Monday, March 31, 2014

Seasons Of Arrows/Self Titled/The Path Less Traveled Records/2014 CD Review

  Seasons  Of  Arrows  are  a  band  from  Tennessee  that  plays  a  mixture  of  heavy  rock  and  post  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  titled  2014  album  which  will  be  released  by  the  path  Less  Traveled  Records.

  The  album  starts  out  with  a  very  dark  and  melodic  sound  which  mixes  alternative  and  metal  together  along  with  some  female  vocals  and  later  on  leads  are  added  onto  the  recording and  when  the music  gets  heavy  it  has  a  post  sludge  feeling  to  it  and  you  can  hear  a  great  amount  of  darkness  on  the  songs  that  are  present  on  the  recording  as  well  as  the  vocals  having  an  ethereal  feeling  to  them  at  times.

  All  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  the  songs  show  a  great  balance  between  melody  and  heaviness  and  you  can  also  hear  some  pop  structures  being  utilized  at  times  along  with  some  groove  parts  in  the  heavier  guitar  riffing  and  the  slower  and  heavy  parts  have  a  mid  70's  to  early  80's  doom  metal  feeling  to  them  at  times  and  are  one  of  the  major  high  lights  of  the  album  and  the  bass  guitars  also  bring  in  a  stoner  rock  feeling  at  times  along  with  some  clean  parts  that  enhance  the  post  metal  elements.

  Seasons  Of  Arrows  have  a  very  original  sound  with  their  music  that  takes  some  elements  of  doom,  sludge  and  post  metal  while  also  having  traces  of  alternative  and  pop  music  along  with  a  very  professional  sounding  production  and  lyrics  that  cover  some  very  dark  and  depressing  topics.

  In  my  opinion  Seasons  Of  Arrows  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  heavy  rock  and  post  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should c heck  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Submersible"  "Ox  Blood"  "Sleepwalkers"  and  "Rival".  8  out  of  10.  

Biche Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
1. We're Biche, from Reims, France. We started playing as Biche in early 2012, but were both involved in a stoner/garage band before.

2.How would you describe your musical sound and what are some things you are able to do with your current band that you where not able to do with your past band?
2. I would say that we play some kind of sludge, mixed up with hardcore, noise, and anything we find raw enough to be put in. Because we're only two, the production is very "straight. No overdubs, as we play in live. With our past band, we weren't able to play as slow as we do now, and keep the songs "simple", there were always solos, and stupid things like that... The voice as evolved too, not sure i'll sing with a clear voice before a long time ! Our songs are now more personnal, and we compose faster. We're very fusionnal when we play. Also, we just need one car to go play a gig now !

3.Can you tell us a little bit more about the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
3. To be clear, the names of the tracks have (often) nothing in common with the lyrics. We just like funny titles. The lyrics are mostly about end-of-the-world, bad dreams, rapes and other unpleasant and revolting things. There is also a few references to litterature and movies. We try to play an unpleasant music, with dissonances and hurting rythmics, and so are the lyrics.

4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Biche'?
4. We just find it fun that the name of something sweet, peaceful and pure as a doe can be put on the type of music we play. No big mystery here ! In france, people, and mostly couples, often use it as a cute nickname.

5.Currently there are only 2 members in the band, are you planning on expanding the line up in the future or do you choose to remain a duo?
5. Actually, we started as a trio, with a friend of us on the bass. But after a month, Meddy and I realized that we wanted to be a duo, which allows us to write songs and play gigs easily. So being a duo is a choice, and things will be like that for a long time. And we both have other bands to play with more people, we even have an other sludge/doom band, called Pluie de Bisous, together with three to six other musicians... We're currently working on some featurings (bass, guitar) on new songs with some friend of us, a duo called Organon (

6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
6. I'm not sure it was the best, but one of the funniest show we played was in Cambrai, in the North-East, with some friends called Oruga, who invited us and Tortue GĂ©niale. We had a lot of strong beers and french fries... An other one was near Paris, with a naked woman dancing during our show and a free party in a huge squat after that. We can't forget the show in Meddy's kitchen too.
I would say that our stage performance are loud, raw, intense and go straight to the point : to feel happy in sorrow.

7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
7. We have just come back from a short tour in the north-west of france, and we have a couple of date in north-east in a few weeks. We're currently trying to book a week in UK for november. We're open to any proposition or help for that !

8.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
8. For now we don't have received proposition from any label, but of course, we're totally open to anything !

9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of sludge?

9. Actually, pretty good for a DIY band like us. The EP has been shared around the world by different bloggers and fans. And we're still getting more reviews from everywhere, even if the EP was released almost a year ago, and there is always a good feedback about the cover.
We had reviews in french, english, spanish, greek, and a news in bulgarian ! It's always funny when you don't understand a word of people talking about your music.

10.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
10. The new songs are not that complex, but we think more about "what we really want to play", not just "what sounds loud and catchy (in a sludge way, of course)". Wer'e having more fun with structures and sounds.
We're planning a split LP with Organon. Meddy play drums in this band since about a year.

11.What are some bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
11. We both listen to a lot of sludge, doom, stoner, post-anything... But not only. Meddy listen a huge amount of hip-hop and electronic music. Most of the time with deep bass. His latest hits are the last CunniLinguists mixtape, and the new Conan.
I'm more into cold-wave, noise, hxc, experimental music... These days, I'm really enjoying the new Indian, Hexis, Poino, The Body, Marie Davidson.
In Biche, the more influential bands are : Clutch, Neurosis, Monkey3, Karma To Burn, Isis, Dark Castle, Mares of Thrace...

