Friday, 27 February 2015

Valor - The Crown & The King (Single Review)

01.The Crown Of Evermore
02.The King

Vaggelis Krouskas (Vocals)
Chris Remoundos (Bass)
Spyros Soldatos (Guitar)
Vasilis Kourkoutas (Guitar)
Thanasis Lois (Keyboards)
Andritsos Thodoris (Drums)

Greek epic/power metallers formed in 2002 return with a special limited edition 7” single titled “The Crown and the King”.

Side A features a brand new track (“The Crown of Evermore”) taken off the band’s upcoming album and Side B features a cover of the Accept classic “The King”.

Limited to 250 copies, the 7” single will be released on March 5th.

'The Crown Of Evermore' starts with some nice keyboard playing then joined by the rest of the band, fast drums and some epic guitar playing go to create what I can only describe as an 80's sounding power metal band who grew up on Rainbow.

'The King' is a slightly more commercial sound with a slight nod to Iron Maiden lurking.

Quite typical of power metal but fortunatley not the kind of overblown rubbish we tend to get forced to listen to these days.

Rating 7/10
For fans of: Helloween, Rainbow, Kilmara, Wolfpakk, Edens Curse

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Sepulchral Curse - A Birth In Death EP (CD Review)

01.Sepulchral Curse
02.Demonic Pestilence
03.Infernal Pyres
04.Torn To Shreds

Kari Kankaanpää (Vocals)
Jaakko Riihimäki (Guitar)
Tommi Ilmanen (Drums)
Niilas Nissilä (Bass)

Sepulchral Curse began forming in early 2013 as a few tracks, riffs and ideas, still without an actual line-up but the vision was clear: to create death metal in the vein of elder statesmen of the genre while pushing and exploring the boundaries of a backbone line-up of drums, vocals, a guitar and a bass.

Sepulchral Curse quickly started taking physical form and even more songs came about. While the members had to push back the initiation of the band all the way to early 2014, preparations were being made throughout 2013.
The band began rehearsing for studio and live performances in January 2014 with the line-up of Kari Kankaanpää (Solothus), Jaakko Riihimäki (ex-Dethera, ex-Devastracktor, ex-Gladenfold), Tommi Ilmanen (Gambanteinn, Urgamla, ex-Dethera) and Niilas Nissilä (ex-Urgamla).

During the spring of 2014 the band entered the studio to record their debut EP titled "A Birth in Death". It will be released by Greek Chaos and Hell Productions during August. Four songs of hellish and raw death metal fury!

OW my fucking ears! bloody hell this is one helluva noise!
Fast, aggressive, evil as any death metal vocal i have ever heard, screaming guitar solos loaded with riffs and just screaming hate!

Perhaps track 2 'Demonic Pestilence' will be a bit quieter?
Nope they just pile on the power for another amazing slab of real old school sounding death metal, and the same can be said of the last two as well.

Bloody hell this is good stuff!

Rating 10/10
For afns of: Canninibal Corpse, Dismember, Autopsy

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Midhaven - Spellbound (CD Review)

01.Lunar Blessing
02.Seeking The Divine
04.Tales From The Tide
06.Fall Of Olympus
07.Third Eye
09.Death Row

Karan Seven Kaul (Guitar/Vocals)
Shreyas Rane (Guitar)
Abhishek Sawant (Bass/Vocals)
Viraj Saxena (Drums)
Aviraj Kumar (Drums)

Jordan Veigas (Vocals on Death Row)

The band met outside HR and KC college back in early 2011, where they started a project called 'Temple Smoke' where they had a lighter sound.
By 2012, They had played gigs around the city of Mumbai, and started venturing out to other cities such as Pune and Bangalore. By early 2012, the band dropped the name 'Temple Smoke' and went with the name 'Midhaven'.
Karan, Abhishek and Shreyas dropped out of college in the same month to be full time musicians.

By May 2013, they launched their EP 'Tales From The Tide' with much acclaim to fans, which was a mixture of what they used to play with 'Temple Smoke' as well as the heavier side of music which then led to metal.
After a couple of festivals in Pune and Mumbai, Midhaven went back into the studio for a full length album entitled 'Spellbound'.
They went back to the studio to work with their long time producer and friend Jordan Veigas (Jordan Veigas Music Productions).
While in the studio, the band has ideas for at least 14 tracks, some near completion, while some were going to be in the final album.
A tough decision based on their new sound made them cancel 5 tracks including 'Maelstrom' and 'Altaïr', both of which have been played live before.
Their new album consisted of 9 tracks, 6 of which were completely new and written in the studio itself.
The song 'Death Row' has guest vocals by their producer and long time friend 'Jordan Veigas'
During album recording, there was a new face in the studio, Viraaj Saxena.
He, along with Jason D'souza, was a sound engineer for Jordan Veigas Music Productions.
Once the album was over, Viraaj Saxena moved to being a session drummer for Midhaven by replacing Aviraj Kumar, the band's previous drummer who drummed on 'Spellbound' as well as 'Tales From The Tide'.

