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Monday, November 30, 2015

Video: Wrathrone - Eternal Salvation



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Stream: Barathrum - Revenge By Magick


Review: Honeymoon Disease - The Transcendence


Honeymoon Disease is another good band from Sweden. Man, I am starting to wonder if what is happening with the young Swedish headbangers is something similar to the NWOBHM in England in the 80’s. The band adopted Ramones-like nickname and recorded their first album, The Transcendence, with this line-up: Jenna Disease (Vocals & Guitar), Acid Disease (Guitar), Admiral Disease (Bass) and Jimi Disease (Drums), but soon after the release of the record, Nicklas Hellqvist (Neck Disease) replaced Admiral as their bass player.

The Transcendence brings up a 70’s pure rock n’roll sound that will please the fans of Deep Purple (MKII), Rainbow (Dio years), UFO, Thin Lizzy, Suzy Quatro, The Runaways, among others. The guitar playing of the two women in the group is very good, specially the twin-guitars moments. Jenna’s vocal reminds me a little of Doro Pesch from Warlock, but without much of its raspiness. All songs have similar qualities, but if I had to pick up the best ones it would be Imperial Mind and Breakup. The production of the album is excellent and it sound like it was recorded live in studio with all the raw energy that a live recording can have.

Many reviews are praising Honeymoon Disease as one of the best albums of the year. I would not say that yet, but they are surely in the right path to the top.

Remember: It’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock n’roll.

Track List:
1. Higher
2. Stargazer
3. Imperial Mind
4. Gotta Move
5. You’re Too Late
6. Break Up
7. Bellevue Groove
8. Fast Love
9. Rock `N` Roll Shock
10. Brand New Ending
11. Keep Me Spinning

Written by Anderson Tiago

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Review: The Iron Son - Enemy


Following his fifteen year career as the founder and vocalist of hardcore metal heroes, Bleeding Through, Brandan Schieppati has returned with his new project - The Iron Son.
Schieppati teamed up with long time friend and producer, Mick Kenney - the polymath mind behind Anaal Nathrakh - to create a sound that encapsulates his refreshed vision. The Iron Son has also provided for an opportunity for Schieppati to have old friends and few of his favorite musicians contribute, further diversifying the sound.

On this album you can hear a lot of aggressive elements, all the instruments together make for a good coherent sound, that make the aggression stronger, supporting the honest and pissed off lyrics in a way that make you “feel” the song. What really stands out is the fast blasting beats of the drums on every song, while still being alternated by moderately paced on parts where needed. The guitar is also something to talk about, it has some dissonant riffs with progressive rhythm parts to catchy riffs and exemplary lead work found in the solos, everything gives a solid backbone for the vocals and lyrics. While everything forms a whole, you can still hear some diversity in the clean vocals and grunts. The guest appearances also make this an interesting album to listen to. If you can keep your legs still while listening to this album, you have to listen to it again.

Special Guests:
Chris Cerulli (Motionless In White) features on Unleash Hell
Marta (Bleeding Through) additional keyboard tracks on Moral Messiah
Shannon Lucas (ex. The Black Dahlia Murder) drums on Worth Less, Colder, Unleash Hell, Blood

The Iron Son's debut album Enemy will be released on December 1, via Pvre Evil Records. Pvre Evil Records was set up in 2015 by Schieppati, Kenney and mutual friend CJ Ray, in order to give themselves complete creative control over their artistic output.

Songlist:
1. Worthless
2. Colder
3. Unleash Hell
4. This World Is Decay
5. Take No Shit
6. Blood
7. Enemy
8. The Funeral
9. Moral Messiah

Written by Cecile Ann

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Friday, November 27, 2015

Live video: Inverted Serenity - Grasp of Impermanence (Enchanted Edition)



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Lyric video: Wolfhorde - Fimbulvetr



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Video: VARG - Das Ende Aller Lügen (Extended Video Version incl. „Der große Diktator“)



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Lyric video: Manegarm - Blot



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Stream: Endless Recovery - Revel In Demise


Video: Second Rate Angels - 2 In 24



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Review: Hoaxbane - Messengers Of Change


Hoaxbane is a black metal duo from Berlin, Germany. Now starting this album I had doubts about the amount of black metal essentials that modern black metal bands have. The first track has a more slow-ish start to it, but further on it pushes a true black metal vibe. And there you can see the full brilliance of the band. They know how to combine faster and slower sections to sound good and like real black metal.

The one of the things I have found a little bit ear tearing is the amount of triggering on the bass drum. As a musician I know you NEED triggers to be able to hear the bass drum over high tempos, but here like many modern recording the treble on the triggers and the sensitivity is way too high, in some instances you can really know what is the bass drum and what is the snare. But then again, I am only a listener with a little experience in recording, and this is a thing that I would like to stop in the nearest future.

Back to the album. The songs that follow the intro song are also diverse in tempo and tone. Some of the songs venture into Immortal territory of song structures with fast paces and dissonant distorted guitars.

One of the things I really like is the mixing of the vocals. The vocals are really good. The vocalist knows what he is doing, and that is rare. The mixing of the vocals in the album makes it even better.

The album is great and actually surprisingly a real black metal album today. If I get another album from these guys I will review it very happily.