12.What are some of your non musical interests?
12. We both watch a lot of movies and TV shows, of many genre. Personally, I also read quite a lot of SF and fantasy litterature (very original for a guy playing metal). Meddy is more into party, travel, caps and Katy Perry.

13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts? 
13. First, thanks a lot for this interview ! And sorry for our english... Come to our shows and listen to our songs. We're better at playing music than talking about it !

Final Conflict/Ashes to Ashes/Tankcrimes/2014 CD Re-issue Review

  Final  Conflict  are  a  band  from  Los  Angeles,  California  that  plays  a  mixture  of  hardcore,  metal  and  crust  and  where  a  huge  influence  on  the  scene's  of  the  mid  80's  and  90's  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  classic  1987  album  "Ashes  to  Ashes"  which will  be  re-issued  by  Tankcrimes  in  2014  and  also  contains  their  1985  demo.

  The  album  starts  out  with  a  very  heavy  crossover  thrash  sound  along  with  powerful  bass  lines,  shouting  style  hardcore  vocals  and  blast  beats  and  you  can  also  hear  a  good  mixture  of  both  punk  and  metal  in their  musical  style.

  When  we  get  into  the  other  songs  the  crust  and  d  beat  influences  start  to  kick  in  and  you  can  hear  some  fast  stuff  that  grindcore  bands  later  and  added  to  their  styles  and  they  mostly  stick  to  a  faster  style  which  has  the  heaviness  of  thrash,  the  raw  energy  of  punk  and  hardcore  style  vocals  and  at  times  solos  and  leads  are  added  onto  the  recording  and  when  we  get  more  into  the  album  the  70's  style  U.K  punk  influences  start  becoming  a  big  part  of  their  sound.

  Final  Conflict  where  very  underrated  during  their  time  with  their  raw  approach  to  crust,  hardcore  and  thrash  and  there  music  had  a  lot  of  aggression  for  their  time  and  still  sounds  very  heavy  even  30  years  later,  along  with  a  heavy  and  raw  production  and  lyrics  covering  political,  hateful,  and  war  themes.  

  In  my  opinion  Final  Conflict  where  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  hardcore,  punk,  crust  and  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  legendary  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "One  Answer"  "Crucifixion"  "Central  America"  and  "The  Last  Sunrise".  8/5  out  of  10.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Anette Olzon/Shine/Armoury/2014 CD Review

  Anette  Olzon  is  a  solo  artist  from  Sweden  better  known  for  her  work  in  Nightwish  and  this  is  a  review  of  her  2014  album  "Shine"  which  will  be  released  by  Armoury  along  with  the  musical direction  being  closer  to  pop  rock/metal.

  The  album  starts out  with  a  symphonic  and  clean  sound  along  with  melodic  vocals  and  after  awhile  guitars  and  electronic  sounds  are  added  onto  the  recording  as  well  as  more  elements  of  modern  rock  being  added  onto  the  songs  along  with  elements  of  progressive  music.

  By  the  time  the  album  gets  to  the  4th  track  you  can  hear  more  traces  of  metal  while  the  music  is  more  focused  on  modern  melodic  pop  rock  and  you  can  still  hear  a  good  amount  of  symphonic  sounds  along  with  a  mixture  of  both  acoustic  and  electric  guitars  and  there  is  also  a  brief  use  of  guitar  leads  and  there  are  also  a  great  amount  of  power  ballads  presented  on  this  recording.

  With  this  recording  Anette  Olzon  sticks  to  a  more  melancholic  pop  rock  direction  and  stays  away  from  the  symphonic  metal  sound  of  Nightwish  while  the  influence  can  still  be  heard  a  little  bit  and  the  album  has  a  very  professional  sounding  production  and  lyrics  that  cover  hardship  and  sadness  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Anette  Olzon  is  a  very  decent  sounding  melancholic  pop  rock/metal  artist  and  if  you  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Like  A  Show  Inside  My  Head"  "All  The  Lies"  "One  Million  Faces"  and  "Hear  Me".  7/5  out  of  10.   

Sleeper Effect/The Human Clone/WormHoleDeath Records/2014 EP Review

  Sleeper  Effect  are  a  band  from  the  United  Kingdom  that  plays  a  mixture  of  alternative  rock  and  progressive  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2014  ep  "The  Human  Clone"  which  was  released  by  WormHoleDeath  Records.

  The  ep  starts  out  with  a  very  dark  and  hard  mainstream  rock  sound  along  with  heavy  bass  lines  and  melodic  vocals  which  also  leads  up  to  a  slightly  heavier  sound  which  mixes  metal  with  alternative  and  after  awhile  aggressive  vocals  become  a  part  of  the  recording  on  both  the  opening  and  closing  track  while  the  second  song  is  in  a  more  radio  friendly  direction.

  When  we  get  into  the  other  songs  you  can  hear  more  progressive  elements  being mixed  in  the  music  along  with  some  90's  style  alternative  rock  influences   and  you  can  easily  hear  earlier  Tool  being  an  influence  on  the  sound  and  on  the  last  track  they  really  start  bringing  out  their  heavier  sound.