Usually I hate intros with a passion, but have to say 'Lunar Blessing' is a really great little instrumental with some amazing keyboard work and prog guitar, this then goes into 'Seeking The Divine' (which still kinda proves my point that intros are not needed), its a strange song amazing dual vocals one clean and one death style, the music has a definate modern neo-prog feel.

The next few seem to stick with this sound, but at times does lean towards that metalcore crap, then 'Ascension' comes in at 59 seconds of pointless filler which could have just been tacked on at the beginning of the next track 'Fall Of Olympus' which is stunning slab of brutal (dare I say) Nu-Metal is the vein of Mushroomhead but blended with some prog elements of Mastodon.

Then what a turn around for 'Third Eye' a weird song yet again blending so many different styles I'm not sure where to begin, starts out like Placebo, then gets this melodic death metal thing going before entering into eastern style prog, towards the end it borders on thrash metal!

'Death Row' again mixes it up with modern neo-prog and death metal.

All in all a great mix of styles (except the metalcore bits!) a very intresting and well thought out album.

Rating 9/10
For fans Of: Opeth, Mastodon, At The Gates, Mushroomhead

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Disrupted - Heavy Death (CD Review)

01.Reverse The Cross
02.Suffocation Molestation
03.Mutilated, Dissected, Perfected
04.The Dead
05.Heavy Death

Mikael Hanni (Vocals)
Thomas Liljekvist (Guitar)
Johan Kvastegård (Guitar)
Jimmy Hurtig (Drums)
Erik Jerka Sävström (Bass)

Swedish death metal band originally released this last year as a limited edition cassette of 100 copies, seemed to be enough to grab the attention of Apocalyptic productions who have now issued it as a cd.

'Reverse The Cross' reminds me of a slightly thrashy version of Deicide, as do the next few as well.

'The Dead', my fave track on this EP, is slow and sludgey, full of pounding guitarwork and drums, the death metal style of vocal really suits this more doom influenced track.

Last two tracks return to this brutal thrash and death hybrid.

Rating: 7/10
For fans of: Grave, Hypocrisy, Entombed, Morbid Angel, Deicide

Monday, 23 February 2015

Myrkgrav - Vonde Auer (CD Review)

01.Vonde Auer
02.Vonde Auer (Traditional Version)

Lars Jensen: (All Instruments/Vocals)
Olav Luksengård Mjelva (Hardanger Fiddle)
Erlend Antonsen (Bass)

Folk metal band formed in 2003 by Lars Jensen.
Vonde auer features lyrics based on folklore from Ringerike in Norway.

So the first version is really cool, great use of traditional and modern instruments, the song sounds like Rammstein jamming with Turisas!
Quite typical of folk metal but this just seems to stand out, some great timing and tempo changes as the song goes along we get little hints of death metal as well.
The Traditional version is just the fiddle and at a couple of minutes long is just about enough.

Rating 8/10
For fans of: Turisas, Tanzwut, Elvenking, Burzum

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Ymir's Blood - Blood Of The Ice Giant (CD Review)

01.High And Mighty
02.Sworn To The Sea
03.The Chosen Slain/We,the Bersrkr
04.Ritual For The Invocation Of Thunder
05.To Immortal Master Obscure
06.Witch Beast

Konsta (Vocals/Guitar)
Teppo (Bass)
Jesse (Drums)

Trio from Helsinki, formed in 2011 to play what they call "Beerbarian metal!"
Here's the blurb:
"Epicness in metal is becoming replaced by using ridiculous amounts of cheap synth pads, academically trained musicians playing fiddles and pipes and singing about dragons and midgets. Fuck that. YMIR'S BLOOD is all about the roots - making guitars, bass, vocals and drums sound epic and crushing like they did back in the days of the Metal Gods."

ell i have played through the tracks and i hear heavy metal in the style of say Manowar being covered by Amon Amarth, it does not set the world on fire nor does it harken back to the days of the metal gods, which in itself is a pretty stupid thing to say anyway.
So it's basically heavy metal with songs based of viking mythology and not "Viking Metal".

So tracks one to five, pretty average stuff, track six 'Witch Beast' not a bad tune at all, nine minutes long, starts with some crushing powerchords, doomy bass and drum patterns to match and then just bludgeons its way through the speakers, superb vocal delivery throughout.
Throw in some timing changes and this has classic NWOBHM/Proto doom band Witchfinder General written all over it, stick with this style, cut the attitude and we may just have a great 3 piece metal band worth taking notice of.