Written by Nikola Milošević

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Review: Alphastate - Out Of The Black


Alphastate deliver a kicker of a first album

Alphastate; a Greek band, debuting with their first CD “Out of the Black” is a handful of an album. Cut-throat riffs and powerful singing make a very interesting album and a very good first effort from the Greeks. They say to have influence from 80’s metal bands and these influences are distinguishable, definitely, especially Pantera. But the singing is more Iron Maiden, and all other bits and pieces remind one of yet other bands. Yet, they also seem to be able to get a very own sound out; the punch in every song and the technical riffs also have a lot of influence of certain NWOAHM-styles and it is in the end altogether too modern to just be compared to the 80’s greatest.

The thing these men from Greece do very well is to never dwell on a single trick, never be content with just one well-written riff repeating throughout the song. Songs seem not build on one moment of genius but are very well put together and very varied, so no song sounds alike. The songs rarely pass far past the 4 minute mark, which also helps to give every song that hard-hitting quality. Alphastate comes on, punches your teeth in and leaves for the next song; rinse and repeat. The fat sound of the guitars has a lot to do with this quality; very bottom-heavy palm muted sounds that are similar to early Pantera, but polished up to todays standards.

The downsides to the album are few; sometimes the solos favour the technical for the beautiful, however brief. It is to be understood when making a debut album to go all-out in every direction to showcase what you got in store, but sometimes Alphastate seems to want to do too much in one song and the cohesion falls apart a bit. The singing, however always on key, sometimes sounds slightly forced, as if the singer has to work for every note, not really being at ease. Especially in the higher regions he has a vibrato that sometimes lingers on too long, makes him strain to hold on.

These are minor points, however, and overall this debut kicks metal-butt. Again, especially for a first effort this album has variety, the balls to shout in the listeners face and do things that may blow up in their face at times, but overall work out very well.

Written by Frank van Drunen

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Thursday, November 26, 2015

Video: Native Construct - Mute



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Stream: Starblind - The Lighthouse



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Stream: The Erkonauts - The Great Ass Poopery



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Album stream: Eucharist - Demise Rites


Stream: Gravewurm - The One True Soul Of Darkness



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Album stream: Herscher - Herscher


Review: Extreme Cold Winter - Paradise Ends Here


Extreme Cold Metal is a trio from The Netherlands that consists of Pim Blankenstein on vocals, Seth Van de Loo on drums and A.J. van Drenth on guitar/bass. They were recently formed in 2009.

Paradise Ends Here is their first shot at a full album and what an album it is! From the agonizing drums to the monstrous riffs. This album grabs you by the balls and don't let go till it has said everything it was set to say.

The album opens with the killer "Warriors of the Wasteland". From the very intro you will be headbanging to the crushing guitars and the marching of the drums. The whole album plays like one big continuous song and that's quite the feat. By "The Siberian Darkness" you will identify this band's signature MO.

When I was thinking about the best song on this album, it was easily "One Liquid Waters". What a beast of doom it is. Following the trend of the album so far, you can't help but feel entraced. It's all like a sweet dance of death. You won't help but feel sad when it ends.

If I have a gripe with this release, it's one thing and it is that the album is short. After the album was finished, I was left wanting for more. I guess the band pulled the classic "always leaving them wanting more".

I have no idea how this amazing band is still unreleased, but if bands like this don't get the praise it deserves then I don't want to live on this planet anymore.

Written by Ahmed Winchester

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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Video: Conflicted - Structural Violence



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Stream: Zombieslut - Lobotomizer



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Stream: Bodyfarm - Firing Squad



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Video: Khadaver - Gods-RW



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Stream: Psychosomatic - Grand Mal Seizure

Stream: Dendritic Arbor - Snake Oil




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Stream: Low Flying Hawks - Ruins



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Album stream: Collossus Fall - Hidden Into Details



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Lyric video: The Moth Gatherer - Attacus Atlas



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Album stream: Anomalie - Refugium



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Review: Steelwing - Reset, Reboot, Redeem

After almost four years since the release of Zone of Alienation (2012) comes the release of Reset, Reboot, Redeem, the highly anticipated third record of the Swedish heavy metal band Steelwing. The whole concept of a dystopian future remains, but where Lord of The Wasteland (2010) and Zone of Alienation were cartoonish, the new album takes a far more serious approach using a science fiction story with a interesting plot: the decadence of the humankind and its inevitable extinction to pave way for a trans-humanistic new breed.

The most important thing I noticed during the first hearing of the record is how different it is from its predecessors. The songs reflected very well the seriousness and maturity of the concept and there is also a broader spectrum of influences.

The dark intro Carbon Waste Lifeforms is soon followed by title track, Reboot, Redeem is also the single chosen to present the album and while I think it is a great, fast song, there were some songs like Ozymandias that would have done a greater job in getting the fans excited for the upcoming release. The song is clearly inspired in a sonnet written by English romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley about the Egyptian pharaoh Ramesses II (Ozymandias was his Greek name). It is by far the best track in the entire “fuckin’” album. Mercyful Fate and King Diamond fans will be very pleased to hear such a masterpiece. The next song Och världen gav vika is a very curious one as it is sung in Swedish, but it is a good fast track nevertheless. Architects of Destruction is another great song and the mid-section has some speeches that fit well into the story. Like Shadows, Like Ghosts and the 7-minutes piece Hardwired keep the level high with great chorus and guitar work. We Are All Left Here to Die is an epic ending with over 9 minutes (Ozymandias and Architects of Destruction are both over 6 minutes long and that is another great difference compared to Zone of Alienation).