  Sleeper  Effect  have  a  sound  that  is  more  mainstream  than  most  bands  in  this  blog  with  a  good  amount  of  their  music  being  closer  to  alternative  than  metal  while  the  latter  influence  is  still  a  big  part  of  their  sound  and  the  production  is  very  professional  sounding  along  with  some  dark  lyrics  in  the  songwriting.

  In  my  opinion  Sleeper  Effect  are  a  very  decent  sounding  mixture  of  alternative  rock  and  progressive  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACK  "A  City  Burns".  7/8  out  of  10.

Exorcism/I Am God/GoldenCore Records/XYZ Music/2014 CD Review

  Exorcism  are  a  band  from  Italy  that  plays  a  mixture  of  doom  and  heavy  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2014  album  "I  Am  God"  which  will  be  released  as  a  joint  effort  between  GoldenGore  Records  and  XYZ  Music.

  The  album  starts  out  with  a  very  heavy  and  dark  doom  metal  sound  along  with  all  of  the  musical  instruments  sounding  very  powerful  before  adding  in  vocals  and  a  dark  atmosphere  and  the  music  also  has  some  hard  rock  and  traditional  metal  elements  and  after  awhile  solos  and  leads  become  a  part  of  the  album.

  After  awhile  the  album m really  starts  to  find  its  sound  and  seems  to  be  influenced  by  the Ozzy,  Dio  and  Tony  Martin  days  of  Black  Sabbath  without  being  a  copy  of  them  and  having  a  more  evil  atmosphere  to  them  and  they  also  have  a  more  modern  approach  to  the  way  they  mix  doom  and  heavy  metal  together  while  also  sounding  like  they  have  a  great amount  of  experience.  

  The  songs  that  are  on  this  recording  are  all  very  slow,  dark  and  melodic  while  also  having  a  great  amount  of  heaviness  to  them  that  goes  back  to  the  80's  style  of  metal  along  with  some  elements  of  mainstream  and  classic  hard  rock.

  With  this  album  Exorcism  play  a  very  underrated  style  of  doom/heavy  metal  was  ignored  in  the  80's  when  thrash  and  hair  metal  took  over  along  with  a  more  modern  day  approach,  a  professional  production  and  lyrics  that  cover  occultism,  religion,  and  darkness.

  In  my  opinion  Exorcism  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  original  doom  and  traditional  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Voodoo  Jesus"  "Master  Of  Evil"  "Exorcism"  and  "Stay  In  Hell".  8/5  out  of  10.      

Friday, March 28, 2014

Kill Ritual/The Eyes Of Medusa/GoldenCore Records/XYZ Music/2014 CD Review

  Kill  Ritual  are  a  band  from  The  Bay  Area  Of  California  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  with  a  musical  style  I  would  describe  as  being  thrash'n'roll  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2014  album  "The  Eyes  Of  Medusa"  which  will  be  released  as  a  joint  effort  between  GoldenCore  Records  and  XYZ  Music.

  The  album  starts  out  with  a  melodic  and  distorted  sound  before  getting  a  bit  heavier  along  with  acoustic  guitars  being  in  the  background  for  a  few  seconds  and  then  the  old  school  thrash  metal  sound  really  starts  to  kick  in  along  with  some  aggressive  yet  melodic  vocals  and  after  awhile  solos  are  added  into  the  album.

  After  awhile  the  album  really  starts  to  find  its  sound  mixing  old  school  bay  area  thrash  with  melodic  hard  rock/heavy  metal  while  also  having  a  more  aggressive  take  on  it  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  do  their  part  on  this  album  and  the  music  is  very  original  considering  these  2  genres  where  never  mixed  together  during  the  80's   when  there  was  a  feud  between  thrash  and  hair  metal  and  at  time s you  can  also  hear  element s of  power  metal  in  certain  parts  of  the  recording.

  The  music  is  at  its  strongest  when  it  is  in  the  more  thrash  or  speed  metal  direction  while  the  rock  elements  bring  out  the  melodic  side  of  the  music  and  they  also  bring  in  a  small  amount  of  acoustic  guitars  on  a  couple  of  tracks  while  the  main  focus  is  on  the  more  hard  and  heavy  parts  of  their  sound  and  at  times  the  vocals  utilize  some  demonic  elements  in  certain  parts  of  the  recording  and  on  the  last  track  elements  of  groove  metal  are  added  into  the  music  

  With  this  album  Kill  Ritual  bring  in  a  different  approach  to  old  school  thrash  metal  with  some  more  mainstream  hard  rock  elements  along  with  a  very  professional  sounding  production  and  lyrics  that  cover  mythology,  darkness  and  everyday  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  album  from  Kill  Ritual  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  hard  rock  and  thrash  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  recording.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "The  Eyes  of  Medusa"  "Ride  into  The  Night"  "Just  Another  Sin"  and  "Agenda  21".  8  out  of  10.  

E-Force/The Curse/Mausoleum Records/2014 CD Review

  E-Force  are  a  band  originally  from  Canada  but  now  resides  in  France  and  has  a  former  member  of  Voided  along  with  a  very  heavy  and  modern  aggressive  thrash  metal  sound  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2014  album  "The  Curse"  which  will  be  released  by  Mausoleum  Records.