Rating 6/10
For fans of: 3 Inches Of Blood, Amon Amarth, Bathory

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Norse - Pest (CD Review)

01.Encoded Weakness
02.Disarmed, Toothless, Weak
04.True Insignificance

ADR (Vocals/Bass)
Forge (Drums/Guitar)

Shayne Querruel (Session/Live Guitars)
S. Maher (Session/Live Guitars)
Marcus Bastiaanse (Session/Live Bass)

Austrailian band Norse began in 2006 with 7 years of turmoil, member changes and conflict, with Forge (drums) at the core. At Norse' heart lies experimentation and innovation, which is driving force behind each album. Consistently pushing boundaries and showcasing the bands unique ideologies, Norse is not interested in genres or trends but creating unique music and atmospheres.

'Encoded Weakness' is a strange and wonderful mix of styles and ideas, some traditional elements of extreme metal blended with avant-garde noise and drone, add to this screamed and spoken vocals and you have a rare example of a band really pushing forward.

'Pest' is a little more restrained, this one has more in common with the doom genre, slow pounding and atmospheric.

Then comes 'True Insignificance' a full on extreme/death metal tirade of instruments and screams, reminds me of early Anaal Nathrakh.

Dispite the drums being stuck on full speed times infinity, the overall feeling you get from 'Irradiator' is one of a slow and gloomy black metal style, this due mainly to the guitarwork.

Finally 'Aimless' opens with some dark synth then falls into this nightmare world of strange noise and extreme metal, before ending back with more dark synthwork.

This kind of music has always been of intrest to me, any band can just play straight forward metal (any sub genre of your choice) but this band like a few others like to play around with what they can do and create a kind of musical artform, though it may be a hellish noise to many it is clever and well thoughout, intense and intresting.

Rating 10/10
For fans of: Anaal Nathrakh, Axis Of Perdition, Sunn 0))), Blut Aus Nord, Aborym, Ulver

Monday, 16 February 2015

Cendra - 666 Bastards (CD Review)

01.Satanic D-beat
03.666 Bastards
06.Cemintiri Rocker
07.Sang, Suor i Alcohol
08.Tot és Una Porqueria!
10.Dimonis Motöritzats
11.Privant Fins Rebentar
12.Castell Okupat

Joey (Drums/Vocals)
Malparit (Guitar)
Aggressor (Bass)

Blackened Punk Metal band from Catalonia, formed in 2011.
Released 2 demos in 2012 and then an album a year later, since then just an EP and a compilation, now they are back with a new album, it's going to be loud!

'Satanic D-Beat' opens with some tortured souls sound samples, then this really crisp and heavy as fuck guitar kicks in backed by furious drumming and gutteral vocals, all this reminds me of the good old days of Venom.

Aside from a couple of timing changes the next track 'Argh!!!!' is the same as the first and the next few, yep also does the same.

'Cemintiri Rocker' comes across as a straight forward speed/thrash song circa 1983, again a very clean guitar sound and played with absolute precision.

Then its back to the venom again for the last few tracks which may or may not be sung in spanish, i could not tell.

You may think this brief review is somewhat negative maybe you think i should say more, the reality is it all sounds the same, but in this case thats a good thing!

Rating 10/10
For fans of: Venom, Warfare, Hellhammer, Discharge, Darkthrone

Friday, 13 February 2015

Al B Damned - Look Who's Stalking EP (Review)

01.Look Who's Stalking
02.Hyde & Seek
03.Bats Of A Feather (Acoustic Live Studio)
04.Look Who's Stalking (Warhead Remix)

Joey Draper (Vocals/Bass/Guitars)
Pip Samson (Drums/Backing Vocals)

Doug Cartwright & Alexz "Face" Allen - Guitar (Look Who's Stalking)
Dan Evans (Guitar)

Its been a while but the Bournemouth horror rock monsters are back, but this time it's a new set up and a new sound.
Essentially now operating as a duo of founder member and Texas Drag Queen Massacre mastermind Joey aka Al B Damned and "ABD" drummer Pip Samson, the pair have been friends for a long time and always worked and wrote together.
When the band split in 2013 it did look like the end, even though they left an ep as a farewell, so not quite the final nail in the coffin afterall.

However friends stay together and they decided to get back to what they do best and revamp the music and in February 2014 and "one off" song appeared having been based on what the fans wanted to hear.
Perhaps worth mentioning here, that when it comes to fan and band loyality and resepct you would be hard pushed to find a better example.

