/riot grrrl band from New York. While not heavy metal per say, this 17-track album (which was released way back on June 1st of 1999!) is flat-out LOUD and ANGRY and it puts a lot of hard & heavy acts to shame! Available as a name-your-price download by clicking here, "Play to get laid" pretty much sums up the frustration and bitterness that many of us have had with the U.S. over the past twenty plus years. With songs like "All The Scum", "Pay to get laid". "Die Motherf**ker", "Love and Anarchy", and "Police State"(!) this great collection of old school punk is not for the faint of heart or those who are easily offended. In other words, "Play to get laid" is a hell of a good time and most-definitely recommended!

*Just like the band and it's actual songs, "Pay to get laid" features artwork that might not be suited for all of our readers. Parental guidance is suggested...

Labels: , , , , , ,

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Axe Crazy-Ride The Night

No Remorse Records

Named after the classic 1982 single from N.W.O.B.H.M. band Jaguar, Axe Crazy is a up-and-coming traditional heavy metal band that hails from Lędziny, Poland and is currently fronted by lead singer Michael Skotnicki. Bass player Daniel Czupryn (ex-Snake's Head) and original founding members Adrian Bigos (guitar, vocals), Robson Bigos (guitar, vocals), and Andrzej Heczko (drums) round things out this five-piece band which lists the likes of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Helloween, Running Wild, and Dio as it's primary sources of inspiration. Founded on January 1st, 2010, Axe Crazy made it's studio debut in 2014 with the release of the 4-track EP, "Angry Machines", and then went on to appear on two different compilations, "Trveheim Vol. 1." and "True Metal Lives III - The Hard Road To Hell". The ten-song "Ride The Night" is Axe Crazy's first full-length recording and it is reportedly due out on December 16th. Starting with the all-too- brief "March of the Survivors", Axe Crazy's full-length debut might just draw from some familiar sources, but thanks to the band's youthful enthusiasm and keen ability to craft extremely catchy material it ends up being a moot point! Chock full of classic heavy metal riffs, over-the-top leads, and flat-out blessed by a vocalist that could have been time-snatched out of the eighties' metal scene(!), Axe Crazy is a hell of a band that has proved more than worthy of it's cool moniker!  The full-length album, "Ride The Night", is everything you could hope for out of a debut: great material, epic performances, and a subtle production job that perfectly captures the time period that it is trying to emulate! Honestly, it is because of bands like Axe Crazy that I keep this blog up and running. This kind of sincere and honest heavy metal is too good to keep to myself!! Axe Crazy is a adventure in heavy metal history and we are it's welcomed students!    

Labels: , , , ,

Friday, November 18, 2016

French Metal Friday: Nightmare-Dead Sun

AFM Records

Nightmare is a highly-regarded French heavy metal band that was initially active from 1979-1988. Originally a N.W.O.B.H.M.-inspired traditional heavy metal act (and a damn good one at that!), Nightmare released two albums during their first run (1984's "Waiting for Twilight" in 1984 and 1985's "Power of the Universe"). Both classics in their own right, "Waiting for Twilight" and "Power of the Universe" turned Nightmare into a household name. After a break in the action, Nightmare returned to the scene in 1999 as a power metal outfit. Since then the group has released a EP, a compilation album, and countless full-length recordings. The simply incredible "Dead Sun" is Nightmare's brand new album and it serves as the two year follow-up to "The Aftermath".  The album introduces two new players in lead vocalist Maggy Luyten (Beyond the Bridge, Frameshift, ex-Spirittales, ex-Virus IV, ex-Beautiful Sin, ex-Ayreon, ex-Over Us Eden, Master of Waha) and drummer Olivier Casula (Sangdragon (live), ex-Thalidomide, ex-Necrosphera, ex-The Seven Gates). Meanwhile Nightmare's two guitarists are Franck Milleliri (ex-Dark Light) and Matthieu Asselberghs (Architekt, Sangdragon, ex-Fire Wizzard). Only bass guitarist Yves Campion (ex-Urgent)  remains from the original line-up, but given the overwhelming sense of chemistry on display here you would never guess that in a million years! Starting off with the nice and crunchy "Infected", Nightmare's "Dead Sun" is hard & heavy power metal that is absolutely stone-cold savage in it's delivery!! Like 2014's "The Aftermath" the guitar solos on "Dead Sun" are stunningly-technical and ferociously-fast. Bassist Yves Campion picked two stellar axe men in Franck Milleliri and Matthieu Asselberghs. Of course Nightmare's bass guitarist is no slouch himself. His playing adds a bold exclamation point to Nightmare's string section and it makes that part of the band all the more better. It was back in 2012 that I first when I discussed this veteran outfit and it sure does seem as if Yves Campion gets slicker and sicker with each new recording! Speaking of things that are slick and sick, Nightmare's new front-lady Maggy Luyten is AWESOME on the mic!! This powerhouse vocalist takes over for the departed Jo Amore and adds a new and improved presence to what was already a intimidating outfit. She also injects some much needed youthful energy into this long-running metal band. While new drummer Olivier Casula does help things along in that regard, Maggy Luyten is ultimately the one that turns back the clock for this older French metal band. Reportedly born in 1978, Nightmare's new addition on the mic might have only been a year old when this French power metal band first came together, but man alive, does she ever sound as if she has been there forever! I know I mentioned it already, but the chemistry on this album is insane!! Collectively these five musicians sound as if they have been playing together for years. When you combine that with great power metal songs and a top-notch production there is nothing to do but play this one as LOUD and PROUD as you can!! With 11 cutting edge numbers in all, "Dead Sun" is one of the best power metal albums of 2016!!! 