  The  album  starts  out  with  an  intro  that  uses  some  dark  sounding  drones  and  human  noises  and  after  the  intro  the  music  goes  into  a  very  heavy  and  fast  thrash  sound  along  with  some  aggressive  vocals  and  a  mixture  of  riffs  and  solos  and  you  can  hear  traces  of  punk  in  the  music  at  times  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  can  be  heard  on  this  recording.

  The  band  brings  in  a  good  amount  of  melody  with  their  music  along  with  a  very  old  school  thrash  feeling  and  at  times  they  bring  in  a  heaviness  that  is  almost  close  to  death  metal  and  after  a  while  a  small  amount  of  spoken  word  parts  and  black  metal  elements  are  added  in  the  music  as  well  as  a  brief  use  of  clean  playing  and  melodic  vocals  on  one  of  the  tracks  while  the  main  focus  is  still  on  aggressive  thrash  metal  as  well  as  bringing  a  few  songs  that  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length.  

  With  this  album  E-Force  has  a  sound  simliar  to  Voivod  in  the  80's  while  being  a  lot  more  modern  sounding  with  some  newer  influences  along  with  a  very  professional  sounding  production  and  the  lyrics  are  a  concept  album  based  on  the  power,  temptation  and  obsession  with  the  female  race.  

  In  my  opinion  E-Force  are  a  very  great  sounding  thrash  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  recording.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Perverse  Media"  "Awakened"  "Your  Beloved  Hate"  and  "Curse  Of  The  Cunt".  8  out  of  10.

Existance/Steel Alive/Mausoeum Records/2014 CD Review

  Existance  are  a  band  from  France  that  plays  an  80's  form  of  heavy  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2014  album  "Steel  Alive"  which  will  be  released  by  Mausoeum  Records.

  The  album  starts  out  with  dark  sounding  synths  which  also  have  a  progressive  rock  feeling  to  them  and  after  a  minute  the  recording  goes  into  a  more  traditional  80's  metal  sound  along  with  melodic  vocals  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  sounding  very  powerful  and  after awhile  solos  and  leads  become  a  part  of  the  music.

   When  we  get  more  into  the  album  the  music  starts  bringing  back  memories  of  Iron  Maiden  and  NWOBHM  while  having  a  more  modern  take  on  it  and  at  times they  have  some  back  up  shouts  being  utilized  on  some  of  the  tracks,  halfway  through  the  album  clean  guitars  are  added  into  certain  sections  of  the  music  while  the  band  sticks  mostly  to  a  hard  and  heavy  sound  as  well  as  bringing  in  some  true  metal  anthems.

  With  this  album  Existance  bring  a  very  traditional  style  of  metal  that  pre-dates  power,  speed  and  thrash  metal  that  has  almost  been  extinct  since  the  mid  80's  and  brings  a  modern  touch  to  it  along  with  a  powerful  and  professional  sounding  production  and  lyrics  that  cover  very  dark  topics.

  In  my  opinion  Existance  are  a  very  great  sounding  80's  style  traditional  heavy  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Legends  Never  Die"  "Dear Or  Alive"  "Get  Away"  and  "From  Hell".  8  out  of  10.  


Miracle Master/Tattooed Woman/GoldenCore Records/ZYX Music/2014 CD Review

  Miracle  Master  are  a  band  from  Germany  that  plays  a  modern  form  of  hard  rock  with  elements  of  heavy  metal  and  grunge  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2014  album  "Tatooed  Woman"  which  was  released  as  a  joint  effort  between  GoldernCore  Records  and  XYZ  Music.

  The  album  starts  out  with  a  very  hard  and  heavy  rock  sound  along  with  some  vocals  a  few  seconds  later  and  then  the  recording  goes  for  a  more  mainstream  rock/metal  direction  along  with  all  of  the  musical  instruments  sounding  very  powerful  and  they  also  bring  in  a  mixture  of  blues  rock,  hair  metal  and  grunge  on  some  of  the  tracks.

   As  time  goes  on  by  the  music  starts  to  find  a  good  balance  between  heaviness  and  melody  and  they  also  bring  in  a  good  amount  of  guitar  leads  and  solos  as  well  as  some  clean  playing  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  along  with  a  very  modern  approach  to  hard  rock  in  the  heavier  sections  of  the  music.

  Miracle  Master  bring  in  a  good  amount  of  diversity  with  their  music  with  some  hard  rock  and  hair  metal  sound  which  would  appeal  to  the  over  40  crowd  while  also  having  some  post  grunge  and  modern  day  mainstream  rock  elements  which  update  their  sound  along  with  a  very  professional  sounding  production  and  lyrics  that  cover  everyday  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Miracle  Master  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  heavy  metal,  hard  rock  and  post  grunge  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Come  Alive"  Forgive  Yourself"  "Tatooed  Woman"  and  "We  All  Touch  Evil".  8  out  of  10.

Kirk/Masquerade/Mausoleum Records/2014 CD Review

  Kirk  are  a  band  from  Switzerland  that  plays  a  very  melodic  form  of  power  metal  adn  this  is  a  review  of  their  2014  album  "masquerade"  which  was  released  by  Mausoleum  Records.

  The  album  starts  out  with  dark  sounding  synths  before  going  into  a  heavier  direction  along  with  all  of  the  musical  instruments  sounding  very  powerful  and  then  the  vocals  kick  in  along  with  some  progressive  metal  elements  and  the  music  sticks  mostly  to  the  more  melodic  side  of  power  metal  and  after  awhile  solos  and  leads  become  a  part  of  the  recording.

