Gravehuffer – Your Fault

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7 out of 10 

Not one to shy away from stepping outside my comfort zone, when Ritchie Randall, guitarist with Gravehuffer, approached me to review their latest album, I said “yes” straight away. Having heard tracks played on the station I DJ for, I knew it was not the type of metal I usually go for but that in itself made the review more of a challenge. Could I be impartial about a genre of metal that wasn’t one of my favourites? The answer was simply yes!

Hailing from Joplin, Missouri, Gravehuffer officially formed in 2010, although they originally started out in August 2008 under the name of Krom and Your Fault is the latest offering from this American quartet.

Often described as NWOBHM meets early Earache Records, this is a thrash/grindcore/crust band that seems to have a bit of everything thrown in. On their Facebook page they describe themselves as a ‘Metal/Punk band’ but throw in a bit of thrash, a pinch of death, lashings of hardcore and a spoonful of punk and you’d be a lot nearer the mark.

With eleven tracks totalling just 30 minutes, giving this album a spin won’t take up too much of your time, unless, of course, you get mesmerised by the lure of the album and the songs get stuck in your head! Because they will!

Some tracks are under a minute long, short and punchy, and will make your ears bleed, but this is by no means a bad thing. Your head will be banging from the offset and if it is not rolling around the floor by the time the last track kicks in you haven’t been listening properly. They mix fast Slayer-esque tracks, with vocals even more edgy than those of the big man himself, well with slower-paced, often doomier tracks and musically these guys are awesome. The drumming is tight, and fast, an all-out physical attack on the kit, the bass lines are fantastic and the guitar work is just amazing. Vocally, it’s not something I would usually like, but James’ voice works well with the rest of the band and this helps to produce their unique sound.

This is a high energy, in your face brutal metal album and one that does not let up from start to finish. It is a total onslaught on your ears, a bombardment of drums, dirty guitars and even dirtier vocals, and if this doesn’t have you reaching for the Gravehuffer back catalogue then nothing will.

Great job!

TRACK LISTING:

  • 1 Gravehuffer (4:27)
  • 2 Of Fish and Men (1:42)
  • 3 Kill For Sport (3:12)
  • 4 Dead Peace (0:49)
  • 5 Shut Up and Skate (2:04)
  • 6 Powers That Be (3:14)
  • 7 Destroyer of Worlds (3:43)
  • 8 Death Caprice (1:10)
  • 9 Worms Of God (2:22)
  • 10 Prince with a Thousand Enemies (2:16)
  • 11 Chains Around You (5:37)

GRAVEHUFFER ARE:

  • Larry Deardoff – drums
  • James Hiser – vocals
  • Mike Jilge – bass
  • Ritchie Randall – guitar

SOCIAL MEDIA:

 

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.

Quartz – Fear No Evil

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8 OUT OF 10 

Having never really been a fan of The New Way of British Heavy Metal era of metal music, what better test of my abilities as a reviewer, than to review a NWOBHM album?

Released on High Roller Records in October 2016, “Fear No Evil” is the latest album from Quartz, their first since 1983’s “Against All Odds.”

Originally classed as one of the forerunners of the NWOBHM movement, the band were actually formed in 1974 under the name of Bandy Legs. They changed their name to Quartz in 1977 for the release of their self-titled debut, an album that was produced by Tony Iommi, featured Queen guitarist Brian May on one of the tracks and had backing vocals supplied by Ozzy Osbourne himself. Criticised in the past as being a Sabbath clone, the band played Reading festival three times, supporting the likes of Black Sabbath and AC/DC, and released three albums before disbanding in 1983.

But, now a great name from the past are back. Featuring four out the five original members, after the recent death of singer Mike Taylor, the band have reformed with new singer David Garner and what a fantastic comeback album!

The band are obviously influenced by bands of the seventies, such as Black Sabbath as previously mentioned, but this does nothing to take away from the bands own talents. Singer, David Garner, has a strong voice, almost Ozzy-esque in places, but this is by no means a bad thing.