Labels: , , , , ,

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Vomitron-NESessary Evil

Metavania Music 2016

Active since 2002,  Vomitron is a experimental solo project from Lowell Massachusetts guitarist Peter Rutcho (Armory, Crotalus, Graveheart, Birch Hill Dam (live), ex-Frozen, ex-Lecherous, ex-Blistered Earth, B'Chunk, Bloodwitch, ex-Discreate, ex-Pornogore). The cleverly-named "NESessary Evil" is Vomitron's latest instrumental release and just like the previously-covered "No NES for the Wicked" it offers insanely-cool heavy metal versions of original NES video game music! As someone who got an NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) for Christmas as a teenager, "NESessary Evil" brought back plenty of fun memories that I had all but forgotten about. While my family was a tad late to the NES party, I still played many of these games with my younger siblings and friends. It's true that we had to either rent a lot of these games from our local video store or borrow them from more well-off friends, but we had lots of fun all the same! Incidentally, this was right around the time that I was really getting into the likes of Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax. Sometimes I'd have these bands playing over the background music while I played the NES games and sometimes I'd shut off volume on my TV and just let the speed metal and thrash metal take over. All of which means that in a lot of ways video games and heavy metal music go hand in hand for me. With that said, I still would have never guessed that one day we would be witnessing the slick combination of these two fun activities! Well, technically-speaking this is more along the lines of progressive power metal, but still, "NESessary Evil" is absolutely awesome for what it is! Since I can't seem to pick a favorite moment I'll just post the official track list so that everyone can see what we are talking about.

 1.Wizards & Warriors 
 2. Metroid (1 of 2)     
 3. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1 of 2)    
 4. Castlevania II: Simon's Quest     
 5. Bionic Commando (1 of 2)     
 6.  Metroid (2 of 2)     
 7.  Marble Madness     
 8.  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2 of 2)     
 9.   Bionic Commando (2 of 2)     
 10.  Mega Man

 Obviously there are a lot of classic NES numbers there. With skill and expert precision, Peter Rutcho moves from one timeless song to the next. With "NESessary Evil" Peter pays homage to a piece of entertainment history while further showcasing his technical ability as a lead guitarist. Arranged, performed, mixed and mastered by Peter himself, Vomitron's latest recording is like the past and the future collided. It brings back wonderful memories from a time that is sacred to so many of us even as it presents a version of heavy metal that is almost futuristic in it's stylized (and technical as hell!) approach. For our younger readers a release like this one might not mean much, but for those of us who are...older and greyer, "NESessary Evil" is the gift that keeps on giving! Available on CD and as a digital download, "NESessary Evil" comes highly-recommend! For more information on this (simply-killer!) project and to order this cool as f**k release be sure to click here

Labels: ,

Wednesday, November 16, 2016


Logic(il)logic Records / Andromeda Dischi

 "Heroes" is a brand new EP from Italy hard rock/heavy metal band Badmotorfinger. It follows the 2013 album "It's Not the End" (which you can read about here) and finds Luigi "Sange" Sangermano (Sange:Main:Machine, Old Flame, ex-Tarchon Fist) taking over lead vocals for the departed  Il Reverendo (Stefano Altobelli). Named after the classic Soundgarden album, Badmotorfinger also includes guitarists Federico "HeavyRico" Mengoli (ex-ex-Tarchon Fist) and Alessandro "Alex" Mengoli as well as bassist Massimiliano "Tommy" Tommesani and drummer Fabio "Barra" Bussolari. On the group's new EP there are three new tracks ("Hidden Heroes", "Needle In My Vein", and "Badmotorfinger") as well as three tracks that originally appeared on the group's debut album, "It’s Not The End" ("No Second Chance", "Afterlife", and "Rebel"). The three old tracks have been "carefully reworked, re-recorded and rearranged". As far as the old tracks go, "No Second Chance" is a new and improved version that is razor sharp(!) while "Afterlife" and "Rebel" are acoustic takes on what were original electrified numbers. "Afterlife", which features a duet between Sange and Viviana "LaViv" Cappelli, is arguably the better of the two acoustic tracks, but "Rebel" (with it's country rock vibe!) is a solid enough number that closes this EP up on a quite pleasant note. Those are the "old" tracks though so what do we make of the "new" ones? Starting off with the HEAVY-hitter "Hidden Heroes", Badmotorfinger's latest material shows off the group's natural growth as metal band ("Needle In My Vein") while still retaining that familiar (and much loved!) hard rock and roll sound ("Badmotorfinger")! Both tracks are over the four minute mark, but whereas "Needle In My Vein" is raw heavy metal with some (old-school) thrash touches, "Badmotorfinger" is pure hard rock love and joy! Much like their early material, "Badmotorfinger" pays homage to the one and only Motörhead! As a longtime fan of Lemmy and company I can't help but LOVE that fact, but then again there is plenty of love to go around when it comes to this Italian band's latest recording!! With the exception of the two acoustic songs, each number on "Heroes" offers a slightly different take on true heavy metal. You've got classic metal ("Hidden Heroes"), heavy metal thrash ("Needle In My Vein"), hard & heavy ("Badmotorfinger"), and even some punk-infused metal ("No Second Chance"). Each and every number here works (including the two unplugged tracks!) and that ultimately leads to a new recording that should make people stand up and notice this five-piece band. For an act that originally started out in 2006 as a cover band, Badmotorfinger has come a long way from it's humble beginnings. One would think that this band would be bigger than it is right now, but things happen for a reason I guess. Hopefully the EP "Heroes" sets some good things in motion for Badmotorfinger as they really do deserve a bigger and better fan-base as well as way more press than they are getting now!