The line-up is still the same from their last album: Oskar Âstedt (drums), Robby Rockbag (guitar), Riley Ericson (vocals) Alex Vega (guitar), Nic Savage (bass) and of all them have done a great job here, but I must highlight how good Riley sounds here. The vocals are amazing, from the high register till the death metal growls that are much more present now. The production by the Swedish death metal legend Fred Estby (Necronaut, The Dagger, ex-Dismember) also deserves to be appreciated.

Excellent album and if you have not listened to it yet, go now and check Ozymandias.

Written by Anderson Tiago

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Review: Solution .45 - Nightmares In The Waking State Part 1


Having not heard of this band before, the first thing I did when I got the album to review it was to look up the bio provided with the album, and realised that the names involved in this band are actually familiar to me, especially the guys from Scar Symmetry and after I saw the bio I thought I knew what to expect from this piece, and oh boy was I wrong.

First of all, by the name of the album, the album art and the genre of the band (melodic death metal) you might get the impression that it is a classic Swedish melo-death album and you would be wrong. It has a much much more modern metal vibe in its sound, perhaps even some metalcore-ish sounds and influences in it dare I say.

The first track is overtly melodic and everything you would expect from a melo-death band, but the second plunges right in the more modern sound. It is still melodic but with clean vocals overpowering the growling vocals and even some breakdown moments that accent the more metalcore elements of the band. And I don't say that as a bad thing. I may not be a fan of the genre, but I can appreciate a well performed and composed song of the genre. And this album is just that, the mix of melodic and breakdown riffs is great and not seen that much in the scene these days, it one or the other. This perhaps is a album the bands of the scene can learn from and improve.

The overall sound quality is as expected, great and overwhelmingly clean sounding, there is not frequency mix ups, and if you want to hear the individual instruments you can do so with no effort. One of the things I really like is the vocals. Both the performance and the recordings. Just great.

I would seriously recommend this album to everyone who is into melodic and metalcore-ish stuff every day, just listen and enjoy the immense musicianship at work here.

Written by Nikola Milošević

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Review: Steak Number Eight - Kosmokoma


Steak Number Eight is a four man post metal/sludge outfit from Wevelgem, a small town in southwest Belgium, close to the French border. Its somewhat curious name comes from one of the songs by the band Voidpoint, a nu-metal band also hailing from Wevelgem. Steak Number Eight’s founder Brent Venneste’s brother Thobias played drums with that band until his mysterious death in 2005 and as a homage to him, the then 13 year old Brent decided to start a band. He chose the first song on Voidpoint’s debut album to be his band’s name. behold Steak Number Eight.

‘Kosmokoma’ is not SNE’s first feat of arms, in fact it’s their fourth, starting with their 2008 debut EP ‘The candle dies out’, which was released shortly after they were the youngest winners ever of the Humo's Rock Rally, an important Belgian music contest. Their debut was applauded widely, and since then all they could reasonably have done is grow. Mind you, these guys were in their teens back then, so there was plenty of room to grow. And did they ever use that room. With every new release their progression was obvious, making clear these boys had and still have a great future ahead of them.

After releasing their debut SNE was immediately compared to heavyweights like ISIS, Tool, Amen Ra and Mastodon, but where that claim might have held true back in their ‘early days’, nowadays they deserve more credit in my opinion. The influence of those bands is unmistakable, but SNE most certainly found their own way of playing their music. Classically lined-up with a guitarist/vocalist (Brent Vanneste), another guitarist (Cis Deman), a bass player (Jesse Surmont) and a drummer (Joris Casier) SNE plays a catchy, ambient and sometimes aggressive type of post metal based music on ‘Kosmokoma’ that will remain present in your subconscious for a long time.

Opener ‘Return of the Kolomon’ is a somewhat progressive up-tempo song with a vocal twist in the final minute. Its music shifts back and forth between heavy and ambient, building up to multiple climaxes. A nice warming up. The variety in the heaviness of the music is matched by equally varied vocal lines in ‘Your soul deserves to die twice’, where Brent shows his impressive vocal reach. The same recipe applies to ‘Principal features of the cult’, but the heaviness gradually lessens and the ambient, melodic parts become more distinct and prominent.

This proves to be a definitive move, the rest of the album, consisting of eight more songs, only occasionally turns back to the heavy style used in the first two songs, like in ‘Charades’ and ‘Cheating the gallows’ for example. Brent doesn’t display his vocal range too often anymore either, instead he opts for clean vocals most of the time. Here too is the occasional exception, as the screams in, again, ‘Charades’ and ‘It might be the lights’ delicately point out. ‘Gravity giants’ and ‘Knows sees tells all’ are somewhat slower songs, with a prominent role for the great drum work by Joris, where ‘Charades’ and ‘Claw it on your eyes’ maintain a higher pace. The rest of the album is pretty much created from the same blueprint, alternating between slow(er), more melodic and fast(er), heavier rock songs ending with ‘Space punch’, which in fact has some spacy elements to it.

So to conclude ‘Kosmokoma’ may be a lot, but it definitely is not a very heavy album. Let it be clear, however, that this in no way discards this album. If you’re looking for heavy riffs, blast beats or screaming solos you’re on the wrong track here, but other than that ‘Kosmokoma’ has plenty to offer for many, and it is well worth a couple of spins. Young as they still are, SNE’s musicians are well on the way to master their instruments, if they have not already. On top of that, not exactly trivial either, they also know how to pour that skill into great compositions (written by Brent) which keep you entertained for every single one of the 67 minutes this album lasts. With this new release SNE shows they have matured nicely and that they are capable of making some great, entertaining music.