The album as a whole is traditional NWOBHM. It has a solid sound and the production is great, unlike a lot of previous NWOBHM albums, which I think is why I never liked the genre. Most of it sounded like it was being played inside a bucket, and although this was probably the charm for a lot of people, it wasn’t for me. This album, however, has an “old-school” vibe and feels like it could have come straight from the early 1980’s but in no way feels out-dated. That, in itself, is a contradictory of terms but this is a sign of how well the authenticity of the album has been produced.

The album is dotted with heavy, infectious riffs, fine melodies and kick-arse solos. The guitars are dirty, the drumming is tight and the keyboards add an atmospheric tone to the whole record. The vocals and song writing is melodic and, together with catchy choruses, will have you humming for the rest of the day.

The band seem to work better on the faster songs but, apart from “Rock Bottom”, a catchy heavy metal song with great bass and drum work, my other favourites on the album are “The Stalker” and “Zombie Resurrection”, two of the slower-paced tracks often criticised by other reviewers.

But I guess that’s the whole point of reviewing. No one person’s opinion of an album is the right one.

What I suggest you do, is go get yourself a copy and judge for yourself. This won’t be breaking any new ground or setting the metal music scene alight BUT it is a great album by a great band and will easily keep you entertained for nearly fifty minutes.

Quartz are BACK!

TRACK LISTING:

  • 01 Fear No Evil
  • 02 Rock Bottom
  • 03 The Stalker
  • 04 Rapture
  • 05 Zombie Resurrection
  • 06 Barren Land
  • 07 Walking on Holy Water
  • 08 Dangerous Game
  • 09 Born to Rock the Nation
  • 10 Riot in the City
  • 11 Dead Man’s World
  • 12 Scream at the Devil

QUARTZ ARE:

  • Derek Arnold – Bass
  • Malcolm Cope – Drums
  • Mick Hopkins – Guitars
  • Geoff Nicholls – Guitars, Keyboards, Vocals
  • David Garner – Vocals

SOCIAL MEDIA:

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn ‘The Metal Priestess’ King and Metal Gods TV. 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.

Reproduced here with kind permission from Metal Gods TV

Evergrey – The Storm Within

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9 OUT OF 10

Having previously owned just one Evergrey album, 2008’s Torn, getting the chance to review their latest offering was too good to turn down.

Released on AFM Records on 9th September 2016, The Storm Within is the Swedish quintet’s 10th studio album and is one of the most progressive records they have produced to date. Inadvertently coinciding with their 20th year anniversary, The Storm Within, is considered by some to be their strongest album ever.

Formed in Gothenburg, Sweden, in 1995, the band have undergone various personnel changes, their current line-up undoubtedly being their best as 2014 saw the triumphant returns of both Henrik Danhage and Jonas Ekdahl on the album, Hymns For The Broken and The Storm Within picks up where Hymns left off.

In true Evergrey style, the album has a melancholy concept and is one that everyone can relate to. Described by frontman/founder Tom S Englund as the band’s first “love” album, it portrays the processes and emotions of having someone, losing them and having to pick yourself up and move on and incorporates the Evergrey trademark progressive, dark and melancholic elements.

The album is packed with elaborate guitar work, remarkable solos and killer rhythms and the combination of melodies, progressive tendencies and a heaviness only a metal band could produce along with haunting lyrics and vocals, means the band connect with their listeners on both a musical and emotional level. On a personal note, I can relate to the distinctive poignant vocals but with plenty of beefy guitars and galloping heavy riffs, which recently had been pointed out to be a favourite of mine, the album offers a delightful treat for my ears too.

We start with a haunting piano intro that steers us into Distance, the lead single and first video off the album, and the melodically and lyrically stunning Passing Through is set to become a fan favourite. My Allied Ocean is undeniably the heaviest track on the album, and The Impossible is a nice change of pace, with just the main vocal, piano work and some lovely string ambience, the band paying for real stringed instruments. The duet with Floor Jansen from Nightwish on In Orbit is the icing on the cake, the two complimenting each other perfectly and Englund is also joined by his wife Carina on The Paradox of the Flame.