  When  we  get  more into  the  album  the  synths  get  more  powerful  and  the  band  mixes  the  old  school  power  metal  sound  with  some  more  modern  elements  and  you  can hear  a  good  amount  of  Queensyrche  and  Iron  Maiden  influences  in  the  music  as  well  as  a  good  amount  of  progressive  and  hard  rock  elements  and  you  can  also  hear  acoustic  guitars  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  and  the  songs  have  almost  a  mainstream  80's  rock  sound  to  them  at  times.

  With  this  album  Kirk  creates  a  very  melodic  and  progressive  sounding  power  metal  album  with  the  progressive  parts  being  more  80's  than  what  is  called  progressive  these  days  and  they  update  the  genre  with  a  very  modern  day  and  professional  sounding  production  along  with  dark   and  philosophical  lyrics.

  In  my  opinion  Kirk  are  a  very  great  sounding  melodic  and  progressive  power  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Devil's  Claw"  "Eternity"  "The  End  Of  The  Universe"  and  "Fallen  Angel".  8  out  of  10.


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Merkabah/Ubiquity/Maple Metal Records/2014 CD Review

  Merkabah  are  a  band  from  Canada  that  plays  a  very  symphonic  form  of  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2014  album  "Ubiquity"  which  was  released  by  Maple  Metal  Records.

  The  album  starts  out  with  a  very  heavy  and  symphonic  sound  before  adding  in  an  old  school  metal  sound  along  with  some  vocals  while  also  keeping  around  the  symphonic  elements  which  also  mix  in  prog  influences  at  times  and  adding  in  back  up  vocals  and  a  few  seconds  alter  solos  and  leads  become  a  part  of  the  recording  along  with  all  of  the  musical  instruments  having  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.

   By  the  2rd track  the  music  really  starts  going  for  a  more  symphonic  version  of  power  metal  along  with  a  great  amount  of  80's  influences  being  thrown  in  as  well  as  male  and  female  vocals  being  mixed  together  at  times,  as  the  album  progresses  clean  guitars  are  added  into  certain  sections  of  the  recording.

  When  we  get  more  into  the  album  you  can  hear t races  of  psychedelic  rock  and  proto  metal  being  mixed  in  with  the  more  modern  and  symphonic  metal  sound  of  the  recording  and  halfway  through  the  album  a  power  ballad  is  added  into  the  recording  which  also  utilizes  some  acoustic  guitars  and  the  following  tracks  see  the  band  returning  to  a  heavier  direction  as  well  as  having  a  few  songs  that  are  7  minutes  or  longer  and  later  on  another  power  ballad  is  added  in  before  closing  the  album  with  another  heavy  track  which is  also  all  instrumental  and  very  progressive  sounding.

  Merkabah  brings  in  a  very  symphonic  approach  to power  and  heavy  metal  with  their  music  as  well  as  mixing  more  modern  elements  with  70s  and  80's  influences  as  well  as  having  a  very  professional  sounding  production  and  lyrics  that  cover  dark,  occult  and  metaphysical  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Merkabah  are  a  very  great  sounding  symphonic  heavy  metal  band  an d if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Mythomania"  "Brothers  From  The  Seed  of  Cain"  "Agartha"  and  "Ubiquity".  8  out  of  10.  

Crystal Tears/Hellmade/massacre Records/2014 CD Review

  Crystal  Tears  are  a  band  from  Greece  that  plays  a  very  aggressive  and  melodic  form  of  power  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2014  album  "Hellmade"  which  was  released  by  Massacre  Records.

  The  album  starts  out  with  a  very  heavy  and  melodic  sound  along  with  a  mixture  of  riffs  and  solos  and  a  few  seconds  later  vocals  are  added  into  the  music  that  are  mostly  clean  sung  but  get  aggressive  at  times  along  with  some  prog  elements.

  As  the  album  progresses  the  music  sticks  to  mostly  a  power  metal  direction  while  you  can  also  hear  a  small  amount  of  speed  and  thrash  metal  influences  in  the  riffing  at  times  as  well  as  mixing  both  the  more  aggressive  side  of  power  metal  with  the  more  melodic  and  mainstream  side  of  that  genre  with  the  catchy  chorus's  and  there  is  also  a  few  seconds  of  death  metal  growls  being  utilized  on  one  of  the  tracks.

  When  we  get  more  into  the  album  you  can  hear  traces  of  the  more  hard  rock  orientated  style  of  heavy  metal  while  also  remaining  very  heavy  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound to  them  and  on  one  of  the t racks  the  music  adds  in  some  back  up  thrash  gang  vocals  on  some  of  their  faster  material  and  later  on  they  bring  in  a  small  amount  of  acoustic  guitars  on  one  track  while  also  remaining  heavy  at  the  same  time  and  the  last  track  is  a  Midnight  Oil  cover.

  With  this  album  Crystal  Tears  combine  both  the  old  school  and  modern  day  forms  of  power  metal  together  along  with  a  great  balance  between  heaviness  and  melodies  which  sounds  even  more  powerful  with  a  very  professional  sounding  production  and  lyrics  that  cover  life  and  fantasy  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Crystal  Tears  are  a  very  great  sounding  aggressive  and  melodic  power  metal  band and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  recording.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Destination  Zero"  "The  Devil  Inside"  "Violent  New  Me"  and  "The  Beds  Are  Burning".  8  out  of  10.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Vestal Claret/The Cult Of Vestal Claret/Cruz del Sur Music/2014 CD Review

  Vestal  Claret  are  a  band  from  Rhode  island  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  that  plays  a  mixture  of  doom,  heavy  metal  and  occult  rock and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2014  album  "The  Cult  Of  Vestal  Claret"  which  will  be  released  by  Cruz  del  Sur  Music.