Written by Henric van Essen

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Review: Manegarm - Manegarm


Odin owns ye all.

This sentence pretty much sums up the entire album and maybe the whole Viking/pagan metal scene in general. I probably say that like it is a bad thing right? It’s not actually. When you listen to this style of music, you know what you’re gonna get and you’re gonna get it hard!

This new self titled album from the band that named it’s band after a blood drinking wolf. If the name is not enough for you, you should listen to this album. Straight to the point Viking metal and it has everything such an album may need. It’s the occasional tremolo picking to the campfire songs on a midsummer night. All in one album!

Of course we know Manegarm is not all about the easy listening campfire songs. Black metal interludes are a common ground for these guys. It shows me that they do not limit themselves to one style of metal. On top of this article I mentioned the song “Odin owns ye all”. This song is more of a power metal song than the rest of the album. It is probably the most “radio friendly” one.

Overall this band deserves the credit or the torch whatever you’d like… yeah you, with the long beard! Manegarm deserves to be on top of the Viking/pagan metal foodchain. This album is (once again) everything you might expect from a Viking metal album but executed in the best way possible. Cheesiness can't be an answer to this because when you listen to Manegarm, you know what to expect. This album IS what you expect.

My verdict is 7,5 for great execution of production and song writing. The missing 2,5 points are for the lack of originality.

Written by Joost van der Leij

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Live review: Amorphis, Arch Enemy, Nightwish, 20-11-2015, Heineken Music Hall (HMH) Amsterdam

Amorphis and Arch Enemy could easily headline a tour, but at the HMH they support Nightwish. An interesting choice, since it marks Nightwish’s return to a heavier sound. Due to the traffic I only witnessed the last 30 seconds of Amorphis’ performance, but Arch Enemy managed to make me forget about anything else.

While the band started their set, new vocalist Alissa White-Gluz jumped on stage, blue haired and dressed in a white/black fallen angel outfit, complete with small shoulder wings. I still have to get used to her female growls, but the energy on stage and in the audience is great. The band, although ‘female-fronted’ has much harsher music then the headliner does, but a big part of the audience enjoys the set. The song ‘No Gods, No Masters’ works out amazing, and does fit the moment, just a week after Paris’ 13/11, maybe even because of that the lyrics are very strong.

When the set is finished, it is time for a stage-changeover. When Nightwish starts, the energy in the crowd is full of expectation. After the only tourdate in The Netherlands was sold out quickly, this extra show was planned. It is the first Nightwish tour with Dutch female metal lady Floor Jansen as official leadsinger. For both the audience and Floor it feels like some sort of homecoming. The audience shouts for Floor and Floor in her turn gets very emotional with this attention.

But then: what about the music and the show? Firstly, this show is full of pyrotechnique! The first three songs were filled with fire, both on stage as in the songs themselves. After that, the projections on stage took their turn to amaze. Fitting well with the theme of the last CD, Endless Forms Most Beautiful. The pyro and the projections make this a total experience, together with the energy on stage. Not everything is perfect. Sometimes the volume of the vocals drops, and with some songs the projections do not match the energy of the song. On the other hand, it makes the show very real. Nightwish has a tendency to plan every detail of a live show, with the risk that it will become very automatic. The band shows it can do both: a great performance, with enough moments of contact with the audience and songs that give you the shivers. Especially Sleeping Sun and Ghost Love Score, capture the audience. Older songs like Seven Days to the Wolves and Everdream get a heavier arrangement then the original, which does the songs a lot of good.

After almost two hours the show is over. The last song is probably one of the hardest to find a good form for. ‘The greatest show on Earth’ lasts 25 minutes on CD, with long introductions. The song is performed shorter, but still, with only Tuomas on keyboard and Troy on pipes, it is hard to believe there is no tape on the background of the long introduction...what is actually performed live here? When the band kicks in, especially in the second part, the song really touches the audience. In a way the band is preaching a bit in the very last part: we were here: showing what people do to destroy the earth, depicting the beauty of the earth, showing pictures of a lot of different people dwelling on its surface. Then again, it is part of the theme of the song. And yes, we were here. And it was great to have been there!

Written by Martijn Bakker

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Sunday, November 22, 2015

Lyric video: Skálmöld - Að Vetri



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Video: Phantasma - Miserable Me



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Stream: Tales Of The Tomb - Dr. Death



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Video: X Japan - Born To Be Free



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Lyric video: Inverted Serenity - Wrought (Rot)



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Video: Cauldron - No Return/In Ruin



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Deadheads to release second album Loadead in October

Swedish rockers Deadheads will release their second studio album titled "Loadead" on October 30, 2015, on High Roller Records.

You had to look very hard for a bad review of "This Is Deadheads First Album (It Includes Electric Guitars)", released on High Roller Records earlier this year. Metal Hammer, Rock Hard, Rocks, Classic Rock - they all loved the Deadheads’ own brand of "Boogie Punk" (that’s how the band describe their own sound). Guitarist and singer Manne Olander finds a simple explanation for the Deadheads being everybody’s darling at the moment: "People that really enjoy and understand good music always find something they like in different kinds of musical genres. Good music is good music. We just play rock ‘n’ roll".

According to Manne Olander, the mode of production shaped the way the record turned out quite considerably: "We recorded "Loadead" live in the studio, with all musicians playing their respective instruments together in one room. Nobody was wearing any headphones. That really gave the whole album the right vibe. We work hard on the songwriting to get the songs and the sound we like".