Says Englund of the album: “The Storm Within is a massive album. There are no fillers on it and we’ve never been about that. I think the inspiration speaks for itself.”

I couldn’t have said it any better myself, Mr Englund. A cracking album, and one I will continue to listen to for a good while to come.

Track Listing:

  • Distance
  • Passing Through
  • Someday
  • Astray
  • The Impossible
  • My Allied Ocean
  • In Orbit (feat Floor Jansen)
  • The Lonely Monarch
  • The Paradox of the Flame
  • Disconnect
  • The Storm Within

 

Evergrey are:

  • Tom S Englund – vocals, guitar
  • Henrik Danhage – guitar, backing vocals
  • Rikard Zander – keyboards, backing vocals
  • Jonas Ekdahl – drums
  • Johan Niemann – bass, backing vocals

 

Social Media:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn ‘The Metal Priestess’ King and Metal Gods TV. 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.

 

 

Catastrophe – Terror Campaign

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8 out of 10 

One of the things I love about reviewing albums is I never know what I am going to get. A new upcoming band, or a more established band who I have never heard of, could approach me to write a review for them and until I plug that USB stick into the stereo in my car, I never know what I am going to hear. This, in itself, can be a blessing or a curse.

In the case of Catastrophe, it was definitely a blessing.

Hailing from Dublin in Ireland, Catastrophe are a thrash metal band formed in 2015 and within a week, the band had written “Propaganda”, the first track on the recently released EP “Terror Campaign”, a sure sign of how well the five members fitted together.

Siting bands such as Slayer, Testament, Exodus, Destruction and Annihilator as influences, Catastrophe have mixed elements of thrash, NWOBHM, punk and hard rock to create their own sound and it really is hard to believe that these guys have only been together for a year.

The EP is a pretty intensive experience from start to finish with a hard and fast energy the driving force behind it. The vocals are typical of the thrash genre, shouted with a few growls thrown in for good measure. The guitars, almost punky at times, are heavy with some blistering solos and the basswork is fantastic, most notable on the bass-lead intro to “God Is Gone.”

And lastly, if the drumming is anything to go by, these guys certainly don’t need to go to the gym to work out!

This is great thrash EP that couples the charm and chemistry of early 80’s trash metal with the vigour of more contemporary bands and it has undoubtedly reignited my love for the thrash genre.

If there was ever a band that could be described as rawer than early Slayer, then Catastrophe would be that band!

I will be on tenterhooks now waiting for the next release from this terrific band. I just hope it comes sooner rather than later.

Track Listing:

  • Propaganda
  • God Is Gone
  • Terror Campaign
  • Septic Society
  • Kill Or Be Killed

 

Catastrophe are:

  • Jamie Murphy – Vocals
  • Adam Treacy – Lead Guitar
  • Gordo Casey – Guitar
  • Darragh O’Connor – Bass
  • Connor Middleton – Drums

 

Social Media:

 

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.

Heaven Below – Good Morning Apocalypse

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9 OUT OF 10

I must admit I hadn’t heard of Heaven Below when I was presented with their album to review and all I can say to that now is, WHY THE HELL HADN’T I HEARD OF THEM?

But let’s start at the beginning shall we?

Heaven Below are a four piece hard rock band hailing from Los Angeles who formed in late 2007. As with many bands still trying to find their feet, they underwent several personnel changes, before completing the current line up in 2014.

The band’s debut album “Countdown to Devil” was released in March 2009, reaching no 1 on Tradebit.com and no 15 in Amazon’s New Release chart and single “When Daylight Dies” made waves on the US rock stations in the winter of 2012 leading Hard Rock Haven to hail them as “the next Guns N Roses” with The New York Examiner describing their live performance as “unbridled balls to the wall ferocity.”