This inspired the ghoulish duo to create a kick starter project to fund an album that would feature many previous musicians from the various bands connected with them and perhaps be a new beginning for a darker and heavier sound.

And so it came to pass that the next step to get to the album would be let out of the pit under Al's house.

The pair were helped by former "TDQM" guitarist Alexz, "Beneath Dead Waves" guitarist Doug and Pips cohort in the "deathcorecomedymetal" noize merchants aAnd? Dan also helping with guitarwork.
Finally this online EP has a remix by Deefa D.De'Ville and also includes a little video of Joey and Pip hard at work.

This also serves as a taster for an album expected soon which also features some guitar playing from James McIlroy (Cradle Of Filth/Chaosanct), I am expecting great things.

Finally befre we get to some words on the music a quick mention that the package includes a short behind the scenes video clip for the promo video of 'Look Whos Stalking'.

So we kick off with 'Look Whos Stalking' and this one sure packs a punch, it's faster and heavier than previous songs, still unmistakably "Al" but as if fronting Motorhead circa 1979, add one screaming riff loaded guitar solo and you cant help but say that they are back with death on their mind, coz this songs kills!

Next song 'Hyde & Seek' has more of the old sound, classic horror rock guitar, but the pace is more horror punk as is part of the vocal delivery, it has a "Sneer" to it, then the chorus is sung in a more harmonic way and that dual style really adds to this.

A total change now for the recorded in the studio as a live take on an acoustic version of the old TDMQ song 'Bats Of A Feather', it's a much more downbeat version than the original with a near melancholic vocal, I like it, it gives a new perspective on the song.

Finally the 'warhead Remix' of the title track, very much one for the dance crowd, this industrial take is intresting, personally I would have used a different drum track, this one is a little too basic and robotic, would have worked well if it was more of a complex beat or at least a higher BPM count, the rest of the synth sounds and samples work okay.Not sure it fits the bands overall concept but I always like it when musicians go outside the (coffin) box.

Rating 9.5/10
For Fans Of: Generation Graveyard, Rob Zombie, Misfits, Snow Whites Poison Bite



Promo Video :

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Torrens Conscientium - All Alone With The Thoughts (CD Review)

01.When The Day Is Gone
02.The Black Fog
04.Evening Behind
06.Being Lonely
07.The Dawn

Sergei Korolyov (Vocals/Guitar)
Alina Tishenko (Guitar)
Sergei Rachinskii (Bass)

Doom metal from the Simferopol in Ukraine, formed 2009 released first demo called 'Four Exits' in 2012.

'The Black Fog' finally gives us a chance to hear the rest of the band, what they offer is typical of modern doom that draws on gothic influence, very clean sound, what this brings to the table is very dark vocals and then a timing change that increases the speed to black metal levels and then drops down again.

Hoping that this would improve and get more doom like, and no 'Immersion' sticks with this goth/doom style.

Only 'Hitcher' really hits it for me, this one is more about what doom should be, but then hmm no not really, again seems to fall short of expectation.

Sorry guys, good stuff but not Doom as we know it, more gothic hybrid, maybe if it had been promoted as such the resulting review may ahve been different.

Rating 7/10
For fans of: Luna, De Profundis, Sorrows Path

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Northland - Downfall And Rebirth (CD Review)

01.When Nature Awakes
02.Bloodred Sunrise
03.Together We Die
04.The Rite
05.Fury's Unleashed
07.Spirit In Darkness
08.Whispers In The Wind
09.Downfall And Rebirth
10.Moonlight Spell
11.Newborn Star

Pau Murillo (Vocals/Guitar)
Alex Fernández (Guitar)
Pau Vázquez (Violin)
Pol Lemaire (Keyboards)
Vic A. Granell (Bass)
Jose Rosendo (Drums)

Spanish band who mix folk with death metal formed in 2007, after a demo they went on to produce their first album in 2010.

After almost a hundred gigs around Europe, and a hard-working period of composition and studio enclosure, the band steps forward towards its consolidation with their second album.
Of its concept they state : "Life and death, day and night… Everything has its beginning - birth, and its own end - death. Great civilizations fall and the new ones take their place as day turns to night and night turns to day. Downfall and Rebirth explains the end of mankind as Mother Nature rises in vengeance against those who have made her suffer for so long. Meanwhile, somewhere out in space, celestial bodies collide to create a new world. This concept is also present in Downfall Rebirth in different ways: the course of the day, defeats and victories. Even when the album comes to an end, replaying it again makes complete sense as a never ending cycle."

'When Nature Awakes' really is one of those cliche sounding songs to start with then when the drums power in like a machine gun, you could say nature becomes somewhat startled!
Beautiful mix of folk and heavy metal with gruff vocals.

