Morti Viventi – The Day The Dead Returned

9 out of 10

Release in 2014 on UKEM Records, The Day the Dead Returned, is the debut album from Stamford based, UK band, Morti Viventi. Literally translated their name means “living dead” and the whole album is a tribute to all things zombie.

On being given this album, I was immediately filled with dread and tried to put off listening to it. This initial reaction, without hearing a single note, was due to one thing, the band’s logo. That scrawly writing, that no matter what way round you turned the paper, you still can’t read, indicated one thing to me…black metal and not being a big black metal fan, I thought I would hate it.

The first few riffs of the opening song blasted through the speakers and I absolutely loved what I heard, however, with an introduction of nearly a minute, I had to wait for the vocals that I was sure would ruin it all again.

But, with more than a hint of Chuck Billy in his voice, the singer totally nailed it.

Morti Viventi are a thrash band and a damn good one at that!

But the more astonishing thing of all is the fact that they are not actually a band. Morti Viventi is just Adrian (Aidy) J Heathershaw, one man who had the vision of having his own band and after belonging to several bands which dissolved, he took it on himself to produce a record that was 99% performed by him.

And what an album, what a debut!

He takes the part of all instruments, except for a guitar solo in the last song “Thrash or Die” and does a superb job of them all. With riffs upon riffs and stunning drum work, topped with a voice to rival any of the top four thrash bands, he has created a VERY, HEAVY album.

A mixture of Testament, Slayer and with just a trace of Lordi, not such a bad thing if you ask me, this is probably one of the best thrash albums of the year. At only 46 minutes, and just  seven tracks, long, it is high intensity, full out thrash from start to finish.

The stand out song for me is track 4, “Maniac – Face the Shape” but there really is not a bad song on the album, except maybe for track 6, “The Arrival”, which, although is not inherently bad, it is an instrumental and I tend not to favour instrumentals.

The album warrants an 8, all by itself, but doing this great album as a one man band, deserves a little extra credit which is why I have given it a 9. The title of the last song “Thrash or Die” completely sums up the whole feel of this album and if you like your thrash, then this is an album for you.maxresdefault

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn ‘The Metal Priestess’ King and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Judas Priest – Redeemer of Souls

7 out of 10

“Redeemer of Souls”, released on Epic Records in the summer of 2014, is the seventeenth studio album from the Birmingham heavy metal band, Judas Priest and the job of reviewing it was always going to be tough for me, being one of their biggest fans.

It’s the first album featuring new guitarist Ritchie Faulkner after he replaced K.K. Downing in 2011 and this together with the mediocrity of previous album “Nostradamus” made me a little sceptical but I took it on with an open mind and non judgemental ears.

At just over an hour long this album needed to grab me by the short and curlies, making me want to headbang my way around the living room and reach for my air guitar but after the first play through, it sadly didn’t do this.

Gone were the hundred miles an hour guitar solos and the ear piercing vocals of frontman, Rob Halford, of the 80’s. But play it through a few times and you will see they have been replaced by slower riffs and rumbling drums throughout. This gives the album a heavy, methodical feel, although this can, at times, make the album seem as if its “plodding” along. A slight change in order of the tracks could possibly have overcome this and even the much overplayed “March of the Damned” eventually had me nodding my head as I drove to work (too much real headbanging would have made me crash my car!)

The lyrics throughout the album are generally strong, if a bit repetitive on a few tracks, but Halford’s vocals are back to tip top condition, despite recent criticism.

“Cold Blooded” is the stand out song for me, its lyrics haunting me from the very first time I heard them, a compliment to all those who contributed to the writing of the track.

“Battle Cry” is the only track I have to fast forward as it reeks of “Nostradamus” and the obligatory Priest ballad “Beginning of the End” is the final song on the album. Is this a subliminal message to the fans as to what is to come?

If you want to hear a Judas Priest album with the Priest sound of their 80’s heyday, then don’t buy this album. But if you are willing to embrace the idea that bands sometimes evolve and change as they get older and can’t necessarily perform to the speed and intensity they used to then this is one for you.

This album is a definitely a “grower” and the more I listen to it the more I like it.

And that’s not just the Priest fan in me talking!Redeemer-of-souls-album-cover-art-1280

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn ‘The Metal Priestess’ King and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.