It was around this time that the band started work on what be their third album. Says lead singer Patrick Kennison “nearly 4 years ago the band and I decided that we’d like to start working on a concept record. We knew how ambitious it sounded to even consider that but once several legendary artists offered to help make it become a reality, we knew we had something.”

And what better legendary artists than Dirk Schneider himself (U.D.O and Accept), Jason McMaster (Dangerous Toys / Broken Teeth / Watchtower), Lita Ford and Kobra Paige (Kobra and the Lotus)

“Good Morning Apocalypse” is a concept album, although what the concept itself is remains a bit of a mystery. Personally, I made it the story of a soldier undergoing medical experiments which results in global apocalypse. Of course, I could be so far off target with that I would be in a different stratosphere but that’s just my take on it. (Bear in mind I had no lyrics in front of me to read through as I listened!)

Anyway on with the review.

The band, it seems, are very much inspired by classic hard rock and metal, featuring the twin guitar set up that this genre favourites, but they have added their own modern twist. There are heavy riffs and guitar sounds influenced by the thrash period, fiery guitar solos and a strong and solid rhythm section resulting in a late 80’s sound that has been mixed perfectly with something more powerful and raw, while maintaining the melody.

The choruses are big and loud, complete with powerful “in your face” vocals from Kennison, whose coarseness is softened at times by dueting with the female guest singers and also, the surprise element of this album maybe, the operatic talents of Mary Whitman, giving the band, at times, an almost Nightwish / Within Temptation feel about them.

The album has been written, performed and recorded with such passion and emotion, it brought me out in goosebumps at times, and the production is absolutely perfect.

With a running time of 56 and a half minutes, this twelve track album, is due for release on October 14th 2016 on Dave Ellefson’s EMP Label, and, if I didn’t have it already, I would be first in the queue.

I absolutely loved this album and despite having listened through it at least half a dozen times, I have not got bored with it, I don’t think I ever will do, and I am actually quite sad to be taking it out of my car now.

This album is a must for any metal listener and I would list it as my joint favourite album of this year.

I loved it…….and I am sure you will too.

Heaven Below are:

  • Patrick Kennison – Vocals and Guitar (Union Underground / Lita Ford)
  • Lucas Kanopa – Guitars
  • John Younger – Bass
  • Shad Wilhelm – Drums
  • (Guest vocalists – Udo Dirkschneider, Jason McMaster, Lita Ford and Kobra Paige)

Track Listing:

  • “Nefarious Angels” (feat. Jason McMaster)
  • “Renegade Protest Movement”   3:48
  • “Follow Me Under”
  • “Devilina And The Damage Done” (feat. Kobra Paige)
  • “Nightfall Comes To Life”
  • “Killing The Deadman”
  • “Running Under Satan’s Hand” (feat. Lita Ford)
  • “Death Battalion”
  • “Bonded By Blood”
  • “Black Sunrise/War Of The Gods” (feat. Udo Dirkschneider)
  • “Among The Wolves/Worldwide Suicide” (feat. Mary Whitman[6])
  • “I Would Do It All Again/Burials At Sunset”

Social Media:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn ‘The Metal Priestess’ King and Loud Stuff. 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.

Reproduced here with kind permission by Loud Stuff.

 

Voivod – Post Society EP

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8 OUT OF 10

Never before have I heard a band with such diversity as Voivod. Formed in the early 1980’s by Michel “Away” Langevin and Denis “Piggy” d’Amour they have undergone a succession of sound and line-up changes but are still a band that cannot really be classified under any one particular genre.

Hailing from Jonqiuère, Québec in Canada, the band started out playing speed metal but influenced by NWOBHM, hardcore punk and 70’s progressive rock they have, over the years, mixed in progressive and thrash traits to give them the unique sound they have today.

The “Post Society EP” is the first recording from the band since 2013’s “Target Earth”, the first to feature guitarist Daniel “Chewy” Mongrain after the death of “Piggy” in 2005 from colon cancer, and introduces new bassist Dominique “Rocky” Laroche, who seems to have had no difficulties slotting into the band.