Labels: , , , , ,

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Satan's Fall-Metal of Satan

Underground Power Records/Stormspell Records

Have you ever stopped to wonder what you would get if you force-fed Metallica's "No Life 'til Leather" to a raw speed metal version of Mercyful Fate that had grown up on a steady diet of Slayer's "Show No Mercy"? If you answered "Yes!" then stop whatever it is that you are doing and go pick up a copy of the EP  "Metal of Satan" by Finnish band Satan's Fall. You won't be sorry! 

Labels: , , , ,

Megan Rüger-Rockstar

Broad Horizon Records

Serving as her first recording of all original compositions, "Rockstar" is a brand new studio release from  Nashville, Tennessee' singer/songwriter (and one-time American Idol and The Voice contestant!) Megan Rüger. This well-produced EP features seven diverse songs which range from country to guitar rock and it shows off the amazing range of this former TV star. These songs include the title track and the two singles, "Red" and "Hey! Hey! It's Okay". Recorded and mixed by guitarist/keyboardist/programmer Jamey Perrenot (Taylor Swift / Leann Rimes), "Rockstar" starts things off with some good old fashioned pop rock in "Sorry, I'm Not Sorry" and then moves from country (the solid title track) to the Halestorm-like rock of "(Why Does Your Bad) Feel So Good"! From there you'll experience some splendid modern alternative rock in the form of "Again" (think Paramore) and then Megan return's to her roots with the country rock "White Flag". The previously-mentioned singles ("Red" and "Hey! Hey! It's Okay") close out "Rockstar" in grand fashion while further showcasing just how talented this spunky singer is! On the first single, "Red", Megan Rüger ends up channeling the heart and soul of Joan Jett as well as the wild spirit of the artist Pink!! With it's great rock and roll guitars and sweet alternative rock vibe it's a fun song that should get plenty of airplay if it's marketed correctly. Even if it isn't quite as strong as "Red", the same thing can be said of  the EP's last song, "Hey! Hey! It's Okay". Picking up where "Red" left off, "Hey! Hey! It's Okay" also sounds as if it had Pink in mind...or at least quirky personality.  More pop than rock, "Hey! Hey! It's Okay" offers yet another (positive) angle by which to judge this highly-versatile singer and it ends things in such a upbeat manor that you can't help but want to hear more! Now out on Broad Horizon Records, "Rockstar" is the sound of one legitimate artist that is actively seeking proper recognition in a field full of imitators and flat-out fakes. With any luck Megan Rüger will find true success....

Labels: , , , , , ,

Monday, November 14, 2016

Free Metal Monday: Knightmare-Wolves of Retribution

The Arcade Records

Active since 2010 (and not to be confused with all of the other similarly-named bands out there!),  Knightmare is a up-and-coming U.S. heavy/power metal band with two full-length albums to it's name. The forty seven minutes long "Wolves of Retribution" is this group's latest recording and it came out in late January of this year. For this Raleigh, North Carolina-based four-piece band it is all about (gritty and true) classic heavy metal with catchy choruses, blazing-hot leads, and epic overtones! Amazingly enough available for free by clicking here, "Wolves of Retribution" showcases a hungry heavy metal outfit that seems destined for much more than just local success. This is one talented American metal band that I would keep a close eye out for!

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Free Metal Monday: Tommy '86-Transhumanism

Blood Music

Here's something different to liven up this moody Monday morning. Written and produced by French electronic musician Tommy '86 (an extremely-gifted artist that is influenced by the electronic sounds and production techniques of the eighties!), "Transhumanism" is a slick dark synth recording with sick beats and some heavy metal elements that can be downloaded by heading here. Obviously this name-your-own-price album won't appeal to all of our readers, but thanks to it's clever-construction, crafty use of synths and those previously-mentioned killer beats(!) there is something distinctly metallic about this enjoyable release.