The next song 'Bloodred Sunrise' is way more aggressive, but puts in some great folk elements, really uplifting stuff.

'The Rite' is so quiet i could barley hear it, think its acoustic guitar?

The epic 'Duskriders' is a real outstanding song, superb violin and bouncing drums, then bloody hell gets all death metal, before pulling it back to folk.

'Downfall & Rebirth' is a dark and moody song, very downbeat, yet manages to create the paradox of being up beat at the same time, dunno how they do it, but another outstanding track.

Rating 8/10
For fans of: Turisas, Skyclad, Amon Amarth

Monday, 9 February 2015

The Whorehouse Massacre - Altar Of The Goat Skull & VI (CD Review)

04.Buried In Darkness
05.Altar Of The Goat Skull
06.The Black Coast
07.Sewer Dreams
08.Big Mouth
09.Bowels Of Hell
10.End Of Mankind
11.Sassy Pants (Sloth cover)
12.The Temples of Perdition
13.Sob Story

W.P. (Guitars/Drums/Bass/Vocals)
K.H. (Bass)
K.M. (Guitar/Bass)

Scott Stearns Solo on Bowels of Hell

The Whorehouse Massacre are an unique force from Canada delving into suffocating, dense and frankly downright menacing doom/sludge metal. These guys are not here to enthrall you by playing groovy stoner tunes, but stick to their stoic and frighteningly massive method of hazy, hypnotic and overdrive stomp. Leads are ensconced in the miasmic texture of this monolith-in-motion, little rays of hope that don't get too far. The Whorehouse Massacre is a reminder to all of the sheer power this style of music possesses - not everything needs to be fast and technical. This one gets the job done by just its demeanour. 'Altar of the Goat Skull (2013)/VI' (2013) are the band's latest EPs rolled into one ceaseless album, released as a precursor to the debut full length coming soon on Transcending Obscurity.

Super fuzzed out, low end rumbles and distortion to die for, this is pure power, add to this slow pounding drums and a very evil vocal style and these 2 EP's sound like they were recorded at the same time, hence i guess why this release works as an album.

The cover of Sloths 'Sassy Pants' is top notch and fits well with the running order.

Looking forward to the "proper' album later this year.

Rating 9/10
For Fans Of: Sloth, Earth, Sunn 0))), Melvins

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Vile Disgust - Love All The Pigs (CD Review)

01.How To Make A Girl Fart
02.Filthy Mums
03.My Dick Is Out Of Control
05.Dolly Booster
06.I Cum Acid
07.Love All The Pigs
08.Septic Tank Blues
11.I'm A Pornstar
12.Booze Enema
14.Piss On Me
15.Half Assed Blowjob

Stench (Guitar)
Söndör (Vocal)
Csapi (Bass)
Sicu (Drums)

Hungarian underground death metal meets goregrind band formed 2008.
And what do we have here? Well 15 very silly songs musically (did i say musically???) ranging from full on stupid as fuck speed drums and mindless distortion guitar to the occasional bouncy crust punk sounding tune (Tune???) and a few that lay somewhere in between.

The lyrics (Lyrics??) oink oink oink seems to be about the best i can come up with, various tempos and screech levels are thrown in for variety, but essentially its piggy grunts all the way.

Some of the songs (Songs??) have spoken or soundbite intros.

If they are a serious band then they have failed, if they are just having a laugh then is great success!
Your choice?

Rating either 0/10 OR 10/10
For fans of: Anal Cunt, Gut, Meat Shits

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Fetid Zombie - Grotesque Creation (CD Review)

01.Entombed Existence
(Vocals by Damian Herring of 'Horrendous/Acoustic guitar by Josh Fleischer of 'Svierg)

02.Into The Unknown
(Rhythm guitar by Josh Fleischer of Svierg/Vocals by Gothmog of Soulskinner)

03.Grotesque Creation
(Vocals by Necromayhem of Rotting Christ/Guitar by Toby Knapp of waxen)

04.Razor-Sharp Attack
(Vocals by Reaper of Crucified Mortals)

05.The Way Of Mortality
(Guitar solos by Toby Knapp of Waxen)

06.Utterance Of Doom (featuring Microcosm)
(Guitar solo by Michael Riddick of Yamatu)/"Microcosm" all instruments by Vorskaath of Zemial)

07.Death's Pallor
(Guitar solos by El of Soulskinner)/Vocals by Necroabyssious of Varathron/Vocals by Magus of Necromantia)

08.Morbid Premonition
(Vocals by Nyarlathotep of Swamp/Rhythm guitar by El of Soulskinner)

09.The Outstretched Hand Of Rotten Death
(Vocals & Guitar solo #1 by James Malone of Arsis/Guitar solo #2 by Toby Knapp of Waxen/keyboards by Michael Riddick of Yamatu)

Mark Riddick (Vocals/Guitar/Bass/Drum Programming/keyboards)

Fetid Zombie is the blasphemous and death-obsessed, solo effort of reputable underground death metal illustrator Mark Riddick, created in January 2007.
Riddick is no stranger to underground metal,having his musical genesis in 1991 with Unearthed followed closely by Excrescent in 1992.
Riddick makes no apologies or compromises for his unique vision, offering a myriad of influences from hard rock/heavy metal to technical death metal.