Release by Century Media in February 2016, the ep’s five tracks, with a running time of 31 minutes, include two brand new songs, two songs released in 2015 as split 7” singles, one with Napalm Death and one with At The Gates, and a cover of Hawkwind’s “Silver Machine”, a fitting tribute to the great Lemmy.

The EP opens with the self-titled track “Post Society”, a punk influenced beast of a song, and sets the bar for the rest. Langevin’s drumming is tight and precise, new boy Laroche’s bass playing is distinctive and technical, coming into his own on “Fall”, where he simply shines playing melodic runs as well as heavy riffs.

Singer Denis “Snake” Bélanger’s vocals, far from being the best in the music business, are distinct as always, showing he does know how to sing, adding to the uniqueness of the band and the virtuosity and breathtaking guitar solos of Mongrain more than adequately live up to those of his predecessor’s.

Some people say if you are going to do a cover song, then at least put your own slant on it, but this cover of “Silver Machine,” sounding, to me, as if Lemmy from Motorhead was singing it rather than Lemmy from Hawkwind, has been done well and the great man himself, should be raising his JD and coke in respect.

Overall, I enjoyed this ep, the tempo changes, something I usually steer away from, in all songs between fast thrash and slower, doomier sounds giving it a more intricate feel, and if I had to classify it under a particular genre, I would say it was technical thrash, with progressive tendencies….and a little punk thrown in.

I would imagine this is a must have for all Voivod fans but even if you are not a big fan, I would still recommend you check it out. Voivod are back!!

Track Listing:

  • Post Society
  • Forever Mountain
  • Fall
  • We are Connected
  • Silver Machine

Voivod are:

  • Michel Langevin (Away) – drums
  • Denis Belanger (Snake) – vocals
  • Daniel Mongrain (Chewy) – guitar
  • Dominique Laroche (Rocky) – bass

Social Media:

  • voivod.net
  • https://www.facebook.com/Voivod
  • https://twitter.com/voivoddotnet
  • https://myspace.com/voivod

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn ‘The Metal Priestess’ King and Metal Gods TV. 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.

Reproduced here with kind permission from Metal Gods TV .

 

 

 

Visions of Atlantis – Old Routes, New Waters

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8 OUT OF 10 

Visions of Atlantis, founded in 2000, are a symphonic power metal band from Styria in Austria, and “Old Routes, New Waters” is their latest EP, released in 2016 by Napalm records.

Drawing influence from the success of fellow symphonic power metal band, Nightwish, and fascinated by the myth of Atlantis, Werner Fiedler, Thomas Caser, Christian Stani and Chris Kamper decided to work together to create a concept based on the secret of the lost city and along with vocalist Nicole Bogner, Visions of Atlantis was born.

The equal combination of male and female vocals distinguished them from Nightwish and they became more reminiscent of bands such as Lacuna Coil, producing six recordings up until 2013.

The band experienced many line up changes over the years, including the premature death of singer Bogner in 2005 at the age of just 27, and 2013 saw the return of many of the original members after the band started to drift back to their early sound.

“Old Routes, New Waters” is the re-recording of five of the bands previous songs, four of them stemming from Bogner’s tenure with the band, and it almost a trial run recording for the duo of new singers.

Clementine Delauney, formerly of Serenity and Siegfried Samer, who also sings for Dragony, work very well together. Delauney hits slightly higher notes than her predecessors but she harmonizes at mid range with Samer, and I must confess, I prefer her singing when she does so. They both have clear and commanding voices, complimenting each other beautifully.

The EP opens with the 7-minute epic, Love Bearing Storm, which has a very operatic-metal feel, Delauney’s voice at times a little shrill for me, but this does not take away from the sheer power it possesses.

The obligatory ballad, Winternight, a haunting and emotional song, features no male vocals at all, Delauney accompanied by just a piano, and Last Shut of Your Eyes, probably my favourite on the EP, is a beautiful mix of piano work, guitar melodies and heavy riffs.

This is classic European styled power metal, with lots of guitar solos and leads that work well alongside the inspired keyboards and excellent vocals.