Labels: , , , ,

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Heavy Temple-Chassit

Van Records/Tridroid Records

It's Sunday, November 13th so it's time to get yourself to the temple....the Heavy Temple that is! Formed at the tail end of 2012 (with Philadelphia, Pennsylvania serving as their home base of operations), three-piece band Heavy Temple is a fuzzed-out stoner doom metal band that is lead by bassist/vocalist High Priestess Nighthawk. The 27 minute plus "Chassit" is Heavy Temple's 2nd release since 2014 and it finds the all-powerful High Priestess Nighthawk joined by guitarist Archbishop Barghest and drummer Siren Tempestas. Opening by way of the bass-heavy "Key and Bone", "Chassit" is a MASSIVE recording that is seems to be masquerading as EP. Both "Ursa Machina" and "Pink Glass" clock in at over the eight minute mark while this intense recording's last track, "In the Court of the Bastard King", is almost six minutes! With the aforementioned "Key and Bone" being four minutes and thrifty six seconds long, Heavy Temple's latest release offers a hell of a lot of auditory enlightenment to be called an "EP". And really it's not just the length of these tracks that we're talking about. Each one of these four cuts has something different going for it. Like a fine wine (or even your favorite variety of weed!) there are lots of subtle notes to be discovered and then ultimately enjoyed. These new flavors might be hidden behind a wall of feedback and fuzz, but they are there all the same!  Due out in late January of next year, "Chassit" is a sick combination of stoner rock, doom metal, and fuzzed out sludge. It has lots of interesting moments that are deliriously heavy and it is topped off by the strong and empowering voice of the High Priestess herself!! Skip the offerings and just bring your soul to Heavy Temple as this is the only salvation you need!!!

High Priestess Nighthawk gets caught up in the moment!

Labels: , , , , ,

Saturday, November 12, 2016

ZiX-Tides Of The Final War

Pure Steel Records

Formed in 2010 by bassist/composer Ziad Bardawil, ZiX is a female-fronted traditional heavy metal band from in Beirut, Lebanon. Yes, I am every bit as shocked as all of you are that such a thing actually exists! It is possible that I am not as up to date on things as I would like to be, but I was under the impression that certain parts of the Middle East were not exactly "hip" to this kind of thing. I mean classic heavy metal is rebellious enough, but to then go and add a strong female front-woman to the whole mix? That takes a tremendous amount of courage to pull off in some small-minded places across the globe! To that end I give major props to ZiX and I really do hope that this is just the first of many like-minded bands to kick down the doors of oppression! Especially if they are as epic as this lot is!! With lead vocals courtesy of the AMAZING Maya Khairallah (wow, is she ever great!), ZiX shoots a straight arrow into the hearts of heavy metal maniacs with their N.W.O.B.H.M.-influenced/eighties metal-inspired traditional heavy metal debut here. The album has ten tracks in all it clocks in at over forty two minutes. During that time frame you can expect to be treated to well-fashioned numbers that are as technically sound as they are powerful. In addition to skilled guitarist Juan Carrizo and guest drummer Rino (ex-Manowar), "Tides of the Final War" features appearances by the likes of  Tony Martin (Black Sabbath), Blaze Bayley (Iron Maiden), Paul Di'Anno (Iron Maiden), and Ross The Boss (ex-Manowar, Death Dealer). Just released at the tail end of October, "Tides of the Final War" picks right up where the group's 2012 EP, "The Warwhore", left off. Several tracks from the EP have made it onto this expertly-produced album, but they feature new arrangements for a improved sound. Speaking of all things sound-related, "Tides of the Final War" was recorded in the Vegas View studios, Nevada, by 7x Grammy-winning producer Steve Thompson! For those of you who do not know the name, Steve Thompson was partly responsible for the Guns 'N Roses' classic "Appetite For Destruction" and he has worked with everyone from Anthrax to Ziggy Marley!! Of course he was also responsible for mixing Metallica's 1988 album "...And Justice for All", but we won't hold that against him! Mastered by Maor Appelbaum (Sepultura, Yngwie), "The Tides of the Final War" was remixed and remastered at QuSoundStudio in Germany by Michael Kusch. From a production standpoint, ZiX's full-length album sounds great. Granted, I already said that much, but it is worth repeating. The production really helps ZiX stick out, musically-speaking. But as the mix? That's a different story. Unfortunately there are more than a few occasions where the vocals get lost. Sure, "Tides Of The Final War" has a powerful metallic presence, but great music works a lot better when you have great vocals to compliment. When Maya Khairallah's supreme voice falls off the radar everything suffers. A bit of tweaking might be in order for next time around. And yes, I do want there to be a next time for this extremely talented band! There is just so much to love about ZiX and their first album!! This is classic heavy metal at it's all time best and there is little doubt that this one band that will only evolve and mature as they grow. After listening to this album I can see why people like Steve Thompson took special notice of this up-and-coming band.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Friday, November 11, 2016

Hosoi Bros-Abuse Your Allusion III

Typhoon Killer Records

 Self-described as "Party Thrash" (see below), Hosoi Bros is a up-and-coming metal band from Memphis, Tennessee that just released it's full-length debut album, "Abuse Your Illusion III", back on September 23rd. This buzz-worthy group is comprised of  Apple (guitars, vox), Severin (guitars, vox), Drewbie (bass), and Jimmy James Blasingame (drums) and they have been thrashing up the scene since early 2010. Having shared the stage with everyone from Red Fang to Skeletonwitch, Hosoi Bros has slowly, but surely built up a loyal following and it is all thanks to this band's fun and catchy take on crossover metal! The 11-track "Abuse Your Allusion III" is this group's first full-length recording and it follows a pair of 2012 singles, "Wine Witch" and "Snorlokk". Geared towards both punks and metalheads, "Abuse Your Allusion III" has a slightly raw production job that recalls early releases from the likes of C.O.C., D.R.I., Murphy's Law, Gang Green, and S.O.D. Ultimately this gives the album a (wonderful) vintage vibe that all but transports you back to the good old days of tape trading and fanzines! And man oh man do I ever miss those days!! This one certainly takes me back, but given it's fair share of modern elements it never feels dated. It has a run-time of just over 36 minutes and it is available on CD, vinyl, cassette and as a digital download. With song titles like "Saint Tightus", "Thunder Train", "Topless Gnome",  "Drunk Donkey", "Unholy Hand Grenade", and "Bitches Are Nigh", the cheekily-titled "Abuse Your Allusion III" obviously does not take itself all that seriously, but it is a slamming classic all the same! This one gets a solid 9 out of 10....