With such an array of talented musicians helping here its surprisingly hard to distinguish there contibutions, such is the clarity and overall sound of this album each track sounds like it was produced by a top notch blackend death metal band who have been around for years.
A stunning mix of brutality blends well with occasional keyboards some excellent guitar solos and drum programming thats sounds as good as the real thing.
Each track has the distinctive growl vocals, even the guest vocals blend perfectly.

Rating 9/10
For fans of: Soulskinner, Yamatu, Waxen, Svierg, Necromantia, Swamp, Zemial

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

The Deep - Premonition (CD Review)

01.The Rider
02.You Take My Breath Away
04.Cold Hearted
05.All I Want
06.Out Of Touch
10.Turn Me Loose

Tony Coldham (Vocals)
Paul Smith (Guitar)
Mick Feleppa (Guitar)
Don Whiberley (Bass)
Steve Kingsley (Drums)

Way back in the days of the NWOBHM there was a band called Deep Machine, by 1982 they were on the brink of splitting up after guitarist Kevin Heybourne (Ex Angelwitch) had just quit the band along with vocalist and drummer to reform AngelWitch.
This left guitarist John Wiggins and bassist Andy Wrighton the task of finding new members, which they did in the shape of ex-Minas Tirith vocalist Tony Coldham and ex-Burn guitarist Tony Harris, however just as the band were getting sorted out Wiggins was invited to join Paul Di’Anno’s new band Lonewolf.
Open auditions were then held and guitarist Paul Smith (ex-Janine) and drummer Steve Kingsley (ex-Omega) were brought into the fold. Within weeks the band had recorded a demo and was gigging. The 1982 line up of Deep Machine quickly developed a reputation for excellent song writing and musicianship and, most importantly, for dynamic and exciting live shows.
But as is the way of bands this line up soon went their seperate ways, Coldham, Harris and Smith went on to form Strutt, Wrighton joined John Wiggins in Tokyo Blade and Kingsley joined Rogue Male.

Now lets jump forward to 2012, some thirty years after they had last played together, the members of the 1982 line-up of Deep Machine got together again for a blast in a rehearsal studio. They were all amazed at how good it still sounded and four of the members decided to re-form the band with the exception of Wrighton who had commitments to Tokyo Blade.
At this point the band members were now unable to use the name Deep Machine because it was already taken, so they instead adopted the name The Deep. Sadly, Tony Harris was also forced to pull out of the project because of an ongoing physical illness which prevents him from being able to play guitar. However, Tony’s contribution to the band in terms of song writing has been immense and he remains, in many ways, the band’s ‘sixth member’.

Coldham, Kingsley and Smith auditioned bass players with the intention of working as a four piece, for a while another ex-AngelWitch band member Kevin Riddles joined the band. Eventually, Mick Feleppa, a guitarist Coldham knew from his days in Strutt was recruited together with comparative new-comer Don Whiberley on bass. Then, near the end of 2013, the band proceeded to record a self-financed, self-produced album, Premonition, at The Vatican recording studios in the east-end of London.

Talk about authentic NWOBHM and this would be the defination, the opening song 'The Rider' is pure old school, part Saxon and part Black Axe, but and its an important "but" this is all The Deep, solid guitar playing, polished vocals and up to date sound (think Amulet) but wearing its Colours proud for all to hear and see.

Slightly more restrained is 'You Take My Breath Away' a mid paced hard rock song with excellent backing vocals.

'Nightstalker' another great song with its perfect mix of old meets new, kinda waiting for this one to go in a different direction and it does not dissapoint about half way through it changes pace and gets heavier and a great solo as well.

Slower and near rock ballad 'Cold Hearted' follows, have to say its the passion in the vocal delivery that just saves this one for me.

'All I Want' is quite anthemic, good chorus, one destined for fist punching in the air and mass headbanging down the front row at the next gig i think!

I'm sure the band wouldn't agree, but to me 'Out Of Touch' has an american radio rock feel, tinges of Van Halen and Motley Crue lurk here, really good song especially blasting out of the radio on the motorway.