This line up have taken some already great songs and injected new life into them, playing with vigour and enthusiasm. This EP gives fans a taste of what they are capable of, and also of what is to come.

I certainly will be buying the next album when it is released…

Track Listing:

  • Lovebearing Storm
  • Lost
  • Winternight
  • Seven Seas
  • Last Shut Of Your Eyes

Visions of Atlantis are:

  • Clementine Delauney – vocals
  • Siegfried Samer – vocals
  • Werner Fiedler – guitars
  • Chris Kamper – keys
  • Mike Koren – bass
  • Tom Caser – drums

Social Media:

  • https://www.facebook.com/visionsofatlantisofficial/
  • www.visionsofatlantis.com
  • https://twitter.com/voa_official
  • https://myspace.com/visionsofatlantisofficial
  • Also available on Spotify, Deezer and TuneIn

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn ‘The Metal Priestess’ King and Metal Gods TV. 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.

Reproduced here with kind permission from Metal Gods TV

 

 

Vicious Rumors – Concussion Protocol

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9 OUT OF 10

Being a fan of Vicious Rumors for as long as I can remember, I jumped at the chance to review their forthcoming album “Concussion Protocol.”

Due for release on 26th August 2016 by SPV/Steamhammer, “Concussion Protocol” is the band’s twelfth studio album and marks a return to form for the California based heavy metallers.

The brainchild of guitarist Geoff Thorpe, who would hand out business cards in the name of Vicious Rumors at gigs and clubs before he had even brought together any musicians, the band formed in 1979 in the San Francisco Bay area, and have undergone several line-up changes over the years, none more so that the passing of vocalist Carl Albert in 1995.

But, as has been said many times about this awesome band, Vicious Rumors do not follow trends, they create them.

Their first two albums, 1985’s “Soldiers of the Night” and “Digital Dictator” from 1988, have become classic metal albums, full of hunger, passion and desire that helped formed heavy metal as we know it, and, although often classed as a thrash band, they were, in fact, pioneers of the power metal movement.

“Concussion Protocol” sees them return to their trademark sound of those first two classic albums and promises a “roller coaster ride of pure, unadulterated, cutting edge metal.”

As Thorpe, himself, states “the album is relentless and crushing in true, classic Vicious Rumors style but with many twists and turns. Believe me, you’re in for a treat!”

And what a treat this album is. The first concept album from the band, it tells the chilling story of an armageddon by a global killer asteroid and how humanity unravels in its wake. It is full of fast blazing guitar solos, pummelling drum sounds from Larry Howe, the only other surviving member of the original band, thick and heavy bass lines and a vocal range of singer Nick Holleman that could rival that of Halford, Tate and even King Diamond.

Nick, who joined the band in 2013, puts in a stunning performance, giving the already immense display of musicianship and talent something extra with his passion and conviction, and, along with thundery beats, fantastic guitar playing and drum assaults, this album really kicks you in the head, making your ears bleed.

This is old school, headbanging, brainwashing metal at its finest and is delivered at a break neck speed throughout, with just a temporary break in tempo with “Circle of Life”, at track number seven, before throwing you headlong back into an oncoming metal assault.

The stand out track for me was “Chasing The Priest”, its swirling guitar work, full on drumming and gritty vocals, reminding me just how damn good this band are, and always have been.

Vicious Rumors should be bigger than what they are and I would recommend them to any metal fan, young and old.

Go and buy this album, and then go and buy everything else they have ever done. If you like your music metal, and your metal heavy….then this is the band for you!