"Party Thrash" = crossover metal that is as punk as it is metal. This is raw thrash meeting up with punk-tinged metal for an evening of beers and bowling while bands as diverse as the Sex Pistols and Slayer set the mood. Influenced as much by the Circle Jerks and Crumbsuckers as they are Nuclear Assault and "Kill 'Em All"-era Metallica, Hosoi Bros turns "Abuse Your Allusion III" into one of those great releases where anything is possible! While listening to just one song on this 11-track album I heard shades of Black Sabbath, Sepultura and Dr. Know!! You just cannot beat that folks.....

Labels: , , , , ,

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Motorfingers-Goldfish Motel

Logic(il)logic Records

Motorfingers is a up-and-coming modern hard rock band from Italy that was formed in 2008 by guitarists Max Barbolini and Andrea "Spy" Spezzani. The odd-looking "Goldfish Motel" is this five-piece band's latest full-length release and it features lead vocals from Daniele "Abba" Abate (of Nightglow fame). Bass player Faust (ex-Golden Sextion) and drummer Alex Gualdi round things out for the classic rock-infused Motorfingers and this well-crafted album was recorded, mixed, and mastered at MotorHome studio. Opening up nicely by way of the self-explanatory "Walk On Your Face", the emotionally-charged "Goldfish Motel" is a surprisingly edgy release that is nothing at all like it's bright and cheerful cover suggests! Let's all thank the gods of (hellfire!) rock and roll for that saving grace!! Can I get an amen? Amen! Clocking in at 42 minutes, "Goldfish Motel" is a guitar-heavy offering with some rad rockers ("Behind This Fire", "Obscene", "Burning Down", and "Eat your Gun") and the obligatorily ballad ("Nothing But A Man"). With guest performances by Lucio Stefani (violins on reflective "Nothing But A Man" ) and Andrea "Dizzy" Ruggeri (keyboards on the appropriately-titled "Obscene"), "Goldfish Motel" is also the sound of a on-the-rise Italian band that is bound for bigger and better things!! Now, as far as (starting) reference points go, Motorfingers falls somewhere between a heavier Staind and a more streamlined Guns N' Roses. Or is it a harder-hitting Mötley Crüe and a rock and roll-geared Shinedown? One can never quite sure when it comes to (extremely!) riff-happy modern hard rock like this, but no matter which way you slick and dice it this 11-track album works! You can find out more about Motorfingers by checking out their Facebook page and you can find "Goldfish Motel" on iTunes.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Aittala-American Nightmare


Recorded at Incognito Studios in Raleigh, North Carolina, "American Nightmare" is the the latest release  from U.S. metal band Aittala. It serves as the long-awaited follow-up to 2014's "Effigy" and features ten new songs including the thrashed-up title track. Due out on December 6th in digital form and on CD, "American Nightmare" is the 4th full-length recording from the darkly-tinted Aittala and it finds band founder (and sole original member) Eric Aittala (guitar/lead vox) covering a lot of ground (genre-wise) as he is joined by drummer Gary "Zeus'" Smith and bass player Andrew Sullivan. The aforementioned "American Nightmare" starts things off on the right foot and from there you have progressive doom ("Unsung"), alternative dark metal ("Essence"), and a groove-laden heavy & hard rock number called "Brainwashed". The sorrowful  rock ballad "Forgot" shows up next and even though it slows things down a little it is sincere number that seems well-placed as the album's fifth song. Sounding deeply personally in natural, "Forgot" is a melancholy track that sounds as though it could have come straight from the early nineties (pre-grunge) hard rock scene. It is also one of the lighter tracks on "American Nightmare". Moving past "Forgot" we pick up some steam with the effective song "No Questions" (90's alternative hard rock meets a doom-influenced Helmet?) and then we have "Leave". A rock radio-worthy song that is a nice mash-up of modern hard rock and heavy rock(!), "Leave" is one of many stand-out tracks on this album and it eventually gives way to the classic rock-infused number, "Incognito". Along with "Forgot", "Incognito" is a good song that, at first spin, sounds somewhat out of place on a hard & heavy recording like this. Repeated listens disprove that initial observation, but it's still a good idea to know what you are heading into! Doom metal comes back into play on the hard rock cut "Pandora's Box" and then "Rise" finishing things off  just right thanks to it's (slick) combination of hard rock, classic heavy metal, and progressive dark metal. With lyrics and music by lead vocalist/guitarist Eric Aittala, "American Nightmare" is a great collection of songs that have that familiar Aittala sound and message, but with a renewed sense of urgency and, above all else, creativity! The album stacks up nicely alongside the group's previous album, "Effigy", and it shows just how far Eric has come as a musician and songwriter since first putting this band together way back in 1992. Well worth the two year wait, "American Nightmare" is A+  effort from this sadly-underrated metal band and it can be found online by clicking here


Labels: ,

Monday, November 07, 2016

Free Metal Monday: Relapse Sampler 2016

Relapse Records

From the looks of things it has been a longtime since I lasted posted some free metal. To make up for such a grave sin here is a hefty sampler from the good folks over at Relapse Records. Packed with 41 cuts in all(!), "Relapse Sampler 2016" was just released last month and can be downloaded for free by heading here.