  The  album  starts  out  with  psychedelic  sounds  before  going  into  a  more  heavy  and  melodic  direction  as  well  as  all  of  the  musical  instruments  sounding  very  powerful  and  then  vocals  make  their  way  onto  the  recording  and  after  a  few  minutes  70's  metal  style  solos  and  leads  become  a  part  of  the  album.

  The  music  on  this  album  after  awhile  starts  mixing  in  early  70's  heavy  and  doom  metal  with  occult  rock  while  also  having  an  updated  take  on  it  as  well  as  being  very  dark  and  evil  from  beginning  to  end  and  at  times  the  band  brings  elements  of  death  rock  and  a  good  amount  of  melody  to  the  recording  along  with  some  influences  from  early  80's  metal  and  once  the  album  goes  into  the  5th  track  acoustic  guitars  are  added  onto  the  album  for  the  ballad.

  On  the  following  track  the  music  returns  to  a  heavier  direction  along  with  elements  of  hard  rock  and  NWOBHM  but  done  in  a  more  dark  manner  and  later  on  they  bring  in  a  16  minute  track  that  uses  a  mixture  of  both  clean  and  heavy  metal  along  with  traces  of  60's  psychedelic  rock which  are  done  by  the  organs  and  the  track  after  that  is  a  cover  of  Black  Sabbath's  "Who  Are  You"  and  they  close  the  album  with  one  of  their  own  songs.

  Vestal  Claret  continue  their  mixture  of  occult  rock,  heavy  and  doom  metal  of  previous  recordings  with  this  album  while  also  adding  in  more  psychedelic  elements  and  updating  their  retro  sound  with  a  modern  day  sounding  production  and  lyrics  that  cover  Satanism,  Occultism  and  Horror  Movie  themes.  

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Vestal  Claret  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  occult  rock,  heavy  and  doom  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Never  Say  No  Again"  "The  Cult  Of  Vestal  Claret"  "Black  Priest"  and  "The  Stranger".  8/5  out  of  10.  

Battleroar/Blood Of Legends/Cruz Del Sur Music/2014 CD Review

  Battleroar  are  a  band  from  Greece  that  plays  an  epic  mixture  of  power  and  heavy  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2014  album  "Blood  Of  Legends"  which  will  be  released  by  Cruz  Del  Sur  Music.

  The  album  starts  out  with  thunder  sounds  along  with  acoustic  guitars,  melodic  chanting  and  violins  which  also  bring  a  medieval  pagan  feeling  to  the  recording  and  on  the  following  track  the  music  goes  into  a  more  heavier  direction  along  with  a  good  amount  of  melody  as  well  as  adding  in  vocals.

   After  awhile  back  up  vocals  are  added  into  the  album  and  the  music  starts  going  for  a  more  epic  power  metal  sound  and  at  times they  also  bring  back  acoustic  guitars  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  as  well  as  bringing  in  a  great  amount  of  solos  and  leads  and  on  later  tracks  violins  make  a  return  to  the recording  and  mixes  in  with  the  heavier  parts.

  All  of  the  songs  on  this  recording  go  back  to  the  80's  heavy  and  power  metal  sounds  along  with  most  of  them  averaging  over  7  minutes  while  there  are  alos  some  shorter  tracks  and  you  can  also  hear  elements  as  speed  metal  in  the  faster  riffing  and  all  of  the  musical  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  at  time s the  vocals  get  a  little  bit  more  aggressive  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  which  also  helps  bring  the  old  school  power  metal  sound  into  a  more  modern  direction.    

  With  this  album  Battleroar  takes the  80's  epic  power  metal  sound  and  also  takes  it  in  a  heavier  and  more  modern  direction  along  with  a  very  powerful  and  professional  sounding  production  and  lyrics  that  cover  Fantasy,  Norse  and  Greek  Mythology.

  In  my  opinion  Battleroar  are  a  very  great  sounding  epic  power/heavy  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  recording.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Blood  Of  Legends"  "Curse  of  Medea"  "Valkyries  Among  Us"  and  "Exile  Eternal".  8/5  out  of  10.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Gamma Ray/Empire Of the Undead/Armoury Records/2014 CD Review

  Gamma  Ray  are  a  band  from  Germany  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and  are  a  band  that  has  been a round  for  more  than  20  years  and  plays  a  very  traditional  form  of  power  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2014  album  "Empire  Of  The  Undead"  which  was  released  by  Armoury  Records.

  The  album  starts  out  with  water  sounds  before  adding  in  clean  playing  and  synths  along  with  melodic  vocals  which  then  takes  the  recording  into  a  heavier  direction  while  also  keeping  around  the  cleaner  sections  and  after  awhile  solos  and  leads  become  a  part  of  the  music  along  with  proto  speed  metal  elements.

  When  the  album  goes into  the  next  song  the  music  gets  a  bit  more  faster  and  heavier  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  on  the  following  track  more  hard  rock  elements  are  added  into  the  recording  and  later  on  more  power  metal  anthems  are  added  onto  the  album  and  at  times  the  guitar  riffing  has  a  thrash/speed  metal  edge  to  them.