Track Listing:

  • Concussion Protocol
  • Chemical Slaves
  • Victims Of A Digital World
  • Chasing The Priest
  • Last Of Our Kind
  • 1000 Years
  • Circle Of Secrets
  • Take It Or Leave It
  • Bastards
  • Every Blessing Is A Curse
  • Life For A Life

Vicious Rumors are:

  • Geoff Thorpe (guitars, vocals)
  • Larry Howe (drums, vocals)
  • Tilen H (bass, vocals)
  • Thaen Rasmussen (guitars)
  • Nick H. (lead vocals)

Social Media:

  • www.viciousrumors.com
  • https://www.facebook.com/ViciousRumorsThisIsMetal
  • https://twitter.com/viciousrumors
  • Also available on Spotify, Deezer and TuneIn

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn ‘The Metal Priestess’ King and Metal Gods TV. 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.

Reproduced here with kind permission from Metal Gods TV

 

 

Sixx:AM – Prayers For The Damned

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9 OUT OF 10 

With members of Motley Crue and Guns n Roses, Sixx AM, a hard rock band from Los Angeles, were formed in 2007 and could have been classed as a bit of a supergroup, put together for publicity purposes. This record, however, shows that this is definitely not the case.

With Nikki Sixx finishing his final tour with Motley Crue and DJ Ashba leaving Guns n Roses, the band had more time to dedicate to their latest project, “Prayers for the Damned Part 1” and become the “real band” they have always had the potential to be.

They have not disappointed.

With Sixx on bass and Ashba on guitar, they are joined by the fantastic vocal talents of James Michael, and together they have produced one of the best albums of 2016 so far.

As the title suggests, this is the first part of a double album, with the second half due to be released later on in the year, and was released by Eleven Seven Music on April 29th 2016. At just under fifty minutes long, its eleven tracks are infectious anthems in the making, each having a sing-along-ability that would go down extremely well live. In the words of Nikki Sixx himself the album contains “songs that are designed to get a reaction from a live crowd as much as they are going to sound brilliant over your stereo.”

He was not wrong. Opening with “Rise” the first single from the album, and an obvious gig opener, the tone is set right from the beginning. Heavy riffs, ridiculously catchy choruses and adrenaline filled solos litter this album to the point you don’t want to turn it off.

Lyrically, it is very intense, with regular references to God and Jesus, and some hard-hitting themes. “Better Man” talks of dying and going to heaven to become the “better man” as mentioned, “When We Were Gods” deals with the constant clash between good and evil while “Everything Went To Hell” is obviously the story of every bad breakup that ever occurred. The album appears to be a journey of life and self-discovery, often making the listener question their own past, present and future. As DJ Ashba says, “we are on a mission to give our fans even more than they could have hoped for, musically and lyrically.”

This is a strong, honest and vibrant album, with guitar solos that would send tingles down the spine of all guitar lovers, vocals that make you sit up and bloody well listen and bass lines that make you realise Nikki Sixx is actually a superb bassist, coming into his own on “Belly of the Beast”, controlling the track with a funky, groovy bass line throughout.

Classed as fillers by a number of other reviewers, two of my favourite songs on the album are “When We Were Gods” and “Belly of the Beast” but the stand out song for me has to be the title track “Prayer for the Damned”, a song overflowing with sentiment, its powerful lyrics and emotional guitar solos hitting you right bang in the heart.

I loved this album from the moment “Rise” first blasted through the speakers and the more I played it the more I loved it. The only “bad” point I could find was that to some fans there might be too many ballady type tracks and not enough balls to the wall rock songs, but for me this was not a problem as there was enough power, rawness and emotion to keep the level of performance at staggering levels.

It is plain to see that each member has given 110% to the making and production of this album, even the cover was designed by Ashba, and I, for one, can’t wait or “Prayers of the Damned Part 2” to be released.

This is not the next great rock album but it is certainly one that will be played time and time again, and one that will give Sixx AM fans more great live gigs to attend.

Motley Crue this is NOT!