Title track 'Premonition' starts with some excellent fretwork from the guitarist and then explodes out of the speakers, a real solid rocker for 6 awesome minutes.

Oh yes, hell is this one good, 'Spellbound' a blues laden slab of classic british hard rock, driven along by the drums this one is an instant hit for me.

'Saga' whilst overall another great song, does tend to lean towards the rock ballad, and thats a style not for me, but excellent vocals and for once a non slash like guitar solo, mean that i can just about listen to it without having to click next on the player.

Final track is 'Turn Me Loose' nice guitar opening, followed by some great twin guitar action and looks like we are heading for another ballad type, but wait, oh yes, its suddenly kicks in, boy does this one leave you wanting more and what a guitar solo, absolutley screaming!

Welcome back guys, fucking awesome album!

Rating 10/10
For Fans Of: Saxon, Amulet, Tygers Of Pan Tang, Soldier, Weapon, Legend

Monday, 2 February 2015

Incursed - Beer Bloodbath EP & Elderslied Album (CD Review)

01.Beer Bloodbath
02.Raging Wyverns
03.Die By The Sword
04.Game Of Thrones
05.Beer Bloodbath (Drunken version)

01.Song Of The Ancient
02.Heart Of Yggdrasil
03.Raging Wyverns
04.The Wild Hunt
05.Beer Bloodbath
06.Tidal Waves
08.A Fateful Glare
09.Lady Frost
10.The Undying Flame (Homeland part II)
11.Suaren Lurraldea (The Land of Fire)
12.One Among A Million
13.Promise Of Hope

Narot Santos (Vocals/Guitar)
Jon Koldo Tera (Vocals/keyboards)
Asier Fernandez (Guitar)
Juan Sampedro (Bass)
Asier Amo (Drums)

Incursed were formed in October 2007 by Narot Santos and Sergio C. Bravo. It was
difficult for them in the beginning, but when they moved to Bilbao the band started
to work. There they met Lander Martinez, and they recorded together the first EP,
“...time to unsheathe our rusty swords” in April, 2009.
As the EP got nice reviews, the band decided to complete its line-up so they
could play live. Then, Jon Koldo Tera “Jonkol” and Asier Amo joined the band.
After some time fully dedicated to rehearsals, the band started to play live shows.
They also recorded again their EP with the full line-up. In summer, 2010, Incursed
recorded, at home, their first album, “Morituri”, which was released in September
that year.

There was a line-up change in February, 2011. Lander and Sergio left the band replaced by Juan Sampedro and Asier Fernandez.
Ending 2012, their second album was released “Fimbulwinter”. Since then their music
spread worldwide, arriving to distant countries such as Brazil or Japan.
In 2013 they performed at their most important show until today, the Carpathian
Alliance Metal Fest in Ukraine.

As both album and EP are released at the same time i shall start with the EP.

'Beer Bloodbath' is a pretty straight forward mix of pagan viking metal with a death metal vocal style, it is 'Raging Wyverns' that really starts to make you take notice, a superb mix of speed metal, pagan metal and folk metal, from acoustic breakdowns to full on hyper speed drumming and a good dual vocal of death growls and harmony.

Next two tracks are more in the same style as track one, then finally comes the drunken version, surprisingly the vocals are much clearer!!!

The album starts with the instrumental 'Song Of The Ancient' a very symphonic piece that (hopefully) sets the tone for whats to come next.

No mention in the credits as to who is playing the Accordian, but respect to him or her for doing so because it really lends itself well to 'Heart Of Yggdrasil', a great mix of speed metal and folk/pagan rock.

'Raging Wyverns' starts with some nice acoustic guitar and then evolves into an anthemic masterpiece, spoken vocal turns to death growls and the song just keeps building second by second, gets faster then a nice guitar breakdown and anthemic vocals and guitar to the end.

Again lack of info with regards to another contributer, this time its the violin player on 'The Wild Hunt', a more agressive metal song with some nice "Jig's" thrown into the mix.

I have already mentioned 'Beer Bloodbath' so moving on to 'Tidal Waves' which due to the guitar playing and that keyboard sound borders on euro power metal.

Another anthemic song follows with 'Jotnar', classic folk rock undertones blend with a touch of doom to create an atmospheric piece.

Next up is a short and downbeat female vocal performance, again no info as to who this is, but its very nice.

'Lady Frost' with its frantic riffing and drums returns to near power metal levels, but when the vocals come in, it gives it that dethly growl to avoid said genre.

Returning to the more acceptable sounds of pagan/folk metal is the seven and a half minute 'The Undying Flame', they seem to throw everything at this one, from slow to speed, acoustic to straight forward heavy metal and all vocal styles.