Per the site: "Relapse is excited to present one of our largest and most diverse yearly samplers to date, featuring music from all corners of the metalsphere and beyond. We’ve gathered 41 tracks taken from new and upcoming releases, including music from rising stars like GATECREEPER, NOTHING, INTER ARMA, and GRUESOME, tracks from sonic boundary-pushers MYRKUR, SURVIVE, BRAIN TENTACLES, and BORIS, and songs from brand-new signees THE OBSESSED, KING WOMAN, CLOAKROOM and INTEGRITY. The sampler also includes new music from Relapse heavyweights RED FANG, OBSCURA, OBITUARY, THE ALBUM LEAF, and many more alongside selections from our recent reissues of classic albums by DEATH, PENTAGRAM, and more. Death metal, hard rock, grindcore, electronic, experimental, prog - there’s something here for everyone. As always, the sampler is entirely FREE to stream and download."

Labels: , , ,

Rivette-In Vertigo


Rivette is a three-piece band from Finland that has been active since 2014. This up-and-coming group is lead by skilled guitarist/vocalist Esa Pirttimäki (Forced Kill, Warchief, Glasgowsmile, ex-Ravenous) and they have one cassette demo and this forthcoming mini-LP to their name. Originally formed with the intention of being a Iron Maiden meets "Kill 'Em All"-era Metallica type of outfit (!), Finland's Rivette now rolls out a catchy brand of heavy and hard rock that is damn near-impossible to resist! Bassist/keyboardist F.F. Nieminen and drummer Kode Vertanen* (Forced Kill, ex-Armageddal Age) round things out for the success-bound Rivette and you can (or make that you should!) pre-order this (rewarding) five-song EP by heading over here. Limited to a mere 500 copies (350 black and 150 transparent blue!), "In Vertigo" is available as a name-your-price digital download, but given it's deeply enriching notes I can't help but feel as if vinyl would be the right way to go (especially seeing as "In Vertigo" has collector's item written all over it!). Due for release on December 16th, "In Vertigo" starts off with my favorite track of the lot, "Outrun the Night". This fantastic rocker proposes a world where Dire Straits was responsible for the development of such N.W.O.B.H.M. bands as Jameson Raid, Def Leppard, Riot, Urchin, Vardis, and White Spirit! While the EP's second cut, "Arms of Lightning", follows that radical concept all the way through to it's "logical" conclusion (see below) there is more classic rock on display in "The Sting"**. From there you have the exceptional "Limelights of Fire" (a four minute plus treasure that recalls the early days of British metal!) and then this mini-LP wraps up nicely with the title track. Serving time as the EPs longest number, "In Vertigo" takes Rivette's appreciation for Dire Straits into account even as it mixes 70's hard rock with N.W.O.B.H.M.'s early roots. As strange as all of that might sound on paper (and trust me here folks I do understand how odd it reads!), "In Vertigo" ultimately ends up working as a title track because it isn't afraid to push the boundaries of heavy & hard metal. Of course you could say the exact same thing about this mini-LP as a whole! Sometimes metallic and oftentimes melodic, Rivette's debut MLP crosses as many bridges as it can before it's all said and done. With influences that range from Dire Straits to Diamond Head, "In Vertigo" is a innovative and refreshing EP that never tries to hide where it came from or where it is going. Much like the band itself, "In Vertigo" is an inspiring story that refuses to follow any guidelines other than it's own heart.  And finally it is a five-song EP from a relatively-new group that I hope will be around for a long time to come....

*Kode Vertanen has also helped out the band Ranger in live settings. While he provides some rock-steady drum beats in Rivette that are absolutely perfect for the occasion(!), Kobe played guitar for the band Ranger. 

 **Taking a page or two from one of my all-time favorite LPs ("Brothers in Arms"), "The Sting" shows more love for Mark Knopfler and company while simultaneously building the case for Rivette's future stardom.

A brief word about the wonderful "Arms of Lightning":

More hard rock than heavy metal, "Arms of Lightning" is a heavy rocking gem that could have easily been released in the late seventies as a single and no one would have been the wiser! Clocking in at only three minutes and six seconds, "Arms of Lightning" captures the spirit of the early N.W.O.B.H.M. scene and makes this EP all the more recommended!!