With tracks like the fuzzed up "There's A Hole In The Sky", the more laid-back "Empty Howls" (with shades of early Fleetwood Mac) and "Let Loose The Fool", proto punk in the vein of The Dead Boys, Dictators, Johnny Thunders and New York Dolls, "Loadead" has an even broader scope, a wider appeal than the Deadheads’ first album.

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Ambush to release new album Desecrator in October


Swedish heavy metallers Ambush will release their new studio album titled "Desecrator" on October 30, 2015, via High Roller Records.

"Desecrator" contains nine brand new tracks, and will surely satisfy the band’s growing legions of fans. “We feel very confident with the material, album cover and the production. We like to write our heavy metal in different tempos and we think that we have come up with a well-rounded heavy metal album” says drummer Linus Fritzson.

Stylistically, Ambush are not miles away from current Swedish bands like Ram and Enforcer, their main heroes are Judas Priest and Accept though. ""Desecrator" is a well-rounded heavy metal album, but I like to think that stylistically it shows a bit more variety (and depth) in comparison to "Firestorm" (Ambush debut album). "Night Of The Defilers" for example has this kind of AC/DC beat about it. “The Chain Reaction”, on the other hand, is more "typical Ambush", a grinding mid-tempo crusher with some great vocal work and very interesting lyrics" adds the drummer.

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No Clean Singing issues Adoration/Vexation from Further Down The Tunnel EP by Teloch Vovin


As New York City-based occult black metal collective, Teloch Vovin, prepares to release their Further Down The Tunnel EP on 2015 Fall Equinox, the first public foretaste of the grisly recording has been made available early, with both audio and video versions of the track "Adoration/Vexation" premiered through No Clean Singing.

Teloch Vovin's latest release, Further Down The Tunnel sees the outfit's cruel tones delivered with more searing clarity than ever, showing the band honing their craft while retaining the Khaotic unchained maliciousness one would expect from the band through five tracks engineered, mixed and mastered by Jos-Sothoth. With nearly a half-hour of tormented disharmony, the EP takes the listener one step further from the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel, and deepening the souls fall into Khaos. The maiden single to be issued from the record comes with the closing track, "Adoration/Vexation," which features some of the most intense moments of the EP, and includes guest vocals by Paul Delaney of Black Anvil.

"Adoration/Vexation" is spat forth through the underground metal loyalists at No Clean singing in both audio and video formats, the site issuing, "The first part of the song is mid-paced, with rolling tremolo chords expressing a melancholy melody that does indeed reflect an atmosphere of worship - though the multitude of savage voices that erupt over the music come across not as solemn, but as explosively ferocious. You'll have no trouble detecting when the song segues into the second half of the duality - the band start to thrash and slash at high speed, spewing unrestrained destruction, still accompanied by those thoroughly unhinged shrieks, growls, and roars, but now with the addition of clean vocals that give the song a ritualistic aura."

Endure the wrath of Teloch Vovin's "Adoration/Vexation" via No Clean Singing at this location.

Teloch Vovin will independently issue Further Down The Tunnel digitally and on CD on the first day of Fall, September 23rd. Preorders for the CD and other merch including two patch designs, a t-shirt design, a few remaining physical copies of the band's I and Atah Gebur Le-Olam Sathanas live CDR releases as well as a limited number of Red (Lilith) and Black (Samael) ritual candles are available here and digital preorders available here.

Following an absence of shows since last year, Teloch Vovin will also return to the stage in support of their new works. Already confirmed is an appearance at the first day of the Rage Of Armageddon Fest at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn alongside Broken Hope, Embalmer and more, with additional live Rituals to be announced.

Teloch Vovin Live:
10/16/2015 Saint Vitus Bar - Brooklyn, NY @ Rage Of Armageddon Fest w/ Broken Hope, Embalmer

The cryptic works of the Teloch Vovin coven have amassed a respectable and diehard legion of devotees for the cult over the past three years, regionally via notable live performances throughout the greater New York City area and internationally through their independently-released I rehearsal promo CD in 2013, and last year's Atah Gebur Le-Olam Sathanas limited edition live CDR. Unloading a Khaotic disease ridden, occult-based, black/death metal attack infiltrated with ceremonial bells, chimes and unorthodox instrumentation amidst layered vocal insanity, the band's on-stage rituals include candlelight altars, sacrificial bones and ritual blood, and ablaze with an atmosphere of pure death worship. Lyrically, the outfit delves further into the abyssal unknown than a great majority of their peers, with an incredibly devoted intensity to their craft based upon the rites and rituals of the temple surrounding the band.

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Saturday, November 21, 2015

Interview: A.D.D.'s Jeremy Sparta (guitarist)


You are A.D.D., what does it stand for and why did you choose that name?

A.D.D. stands for Analog Digital Disorder. It's basically a reference to how we've taken our older influences and mixed them with a modern sound.

For people who don't know you, can you give a short history about A.D.D.?

Dave and Margie started the band about 12 years ago. I joined just over a year after that and Jason has been with us for about 6 years. Prior to signing with Pavement Entertainment and releasing Core we released one other full length, Elements of Emptiness, and two EPs, 19 Minute Attention Span and Hear Me Now. We've played extensively throughout the Midwest and have shared the stage with a true who's who of hard rock and metal bands over the years.

You play hardrock, what does make your music unique compared to other hardrock bands?