  Halfway  through  the  album  the  band  brings  in  a  power  ballad  before  returning  back  to  a  heavier  and  harder  direction  on  the  following  track   and  sticks  to  this  direction   for  the  remainder  of  the  recording.

  With this  album  Gamma  Ray  stick  to  the  power  metal  sounding that  they  are  known  for  as  well  as  staying  away  from  the  more  happy  and  pop  orientated  sound  of  their  early  albums  along  with  a  powerful  and  modern  production  as  well  as  having  lyrics  covering  dark,  mythology,  heavy  metal  and  everyday  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Gamma  Ray  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  band,  you  should  enjoy  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Avalon"  Pale  Rider"  "Demonseed"  and  "I  Will  Return".  8  out  of  10.          

Gun Barrel Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band these days?

Yesterday we released our new album DAMAGE DANCER in Europe. We are producing a video clip for the titletrack and we will be on the road with Brainstorm.

2.Recently you have released a new album, how would you describe the musical sound of the new recording and also how does it differ from your previous releases?

Damage Dancer is a pure Rocker.  You find very focussed arrangements and a tight and straight production. Compared with Brace For Impact it is reduced to the max.

3.Can you tell us a little bit more about the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer music?

We got it all. Personal Rock ‘n’ Roll stories like “Back Alley Ruler” and “Heading for disaster”, statements  about our attitudelike“Damage Dancer”and“Bashing Thru”, fictions like “Building A Monster”, “Ride 
The Dragon” and “Vultures Are Waiting”.

4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Gun Barrel'?

The music is straight and unmistakable like the barrel of a gun.

5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the
years and also how would you describe your stage performance?

Our stage performance is resolute, full of energy with a strong link to
the audience. It’s not us and them. It’s one big Rock party.

Some of the best shows: Wacken, Ankara Open Air, Gigs with our friends 
from Grave Digger, Motorjesus, Nitrogods, some unforgettable private 
shows as well. We organized a sold out show on 21.12.2012. It was like 
the last party on earth. Unforgettable.

6.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?

We already packed our bags for some shows with Brainstorm in April.

7.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to the newer music by
fans of metal?

Great. Our fans love the new album. We get so many great comments. It 
feels real good.

8.Are any of the band members involved with any other musical projects
these days?

Patrick sings as well in Pantaleon and several cover bands.

9.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

Some of the new songs are a bit more demanding than our old stuff. With
Patrick we are able to do things we never dreamed of in the past. This 
will be the way in the future.

10.What are some bands or musical styles that have had an influence on
your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

This is not so easy to answer. To be honest I don’t know. The way we 
produce our music it is free from direct influences. We just play what 
we feel and what sounds good for our ears, without thinking about where
it comes from and who will like it or not.

Nowadays I like to listen more and more to Jazz. But never forget to 
Rock. Recently I became a fan of Blackberry Smoke, I visited a show of 
Rhino Bucket (Always great), I love D.A.D., I rediscovered Mob Rules of
Black Sabbath and the first Kingdom Come album. Today I bought a vinyl 
Nazareth – No Mean City. I love Motorjesus and the actual Avenged 
Sevenfold album.

11.What are some of your non musical interests?

I’m very into cars. I love to take a ride in my old Chrysler convertible 
or my Jaguar limousine.

12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or

Yesterday we played the album release show for Damage Dancer. The show 
was a blast. The crowd rocked like hell.

I hope you and your readers get the chance to hear the songs live. 
Because that is what we really love to do. Play in club in your hometown 
and blow the roof off the place.

CU on the road

Monday, March 24, 2014

Tetrarchate/Symposium Of The Tetrarchs/2014 EP Review

  Tetarchate  are  a  band  from  Italy  that  plays  an  old  school  form  of  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2014  ep  "Symposium  Of  the  Tetarchs".

  The  ep  starts  out  with  a  very  heavy  and  melodic  sound  along  with  all  of  the  musical  instruments  sounding  powerful  as  well  as  a  mixture  of  riffs  and  solos  before  adding  in  thrash  style  vocals  which  have  a  rougher  edge  than  most  singers  in  this  genre  along  with  some  death  metal  elements.

  As  the  ep  progresses  the  music  goes  for  more  of  an  old  school  thrash  sound  along  with  some  blast  beats  being  utilized  briefly  and  on  the  3rd  track  the  music  slows  down  a  bit  and  gets  heavier  before  returning  back  to  a  thrash  direction  and  the guitar  leads  bring  in  a  more  melodic  side  to  the  ep  and  on  the  last  track  you  can  also  hear  some  infleuences  from  traditional  and  power  metal

  Tetarchute  stick  to  a  very  old  school  form  of  thrash  while  the  vocals  seem  to  have  black  and  death  metal  elements  while  also  not  being  a  part  of  that  genre  musically,  and  the  production  has  a  very  powerful  sound  along  with  the  lyrics  covering  violent  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Tetarchate  are  a  very  great  sounding  old  school  thrash  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  ep.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Scar"  and  "Chant  Of  the  Forsaken".  8  out  of  10.  

Friday, March 21, 2014

Blackwater/Self Titled/The Path Less Traveled Records/2014 CD Review

  Blackwater  are  a  band  from  Illinois  that  plays  and  old  school  form  of  doom  with  elements  of  traditional  metal  and  hard  rock  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  titled  2014  album  which  was  released  by  the  Path  Less  Traveled  Records.