Labels: , , , , ,

Friday, November 04, 2016

Deja Vu-Ejected

Infernö Records

Deja Vu is a German quartet that was originally formed in 1986 by vocalist/guitarist Werner Kerscher and guitarist/vocalist Timo Zach. Falling somewhere between classic heavy metal, modern power metal, and traditional speed metal, Deja Vu is rounded out by bassist/vocalist WolpoWohlhaupter and drummer Stephan Moro (ex-Deep Inside Myself) and they were initially active up until 1991. During the group's first  run a limited-edition two-track single was released (1990's "Back To The City"), but it was only after Deja Vu got back together in 2000 that full-length recordings started to appear. Released back on April 15th, "Ejected" is Deja Vu's third full-length album overall and it comes eight years after the release of "Decibel Disease". With a run-time of over 53 minutes, "Ejected" seems to be Deja Vu effort to make up for the long wait between albums. Otherwise how else can one explain the fact that "Ejected" is simply too-long?  On one hand the album has a remarkable flow and it is simply exceptional in it's quality! There are songs here that all but scorch the skyline(!) and you have more than your fair share of over-the-top guitar solos!! You have an album here that is fast and melodic. And best of all you have some divine heavy metal material with rock and roll structures. We all know how captivating that can be! Pound for pound this one only gets better as it flies on by....up to a point. As much as I love what this Bavaria-based band can do there is a cut off limit that should have been observed. Had Deja Vu trimmed some of the excess "fat" from their third album it would have been as close to a perfect recording as any band could hope for!  Does that make this bad release then? Hell no! Just because the album is a tad bit too long for it's own good that is no reason to hit the eject button on "Ejected". If anything it just means that Deja Vu should be more selective with their material going forward. Just like many enjoyable things in life (food, alcohol, sex, etc.) you can quickly reach a saturation point where there is just way too much of that good thing. Given all of that, Deja Vu is still a really talented lot with a sound and style that can't be beat. For that reason alone I look forward to hearing more from this German band.

Labels: , , , , ,

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Solitude-Reach For The Sky

Test Your Metal Records

Solitude is a twenty year old heavy metal band that is lead by Sacrifice's Akira Sugiuchi. Not to be confused with the half dozen or so other band's with the exact same moniker, this version of Solitude could easily be seen as Japan's answer to Motörhead....if not for the slight N.W.O.B.H.M influences! Originally released in the summer of 2015 by Spiritual Beast (lead singer Akira Sugiuchi's Japanese label!), "Reach for the Sky" is Solitude's second full-length album and the group's third overall recording since first forming in 1996. This heavy-rockin' album serves as the seven year follow-up "Brave the Storm" and it features a great production job courtesy of Akira Sugiuchi and Fuyuhiko Inui.  The eight-song album was mixed by Magnus “Mankan” Sedenberg (Bullet and Crucified Barbara) and it is now seeing a proper release here in the states thanks to good folks over at Test Your Metal Records. Guitarist Shingo Ida, bassist Tohru Nishida (Sacrifice), and drummer Takamasa "Mad" Ohuch (5X, D.T.F.M., Superblood, ex-Anthem, ex-Black Hole) round things out on "Reach for the Sky" and there are some mammoth moments on this disc where bands like Raven, Tank, and even Venom come to mind! Toss in some obvious love for Saxon and a touch or two of Judas Priest and you have a surefire winner on your hands! "Reach for the Sky" is due out on November 25th so be sure to mark your calendar.

Labels: , , , , ,

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Booze Control-The Lizard Rider

Infernö Records

Booze Control is a four-piece German heavy metal band that features three former members of the group Shepherd's Guns. Formed in September of 2009 and citing Iron Maiden, Angel Witch, Warlord and (early) Helloween as their initial sources of influence, Booze Control is now on their third full-length album with the interestingly-named "The Lizard Rider". Vocalist/guitarist David Kuri fronts this N.W.O.T.H.M. band that made it's first appearance in October of 2009 with the 16 minute EP, "Wanted". With another key influence being classic Judas Priest, Booze Control was last heard from in December of 2013 with the full-length album "Heavy Metal". Meanwhile the other three members of Booze Control are Jendrik Seiler (guitar), Steffen Kurth (bass), and Lauritz Jilge (drums). Now, before we move onto the subject of  the strong "The Lizard Rider" it would probably be a good ideal to address the huge elephant that's hanging out in the room. Once again it is time to play everyone's favorite game, Good Bands with Bad Names. OK, maybe that is a bit of a stretch. This German heavy metal band's name isn't so much bad as it is.....sobering. As someone who just loves hard cider, wine and above all vodka(!), Booze Control's name is a bitter pill to swollen. It brings up horrific thoughts of alcohol suppression and nobody in their right mind want's that! I'm (somewhat) kidding with that observation, but I am being 100% serious when I say this next bit. Packed with all sorts of vivid imagery and featuring a full album's worth of N.W.O.B.H.M.-infused heavy metal that is really something else, Booze Control's "The Lizard Rider" is a spirited showing from one up-and-coming German metal band that seems to have been custom ordered with  your everyday metalhead in mind! Strong as steel and no doubt hungry for success, Booze Control is a band that plays tried and true heavy metal for the working man and they are bound to only get better with each passing day. For this Braunschweig, Lower Saxony-based band the group Iron Maiden is as good a starting point of reference of any, but to their credit the members of Booze Control really do strive for originality. Even if there are some sweet ass solos here that Iron Maiden fans should totally dig, "The Lizard Rider" is far from some carbon copy of "The Number of the Beast". Given the album's (ever so slight) speed metal vibe and this band's ability to infuse some much-needed modern touches here and there, "The Lizard Rider" is it's own beast. That's a rare distinction for N.W.O.T.H.M. bands these days. In a world where new cookie-cutter versions of Iron Maiden and Judas Priest seem to pop up overnight, Booze Control has put out an album that draws from the greats while putting it's own spin on things. I really enjoyed "The Lizard Rider" so it looks like I will have to check out Booze Control's other two albums....