Margie and I do vocal harmonies through the majority of all of the songs. Having a female/male duet in a hard rock band isn't very common and is definitely something that peaks peoples interest.

A.D.D. is an female fronted band. Is it difficult to be female fronted while most bands aren't?

Being in a band in general can be difficult because someone is always going to try to find something to bring you down. Having a female in the band only makes us work that much harder to prove to those who don't think it can work that it can.

You just released your second album Core, did much change since your debut?

We've gotten better not only as a band but also as individuals. Core is really a true group effort because everyone was involved in the writing process.

What are your influences in music?

I grew up a huge fan of KISS. They are the ones that made me realize that playing music is what I want to do. I listen to all sorts of different music but hard rock is obviously where my heart is.

What are the lyrics about on Core?

Most of the lyrics are about perseverance. Sometimes going through the hardest parts of life are when you really discover who you are. Core is a direct result of Dave, Margie, Jason and myself sticking to what we believe in and busting our butts to achieve it.

What does the future looks like for A.D.D.?

It's a pretty exciting time for us. Core is really taking off with our fans. The first single and video for "I Regret" has been making a lot on noise too.

Can we expect some touring from you? If so, where and when?

We will definitely be doing some touring to support Core. We have numerous shows already booked, including some big summer festivals.

Is there something else you want to say?

Thanks to everyone for their support over the years!! It means more than words can express. We look forward to seeing you at the shows!!

Review: Bestiality - Stuck In Bestial Vision

Bestiality hails from Poland and plays a mix between black metal and thrash metal. In December they released their latest record called Stuck In Bestial Vision.

Put Stuck In Bestial Vision in your cd-player, press the play button, close your eyes and go wild in this rollercoaster of black thrash. From the first moment you hear Bestiality it will go crazy. Fast, heavy, blasting music which is the perfect mix of black and thrash metal combined with screams like they come from the deepest of hell. This music is aggressive, made for played loud and definitely not for everybody. You have to be strong for surviving this record. While it is only 30 minutes over 9 tracks, there's so much music in it, it will blow you away.

You dig black and thrash metal? Go listen to Stuck In Bestial Vision by Bestiality!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Review: Manimal - Trapped In The Shadows


Manimal’s new CD “Trapped in the Shadows” is out, after their 2009 debut “The Darkest Room” which did not break much new ground, and sadly “Trapped in the Shadows” doesn’t convince either. There are definitely very good bits and pieces in there now and then but Manimal doesn’t seem to bring about the epicness they sometimes strive for. And that is a shame, because the little bits and pieces actually have promise, they are just a bit too few and far between.

The start of the album is one of those parts that promise a lot. The ominous drums, sounding far away and closing in, with the synths creating a very dark and epic image that creeps up on you, actually gets you on the tip of your seat for a short while. Sadly, after this the song doesn’t deliver; the main riff that is repeated throughout the song – a bit too little variation already – is pretty bland, a staple of what was done before in this genre and not really even given a new creative twist. This will sadly be exemplary of the rest of the album; The guitars try a lot, but stay in such a confined set of licks and riffs that everybody knows already, they do not add an awful lot to the mix. The solo’s follow a similar path; they are technically sound but just don’t shine out, anywhere.

The drums seem the only thing that really shines out, breaking away often from the standard up-tempo driving double-bass that is very prevalent in power metal. It’s surely there, but only measure for measure, and if the music demands something else the drums deliver, an often very groovy and almost dancy sound. The drum solo in “Silent Messiah” is a very good showcase of what is a pretty talented drummer.

If there is a song that shines out it is this same song, not only for the drums but the overall band seems to all come together for a change, and it does fall into place for a moment. The riffs break out into quick death-y riffs that pummel on and on, while the singing for a change isn’t all about how high the screams can go, but have more substance. The whole song is just a unit, a little gem around the rest of the album.

Maybe it is because Manimal is still only in their second album, but they do not impress at first sight. “Trapped in the Shadows” is not hard to listen to; it is just not exhilarating either because it never really grabs you by the throat to scream in your face.

Written by Frank van Drunen

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Review: Phantasma - The Deviant Hearts


Allow yourself to be transported to another world by Phantasma - a project sprung from the collective energy of Georg Neuhauser (Serenity), Oliver Philipps (Everon) and Charlotte Wessels (Delain). Phantasma was born from the longstanding ambition to create a story driven concept record of Georg Neuhauser ,vocalist at Serenity. He found his partner Oliver Philipps (Everon) who worked with Delain since their debuting record, So with this Charlotte Wessels’ (Delain) was asked to contribute to complete the dynamic trio of Phantasma.

With Phantasma she can let her beautiful and variable voice run free like the wind , sometimes very powerful and sometimes very fragile and emotional, just as the various guest performances on this great album every song gives you a complete different feeling. As from the first minute to the last notes of the great song 'Let It Die' you will get sucked into a great musical masterpiece. It starts with the piano ballad "Incomplete", a very beautiful song but there is a possibility that the listener is set on those sounds and doesn’t bother listening to the other great songs. Those who have the patience to continue, will certainly not be disappointed because songs like title track 'The Deviant Hearts ', 'Runaway Grey', 'The Lotus And The Willow', 'Carry Me Home' and (especially) closing track 'Let It Die' are great songs full of variety in musical backup and wonderful vocals. Not only the main vocalists managed to convince, but also the various guest singers such as:
Tom Englund (Evergrey) on 'The Deviant Hearts',
Dennis Schunke (Van Canto) on "Carry Me Home"
and Chloe Lowery (Trans Siberian Orchestra) the fine ballad 'Try'
make a very good contribution. These provide beautiful vocals combined with the excellent instrumental parts for a very enjoyable album that will certainly be appreciated by the fans of symphonic metal and I think a lot of other genres as well. Hopefully it will not remain a single album because Phantasma is bound to produce some masterpieces.