Track Listing:

  •   1. Rise
  •   2. You Have Come To The Right Place
  •   3. I’m Sick
  •   4. Prayers For The Damned
  •   5. Better Man
  •   6. Can’t Stop
  •   7. When We Were Gods
  •   8. Belly Of The Beast
  •   9. Everything Went To Hell
  •   10. The Last Time (My Heart Will Hit The Ground)
  •   11. Rise Of The Melancholy Empire

Sixx:AM are:

  • Nikki Sixx – bass guitar. backing vocals
  • DJ Ashba – lead guitar, backing vocals
  • James Michael – lead vocas, rhytm guitar, keyboards

Social Media:

  • http://sixxammusic.com
  • https://twitter.com/SixxAM
  • https://www.facebook.com/sixxammusic
  • https://www.instagram.com/sixxam
  • https://myspace.com/sixxam

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn ‘The Metal Priestess’ King and Metal Gods TV. 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.

Reproduced here with kind permission from Metal Gods TV

R.S.J – Giant Glenn

rsj-3-2

7 OUT OF 10

I must admit, I kind of jumped into this review with my eyes closed. I had never really heard of R.S.J and had no idea what they sounded like….at all!! So, imagine my reaction, one Monday morning, when I plugged my USB stick into the car stereo for my journey to work, and Dan Cook’s vocals screamed back at me?? If anything was going to shake off those Monday morning blues, this album was!

R.S.J are a metalcore/grindcore band from Yorkshire, England and were formed in 2002 when they set about creating heavy, groovy noise metal. Their name comes from the construction item, “rolled steel joint” and is referencing “a good support and a piece of heavy metal.”

Their debut EP “The Day After” was released in September 2002 and their high-energy, high-impact live shows earned them support slots with bands such as Funeral For A Friend, Raging Speedhorn and Orange Goblin. Sheer hard work secured them as headliners on the Scuzz TV stage at Bloodstock in 2007, an opening slot on the Jägermeister stage at Sonisphere in 2010 and 2012 gave them their debut appearances at both Hammerfest and HRH: Road Trip to Ibiza. 2008 also saw them as opening act on The Unholy Alliance: Chapter III show in Wolverhampton alongside Slayer, Trivium, Mastodon and Amon Amarth.

So what of “Giant Glenn”, the fourth release by this underground metal band? Well, quiet is NOT a word that I would use to describe it.

From the outset the album is loud (very loud!), heavy and full of riffs, something, which I discovered whilst doing my research, this band are very good at, and there is an obvious brutality about it.

Much of the album has an abrasive nature, the screaming vocals of Cook, the frantic guitar work and outstanding drum and bass work subjecting the listener to a total sonic onslaught, a barrage of noise coming through the speakers.

There is no let up on the speed and ruthlessness for the first four songs on the album until “Dear Jane”, a melancholy guitar ballad, which gives the listener just a minute and a half respite, before “Hit The Road Jack”, the first single from the album, and which features the fierce guest vocals of John Loughlin (Raging Speedhorn) launches them full speed into the oncoming juggernaut that is the rest of the album.

The band is tight, all working together fantastically, and each is obviously a very talented musician, able to change tempo and direction at the drop of a hat.

This album will not appeal to everyone but for those who like their metal extreme, this should be on their shopping list.

I don’t know if they will make it as a more mainstream band, and to be honest, I don’t know if they would even want to, but over the past fourteen or so years, R.S.J have established their place in the underground metal scene and this album should cement them there.

But don’t take my word for it……Go get a copy and try it for yourself!!

Tracklisting:

  • Giant Glenn
  • Fuck Off Joe
  • Right Turn Clyde
  • Blood Mary
  • Dear Jane
  • Hit The Road Jack
  • Gordon’s Alive
  • Dear John
  • For Pete’s Sake
  • Play It Again Sam

RSJ are:

  • Dan Cook – vocals / samples
  • Matthew Gamblin – bass / backing vocals
  • “Guff” Thomas – guitar / backing vocals
  • Dan Kentley – guitar / effects
  • Greg Parsons – drums / percussion

Social Media:

  • https://www.facebook.com/rsjband
  • https://twitter.com/rsjband?lang=en
  • https://myspace.com/rsj
  • Also available on Spotify, Deezer and TuneIn

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn ‘The Metal Priestess’ King and Metal Gods TV. 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.

Reproduced here with kind permission from Metal Gods TV