Labels: , , , ,

October 31-Metal Massacre 31

Hell's Headbangers

It is November 2nd and I am now two days late with this piece. I had every intention of posting this review on Halloween, but sometimes life....well, it just gets in the way of things. Actually, is it life that's the problem or is it my demonically-possessed home computer? Whatever the case, October 31 has a new album out and I couldn't be happier! Seeing as I've covered this traditional heavy metal band plenty of time over the years I won't go into any long winded bits about the who, what and where of October 31. That's not to say that stuff isn't important, but it kind of takes a backseat to matters when you are talking about a new October 31 disc that is all covers! Yes, you heard me right. Named after the Metal Blade Records' sampler series that started it all(!),  "Metal Massacre 31" is nothing but cover songs from one band that sure as hell knows how to pull them off! As a long time fan of King Fowley (Deceased, ex-Doomstone, ex-Abominog) and company I have enjoyed the numerous tributes that October 31 has dolled out since first forming in 1995. On their very first demo, 1996's "Voyage to Infinity", this Virginia-based metal band covered the Warlord classic, "Child of the Damned". From there we heard cover songs from Witchkiller, Lizzy Borden, Judas Priest, Saxon, Uriah Heep, and even Mötley Crüe! The thing is those were just cover songs on official October 31 releases. This band has also appeared on tribute albums to Ozzy Osbourne, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, and Riot!  So, yes, October 31 obviously has no problems as far as paying tribute to other artists. All of which brings us straight back to this wicked awesome /must-have recording. Due out on November 25th, "Metal Massacre 31" is made up of cover songs that are exclusive to the Metal Massacre series. Or at least the first seven volumes! Starting off with Death Dealer's "Cross My Way" (from Metal Massacre IV), October 31 covers both "well-known" bands from the series (Omen, Tyrant, and Hallow's Eve) and some of more obscure ones (Aloha, Final Warning, Titanic, and War Cry). There's Demon Flight's "Dead of the Night" from the first Metal Massacre compilation and the aforementioned Hallow's Eve from Metal Massacre VI. Along with "Heavy Metal Virgins" by Aloho and Tyrant's "The Battle of Armageddon" you get to hear October 31's take on Omen's "Torture Me" and they even cover Sacred Blade's "The Alien"! Over the course of this 30 minute plus album, October 31 ultimately pays homage to ten bands. Whether it's power metal bands like Titanic ("The Awakening") and Final Warning ("the Warrior") or just the plain old fashioned thrash of Omen, October 31 gives it a go with plenty of gusto to spare! At the end of the day that is really what I love about this classic band. Just like every other recording that October 31 has laid to tape, "Metal Massacre 31" is as fun as it is technically sound. The album is spiked with adrenaline and King Fowley's enthusiasm is as contagious as it has ever been! For October 31 fans this one is a given!!!

PS: If you've never heard October 31 before then this cleverly-titled album is as good a place to start as any. Available for pre-order by heading here, "Metal Massacre 31" goes a long way towards showing the heart and soul of this highly-energetic traditional heavy metal band. Lead by the one and only King Fowley, October 31's inspired brand of fist bangin' metal was built by heavy metal fanatics in order to serve other heavy metal fans. While it's true that King Fowley's vocal delivery might not suite all taste buds, October 31 as a whole is just way too much fun to pass up! All of the musicians in October 31 love what they do and that kind of epic enthusiasm  is sorely missing in the today's heavy metal scene.


Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

UfosonicGenerator-The Evil Smoke Possession

Minotauro Records

Formed in 2011, UfosonicGenerator (one word?) is a somewhat strange yet fascinating Italian metal band whose leisure-time activities included "Fuckin', Punchin', Smoke & Heavy Drinkin', and Rockin' & Rollin' all over". The spooky fun "The Evil Smoke Possession" serves as this quartet's full-length debut and while it is nowhere near as eerie or foreboding as it initially appears, UfosonicGenerator's first full-length release is still a home-run recording for this up-and-coming band. With eight devilish numbers to it's name, "The Evil Smoke Possession" is well-written and performed and it joins a back-catalog that includes two 7" EPs, "Harold The Addicted, Pt.1" and "Harold the Abducted, PT.2". More or less a smooth mixture of 70's hard rock, proto metal, stoner rock, and doom, "The Evil Smoke Possession" is apparently what happens when you put four rather-different personalities in a locked studio and then force them at gunpoint to create a TV soundtrack that is a little bit doom and a whole lot of rock in roll! In addition to some downright sick bass notes that would make both Geezer Butler and Lemmy Kilmister proud, "The Evil Smoke Possession" benefits from beer-soaked guitar licks that split the difference Uriah Heep and Black Sabbath. Meanwhile there's some cool, old-school rock and roll drumming going on here and, best of all folks, you have a kooky lead vocalist named Gojira whose "Lustful screams from Japan" sound like a more ghoulish (and possible less stoned?) Ozzy Osbourne! Add in a vintage production job and there is literately no way that you can go wrong! Due out in Late November, "The Evil Smoke Possession" is a great starting point for this odd name band from Italy. It is also one recording that I plan to keep in heavy rotation for the foreseeable future...

Labels: , , , ,