Tracklist
1. Incomplete
2. The Deviant Hearts
3. Runaway Gray
4. Try
5. Enter Dreamscape
6. Miserable Me
7. The Lotus and the Willow
8. Crimson Course
9. Carry Me Home
10. The Sound of Fear
11. Novaturient
12. Let it Die

Written by Cecile Ann

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Album stream: Sturmovik - Destination Nowhere



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Album stream: Lefutray - Oath



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Album stream: Wilt - Moving Monoliths



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Trailer: The Lumberjack Feedback - Blackened Visions



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Stream: Cloud Rat - Dull Bulb



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Stream: Drugs Of Faith - Patriots



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Sunday, November 15, 2015

Review: Intronaut - The Direction Of Last Things


Intronaut is a Califonia based progressive metal band which was formed in 2004. Of the starting line-up vocalist/guitarist Sacha Dunable, bass player Joe Lester and drummer Danny Walker are still present. Guitarist/vocalist Leon del Müerte has been replaced by guitarist Dave Timnick in 2007, making their line-up stable for some eight years, which is clearly audible. Their 2006 full-length debut ‘Void’ instantly made a name for them, and from there on they kept innovating themselves, their music and their skills, which did not always land too well with (some of) their fans. Especially predecessor ‘Habitual levitations’ caused some mixed feelings, mostly due to its innovative and thus different nature. This seemingly did not go unnoticed by the boys, because here is ‘The direction of last things’.

After reading the accompanying bio- and info sheet, one could be forgiven for thinking to be in for the surprise of the year with Intronaut’s new, fifth release ‘The direction of last things’. Apparently this their ‘most technical, brutal, catchy, and straight up fearless’ piece of work. Considering their previous work, Intronaut has had little brutal metal influences so far, I tend to agree with this. However, it of course all is a matter of what you compare things to. To be honest I feel the term brutal is a bit out of place when describing the music Intronaut plays. The only thing I could be tempted to call brutal is the song ‘The pleasant surprise’, which indeed is as its title suggests. It’s a crushing metal song, which you’d expect on a death metal album rather than on a progressive album in the style of Intronaut.

Nevertheless ‘The direction…’ definitely finds its place on the rougher side of Intronaut’s discography so far, more rubbing against their ‘Void’ style than anything else. And that is not a bad thing to be honest. Opener ‘Fast worms’ is a song with different faces, starting quite heavy with harsh vocals, only to evolve into a progressive piece in the middle which in turn leads back to the heavy tunes from the first part to end the song. If I were to describe Intronaut’s music, I’d simply play this song. Both ends of their musical spectrum combined in a single song. Next up is a typical prog song, spanning over eight minutes called ‘Digital gerrymandering’. Sacha’s clean vocals and Danny’s striking drum work, which seems out of pace, but in fact is not, make this a tough song to comprehend, yet it is not over-complicated.

Then, as if they felt the need to go off the beaten track, ‘The pleasant surprise’ tortures your ear drums. In a positive way of course… it’s a great song, even though it very much differs from the rest of the songs on ‘The direction…’. This musical ramble doesn’t last however, because with ‘The unlikely event of a water landing’ the boys go back to their progressive path with another eight minutes plus piece of work. Again a solid song with lots of intermezzos and changes in pace. Then there’s ‘Sul ponticello’, a heavier song with strong resemblances to Dream Theater. Together with the heavy ‘The pleasant surprise’, this is their best work on the album. Music, vocals, structure, everything in this song is perfectly balanced and in sync. The end is not my taste, though.

With only two more songs left, title track ‘The direction of last things’ turns the speed up a notch, which they seem to be equally comfortable playing as they are playing progressive, adding some more variety to this album. Closer ‘City hymnal’ with its spacey, atmospheric intermezzo is, I suppose, the only right way to end this album, leaving you with the feeling you have just witnessed something good, but there’s no way you can actually describe it.

‘The direction…’ is an album that will keep you busy for a while, even when you are not actually playing it. Its variation within the songs, ranging from atmospheric to death, leave a remarkable imprint. As unlikely as the combination might seem, Intronaut manages to make the two extremes actually augment each other instead of rivaling, not in the last place because of the great song structures. The musicians are outstanding, with drummer Danny Walker as the star. His impressive performance really stands out.

As with all progressive albums this is not music you play to relax, you play this one to experience music, which narrows the database of potential listeners down quite a bit. However, for a prog album this one is relatively easy to digest, most likely because of the combination of styles. On top of that the album has been recorded in only four days, making this almost a live recording, which was what the guys intended, so it’s certainly worth a listen. If all this still does not convince you to try this one, maybe the fact it has been mixed, and flawlessly I might add, by Devin Townsend himself might help.

Written by Henric van Essen

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Review: Saint Diablo - Devil Horns And Halos


This is a band that mixes metal, Latin music and hardcore together. Their new album ‘Devils horns and halos’ has a lot of emotion in it. Guitarist Justin Adams was writing songs for the album when he got a divorce. He was also shortly afterwards diagnosed with cancer. Vocalist Tito Quinones says the lyrics for ‘Survive this’ were written for Justin. The other band members are Brian Bush (Drums) and Tyler Huffman (Bass).