  The  album  starts  out  with  a  very  dark  and heavy  sound  along  with  some  melodic  vocals  a  few  seconds  later  along  with  some  guitar  leads  shortly  after  that  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.

  When  we  get  more  into  the  album  the  music  starts  mixing  doom  and  70's  hard  rock/metal  together  along  with  a  good  amount  of  melody  and  at  times  they  bring  in  clean  playing along  with some  psychedelic  traces  and  at  times  you  can  also  hear  element s of  blues  rock  being  mixed  in  with  the  heaviness  of  the  recording  and  the  last  track  is  a  Judas  priest  cover.

  With  this  recording  Blackwater  takes  the  80's  doom  metal  sound  and  mixes  it  with  traditional  metal  and  70's  hard  rock  along  with  a  modern  day  production  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own  which  is  very  heavy,  dark  and  melodic  all  at  the  same  time.

  Song  lyrics  cover  dark  and  occult  themes,  while  the  production  has  a  very  strong,  powerful,  heavy,  dark  and  professional  sound  where  you  can  hear  all  of  the  musical  instruments  that  are  present  on  this  recording.

  In  my  opinion  Blackwater  are  a  very  great  sounding  doom  rock/metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Final  Solution"  "Crucified"  "Revenant"  and  "Deceiver".  8  out  of  10.  

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Pet Slimmers Of The Year/Fragments Of Uniforms/Candlelight Records/2014 CD Review

  Pet  Slimmers  Of  The  Year  are  a  band  from  the  United  kingdom  that  plays  a  mixture  of   post rock,  alternative  and  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2014  album  "Fragments  Of  Uniforms"  which  was  released  by  Candlelight  Records.

  The  album  starts  out  with  psychedelic  sounds  before  adding  in  clean  playing  before  going  into  a  heavier  direction  along  with  all  of  the  musical  instruments  having  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  you  can  also  hear  a  good  amount  of  melody  in  the  recording  and after  awhile  vocals  find  their  way  into  the  music.

  When  the  album  goes  into  other  songs  you  can  hear  some  drones  and  post  rock  elements  being  added  into  the  recording  and  the  rest  of  the  recording  sticks  to  a  mostly  to  an  instrumental  direction  while  the  vocals  do  make  a  return  at  times  with  the  album  focusing  on  a  post  metal  sound  with  traces  of  alternative  music  and  when  we  get  more  into  the  album  acoustic  guitars  are  brought  in  briefly  before  the  album  makes  a  return  to  a  heavier  direction  and  towards  the  end you  can  hear  a  small  amount  of  spoken  word  parts  being  utilized.

  With  this  album  Pet  Slimmers  Of  The  Year  takes  an  instrumental  form  of  post  rock,  mixes  it  in  with  the  melody  of  alternative  and  the  heaviness  of  metal  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own  as  well  as  bringing  in  a  great  amount  of  variety  into  the  music.

  Song  lyrics  are  mostly  absent  from  this  recording  with  most  of  the  music  being  instrumental,  while  the  production  has  a  very  strong,  powerful,  heavy  and  professional  sound  where  you  can  hear  all  of  the  musical  instruments  that  are  present  on  this  recording.    

  In  my  opinion  Pet  Slimmers  Of  the  Year  are  a  very  great  sounding  instrumental  mixture  of  post  rock,  alternative  and  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Arterias"  "Churning Of  the  Sea  of  Milk"  and  "La  Tormenta".  8  out  of  10.  

Gun Barrel/Damage Dancer/Massacre Records/2014 CD Review

    Gun  Barrel  are  a  band  from  Germany  that  plays  a  mixture  of  hard  rock,  heavy  and  power  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2014  album  "Damage  Dancer"  which  was  released  by  Massacre  Records.

  The  album  starts  out with  an  intro  with  guitar  noises  and  sounds  and  after  the  intro  the music  goes into  a  more  old  school  metal  direction  along  with  all  of  the  musical  instruments  sounding very  powerful  and  a  few  seconds  alter  vocals  and  hard  rock  elements  start  to  kick  in  and  after  awhile  solos  and  leads  are  added  into  the  music.

  When  the  album  goes  into  other  songs  the  music  becomes  a  music  of  70's  hard  rock/metal  close  to  NWOBHM  and  power  metal  while  also  bringing  a  more  modern  feeling  to  it  and  they  also  stay  away  from  power  ballads  and  the  album  sticks  to  a  hard  and  heavy  sound  from  beginning  to  end.

  With  this  album  Gun  Barrel  go  back  to t he  mid  70's  and  take  the  hard  rock,  heavy  metal  and  NWOBHM  genres  from that  time  and  mix  it  in  with  power  metal  and  a  modern  production  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own.

  Song  lyrics  cover  fantasy,  darkness  and  everyday  themes,  while  the  production  has  a  very  strong,  powerful,  heavy  and  professional  sound  where  you  can h ear  all  of  the  musicla  instruments  that  are  present  on  this  recording.

  In  my  opinion  Gun  Barrel  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  hard  rock,  heavy  and  power  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this b and.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Damage  Dancer"  "Building  A  Monster"  "Ride  the  Dragon"  and  "Vultures  Are  Waiting".  8  out  of  10.