'Suaren Lurraldea' starts with an old 78 rpm soundbite complete with scratches on vinyl, then in the tradition of accept's fast as a shark flicks the needle across the vinyl to get to the heavy music, this one has some more great dual vocals and outstanding keyboard work.

'One Among A Million' is nearly eleven minutes long, at times more of a modern doom metal hybrid, then later elements of progressive rock are added in before we end of another symphonic farewell.

Rating 8/10 (EP) 10/10 (ALBUM)
For Fans Of: Turisas, Alestorm, Amon Amarth, Elvenking, Volksmetal

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Eternal Armageddon - Black Thrash Bastards (CD Review)

01.Darkness Shalt Reign
02.Hate Reincarnated
03.Black Thrash Bastards
04.Satan Whispers

Asmodeus (Bass)
Sarcophagous (Guitar/Vocals)
Blasphemouranter (Drums)

I shall leave the biography to them:
Eternal Armageddon, an impious entity to ascend from the mystical land of Bengal, to torn apart the so called established institutions and proclaim the vanity of true extreme metal. The procession towards the eventual destruction invoked around 2009, when the local underground scene was smeared with mediocrities, Eternal Armageddon rose above all the local burrs. Early days of the band followed a more straightforward pathway of melodic black metal. The shrines of hatred, the blunders from mythicized nature and the lonesomeness of human psychic all that were converged to build a temple of tainted lust- to create an euphoric mystery of life- through the harmony, through the timber to reflect the deep insight the collective had on the music. The procession of the unholy legion were hitched, but no thorns could ever hindered the march of nearing Armageddon. The debut musical scriptures Her Forlorn Monsoon descended 2011 AD, declaring with the intentions of ultimate doom. With the progression of the hourglass, the Armageddon warlords visualized the facet of such a combat they did embark on. The journey was put to asunder for over a year. Still the invocation of eternal demise could hardly be discontinued. The new soldiers of war soon joined with the impious essence. The war that now turned to a blasphemous onslaught, to convulse the so called morality. The impact from the unholy reunification now set to calcine the pillars of established superstition. Behold your canton before the Armageddon’s glory. The bedewed war has now transmigrated into a blazing storm of abomination. The rebirth of disdain is now cursed with the black/thrashing supremacy. The inevitable invasion is exterminating. The benighted ages of falsehood, fanaticism is next to obliteration with the frenzied chaos unleashed from the orthodox black/thrashing verses.

With 4 original songs and the last being a cover of a song by Sodom, this is highly primitive and raw Black Metal harking back to the old demo from Mayhem or Darkthrone.
It sounds like it was recorded on an old cassette deck in a rehersal room, not sure that really cuts in in the modern age where even raw can still be refined.

However dont let that put you off, it is a welcome sound to that of the highly gothic/symphonic style that many strive for these days and is a great tribute to the early dark days of the genre.

Rating 7/10
For fans of: Mayhem, Darkthrone, Marduk, Venom

Code - Mut (CD Review)

01.On Blinding Larks
06.Inland Sea
08.Numb, An Author
09.The Bloom In The Blast

Aort (Guitar)
Andras (Guitar)
LORDt (Drums)
Syhr (Bass)
Wacian (Vocals)

Plotting began under rain soaked London skies in 2002 by Aort and Kvohst. The aim: simply to deliver their own take on black metal as they wanted to hear it.
The collaboration yielded the elusive “Neurotransmission” promo CD which was released that same year and secured the band a deal with Spikefarm Records.

The Code ranks swelled to include Vicotnik from Ved Buens Ende and Dodheimsgard on bass and AiwarikiaR from Ulver on drums, creating an Anglo/Norwegian entity.

Recorded in Savonlinna, Finland, the results were the band’s debut album 'Nouveau Gloaming’.

Turmoil and upheaval scarred the following years but the resolve was strong enough to create an album of varied and melodically dense black metal in the form of their second album 'Resplendent Grotesque' featuring guest drummer Adrian Erlandsson (At the Gates/Nemhain).

Kvohst left to pursue Hexvessel and Vicotnik to continue with Dodheimsgard leaving Aort to regroup and redefine Code gathering together a group of talented UK based musicians with widely varying musical backgrounds for this new album.

I had to check that this was the right band 'Code', as i only have Resplendent Grotesue, this was not what i was expecting so far away from black metal or even heavy metal this is a superb album of neo-prog.

Each song is so full of melody, clever timing changes, amazing vocals, beautiful guitar playing, rhythmic drumming and punchy bass work.

Rating 10/10
For fans of: Marillion, Esper Scout, Violent Sky, From Great Height