The first song on the album is actually called the same as the album. The first thing that I notice is that I hear some hardcore effects mixed into the music. It’s a nice effect and I can really appreciate it. Vocalist Tito is very powerful and you almost hear him trying to sing. It’s nice to hear that someone did their best. I also like that there is a quiet piece in the song, so you can keep up with the rest of the song. Although I still can’t hear the Latin music in it, I really like it.

The second song on the album is called ‘Survive this’. It starts with a nice guitar and some drums. The voice is suddenly different. It sounds more nasal than on the first song, but it isn’t a bad thing. It is nice to have some variation in voices. The pace of this song is a little slower. Suddenly they start in Spanish and it is actually a really surprising effect. I really enjoyed this song.

All the songs have a nice metal touch to it. The last song on the album is called ‘Reincarnation’. It’s a fast number with some Spanish grunts in it. Again it works really well with the whole song.

This album is out now, so buy a copy if you can.

Saint Diablo – Devils Horns And Halos
1. Devils Horns And Halos
2. Survive This
3. Meet My Maker
4. Dark Horse
5. Ancient Astronauts
6. Trust Me
7. Last Fight
8. My Time
9. Adios En-Amigos
10. Reincarnation

Written by Bente Vroomans

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Double review: Eadem - Hekserij / Eadem - In Vino Veritas

When I was offered a dual demo review I wasn't sure I could do a good review of it, but still I accepted the offer, and now here is where we are.

Eadem is a portugese three man black metal band founded in 2009 and the two demos I am reviewing are the two releases of the band. The sound of the band is a typical black metal sound of the nineties in Norway, from the song structures to the quality of the records.

Now regarding the quality, I can't really say if the band wanted the sound of the demos to be like it is, or is it just a result of it being only demos, not knowing the band I will assume that it is a question of recording quality.

The sound of the two demos are different a bit, as the first demo is a little more Dimmu Borgir sounding with clean vocals and some narration, while the second demo is a little more classical black metal leaning, more to a Mayhem sound perhaps.

The quality of the demos is a thing to be aspired in the future, as some aspects of the instruments can't be really heard or the levels in relation to some other instruments is just overwhelming in relation to the guitars, as the guitars are the only instrument that can really be heard all the time and are pretty clear sounding. The vocals are sometimes weak and unclear, but it is black metal, and it is to be expected in this genre.

Overall the two demos are great, the songs give a solid promise that the band will make good music in the future. And the only thing that I really hope is that they will improve the sound quality as it drowns the songs.

Written by Nikola Milošević

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Friday, November 13, 2015

Stream: Disquiet - The Condemnation



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Video: Machinergy - Sounds Evolution



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Video: Cripper - A Dime For The Establishment




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Stream: Inverted Serenity - Elemental Abyss



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Video: This Gift Is A Curse - Swinelord



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Album stream: Blood Of The Wolf - I: The Law Of Retaliation



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Thursday, November 12, 2015

Video: Aborted - Necrotic Manifesto (Graspop 2015)



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Lyric video: Manegarm - Blodörn



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Lyric video: W.A.S.P. - Golgotha



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Video: Feral - Succumb To Terror



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Full album stream: Sadist - Hyaena

Stream: Helheim - raunijaR



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Stream: An Ocean Of Void - Resonance



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Video: Skinflint - Okove



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Stream: Carved Up - Matador



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Stream: Matubes - The Return Of Black Metal EP



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Review: Scissortooth - Novagomorrah


Scissortooth is a Canadian Thrash Metal band from Vancouver, B.C.. Formed in 2003 by Derek Lundblad (vocalist/guitarist) and Shawn Hoskins (drummer)

The band’s melodic hooks, varying tempos, and aggressive musicianship alongside of original writing approach has given their songs a different edge to most modern acts. Influenced by a wide spectrum of sounds of bands like Pantera, Metallica, Megadeth, Type O Negative to Soundgarden, Tool, Pink Floyd and Nine Inch Nails .

You can really hear the different influences to the songs they make, they have an overall thrashy feeling to their lyrics and music with some darker sounds and on the other hand catchy and uplifting riffs, there is a good distribution between the different instruments that make it feel extremely coherent and pleasant to listen to.

The album has the clean thrashy voice of Derek, with his rather grunt-like alternative on the front as well. Really good and solid thrashy riffs on the guitar followed by fast-paced up-tempo solo’s, with a good mix of catchy basslines and the rhythmic support of a talented drummer.

It's hard to get to a conclusion about this album because with every song they surprise you with a new sound and vibe. No matter what “big” thrashmetal band you are a fan of, Scissortooth has something in store for everyone of you.

Special mention to the song “Wormwood”:
This is a great song that starts off with an acoustic and melancholy vibe, that fades to a thrash metal song over time, without losing the relaxing sound they started off with.

Track Listing
1. Hostile Takeover (5:14)
2. 10 30 (4:21)
3. Slowber (5:42)
4. Yellowhead (3:59)
5. Incision (5:05)
6. Shoegazer (5:20)
7. Common Thread (5:24)
8. Rotting Alive (4:38)
9. Nova Gomorrah (8:12)
10. Rats (4:48)
11. Wormwood (5:39)
Album Length: 58:00

Written by Cecile Ann

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